The so-called (by me at least) "Palermo method" is of course named after the famous SWAT3 modder Palermo, who first showed it to me.
When modelling a trigger guard it's very easy to waste polygons. The ends of the guard will be connected to the body of the weapon, so there's no need to see them. Most of the guard will be obscured by your character's hands while it is held, so any unnecessary areas of detail are big no-nos. This method allows you to create reasonable trigger guards with a very low polygon count.
I'm going to do the demonstration in Maya. The techniques are generic, however, and can be carried out in Milkshape, 3D Studio MAX etc etc etc.
Here's the SPAS12 as modelled for SWAT3 - without a trigger guard. Let's see if we can add one...
First thing to do is to create a cube with twelve vertices so it's split into two sections.
With the cube moved roughly into the trigger guard's position, select the top set of six vertices.
Next scale the vertices so they all meet along a plane through the centre of the object.
Now merge (or weld) the vertices together. From six vertices we're down to three.
The end faces of the trigger guard will meet the body of the weapon and won't be visible in the game. So let's kill them and claim our bounty of two polygons off the count!
Finally you can move the individual vertices of the guard into position. Point snap mode (hotkey: V) helps here!
A half-decent trigger guard in twelve triangles!
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