Sore Knuckle After Draw-and-Shoot Shooting


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ChickenHawk
June 24, 2006, 11:55 AM
OK, I can shoot all day long without any damage to my hands, BUT when I practice draw-and-shoot I often wear a nasty sore spot into my strong-hand nuckle on my thumb after 50 draws or so (the big joint at the base of my thumb).

Obviously this is happening because when I draw the gun from the holster I am not getting an entirely proper grip. It's a bit off due to being drawn from a holster so close to my body. If I think about it I can correct the grip before shooting, but this seems like time wasted which I wouldn't want to do in a SHTF situation.

Strangely, my accuracy is not terribly affected by the difference between my draw-and-shoot grip vs. my better grip when I am holding the gun.

So, am I alone in having this problem? Do you folks manage to draw your guns with a good and proper grip? Anyone have any hints about what they might be doing to accomplish this?

I carry OWB on my right hip. Here's a pic. Thanks for any advice.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=41478&d=1151164453

ChickenHawk

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pax
June 24, 2006, 12:00 PM
Obviously this is happening because when I draw the gun from the holster I am not getting an entirely proper grip. It's a bit off due to being drawn from a holster so close to my body. If I think about it I can correct the grip before shooting, but this seems like time wasted which I wouldn't want to do in a SHTF situation.
No, you really don't want to have to think carefully about attaining a proper grip under extreme stress.

Which is exactly why you do think about it at the range.

Every time you draw the gun with the wrong grip, you're reinforcing the bad habit of drawing your gun with the wrong grip.

My free advice (worth every penny you pay for it!) is that you slow down and work on making each and every drawstroke smooth and perfect for awhile. Think about exactly how your hand is supposed to contact the gun, how to bring it up smoothly in front of your aiming eye, and how to execute the perfect trigger squeeze.

The more repetitions of really beautifully perfect draws you do, the less you'll have to think about it if you ever need to draw "for keeps." Every draw will reinforce the good habit of drawing the gun with the correct grip in a smooth motion.

Then when you speed it up again, you'll habitually get it right, every time.

pax

Practice doesn't make perfect. Practice makes permanent. -- my dad

My website: www.corneredcat.com

Werewolf
June 24, 2006, 03:45 PM
NOTE: Ought to be obvious and should require no statement but before doing the below properly clear your weapon and check it twice.

Practice your draw in front of a mirror. Watch yourself and what you do. Start out drawing slowly. Make sure you draw and end up with the proper grip. Practice about 10 minutes a day doing this. Speed up as you begin to learn the process. Before you know it you'll be drawing faster than you might believe possible.

Once you feel comfortable drawing against yourself then and only then do it at the range. Start with an empty and cleared weapon. Start out slow making sure of the process. Do this dry fire for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then do it with a loaded weapon in your preferred condition (for me that is cocked and locked with a 1911 or just one in the pipe with my DA first shot guns like my Sig or CZ's). I started out with just one in the pipe and one in the magazine. Start out drawing slowly. For me I practiced with a loaded weapon and slow draw for about half an hour. Then I speeded up. After about 200 rounds or so I had overcome my nervousness and was drawing almost as fast as I was against the mirror.

Now I can draw and get off two rounds within 1.75 seconds on average (my wife times me). That's not real fast but it's fast enough. I shoot against a B-27 target at 15 yards. I can actually draw and get off two rounds in about 1.25 seconds but when I go that fast I only hit the target about 1 in 4 times. Slowing down gets at least 1 hit in the B-27 about 90% of the time.

I'm currently working on drawing from concealment. And that is really, really different. In the summer I almost always wear a Hawaiian shirt. So that's what I practice with. Same goes for the winter - I practice with a jacket. Drawing from concealment is way, way slower for me. Slow enough that even after a year I still haven't done it with a loaded weapon. Maybe taking 3 to 4 seconds from concealment is the norm - I don't know but I'm aiming for 2.5 seconds.

I've often wondered if that level of skill is good enough to CCW but I don't wonder long. The adage that says it's better to have it and not need it than not have it and need it holds true here I believe.

Practice, Practice, Practice.

KINGMAX
June 24, 2006, 03:59 PM
Slow even moves, smooth is quicker, faster, better. All a matter of control. The speed will come as your confidence builds. :scrutiny:

ChickenHawk
June 24, 2006, 04:43 PM
Thanks for the replies.

I just noticed I spelled KNUCKLE wrong, but so far the spelling and grammar police have left me alone :p

Actually, I am both fast and accurate even as is, but I know my grip is not proper and it causes the skin to be worn off of my knuckle. The gun is angled just a bit toward my knuckle when drawn this way, and it causes the backstrap to rub when I fire. .45 ACP rubs pretty hard!

Anyway, you all have told me that I should work to correct this and it is NOT normal. That is the info I was really after, and I will do so.

I'm going to start practicing today in front of a mirror with an empty mag, and tomorrow my wife and I are going to the range. I'll practice more slowly and find a good way to draw with a properly positioned grip.

Best regards,
ChickenHawk

Old Fuff
June 24, 2006, 05:15 PM
C. Hawk.

You didn't mention what make and model of .45, but I am going to presume it's something built on a 1911 platform, and that you rest your thumb on the top of the safety lock (manual safety).

For some people, including me, it is impossible to get a correct grip if I hold my thumb on top of the safety lock. One solution is to get a safety designed at Gunsite - Jeff Cooper's old operation. It mounts the thumbpiece (sometimes called a "pad") lower so that the thumb is positioned lower. I believe that Brownells (www.brownells.com) carries them.

Edited to add: Pick up the pistol and take a "target" or regular grip on it. Then move your thumb to the top of the safety's thumbpiece and see if a space between the base of your thumb and the backstrap doesn't open up.

the naked prophet
June 24, 2006, 08:07 PM
Your holster has too much cant for how forward it's being worn. That much cant works better for a holster at 4:00 or 5:00. Try either wearing the holster farther back, or wearing a holster with less cant (more vertical). The greater cant at the forward position puts your wrist at an odd angle, and makes it difficult to get a good firing grip.

I couldn't find a holster I liked, so I started making my own. Each person will be different, and I've made holsters for several people. It depends on the size and angle of your hips, the length of your arms, how high you wear your pants, how high you wear your holster, etc. See if you can find a custom holster maker nearby. I'll bet that solves your problem.

ChickenHawk
June 24, 2006, 10:50 PM
Howdy O.F.

My regular carry gun (the one in this picture) is a Glock 36 .45 ACP. It's a bit hard to tell from the pic, I agree.

No external safety on my Glocks!

N.P. I have a few holsters with less cant and find them less comfortable for drawing. This one (it's a Fist #8) holds the gun closer to my body than any of the others, which I think is the main problem. It's also the reason I prefer this holster since it conceals very well.

You can't tell from a pic of me just standing there, but I am disabled and have pretty bad hand dexterity. I wouldn't be able to draw a gun from behind my hip (like 4:00 or 5:00).

I've been practicing most of the evening drawing the gun and paying better attention to coming out of the holster with a proper grip. I think I'm actually getting somewhere with this, but I'll find out for sure tomorrow at the range.

Thanks all. I'll report back after my range trip.

Regards,
ChickenHawk

ChickenHawk
June 25, 2006, 08:43 PM
Well, I don't know why it took a thread like this to make me re-evaluate my grip while drawing from holster.

But, I shot 250 rounds at the range today. Draw-shoot 2. I paid special attention to be sure the gun came out of the holster with a proper grip. It really wasn't that diffictult. I didn't get any rub at all on my knuckle.

My speed has decreased dramatically, but I'm sure that will return with practice. I did find myself going back to the old way if I tried to rush it. I think I'm not getting my hand all the way in the gun and am just grabbing with my fingers when I do that.

I'll keep working on it. Thanks for the good advice.

I did have one guy come up and say, "Hey, great shooting" and that pretty much made my day. :)

Cheers,
ChickenHawk

horge
June 25, 2006, 09:15 PM
Well okay, I'll do it, then. Formally.

You spelled 'knuckle' wrong!
:neener:


What pax relayed is EXACTLY what an older shooter advised me.
Glad that practice is starting to pay off for you, Ken.
:)



horge

ChickenHawk
June 25, 2006, 10:49 PM
Hey there Horge! I knew it'd be either you or Chris who did that. :)

Hmmm, if I read your answer just right I'd swear you're calling Pax an "older shooter"! :rolleyes:

You'd better be careful, I wouldn't want to be on her bad side. :p

Regards,
Ken (aka ChickenHawk )

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