Definition of "Trigger Guard" in Firearms Terminology

Close-up of trigger and barrel of a handgun
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Definition

A trigger guard is a simple innovation but an important one. Most gun triggers are fairly delicate and aren't built nearly as ruggedly as other exposed portions of the firearm;  this makes it desirable to protect triggers from damage, using a trigger guard.

A trigger guard also helps prevent the trigger from being accidentally bumped or nudged, which may cause the gun to fire at the wrong time.

 And because a trigger is often relatively fragile or delicate compared to the other parts of a gun, the trigger guard helps protect it from damage, as well.

Trigger guards vary in material and appearance (although usually, they are metal) but they all have one thing in common--as the name implies, they guard the trigger. In most examples, the trigger guard simply forms a kind of a protective loop around the trigger. Most guns have them, and they may be made of metal, plastic, or just about any suitable material.

To operate the trigger on a firearm with a trigger guard, simply place your finger inside the trigger guard loop in front of the trigger, then place your finger on the trigger to fire the gun. The advantage here is that it requires forethought to insert your finger through the guard, and this prevents the trigger from being accidentally bumped to fire the gun. It is possible to accidentally fire a gun that is equipped with a trigger guard, but it is much less likely.