Thumbs forward - why? - Page 3

Thumbs forward - why?

This is a discussion on Thumbs forward - why? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; When you grip a pistol one handed your thumb is already forward. That is the way it lands when you grab the pistol. When you ...

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Thread: Thumbs forward - why?

  1. #31
    Member Array Troy Price's Avatar
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    When you grip a pistol one handed your thumb is already forward. That is the way it lands when you grab the pistol.

    When you go to two hands all you are doing is filling the gap left over, with the support hand and wrapping your fingers.

    There aren't two different grips in my experience and I definitely don't teach two different grips.

    What we teach are techniques that your body does naturally. It is hard to fight physiology. Your hand knows how to grab something. What tends to screw people up is the amount of pressure they percieve that they need to put on a pistol to control it.
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  2. #32
    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Thumb is definitely locked down for one-handed shooting. In IDPA we regularly move between one-hand and 'freestyle' and I haven't noticed any problems with having two different thumb positions. When the support hand comes up, the strong thumb lifts out of the way to make room.

  3. #33
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    When you grip a pistol one handed your thumb is already forward. That is the way it lands when you grab the pistol.

    I've never been formally trained in how to grab a pistol, but I naturally use a thumb locked down when I grab one myself. Not being "trained" to grab a pistol with thumbs forward, I haven't found it's something anyone does naturally myself.

    In fact, until the sport crowd came up with the thumbs forward position, it was rarely seen to be used by anyone just picking up a pistol and holding it.

    When you see someone grabbing a hammer [ another tool ], you don't see them using a forward thumbs grip ever. Thumbs forward is not how most humans grab a tool based on my 30+ years of observing and shooting with hundreds of people.

    But if thumbs forward works for you, thats okay too.

    Brownie
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  4. #34
    Member Array Troy Price's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AzQkr View Post
    When you grip a pistol one handed your thumb is already forward. That is the way it lands when you grab the pistol.

    I've never been formally trained in how to grab a pistol, but I naturally use a thumb locked down when I grab one myself. Not being "trained" to grab a pistol with thumbs forward, I haven't found it's something anyone does naturally myself.

    In fact, until the sport crowd came up with the thumbs forward position, it was rarely seen to be used by anyone just picking up a pistol and holding it.

    When you see someone grabbing a hammer [ another tool ], you don't see them using a forward thumbs grip ever. Thumbs forward is not how most humans grab a tool based on my 30+ years of observing and shooting with hundreds of people.

    But if thumbs forward works for you, thats okay too.

    Brownie

    I love arguing on the internet....

    I grew up shooting 1911's, before I had any training. My thumb always stayed on the safety hence thumb forward. Then the Marine Corps just reinforced that. I didn't learn "thumb" forward from gamers I learned it from an incredibly crusty old Gunnery Sergeant who had been shooting on the teams since before I was born (almost 40 years ago). We shoot 50yd bullseye match one-handed with the thumb on the safety.

    And therein lies the problem with living in a great big ol' world; there always someone doing something different.

    I'm not saying its the way, I'm saying that after 20 years of carrying a gun for a living it is the way that works for me. If you do something else and it works for you...Great! Stick with it.

    Personally I think a lot of people push their thumb tip down because they equate gripping a pistol to throwing a punch. Also I think if you learned to shoot a revolver first, the thumb pointed down.

    PS - I'm not in the picture I'm just using it to demonstrate they way Bullseye has been shot in the USMC for as long as I can remember and the way it was taught to me back in 1987.
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  5. #35
    Member Array Tony Siciliano's Avatar
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    Here's something from the olden days.

    Thumbs forward has been taught by the Marine Corps for years. On my bookshelf I have a 1940 edition of the "Handbook for Marines". Attached is the page on proper grip of the 1911 service pistol. Note paragraph #3.
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  6. #36
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    I don't really have a dog in the fight, but...
    I didn't learn "thumb" forward from gamers I learned it from an incredibly crusty old Gunnery Sergeant who had been shooting on the teams since before I was born (almost 40 years ago). We shoot 50yd bullseye match one-handed with the thumb on the safety.
    "Shooting on the teams" and "50yd bullseye match one-handed" are most certainly game (sport, as opposed to combat) shooting disciplines. Unless, of course, you meant the SEAL teams...lol
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  7. #37
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    I shoot thumbs forwards. It help me go from shooting horribly to shooting awful.
    Guys, Both are OK. Try both & whatever makes you shoot better stick with it.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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  8. #38
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    I've been training on this style...it's completely different than my old self-taught method, plus the Army training in the early '70's. I like it, just need to do it enough so it becomes muscle memory.

  9. #39
    Member Array Troy Price's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    I don't really have a dog in the fight, but...

    "Shooting on the teams" and "50yd bullseye match one-handed" are most certainly game (sport, as opposed to combat) shooting disciplines. Unless, of course, you meant the SEAL teams...lol
    Not so much. I have known veterans going back to World War One (I grew up where old Marines go to live out their years). In War One, Two, and to some extent Korea Gun fighting then was very much stand and deliver. The way the old Corps guys shot in the matches was the way they shot in combat - the matches evolved from what they did in combat. So this could really be sport copying reality.

    Everything seems to come around. I expect in another twenty years we'll be back to "stand and deliver" with one hand.

    Guys I'm really not advocating one over the other, I'm trying to explain a) what works for me and b) some of the techniques didn't start where many people think they did, oh and c) nothing in the world of shooting and gun-fighting is an absolute.

    The enviornment I grew up in is very different than the world many of you grew up in and we all have different experiences. I'm not saying anyone is wrong .


    And I'm done....
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  10. #40
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    Most self defense shooting is from contact to 20 feet. However you can get the front sight up to the target and hit it twice center mass is critical. Your thumb(s) position will be part of your muscle memory, IMHO.

  11. #41
    Distinguished Member Array Colin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kazzaerexys View Post
    I have been trying both ways. I agree that the thumbs down position gives a stronger grip, but I am beginning to come to the conclusion that thumbs forward, along the frame, gives better left/right stability as well as speeding up my aim. I definitely have a tendency to jerk left on my trigger, and the result is much less noticable with thumbs forward (being a right-handed shooter).

    As for aiming, if I practice draw and point, then look down along the sights to see how close I am to my intended aim, I do a much better job of pointing with the thumbs forward. Nothing that would matter at, say, four or five yards, but might be significant at seven to ten and beyond.

    I would say just try out both. If you shoot better thumbs down, then shoot thumbs down.

    I do the same with my trigger finger and also find it helps counter that effect.

  12. #42
    Senior Member Array Ride4TheBrand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    . Its for combat shooting, not for punching holes in paper.
    There you go boys and girls. Do you carry for target shooting, or do you carry to defend your life or the lives of the ones you love?

    When it really counts, what muscle memory do you hope to rely on??
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  13. #43
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    I find my reasons for the thumb foward position is just as it been stated earlier,
    to decrease left/right drift when shooting. I have experimented with the "stacked" grip on a revolver, and its going to take a little getting use to. I think the best part of the thumbs foward grip is that it's safer and easily tranferable to about any handgun one may use. K.I.S.S theory at its best!!!!
    JMO!!!

  14. #44
    Member Array Troy Price's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ride4TheBrand View Post
    There you go boys and girls. Do you carry for target shooting, or do you carry to defend your life or the lives of the ones you love?

    When it really counts, what muscle memory do you hope to rely on??
    You guys are killing me.


    I said I was done.
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  15. #45
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    Troy,

    I'm certainly not trying to drive you out of the conversation - I appreciate your input very much. I was just saying that this technique (as well as many, many others) derived from target shooting. That's only natural - people shoot a heck of a lot more paper than they do people, so that's where the majority of the experience lies.

    When I grasp the stocks of my pistol for the draw, my strong thumb is down. I don't have a thumb safety requiring my thumb to be up (and never have had one, on a carry gun - I kept the safety off on my M9), so perhaps this is a part of it. When my support hand meets my strong hand, it is absolutely natural for the support thumb to rest on top of and "lock down" the strong hand thumb. It feels decidedly unnatural to put my thumbs high and "out" along the frame.

    That being said, when I concentrate and assume a good "thumbs forward" grip, I am just as fast and accurate when shooting. In fact, it feels (I don't have a timer) like my shot-to-shot times may even be a little bit faster, and my accuracy may even be a little bit better. So, believe me, I don't discount the "thubs forward" grip in any way - it just isn't natural for me, so it takes a lot of deliberate action to grip that way. With enough practice, I'm sure I could make it natural, but that's a long way off at this point - I have thousands and thousands of presentations (not to mention the "natural" lay of my hands/fingers) to overcome.

    I'm sure it boils down to what folks grew up with, the size and shape of their hands, and what sort of pistol folks use. In the end, the "thumbs forward" is probably better for control and accuracy, but just how much better is certainly debatable. In point of fact, it probably won't make a heck of a lot of difference for us "average" shooters... If you're trying to squeeze that extra tenth of a second from your IPSC times, or knock the 10 ring out at 50 yards, then perhaps "thumbs forward" is the only way to go. For the rest of us, I think lots of practice in being consistant with our grip - whatever that grip may be, within reason - is much more important than the particular style of grip we employ.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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