It is a constant observation at local ranges. As I walk to my lane at my local indoor
range, it seems like every person I see with a pistol raised to fire has a
fundamental flaw in their grip and approach to shooting their pistol. It’s not much different than a day spent on a
golf driving range watching people struggle through a bucket of balls. Shooting a pistol isn’t much different. There is a hand full of fundamentals required
so that the shooter can see the right things, manage the recoil and get back on
target quickly. The inadequacy of these
observed pistol grips is only exaggerated when shooting larger calibers like
.40 S&W or .45ACP
Let’s begin with your strong hand. Fundamentally, when managing recoil we have a
geometry problems to solve.
We want our hand to be as close to the point of force as possible, in
the case of a pistol this for is coming straight back in line with the barrel
and slide. The we want to be able to
apply an equal force in our hand as close to the recoil force as possible. This
translates to a high grip. To be specific, a very high grip, as high as
you can squeeze your hand against the beaver tail as possible. Your bottom 3
fingers, then need to wrap
around the pistol grip stacked as high as they can and your ring finger
pressing firmly against the trigger guard.
Your thumb on your strong hand needs to remain high on the frame and
resting/riding the safety if you have one such
as 1911/2011 and pointed inline
with the bore of the pistol. The overall
grip strength is firm, like a determined handshake. The Trigger finger when ready to fire is free
to move and is placed
comfortably on the face of the trigger ideally the pad of
your trigger finger is perpendicular to the bore of the gun.
Next we will discuss support hand placement. This is the one area that is most often done
incorrectly. Most shooters
do not take
advantage of this hand and do not place it correctly on the gun or apply the
right pressures. The thumb of your
support hand should be placed above the trigger on the frame pointed in line
with the bore of the pistol. The remainder
hand, then fits along the left side frame and grip like 2 puzzle pieces
coming together where there is contact from the thumb all the way down the
ridge of the palm on the frame and grip.
fingers, then wrap around the grip and the 3 fingers on your strong
hand and again a steady strong grip is applied.
Mastering this fundamental is the first step on a journey of