Quantcast

Hand size; is there a standard measurement?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by Trey Veston, Nov 24, 2019.

  1. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    8,246
    There’s literally no point. Two people with physically identical hands might prefer different grip sizes or shapes. There’s no “right” fit.
     
    glc24 and bdickens like this.
  2. JTQ

    JTQ Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    7,321
    Location:
    NW Florida
    One data point I use is a tape measure around the backstrap, around the trigger, and back to the starting point. This takes into account the thickness of the grips and the distance from the backstrap to the trigger. Measuring from the backstrap to the trigger face with a caliper is a measurement that is often used, but is fairly useless since it doesn't take into account the thickness of the grips.
     
    rskent likes this.
  3. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    7,432
    Hangingrock hit it on the head. It ain't just about what fit measures right, it also comes down to personal preference and what "feels" comfortable to you. I have guns that are awkward for me to shoot, yet I can shoot them very accurately. Still, I prefer to shoot other guns that are more comfortable to me, more. This means I become more proficient with them. I have some handguns that most other folks shoot more accurately the first time, regardless of their hand size, like my 1911s. Seems most everyone that shoots them the first time, at least stay on the paper. No so much with my other handguns, even my hunting type revolvers, that are scarey accurate. This tells me that ergonomics and "natural" fit mean as much as matching sizes. Old time shotgun makers once prided themselves on "fitting" a shotgun to the owner. LOP, Angle of the buttstock, Drop and Cast all were carefully measured and the stock formed and bent to match the individual shooter. This was meant to create a gun that became a extension of ones arms and giving the best sight picture above the barrels(yeah, this was generally done on SxSs). You don't see that anymore. You see most folks going in and buying a shotgun off the rack designed around the standard or average measurement of a male shooter: approximately 5'10”, 185 pounds. Sometimes they change buttpads or cut the stock or buy something aftermarket. Mostly tho.....they just adjust.

    We are fortunate to live in a time where we have a multitude of firearms to choose from and a variety of places to try them on for fit. We also have a ton of different grip styles and sizes to choose from when it comes to the stocks on out favorite handgun. This is why I tell folks to play with and fondle as many models as they can in numerous LGSs before making the leap to purchase. The more you handle, the more you are sure when you pick up "the one".
     
  4. doubleh

    doubleh Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    2,436
    Location:
    NM-south of I-40
    I'm a simple guy and about the only thing I measure on a gun is the length of pull on rifle stocks and usually do that by simply shouldering the rifle. Handguns I just grip. If it feels right it is. If it feels wrong it is and I'm not interested. About the only time I actually measure with rulers and tape measures is when I make a stock or set of pistol grips.

    Varminterror is right about there being standards for hand size. I've found that the glove sizing chart is, for me, pretty close and US made gloves follow it pretty closely. Made somewhere else? Trying them on is the only way to be sure. I wear a medium sized glove according to the chart and tried on some foreign made work gloves the other day. I was up to XL and they were still very snug so I'm still in the market for work gloves. I recently purchased a pair of lightly insulated gloves and it took an XL for them to be comfortable. I couldn't get my hand in the medium sized ones.
     
  5. Mike J

    Mike J Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,535
    Location:
    Georgia
    Kind of interesting thread. My hand measures 8 1/4" from my wrist to my fingertip. If I spread my fingers as wide as possible it is 9 1/4" from the tip of my pinkie to the tip of my thumb. They give us cut resistant gloves at work. I wear extra large. I don't really think it has that much to do with anything. This got me thinking about my old Ruger P-series. It feels much better to me with the factory grips on it. I shoot it a lot better with Hogue finger groove grips on it. I am sure it is due to the finger grooves. The pistol feels too big with the Hogue grip. My M&P 2.0 has 4 different grip modules that came with it. I have played with all of them trying to see what works best for me. I keep winding up with the medium module back on the gun. I do have to work harder to shoot my little Kahr CM9 well as there just isn't much there to hold on to.
     
  6. Old Stumpy

    Old Stumpy Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2019
    Messages:
    916
    Lee valley Tools sells custom hand planes with small, medium, and large tote handles available which will fit any size and length of custom plane. A good idea, considering that the tote size decreases (sometimes uncomfortably) with decreasing size and length of traditional hand planes.

    They use a measure across the palm at the knuckles to determine hand size.
    Up to 3" is small. From 3 1/8" to 3 7/8" is medium. From 4" and up is large.
    Since the tote on a hand plane is shaped and gripped not unlike a handgun grip, this might be a somewhat transferable measure.
    However, even with a hand plane I found that it wasn't a slam-dunk certainty.
    I found that even though I fitted into the medium size category, I could not decide whether the medium or the large felt best in my hand.
    So, in the end, it is still a matter of preference with either.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2019
  7. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    7,129
    Argh, I was ordering boots for my wife last week who wears 8-8 1/2, my gloves are 9 1/2 standard, some brands 9 long. Apparently I’m past the edit window on that post, lest I’d fix it. That, of course, was my competition gloves, worn tight as a second skin.
     
  8. JDR

    JDR Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2013
    Messages:
    1,366
    I have the larger beavertail backstrap on my Gen4 G-21; I have the largest backstrap and side-shells on my HK P30. I think that says a lot.
     
  9. 94045

    94045 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Messages:
    1,032
    Hand size varies in a lot of ways.
    My hand is 8" long but my longest finger is only 3.5". Big palms and short fingers. My hands are pretty broad. A G19-5 or M&P 2.0 Compact is a 3.5 finger grip with flush mags and yet a Beretta 92 feels a bit of a stretch because of my finger length. An M&P 2.0 is most comfortable with the standard medium insert.
     
  10. skeeterfogger

    skeeterfogger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2019
    Messages:
    722
    When you wear xxl gloves you don't have hands. You have hams. The best fitting I have is 357mag and 44mag with pachmayrs. Everything else is solid with two fingers and thumb grip.
     
  11. Olon

    Olon Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2018
    Messages:
    624
    Location:
    Roaming around the Heartland
    They would have to make the men’s sizes huge (small), ginormous (medium), and gorilla (large)
     
  12. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    7,129
    This thread has had me thinking the last several days, but I haven’t yet thought of the right words to say it without a LOT of people likely being triggered, and I realized today, I’m not that person to deny truth in the face of excessive sensitivity...

    It’s very popular to tell would-be buyers they need to feel the grips of many pistols and find the one which best fits their hand as if it will shorten their learning curve or heighten their proficiency, but in reality, there is very little truth to that recommendation. In short, it’s bad advice, which is why I’ve stopped giving it myself, as an instructor. So very, very many shooters with varied hand sizes shoot with proficiencies unattainable for the average Joe, regardless of how the pistol felt to them on the first time they picked it up.

    Equally, the new shooter’s hand is the most ignorant hand there is. Their hand doesn’t know what a pistol should feel like, so why would we recommend someone to pick the one which feels best? It’s like pointing towards a calendar of sports cars and asking a 5 year old, which of these cars is the fastest? They’ll have a favorite, maybe the shape, maybe the color, maybe just the background behind it... so they’ll pick, and it won’t be based on ANYTHING other than an ignorant forced selection with a largely irrelevant and subjective bias.

    I’ve been guilty of it many times, and dozens of new shooters have bought pistols based on my bad advice - pick the one which feels the best in your hand. But I challenge myself to encourage new buyers to be more “woke” to their own ignorance these days. Don’t pick the one which feels best. Pick the one which does what you need, take some shots, learn how to be a shooter, and then buy.

    The best consolation path is to buy something they know won’t be their “forever” pistol, and be willing to resell and upgrade once the Newby has worn off and their hand finally knows what it needs for their use.
     
    alfsauve likes this.
  13. tbob38

    tbob38 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    312
    Location:
    Utah's Dixie
    My whole life (I'm 81), I assumed my hand was 8" thumb to pinkie tip. So read this discussion and measured the span to be 9 1/2". All those years I estimated things wrong.
     
  14. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    3,580
    Location:
    In the Wild Horse Desert of Texas
    My hand span is also 9-1/2 inches but my fingers and palms are very thick and meaty. I've had to resort to the big Pachmayr grips even for revolvers like the Super Blackhawk.
    My gripping strength is so weird that I can't wear rings - they either break or they crimp in place and have to be cut off.
    This seriously affects what I find comfortable and steady in a pistol grip... .
     
  15. Varminterror

    Varminterror Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2016
    Messages:
    7,129
    Splayed finger span has far more to do with flexibility than actual hand size. With all of the arthritis and chronic injury damage in my right hand, I have an inch and a half wider span in my left hand than my right.

    But both hands fit the same size of glove and fit pistol grips the same.
     
  16. crestoncowboy

    crestoncowboy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,348
    I'm 6 foot 3 barefoot and relaxed. I can palm a basketball pretty easily and have long skinny fingers. Size 12 shoes are my smallest. I'm not terribly picky about guns size being big or just right. My sig 226 with hogues, or beretta 96 with hogues are about my perfect grip size. But I prefer Glocks with finger grooves and shoot a G 22 and a large frame 20 or HK usp as well. The glock 22/17 feels a bit small but it's one of my favorite guns. I'm more likely to complain about the tiny pocket guns being too small than a gun being too big. I dont shoot anything smaller than the double stacks as well. My little beretta 950/21/ minx etc guns I struggle with. My guns that came with multiple backstraps still have the ones they shipped with installed. My two sig 320s have medium grips and feel pretty good too. I have tried pachmyer grips on double actions many times based on looks alone and they just feel too small. I always go to a wood grip (or an x-frame grip) on smith and Rugers.
    As far as long guns I carried an old JC Higgins that is about 6 feet long when I was a kid so I just learned to deal with nothing fitting right. My first bow was set up for a big grown man and I was about 5 foot tall and 115 lbs. Beggars cant be choosers I suppose. People worry too much about that goldilocks size in everything. Until I was old enough to drive I rode exclusively in the back of my dads mustang. Ideal? Nope. But things rarely are in life. My dad is 5 foot 2 or so, and so is my wife. When I drive their vehicles I never mess with the seat. I just wiggle around and go with it unless it's a cross country trip. Now when they get in mine they have to do some adjusting.
     
  17. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Messages:
    4,833
    Location:
    Illinois
    If you need a knife and fork to eat a Burger King Whopper, then you have small hands.

    SMALLHANDS.jpg
     
    glc24 likes this.
  18. 94045

    94045 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2018
    Messages:
    1,032
    I'm a long way from.an expert and at best an average shot but If a pistol is small.enough (LCP) or large enough (G21) I have to really work to keeping it from squirming during a string of fire I consider it an undesirable grip. My little sister can get all four fingers solidly on Shield 9mm with flush Mag. It takes a full size M&P 9mm for me. That makes me think we might need a slightly different size handgun.

    That said I can manage to find a way to grip most any handgun well enough but I choose to pick a grip that doesn't fatigue my hands so fast unless I have a specific reason for it like the LCP. Still it wouldn't be my choice to fire a half case of ammo.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice