October 13, 2022
Have you ever noticed that when someone shoots a pistol well, the muzzle doesn't flip the way it does when most people shoot. Instead, the reciprocating slide seems to be the only indication that the pistol is recoiling. That's what it looks like when someone is employing a proper shooting grip, which is simple but not easy.
Properly gripping a pistol is what enables a person to shoot with speed and accuracy, two factors likely to determine the victor in armed combat. Speed results from reducing muzzle flip and accuracy is a by-product of a proper grip because your sights will recover in the same place, making it easier to aim. With a proper grip, you can deliver accurate hits almost as quickly as you can work the trigger. Of course, the size of your target and the degree of precision required will dictate your rate of fire.
I was shooting a pistol for years with a less than optimal grip. Since I was a decent shooter, I didn't give much thought to grip. It wasn't until I trained with instructors like Dave Spaulding, Kelly McCann, and Frank Proctor that I began to understand just how much I didn't know about grip. Here's what I've learned about gripping a pistol.
The best way to ensure a proper grip is to start with a gun that fits your hand. The grip should be long enough to accommodate all your fingers. If there's no room for your pinky, you'll have a hard time controlling recoil. You'll also want a gun with a grip that you can easily get your hand around. If the grip is too thick, you won't be able to orient it properly in your hand or squeeze as tightly as you should. Finally, you need to be able to reach the trigger comfortably without having to rotate the gun in your hand.
An undercut trigger guard facilitates a higher grip that's conducive controlling recoil. Grip texture is another consideration. I prefer an aggressive texture that helps lock the pistol into my hands, even when sweaty. A solid purchase on the grip of your pistol is critical and as you can see, that's partly dependent on choosing the right pistol. But having an appropriately sized and properly configured pistol is only the beginning.
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