Thumb placement


April 18, 2011, 06:15 AM
I need your help revolver shooters. I started shooting revolvers double action @ 25 yd targets. I've been getting a blister/sore spot at the base of my thumb, by the web of my hand. I've tried both wood and rubber grips, thin and thick. Any advice?

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April 18, 2011, 07:08 AM
Shooting any unfamiliar gun extensively is likely to produce some discomfort/wear on the hands, just like picking up any other tool you aren't used to and then putting in a hard day's work with it.

Let your hand heal up, then go back to your shooting. You'll find that after a week or so your hand will callous enough to give you no more discomfort.

April 18, 2011, 07:43 AM
Blisters are caused by the gun squirming in your hand because you are not controlling recoil. That is correctable.

What are you shooting and how many rounds per session? Heavy magnum .357/44 loads or standard pressure .38 special loads? Lightweight gun or something with some heft?

Does the gun actually fit your hand? Do you know how to check?

How you grip the the gun is a significant factor and grip material also matters.

Give more details and I will offer some suggestions.

April 18, 2011, 10:03 AM
You may want to look into a nice pair of shooting gloves or as the others have mentioned keep trying different grips. If the gun is new to you it may just be as simple as letting those blisters toughen up your hand in those spots. In my experience blisters usually take a few times to toughen the skin,if it happens every time something is mechanically wrong and gloves may be your best friend.

April 18, 2011, 01:11 PM
Paladin 38-40
My revolver grip is similar to the one Jerry M uses in his videos, sport thumb wraps over shooting thumb. I got better results pulling the trigger with the first joint of my finger rather than the pad. My sore spot seams to be where the outside corner of the grip meets my hand. I was shooting about 100 rounds of .45 acp / 200 gr. per session out of a Sw 625 JM. I have short fingers. When I shoot my friend's Sw 15 I still get sore but not as bad. I recently traded my Sw 625 for a Sw 67, partly because I needed to have something my wife could shoot.

Harley Quinn
April 18, 2011, 01:18 PM
Many have grips custom made to fit hand, helped :)

April 18, 2011, 01:45 PM
Being short fingered, I had the same problem when I put a Monogrip on my Redhawk. I put the small factory panels back on and solved the problem. I do wear a glove for extended shooting sessions during the summer (I sweat like a pig, which makes the problem even worse) to eliminate any blistering brought on by grip slippage.

April 18, 2011, 01:50 PM
Rather than letting the gun rotate in your hand, secure it. I let my arms rise rathere than the gun. I'm a very small man, only about 125 lbs., and I shoot heavy magnum revolver's regularily by using this method. Some of the larger caliber magnums, 41 mag., 44 mag., 454 and the 500 S&W are enjoyable for me to shoot by allowing my arms to rise, rather than the firearm. this may not be the ticket for you though, everyone needs to develope a solution that fits their hand and tollerance to high recoiling handguns.
Good luck.

April 18, 2011, 01:53 PM
Don't be afraid to experiment with your grip and thumb placement. Just because JM does it, doesn't mean it's the only way and/or best for you.

With your strong thumb curled down, you may be bunching or pinching skin together where it meets the grip, and locking it down with the weak thumb may be exacerbating things. Try getting your strong thumb out from under the weak. Or try a thumbs-forward grip.

Blisters aside, I believe getting thumb(s) off also helps accuracy, or more correctly, helps eliminate a source of inaccuracy. Remember that every point of contact is affecting the gun, and must therefore be applied consistently for best accuracy. Your thumbs really aren't helping you to grip the gun, yet it's 2 additional points of contact. Not only are they pushing from the same side, there's a tendency to push even harder when you're under some stress and/or shooting fast. Watch some bullseye or 10m air pistol shooters, and you'll often see their thumb (and often their pinkie) off the gun. Heck, they even eschew the other hand to get rid of that input. ;)

April 18, 2011, 02:08 PM
Sounds like part of the problem is the S&W 625 is too large to fit your hand. lets start there. Place the grip of the gun in the web of your hand between the thumb and index finger, high on the back strap. Align the barrel with your forearm. From this position you need to be able to reach the outside of the trigger with the crease of the first joint of your index finger - sometimes called the "power crease". If you can not reach the power crease from this position the gun does not fit. You are forced to rotate your hand so the back strap is behind the thumb knuckle in order to reach the trigger. The thumb knuckle will not absorb much recoil without getting sore.

If you are using wraparound grips, try a pair that are flush with the frame and see if that allows you to reach the trigger correctly. If this still won't work, you will have no choice but to rotate your hand until you can reach the trigger.

Grip material can not be slick. I sanded the pretty shiny finish off my wood grips. Rubber works quite well in this regard.

When you shoot, grip the gun very firmly with the shooting hand and curl the thumb down. Place the support hand in front of the shooting hand, knuckles over knuckles with the index finger firmly against the trigger guard. The support thumb curls down over the shooting thumb, thumbnail over thumbnail. While maintaining a firm grip with the shooting hand, lock the gun in with isometric tension by pushing forward with the shooting hand and pulling back with the support hand, firmly. You can do that with either a Weaver or isosceles stance. Now press the trigger until the gun fires.

Follow through. Don't relax the grip the instant the the gun fires. If you do the gun will squirm and pull away from the support hand forcing you to re-grip after every shot. Maintain the grip pressure and isometric tension through the recoil. This will greatly reduce muzzle rise and pull the gun back on target near the point of aim in an eye blink.

Start slow. Begin with some dry fire. Use the .38 until you get the hang of it. You may or may not be able to do well with an N-frame size gun. If not, don't sweat it. Everyone need a gun that fits their hand in a caliber they can control. What someone else can do, or claim to do, is irrelevant.

Let me know how it works out for you.

April 18, 2011, 03:00 PM
Thank guys. Transitioning from 1911 to revolver. I started with a 1911 and struggled until I changed to a short trigger and thin grips to shoot well.

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