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Old December 22, 2018, 03:00 AM   #1
ParsonBrowning
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combat grip vs. single-hand grip with help

Hello,
I've seen a couple great videos about how to have a good, modern combat grip on a semi-automatic handgun. I'm at a crossroads of what to get really, instinctively used to doing in regards to gripping the gun (well I'm already doing one thing but after a few years away from the range I could re-teach myself if really warranted) --
The way-cool instructors show that, to have the proper 70/30 or 60/40-ish pressure or two-handed grip on the gun, you are supposed to have some of the (I'm right-handed) left hand actually pressed up against the grip on the gun. I thought I had kind of small hands for a guy, but my Walther CCP whose highly ergonomic grip is complained by some to be big enough to have been a double-stack (yet its a single) is still small enough that my whole, right hand wraps around and nestles into it perfectly -- a little too well (it doesn't leave room on the grip for my left hand to touch it).
It makes for a heck of a single-handed gun, but my situation I describe below could well have me needing two-handed accuracy of greater distances than typical close-quarter or muggings (defense in a church hall).
And so for two-handed proficiency, I'll admit what I started out doing was making a one-handed type grip on the gun and then just reached up with my left hand and wrapped it around in a modern combat fashion -- but with one caveat -- I'm not in contact with the gun grip with my left hand at all because my right fingers cover the whole thing.
So here comes my crossroads.
The videos show to have the true 70/30-ish control you should pull back a little with your right fingers to make room on the grip for your left hand some.
This feels fine once they're there, and I could get used to assuming this grip instinctively with lots of practice, but here's a thought --
...if I'm already instinctively doing ok with it "proper" except just not in actual contact with the polymer with my left hand...
--- the million dollar question --> wouldn't it be awkward if I stumbled over something with my eyes on the target, to take my left hand away from a gun that I'm only "mostly" gripping with my right??
If I stumble, I need to wave at someone, something hits my face, or for any reason I take my left hand temporarily off the gun, and I have this now, seemingly now awkward, partial grip on the gun, I'm really not good to go until I either bring my hand back on, or readjust (which no one mentions).
If I have a one-handed grip on the gun and merely assist it with my left wrapped around my right hand instead of contacting the gun, I still have a full, viable, operable grip on the gun if I stumble or for one of countless reasons in a combat scenario need to remove my left hand for a moment. I am still in full control of the gun with one hand without readjusting.
Any thoughts on this?
Thanks.
-PB
About me:
As a pastor, I'm more likely to have to take down a homicidal murder-suicide agressor at a greater distance (hoping for a clean shot in a church hall) than many folks who would probably only get mugged or home invaded and be at closer range in either case. And so I gave up my gut gun (the 4-barrel derringer Cop .38/.357 the ugly biker-looking android in Bladerunner used) for a Walther CCP that really brings out every ounce of precision in my marksmanship, despite its 3.54" barrel, due to the accuracy of its fixed barrel and perhaps its ergonomics. I can see why they call it one of Walther's "Sniper Pistols" and it helped that the $490 gun was $280 at a retailer closing them out and making room for the, for me, meaninglessly upgraded Model 2 (ok, so you don't have to shove the little tool or one of many random, nearby objects in the back to unlock and field strip the M2). I enjoy the sport of practice shooting and this cool, little gun's milled shape is a bit like a Baby Eagle. Really happy with it. I'm fine with the purportedly "sticky pull" (largely a break-in issue) and longer than average reset, because I got used to keeping double-action revolvers still wile I repeatedly squeezed the trigger, so this is nothing. I feel a little safer than a hair trigger in case debris hits the side of my face and I flinch or something. I think about real-life feel of real-life things because I've played around a lot in my "previous life" and even juvenile war games make you experience real-life things like crap flying in your face or, like described above, stumbling and saving yourself with your left arm and hand, like two or three times in a single, intense wargame. Call me clumsy; I commanded a little respect
God Bless and stay safe.

Last edited by ParsonBrowning; December 22, 2018 at 03:06 AM.
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Old December 22, 2018, 10:03 AM   #2
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The standard two hand, thumbs forward grip gives most people the best control. Whether shooting bullseye or for combat accuracy, it is my preferred grip. With it I am much faster on target on double or triple taps. I also practice single handed using both hands, although not as much as I should lately. Being able to use one hand to do whatever needs doing while drawing and shooting with the other could be the difference in a life or death situation. Good training and practice are the keys to being able to adapt in unpredictable and challenging circumstances. Good luck.
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Old December 22, 2018, 10:37 AM   #3
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If I understand you correctly, you are saying that your fingers are long enough relative to the pistol grip that you have to compromise your strong hand grip to get your off hand to contact the pistol grip, and you are asking whether you should do so.

My instinct is to say no. As you say, it is far from impossible that you could need to transition from a two-hand grip to a one-hand grip of your pistol, and not having to re-grip in that event seems wise. There are some folks here who teach professionally, though, so if their advice differs from mine, I will yield to those with greater expertise.
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Old December 22, 2018, 11:09 AM   #4
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it's what works for YOU !!
The best article I read about this was a discussion of the styles of six Olympic shotgun shooters. Many copied the styles of these shooters despite the fact that they had physical problems preventing them using normal styles !! Some of those styles were weird !
Of the two typical handgun styles I can't use either one do to injuries so mine is a compromise .it works fine for ME. I helped design revolver grips for someone with very long fingers He made grips for that design .He shot much better and was much happier .
Experiment with grips and stance , picking the things that work best for you .Forget what's most popular or the one that got someones name on it !
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Old December 23, 2018, 08:03 AM   #5
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As a pastor, I'm more likely to have to take down a homicidal murder-suicide agressor at a greater distance (hoping for a clean shot in a church hall) than many folks who would probably only get mugged or home invaded and be at closer range in either case.
Welcome to the forum and to 'reality' 2019(almost)...
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Old December 23, 2018, 09:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Quote:
As a pastor, I'm more likely to have to take down a homicidal murder-suicide agressor at a greater distance (hoping for a clean shot in a church hall) than many folks who would probably only get mugged or home invaded and be at closer range in either case.
Welcome to the forum and to 'reality' 2019(almost)...
Welcome. And what a society we live in where this statement is true . The Shepard must sometimes defend his flock .

As to the grip, I agree with finding what works best for you. In a high stress you will probably revert back to this.
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Old December 23, 2018, 10:13 AM   #7
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Don't overthink it. Take the pistol in your strong hand in a natural grip as if you were going to shoot it one-handed. (Present the pistol to the target and it should give you very good sight acquisition immediately.) Then put your left hand over it in a grip that feels good. If you do this, the only thing you may have to train for is getting your thumbs into position.

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Old December 23, 2018, 10:53 AM   #8
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Welcome

Use whatever grip style and stance that gets you the most accuracy in the shortest amount of time that minimizes your silhouette . Strong hand, weak hand, weaver, modified weaver, one hand, two hand, thumb forward, overlapping thumbs, tea cup...etc. Don't over think. Do what works for you.
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Old December 24, 2018, 04:31 PM   #9
JN01
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ParsonBrowning View Post
Hello,
my Walther CCP whose highly ergonomic grip is complained by some to be big enough to have been a double-stack (yet its a single) is still small enough that my whole, right hand wraps around and nestles into it perfectly -- a little too well (it doesn't leave room on the grip for my left hand to touch it).
It makes for a heck of a single-handed gun, but my situation I describe below could well have me needing two-handed accuracy of greater distances than typical close-quarter or muggings (defense in a church hall).
And so for two-handed proficiency, I'll admit what I started out doing was making a one-handed type grip on the gun and then just reached up with my left hand and wrapped it around in a modern combat fashion -- but with one caveat -- I'm not in contact with the gun grip with my left hand at all because my right fingers cover the whole thing.
I get exactly what you are talking about. My primary carry is a Glock 26, which has a grip that is fairly long front to back. It does, however, allow for good contact of the heel of my support hand on the grip. I have been training with this gripping technique, along with thumbs forward, for quite some time, so it seems the most natural to me now and, I believe, provides for a stronger grasp and more control of the gun.

I recently looked at a Sig P365 as I was intrigued by a G26 capacity gun in a much smaller package. When I picked it up, though, my hand wrapped all the way around it as you described with your Walther and it just didn't feel right to me.

I have guns with smaller grips, and as others have described, you can simply put your support hand over your dominant hand fingers. It just doesn't seem as comfortable or stable to me, and I believe it effects my accuracy a bit as well.

Having said all that, everyone is different, so don't worry about using a textbook style from this or that expert. If a particular grip or combination of techniques work well for you, then use that.
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Old December 24, 2018, 05:04 PM   #10
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I like the way he does it and explains it below.

It has caused me to rethink my grip and my own hand and arm physiology. Has also helped me to understand some physical problems after many surgeries and age.

Rather than trying to put shots inside of shots....or precision shooting, my shots are consistently faster and all would at least help in an assailant being dead or giving up the fight.

My biggest thought is that by being old and slower, will this work? Also, after 49 years of not shooting at a two legged target in Vietnam and having that haunt my brain for all that time, Will I Hesitate? Will the mindset still be there?

Just offered as a another shooting thought process......and I ain't no young or old Navy Seal.

May not work for you Pastor or any one, but I do like to see a preacher with a gun.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmnLA2DuYJs
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Old December 24, 2018, 10:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by dontcatchmany
I like the way he does it and explains it below.

...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmnLA2DuYJs
I'm sorry, but I have to say that is the second worst training video I've watched in probably the last five years. Any time an instructor opens by saying, "I'm going to teach you how to grip your pistol properly," I know I'm about to hear a load of bovine excrement.

What is "proper" is what works for you. That may be the way this guy says you "should" hold your pistol ... or it may not.
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Old December 25, 2018, 08:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca View Post
I'm sorry, but I have to say that is the second worst training video I've watched in probably the last five years. Any time an instructor opens by saying, "I'm going to teach you how to grip your pistol properly," I know I'm about to hear a load of bovine excrement.

What is "proper" is what works for you. That may be the way this guy says you "should" hold your pistol ... or it may not.

Second worst video? Jeez, there are a BUNCH of much more idiotic videos out there. The method I was taught follows pretty close to the video, I think the concepts can be a pretty good starting point to figure out what works for a particular individual.

Granted there is no one particular correct method for everyone, especially considering different hand sizes, grip strengths, and gun configurations.

Years ago, I had a lady in my USAF Security Police unit that would grip her .38 in her dominant right hand and pull the trigger with her support hand finger. Even though she was doing it completely "wrong" she always qualified Expert.
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Old December 27, 2018, 08:25 PM   #13
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In my experience as a federal law man for twenty-eight years (bi vocational paster for part) I've observed and determined the 'two hand' handgun grip was designed for maximum accuracy in a match.

I've usually had my 'other' hand busy doing something important. Directing panicky people, giving directions to colleagues, maintaining control of a villain (or child) and so on.

So one must practice for one handed shooting.

On the other hand, you expect your serious shots to be longer than 'grappling' distance. Based on your circumstances, a reasonable expectation. Of course, villains will probably mount an attack unless there are a number of people present. The architecture of the typical church auditorium gives the speaker a break. Typically the floor of the auditorium is pitched lower in front and higher in the rear. The speaking platform is normally raised above the level of the floor. This is done - as in live theatre - to provide the audience a view of the speaker (or actors). It also provides a clear field of fire from the platform.

So, one should practice often, just like anything. But a few well fired shots is much more productive than sixty or two-hundred rounds blasted at the horizon. And work on single hand shooting. Too often, you'll only have one hand available. (Consider a baby dedication or baptismal service.)

Choice of weapon? Must be reliable, able to fire a reasonably powerful round and IT MUST FIT the shooter. It is your pick. It has to fit YOU, not me, not him. It need not be a double stack magazine. You are probably not going to need fifteen or sixteen shots. One way or another, the problem will solved by then. I don't care for anything in caliber less than .40 something. But I read a lot of Elmer Keith as a child.

Do a lot of praying preparatory to the event. No. It will not be on the schedule. See if you can enlist Elisha's Army from 2 Kings 6.
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Old December 27, 2018, 08:28 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lunger
The Shepard must sometimes defend his flock.
Lunger, search "Black Robes Battalion" from the Revolutionary War.
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Old December 28, 2018, 09:47 AM   #15
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Handgrip pressure on pistols?

Mine's about 100% pressure with both hands and 100% with one hand.

Because I believe...that in an emergency/defensive situation, a shooter will always instinctively perform with 100% hand pressure on a pistol --- regardless of otherwise training.
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Old December 29, 2018, 05:36 AM   #16
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I have watched all the IDPA and USPSA experts move to both thumbs on the slide (or close to it!) pointed forward over the years.

Me, I like the old (seemed to work for many years) grip in a one-handed grip, then wrap the support hand around the gripping fist, using the ball of the thumb on the grip. Both thumbs locked together. And turned down.

Works for me, and has done for 30-40 years. But practice one hand shooting also. Trigger control is so important.
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Old December 30, 2018, 12:40 PM   #17
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Get maximum meat on the pistol. Like Brit, I prefer to take a good single handed grip and then wrap the dominant hand with the weak hand in a thumbs forward grip. The whole 60/40, 70/30, whatever/whatever split on grip strength is nonsense.*

You want to apply maximum grip power any way you can. Applying it with the offhand helps minimize the problems with poor trigger control by minimizing sympathetic squeeze.

*I shoot semi-auto handguns almost exclusively so these comments may not apply to revolvers as well.
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Old December 31, 2018, 09:47 PM   #18
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BR, ever encounter thumb slide drag in a highly stressful situation? I'm guessing you don't shoot a lot of revolvers either.
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Old December 31, 2018, 11:21 PM   #19
Bartholomew Roberts
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No, I haven’t. I’m probably in the low six figures on pistol live fire and have never had it happen to me. When using a new pistol, I usually pick a reference point on the pistol to place my weak thumb against. Worst I’ve had happen is on some pistols, I apply enough force to the slide stop to cause it not to lock back on the last round.

I’ve probably fired less than 1,000 rounds through revolvers. Obviously, you want to keep meaty parts away from the cylinder gap; but the principle remains the same - the more the handgun in is contact with your hands, the less it can move around under recoil.
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Old January 2, 2019, 04:38 PM   #20
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The significant majority of the people I've helped train over the years I've served primarily as a LE firearms instructor have been ... LE. Sure, I did spend 10 years during that time also doing occasional some teaching of some small numbers of private citizen shooters (not more than a few hundred), but primarily it was LE.

That being the case, it was important that they be able to demonstrate the ability to shoot 1 & 2-handed, and using their "off" (non-dominant) hand, if necessary.

Naturally, the importance of obtaining accurate hits on the intended threat reinforced the importance of techniques that were geared toward better potential accuracy, which meant understanding the value of 2-handed shooting at distances growing outside "arm's length", and especially if a precision (cranial vault) shot were needed, so the handgun was stabilized to maximum degree possible for the circumstances.

1-handed shooting can quickly demonstrate to a shooter (and their instructor) whether the shooter is successfully controlling and driving the gun, or whether the gun's recoil is over-whelming the shooter's mechanical ability to obtain consistently accurate hits.

Personally, having come up through LE shooting using a Magnum service revolver, I tend toward the importance of the master hand/grip being maintained for both 1 & 2-handed shooting.

That means the support hand supports the master hand's grip, but doesn't interfere with it or require an "adjustment" of the master hand's grip in order to shoot 2-handed. My primary/master hand grip remains the same whether shooting 1 or 2-handed, as outside of known range conditions I won't know in advance whether I'm going to be required to defend my life (or that of an innocent 3rd person) using 1 or 2 hands. That master hand grip and control of the handgun needs to be maximized in anticipation of any and all circumstances.

I've usually liked how Mas describes this sort of thing relating to critical influences involved with a grip technique. Here's one of the articles I rather liked:
https://www.backwoodshome.com/how-to...un-accurately/

Now, if someone has the ability to know in advance whether or not they'll be able to use a 2-handed grip (controlled range drills or gaming venues)? Well, it may not be important to them whether they've reduced their reliance on the maximum control exerted and maintained by their master hand, and that's fine.

If I may have to suddenly fight with that handgun, though, and it's not points potentially lost, but my life? Well, suddenly that "60" part of the 60/40 2-handed grip might start to look like less of an advantage if there was suddenly no "40" available to help stabilize and utilize that "60".

Think you'll "automatically" be able to adjust your master hand's "60" grip back to a "100" grip under the stress of a deadly force situation? Especially if you're injured or it becomes critically important to suddenly "multitask" the use of support hand for something else?

And while we're thinking about things we may never wish to think about ... How's your "100" grip using your support hand as your dominant hand, meaning not changing to a 60/40 offside 2-handed grip, but also a 1-handed non-dominant shooting grip, as well?

Kind of like asking a boxer or martial artist how important it might suddenly become to use their non-dominant hand for making critical blows, strikes or punches, maybe?
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Old January 16, 2019, 01:02 AM   #21
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I absolutely love threads like this. Clarifying what some take for granted, filling in assumptions and gaps in communication. This is one thing that I like about The Firing Line Forums. Knowledgeable individuals with the patience and willingness to share.

Anyhow pastor, I've been experimenting and considering this too for the last 1/2 year or so as I've been exploring shooting faster. I learned to shoot with a focus on tight groups and started with revolvers. Exploring how to shoot fast and accurately (pushing that line) with a semi auto led me to explore recoil control. And a large part of that is the grip. Like you I have noticed that for some of my guns, it seems like an optimal 1 hand grip is not optimal for a 2 hand grip for the same reason you stated: not enough space on the left side for the support hand.

Which guns? The really small ones. I have had a focus (and so has the market demand lately) for slimmer grips and slides. M&P9c, Kahr CM9, J frames, Gen 4 Glocks. I find that if the palm/heel of the support hand doesn't contact the frame optimally, it squeezes the fingertips of my strong hand which gives less recoil control and actually hurts the fingers when gripped like I mean it. If it was just pain, I could deal with it, but performance suffers too. What did I do about it?

I also considered pulling back my strong hand's middle finger to make more room for my support hand palm and to keep it from getting crushed. But then I found out that I had been acting on another assumption / instruction I'd seen in these online training videos: that the support hand should be completely thumbs forward, wrist cocked downwards to the maximum so the fingers would be pointing 45 degrees downward to the floor if they were straight, with active muscle engagement to the keep pulling the wrist that way. I shot this way for a few years (because the videos said so of course) with recoil management being sub-par. Well it turns out that if I decreased that severe angle and don't insist on the support thumb being absolutely forward (like they do on the internet) then the heel of my support hand *actually does* fit in the gap left my strong hand. May just be the shape of my hands, but bottom line is don't take the popular instruction as the gospel.

This has helped. However in my tiniest pistols, I still end up feeling like I have more finger/hand flesh present to contend with to be optimal. This brings me to another point I have recently learned.

The market for the last few years has gone for narrower thinner flatter grips. But at some point, a trade-off occurs in control, good grip for recoil management and for me this affects being able to shoot fast accurately. Grip shape matters for your given hands. Take the cross section of a Glock for example. Gen 3 glocks have a rounded front (under the trigger guard), kind of a pointed back that comes to a peak, but the sides are absolutely flat. Gen 4 Glocks have a rounded front, flatter back than Gen 3, and the sides are still flat. Same with Kahr, M&P. Flat sides don't feel palm filling (not that feeling alone matters), and don't give as much for the support hand to exert it's strength on but they are more concealable. Look at the grip on a Sig P226 or P320. The cross section is oval. The support palm doesn't have to sink as far into the valley between the tips of your strong hand and the heel. On large pistols like the Glock, the effect of flat sides can be reduced because Glocks are usually so long in the fore-aft dimension (spreading out the strong hand grip) that there is plenty of space to place the support hand. I sometimes find that slip-on grips with palm swells really change the orientation of the fingers both by expanding the circumference in general creating more space for the off-hand if needed, and a palm swell gives more meat for the support hand to clamp down on. So grip shape and grip circumference matter. Thinner/flatter/smaller is not always better depending on your needs.

Finally, something additional for you to consider: I'm convinced some pistol grips are designed with the strong hand to provide the most gripping pressure forwards and aft with fingers at the 12 o'clock and heel of the hand at 6 o'clock position. These pistols have flatter fronts and backs to the grips. But some have a very narrow and distinctive bump running down the front and/or back of the grip which do not provide much surface area to put that in the heel of the strong hand, and these pistols provide a much more solid grip with pressure coming from a more 11 o'clock and 5 o'clock position. I find that in my hands, the CZ 75 SP-01, Gen 3 Glock, and 1911 are like this. Perhaps someone with even longer fingers than mine can grip them in the same way as other pistols.

Good luck and God Bless.
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Old January 17, 2019, 11:59 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Onward Allusion View Post
Welcome

Use whatever grip style and stance that gets you the most accuracy in the shortest amount of time that minimizes your silhouette . Strong hand, weak hand, weaver, modified weaver, one hand, two hand, thumb forward, overlapping thumbs, tea cup...etc. Don't over think. Do what works for you.
Yeah I strongly agree with this. Man do what works for you (safely). And that goes for the type of gun as well. Don't get me wrong, I believe there are proven techniques, proven weapons, and proven types of ammunition that are best for self defense. Not everyone stands in the batter's box the same and holds the bat the same. But as long as you are comfortable and producing hits that's what it is all about. I've seen men and women shooters so confused because they have 15 different shooters swearing to them their way is correct. As long as it is safe, develop what produces hits for you. I have seen shooters at different matches that stand like they have a musculoskeletal disorder, but they are winning while the ones who didn't win stand around and talk about the winners strange stance or the way they hold their gun.
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Old January 17, 2019, 12:10 PM   #23
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Lunger, search "Black Robes Battalion" from the Revolutionary War.
A few years ago I went to a large Tea Party meeting in Texas and there were guys there who attended who were dressed as colonial soldiers. Very impressive. The main one stood up in a pulpit and gave a re-enactment speech like he was from the Black Robes. Very inspirational! I bought numerous Black Robes DVDs at that meeting and gave them out at Christmas that year.
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Old January 17, 2019, 03:56 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Chaparral View Post
Not everyone stands in the batter's box the same and holds the bat the same. But as long as you are comfortable and producing hits that's what it is all about. I've seen men and women shooters so confused because they have 15 different shooters swearing to them their way is correct.
True, but on the other hand, if you don't at least try other techniques, you may not find the one that really is optimal for you, especially if the one you are currently using is producing mediocre results.
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Old January 26, 2019, 03:39 PM   #25
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Not everyone stands in the batter's box the same and holds the bat the same. But as long as you are comfortable and producing hits that's what it is all about. I've seen men and women shooters so confused because they have 15 different shooters swearing to them their way is correct.
Especially on internet forums, where much of the time, people are just repeating what somebody else said on the internet, who is repeating what somebody else said on the internet, who is repeating what somebody else said on the internet, who is.............................................

"On the internet, everybody is an expert."
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