Indexing Your Temple

In the past month or so, there have been some bantering about the legitimacy of indexing your temple while using a pistol. Earlier we posted about one training group’s technique of indexing your cheek.

Aaron Cowen, over at Moderno,  explains the specific use and necessity of this technique. Like most things on the internet, when taken out of context, it can cause confusion and ridicule. He makes it clear that shooting on a range to practice is just that. It is practice.

We train on the range, we practice on the range.  We are not training to fight on the range.

Aaron explains that the technique was called High Vertical Ready when he first learned this technique. It is used for Personal Security Detail purposes. Specifically working in and around vehicles.

It was used to safely pivot in a seat without muzzling other passengers to engage a threat inside or outside of the cabin.  As anyone who has worked PSD knows, sometimes there are possible threats inside the vehicle with your client and everyone outside the car is a possible threat.  Being able to maneuver in a seat with weapon drawn, be it with your family, fellow officers, soldiers, detail members or general passengers is tricky business with few physical techniques.

Aaron does mention his experience with Temple Index during a training encounter taught by a Naval Special Warfare veteran and they were using rifles.

a method to maneuver the weapon (in this case, a rifle) through deep snow/brush and to navigate tight spaces or move quickly when running with a barrel-down would lead to a lot of barrel/leg contact.  Running with a long arm, especially as part of a team, leaves few ways to carry your rifle without muzzling others and the navigation of tight quarters or less-than-ideal terrain a problem with few solutions.

Given the explanation and context, it does seem like this technique has validity.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • Zachary marrs

    I can’t believe you are taking this seriously, Nicholas.

    Whats next, training with instructor 0 ?

    • waffen ss

      I thought it was an ad for Mechanix gloves.

    • Guru Chia

      Haha. Instrutor Zero is a skilled shooting, and a decent instructor. I know few armchair ninjas that shoot anywhere NEAR the skill-level of him. Ok, thats enough blab.. I am going back to the field to train and get stronger. My ass hurts.

      • dan citizen

        Playing first person shooter games is not “training”

      • Grindstone50k

        Every minute I spend in this room, I get weaker. And every minute charlie spends squatting in the push, he gets stronger.

  • stephen

    This is common sense whether your using a pistol or M4/similar rig.

    I imagine tho there will be many tacticool instructors who will over emphasize this technique – for operational purposes of course.


  • waffen ss


    • JumpIf NotZero

      Do yourself a favor. Go actually read the article. Then I might also recommend seeking some formal training.

      • waffen ss

        I have forgotten more shit than Chris Costa even knows. Do you even operate- bro?

      • Do yourself a favor, “Waffen SS” has started shitting on TFB articles and is nothing more but a baseless troll. Flag comments, move on. Don’t even reply.

        • waffen ss

          says the guy with the gay anime avatar

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Geez, who has time for that? Hadn’t seen him trolling here. Although Lance has been trolling for YEARS, just not quite obviously enough to get himself banned. Seems to be hard to do here. Will flag, thanks

          • Dan

            Yea lately waffen has acting out his newest fantasies of being a nazi. Perhaps he shall partake in a tasty cyanide capsule?

        • waffen ss

          do yourself a favor and get rid of that gay anime avatar.

      • waffen ss

        I taught Chris Costa of Pulmag everything she knows. do you even operate -bro?

    • tfb.lurker

      “The Hun,” changed his name thinking no one would notice. How cute.

      • waffen ss

        i don’t care if you notice or not dickhead- but it is nice that you think about me 😉

  • JumpIf NotZero

    I like “high port” over temple index or high vertical ready. But all the same idea.

    – in vehicles as explained
    – running wth a carbine, definitely. I rarely move any other way with an AR now. Esp if someone else is on the range.
    – running with a handgun as well
    – search and assess / check six. I like Sul position, but high port works well for me to break my feet away from the target I shot, for some reason I just feel more mobile than in Sul. Plus I can move without ever even remotely flagging my knees or anyone else.
    Low light indoors. My favorite use of this. If you have decent low light training you already know why. Can make fast positive IDs using a weapon light, not flagging anyone.

    The lunacy and I’m sure it’s about to hit here is that people with no real training get in the Internet to shit on a technique because they don’t understand it. Instead of doing what they should, ASKING about it.

    • waffen ss

      forget your meds?

      • Dan

        Eeeeeek! a troll!

        • Ethan

          Throw it a treat and maybe we can slip past it!

        • waffen ss

          what the fuck are you even talking about asshole?

    • Nicks87

      Yeah jumplf, you pretty much nailed it, that’s been my experience for the most part as well. Sul or a low ready when moving slow and high over temple when moving quickly from/to cover.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        You know what’s funny. Is the people here who actually have training, have no issue with high port or anything like it. The people who have no formal training, might not even be of age to own guns, and generally have no problem professing their ignorance are the ones making the biggest fuss against it.

        It’s not just “not for me, no thanks” it’s a vitriolic reaction against it.

        So strange to me. You’re the only person that even seems to understand what Sul is. I can also tell that in my post I wrote about low light high port (using the ceiling to light a room) but all any of the naysayers could comment on what that someone you’ll just shoot yourself in the head. They don’t know enough to even wonder why you might use this indoors.

        What an absolute mystery! I’ve always wondered why more people don’t seek formal training. Figured it was financial limitations which I expect is true, also that intimidation is a factor esp among women. But now I’m starting to see this engrained mentality that not only is not taking training OK, it entitles them to talk shit about techniques of people that do. Like being proud of ignorance, such a trashy thing to do.

        It’s bizarro-world

        • Nicks87

          I feel ya man, I think you are right about it being a youngster thing. They talk sh#t because they didn’t learn it in basic training or see it in a movie/video game.

    • Zachary marrs

      I hate to piss on your parade, but how much have you actually used this training?

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Yes. A lot.

        Not sure how that would be pissing on anything. Have you taken any formal training? Which groups?

        • Zachary marrs

          Please tell me how you have used all this training? Other than “yes a lot”

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Drawing from and firing from vehicles toward outside targets, low light weapon light actuated on the ceiling, running with carbine always goes high port if there are other people on the range. I use it for EVERY carbine drill I do as reloads are done with an almost entirely identical position.

            Now as to my question… Have you taken any formal training? Which groups?

          • Zachary marrs

            Have you e er been ina gun fight? Cop, military? A self defense scenario as a civilian?

            Simply taking a carbine course doesn’t mean anything in this conversation, im just asking , what do you do where these “techniques” are so vital? I’m genuinely curious, and I’m not trying to imply any disrespect, if thats what you think

          • JumpIf NotZero


            And I suppose if taking a lot of training does not qualify someone to talk about such things… NOT taking any training as you so clearly have not apparently gives one free reign to run their mouth? Got it.

            I can’t believe you are taking this seriously, Nicholas.
            Whats next, training with instructor 0 ?

            I’m done. Now if I could only get a disqus ignore button.

          • Zachary marrs

            Why should I listen to you? I ask if you jave ever had to use this stuff in a combat or self defense scenario, and you reply with “yes”

            I always see guys (who sound an awful lot like you) who think because they spent thousands of dollars on training, they could survive anything since they learned how to assimilate dynamic multi tier operational battlespace threat providers.

            You can’t even tell me what line of work you are in to justify using gun handling skills last seen in bad 1980’s action movies.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Why should I listen to you?

            Don’t. Also don’t listen to anyone at Deliberate Dynamics, Vuurwapen Concepts, MDFI, Costa, Magpul Dynamics, Sentinal Concepts, anyone listen in the links above, Pat Rodgers, Larry Vickers, or anyone else.

            You CLEARLY know better than anyone.

          • Zachary marrs

            They list their experience, at least the ones im familiar with.

            #!@$ mobile keyboard

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Has no experience, mocks other’s.

          • Zachary marrs

            Answer my question, what experience do you have using these techniques, outside of a training course? Others have asked you the same.

            I am not the one commenting on this site “dude, you should get brand x since you can’t asymmetrically prioritize targets with brand y, i learned this in one of the 518 training courses I’ve taken. ”

            “Do i have experience using these techniques in a combat environment? yes”

          • Nicks87

            Zach, I’m a firearms/defensive tactics instructor for a federal law enforcement agency. We teach this stuff to our officers. It’s pretty much how everybody trains these days. LE, military, civilian contractors most of us are on the same page when it comes to tactics and training and we are always open to trying new things but we usually just stick with what has worked in the past, in real world situations.

          • Zachary marrs

            Thank you for answering

          • guest001

            agree with zach, in what line of work are you in that requires this type of training?

            “yes” is not an acceptable answer

          • Grindstone50k

            Refuses to answer valid question, makes snarky remarks.

      • Nicks87

        Like I said, it’s used when moving quickly to or from cover or, like the picture above shows, when exiting a vehicle. There are variations of it but the concept is the same. If you have a different way of doing it that is safe and eliminates wasted movement please post a video or describe it in detail for us.

        • Zachary marrs

          Im just curious how he has used all this training he is constantly going on about

  • allannon

    Weird tactic for special cases? Makes sense to me.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Vehicles, moving, indoors, I’m not seeing “special cases” really anywhere. If you want to discuss brokeback for shooting under a vehicle, yea, special case I suppose. Or skipping buckshot along concrete, definitely special case. This, seems pretty common to me.

      • allannon

        In this case by special I meant something beyond the uses of your average American shooter.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          I operate a vehicle, run, walk indoors, and am in the dark everyday. So I see nothing special.

          For the average shooter who only has guns for hunting or for range toys (don’t get me wrong, you’re right, the far majority), yea, I suppose “special”. That’s a whole different topic though 😀

        • Dan

          In the article under Context, context, context “Temple Index is for very specific circumstances and stands alone as one of many tools.”

          It’s actually used to some extent in hunting. Watch pheasant hunters when they’re road hunting.

          • dan citizen

            thankfully pheasants rarely grab your weapon. peasants on the other hand are quite sneaky.

  • Temple index reminds me of someone thinking “I like High Port/Sabrina but I want to make my mark on the industry.” Thus temple index is born.

    • Giolli Joker

      I find it quite funny that every single position/move has to have a codename…
      Marketing, I suppose.

      • JumpIf NotZero

        Because when someone has just sprinted 300y and has 100y with firing stages in between on a drill, has near tunnel-vision and has dropped the muzzle after a mag change, instructing them by yelling: “Hey, remember to keep your muzzle pointed up because low-ready with an AR may flag the people on your weak side as you pass by them!!”

        Sure does work better than just saying: “High port!” you know because that might seem like a “codename”

        Or… what you said :

        • Giolli Joker

          High port, or maybe Muzzle Up… would work as a shout.
          Temple Index? Really??? 😀

  • Nicks87

    What’s wrong with pointing your weapon in a safe direction and keeping your finger off the trigger? Also this isnt the technique that people had issue with, it was the ridiculous chicken wing nonsense.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Hivemind ignorance is contagious.

      A bunch of people who don’t really know how to use guns, but are deeply invested in collecting them see something unknown and crap all over it anonymously on the internet. Others join in.

      There is NOTHING wrong with high port. At all, has very good uses. Apparently because it’s not taught in a required CCW class or in Basic Training which I’ve uncomfortably found to be the highest level of training most people who consider themselves “expects” will ever take – it’s wrong or “tacticool” and should be mocked.

      • Guru Chia

        But there is something wrong with high ready… gun grabs from behind are worse. If you have any questions about techniques you learn outside of the armchair let the Guru know, or ask one of the guys at

        • JumpIf NotZero

          “Ask the “guys” at the website my name is all over”


        • Commonsense23

          So what is you background out of question.

        • Nicks87

          Gun grabs from behind? Now we are getting into the realm of ridiculousness.

      • Grindstone50k

        Need some cream to go with that butthurt?

        • Nicks87

          Nobody is butthurt, just trying to correct ignorance, take it or leave it.

          • Grindstone50k

            Yeah, if you don’t see any butthurt in Zero’s rantings on this article, then there’s not much hope for you.

  • Don Ward

    Hey. I learned everything that I’ve ever needed to know about safe and effective firearm handling techniques from 1980s action movie posters.

  • waffen ss

    awesome stuff- will use this at our next paintball club battle.

  • Guru Chia

    But… we _are_ training to fight on the range. The world can be a fucking range. While on the range I, personally, am training to fight, and win. The mental process of 90% of the guys that use this temple indexing is as follows: “So and So uses it, and I what to be hot Shitz too, so I am going to use it. When my friends ask me what I am doing I will look super cool and tell them I am indexing my temple”…. Gun grabs happen from behind as well, and this hold is like saying “I am going to index my ass, cause it is tactical”; we cant use two hands properly when “Indexing our temple/ass”. This is shit, and is setting most people up for failure. Now, I am not saying that the other 10% are wrong, but at least they know why they are using there temples as index points and if it works for them and furthers their effectiveness in the stress of combat having one hand on the gun and the weapon touching their head, then it works for them and that great.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      “So and So uses it, and I what to be hot Shitz too”…. I think you’re projecting buddy. You just linked below to ask people on YOUR OWN WEBSITE what they thought of this…. oh 🙂 classic.

      The exact same thing you’re accusing people who have received actual recon and sf shooting packages, the people you’re accusing of pole riding, you’re exactly doing yourself, just with a different “authority” on the matter coupled with your own ignorance slipping in.

      All from the aside that you’re implying that the police/sf/mil/pmc/no-bodies that practice a high port are doing so out of some fashion operator-envy and not because it works or they can think for themselves. Practice this and other options to determine what works. Nope. Because it must be Star-F*cking-Time.

      Too Funny.

      Also, not sure how concerned I am with gun grabs, in my vehicle, or while running. But hey, you’re apparently the expert here! 🙂

      • Grindstone50k

        How many operations have you operatedly operated on, operator?

  • What’s old is new again, I guess.

    • Mastro63

      The Aaron Spelling school of handgun safety.

    • Aaron E

      Love me some Angels!

  • Jon

    A wise man once said when in boat point weapon up, when in helicopter point weapon down. Another wise man once said when on bottom point gun up and when on top point gun down.

  • dan citizen

    The question many internet denizens are asking right now is:

    How do I do this temple index?

    In MW2 and COD it is up, up, down, down, left, right, left right, B, A

    • Nicks87

      Hey! Stop putting in codes, CHEATER!

    • nadnerbus

      YY 360 temple index no scope ladder stall. I can see the montages now.

  • Yallan

    Disadvantages compared to high ready.
    – Greatly increased chance of shooting yourself in the head.
    – Increased time befire weapon is able to fired.
    – If you fall or need to use your weapon hand, reaction time is roughly doubled..
    – Reduced peripheral vision.

    – Less chance of shooting other people accidentally.

    Seems like it’s made more for live fire training . Because unlike a rifle,which actually is bulky and restrictive around and inside a vehicle, the pistol isn’t.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      I don’t even…. well, I 100% disagree with your “disadvantages” having practiced this. But at least you put some thought into it.

      If you actually index on temple and lock it there, yes, I would say reduced vision. I don’t lock on temple because of that. Everything is entirely subjective except for shoot yourself in the head is just entirely imaginary.

      • Yallan

        Around a car full of people or in a crowd, I’d say it’s worth using, but if your alone or working with people you are not afraid are going to accidentally shoot you, pointing the barrel in anyway close to your head is just not a good idea.

        • Yallann

          Also the big factor of weapon retention in a vehicle or crowd, holding your pistol in one hand high up for all to see is just begging for it to be snatched.

          • JumpIf NotZero

            Pure fantasy land right there. This isn’t a walk around 100% of the time technique.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Did you read the article? Did you look at any of the photos? Do you see any examples where the muzzle is pointed at or below the head?

          You could consider which safety rule high port breaks…

  • claymore

    Wow just Wow guess they never saw the Memo from the FBI investigations of shooting of Swat team members by “accidental discharges” (insert your favorite descriptive words here) when the hand guns were carried in this manner.

    And the fact that the FBI now recommends DOWNWARD or towards the ground ready.

    The problem is when the following officer, with firearm in this position, trips and looses balance and starts to fall forward the raised gun hand MOVES REFLEXIVELY AND NATURALLY DOWNWARD and the hand reflexively closes to retain the grip which has resulted in rounds discharged into the officer in front of this one.

    If the firearm is carried at the downward position and the officer starts to fall the swing of the firearm is further towards the ground and NOT the back of the officer or other people in the area.

    They also found there is no measurable difference in on target time between the two different carries, with the same level of training, making the low ready the preferable position for carry.

    Never mind the mindbogglingly stupidity of pointing a firearm anywhere near your face unless you are a perfect person (and we know how many of them there are ZERO) that NEVER makes a mistake.

    There is no justification for this carry for any reason in my opinion.

    • JumpIf NotZero

      Got a link to this memo?

      And at the same time, I’m going to toss out there that DEA, FBI and Police, not exactly the well-trained experts that people make them out to be. Police worst of all of course.

      You seem to be tossing in some of your own bias. The gun is never pointing at your face, agreed, that would be stupid. With low ready and Sul when running, watch some videos, the gun is OFTEN actually pointing at knees.

      Try drawing in a vehicle and get back to me. There is no safe direction in a vehicle except roof.

      “There is no justification for this carry for any reason in my opinion.” … So normally I agree with you on stuff, but this is just way out there. You think that all the contextual reasons listed in the link, and the trainers that teach this are just being stupid?

      • claymore

        Short answer to the last is yes. And the floor of a vehicle is a fine place to point a firearm. It doesn’t have a link that I know of just going by their training. It MAY be online somewhere but I have read and been taught it so I have no reason to look. LOL you think HRT can’t shoot or any other police Swat teams.

        Your point is moot about the knees which would you rather be shot in your knees down or from the top of your head to your toes?

        Tell us your training to make these judgements.

        • JumpIf NotZero

          Potentially on the floor of your vehicle: modules and comprimisable items that will 100% shut the car down in a 2005+ vehicle:

          FDCM final drive control, APPS pedal, ORC occupant restrain controller / Airbag module, fuel tank and lines, any CAN or Flex wiring, seemingly innocuous modules that tie into CAN like a tire pressure module or ABS controller, batteries are more commonly being install in cabin on the floor, any and all drive-by-wire (electronic steering, brakes, throttle, and their wires) components and their subsystems, just to toss that out there.

          There is no safe direction in a vehicle except up.

          I have trained with a SWAT team as a whole, and members of one another time. I was not impressed. For the $8000 these guys shoot in just 556 ammo each per year, they should have wiped the floor with me, I should not have been any degree more accurate at 50y or faster in 1-5 drills and 1-5 drills with reloads as a civilian.

          Sorry, but I think you’re talking about things you don’t really understand.

          And to answer your question about where I would rather be shot… No where. I’d rather practice the fundamentals of firearm safety which do not change if I have the gun pointed up or down. I’ll continue to do so. I’ll also continue to change my techniques as the situation demands instead of being stuck into one dogma.

          • claymore

            LOL all those components are irrelevant to the subject. So why and for how long have you ” trained with a SWAT team as a whole”? So you have never been in a situation that someone was shooting back at you only range time and yet you think your opinions carry weight?

            NO ONE is perfect and nobody can control reflexive actions that is why they are called reflexive no matter how good or bad their training.

  • Ummm…who knew there was ever any debate? Must be a bunch of untrained rookies griping about it.

  • Roger V. Tranfaglia

    Makes sense to me,as long as your finger is OFF the trigger……