Holding a pistol correctly - help me!

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Thread: Holding a pistol correctly - help me!

  1. #1
    New Member Array RugerSnubby's Avatar
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    Holding a pistol correctly - help me!

    Okay, I'm kinda new to shooting - I'm trying to shoot more accurately. I'm not a great shot, but I'm good. I'm trying to understand the pistol grip a little better.

    They say to grip it so that the gun is in line w/ my forearm, but when I look at some professionals pictures in a typical stance, the firearm is not aligned w/ thier forearm, but slightly off.

    It would make sense to have the firearm DIRECTLY in line with the bones of the forearm, but it definately feels kind of funny. Hopefully I'm understanding this right.

    So - Hand up as far as you can get it to the barrel, barrel aligned exactly with the bones of the forearm. Tilt offhand slightly down, grip pistol, both thumbs forward. Elbows 1) BENT or 2) LOCKED, knees slightly bent, body leaning slightly forward. Carefully roll back trigger untill break, Don't fight recoil, follow the front sight and let it fall back on target, fire. Repeat. Is this correct? If you see any errors or have any tips please let me know!!


    What part of my finger should be on the trigger on my glock? I've heard to use the very tip of my finger, where my fingernail is. Others say the pad (middle). Some say use the joint of the finger. I'm having trouble slightly shaking the gun during dryfire. The trigger on a glock is so different then my revolver, its not smooth all the way through. Its like Loooooose, then major resistance, and barely any distance between resistance and discharge. Do you guys have any tips for a more steady trigger pull on a STOCK glock? Is the key to use the 40% grip w/ my shooting hand, and 60% on the offhand?

    Anyways, thanks for the help.

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  3. #2
    Member Array sentioch's Avatar
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    I think you have to make variations to accommodate your own body and the gun you are using.

    For example, last week I took my new G26 to the range and was originally shooting using the straight-thumbs technique. After shooting for a while I realized a scrape on the base of my right thumb. Pulled back the slide and saw blood on the underside of it -- yikes.

    If you look at pictures of the inventors of this grip, Brian Enos


    and Rob Leatham


    you can see that they both put the right thumb over the base of their left thumb. After some experimentation I found this to be the problem in my case because my thumbs are so long that I cannot put my thumb in that position without it being dangerously close to where the slide would go -- the best I can do is get it about 2 mm away which is way too close for comfort.

    Of course, I can get more safety room by gripping the gun lower down, or by pulling my left thumb back but that loosens the grip. Both are unacceptable. However I really prefer the straight thumbs grip to any other grips like thumb over thumb because of the balanced support on the left side.

    After experimenting a bit I finally found a grip that works very well for me on this gun. I still use straight thumbs on the left side, but instead of wrapping my right thumb over the base of my left thumb, I put them both flat against the side of the gun. This means that the base of the thumb on my left hand has to be tilted downward slightly more, but it is still supported just as well and can be gripped very firmly. The other thing I like about holding it this way is that my right hand can be placed independently of the left hand, so there's no need to adjust the right hand after the left hand is placed, meaning I can get into the grip faster.

    My fingers are quite long. The place where the trigger naturally falls on my finger when gripping the gun is in the inside of the first joint -- that's about 2 inches shorter than my finger pad and makes it pretty much impossible for me to pull the trigger using the pad of my finger. I make a compromise and place the finger on the inside of the second joint, right below the pad.

    As for the elbows being bent or locked, most people say this is not as important as the grip itself. The people who shoot with tucked in elbows do so because it makes it easier for them to focus on the sights. My personal feeling is that having locked out elbows will keep the gun in place better for more accurate follow up shots. However if the gun has excessive recoil, I think I might rather introduce a slight bend (at the expense of follow up accuracy) to reduce the stress on my elbow joint from recoil.
    "In a world of compromise, some don't." -HK

  4. #3
    New Member Array RugerSnubby's Avatar
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    Thanks, I just tried the thumb thing and that feels more comfortable. In both of those pictures, the barrels arn't in-line with their forearms either. I'm really confused!!!

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RugerSnubby View Post
    Thanks, I just tried the thumb thing and that feels more comfortable. In both of those pictures, the barrels arn't in-line with their forearms either. I'm really confused!!!
    For the gun to be in line with the bones in your right arm you would have to be shooting with only the right hand. When you bring both hands together so they meet at the gun there is no way the gun can be perfectly straight with the bones in either arm. Hope this helps!
    Last edited by Hiram25; June 24th, 2010 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Hiram25
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  6. #5
    VIP Member Array nedrgr21's Avatar
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    I've seen people shoot really, really well with elbows bent and straight, so whatever's comfortable for you. Check out vigunfighter and fmgpubs on youtube for some good vids.

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    Distinguished Member Array bladenbullet's Avatar
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  8. #7
    VIP Member Array First Sgt's Avatar
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    Try this video:

    Proper Grip of a Pistol
    Sometimes in life you have to stand your ground. It's a hard lesson to learn and even most adults don't get it, but in the end only I can be responsible for my life. If faced with any type of adversity, only I can overcome it. Waiting for someone else to take responsibility is a long fruitless wait.

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Jason Storm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sentioch View Post
    I think you have to make variations to accommodate your own body and the gun you are using.

    For example, last week I took my new G26 to the range and was originally shooting using the straight-thumbs technique. After shooting for a while I realized a scrape on the base of my right thumb. Pulled back the slide and saw blood on the underside of it -- yikes.

    If you look at pictures of the inventors of this grip, Brian Enos


    and Rob Leatham


    you can see that they both put the right thumb over the base of their left thumb. After some experimentation I found this to be the problem in my case because my thumbs are so long that I cannot put my thumb in that position without it being dangerously close to where the slide would go -- the best I can do is get it about 2 mm away which is way too close for comfort.

    Of course, I can get more safety room by gripping the gun lower down, or by pulling my left thumb back but that loosens the grip. Both are unacceptable. However I really prefer the straight thumbs grip to any other grips like thumb over thumb because of the balanced support on the left side.

    After experimenting a bit I finally found a grip that works very well for me on this gun. I still use straight thumbs on the left side, but instead of wrapping my right thumb over the base of my left thumb, I put them both flat against the side of the gun. This means that the base of the thumb on my left hand has to be tilted downward slightly more, but it is still supported just as well and can be gripped very firmly. The other thing I like about holding it this way is that my right hand can be placed independently of the left hand, so there's no need to adjust the right hand after the left hand is placed, meaning I can get into the grip faster.

    My fingers are quite long. The place where the trigger naturally falls on my finger when gripping the gun is in the inside of the first joint -- that's about 2 inches shorter than my finger pad and makes it pretty much impossible for me to pull the trigger using the pad of my finger. I make a compromise and place the finger on the inside of the second joint, right below the pad.

    As for the elbows being bent or locked, most people say this is not as important as the grip itself. The people who shoot with tucked in elbows do so because it makes it easier for them to focus on the sights. My personal feeling is that having locked out elbows will keep the gun in place better for more accurate follow up shots. However if the gun has excessive recoil, I think I might rather introduce a slight bend (at the expense of follow up accuracy) to reduce the stress on my elbow joint from recoil.
    I use that more when I use isosceles instead of Weaver. For the Weaver, I cross my thumbs together.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array TWO GUNS's Avatar
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    This is just the way I hold my pistols.

    Quote Originally Posted by sentioch View Post
    I think you have to make variations to accommodate your own body and the gun you are using.

    For example, last week I took my new G26 to the range and was originally shooting using the straight-thumbs technique. After shooting for a while I realized a scrape on the base of my right thumb. Pulled back the slide and saw blood on the underside of it -- yikes.

    If you look at pictures of the inventors of this grip, Brian Enos


    and Rob Leatham


    you can see that they both put the right thumb over the base of their left thumb. After some experimentation I found this to be the problem in my case because my thumbs are so long that I cannot put my thumb in that position without it being dangerously close to where the slide would go -- the best I can do is get it about 2 mm away which is way too close for comfort.

    Of course, I can get more safety room by gripping the gun lower down, or by pulling my left thumb back but that loosens the grip. Both are unacceptable. However I really prefer the straight thumbs grip to any other grips like thumb over thumb because of the balanced support on the left side.

    After experimenting a bit I finally found a grip that works very well for me on this gun. I still use straight thumbs on the left side, but instead of wrapping my right thumb over the base of my left thumb, I put them both flat against the side of the gun. This means that the base of the thumb on my left hand has to be tilted downward slightly more, but it is still supported just as well and can be gripped very firmly. The other thing I like about holding it this way is that my right hand can be placed independently of the left hand, so there's no need to adjust the right hand after the left hand is placed, meaning I can get into the grip faster.

    My fingers are quite long. The place where the trigger naturally falls on my finger when gripping the gun is in the inside of the first joint -- that's about 2 inches shorter than my finger pad and makes it pretty much impossible for me to pull the trigger using the pad of my finger. I make a compromise and place the finger on the inside of the second joint, right below the pad.

    As for the elbows being bent or locked, most people say this is not as important as the grip itself. The people who shoot with tucked in elbows do so because it makes it easier for them to focus on the sights. My personal feeling is that having locked out elbows will keep the gun in place better for more accurate follow up shots. However if the gun has excessive recoil, I think I might rather introduce a slight bend (at the expense of follow up accuracy) to reduce the stress on my elbow joint from recoil.
    Have Fun and Shoot Straight !!

  11. #10
    Ex Member Array Cold Warrior's Avatar
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    Like bowling, sex and Civil War reenacting: I do not do it often enough to be or get good at it, lacking the practice with the repetition, having to start from scratch and begin with the basics and relearn what I have forgotten. Thank God and the NRA for helpful range officers and fellow and female shooters who enjoy or don't mind giving us some, but not dumb, instructions and polite reminders...regarding the guns if not that other fun.

  12. #11
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    Array Pistology's Avatar
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    Part of the finger on the trigger depends upon weight of the pull among, as one poster said, length of finger.
    For a Glock, the pad of the first joint should work if it gives a smooth pull.
    For a revolver, the increase in weight may require more muscle and a deeper placement on the second joint for a smooth pull.
    Americans understood the right of self-preservation as permitting a citizen to repel force by force
    when the intervention of society... may be too late to prevent an injury.
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  13. #12
    New Member Array metalman8600's Avatar
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    The grips in those photos cause me to hit the slide stop lever.

  14. #13
    Senior Member Array RebelRabbi's Avatar
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    Sight alignment + Triger control = Hits
    Force your shooting eye to look at the top of the Front Sight, you will want to focus on the target, FOCUS on the FRONT sight. Press the trigger straight back towards you and HOLD it to the rear. Slowly let it go forward until it clicks, repeat the press to the rear, reset etc.......Practice this SLOW Fire for at least 100 rounds before you even start to worry about speed. You will be able to fire into your own bullet holes at 7 yards using this technique :-)

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    I notice when dry firing...if I use my finger tip I tend to jerk near the end of the pull, if I use the pad I can pull the trigger all the way without moving the sight. It all depends on the person I guess
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  16. #15
    Ex Member Array Cold Warrior's Avatar
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    ...and it helps if you choose and use just ONE gun.

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