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Old February 23, 2015, 08:19 PM   #1
coyotewsm
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proper handgun grip?

Is there more than one way to grip a handgun? Is there a proper and improper way to grip it? I'm right handed the way is was griping was I would hold with my right hand and wrap my left fingers around my right with my thumbs crossing. Someone saw me last week griping like that and said that it was an improper grip, that the correct way was to hold with my right hand and press my left palm against the left side of the grip with both thumbs forward. I would appreciate feedback on this.
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Old February 23, 2015, 08:39 PM   #2
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa50-plo48
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2Zioo5ixw4

Here are a couple of helpful videos. There are many more on Youtube offering various techniques. HTH. Obviously, getting face-to-face training from a qualified instructor is the best way to learn to shoot.
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Old February 23, 2015, 09:01 PM   #3
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It depends on the shooter and the gun, different handguns I will grip differently. The main thing is to always grip it the same with any given gun using a grip that works for you as far as comfort and control. Use the videos that Bentonville posted and the others that you find on youtube to give you some insight, but in the end do what works for you that you can do consistently.
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Old February 23, 2015, 09:22 PM   #4
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What Turkee said.

I grip with my thumbs crossed just like you. If I tried pointing my thumbs, they would interfere with the extended slide release on my Hi-Power and I just swiped off the safety, so my right thumb is already in the DOWN position. Also, I sometimes carry a revolver so keeping my thumbs out of the way of the cylinder just seems to make sense to me. But the main reason is because no matter which handgun I have, I grip it the same. In a stressful situation, the last thing I want to be concerned with, is which grip should I use with this particular handgun.
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Old February 23, 2015, 10:00 PM   #5
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I fought switching to the thumbs forward grip for quite awhile. Like anything else, you tend to resist change.

It feels strange at first (if youre used to something else), as it is new, but once you get comfortable with it, I think youll find it is the better grip, and offers better control, and for both autos and revolvers.

Things like levers and cylinders really arent an issue either, once you adapt to them. Things like SIG's, which are notorious for the position of their levers, just need some minor adjustments in your grip. You just slide your strong thumb out onto your weak thumb a tad.

With revolvers, my weak hand thumb is behind the face of the cylinder, and does not present a problem.
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Old February 23, 2015, 11:21 PM   #6
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I use one grip and that is the tea cup. By using this grip I can shoot every handgun that I encounter and NOT cut off my thumb with a revolver or have slide bite with a diminutitive semi auto. The range ningas keep their mouths shut because targets speek loud enough.
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Old February 24, 2015, 12:08 AM   #7
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hartcreek
I use one grip and that is the tea cup....
There's a reason the teacup grip is pretty much extinct these days. The purpose of the two-handed grip isn't just accuracy. It's also recoil management and facilitating quick, accurate follow-up shots. The teacup isn't much use for that.

The teacup might work just fine on the square range for slow fire. But it is far less effective than more modern grips (see post 2) for quick, dynamic shooting such as in USPSA or IDPA competition or tactical applications. That's pretty much why none of the major schools or instructors teach it anymore.
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Old February 25, 2015, 10:43 AM   #8
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Is there a "proper" handgun grip?

Oh, absolutely! The proper handgun grip is to hold the gun in your dominant hand, so your finger can reach the trigger. And, its a very good thing if you are neither injured by the gun, nor drop it during firing.

EVERYTHING ELSE is just a matter of opinion.

(and that's my opinion )

Some styles work better for some people than others. Some styles work better with some guns than others. Some styles work better for most people, some work better for some uses than others.

Some styles are more efficient than others, for some people, with some guns. There is no "improper", unless you are the fashion police. There is only "this works better than that, for me, shooting this..."
(and, of course there is a large amount of discussion on what is "best" for this or that)

The style of gripping the the handgun that usually works best for rapid follow up shots with a duty class semi auto is mostly a waste shooting a large bore single action revolver, and entirely wasted if you are shooting a Contender.

Ice skates don't work efficiently on the beach and flip-flops aren't what I would call a good choice in two feet of snow.
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Old February 25, 2015, 11:59 AM   #9
raimius
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There are grips that work better for certain tasks.

For shooting a semi-auto quickly and accurately, the thumbs forward grip works well.
The teacup works, but does not manage recoil well, thus slowing follow-up shots.

You can use whatever works for you, just realize that for certain applications there are anatomically more efficient ways to grip a pistol.
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Old February 25, 2015, 01:02 PM   #10
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An aspect of the two handed grip that is often overlooked is that the support hand should provide a lot of the total gripping strength.
A lot of shooters miss that very important part of an effective grip.
When the support hand is doing its job, recoil control improves and so does accuracy.
Too much grip from the shooting hand has a tendency to lock up the trigger finger and cause the shooter to pull the shot off target.
So, when watching the videos mentioned above, pay special attention to that part.
This is my favorite description of grip:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJrA7wMXuuQ
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Old February 25, 2015, 01:23 PM   #11
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My problem with the thumbs forward grip is that when I switch over to a revolver I really don't like the tip of my thumb near the cylinder gap. I tend to use the thumbs forward on my autoloaders but use the teacup grip on my magnum revolvers.
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Old February 25, 2015, 02:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
... I use one grip and that is the tea cup. By using this grip I can shoot every handgun that I encounter and NOT cut off my thumb with a revolver or have slide bite with a diminutitive semi auto. The range ningas keep their mouths shut because targets speek loud enough. ...
There is no technique that cannot be MADE to work with enough practice. If it works well for you, and that's what you have been doing all along ... why change?

That's a separate question from what is proven to work far better for most people over a wide range of use cases. The "thumbs-forward", Enos/Leatham grip is simply dominant because nobody has yet come up with something which works better for semi-auto pistols.

Being able to recognize these two truths and contextualize them properly is key.

USPSA champ Eric Grauffel is quick to note that he grew up curling his support hand index-finger around the trigger guard, and it's too late in the game for him to change that up. He is as quick to note that he would not do so if he were starting out today, because it's demonstrably not optimal.
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Old February 25, 2015, 02:49 PM   #13
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I believe thumbs forward for "games" likely has merit for increased follow up speeds. I believe follow up speeds for defensive purposes is greatly over rated. Also, I FIRMLY BELIEVE hand size, finger length, grip size and shape and individual firearm designs demand different grips. One size doesn't fit all.
The best for me overall is thumbs down and crossed.
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Old February 25, 2015, 04:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
I believe follow up speeds for defensive purposes is greatly over rated.
I suppose this depends on how you shoot. I shoot in "bursts", so, follow up speed is important, and maintaining control of the gun in rapid fire is as well.

Im not really a "games" person, but I do believe that all things should be tried, and proved good or bad, for you anyway. As Bruce Lee always used to say, take whats useful to you from everything you try, and make it yours.

I was a staunch thumbs down and locked shooter for a long time. Once I gave thumbs forward a try, and got comfortable with it, its advantages quickly became apparent.

All those years shooting thumbs down, still have that ingrained hold necessary, when the weak hand is removed, and you are shooting one handed. So some things move on, and others remain.


A specific grip isnt necessarily the only grip, nor should you lock yourself into one. Slight modifications are usually necessary, especially if things are fluid and you are moving. Certain grips do work better than others, depending on the circumstances.

Having tried, used, and knowing them all, and knowing when what works best, fluidly, without having to think about it, is really whats to be strived for, dont you think?

Once you start to move, and deal with targets on the flanks as you go, youre likely going to find that you wont be able to use your normal "static" grip at all.

Assuming a right handed shooter, targets to the right, are basically going to be addressed one handed, as its very difficult to maintain a two handed grip.

Targets to the left, and I think you will see yourself sliding into a form of Weaver as you go.

Theres a lot to be said for being well versed in many things, flexible and adaptable.
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Old February 25, 2015, 05:43 PM   #15
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The "proper" grip is whatever works for YOU, and gives the results YOU want

Many have opinions as to what is "best" but they are just opinions, and not to be confused with fact
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Old February 26, 2015, 12:21 AM   #16
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Showmebob, I'm wondering what leads you to the conclusion that quick, accurate follow-up shots are not that important in defensive shootings. Is that based on speculation or scientific study?
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Old February 26, 2015, 05:20 AM   #17
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Showmebob, I'm wondering what leads you to the conclusion that quick, accurate follow-up shots are not that important in defensive shootings. Is that based on speculation or scientific study?
Quick shots can be important, but the tiny fractions of a second difference caused by various grip styles is negligible

The "thumbs forward" is popular with the competition crowd shooting against the clock

It's more important to be accurate than to be super fast for most people
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Old February 26, 2015, 05:23 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snyper
...It's more important to be accurate than to be super fast for most people.
If one's interest is self defense, why not learn to be both?
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Old February 26, 2015, 07:23 AM   #19
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Quote:
If one's interest is self defense, why not learn to be both?
I agree.

Also, never stop learning as well.
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Old February 26, 2015, 09:17 AM   #20
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For defensive purposes, the one handed grip might be the most important.
Think of all the ways that things can happen that would prevent using a two handed hold.
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Old February 26, 2015, 11:19 AM   #21
coyotewsm
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I haven't said anything else on here since the OP but I have been following it. Its interesting to see what everyone has to say. One question I do have is, what is the teacup grip?
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Old February 26, 2015, 11:27 AM   #22
AK103K
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Something like this......



You basically support the gun in the off hand, like a cup in a saucer.
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Old February 26, 2015, 01:33 PM   #23
coyotewsm
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Doesn't look very sturdy.
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Old February 26, 2015, 02:12 PM   #24
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Its not. Basically at the beginning of the progression.
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Old February 26, 2015, 03:09 PM   #25
g.willikers
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The so called Tea Cup hold might be a carry over from the artillery hold for rifles.
Except that the rifle has the very important third support at the shoulder.
But the Tea Cup can be useful for slow precision shooting with low recoiling handguns.
So, don't discount it all together, as it does have its uses.
As does most every technique, depending on circumstances.
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