Firing hand thumb

Thunderskunk

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Sep 16, 2020
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What are you supposed to do with your firing hand thumb? I keep seeing photos of PRS where the thumb is laid on the side of the rifle rather than behind the pistol grip. Why? What’s the benefit? Is it a universal thing or one of those “do what’s comfortable?”

There was a bit in the fundamentals sticky about it but not much clarification on the thumb specifically.
 

ScottDWallace

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Personally speaking, riding the side of the vertical grip puts my hand in an optimal position for a straight pull in a horizontal plane as opposed to an angular plane from wrapping the thumb. The hand is more relaxed on the side as well which promotes a better trigger press and follow through. Lastly, it is really obvious if you are muscling the position if you are using only three fingers. That's the signal for that that it's time to reset and rebuild.

Cheers
 
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Jack Master

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Placing the thumb on the trigger finger side is a preference. Some do it, others don't. I do and here are the benefits of it.

Start Here - mechanics-of-the-firing-hand @Enough Said

1. Muscling the rifle
By using only your 3 gripping fingers (middle to pinky) to hold the rifle into the shoulder we get a more straight back pull. We tend to not muscle the rifle left and right of twisting it. Without the thumb around the grip it harder to manipulate the rifle's point of aim, we need to do this with our body rather than our grip.
2. Trigger finger dexterity
I find its easier to get a 90 degrees index finger onto the trigger and pull the trigger straight back. Try this yourself, you'll see a dramic increase in the ability to move the trigger finger how and where you want it.
3. Sympathetic squeeze
When the rifle goes off your natural instinct will be to grip the rifle harder if you can. Having you thumb on the trigger finger side will not allow your to squeeze harder then the shot if broke. This squeezing will through shots. The griping can be very slight but make a difference.
4. Easier and quicker bolt manipulation
This one is for obvious reasons. I don't have to unwrap my hand to get the bolt and back on the trigger.

Try it both ways and see what you are more accurate with. (notice and didn't say "more comfortable") Of you are managing recoil correctly with your body most shooter don't have much issue giving up thier death grip on the rifle.
 

Dthomas3523

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    You should be able to cut your thumb off and it wouldn’t matter (moving the rifle is a different story). Bolt manipulation and such is personal preference.

    But to restate, your thumb shouldn’t matter during the firing process and doesn’t matter where you put it.
     
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    Gustav7

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  • Jul 18, 2019
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    What are you supposed to do with your firing hand thumb? I keep seeing photos of PRS where the thumb is laid on the side of the rifle rather than behind the pistol grip. Why? What’s the benefit? Is it a universal thing or one of those “do what’s comfortable?”

    There was a bit in the fundamentals sticky about it but not much clarification on the thumb specifically.
    Not sure if this will help but I always had a problem squeezing my thumb when I squeezed my 3 graspers onto the grip. So I started lightly tapping my thumb as I began pulling the gun back with my 3 fingers. After a couple range sessions, my brain got used to squeezing with my fingers while my thumb was light/unsqueezed. Still have to remind myself a bit and lightly tap the thumb, but its a lot easier now
     

    Just Chuck

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    Then there are a lot team ropers that are all set for great trigger control. LOL! The humor is prolly lost on most of this crowd. But I’m mostly funny to myself anyway.
    You should be able to cut your thumb off and it wouldn’t matter (moving the rifle is a different story). Bolt manipulation and such is personal preference.

    But to restate, your thumb shouldn’t matter during the firing process and doesn’t matter where you put it.
     

    fyaman43

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    I forget exactly where, but recently watched a video of an instructor who went around “testing” shooters’ thumbs (manually) to make sure they were relaxed and didn’t affect trigger pull.
     

    Enough Said

    Staff Sergeant Taylor
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    Regardless of which side, it is important to ISOLATE the thumb, so that there is no pressure or movement.
     
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