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Grip Question


aggie dad

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How would you characterize your grip pressure in terms of push (strong hand) pull (weak hand) vs applying side to side pressure ala like a vise does?

Thanks,

Doug

First and foremost, no pull at all. While I'm still refining my grip (see the technique forum) the basic feel, for me, is the strong hand applies pressure front-to-back, and the weak hand squeezes the strong hand and gun side-to-side. More pressure should come from the weak hand, so that the strong hand is free to manipulate the trigger without interference from other muscles. The push-pull theory has been fairly thoroughly dropped from competitive shooting.

H.

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OK, but to what extent does the weak hand apply force front to back against the strong hand vs side to side against the strong hand (eg equally, more side to side, more front to back, or no front to back pressure). I do understand the suggested 60/40 differential between weak and strong hands and the need to keep the trigger finger loose, but in what direction(s) does the weak hand distribute pressure if other than equally front to back/side to side. I suppose this is something that needs to be determined thru experimentation to find out what works best for the individual, but I am curious of how most expereinced shooters apply this pressure. Perhaps characterizing this as push pull is an outdated term and incorrect.

Thanks,

Doug

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Strong hand:

- The "flats" on my strong hand fingers, between the first and second knuckles, should be on the front strap of the gun. (ideally, for me)

- The strong hand's thumb should be able to wrap around the back of the grip and point toward the target.

- The pad of the trigger finger should be able to press/pull the trigger straight back.

- Grip pressure is applied front and back on the gun with the strong hand.

If you have trouble with the above, perhaps the gun doesn't fit your hand size very well...

- Strong hand grip pressure is just a bit firm, but relaxed. :unsure: The grip pressure needs to be light enough such that you can manipulate the trigger finger independently from the rest of the hand...or else you will struggle with milking the grip as you try to trip the trigger...resulting is misses.

Weak hand:

- The meaty "drumstick" portion of the weak hand thumb needs to make solid contact with the grip. This is key for me. And, I really prefer some sort of grip/grit enhancement at this interaction point. I really like to cam my weak hand into the gun...and the "drumstick" of the thumb is my major contact point.

- Camming the weak hand means that, if you were to open your weak hand grip and just point your fingers naturally, they would be pointing towards the ground at about a 45d angle. Some like to express this as pushing/pressing your weak hand pinky into the bottom fo the front strap of the gun. What you are doing here is trying to go to tendon lock..as opposed to just holding the angle with just muscle strength. The result you want is to have the grip "spring loaded" to help with recoil.

- Grip pressure here is more of a left-right pressure on the gun with the weak hand. Many like to call this a "C-clamp" style of pressure.

- Again, thumb forward, pointing toward the target.

Other points:

- Shoulders, hips and head are squared up to the target.

- Guns is mostly centered on the body, with the gun/sights directly in front of the dominant eye. We are talking about a form of isosceles grip and stance here.

- Your weak side shoulder will probably be a bit higher than your other shoulder. And your weak side arm will be a bit more straight.

- I keep the thumbs off the gun and like to point them toward the target. Keeping them off the gun helps to prevent them form trying to steer the gun, which...under stress...can give inconsistent results.

- When I tell people to grip with 60% of the pressure coming from the weak hand and 40% coming from the strong...that doesn't seem to click for most. So, I explain it as 70% weak hand and 30% strong. That seems to help get things rolling.

- Don't over grip the gun and try to control or prevent recoil. You can't do it anyway and you will just have trouble trying to fight the gun.

- Let the recoil happen. Just pay attention to what the gun/sights are doing during recoil...this is KEY. Once you can be aware of what the gun is doing, you can then let you body work out how to get the results that you desire.

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The idea is to see what your hands feel like on your gun and what changes in grip tension cause to your POI. Everyone is different but the basic idea is the same.

After dryfiring with the above mentioned techniques to get used to your new grip, go to the range.

1. Shoot a group. See where the shots end up. If your POI matches your POA, all is well.

Go to #5.

2. If not, vary grip tension with your strong hand first. Increase it. Shoot a group.

Decrease it. Shoot a group.

3. Next, relax your support hand. Shoot a group.

4. Next change your trigger finger position. Shoot a group.

Play with the grip tension in both your hands until you get the results you are looking for then make a mental note what your grip feels like. That is what your grip pressure should feel like.

5. Then dry practice!!!

If you know what your grip should feel like, it makes things easier. If you know what changes in your grip do to your shot placement, you can make changes quickly to rectify problems on the spot. Maybe your holster moved and your hand is slightly off on your draw etc. Or you are tense and your shots are to the left or right.

Good luck!! :D

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It would be nice to meet all of you personally for a handshake and thank you; I know of no other sport or board where you can get this high level of personalized help. It also amazes me how our top shooters on here are able to articule solutions and proper mechanics/technique so simplistically that even a knucklehead like me can understand.

A big thank you!!!!!

Doug

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Doug, take a look at this link. I make all my new Officers read this before we go to range......

http://www.midwesttraininggroup.net/Tips/get_a_grip.htm

Bob knows his stuff. One thing I would like to emphazsize is that the strong hand must have all the fingers in contact with the gun at all times. If not, then regrip. It is that simple. The only "movement" that should be going on with the strong hand is the trigger finger. If your 3 and 4th fingers come up and off the grip you will start "milking" and relexively "squeezing" the gun. On a DAO type gun that will translate to low left and depending on distance....off the target..... :wacko:

This isnt rocket science, but it is very important to work on the basics every round fired....

Good luck!

DougC

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When I started shooting about 9 months ago, I had no idea of what a correct grip was. In May, I took a class that dramatically altered my grip, but he had everyone making contact with the gun with their weak hand tumbs and even applied grip tape to several students guns to ensure weak hand thumb does not slip off. Undoing some of this stuff is a challenge :( . Oh well, no one said shooting is easy.

Doug

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  • 1 month later...
If your 3 and 4th fingers come up and off the grip you will start "milking" and relexively "squeezing" the gun. On a DAO type gun that will translate to low left and depending on distance....off the target..... :wacko:

This isnt rocket science, but it is very important to work on the basics every round fired....

Good luck!

DougC

I suffer(ed) from those low left hits, and they seemed to go away when I rotated my right hand a little bit to the right. Also improved recoil control, but the grip feels a bit unnatural for me, at least for now. I've just been shooting so long, and only now tried this... Felt so stupid for not trying earlier. All these years I thought my grip was ok :P

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If your 3 and 4th fingers come up and off the grip you will start "milking" and relexively "squeezing" the gun. On a DAO type gun that will translate to low left and depending on distance....off the target..... :wacko:

This isnt rocket science, but it is very important to work on the basics every round fired....

Good luck!

DougC

I suffer(ed) from those low left hits, and they seemed to go away when I rotated my right hand a little bit to the right. Also improved recoil control, but the grip feels a bit unnatural for me, at least for now. I've just been shooting so long, and only now tried this... Felt so stupid for not trying earlier. All these years I thought my grip was ok :P

Don't feel bad, I still can't get my father to stop grabbing his wrist when he shoots a pistol. Too much '70's TV.

H.

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