Hand Size

Hand Size

This is a discussion on Hand Size within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Has anyone ever seen or heard of a study or maybe a spread sheet of how hand size relates to handgun size? I guess what ...

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Thread: Hand Size

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array 21bubba's Avatar
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    Hand Size

    Has anyone ever seen or heard of a study or maybe a spread sheet of how hand size relates to handgun size? I guess what I mean is, if a person's hand is "x" length from web to tip of index finger then the trigger should be "y" distance from backstrap.

    As much as almost every aspect of hand gun design has been thought out out (multiple backstraps) I would think there is some kind of qualifing distance to be used. Not simply "it feels good".

    This not meant to be brand bashing or caliber flaming, just idle wandering


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    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    It sounds like a good idea but when you look at the difference in finger diameter, joint length, palm thickness, etc you get right back to "what feels right".

    Maybe someday someone will develop a automatic grip sizer that adjusts to who picks it up.

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    No chart can tell anyone how a particular gun feels (or should feel) in the hand, it's the gun that starts to call out your name when you hold them.OMYYMV
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    Maybe some kind of moldable grip that you squeeze and bake...no live ammo in the oven, though:)

    Actually, musical instruments aren't generally sized perfectly to each player, but some musicians practice enough to become virtuosos. Look at the plow handle guns of the west. Some got to be pretty good with them. The hand is so adaptable that it can master just about any shape. If a gun feels good, consider it a bonus. IMO, in my hand, the XD points better than the Glock, but not as well as the 1911. If you spend enough quality time with your primary and BUG, holding, drawing, shooting, etc., everything will work out just fine, ergonomicalistically speaking.

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    The moldable grip might be awesome, could be on to something gunthorp! I just bought my Sig SP2022 a few months back because it was the best feeling/fitting 9mm I had picked up in a long time, and I was wanting a 9mm to add to my "collection". Ive always had a prob with smaller easier concealed guns. Im a big dude, 6'2" about 290 and obviously have some big mits, my Glock 23 was about the smallest I was really comfortably able to go and still be able to shoot it well. Just my $.02.
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    Having worked at the Armor Engineering Board at Fort Knox, we studied various size hand molds and test subjects. The objective was to design fire controls that would accommodate the 76-percentile man. In the end we didn’t really accomplish our goal due to the high number of variables. A similar test was conducted with firearms at the Combat Development and Experimental Command. The results were equally frustrating. I think the Germans had some of the best solutions with interchangeable grips on many of their early handgun designs. Balance or center of gravity, seems to play a major role in controllability and is difficult to achieve for the masses. I think good old fashion touch and feel works best.

    More to say... In my grass-roots non-analytical opinion, I think any handgun that doesn’t provide capture of the pinky finger, is markedly less controllable (accurate) than a grip that does. I'm currently working with a grip maker for a custom handle for my snub. Of course anytime you inject the word 'custom' there goes the budget! Anyway, I'll let you guys know how it comes out.
    Last edited by Saber; December 29th, 2009 at 09:46 PM. Reason: Word title correction
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    Distinguished Member Array 21bubba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saber View Post
    Having worked at the Armor Engineering Board at Fort Knox, we studied various size hand molds and test subjects. The objective was to design fire controls that would accommodate the 76-percentile man. In the end we didn’t really accomplish our goal due to the high number of variables. A similar test was conducted with firearms at the Combat Experimental and Development Command. The results were equally frustrating. I think the Germans had some of the best solutions with interchangeable grips on many of their early handgun designs. Balance or center of gravity, seems to play a major role in controllability and is difficult to achieve for the masses. I think good old fashion touch and feel works best.

    More to say... In my grass-roots non-analytical opinion, I think any handgun that doesn’t provide capture of the pinky finger, is markedly less controllable (accurate) than a grip that does. I'm currently working with a grip maker for a custom handle for my snub. Of course anytime you inject the word 'custom' there goes the budget! Anyway, I'll let you guys know how it comes out.
    That's the type of answer I was wondering about. It didn't even occur to me that the military may have studied this question. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saber View Post
    Having worked at the Armor Engineering Board at Fort Knox, we studied various size hand molds and test subjects. The objective was to design fire controls that would accommodate the 76-percentile man. In the end we didn’t really accomplish our goal due to the high number of variables. A similar test was conducted with firearms at the Combat Experimental and Development Command. The results were equally frustrating. I think the Germans had some of the best solutions with interchangeable grips on many of their early handgun designs. Balance or center of gravity, seems to play a major role in controllability and is difficult to achieve for the masses. I think good old fashion touch and feel works best.
    Excellent! Sounds like the best answer to your question.
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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 21bubba View Post
    Has anyone ever seen or heard of a study or maybe a spread sheet of how hand size relates to handgun size? I guess what I mean is, if a person's hand is "x" length from web to tip of index finger then the trigger should be "y" distance from backstrap.

    As much as almost every aspect of hand gun design has been thought out out (multiple backstraps) I would think there is some kind of qualifing distance to be used. Not simply "it feels good".

    This not meant to be brand bashing or caliber flaming, just idle wandering
    I know several women that study the relationship of hand size.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saber View Post
    I think any handgun that doesn’t provide capture of the pinky finger, is markedly less controllable (accurate) than a grip that does.
    The higher the grip in relation to the bore/thrust axis the better,too. Just from my personal experience, shooting my 16oz Kahr PM40 without pinky, but a high grip, is similar to shooting my 25oz Ultra 45 with pinky. The Kimber shoots circles around the Kahr.
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    No chart can tell anyone how a particular gun feels (or should feel) in the hand, it's the gun that starts to call out your name when you hold them.OMYYMV

    ^^^^^^^^Kind of like a better half,,,^^^^^^^^

    Just can't explain it most times ,but it just feels right.
    Even though there may be imperfections to some, to you, all seems right with the world!!!




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    Distinguished Member Array Rugergirl's Avatar
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    I'm not so sure that a hand measurement really tells much about how any particular gun will fit someones hand. I am petite with small hands,(size 6 or small for gloves) most grips on guns I've handled don't fit my palm well.
    Even a large gun like a Smith & Wesson N frame with a stock grip leaves a gap between the grip and the curvature of my palm.
    The S&W .500 I fired last weekend fit my hand very well, hmm, maybe I should get one?
    Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.

  13. #13
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    As gunthorp said, it's really about adaptability. I've been forced by agency/unit policies to carry firearms I was less than thrilled about initially. But with practice and repetition, I became proficient with all of them to the point that I couldn't say I have a "favorite" based on feel or grip. I buy for functionality.

    Gunthorp- your musical instrument analogy touched a nerve with me. I have pretty small hands for a guy (wear a size 7 ring), but I was determined to become a good musician. Starting from early childhood, I loved music and had a good ear, but my hand-eye coordination was lacking. Even at age 17 I couldn't quite reach an octave on a piano. With a concerted effort of focused practice and stretching I can now reach an octave +3 keys and play publicly. Likewise on the guitar. My small hands never made it easy. But after 16 years of daily playing I can do some half-way cool stuff, and even teach.

    On the other hand, as a salesman at a music store (college job- most fun ever!) I always told folks, quite truthfully, that as a beginner deciding if guitar was for you, to spend a little more on one with a good fret action. It would make playing more fun, which would equal more practice time and a better chance of becoming proficient as a lifelong player.

    So it goes both ways. The difference is that musical instruments (unless in some bizarre moment of improvisation where they become a weapon-of-opportunity) won't be relied upon to save your life.

    From Kel-Tecs to Berettas, Rugers, Glocks, S&Ws, and a host of others, I've forced myself to adapt and overcome. My life has depended on it. If you have a choice, by all means, get what you like. It's a free country (well, sort of. Okay, not really), and it's your money. But don't let first impressions of hand size and grip comfort be the only factor in firearms choice. Reliability is always paramount and one of the nice features of being a sentient creature with opposable thumbs is ability to adapt our behaviors and utilize tools.

    Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.

    (e.g. custom grips, hogue grip covers, mag extenders, trigger jobs, etc. and practice, practice, practice.)

    There's ALWAYS room for improvement.

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    Thanks HC79.

    I think the 500 touched a nerve in Rugergirl...prolly in the palm. I load mine down a bit and cover up the top ports, so it rocks up to soak up some of the recoil. I hard cast 440 grainers that twist the whole gun as it comes up over your head and pushes you back a step. It's a case of a grip feeling just great, until you pull the trigger.
    Liberty, Property, or Death - Jonathan Gardner's powder horn inscription 1776

    Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
    ("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
    -Virgil, Aeneid, vi, 95

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