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Grip It Till You Tremble!

2863 Views 19 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  P95Carry
New 1911 owners/shooters:
You may or may not be aware that NOT gripping your 1911 pistol tight enough can cause sporadic function related problems.
Too weak of a grip can also cause you not to hit/group as tight as you should especially when shooting rapid fire.

SO...How DO you KNOW when you're holding your pistol tight enough in your gun hand?
Here is an old secret tip that I learned mucho many moons ago.
Shhhhh.....Don't tell everybody...OK? :biggrin:

Grip your pistol in your gun hand & then slowly tighten your grip....tighten it some more...tighten your hand/grip EVEN MORE...progressively tighten your grip until the muscles in your hand and fingers actually begin to tremble.

Now slowly LOOSEN your grip until your hand STOPS trembling.

REMEMBER exactly how tight that is.
That is how tight you should be holding your 1911 pistol with your gun hand for real world self~defensive shooting.

Then...however you you want to position your weak or support hand is personal preference and that up to you. hand, finger, wrist & grip exercises ~ you'll be glad that you started doing them because your shooting (in general) will always improve. Guaranteed it really will. :biggrin:
Stay Safe. Have fun shooting. :smile:
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I'll try that; however, I use a 60/40 grip technique with 60% of the strength of the grip coming from the support hand. This allows for the shooting hand to be more relaxed, which allows for smoother trigger control.
QKShooter, I am in complete agreemant with your post. I have been told by instructors that my grip on my weapon is the tightest that they have ever seen in a student. This is probably due to the frequency that I shoot "Hand Cannons". (I always keep my wrist locked also)----------
The firm handshake technique works best for me with the 1911. Now for the earsplittenloudenboomers, I couldn't agree more. :wink:

I put this thread up because many newbie 1911 shooters are a bit lax in their grip & some also "serious limp wrist" ~
That causes the pistol to "eat up" lost of slide energy that really is needed in order for the pistol to cycle properly.
Especially...a N.I.B. pistol with factory fresh springs that is not "shot in" yet & they tend to blame the firearm & call it a lemon.
Extremely valid recommendation QK, one for newer shooters to take on board. This is especially true with small semi's - P3AT, and R9 very much so.

I tell my students - grip to ''white knuckle'' and just back off a bit. Same sorta deal really. Also helps when conditions allow - to manage full lock out on strong arm - everything of course geared to not ''soaking up'' recoil and thus wasting energy input into the actual cycling.

I always employ pretty much 60/40 with two hands but always add a smidgeon extra when finally locking thumbs - my avatar may show, forget without checking - but weak thumb ''X's'' over strong and makes for a great addition to whole grip and stability.


Maybe call this smilie the ''limp wrist smilie'' -
- LOL :biggrin:
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you crack me up P95 the limp wrist smiley is to funny
I alway see the exact opposite. I see people with death grips on their guns so tight their hands are shaking all the time.

I think this is an important thing to remember now matter if you're a new plinker or an old gunny no matter what you're shooting.
I can grip pretty tight, I just have to remember to keep my fingernails short, otherwise they'll painfully bite right down into my palm when I shoot. It can sure ruin a good range day. I've actually drawn blood that way before. But I suppose you guys don't have a problem with nails. :silly:
I've actually drawn blood that way before. But I suppose you guys don't have a problem with nails.
Haha - Betty - on whom have you drawn blood then eh - mrshonts? - he been ''blooded'' yet LOL!

Seriously - when I do NRA courses I do - or have - mentioned to one or two of our lady students that mega long nails may not be ideal for their grip - for this reason.

OTOH - just maybe long nails could be quite a useful weapon, in themselves! :smile:

<snarl - Grrr> - crappy big cat impression :biggrin:
Maybe I am different but I actually grip more (no where near white knuckle) with my weakhand than I do my strong hand (60/40). I also parallel the thumbs not cross them. This is with everything from factory .45 on down.

In the end I guess it is whatever gets the job done for you. My take has been that if your white knuckeld or near with your trigger finger hand that adversely impacts the trigger finger movement. In tandem with sight alignment trigger control is paramount to good shooting.

I have seen many folks try to eliminate recoil of a firearm through a gorrilla grip locked arms etc. etc. If you allow the gun to recoil and control it (rather than try to eliminate it) through grip and stance you can do much better job.

Oh well just my 2 cents worth.

The Bottom Line

The bottom Line is that if you are an experienced shooter you'll figure out what works for you. As long as you are hitting accurately and QUICKLY for defensive shooting I'll not argue with you.
Once saw a shooter in Linesville, PA that had no index finger at all on his gun hand due to a mill related incident & he gripped his pistol with that hand & pulled the trigger with the other. He was a decent shooter.

An additional note: You'll find that if you do finger strength work-outs with a medium'll be able to effect an extremely strong grip on your pistol without affecting your trigger finger motion & you'll come back on target much quicker as an added bonus.

NOT MY HAND...I do not have wimpy butter smooth hands. :biggrin:

There is also another identical appratus that is less expensive than the Gripmaster. Anybody remember the name of that one? :confused: It was posted on the forum before we changed servers...(I think)
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There is also another identical appratus that is less expensive than the Gripmaster.
- The ubiquitous tennis ball?? :biggrin:
Tennis Ball

That should work!
Low Tech but, effective.
Same here standles, but I do use crossed thumbs when shooting revolvers.
I have a exercise that I do at the gym 8lb dumbell held out at a arms legnth, gripped as tightly as phsycally possible, in one minute shots, each hand. Just a short while back my 18 year old and I got into a discussion about holding a weight out at arms legnth for any period of time, He said he could hold the HK for 30 minutes, I bet he could not break the 10 minute mark, at 2 minutes he thought it had been 10 he did not make it.
Massad Ayoob, in his LFI courses, teaches a "crush grip." His logic is that under extreme stress, you're going to naturally have a death grip on the pistol, so you ought to practice that way. To further drive the point home, he had us shoot a magazine-full while gripping as hard as we could and intentionally shaking the gun as we sent rounds down range. Surprisingly, our groups didn't open up near as much as expected, and we got hits on the B27 targets that would have been more than acceptable "combat accuracy." I think we did this at 3-5 yards (it has been a while).

What I got out of the above lesson was: even though "aim small, miss small" is great advice, even if you are shaking like a leaf you can still get good hits.

at 3 to 5 yards you would have to dang near be swinging your arms like a madman to mot get acceptable "combat accuracy". I am not surprised that using the gorilla grip and purposely shaking didn't result in a high percentage of misses at that range. Now I am not going to argue with Ayoob but I also like to know I can make hits at 15,20, and further yds if needed.

Now I am not going to argue with Ayoob but I also like to know I can make hits at 15,20, and further yds if needed.
I think you have to find a grip, on a particular platform - that works for you - irrespective of what others might ''recommend'' - but it would have to be still a solid grip.

My thinking re longer shots is based on the difference in conditions. Once distance has stretched out this far - there is (marginally) more thinking time - opportunity for more deliberation if you will - a need to not ''waste'' shots thru sloppy shooting. Also possibly a chance for some cover even. Add to that the knowledge that the risk from incoming is slightly reduced then your job is to take that small amount of extra care with sighting and release.

Much of that comes down to practice - sufficient that if in a situation you do not have to think about how much or little grip - you just ''do it''!! Next time shooting - use some cover, shoot from kneeling etc - go for real aimed shots. I think practice up to a certain level is only way to get the drill ''wired'' and so be more automatic.
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