January 5, 2013, 06:43 PM
I've read varying opinions on what a grip should be and I've found what works for me and am still learning. Curious what other trains of thoughts are.

I'm a big air-gunner and in spring piston land (springers) most anyone who's a good shot uses what's known as the artillery hold. Basically you let the recoil of the gun do what it wants to do each and every shot. Since the gun is a machine, that recoil should react exactly the same every time which means consistency. The bounce of the spring piston air rifle is pretty substantial and throws the pattern all over the place if you hold on tight. It's impossible to have a tight grip or control this bounce exactly the same every time. With an airgun the recoil effect on accuracy is exaggerated because of the slow speed (700-1200 fps) at which the pellet leaves the barrel and that gives it time for the shooters reaction to the recoil to knock the gun off target before the pellet leaves the muzzle.

So after shooting several thousand pellets (still love shooting that gun. Good cheap practice) this is how I shoot ALL rifles (big/small firearms, airguns, or otherwise). It works well and I get my best groups with this hold.

I tried this with pistols today and it worked great as well. I found that if I do the tightest most controlling grip I can manage, my groups are terrible. But if I let the gun do it's thing, I get much better groups. I went from shooting 8" groups at 10 yards to about a 1"-2" group and actually tore the center out of the target.

But that said, is this a correct way to shoot a pistol? It seems to work for me but I'm curious what other people think.

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January 5, 2013, 07:59 PM
Part of understanding grip is understanding why you grip a certain way.

In an airgun, you could actually grip as hard as you like, if you could do it the same way each time. The key is consistency. If you can't grip hard the same way each time, you go the other way and not grip at all...just support the gun and let it fly.

You can also do this with a handgun if you are shooting just let the muzzle flip and return. Wanting to shoot faster changes the game a bit.

As you've discovered, over gripping the gun isn't the way to go. But I'll bet it isn't for the same reason as an airgun. Over gripping affects how well you press the trigger smoothly (muscle tension) and trigger management is the key to shooting well with a handgun. Over gripping is also indicative of a person who will trigger off shots through anticipation...usually called jerking the trigger.

1. if shooting one-handed, relax the hand and cradle the gun as you gently press the trigger as the sights drift onto target.
2. if shooting two handed, the strong hand should grip about like a firm handshake and the support hand will grip a bit tighter. Avoid the tendency to tighten your strong hand as you press the trigger and avoid any push/pull tension between the hands

January 5, 2013, 08:33 PM
I just took a look at the Correct Grip video in your sig line. That's a good video. I've seen that grip before (thumbs forward) by a few other shooters. I tried using that today and it was hard for me. I learned to use the "Tea Cup" hold by a revolver shooter. Not sure if that's the right word for it but basically the heel of the grip/magazine on an auto, rests in the left palm. That has been working pretty good for me. I suppose because I've gotten used to it. I'll work on the thumbs forward a little more and see if it improves as I use it more.

Thanks for the tips there. I'll see if I can't get better control with a tighter grip. Right now, just letting it fly is putting them where I want them. But I'd guess that's because I'm still learning.

January 5, 2013, 09:52 PM
You can shoot very well from the Tea Cup hold (that is the correct name), but it really isn't anything but a slight improvement over shooting one-handed...but it isn't anything close to making optimal use of the support hand for either accuracy or speed. It steadies your hold but doesn't assist in managing recoil.

There are a lot of subtleties to a optimized grip and applying pressure in the correct vectors...much more than can be explained in a video clip or through the written word.

With a good grip and trigger management, it isn't hard to shoot at a rate of 4 rounds a second into 3" at 5-7 yards

January 6, 2013, 03:05 PM
One aspect against the teacup hold for semi autos is the natue of the failure mode built into the guns in the event of a double charge KABOOM! event. The typical mode is that the MAGAZINE is broken loose from the catch and forced strongly out the bottom. Other things occur around the slide and barrel at the same time. But for that hand under the butt of the frame the MAGAZINE coming out with the force of a hammer is the key.

In my experience you are most correct about the need for consistency in whatever hold. And like you I've found that it's hard to be consistent when using a lot of pressure. I long ago settled on a grip force which is about the same as I use during a firm but friendly handshake where I'm not trying to "show dominance" by over squeezing the other guy's knuckles. That much force gives the gun's gripping area enough pressure that it doesn't shift in my grip between shots. But at the same time I'm not going to suffer from muscle fatigue over a long day of shooting either.

The stance of your arms and legs needs to follow along with the style of grip. With the hands up high and thumbs forward you also want your elbows just broken instead of locked. And they should be turned out slightly instead of down and in. And to support the arms in this equilateral triangle stance the feet should be set apart just at shoulder width or slightly more and evenly set back to front so you're square on to the central line to the target or that runs to the middle of the range of targets.

It might take a while to get used to this new posture but once you get there you'll be better off. The world's fastest accurate shooters can't all be wrong... :D

EDITED to replace "slide" with "MAGAZINE" in the first paragraph. No idea what my fingers were thinking when they typed that.....

January 8, 2013, 06:06 PM,d.b2I

I got a lot out of this video by Hickok45. Not to downplay any advice you get on this forum; 9mm knows his stuff. But video demonstrations can sometimes convey the information more clearly. I believe Paul Gomez's youtube channel may also cover the basics of a firing grip.

January 8, 2013, 08:01 PM
My favorite explanation of different grips is this one ( by the late Paul Gomez.

I know a lot of folks like to watch Hickok45, but his use of the Weaver alignment/force vectors isn't quite as optimal

January 10, 2013, 12:26 PM
Good point, 9mm. My biggest takeaway from Hickok has been learning to shoot a sub-compact that doesn't have room for the pinky to grip it. While his videos are amusing to watch, that entertainment is their primary purpose. Paul Gomez's channel remains much more educational, and I'm thankful that we live in an age where a small piece of his knowledge could be preserved.

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