Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Feather Fire

So, I've mentioned feather firing several times here before. It's a trigger technique that allows you to fire semiautomatic rifles very rapidly, while still using the sights (unlike bumpfiring).

Well, I mentioned it again at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous in Reno this past weekend; but I didn't get a chance to demonstrate, so Unc dropped me a line and asked me to explain it.

The basic concept is simple. It's a paintball technique that can be applied to any semi-automatic firearm with light to moderated recoil, and a relatively light, fast resetting trigger.

An AR with a decent trigger job fits the bill nicely; but just about any semi with a light, short, crisp trigger, with a fast reset will do it.

1. Socket the weapon tightly in to your shoulder; preferably slung up on your support arm, but in any case very firmly supported.

2. Place your thumb, or the heel of your hand on the off side of the receiver (on an AR, the through hole for the safety is a good spot); and place the pads of your support fingers on the pistol grip, firmly squeezing or pinching. It's important to keep the base of your hand solidly planted.

3. Find the trigger with your index finger. Some find it easier to do this with their middle finger, or both their middle and index fingers simultaneously (this is one reason why the double finger paintball trigger became popular by the way).

4. Start from 1/4" to 1/2" off the trigger, and rapidly flick your finger(s) straight back and forth from the base knuckle, feeling THROUGH the trigger; actuating the trigger repeatedly.

5. It's best to keep to short bursts; both for control, and to properly reset your finger position. It is difficult to feather through more than a half dozen without resetting.

Remember, in this mode, your weak hand and shoulder are providing all the support for the weapon. Your strong hand is just there to pull the trigger; and all it's strength and co-ordination are expended on doing so.

Although this technique isn't as fast as bumpfiring, you CAN empty an entire 20 or 30rd mag in just a few seconds; and more importantly you can keep it in the kill zone on a man at 50 or even 100 yards pretty easily.

Oh and this technique DOES work on some pistols, if you maintain a support hand grip thats sufficient; and if the weapon recoils very lightly. I can empty my HI-Power so fast that the magazine springs don't keep up (yes, seriously).

At the very least, it's a fun way to turn money into noise.

I just hope the ATF don't issue a memorandum of understanding declaring these instructions an unlicensed machine gun...