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Old January 28, 2013, 10:00 AM   #1
baddarryl
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Proper grip for shooting an auto?

Hi all. I have never really been taught proper pistol technique and have been doing some research. Yesterday at an IDPA match I had someone point out a few flaws. He was right about a couple of things, but one thing I question is he told me to grip lightly with the strong hand and then wrap with the weak hand and grip the crap out of it with that hand. I just read some stuff that said not so much. What's the verdict? Does anyone have a link that demonstrates truly proper technique? Thanks.
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Old January 28, 2013, 01:36 PM   #2
Japle
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Lots of different opinions on this, even among the experts. Most seem to agree that the main grip should be with the weak hand, but just how strong that grip should be is the question.

Too much grip with the strong hand screws up fine trigger control for many people, but not all. Here's a pic I took of Doug Koenig at the Nationals a few years ago. Doug's one of the top shooters out there and he's obviously using a pretty heavy grip.

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Old January 28, 2013, 01:41 PM   #3
ScottRiqui
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That's the grip I use, although I'm one of those people who get much better results if I keep my strong-hand grip fairly light. I do most of the grasping with my off-hand, and concentrate on making sure my trigger finger is "loose and floppy", so that it's not doing anything other than actuating the trigger.
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Old January 28, 2013, 03:01 PM   #4
Frank Ettin
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Todd Jarrett in this video has some good comments on the grip.
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Old January 28, 2013, 03:57 PM   #5
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It is a rare event when I shoot with a two handed grip. Most times my shooting is quick with one hand only. I do that practice at to about 20 yards. I can keep them inside the 8 ring shooting pretty darn fast from the holster. It is a combination of trial and error with proven ways, and what works for you.
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Old January 28, 2013, 04:50 PM   #6
donkee
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When I used to help with CPL classes, when a student obviously had grip issues I would have them do this.

Using a one hand grip with an unloaded firearm pointed down range, squeeze the heck out of the grip till you your hand is shaking. Let off the death grip slowly till the shaking stopped. That is how hard you should be holding the firearm. Really not a tight grip at all. With the support hand hold on just as tight as with the strong hand.

Tightened up groups very quickly that way. YMMV........
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Old January 28, 2013, 08:49 PM   #7
Dwight55
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40+ years ago, . . . I was taught to learn my "grip", . . . how the weapon should "feel" in my hand, . . . so I would know immediately if I did or did not have it right.

Lesson 2 was how to get that proper grip, . . . and it works for "most" people.

Stand you shooting elbow on a table, . . . with your forearm pointing 90 deg straight up.

Pick up the auto loader in the non shooting hand, . . . form a "V" with the thumb and forefinger of the shooting hand, . . . lay the firearm down into that "V" so it points dead straight up from the bones of the shooter's arm.

Holding the weapon yet with the non shooting hand, . . . begin by first wrapping the pinky finger onto the grip, . . . then the ring finger, . . . then the middle finger. If you do it right, . . . the middle finger should fall under the trigger guard and force the other two down just a tad.

Pull the thumb around towards the trigger, . . . under the safety.

Extend trigger finger along side the slide until it is needed.

This is how I was taught in Uncle Sam's Canoe Club, . . . and it has worked for basically 40+ years, . . . YMMV.

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Old January 28, 2013, 09:24 PM   #8
Dragline45
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I use a thumbs forward grip, similar to the picture posted (not me). I disagree with gripping lightly, but you don't want a death grip on it either, if the gun is shaking you are holding it too tight. With a proper grip you can put shots center mass without ever looking at the sights.

Note: You do not want to grip a revolver like this. Your thumb would be right next to the cylinder gap which hot gasses escape from while firing. When you get into big boomers like the 500 mag, people have been known to blow chunks of their thumb off, there's pictures online if your stomach can handle it. I did this once with a .357 magnum and it burnt my thumb and embedded powder residue under my skin.


Last edited by Dragline45; January 28, 2013 at 09:46 PM.
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Old January 28, 2013, 09:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Note: You do not want to grip a revolver like this. Your thumb would be right next to the cylinder gap which hot gasses escape from while firing.
If you do, you'll only do it one time. DAMHIK
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Old January 28, 2013, 10:32 PM   #10
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If your shooting low or throwing rounds, try letting go of the grip with your strong hand 3rd finger and pinky! You will be surprised! Those two finger when gripping the pistol too tight are what causes the muzzle to pull down! Just a trick to put you back on track!
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Old January 29, 2013, 03:40 PM   #11
Buzzcook
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The OP should take a couple of lessons. That'll be better than miles of internet explanation.

That being said I do grip stronger with my off hand. It allows me concentrate more on trigger control.
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Old January 29, 2013, 04:08 PM   #12
g.willikers
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From the horse's mouth, tips from the experts.

http://www.handgunsmag.com/tactics_t...combatg_100306
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Old January 31, 2013, 10:41 PM   #13
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I have a question I would like to get some advise on...

In reviewing the article that g.willikers posted above, I found it interesting. I was taught to shoot with a thumb-over-thumb grip and a chapman stance. I was taught by my uncle, a police officer who had just come back from a pistol shooting school... this would have been ~1983 or so. I use the same grip for every handgun, from a pocket 32ACP to a Super Red Hawk. I shoot well, both target shooting at distance, and accurate speed shooting at 7 yards. I probably grip less firmly with my left hand (off hand) than do most other shooters.

It is interesting that the author does not recommend the straight thumbs technique for everyone...

Quote:
Let’s begin by talking about the thumb-over-thumb technique. At this time, no top shooter uses this grip; however, it still has its virtues, primarily that it’s a very easy technique to teach and very easy to execute. Even new shooters can understand this grip. This is usually, in my experience, not true of the straight-thumbs technique. When you try to teach straight-thumbs to newbies, it just doesn’t work. The necessary rolling forward of the wrist, so important to the “IPSC grip,” just feels totally weird to them. Their hands break apart under recoil. And you’d be absolutely amazed how many people there are in the world whose wrists simply won’t bend that far forward.

Brand-new shooters don’t need a technique that allows the Nth degree of speed and precision; they need a technique that’s easy to understand and execute, that will swiftly give them a decent level of performance.
He goes on to point out that the straight-thumbs technique requires special considerations when shooting a 1911, a SIG, a Glock, or a revolver.

Given all of this, I am wondering if it is worth my time to retrain myself for a straight-thumbs grip... I mostly shoot Glocks, 1911s, and a Walther PPS, but I also shoot a variety of revolvers and autopistols. I do not compete except for very casual shooting matches among friends. I try to get to the range once a month, but once every other month is more realistic for me. My goal is to be proficient for self defense purposes.

I feel like my current shooting skills are "in the groove", and I don't want to screw them up by changing my grip... UNLESS I can achieve a whole new level of performance. But if it is going to take dedicating myself to shooting every weekend for the next year... well I can't make that commitment.

So .... thoughts anyone?
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Old February 1, 2013, 12:58 AM   #14
Dragline45
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Quote:
He goes on to point out that the straight-thumbs technique requires special considerations when shooting a 1911, a SIG, a Glock, or a revolver.
None of that is true except for the revolver. There is no reason your grip should change when shooting a Glock, Sig, or 1911. A revolver is a different story as it is unsafe to have your thumbs that close to the cylinder gap.

Quote:
Given all of this, I am wondering if it is worth my time to retrain myself for a straight-thumbs grip...
Personally, I would say yes. With enough practice using the thumbs forward grip and enough familiarization with a particular pistol you can put shots center mass without ever looking at the sights. Also with a thumbs forward grip when using sights, I can quickly and more efficiently get my sights on target and aligned from the draw. Thumbs forward grip is also great for managing recoil and followup shots. This is just my experience, but the particular grip allows the gun to naturally point for me. When I started using this grip a few years ago my groups immediately tightened up, and most importantly my first shot from draw was always dead on.

Quote:
I feel like my current shooting skills are "in the groove", and I don't want to screw them up by changing my grip... UNLESS I can achieve a whole new level of performance. But if it is going to take dedicating myself to shooting every weekend for the next year... well I can't make that commitment.
No matter how good anyone's shooting skills are, there is always room for improvement and more to learn. It took me one or two range trips and dry fire practice to get accustomed to the thumbs forward grip, so I would not worry about having to learn this over a long period of time. Don't take dry fire practice for granted, you don't need to be at the range actually shooting to hone your skills. Practice drawing your pistol until you can naturally point and have your sights on target every time. Dry fire till the sun goes down to get a good feeling for the trigger and practice your skills.

Last edited by Dragline45; February 1, 2013 at 01:16 AM.
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Old February 1, 2013, 02:35 AM   #15
MrBorland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragline45
A revolver is a different story as it is unsafe to have your thumbs that close to the cylinder gap.
This is a common internet half-truth I always feel compelled to comment on for balance.

While it may be true that gasses from magnum-powered ammo can injure your thumb if it's too close to the gap, it doesn't automatically mean that your thumb will be injured no matter what you're shooting. In fact, a thumbs-forward revolver grip is an option if you're shooting standard-powered (i.e. non-magnum) ammo. Many competitive revolver shooters use a thumbs-forward grip (with no adverse effects) because of the control it gives. Just remember to curl your thumb down with the hotter stuff.

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old February 1, 2013, 12:42 PM   #16
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So many differences here, you need to try alot of differences and determine what you feel comfortable with and what works good for you. Dry firing is free and you can do this every night at home. The more you do both the better you'll get.
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Old February 1, 2013, 02:42 PM   #17
g.willikers
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bmtj,
Whether or not to do the work to change the way you shoot depends on a couple of things.
Like whether you're satisfied with your present abilities, or not.
If you're wanting to be the best that you can, then the effort is worth it.
There's a reason the top shooters use the methods that they do.
It's just better.
But, do you really need to be better?
Only you can answer that.
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Old February 3, 2013, 04:06 PM   #18
BuckRub
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Not because its a better way, Its because it works for them! Remember Jimi Hendrix???

Last edited by BuckRub; February 3, 2013 at 05:36 PM.
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Old February 3, 2013, 05:26 PM   #19
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ettin
Todd Jarrett in this video has some good comments on the grip.
Good video, Frank, and I've seen it before. But ... it doesn't address the specific question asked in this thread.

I've read articles by Mas Ayoob in which he advises a "strong" grip. But I don't think he mentioned gripping stronger with one hand than the other. In fact, I can't recall any instructor/trainer advising such (although that doesn't mean they aren't out there).

Early in the Todd Jarret video, where he talks about keeping the shoulders and hips square to the target, what he's emphasizing is symmetry. To me, that extends to symmetry of grip, meaning both hands should be gripping with about the same strength. If they aren't, your hands are engaging in a tug-of-war and the gun is likely to get pulled off-axis.

If using too strong a grip with the strong hand causes a shooter to "pull" the pistol off-axis when pulling the trigger, I recommend training with a Grip-Master type grip exerciser. The great thing about the Grip-Master (the same thing is also available under other names) is that it allows a shooter to practice holding a firm grip with three fingers while moving the trigger finger independently.



Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Grip-Master. I was turned onto it (them -- there are multiple strengths offered) as part of my therapy following hand surgery at the VA hospital.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; February 4, 2013 at 06:26 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old February 3, 2013, 05:56 PM   #20
Constantine
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ImageUploadedByTapatalk1359931975.889505.jpg

Heylo


Sent from my phone...expect typos.
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Old February 3, 2013, 09:01 PM   #21
perazzi
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I'd never recommend a thumbs forward for revolver..
recognizing this is a worst case scenario...



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Old February 4, 2013, 12:27 AM   #22
geetarman
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Dragline,

Pretty good picture of your grip. That is also how I grip the gun. An LEO friend of mine who shoots a lot taught that grip to me. It does work well for me and the picture you posted is just about the best visual aid I have seen on the subject.

Thanks for posting.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:06 PM   #23
BuckRub
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perazzi, good thing the guy still has a hand. (Bogus picture)!!! But I guess someone may believe its true. haha
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Old February 4, 2013, 11:05 PM   #24
Dragline45
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Quote:
Dragline,

Pretty good picture of your grip. That is also how I grip the gun. An LEO friend of mine who shoots a lot taught that grip to me. It does work well for me and the picture you posted is just about the best visual aid I have seen on the subject.
Not actually me in the photo but I agree it is a good visual reference on a proper thumbs forward grip. I teach this grip to everyone I take shooting, they are amazed at how much it helps with their shooting overall. It not only helps the gun naturally point but is great for recoil control.

Quote:
perazzi, good thing the guy still has a hand. (Bogus picture)!!! But I guess someone may believe its true. haha
Not a bogus picture. Here is another case of where it happened with a 500 magnum. If you really want to see another thumb torn to bits then click away. The gasses that escape from the cylinder gap on large magnum revolvers is enough to cause this damage. I have done this once with a .357 and it burnt my thumb and embedded powder residue under the skin.

http://i3.photobucket.com/albums/y77/Gunrnr/460_3.jpg
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Old February 5, 2013, 12:20 AM   #25
BuckRub
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well then its not a pic of a shooter who had his thumb behind the slide then from a gun (auto) that not fit his hand. A 500 is a revolver! whole different story!
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