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Proper Pistol Grip

Having a firm grip on your gun is extremely important. It not only gives you more control but it also helps minimize recoil and helps keep your sights aligned. It takes a little getting used to but when you hold your gun the right way, you notice an improvement in your shots immediately.

Strong Hand:

  • Position: Place the palm of your strong hand directly on the middle of the beavertail (the back of the grip) of the handgun. Your hand should resemble a "C". 

  • High Grip: Get your hand as high up on the grip as possible without interfering with the slide. You skin should be resting, even pushing, on the beavertail at the back of the gun.

  • Arm Inline with Barrel: Think of your pistol as an extension of your body. You and your pistol are one. You aren't holding anything, it has become a part of your body. When you extend you arm, the barrel of the gun should be inline with your forearm.

  • Finger Placement: Wrap your fingers around the grip, ensuring that your trigger finger is outside the trigger guard unless you’re actively engaging a target.

  • Two Finger Pressure: Press your middle finger and ring finger firmly against the bottom of the trigger guard. Squeeze tightly. Your pinky finger should be fairly loose; the majority of the grip will be with your middle two fingers.

Support Hand:

  • Surface Contact: Marry your two hands together on the pistol. Creating as much surface contact as possible with the firearm. The more of the gun you are holding on to, the stronger the grip will be.

    • You should grab the gun with your support hand at a roughly 45 degree angle. This should allow you to place your support hand on the gun and it should fit into your strong hand like a puzzle piece.​

  • Fight Recoil: There should be no gaps between your hands. You should be able to see any part of the gun between you hands.

    • If you do have gaps in your grip, you may need to rotate the support hand forward to eliminate any gaps.

  • Thumb Alignment: Line up both thumbs on the side of the slide (similar to a golfing grip). Avoid crossing the thumbs; stack one on top of the other.

Pressure and Control:

  • Varied Pressure: The pressure applied to each hand while gripping a pistol varies from person to person. Experiment at the range to find what allows you to control recoil without jerking the trigger.

  • Support Hand Pressure: Your support hand should provide most of the pressure to maintain control. Think of your support hand pulling your strong hand towards you.

  • Lean Into It: Lean slightly towards forward when you are shooting, putting more weight on your front foot than the back. This will help offset some of the recoil.

Remember these key points when holding a handgun:

  • Always keep both hands on the weapon.

  • Lean slightly forward to offset recoil.

  • Maintain a solid, steady stance to prevent wide aim swings and ensure safety for those nearby.

Practice, practice, practice! Proper grip enhances accuracy, reduces recoil, and contributes to safe firearm handling.

For more detailed information, consider checking out these very helpful and informative videos from weapons experts:

  • Chris Sajnog: Navy SEAL teaches proper grip. (One of my favorite videos about this. Check it out below.)

Stay safe and responsible! 

Proper Pistol Grip - Navy SEAL Teaches How to Grip a Pistol

Proper Pistol Grip - Navy SEAL Teaches How to Grip a Pistol

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