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Bob Vogel's torquing in vs lower pressure?


Honeybooboo

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I don't know how well I'll explain this but I've been playing around with grip. I sort of have a grip like Bob Vogel. When I'm in the firing position my elbows are bent out and I'm torquing in on the gun from both sides. So my strong hand is pushing in and my weak hand is pushing in along the base of my thumb. The philosophy behind this is that your putting all your pressure closest to the bore axis and using bigger muscle groups to achieve that. The one issue is that this pulls your weak hand palm from the gun. So you don't have even contact all around the grip with both hands.

So I've practiced what I take from Jerry Miculek's approach which focuses on simplicity. By doing that I have more even pressure all around the grip and I have contact on all parts of the grip. So I'm taking pressure away from torquing in on both sides of the gun and relying on a more relaxed upper body and just gripping strongly. My elbows are still bent out but I'd say not as much. I don't know what's better but I'm trying to figure that out.

I know this type of discussion gets talked about a lot on here but recoil management is something that I find the hardest to get really good at so what type of approach are you taking towards grip?

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Coming from a B class shooter that after about 5 years of competition shooting is still trying to figure things out, too, I think you're on the right track in figuring out what's best for you. That's really what it boils down to.

I'm about the closest I've ever been in figuring out what works best for me, but I'm determined to never be satisfied. In other words, I'm determined to never be locked into only one "right" way of doing things, and hope to remain open to change.

I've studied the grip of many shooters, and it boils down to a handful of top level shooters that I've kind of copied the most...Brian Enos, Rob Leatham,Todd Jarrett, and Jerry Miculek. Reading a lot of Brian Enos stuff has helped me the most in figuring out the grip I feel the most comfortable with.

Vogel is one of the best, and what he does with a pistol is absolutely amazing, but I'm not a fan of his grip. For one, it hurts too much. In all seriousness though, his grip is unique, and I'll venture to say not to many folks would be able to master it the way he has.

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I've thought a lot about this lately and from a mechanics standpoint, here's what I believe (and keep in mind, I'm just an A shooter and still on the journey just like everyone else):

The rotation point of the gun in recoil is around the web of the thumb of your strong hand (the beavertail on a 1911/2011). So you can think of the grip of the gun like a lever, the bottom of which rotates forward as the barrel climbs and the gun rotates around the beavertail. It would seem to me that the best way to combat muzzle climb is to apply counter-force as far from the point of rotation as possible, i.e. the bottom of the front strap. If you have to sacrifice ANY pressure on the front strap to provide inward pressure with the base of your thumbs, you're probably costing yourself muzzle control.

I believe this is why the mantra of 40/60 strong/weak or even 30/70 strong/weak grip pressure is so common. Your strong hand is busy holding onto the gun with as much pressure as is possible without binding up the tendons of your trigger finger. The weak hand can grip as hard as possible on the "lever" with no ill effects. If you grab a CoC or a squeeze ball and grip it as hard as you can with your strong hand minus your index finger, you'll see that it's almost impossible to relax your index finger. At some point LESS than max, you can squeeze the device and still have a relaxed trigger finger that's free to work without moving the gun. Then you use your weak hand to apply as much 'counter torque' as possible to the front strap and control rotation. In all of that, I don't see how rotating elbows out and pressing inward on the gun with the base of your thumbs adds benefit.

But this is my perception, and worth exactly what you paid for it. :D

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I have went through this same process. Mimicked Vogel's grip which was great but it made me slow to turn and see the next target because my shoulders and elbows were really high in my sight line. After read Enos's book, I still use vogel's grip but I've learned to relax the shoulders and elbows some to be faster and see faster. I still have a firm grip using full contact but still torquing some like Vogel, but I've found I can control the gun and be fast to the next shot and or target. I do believe that having a stronger grip combined with the correct technique is where it's at and has shown with the top level shooters.

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I've recently been intrigued by this topic myself. I got interested because of a post that TGO put on the Springfield blog... http://blog.springfield-armory.com/7-key-components-of-the-upper-triangle-in-a-shooting-stance

Point number three, he talks about how his wife locks out hard. I realized if you put a slight bend in your elbows (still keeping them locked) you can actually grip the pistol with your chest i.e. a chest flye. I've been experimenting with how hard I can grip using my chest and keep the front sight from getting too shaky. Doing lots of dry fire to try and build the muscle memory. Otherwise I tend to revert back to my previous form. So far, I'm really slow with this method. I'm gonna keep trying it and see how fast I can get.

As far as gripping with thumbs, not for me. I just grip really hard, like everyone says to do.

And for putting pressure on the bottom of the front strap, I somewhat disagree. Ever shot an open gun while gripping the bottom of the mag? Or a glock with the 33 round mag in it? The force acting on the arm is greater because the arm got longer. Just like shooting a j-frame without a pinky.

Heck, let's just all grip it and rip it

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It works for me as well, however I keep forgetting to utilize it in an actual match. I completely brain-fade it away in competition. :blush:

+1. When the buzzer goes off, everything goes out the window but I am trying to tell that to myself as I am shooting. I think I am going to try to actually talking to myself out loud as I am shooting next time. Maybe a little pre-buzzer routine will help also.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been working (and will keep on doing that) on my grip for the last three months. Lot of advice was given to me, at the end I ended up screwed. Start all over. The mission is to have a grip and stance that brings the gun back to its original point after recoil. I was surprised how stance and tension of the upper body and arms works for me, so by now I focus on the positions of my hands, not too much force, no pushing-pulling. Works good for me (CZ 75 Shadow). I think when the gun is a polymer one (e.g. Glock) Vogel's approach is working even better. Main thing - shoulder, ellbows.

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I agree with kcobean. Exerting more pressure with my pinky in my strong hand helps a lot. Ive tried it in my Glock 35 .40 years ago then when I migrated to STI .40 and now STI .38s Open its stayed with me. Its not much effort. Just subtle enough that it would not disturb my normal pressure and placement of my other fingers and the grip in totality. Just a bit of pressure goes a long way as its got the largest leverage vs muzzle flip as its farthest from the pivot point.

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When you're practicing with your conscious mind grip the gun with both hands using 100% of your grip strength. Then get higher on the gun. Then torque your elbows out and up, putting even more pressure on the gun. You don't have to choose a technique, use them all. Find a way to mesh them together so that you can not only hold on to the gun during recoil, but so you can dominate the gun during recoil.

Then when it's time to execute a course of fire, don't think about the grip / strength / technique / whatever - just draw the gun and shoot the targets.

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I generally torque in pretty hard and arch my elbows up a bit to keep pressure in . Generally when I do this it flexes all the muscles in my chest and shoulders and my recoil control is a ton better . Only problem is I feel a little bit stiff so that's something I need to find a balance with .

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

What's discussed here is what I've been trying in dry fire. I'll have more to say about it after employing it in a couple of matches.

There's a lot more to shooting than the grip of course, but we're talking about an aspect of how the human being interfaces with the gun. So it's a non-trivial topic in my mind.

I really like what Moltke said, rings true for me.

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It works for me as well, however I keep forgetting to utilize it in an actual match. I completely brain-fade it away in competition. :blush:

+1. When the buzzer goes off, everything goes out the window but I am trying to tell that to myself as I am shooting. I think I am going to try to actually talking to myself out loud as I am shooting next time. Maybe a little pre-buzzer routine will help also.
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I tried to emulate vogel's technique for quite a long while, basically all last season. It didn't work for me. While I could keep the gun flatter, recoil control was worse (inconsistent sight tracking, inconsistent return to target) and it caused me to struggle with trigger control.

Over the winter I made the decision to back to the more traditional even/neutral grip like I had always used. My shooting almost instantly improved. the class bump I was hoping to get sometime during the 2015 season came on my second match of the season.

I still grip very high, I still focus most of my grip strength at the top of the gun (as witnessed by the amount of skin left buried in my grip tape), but my arms/elbows are in a more natural feeling position and I feel I have better full-contact with the grip vs the somewhat exaggerated "torqueing in" and "left hand forward" style bob demonstrates. By removing that tension from my forearms/wrists the "torqueing" created, my trigger control improved.

Bob's obviously found a technique that works for him. I couldn't make it work for me.

I'm also shooting a glock.

-rvb

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My elbows aren't as flexible to get a s high in as bob does, I also believe in putting as much of my meat as possible into contact with the grip surface. Everyone does things different, and I will say your grip is NEVER permanent, your always learning, modifying and relearning yoru grip no matter how long you shoot or how good you are. things "feel" different some days. unless it's amajor problem work with what your doing.. there is no great light at the end of the tunnel everyone has their own path.

sorry for answering that there is no answer :)

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Guns are different, hands are different, grips can be different.

This. I started with a grip similar to Vogel's, but I just couldn't get it to work. I'm certainly not a prime human specimen, if you know what I mean, so that could be part of it. I've been watching Max Michel's grip/stance and trying to do the same. So far, I like it better and the results are no worse. Time will tell.

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I agree that Vogel's grip pulls the support hand palm away from the grip... His grip works for him, its not something I would encourage others to use. Its like the golf swing, some guys have funky lookin swings, i.e. Jim Furyk that work for him, but not something you would ask others to copy.. With that said, I advocate getting as much of your palms on the grips as possible, cant your support hand forward, grip the gun hard, but make sure the thumbs are not touching the gun. Gripping the gun hard and keeping my support hand thumb off the gun has been the biggest break through in my shooting.

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  • 3 years later...

I used bob's grip when started shooting. It didnt work for me. Occasionally I get good sight return. So i might be missing something. 

 

Currently use standard grip, and it gives me consistent sight return. However i still use torque in on both hand when shooting 30 yards or more, especially round steel target. It sort of stopping that front sight wobble which is critical for 30 yards target. 

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On 7/23/2015 at 9:59 PM, Sac Law Man said:

 I advocate getting as much of your palms on the grips as possible, cant your support hand forward, grip the gun hard, but make sure the thumbs are not touching the gun. Gripping the gun hard and keeping my support hand thumb off the gun has been the biggest break through in my shooting.

 

That is where I ended up.

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