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Two Hand Grip

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by oboe, Jun 20, 2012.

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  1. oboe

    oboe Member

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    Although I've been a shooter since the age of 10, I'm only recently a handgun shooter [last 2 years] for purposes of concealed carry and personal defense. I have two pistols - the M&P full size in 9mm and just recently the M&P Shield [also 9mm]. At an informal shoot, one of the instructors who also was a part of the meet up group watched me shoot and said I'd shoot better using the "thumbs forward" two-handed grip rather than the "thumb-on-thumb" grip that I've been using [she called it the "revolver grip"]. That's the second time a professional has volunteered that info.

    I'm not at all comfortable with thumbs forward, which I've tried before, and it's a slower way for me to get a two-handed grip from holster to presentation. Is the thumbs forward grip really all that much better?
     
  2. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    I've never used the thumbs forward grip and never felt the lack of it was in any way a handicap. When I started pistol shooting in the mid '60s, one handed shooting seemed to be predominant since all I ever participated in was bullseye type shooting. Later I learned of the two handed isosceles stance and then the Weaver stance. It was many years later when I saw my first thumbs forward grip. I tried it and I didn't like it. It just never felt as secure as my old standard Weaver stance with left thumb locking right thumb down. I'm right handed. And of course YMMV.

    If the grip suits you then use it. If not go with what works for you. The idea is to make the bullet hole where you want it to be. Any safe way you can accomplish that seems like the thing to do.
     
  3. skeeziks

    skeeziks Member

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    Hi Oboe,
    I can practically guarantee you that I'll be the only one here that agrees with you.
    I also do not shoot with the thumbs forward. I've been a revolver shooter my whole life and I just can't switch back & forth between grips. It works just fine for me.
     
  4. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Oboe,

    Try the recommended grip. If it works better for you, use it. If not, don't.
     
  5. BRE346

    BRE346 Member

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    The grip that works

    The grip that works is the one you grew up with.

    I've seen clips of the thumbs forward, the thumb-on -thumb you described as well as the cup-and saucer method for pistols. I've learned to wrap my weak hand behind on a revolver. One can get a strong hold that way. It ensures the grip safety is depressed o a 1911 but it is not comfortable at all.

    I have been shooting only two years and I learned the thumbs-forward hold from Facebook. I have learned that one can get a little steadier that way.

    Read line one again.
     
  6. HDCamel

    HDCamel Member

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    One-hander here.
    Use what works. Ignore the haters.
     
  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    I'll go ahead and steal a whole post from 9mmepiphany to help the conversation along:

    Now there are some other grips that folks use occasionally, especially new shooters like yourself.

    One variation is to roll the strong-hand thumb way down over the support hand. Some folks manage well enough doing that, though we'd always encourage you to try to improve your technique for better control and accuracy.

    Another variation is the old fashioned revolver grip where the WEAK thumb is locked down over the strong hand thumb or wrist. You DO NOT want to do that with an autopistol. But you probably haven't been ...unless you've noticed a lot of bleeding during your range trips! ;) :D

    Here's a very helpful video on grip from one of the best: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa50-plo48
     
  8. kcshooter

    kcshooter Member

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    There's a bit of relearning involved, but I do agree that you will improve as a shooter with the thumbs forward grip. It will be faster on followup shots as it positions your hands better for recoil control, and I find it more natural to get into from the draw.
     
  9. RBid

    RBid Member

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    There are reasons why this grip dominates competitive practical shooting now. It may not effect slow, target shooting at all. It is really about maintaining control for fast, accurate follow-up shots.

    People here may not recommend it, but you may have difficulty finding professional shooters who don't.

    At the end of the day, it's up to you whether you want to give it a real try or not. Best of luck, either way!
     
  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Well, Sam beat me with my own post...save me from posting it again. :D

    I'll add that indeed the forte of the thumbs forward grip is that it is optimized for faster followup shots...no much of a factor if you are taking your time at a couple of shots a second, but much more of a factor when shooting 4-5 shots a second.

    What the interlocking thumbs (revolver) grip provides is a perception (it isn't real) of a more secure grip, while introducing a couple of pretty obvious downsides.

    1. It compromises the contact of the support hand with the frame, which both weakens the total grip and compromises recovery (sight reacquisition) from muzzle flip due to the uneven force vectors being applied.

    2. It enables the compromising of the strong hand pocket where the frame should be firmly seated and facilitates the squeezing of the fingers as you press the trigger...both of which will affect consistent shot placement
     
  11. holdencm9

    holdencm9 Member

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    Wow, good info, 9mmepiphany!

    I switched to the thumbs forward grip about 2 years ago after seeing a video by (I think) Todd Jarrett. Although I don't shoot competitively, it has definitely helped me. I agree it probably doesn't make a huge difference in slow fire, for most people, but I think it helped me by a small margin, and if I ever get into competition shooting, it will really reap benefits.

    The thing I think I like best is the consistency aspect. I know when I am doing a thumbs forward it is the same as it was last week, or the week before. Of course you can obtain this same consistency with ANY grip, but not as readily.

    Here is the video I was talking about, I decided to go find it. There are probably tons of other similar ones by other qualified experts.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ysa50-plo48
     
  12. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    My grip has the index finger of my weak hand curled around the front of the trigger guard, pulling the pistol back tight into my palm, otherwise it looks like the Thumbs Up grip pictured. It seems to work okay for me, but I haven't had any formal training with handguns, I'm self-taught, other than reading books.
     
  13. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Do the training guides you've read promote that technique? You won't find any instructors or good competitive shooters* that do today.

    Putting your support-hand index finger there robs strength from your support hand grip, which should be providing ~70% of your total grip strength on the gun. It also promotes an attempt to "steer" the gun with that finger, which is just another way of saying you're putting pressure where you shouldn't for best accuracy.

    (* Except for Angus Hobdel, and that apparently has something to do with a hand injury.)
     
  14. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    The Thumbs Up grip isn't as efficient as the Thumbs Forward and I had included it mostly to demonstrate the difference between the two.

    What you are doing by placing the support index finger on the front of the trigger guard...which was very popular in the early 70s...unless you have very large hands, is displacing the support hand's contact with the side of the grip frame. But even worst, you are compromising the support hand's ability to exert lateral pressure on the frame.

    The lower three (3) fingers of the strong hand should be providing medial pressure to bring the frame into the palm, the four (4) fingers of the support hand should be applying lateral pressure to both sides of the frame.
     
  15. C0untZer0

    C0untZer0 Member

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  16. GCBurner

    GCBurner Member

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    Most likely. I think I picked up the habit when I got my first high-cap 9mm, a Taurus PT99, which like the Beretta it's based on, has the front edge of the trigger guard dished inward, and makes a natural place to put your index finger. I've move on to Glocks, and all of them share the same feature, except they all have the front of the trigger guard textured to provide a more secure purchase for the finger tip. My feeling was that hooking my finger there holds down the muzzle, and makes follow-up shots faster. I'll experiment with the other grips, and see if I can tell a difference.
     
  17. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

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    The best shooters I've ever met don't just teach and encourage good techniques; they also are open to the idea that there might be a better way of doing things. This is one of the reasons I'll miss the info that Paul Gomez shared; at it's core, it questioned what some would consider doctrine in search of a better body of knowledge for all of us. I digress... I shoot thumbs forward, but I started out shooting with the weak hand thumb locking down the one on my shooting hand. I disagree with the notion that the way you were brought up to do something is always and forever going to be the best method. New techniques passed on to me by people in the know have improved all aspects of my shooting over the years.

    Give thumbs forward a try, and be serious about it. For me, I decided I would shoot that way for 2 months, through a couple range trips per week and my IDPA competitions. The decision to stick with it was easy and relatively immediate since it provided faster follow up shots and stable, more consistent shooting. If it doesn't work out for you, then pass on it, and you've lost nothing. But if you're going to try it, be serious about it for best results.
     
  18. showmebob

    showmebob Member

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    Lets get back to the original posters question.

    [I'm only recently a handgun shooter [last 2 years] for purposes of concealed carry and personal defense.] [Is the thumbs forward grip really all that much better?]

    This appears to me to be all about defensive shooting, not competitive shooting. I'm a believer that in defensive shooting you need to be able to shoot in many positions weak and strong handed and the ability to do so is more important than the slight speed advantage of a different grip. You can't always have a perfect stance, body alignment etc to allow for perfect grip. I believe the old "revolver grip" is better for defensive shooting but thats just me and YMMV.
     
  19. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Advantage of a revolver grip is it works with pretty much with all handguns. Using thumb forward or thumb up can hurt your thumb on a revolver and can jam some semiautos, dependent on the placement of the controls.

    Unless you want to compete in speed events at the top level, I don't think you're going to miss out on anything. I started out with a revolver grip, but now I prefer the thumbs up. This limits me on some of my handgun choices.

    Contrary to what others have said, I found it easier to get a consistent grip using the revolver grip. Took a bit of practice for me to get a consistent thumbs up grip. There is seemingly a lot of room to vary support hand positioning until you get a feel for what works best for you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2012
  20. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Certainly, and if we were coming at this from a convoluted, artificial shooting discipline perspective (IMHSA, for example, or traditional bullseye) that would be a very good point. But what we're advocating here is the use of the techniques which have been developed in the 'action' or 'practical' disciplines in the last 30 years. They are ALL about shooting under sub-optimal conditions, from improvised and contorted positions, while moving, under, over or around cover, etc. This is DEFENSIVE shooting, as close to gunfighting as you can get in a competitive arena, and the basic techniques translate directly to the street.

    That's a good argument against the Weaver stance, as Isosceles is faster and more intuitive to acquire, and comes from shooting traditions where stance, body alignment, and other elements of "perfect" technique simply do not apply.
     
  21. kcshooter

    kcshooter Member

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    I'm all about trying something and giving it a fair shot, and if it doesn't work, ok. So I'm not bashing at all. I'm just wondering.
    Why do you think it is better for defensive shooting?
     
  22. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    Seems to me like this one ought to be a sticky, or at least a tacky where we can all find it easily.
     
  23. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

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    I switched my technique about 2 years ago. I use the thumbs forward hold and have seen a great improvement in my speed and accuracy when shooting fast. If these are not good reasons to try this form for SD I don't know what is.

    By canting the wrists forward you have more ability to resist recoil.

    You can take your thumbs and point them at a target instinctively. With the thumbs forward technique hitting your target is as simple as pointing your thumbs at it.

    A better hold is a better hold. This is factual, practical stuff.

    Spend some time and learn a thumbs forward hold and you'll never be sorry. It's not that hard to learn or relearn for those old dogs. :)
     
  24. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    You're right you can't, but you need a basic foundation to learn the fundamentals before progressing to more advanced techniques. Teaching/learning fundamentals requires a consistent base to work from to correct flaws, which has the fewest inconsistencies...that really is the Thumbs Forward grip as all forces are neutral.

    Once you've gotten a good grasp of the fundamentals, you can shoot off-balance, one-handed, off one foot...like they do in USPSA competition
     
  25. coolluke01

    coolluke01 Member

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    If I also may say. The thumbs forward hold proves the Glock grip angle to be superior. Canting the wrist forward to their limit, like you will when holding a glock with thumbs forward, provides the most recoil management and allows you to have a place to return to that is fixed, ie. as far as the wrists are able to go.
     
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