Riot-Control Trigger Guards on Turkish G3 Rifles

An interesting detail from a couple photos of the recent disturbance in Turkey. Take a look at the trigger guards of the G3 rifles – they have been equipped with large protective shields. I have not seen this sort of thing before, but it appears to be a riot-control type of modification, either to prevent the trigger from being pulled when people are grappling over the gun, or to prevent nervous privates from firing unintentionally.

Thanks to Tim for the photos (click to enlarge)!

trigger guards 1

trigger guards 2


  1. Interesting.
    Looks like a safety measure to protect the trigger finger from being hit by something (rock, bottle, somebody’s boot) leading to an accidental discharge. This brings us to another question, are the safety catches on? They should be if there is a round in the chamber.
    There was an incident in Northern Ireland many years ago, when a group of quite rabid housewives managed to grapple the SLR (FAL) from a British soldier but as it was held to his wrist by one end of the sling (the other being on the rear mount) they couldn’t bring it to bear on his person, the safety would definitely be on so they’d have to fiddle with that as well. Meanwhile he was rescued. I suspect that had he been assaulted by men he would have opened fire, but housewives with grocery bags, one hesitates. Same old story, are there really any innocents in that kind of conflict?
    Rumour has it that most of the armed soldiers you see in old archive film of the 25th April 1974 revolution in Portugal actually had no ammo to reduce the chances of anyone getting hurt should spirits run a bit high.
    Note different helmets being worn.


      • These looks like recruits who someone shipped proclaiming them that they are going to practice.
        Very sloppy coup, probably sabotaged from inside by government, now a great excuse.

  3. It looks like it goes on in halves and is probably locked, like a trigger lock. My SWAG is that the unit commander has the key that unlocks them.

    During WW2, German snipers had a much smaller “box” that slipped over the trigger guard of their scoped 98K Mausers. It had an external “winter trigger” that could be operated while wearing heavy gloves or even mittens. it was common on the Russian front, for obvious reasons;

    Rather the opposite intention of this arrangement.



  4. It seems to be a common practice outside the U.S. for authorities to take steps that serve to impede or slow down the ability of police (or quasi-police) to fire guns. Policies that range from not arming (ordinary) cops in the first place, or having covered holsters that must be opened separately before the gun can be removed. American police, in contrast, have traditionally put greater importance on the quick-draw/rapid-fire ability than on any concerns that this emphasis, while no doubt benefiting a cop’s personal safety (at least in the short term), might lead to unnecessary civilian deaths as a trade off.

    These Turkish trigger-guards might be one more such civilian-safety feature, at least in concept or theory. (I wonder if there’s room inside the trigger guard for a third position: finger inside guard but off trigger?)

    I can think of one instance when these kind of trigger guards could have been useful. Back in 2001, when the US airports were full of National Guard soldiers mingling in the crowd with M16s slung on their backs, apparently oblivious to the fact that their rifles could have easily been grabbed and/or fired by people behind them, from virtually any angle.

    • It’s likely most of those National Guard soldiers were carrying no live ammunition in their rifles in 2001. Most were just there for “security theater”- first hand accounts by many involved indicated they were instructed to put empty magazines in their rifles, and carry any issued ammo on their person.

    • Cops who don’t routinely carry sidearms seem to be primarily a British thing. At least in most of Europe the standard practice is for both uniformed and plain cloth policemen to carry a pistol. Flap and other covered holsters are used to prevent the suspect from grabbing the sidearm while the officers use non-lethal means to pacify and apprehend him. That is related to the fact that use of firearms is not that common in low level street crimes. That said, I believe flap holsters are becoming less commonly used even in Europe.

  5. Box over the trigger sounds like a reasonable measure considering how badly things can go during a riot. I wonder if that sort of thing would have prevented the tragedy at Kents State. I was a student at Ohio U. at that time. Considering how crazy things were on campus during our riots it was something of a minor miracle that no one got killed.

  6. Aa- If they were on their way to an exercise there would have been no bolts in those rifles. If they were there for security there may not have been any ammo on their person, their mere presence being a deterent.

    • I would imagine they were carrying the rifles with empty chambers (the so called Israeli method) to reduce the chance of someone grabbing the rifle.

      • Perhaps it was thought that the mere sight of men in uniform with guns would tend to be a calming influence on public fears (how times have changed!) when the airports finally opened again. Maybe the use of soldiers stationed at airports instead of police was primarily symbolic in the immediate aftermath of Bin Laden’s surprise attack. And unlike cops generally, they didn’t seem the least bit paranoid about people walking among them in a crowded setting (and even getting a close look at their rifles). In contrast, the Turkish soldiers in the pictures are standing in a group with their backs against a wall, making it harder for someone to sneak up from behind and disarm one of them. While their trigger guards appear ambidextrous, I wonder how well they work for large-handed gunmen (I’m guessing poorly).

  7. The soldier centered in the second photo certainly appears to have his finger within the trigger guard, and given the space available I’ll bet it’s resting on that trigger. I have no secret knowledge, but I suspect these things have nothing in particular to do with safety but rather serve some more mundane purpose. A fitting for vehicle weapons racks? Unit inventory control? Magpul wanna be accessory mania has finally reached Anatolia?

    Sua Sponte.

    • Magpul Accutrigger Wedge. Protects the firing mechanism from unauthorized use and splits wood for your campfire. Coming soon with accesory rail.

  8. Looks like they swing open at the rear?
    Something to make it more difficult for an unauthorized person to fire the rifle if they don’t know how it works.

  9. Looks as if it is a guard against a gungrabber.
    If the soldier has his finger on the trigger within that guard, another cannot pull the trigger.
    However….bet that with the finger within that guard, his finger[s] get broken in a wrestling match.

    • Btw even if you don’t know swedish that is a pretty nice PDF that shows the rifle in details with alot of pictures

      • Swapping out safety catches and firing pins could also deter crooks from breaking into armories. If the bad guys stole rifles with firing pins mere thousandths of an inch too short to make contact with cartridge primers, how do you think the Roaring Twenties would have gone? Holding up a bank with a non-functioning Browning M1918 would be difficult if someone eventually called out the bluff! It would have been better to make sure that rifles and automatic weapons in storage (along with ammunition) are not easy to steal and then use against the proper owners!

        • We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

          If that passage is a statement of fact

          who would be

          the proper owners!


        • Who talked about firing pins?
          I did write safety pin though, a better word would be safety lever or bolt I guess.
          That and the safety blocker (one extra action to go off safe) is only use when on guard duty in peace time. Swedish military are not used to control the population if it can be avoided due to this thats the police job.

          Home guard rifle are now kept locked away in these on guarded grounds and locked with a barrel lock that you can’t removed without key without ruining the barrel. The rifles used to be kept in the homes of the soldiers, but that is now generally avoided due to alot of rifle thefts in the 90s .

  10. For what it’s worth, in a tense situation, the cops are nearly ALWAYS greatly outnumbered. When the military (or what passes internationally for the National Guard) is deployed they’re also ALWAYS outnumbered.
    Tense? You don’t know the meaning of the word until you and your equally poorly trained and acclimated 10 or 12 buddies have to face “them” down and keep 500 or a thousand of “them” from moving from “there” to “here.” The uninitiated are prone to panic, while the trained and experienced are merely scared crapless.
    If there are bullets in the mix, somebody’s going to use them.
    And oh, and by the way, ever since Kent State in the 60’s where the local wildly incompetent (their normal state) National Guard opened fire and killed a number of unarmed demonstrators, and a number of innocent uninvolved students, they don’t normally issue live ammunition to most of the troops. Designated marksmen under the direct command and direction of the Officer-in-Charge only. At least that’s how it was done post Kent state in those days. Maybe different now, but I’d bet it’s pretty much the same these days.
    I know because I spent the summer of 1968 training troops to deal with riot control in a (VERY) firm but hopefully less-than-lethal manner.
    It’s there I learned just how very, very charming and useful the proper application of the Bayonet can be in controlling a crowd, be it one, 500 or even a thousand. None of the tricks of that trade involve (intentionaly) sticking anybody but the tricks involve lots and lots redirection, threats and intimidation. And humans and charging horses WILL NOT intentionaly impale themselves on an extended line of bayonets in presentation.
    I know this because I spent much of the following summer in the real life of 1969, quelling real riots.
    At no additional charge, I’ll let you in on a few tips.
    1: Have the bayonet on a big ‘ole rifle like a Garand or M14. An M4 or any variation of an M-16 is too teeny and wimpy to carry Much Authority. Remember, you have no bullets.
    2: Keep the sheath on the blade which makes it possble to actually deliver a thrust to one of those “Special” rioting individuals (every contentious social event has at least one) without lethal consequence. Sure it hurts, and the happy recipient will quit doing whatever it is and go somewhere else to do it…with a technicolor bruise in the midsection that won’t go away until next year. But then that’s the idea, isn’t it? (My personal learning-about-that-one-technicolor-marking lasted to the following February.)
    3: Don’t forget your helmet, body armor, knee & elbow pads, cup and especially your gas mask. ( I personally also used a much abused East German clear plastic riot shield modified to be a buckler which was very effective as no one had seen or used a buckler since about 1650 and no one knew how to deal with it.)
    4: And then there’s the best of all the non-lethal but oh-so-painful one, it’s…but no, I can’t reveal all the best stuff, now can I ?
    Come on along and I’ll just let be a surprise:):);)

    • While police and soldiers are typically outnumbered, sometimes extremely, and possibly by far more people than they even have bullets for, their greatest weapon is the psychology of fear. Machine gunning the crowd and killing several dozen will cause the other ten thousand angry protesters to run for their lives. Problem solved — or is it?

      A brief glance of history, and its not hard to predict that achieving that kind of short term ‘victory’ tends to incite armed resistance, even full-scale wars, and other long lasting problems that may take decades (even centuries) to resolve. Just as we’re seeing right now that American-style aggressive policing, the shoot-first tactics may have saved the lives of cops in the past (at the cost of ‘civilian’ lives) but now they’re reaping the bitter fruits of that policy.

    • Wow, that’s pretty interesting that they train police to use other tactics. I know they have tear gas and things like that which will disperse crowds, but I didnt realize they still use bayonets. Thanks for the info.

  11. At 200X magnification, the soldier looking up standing under the flag appears to have finger-on trigger, or at least certainly inside the device. The bottom of the device appears open, and his shirt camo is visible through the left side of the “v” cross-sectioned device. In my opinion it is a “grab guard” intended to allow the soldier access to the trigger, but to deny access to anyone else. Did anyone else notice the three diagonal stripes on his magazine? I don’t see them on the others. The finish on those rifles appears almost new…

  12. Interesting. We have a plate that attaches to an M16 (between grip and lower) with a bent piece, or tab, preventing the selector from going to auto or burst. It’s use is mandated in “riot” situations or what we called confrontation management in my day. In many years of being a small arms repairman I only ever saw two of them. One had been installed but the tab had broken off and been left on the rifle. The other was buried in an unmarked parts bin. Some of the old timers said they were often used in training so the youngsters wouldn’t get the itch to flip the go-fast switch. My guess would be that these Turkish plates would be of similar function.

  13. This is actually not a riot-control trigger but a suicide prevention measure (angled so you can’t pull-push the trigger when aiming at yourself). Most Turkish soldiers are conscripts who won’t ever see combat, and conscription and life in Turkey being what it is, suicides are a common enough occurence in the Turkish Military for them to take measures against it.

    • That is not to say that I think this is an effective, or in any way sensible, measure against soldiers’ psychological distress.

  14. Swapping out safety catches and firing pins could also deter crooks from breaking into armories. If the bad guys stole rifles with firing pins mere thousandths of an inch too short to make contact with cartridge primers, how do you think the Roaring Twenties would have gone? Holding up a bank with a non-functioning Browning M1918 would be difficult if someone eventually called out the bluff! It would have been better to make sure that rifles and automatic weapons in storage (along with ammunition) are not easy to steal and then use against the proper owners!

  15. Whilst im a bit late to this post i wanted to clear out thesr are not as intrusivr nor locked as many of the commentors think its a triangular plastic sleeve that covers access to the trigger from the sides but is exposed from the back. It serves the exact purpose in the artice. Although my personal experience with them was that they rode on the top of my trigger finger quite uncomfortably.

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