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This is NOT about guns that are too small to get a good grip, or about guns that will work with pinkie extenders on the bottom of the magazines. This is about what happens when a gun/grip is too large.

There has been some recent discussion about the size of the gun: Grip, length to trigger, etc. Someone said you should be able to learn to shoot any gun and not worry about exact fit.

It is about ME and how vitally important it is to find a gun that actually FITS the shooter’s hand. – One that can be gripped properly and will line up straight with the arm bones when the arms are extended! And what happens when you do not get the right gun for you.

So, here is my story:

My first semi auto was a Glock 19. I picked it out. It ‘felt good’ and the grip was long enough so that I didn’t pinch my hand when slamming in a magazine. And it pointed naturally. No one checked me to see if I could actually hold it properly and pull the trigger! NO ONE.

I couldn’t.

The “Block” grip was simply too large for my hands, making the distance to the trigger too long. But I learned to use it. And I used it very well indeed. Since I knew no better I went on to buy a 17, a 34 and a 26. In order to pull the trigger on the double stack Glocks I had to slide my strong hand from the “handshake” position where the grip of the gun is centered in the crotch of the hand and the barrel is in line with the outstretched arm around the grip AND my trigger finger came forward enough to where I could pull the trigger. But I was a dedicated “Glock Girl” and I shot really well, in competition and for fun and in the schools Gramps and I went to.

So what is wrong here?

What is WRONG is that the full force of the recoil slammed into the inner bottom part of my thumb bone instead of into the web of my hand. Each and every time. Somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 times. The result is that my right hand is totally trashed. Not just the advanced horribly misshapen thumb joint, but the total collapse of the wrist bones. The orthopedic surgeon I went to said they almost never see both of those conditions in one person, and never in a woman. Thumbs, yes. Wrist bones, hardly ever. Combination, never in a woman.

YES I wore padded shooting gloves! But the padding is where the recoil is supposed to go, not up the inside of the thumb!

How did I finally learn this after 20 years? I paid close attention at the range the last time (and for sure it IS the last time ever for that G17) I shot my beloved Glock 17. You all know I’m shooting left handed now because my right hand is so damaged. I've been shooting smaller guns also, and this time when I raised the G17 to shooting position I really took note of the fact that I had to move my shooting hand around the grip, resulting in the force of the recoil slamming into my thumb, as noted above. Only then did I realize that this had to be the cause of the extremely unusual combination damage in my right hand.

So PLEASE fellow forum members, Please, Please stop telling people they should learn to shoot whatever gun. With the enormous variety of calibers, gun sizes, grip sizes and shapes, length from web to hand to trigger, it IS possible to find the right gun for each person.

I do not wish what happened to my hand on anyone else, and I hope this impassioned plea will be taken seriously and that it will help the myriad of new shooters (and some older ones too) to have decades of shooting fun without severe damage.

Thank you for listening.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for telling it like it is.
I guess they don't call it the Darkside for nothing.:gah:
My Glock 42's (The Minnie twins) fit my hands perfectly. Don't even need a pinkie extender with them like I did with the G26. :35:
 

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Good post! The hard part is very few guns are made with grip sizes to fit small hands. My hands are on the smaller side. I can just barely get a good grip on my XDM with the small backstrap. Yes, it's one of the few double stacks I can get a grip on. Most others, especially Sigs, are simply too big. Even some single stacks are too big (Government .45 1911's, I'm looking at you).

My next purchase may be a Springfield XDE, mostly because it fits my hand well.
 

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Good post! The hard part is very few guns are made with grip sizes to fit small hands. My hands are on the smaller side. I can just barely get a good grip on my XDM with the small backstrap. Yes, it's one of the few double stacks I can get a grip on. Most others, especially Sigs, are simply too big. Even some single stacks are too big (Government .45 1911's, I'm looking at you).

My next purchase may be a Springfield XDE, mostly because it fits my hand well.
Have you tried a revolver?
 

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Very good point granny, surprising you could do so well with a twisted grip. How was the recoil impulse and follow up shots? My first combat handgun was a HK USP . I found I could shoot it well enough single action, but double action it was just too long of trigger to grip.
Good post! The hard part is very few guns are made with grip sizes to fit small hands. My hands are on the smaller side. I can just barely get a good grip on my XDM with the small backstrap. Yes, it's one of the few double stacks I can get a grip on. Most others, especially Sigs, are simply too big. Even some single stacks are too big (Government .45 1911's, I'm looking at you).

My next purchase may be a Springfield XDE, mostly because it fits my hand well.
Check out the M&P series double stacks or single. I have small hands too. They work for me.
 

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That sounds painful even before it damaged your hand.

That's a good takeaway that we more experienced shooters can use to advise those new to the sport.

So hopefully some good will come of your injury, even though it's too late for you.

That's also a big reason why I keep my G42 - in case my wife gets serious about her CCL and doesn't like the LCR 327 I have for her! My P238 is actually perfect for her, but there's no way she'd practice enough to 'learn' the safety.

Speaking of which - how's the P238 training going?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Very good point granny, surprising you could do so well with a twisted grip. How was the recoil impulse and follow up shots?
Not knowing anything else - having only Gramps's larger calibers to compare with - recoil was OK, I guess. Obviously I was not recoil sensitive anyway. (I am now though!) Follow up shots were no problem at all. Double taps good, and fun. Accuracy was always really good IF I didn't push myself too hard for speed but let it happen.

Now, with this left handed long hard learning process, AND with some arthritis in the left hand also, I have guns that fit: .380, because I know I dare not "do" the 9mm recoil anymore, and I've even bought two 22's which really are as much fun as they say. Speed now is way slower than it was before and I cannot yet do double taps. But I keep working on it and am getting faster....."slowly getting faster."

There was SO very much to learn/relearn when switching to shooting left handed! Not just grip but change in stance, and whereas before my arms were always automatically straight out, I found I was shooting with one arm bent which trashed my accuracy and had to concentrate super hard to fix that problem. Too much to put in one post.
 

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I think the problem for most people is that most gun stores don't know how to fit the gun to the person. And even most instructors don't spend the time trying to determine the right gun for their students.
 

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I think the problem for most people is that most gun stores don't know how to fit the gun to the person. And even most instructors don't spend the time trying to determine the right gun for their students.
AMEN. That is why I did this thread.
 

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Great lessons, ShooterGranny. Thanks for putting them up. As someone else mentioned, this one should be a sticky.
 
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Like wise its good to see ShooterGranny put this problem to print . I don't have larger handguns and have manages to stay with single stacks for years but could enjoy m&p with small insert and now my p320 with small compact grip .
 

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Good advice, Granny. I'd extend it: if one is going to use ANY tool through thousands of repetitions, make sure it fits the hand. Ergonomics are important in preventing various types of repetitive motion injury, though yours are certainly more severe than most.
 
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