Revolver Gripping Question


January 10, 2003, 02:02 AM
In the February 2003 issue in the article titled "It's Within Your Grasp" (page 38) the merits of a gripping a revolver as high on the frame as possible. Also in the review of the S&W627 .38 Super Jerry Miculek talks about the benefits of the high grip.

In the picture on page 38, a shooter is gripping a scandium j-frame .357 of some sort with a non-boot style wooden grip. In the picture, it looks like the shooter's thumb knuckle would be torn to hell by the cylinder release when he fires.

I've monkeyed around with grip positions with my 638 and when I grip as high as the article suggests two things happen. One, my thumb gets pulverized and two, in order to squeeze the trigger DA I pull the shot off low because my hand has to contort in order to complete the trigger pull.

How high do you folks grip your revolvers and at the same time how do your prevent your thumbs from being chopped into fajitas?

I am posting a picture of my grip style and my imitation of the Guns & Ammo grip style for your comments. If you have access to February’s Guns & Ammo, check out the picture on page 38 and see what you think about that grip. It may be an optical illusion due to the difference in grips (non-boot grip) and revolver frame type (hammerless vs. perfect bodyguard design:D).

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January 10, 2003, 07:46 AM
On most revolvers, especially my Smith 640, I take a low grip. This places the gun so that my index finger easily reaches the trigger and is parallel with the bore axis. I find this to be the most comfortable position and allows the gun to roll up just a little during recoil. If I take a high grip, my index finger is in a less comfortable position, my thumb gets whacked by the cylinder release, and the hump in the frame nails the web of my hand.

January 10, 2003, 08:05 AM
With my S&W mod. 60 I grip so that the web of my strong hand is just below the hump in the frame that houses the hammer. My index finger is almost parallell to the bore axis. My off hand is positioned is so that it cups the strong hand with the off side thumb pushing against the strong hand thumb. This keeps the cylinder latch from biting into my strong hand thumb and keeps muzzle flip to a minimum.

The grips on the gun are old style Pachmyer (non gripper) round butt J frame with an indent in the front portion of the grip made to be gripped with the strong hand pinky finger.

This grip works really well for me, however I have small hands so it may not work for you


January 10, 2003, 01:54 PM
My grip is so high I usually have to bob the hammer spur to keep it from bottoming out on the web of my hand.

Gripping lower is a little more "comfortable", but sacrifices recoil control. Yes, the trigger finger has to contort some, but it's not painful (at least to me) and easily learnable.

January 10, 2003, 04:56 PM
i also grip as high as i can get on the backstrap. this is really high as i have a 642...i'm looking for some grips that will reach all the way to the top of the backstrap. with a gun as small and light as a alloy J-frame, overcoming muzzle flip is the major part of gun control.

if your cylinder release is eating your thumb, bevel down the edges and round off the points

Guy B. Meredith
January 10, 2003, 06:56 PM
I was going to make reply that I've never had a problem with the cylinder release, but your picture reminds me that I've never shot a J-frame.

I go for the high grip on the K, L and N-frames, though. Definitely puts you in control.

January 10, 2003, 07:54 PM
Very high grip for me, but it just seems natural with most revolvers.

Miculek I also belive advocates gripping the revolver with the middle of the backstrap resting in your palm. I'm playing with this grip now and having some decent results, just doesn't feel natural yet.

Now I'd sooner argue physics with Stephan Hawking than argue revolver technique with Jerry but..I think some of the things the prodigies use may not help average Joe Blows (myself included) and may actually hurt by taking us away from the basics.

Most of us will spend our shooting careers never truly mastering trigger control and stance while to Jerry those are likely auto reflex by now. If changing something major affects those things, doubt most of us will ever notice the miniscule improvement it may offer in other areas in our lifetimes.

January 10, 2003, 08:46 PM
I have a model 38 which is the same frame style as yours.

The natural grip that I get with the uncle mikes boot grips puts my hand in the same position as your normal grip. This is a little punishing to the web of my hand as the gun rocks back when fired.

I have decided to get a set of j frame grips that lets my pinky rest against a third notch that is slightly back from the line of the first two notches in the grips. I have seen several wood grips set up this way. They don't seem much larger and don't look like they would interfere with concealability.

With small automatics I like to get the pearce grip extension for that exact reason. For me it brings the gun under good control.

With my j frame I hope to get an improvement in control too but I am more interested in saving the web of my hand.

But before I buy those new grips I'm going to give your high grip picture a try. Maybe there is enough added control that getting bit by the cylinder release is a non issue.

Standing Wolf
January 10, 2003, 09:27 PM
I grip revolvers as high as possible, but keep my thumb up instead of curling it down. One of the things I like about Hogue stocks is that they include a slender shelf on the upper left side for my thumb.

My little (used) Smith & Wesson model 60 bangs the @#$%^&! out of the second knuckle of my trigger finger if I don't keep a very tight grip, but doesn't bother my thumb.

One of the few things I've always liked about the model 1911 is that the thumb rest doubles as a safety.

Guy B. Meredith
January 11, 2003, 01:43 PM
I'll have to agree with Blueduck. Jerry has some great insights, but not a one-size-fits-all solution.

Miculek likes to use a smooth wood grip and cornstarch on his hands to allow easy movement. I've tried his wood grip (came with the 627) and found it very punishing. The cornstarch would probably add to the punishment as my hands just slipped up without it to the point that my second finger was getting beat.

Still, the high grip on a Hogue rubber monogrip does it for me. I need something to fill my hands as they are not as beefy as Jerry's.

January 11, 2003, 03:20 PM
I shoot 44 magnum, roundback N frame with full-house loads. I use "your" grip style and enjoy shooting the Classic DX. I have tried the high hold grip which only manages to cut the web space between thumb and 2nd digit.
I also do better with "thick wooden grips" as opposed to the thin rubber Hogue or Pachmayer style. I am always w8illing to try a new grip if you have any suggestions.
44 Caliber

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