Quantcast

Thumb posture while shooting

Discussion in 'Handguns: General Discussion' started by wannabeagunsmith, May 28, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. wannabeagunsmith

    wannabeagunsmith Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Messages:
    669
    So today I have a question for you guys regarding my oversized hands and shooting almost any automatic handgun. Some background, I have had minimal training with pistol shooting, I am 19 now and only picked up a handgun about three years ago. I am at the point now where I can hit clay pigeons out at 50-60-ish yards with my 92FS and Mk.III. Anyway, so while I am comfortable with pistols and revolvers plenty and can fire fast and accurate my only flaw is that my thumbs ride the pistol pretty high, to the point that-especially on the 92fs and 1911 pistols- the slide lock lever is always covered and never functions. My grip is usually high enough that my support hand's index finger wraps around the front of the trigger guard. I have tried recently wrapping my right thumb on top of my supporting hand but while this allows the slide to lock back, it does not feel "right" and it feels like I have less control of the recoil (weather this is simply a mentally precieved shortcoming or not I don't know). Anyway, I was wondering if any of you guys could help me out on this and maybe post up photos of your preferred grip style. Thank you.
     
  2. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,848
    I don't know if I can help since I have never gotten into the habit of keeping my thumb up high. I keep it low specifically to prevent contact with the slide stop, and also find it better when gripping a revolver in double action firing. I think I have better recoil control that way, than if my thumb were held higher. I would try keeping the thumb bent down with the support hand thumb resting on it and see if you can get used to it.

    To be honest I am not sure what help you need if you can regularly hit clay pigeons at 60 yards with a pistol; that is pretty good shooting.

    Jim
     
  3. wannabeagunsmith

    wannabeagunsmith Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    Messages:
    669
    Yeah, that is my thought too, but since I am in a never ending quest to improve my shooting to me it seems like I should try to get my slide stop to work properly.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,076
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    You should.
    And it will.

    Move your thumb into an uncomfortable position until it becomes comfortable.

    That's what many of use had to do at one time or another.

    There really is no excuse for a thumb riding the slide stop down, except not enough desire to try something else until it becomes muscle memory, and you stop doing it.

    rc
     
  5. HB

    HB Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,884
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    I have always kept my thumb pointed towards the target because I started pistol shooting with one hand in NRA bullseye or 10m air pistol shooting.

    When I took my CCW class the instructor told me my style was weird and asked if I learned from a European... Thought that was a little odd.

    It works for me and only had a problem with Glocks and the slide release. Seems to help me maintain a high grip.

    I would use what works. If you can actually hit clays at 50 yards I'd stick with that!

    Personally I think way too much emphasis is placed on tactical reloads, with them being more of a way to show off pistol proficency. I doubt I'll ever shoot my carry gun empty.

    HB
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    59,076
    Location:
    Eastern KS
    Good point!!

    I'm old NRA Bullseye guy too.

    And back then, riding the slide stop would lose you a match before the second shot in rapid fire went bang.

    Again, it's a mental thing you Can change, Not a hand size thing you can't change.

    rc
     
  7. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,908
    Location:
    northern california
    Gosh, I haven't had this picture up in a while

    grip052.jpg

    Note that the dominate hand's thumb is riding the back of the support hand's thumb. Also note that the support hand's wrist is pronated forward and that the fingers of the support hand are pointed downward at about 45 degrees
     
  8. toivo

    toivo Member

    Joined:
    May 27, 2005
    Messages:
    2,796
    Location:
    New York State
    Maybe a dumb question, but don't you find that your support hand interferes with your trigger pull? That always bothered me when I tried that thumb position. Am I getting too much finger into the trigger guard?
     
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,908
    Location:
    northern california
    I have no contact at all, there is even less chance since I have installed the Apex Tactical FSS.

    You might be putting your finger too far into the trigger guard. My trigger is centered on the nail bed.

    Even with a smaller gun, like this Kahr CW9, I'm not getting any interference

    DSC_2059.jpg

    A lot of people will slide their support hand backwards, but it really compromises recoil management

    grip049.jpg
     
  10. Drail

    Drail Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Messages:
    5,985
    My experience has always been that how you place your left hand on the gun has far more effect than what you do with your thumbs. I use the exact grip shown in the above photos. As long as you keep your thumb out of the way so it doesn't pop the safety ON or steer the gun off axis you should be good. Having a neutral grip (even pressure with both hands) is important as well.
     
  11. JTQ

    JTQ Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    7,443
    Location:
    NW Florida
  12. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    8,508
    I second (or third) 9mmepiphany's pictures... my grip looks pretty similar. In order to interfere with the slide stop, I'd have to rotate my left hand back towards my face. With what is conventionally taught as a (post-)modern pistol grip, your left thumb will be forward of the slide release on most guns.
     
  13. JTQ

    JTQ Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2009
    Messages:
    7,443
    Location:
    NW Florida
  14. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,237
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I took these awhile back to explain to a friend. It helps if your rotate your support wrist forward. When I get tired and lazy I end up shooting the bad way which leads to not only worse performance as far as recovering recoil but also to milking the grip.

    Bad
    uploadfromtaptalk1432913127231.jpg

    Good
    uploadfromtaptalk1432913161002.jpg
     
  15. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,908
    Location:
    northern california
    That is who I learned it from.

    I used to travel and teach SIG-centric classes with Bruce. It is very on-point to the SIG because of where their slide stop is located, but is very applicable to other platforms if your goal is accurate shot placement at speed
     
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    19,692
    Location:
    Deep in the Ozarks
    There are three methods of holding the thumb:

    1. Thumb high. This was the old style for revolver shooting because of the need to rapidly cock the gun in timed and rapid fire.

    2. Thumbs down, usually with the support hand thumb over the strong hand thumb. This is the classic Modern Pistol Technique hold and has the advantage of keeping the thumbs off the slide stop as well as positively disengaging the safety lock.

    3. Thumbs forward. This is also a Modern Pistol Technique hold and has the advantage of slightly rotating the strong hand, so you get more of the heel of the hand on the butt. Many shooters feel it gives better control in rapid fire.

    With large hands, you will probably find the Thumbs Down hold least likely to activate the slide lock accidentally.
     
  17. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,848
    I notice the tendency to keep the support hand index finger straight forward. That seems to work OK for an auto pistol, but if one also owns and fires revolvers, the index finger tip can get out past the front of the cylinder. The flash from the barrel-cylinder gap will let the shooter recognize his mistake.

    Jim
     
  18. Ankeny

    Ankeny Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2003
    Messages:
    2,131
    I have a pretty long list of pistols that typically won't go to slide lock because of my grip. I found it easier to use a platform that works for me than to mess around trying to change my grip after 30 years of shooting competitively. YMMV.

    Ben Stoeger (last 3 years Production National Champion) has a really good section in his new video regarding the grip. Thumbs forward, wrist canted down, etc. doesn't work for everyone. Most really good shooters agree on the strong hand grip, but there are subtle differences among the top level shooters regarding the support hand.
     
  19. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    21,908
    Location:
    northern california
    I took a class with Ben Stoeger last year, quite eye opening.

    He does some things very differently than I had previously been taught
     
  20. breakingcontact

    breakingcontact Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,237
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Yes. If you study the different top shooters they all do some things slightly different but most do the big things the same.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  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