How much does "limp wristing" affect attitudes towards semi-autos?

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by George Dickel, Dec 30, 2019.

  1. SwampWolf

    SwampWolf Member

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    No offense, but I don't "trust" you. As many have opined, way more often than not, it is the gun that's the cause of many kinds of jams; a malfunctioning pistol is a pistol that's malfunctioning. There's a lot more to what makes a semi-auto pistol perform correctly than magazine springs, to include but not limited to recoil springs, extractors/ejectors, chamber tolerances, relationship of the magazine follower to the chamber, bullet conformation/ammunition type and lubrication/cleaning issues; all having nothing whatsoever to do with how well or not so well a pistol is being grasped.
    Most of the time, my advice is to quit blaming the grip (the easy "solution") when a semi-auto pistol is malfunctioning and start looking for the fix (the harder but more realistic solution).
     
  2. 94045

    94045 Member

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    I don't disagree. Just because I haven't bought an SA that malfunctions in the last 25 years doesn't mean they don't exist.

    That said I don't really think someone who buys multiple pistols of different models and brands that won't malfunction for other people but can't make it through a magazine without a malfunction can blame it all on the pistol.

    PS I don't consider ammo incompatibility, gun cleanliness or lubrication a gun issue. That's user error.
     
  3. LiveLife

    LiveLife Member

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    MAC explains and demonstrates "limp wristing" and why certain types of pistols cannot be limp wristed. While limp wristing was intentionally demonstrated, it was done only by using unlikely strange grip as he states, "I cannot cause a [limp wristing] malfunction holding the gun normally ... unless I hold it in a strange way."
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2020
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  4. Jammersix

    Jammersix Member

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    It's pretty simple. There's something wrong with your .380.
     
  5. JeffTC

    JeffTC Member

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    I know it's not the case in your original post, but I think it's worth mentioning that a person's comfort level with firearms in general has a lot to do with it. I tried to teach my neighbor to shoot. Took her out to a range and taught her how to operate my Colt Series 80 Gov't Model .45ACP. When she held it and fired it I could tell she was very uncomfortable (in retrospect perhaps I should have started her off with my .25 and let her get used to that first). She was behaving as though she thought thing was gonna turn around and bite her! Sure enough, stovepipe. It never did that when I fired it, it's always been a most reliable piece for me. The moral of my story is that if you're unfamiliar with guns or even afraid to handle them, you're probably not giving the gun the strength and support it needs for proper operation, be familiar with your gun. Spend time holding it, if you can do so without causing damage, dry fire it and be familiar with the action and the trigger pull. Get over any fear you have, it will take time but as they say practice makes perfect. You can never exceed what you train for. This is what I would tell to someone new to guns who might be experiencing these kind of problems.
     
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  6. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Jeff, I think you're probably right in a lot of cases. However, as I said in my earlier post in this thread, my 5' 2", 120lb wife sent tens of thousands of bullets downrange from full-house loads in a couple of Ruger 44 magnums during IHMSA competition back in the '80s. She was one of the top IHMSA revolver competitors in the state.
    Fast forward 20 years - she decided she wanted a small 9mm for concealed carry. She tried about a half-dozen different ones before finally giving up and settling for a 38 Special revolver because every semi-auto she tried jammed - usually stove-piped, but not always. Yet they always ran fine for me.
    Nevertheless, as I said, you're probably right in a lot of cases. I suspect my very experienced "revolver shooter" wife got it in her head that semi-autos were not going to work right for her, so she became, as you said, a little "afraid to handle them."
    It's all over now anyway. With the help of a friend, my wife learned what she was doing wrong, and she now loves her little Smith 380 Shield EZ. She's also warming up to the Sig P239 9mm she bought years ago. Because surprise, surprise - it doesn't jam anymore!:)
     
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  7. JeffTC

    JeffTC Member

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    .308 Norma, I'm glad to hear your wife got over it and is now able to handle the semi-auto of her choice. Like I said, practice makes perfect. My neighbor though to this day is still scared of all guns and refuses to handle another one. I tried to explain to her that her fears would be resolved as she learns and gains experience, but she seems unwilling to try. I respect her decision and I won't push her. I remember reading somewhere once that police departments settled largely on the 9mm when they switched from revolvers to semi-autos because many female officers (female police officers being relatively new to many PD's at the time) had trouble handling .45ACP's, .40's and 10mm's. The 9mm was the happy medium, the compromise between utility and ease of use. I'm not trying to be sexist or anything, but the simple fact is that females usually do have weaker wrists than males and this should be taken into account with female shooters. Clearly this was not the case with your wife as you mentioned she is quite proficient with large caliber revolvers (I have a Ruger Super Redhawk .44Mag, I know what a hand cannon that is!). And again, kudos to her that she was able to adjust to semi-autos, it's the mark of a good shooter to be able to adjust to a wide variety of firearms.
     
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  8. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    I apologize for not being more forthcoming, but limp wristing is a real occurrence because it does and can cause a gun to malfunction. There are a variety a reasons that will cause a malfunction or a jam on a gun that is totally not related to the shooter or limp wristing and it will not happen with all models of firearms but some models are more susceptible to a limp wrist.
    Below is a number of reasons that could cause a malfunction feel free to add anything else.

    1. Ammo used may not be able complete the operation necessary to complete the cycling action of the slide going all the way back and extracting the round because the dwell time is slow.
    2. Recoil spring may be to heavy to allow completion of cycling action.
    3. The extractor spring is weak or the extractor may have a broken blade.
    4. One of the most common contributors to malfunctions is the magazine or magazine follower
    5. Lubrication, firearm may need to be lubed for smoother action of the slide.
    6. Limp wristing, some models are susceptible to this, yours, may not be.

    It does not matter that your hands maybe sweaty or bloody as someone stated and the gun slips in your hand after recoil but initially you started with a firm hold even though your hands are slippery which allowed the gun to function properly before it slipped out of your hands from the recoil.

    Check this link it demonstrates a couple of guns that work fine and the third gun it duplicates the malfunction. So in conclusion limp wristing is a real
    phenomenon that can create a malfunction or jam on certain hand guns.
    https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=limp+wristing+1911&view=detail&mid=F3E8B700C19786958B1CF3E8B700C19786958B1C&FORM=VIRE
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
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  9. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    I have had semi-autos that, when "limp-wristed" from the wrist and the elbow, will allow the ejector to trap the brass and cause a stovepipe jam.
    This was confirmed using high-speed camera footage.
    The brass was in rotation toward the vertical before it contacted the ejector.
    The ejector contacted the side of the brass, just above the rim, which caused the brass to fly forward, base-down.
    Instant stovepipe.
    (I was taking a class on automation processes at the time.)
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2020
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  10. 94045

    94045 Member

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    I think a lot of Glock 19 jams I've seen were a result of relatively stout springs, light frame and relatively weak range ammo.
    It's the perfect storm for someone who "limpwrists,". Hand the same person a Sig P229 and the issue goes away. Switch to a G23 and the issue goes away.

    With a G19 the lack of oomph, stiffish spring and no frame weight it simply didn't have anything to cycle against when the wrist allows the gun to flip and the elbow allows the gun to free recoil.

    Yes I heard you say it was all in the elbow but I don't imagine allowing an exaggerated amount of flip so it looks like an SA Revolver helps.
     
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  11. JoeHenry

    JoeHenry Member

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    I have never bought into this old line (you are limp wristing it, you held it wrong). A semi auto that works right should fire just buy pulling the trigger, no matter how you are holding it.
    One never knows what kind of condition you will be in when you return fire. You might not have the strongest hold, maybe week hand only or what have you. If it doesn’t go bang no matter how you hold it, get another piece that will. Your life is worth more than trying to protect it with a pistol that only works when you have a perfect hold.
     
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  12. 94045

    94045 Member

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    If that's true all G19 Gen 3 or older must be faulty because I've never seen one you couldn't make do it. I think you would have to respring them or weight the frame to eliminate it with 115 grain range ammo.

    I haven't experimented with the Gen 4 plus so the dual spring may have made a difference.
     
  13. Jammersix

    Jammersix Member

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    I don't have any problem believing that Glocks (no reason to limit it to 19s...) are faulty.
     
  14. Jammersix

    Jammersix Member

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    P.S. I'm perfectly willing to believe that some kind of operator error induces jams in weapons that don't jam for other shooters. But it's because the other shooters aren't dragging the slide with their thumb or otherwise holding their eyes wrong.

    Limp wristing is a myth used as a catchall by folks who don't teach and don't have the ball weight to say "I don't know".
     
  15. 94045

    94045 Member

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    How can something that's a myth be intentionally induced? I'm not saying that's the problem of a student. I've never been an instructor but I do know the issue can be induced intentionally.
     
  16. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    When my daughter was younger she had the uncanny ability to make almost any semiautomatic pistol have a jam. She prefers revolvers, which might have something to do with it. Once she hit six feet tall (about seventh grade) and got stronger, the problem went away.

    I'm assuming it had something to do with not gripping the pistol correctly, not locking her elbows, letting it roll a bit like a Single Six... something along those lines. I have no scientific evidence one way or the other.
     
  17. carsten1911

    carsten1911 Member

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    I am with JoeHenry on this subject:
    If a pistols semiauto operation is sensitive to how strong / tight one has to grip it I wont have it, because then its just a "warm shower and good weather fun-toy" design.
    Period.

    You all take care
    Carsten
     
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  18. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    This discussion has always had those that believe and those that not. Some believe in God and other dos not. Hell I still believe in Santa Clause so this thread could reach one million responses and we will be just as divided as the Democrats are with the Republicans.
     
  19. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    This is a 100% wrong statement. Just because you don't believe it to a real thing, doesn't mean it does not exist. It is a real thing.
     
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  20. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Would it suit you better if we dropped the term "limp wristing," and discussed it in terms of a mismatch between, on the one hand, the net resistive force of the frame/user to recoil and, on the other hand, the resistive force of the recoil spring? Because that's what's being discussed... the frame being allowed to "give way" enough so that the recoil spring doesn't full compress and the slide doesn't complete its cycle.

    Let's do a thought experiment. Let's attach a lightweight motorized C-clamp to a semi-auto pistol's grip and trigger... when we send a signal, the clamp closes and pulls the trigger. But the clamp is attached to nothing but the gun. This gun and clamp assembly is floating in orbit. If we fire that gun (again, not touching it... just using the remotely-operating trigger), will the action cycle?
     
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  21. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    ATLDave is correct. I agree that any gun that may not cycle with a less than properly supported grip should never be used in a SD scenario. I know there are videos of semis cycling properly with a 2 finger grip and minimal support. However, there are also semis that need the frame to be secured in such a way that the slide can cycle fully. Whatever the case may be, some semis just have to have that frame support to be reliable. Some semis I can cause a failure by allowing the muzzle to rise, like a revolver, or I allow my elbow to cushion the recoil, preventing a firm base. This also explains why a gun will perform 100% in one hand and when handed off to another it's a jam-o-matic. The term we use is limp wristing whether it is a proper term or not. It is a real thing. To say limp wristing is a myth is just a totally wrong and false statement.
     
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  22. SteadyD

    SteadyD Member

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    I like to refer to it as slide tracking. Sounds far less insulting.
     
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  23. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    I cannot prove it, but I suspect Glock's marketing department of coming up with the term! The lighter the frame, the less resistance the inertia of the frame itself will resist the slide cycling, and the more important the resistance provided by the user becomes. Make the frame heavy enough, and even my space-floating orbit gun would cycle. My recollection/intuition is that certain insufficient-resistance malfunctions started to become more widely seen as light-framed guns got put into the hands of a broader shooting populace. This also roughly coincided with a demographic broadening of LEOs and the wave of shall-issue CCW's bringing lots of new people into the realm of those shooting small/light semi-auto pistols.

    Not surprisingly, there were complaints about some pistols not functioning reliably for all of these people. A term got popularized - "limp wristing" - that is pretty pejorative. It basically accuses the user of effeminacy, and takes all the responsibility off the gun and ammo. Good way to make a potential drawback to light and small guns a "you problem" and essentially bully people into keeping their mouths shut about it.*

    None of that changes the pretty simple physics involved. Some guns require a greater level of resistive force be applied by the user in order to cycle reliably. If you think this represents some limitation on the firearm... you're right. Such guns won't be suitable for all users, and might not be suitable for all situations. You can try to shift these limitations by selecting ammo with more recoil or by reducing the recoil spring weight, but those have their own issues. So if someone says a gun that is susceptible to "limp wrist" problems is "broken," they're not quite right, but not entirely wrong... such gun would certainly be a "broken" choice for the shooter who is experiencing the issues.

    * For similar reasons, I wish we had chosen a different term than "flinch" for a blink-involved pre-ignition push. Both "flinch" and "limp wristing" seem to have come straight from the back row of the middle school bus, and both terms function as a barrier to people addressing issues that they have with their shooting and/or their gear... because admitting that they are experiencing the phenomenon is rendered shameful by the mocking term we have adopted for it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
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  24. Reeferman

    Reeferman Member

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    All I can say is after shooting nothing but revolvers 90 % of being plow handle single actions for a year I had issues shooting my sons Glock immediately. Which had no issues while he shot it right before I did. It only took me a few minutes to figure out what I was doing wrong and had no issue with it after and no issues with a 1911 he had.
    Is this limp wristing? I don’t know or really care but it happened.
     
  25. Up North

    Up North Member

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    Interesting. I shoot a lot more revolvers then semi autos but the one gun that stovepipes is a Taurus 840c. It seems harder to rack the slide on compact 40s then other pistols. Perhaps my recoil negating revolver shooting habits and the heavier springs in a compact 40 May be the problem.
     
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