revolver handhold


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boltbender
February 3, 2011, 09:50 PM
When i took my first firearm safety course, admittedly not long ago, my instructor said; "since you're shooting a revolver you can place your support thumb over the strong hand because the slide is not an issue. My next gun was a glock 17 so i went with the more conventional two thumbs together grip. Recently, since i only shoot revolvers now i have found that i can control a much stronger load with this arrangement. I use the Ayoob "max grip" method and am shooting really well.

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Starter52
February 3, 2011, 10:45 PM
No matter how hard I try I cannot shoot with my thumbs together. I learned to shoot handguns in the 1970's and in those days the two-thumbs-together hold was not used.... at least I never saw it. I still shoot with my support thumb well below and behind my strong hand. This works for me with autoloaders and DA revolvers but not so well with SA revolvers.

BCRider
February 4, 2011, 03:00 AM
Boltbender, just don't let that support hand thumb slide forward too far or it'll get singed really badly. The cylinder gap side blast from a .357Mag cuts like a surgeon's scalpel. I prefer both thumbs along the support hand side as well. But when shooting revolver I make sure my support hand thumb is curled down to keep it well away from the front of that cylinder.

David E
February 4, 2011, 03:16 AM
my instructor said; "since you're shooting a revolver you can place your support thumb over the strong hand because the slide is not an issue."

He wasn't much of a shooter, was he!

since i only shoot revolvers now i have found that i can control a much stronger load with this arrangement. I use the Ayoob "max grip" method and am shooting really well.

Ayoob teaches "thumbprint over thumbnail." If you shoot really well this way, don't change.

Brass Rain
February 4, 2011, 05:32 AM
I'm a lefty, and found the little recess on the cylinder shield (is that a term? It's opposite the latch) of a Ruger GP-100 to be the perfect place to brace my right thumb for a really secure grip.

MrBorland
February 4, 2011, 07:03 AM
IMO, thumbs do relatively little to effectively grip the gun, yet they can easily push on it as you shoot, which can really hurt accuracy. And as your speed goes up, the tendency is to tense up and push harder. Thumbs, then, are additional (and unnecessary) points of contact that just have to be kept consistent between shots.

All said, though, experiment to see what works best for you.

Sam1911
February 4, 2011, 07:40 AM
In Jerry Miculek's videos (which I can't seem to find online anymore) he showed both ways, but said he only used the weak hand thumb-over grip on J-frames.

I prefer thumbs forward, myself, as it translates well to whatever platform I'm shooting.

340PD
February 4, 2011, 10:19 AM
This should help.

http://www.shootingusa.com/PRO_TIPS/MICULEK2/miculek2.html

Sam1911
February 4, 2011, 10:23 AM
This should help.


Yes! Stills and text from the old videos, but pretty good, nonetheless.

BCRider
February 4, 2011, 03:11 PM
The 5th photo shows how I like to do it with that support hand thum turned in so it doesn't tend to hang forward into the "danger zone".

It sure was nice when those vid segments were on the web. If anyone knows which DVD they were from it would be well worth buying that one for the tips it had in it. Superb stuff it was.

MrBorland
February 4, 2011, 03:50 PM
It sure was nice when those vid segments were on the web.

They still are:
http://www.myoutdoortv.com/search/node/miculek


The 5th photo shows how I like to do it with that support hand thum turned in so it doesn't tend to hang forward into the "danger zone".

I've seen the pics of a thumb that got too close to the gap blast from some übermagnumboomer, but at least for non-magnums, the danger from a thumbs-forward grip is exaggerated, IMO. I shoot my 686 and 625 .45acp thumbs-forward (and off the gun) with nary a problem. Check out the IDPA & ICORE National Champion. He really sticks his thumb forward, and he's still got his thumb intact. Note how the blast from the gap mainly goes "out", rather than "down".

http://gunnuts.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/buckland-thumbs-forward-actionshootingpodcast.jpg

boltbender
February 4, 2011, 10:15 PM
Thank you 340pd this exactly what i am refering to. i am not looking for advise, since I've just shot a half dollar 5 shot pattern at 15 yrds with my 642. I'm wondering if anyone else is shooting this way.

asm19
February 5, 2011, 12:16 AM
I've never been a fan of the "thumbs forward" grip, although it seems to be the only thing taught today. I place my support thumb over my firing hand thumb and this works for all platforms. I think consistency is key here and this grip keeps my digits well clear of any moving slides, revolving cylinders, slide stop levers, and my own trigger finger no matter what handgun I am holding. This grip also allows me to maintain firm control of the gun through one-handed and two-handed shooting without breaking my grip - even for a split second - to add the support hand as is required in the "thumbs forward" grip. The support hand should compliment your shooting hand, not change your grip altogether. But I'm not an "expert" so what do I know?

CraigC
February 5, 2011, 11:05 AM
I agree with asm19 and shoot like Jerry has pictured on the 5th one down. With my weak thumb wrapped over the strongside thumb on my DA's.

However, since getting the suggestion from a veteran single action shooter, I've been using my weak thumb to brace against the side of the recoil shield and find this to be very helpful in steadying my hold. Which also puts it in good position for fast weak thumb cocking. Unlike some of the "modern" holds, it is compatible with sixguns of any recoil level, from .22LR right up to .475Linebaugh.

ExMachina
February 5, 2011, 12:08 PM
However, since getting the suggestion from a veteran single action shooter, I've been using my weak thumb to brace against the side of the recoil shield and find this to be very helpful in steadying my hold.

that sounds very interesting! i'm going to try that next time out.

Sam1911
February 5, 2011, 12:08 PM
I think consistency is key here and this grip keeps my digits well clear of any moving slides, revolving cylinders, slide stop levers, and my own trigger finger no matter what handgun I am holding.
You can wrap your support thumb over your strong hand when shooting an auto pistol?

How do you keep from getting your thumb cut by the slide? Is your firing grip especially low on the gun?

ExMachina
February 5, 2011, 12:13 PM
They still are:
http://www.myoutdoortv.com/search/node/miculek




I've seen the pics of a thumb that got too close to the gap blast from some übermagnumboomer, but at least for non-magnums, the danger from a thumbs-forward grip is exaggerated, IMO. I shoot my 686 and 625 .45acp thumbs-forward (and off the gun) with nary a problem. Check out the IDPA & ICORE National Champion. He really sticks his thumb forward, and he's still got his thumb intact. Note how the blast from the gap mainly goes "out", rather than "down".

http://gunnuts.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/buckland-thumbs-forward-actionshootingpodcast.jpg

i wonder how many times i've done this w/o even knowing it?! nice to know that it's not the thumb-severing lightsaber that you hear stories about.

still, it seems like a questionable habit to develop if you even occasionally shoot magnums or random other wheelguns with loose barrel-cylinder gaps.

thanks for the link.

Sam1911
February 5, 2011, 12:25 PM
i wonder how many times i've done this w/o even knowing it?It isn't generally enough of a problem to worry about. (If it was, it would have happened to more than a handful of people posting on the 'net. -- as in, every wheelgunner would have some familiarity with this.)

The real shocking pictures that were posted a few years back came from someone shooting a .460 Mag XVR -- who somehow managed to get his thumb SO far forward as to lie against the front of that mile-long cylinder.

I've had .44 Mags cut up a bench bag when rested against the front of the cylinder. There IS a lot of pressure escaping there.

But (it seems) 99.99% of revolver shooters don't have long enough thumbs, or a distorted enough grip, to endanger themselves this way.

Kind of like how most folks don't have toes so long they routinely get whacked by the lawn mower. The danger area clearly exists, but routine, recommended procedure doesn't bring your body into contact with it. :)

The fellow in the picture above has probably put a few hundred thousand rounds downrange with that grip, and still has all the skin left on his thumb.

CraigC
February 5, 2011, 12:51 PM
I really don't think there's much danger in the way he's gripping his S&W, at least with standard .44Spl's to moderate .44Mag's. In doing my best to duplicate his hold, the end of my thumb is near the end of the cylinder and there is no scorching. However, I find it to be extremely uncomfortable, even with mild .44Spl's as it accentuates recoil and pounds my palm. Just places too much of the palm up into the hump to grip that high. But then again, I'm not shooting competition and am just as likely to walk out back to shoot .22LR as I am to shoot heavy .44Mag loads, though not in the same quantity. So I try to grip them all the same.

Any idea what kind of loads the gent pictured above would be shooting?


who somehow managed to get his thumb SO far forward as to lie against the front of that mile-long cylinder.
It's difficult enough to get your thumb that far forward on a standard revolver, much less one with such a long cylinder. The shooter 'must' have been trying something along the lines of the taco hold some shooters use with T/C's, probably to support a revolver that weighs as much as a carbine. Far as I can remember, he never owned up to doing anything wrong. Though it's obvious that he was.


that sounds very interesting! i'm going to try that next time out.
Please note that the weak thumb is placed in such a way that it simply slides off to the side during recoil. If you press it against the recoil shield in such a way that it does not glance off, it can surely break the thumb.

Sam1911
February 5, 2011, 01:09 PM
However, I find it to be extremely uncomfortable, even with mild .44Spl's as it accentuates recoil and pounds my palm.That's really interesting. I'd love to be able to shoot with you and watch exactly what you're doing. I always strive for the highest grip I can get, and always with thumbs forward, just like what he's doing. And that works for me with .22s, and with 300 gr. .44 Mags, as well.

If you watch through Mr. Jerry's videos, HERE (http://www.myoutdoortv.com/shooting/shooting-usa/jerry-miculek-revolver-grip), he explains this very clearly. Revolver bore should be as close as possible to the centerline of the arm bones. That means down into the grip as low as possible. Better control, faster follow up.

He also goes into what to do with your thumbs to achieve the most control.

And, when and why he uses a thumb-over grip -- with J-frames.

He also demonstrates how to adjust your grip to handle big guns -- like the .500 -- with a lot more recoil. Then he does keep the gun higher to let it roll more. That makes his wrists take more torque, but he finds it more comfortable than having his arms absorb it all. He STILL has his thumbs wrapped on the support side -- not thumb-over.

I've often said, if there's something about shooting a wheelgun that Jerry M. doesn't teach -- you don't need to know it.

Any idea what kind of loads the gent pictured above would be shooting?Probably a pretty mild load, but it's .38 Spc... so they're ALL pretty mild loads. :)

Please note that the weak thumb is placed in such a way that it simply slides off to the side during recoil. If you press it against the recoil shield in such a way that it does not glance off, it can surely break the thumb. That was my first thought... OUCH.

Sam1911
February 5, 2011, 01:15 PM
Honestly, I've never heard of anyone getting anything "pounded" by a .44 Special, by the way.

There must be something going wrong there, for sure. Sure wish I could see your technique.

Take a look at another expert shooter demonstrating proper stance, grip, and form:

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc184/sam1911/Teaching-1.jpg

Thumbs forward, weight forward, arms extended (just a little bit of bend at the elbows), isosceles stance -- all contribute to letting her handle those 200 gr., 850 fps. .44 Specials. 'Course, she was only 7, so what does she know? ;)

MrBorland
February 5, 2011, 02:41 PM
Any idea what kind of loads the gent pictured above would be shooting?


Probably a pretty mild load, but it's .38 Spc... so they're ALL pretty mild loads. :)

I can tell you exactly what they were - when I asked last year, he peeled the sticker right off his ammo box and handed it over: 158gr plated RN @ 840fps from his 4" gun. Comes out to a power factor of 132.7k - above the 125k floor required (until about 2 weeks ago) for SSR. It's more like .38 spl +P levels. And with plated bullets, the pressure's gonna be even a bit higher yet.

ok - gotta get back to my dry fire practice - Sam's student looks to be some stiff competition this year! :D

CraigC
February 5, 2011, 02:49 PM
The grip of the guy pictured above is significantly higher than Jerry's. This is what I find uncomfortable. It may be fine with mild .38's but with anything heavier, it doesn't work for me. Like I said, it puts the hump directly into my palm just below the web of my hand, something spared with Jerry's pictured grip. Like I said, my grip is very close to Jerry's, pictured #5 down and this is comfortable. Not like ICORE champ above, which is not comfortable. Which is also what I mean by wrapping my thumb over the right, not like he's doing with the J-frame. The only thing "wrong" is using ICORE guy's grip. I've been shooting .44Mag's since age 16 and shoot more of that cartridge than any other centerfire.

But like I said, I'm not shooting competition with mousephart loads. I'm not concerned with hitting steel plates as fast as I can. I'm concerned with hitting yonder rock at 100yds with heavily loaded big bores. Where that isosceles stance, high grip and forward thumbs will hurt. Different purposes, different power levels, different grips and stances. No right or wrong, just different.

Sam1911
February 5, 2011, 06:41 PM
Sam's student looks to be some stiff competition this year! Awww, I haven't checked the ICORE rulebook, but as of next month, she'll still have three years to go before she can hit the Junior ranks in IDPA. You're safe! :)

Like I said, my grip is very close to Jerry's, pictured #5 down and this is comfortable. Ahhh, I see the difference, now. No, I don't think having your grip up high enough to wrap OVER the hump would be very comfortable. And if you weren't running a bobbed hammer, I'd think you'd end up getting "bit," too.

Sorry for the confusion.

Jaymo
February 5, 2011, 07:19 PM
Shooting any conventional load from a Charter Bulldog with the wood Bulldog grips is uncomfortable and gives your hand a good pounding. Didn't take me long to get some Pachmayrs.
Then again, the Bulldog only weighs about 20 ounces. About the same as a .38 snub.
Now a K frame 44 sp is sweet. I had a Taurus 431(wish I still did) with the 3" barrel and it was loads of fun to shoot.

boltbender
February 6, 2011, 10:01 AM
I should have added that I shoot j fames [642, 60) I settled on this grip on my own. But , it was good to see someone of Jerry's caliber advocating it as well. Thanks for the link Sam1911.

boltbender
February 6, 2011, 10:02 AM
Sorry I meant to add an attachment

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