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Pistol Grip Circumference, Forearm-Centered Grip, and Trigger Reach

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by ForeignDude, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. ForeignDude

    ForeignDude Member

    Mar 22, 2006
    Ever since returning to the States (from Europe), I have had a lot more opportunity to practice with my actual carry pistol (CZ P01). I've practiced a variety of grip holds. I've downloaded and bought training videos and montages illustrating these holds, and I find some merit in all of them.

    One thing that has struck me, however, has to do specifically with the pistol grip as illustrated by Todd Jarrett here. In the video, he advocates that one grip the pistol in such a way that the centerline of the pistol is in line with the forearm. His reasons for this make perfect sense, and when I have put these principles into practice, I find that I have a better time with recoil and return to target.

    The problem, as I see it, is that the act of gripping the pistol correctly puts the trigger (on my CZ P01, DA/SA) out of reach. When in the position desired, only the bare tip of my finger can reach the trigger, and I have no leverage to pull the trigger back. Now, mind you, I don't have short fingers; to the contrary, my fingers are actually somewhat long. Yet, I can't seem to achieve a pistol-centered-on-forearm grip and also have any meaningful contact with the trigger face. This continues to be true even though I have installed the thinnest grips available for my pistol (aluminum grips from CZ Custom).

    The only times that I can pull off this grip is in SA mode with my CZ P01, or with single-stack pistols (1911s and Kahrs).

    Regardless of the position of the thumbs, I have found that centering of the pistol with the forearm is relegated to use with SA mode on my carry piece or to use with a single-stack pistol. Since the CZ P01 is DA/SA, that initial shot is always off the forearm centerline.

    Has anyone else also found this to be true? If so, what did you ultimately opt to do to resolve the issue?
  2. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

    Apr 29, 2006
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    It is for me. That's why for the last 10 years my primary handgun has been a 1911.
  3. Jolly Rogers

    Jolly Rogers Member

    Feb 19, 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Any you have long fingers...What about short fingers or small hands? Thin grips, short trigger and flat mainspring housing on a single stack 1911 for me. This is barely enough. Springfield EMP modded with a short trigger might be perfect.
  4. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Senior Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    I totally agree with him on that. Todd Jarrett also advocates the Isosceles stance, but the problem I have is that if my pistol is lined up with my forearm (as is natural), I cannot get the pistol to line up with my eyes in Iso. I can really only shoot Weaver with any level of comfort.

    As for your issue, there isn't a whole lot you can do, other than to use your gun in SA mode, or get a gun that has a more reasonable trigger reach.

  5. 1SOW

    1SOW Senior Member

    Oct 28, 2007
    South Texas
    First let me say I have short fingers/reach. I shoot a 75B DA/SA and refuse to change to a different geometry pistol. I shoot production and am comfortable with my gun.

    Two (maybe three) possible replies.
    Change pistols: The XD pistols, even in double stack .45, have a short
    reach. Others are shorter too.
    If you just need a smidgen more reach, you can put on a slightly shorter reach trigger available from CZ. The guys at Ghostholster / http://www.czcustom.com/catalog/ might be able to help.
    If you are stubborn about staying with the gun (like I am), you can develop the callus I have on my strong hand thumb knuckle. I have to rotate my grip, just a little off proper alignment to reach the DA pull. The beavertail rubs my knuckle slightly. It's my 62-yr old-speed not my shooting scores that I need to improve.
  6. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Senior Member

    May 5, 2005
    Garrettsville, Oh.
    Handgun fit.

    Your CZ P01 just doesn't fit you. You can make it work, but using a pistol (or revolver) that fits you will make life a lot easier. Personally I use a 1911, but not everybody has hands shaped like mine. Glock, XD and Kahr all have shorter trigger reach, although some of the Glock models are wide enough to make the advantage moot. Or you could come to the dark side and shoot single actions. :D

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