2 Apr 99
I conducted an Urban Rifle/Shotgun Course on the East Coast last weekend. One of my students, an excellent and competent shooter, brought an H&K 91 in 308 Win.
The trigger on his rifle was equipped with a trigger shoe, one designed and marketed by H&K themselves. It’s call the “PSG-1 trigger modification.” The PSG-1 is, of course, H&K’s sniper rifle, built on the H&K 91 platform.
It looks like an ugly growth on the trigger! It, of course, provides a wide contact pad for the shooter’s trigger finger and is secured in place by a single set screw. It makes the trigger just as wide as the trigger guard, and I thought, since it’s made and marketed by H&K for their own rifles, it’s probably okay.
I was wrong, and I never should have allowed it in the Course. Ordinarily, I don’t permit any species of trigger shoe on rifles or pistols, due the the likelihood of an AD when the weapon is handled or holstered. I should not have made an exception in this case, and I’ll never do it again!
The second day of the Course, the student was in the process of lifting his rifle as he tried to adjust the sling during a break. The rifle had been slung muzzle-down on the strong side. As the muzzle came up, the rifle AD’d, striking the ground several feet in front of the shooter’s lead foot. The astonished shooter thought it had been someone else! I was standing nearby, but I was facing another direction at the time and didn’t see what happened. Fortunately, the shooter was in conformity with our safety rules and was facing a safe direction when the incident occurred.
As we rushed over to him, relieved to see that he was okay, he still had an astonished look on his face! I took the rifle from him and immediately examined it. The manual safety was in the “off” position, and the weapon appeared to be otherwise serviceable.
A short investigation revealed that the trigger shoe had caught on the shooter’s clothing (probably a zipper head) as he lifted the rifle, causing the discharge. The manual safety lever had been inadvertently swept off when the weapon had been slung, a common problem with the H&K manual safety.
We all agreed that the trigger shoe should come off immediately. It was promptly removed, and I never saw it again! The shooter finished the Course and passed his test, all without further incident. No one was injured as a result of the AD.
>Like trigger locks, trigger shoes should be banned from the face of the Earth! They are a real accident generator, and I’ll never again allow one in one of our Courses.
>During our Rifle/Shotgun Courses, I’m going to do a better job of reminding students to frequently check the position of the manual safety as the rifle is carried about, particularly in the case of H&Ks.