Question on thumbs forward

Question on thumbs forward

This is a discussion on Question on thumbs forward within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; My current grip technique is the death squeeze (right handed, right thumb points down a bit) left hand gets really tight and points forward in ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array markp's Avatar
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    Question on thumbs forward

    My current grip technique is the death squeeze (right handed, right thumb points down a bit) left hand gets really tight and points forward in line with the barrel.

    I shoot really well with it considering my limited experience. But I've notice the majority of really experienced shooters tend to go with the thumbs forward grip and I haven't asked anyone.

    When you go thumbs forward does your front thumb (left hand if right handed shooter) press or provide lateral pressure against the frame.

    In general a trigger squeeze is more likely to push left than right so do these people use the left thumb to keep that from happening a bit, or is the left thumb just floating in the air?


  2. #2
    Member Array Whyveear's Avatar
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    Some top tier shooters advise against the thumbs applying significant pressure to the frame, while other top shooters are in favor of it.

    What I do is apply a moderate amount of pressure with the thumb of my support hand. I almost view it as guide to help point the pistol. My shooting hand thumb applies zero pressure to the frame, other than at the very base of course, and just sits on top of my support hand.

  3. #3
    Member Array usmcj's Avatar
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    Think about it for a minute...... excessive lateral force applied to the frame will alter the alignment of the handgun relative to the target..... both before and after the hammer drops. I use thumb contact with the frame, but no pressure. On the other hand, everyone is different. Try modifying things a bit and see how things work out.
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    Senior Member Array sheepdog's Avatar
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    When I learned the thumbs forward grip, I learned it "wrong," or at least used it wrong, for some time. Since relearning it correctly, I can tell that my gun tracks up and down in recoil, not sideways, and I can re-find the front sight more easily. It was quite a noticeable difference.
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  5. #5
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    Minimal pressure on the frame for me - more just a light contact.

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    Member Array LastManOut's Avatar
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    Don't try thumbs forward with a revolver. :)

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Spring Precision answers this question for me, better than I can, and with videos to boot:

    Customizing Springfield XD’s, 1911’s, 2011’s and more for improved performance and reliability.

    Take a look at their basic grip and grip video part 2.

    I too like thumbs forward, and I grip my gun, almost, without them.
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usmcj View Post
    I use thumb contact with the frame, but no pressure. On the other hand, everyone is different. Try modifying things a bit and see how things work out.
    I use thumb contact with a lot of pressure. Helps me control recoil and the gun tracks vertically. Each to his own and Semper Gumby.
    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

  9. #9
    Member Array mattd's Avatar
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    I recently read Surgical Speed Shooting by Andy Stanford. This book improved my grip and trigger control 100%. I cannot believe the difference a proper thumbs fwd grip makes in control and accuracy..get the book!!

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Go to youtube and look up Todd Jarrett; he has in my humble opinion, the best explanation I have yet heard regarding proper hand grip and geometry when shooting a semiauto pistol. I shot with Todd a few times on the USPSA circuit back in the '90s, just as he was becoming a rising star that peaked at the turn of the century.

    A finer instructor you will not find. The US militaries' DELTA force contracts him to work with their operators.
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array semperfi.45's Avatar
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    Training means learning the rules. Experience means learning the exceptions.

  12. #12
    Member Array markp's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the posts,

    Great info.

    To me it seems like all these guys are gripping that way for a reason, so I'm probably missing out on a better technique than the death squeeze.

    I'll ease off the thumb pressure and try a few different types. So far just when I draw and point, thumbs forward seems to point more accurately and quicker but I'm not accustomed to getting into this grip position at first.

    Thanks again,

  13. #13
    Senior Member Array agentmel's Avatar
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    Yeah, I got the standard thumbs down (appropriately named) training in the military and shot well that way. The very first time I switched to a proper thumbs forward grip, it completely revolutionized my shooting. Quicker following shots, tighter groups, etc. I highly recommend it, just make sure you're locking your non-firing wrist.

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  14. #14
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    Strong hand holds the weapon and pulls the trigger (very little pressure)...weak hand applies the pressure and both thumbs are forward...this did improve my control...
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  15. #15
    Member Array Raider39a's Avatar
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    I second the recommendation on Todd Jarrett's stuff in youtube. Great primer on shooting fundamentals.
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