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How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

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How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

Postby Chasbo00 » Tue, 29 May 2012 16:46:08

When I go the range, I nearly always notice that most people shooting pistols don't have a proper grip. If slow fire is all you ever do or it is all you are interested in doing, having a poor two-handed grip does not really matter much. But, I believe shooting a pistol well also means being able to shoot it both rapidly and accurately. This skill is a must for action pistol competition; but, it's also important for those who have a pistol just for defense. Being able to quickly deliver effective follow-up shots is often a necessity to stop an attacker, or especially multiple attackers. Here is a good training video on how to properly grip a semi-auto pistol to control recoil and limit muzzle flip:

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Re: How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

Postby Mav » Wed, 30 May 2012 22:51:01

great video! definitely a help to someone like me who's a new shooter.
I'll have to try some of this next time I'm at the range.

here's another video I found about handgun shooting (a bit more for defensive shooting) it talks about a push-pull method.. what do you think?


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Re: How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

Postby Chasbo00 » Thu, 31 May 2012 00:25:24

Mav wrote:here's another video I found about handgun shooting (a bit more for defensive shooting) it talks about a push-pull method.. what do you think?


I think the Weaver stance and the grip push-pull technique often associated with it are a bit dated. Although they will certainly work, there is a newer and better way. Here is another video where both the grip and a more modern stance are addressed.

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Re: How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

Postby Mav » Thu, 31 May 2012 12:11:26

ahh i see.. another good vid... i'll have to give these a try too..
more practice, practice, practice ;) :pistol:


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Re: How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

Postby Jamie » Thu, 31 May 2012 21:04:27

I think pretty much everyone teaches a push-pull grip of some variation. Stances vary, though, and I'm of the opinion that they don't matter much unless you're into competitions. If you create a habit of getting into a square stance, I think you'd be at a disadvantage in a sudden gun fight coming at you from the side.


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Re: How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

Postby Chasbo00 » Thu, 31 May 2012 22:45:26

Jamie wrote:I think pretty much everyone teaches a push-pull grip of some variation. Stances vary, though, and I'm of the opinion that they don't matter much unless you're into competitions. If you create a habit of getting into a square stance, I think you'd be at a disadvantage in a sudden gun fight coming at you from the side.


The reason action or practical pistol competition shooters do things the way they do is because it works best. The Weaver stance, the two-handed grip, in fact nearly every advancement in pistol shooting technique over the last 35 years came from competition shooting and the top competitors figuring out better and better ways to shoot both accurately and fast. You won't find any top competition shooters today using the Weaver stance and a push pull grip - it's simply not the best way to shoot fast and accurately. What you will find though is the top tier tactical units in DoD specifically soliciting the best competition shooters for handgun training because these are the folks who really know how to shoot both fast and accurately and the top tier operators know that shooting as fast and accurately as they can is really important in their line of work.
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Re: How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

Postby mpx3750 » Sat, 02 Jun 2012 16:46:42

Thanks to all , great info.


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Re: How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

Postby Chasbo00 » Sat, 02 Jun 2012 16:55:08

Here is a video I like that talks a bit about stances:

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Re: How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

Postby Jamie » Sat, 02 Jun 2012 19:37:29

What is used instead of push-pull in competitions?


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Re: How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

Postby Chasbo00 » Sun, 03 Jun 2012 04:00:30

Jamie wrote:What is used instead of push-pull in competitions?


A proper grip. The key to recoil control is the support hand. A push-pull action adds isometric tension and actually limits speed and flexibility. Both arms extended equally allow the gun to recoil straight up and down rather that to one side or the other. This also aids is shooting faster. Here is an old video by Todd Jarrett that still on target:

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Re: How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

Postby Jamie » Mon, 04 Jun 2012 07:06:49

I wonder if we're not using different terminology or something. Everything Jarrett said about how to grip the pistol mirrors what I've learned from Gunsite, Blackwater, and other self-defense instructors. He just seems to prefer isometric to the Weaver stance.


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Re: How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

Postby Chasbo00 » Mon, 04 Jun 2012 08:54:36

Jamie wrote:I wonder if we're not using different terminology or something. Everything Jarrett said about how to grip the pistol mirrors what I've learned from Gunsite, Blackwater, and other self-defense instructors. He just seems to prefer isometric to the Weaver stance.


I don't think the grip is an issue anymore - just about everyone is teaching the same grip, even the NRA in their basic pistol course. It's purely my opinion, but I believe those teaching Weaver and a push-pull technique are just slow to come around for any number of reasons. They will eventually adopt those techniques proven to work best by the competition shooters. There will always be different approaches to tactics - lot's of wiggle room in this arena. Plus, if you are running a tactical training school, you want to brand you training so you can claim your unique and better than the competition. Since there are no standards or objective measures of what constitutes better or best, it's not hard to claim a particular tactical approach is "the best way." This is not the case with action or practical competition shooting - shooting accurately and fast is objectively scored and it's scored down to one one-hundredth of a second with respect to what fast means.

This guy is pretty fast... From concealment, draw, shoot two head shots to a 3x5 index card, perform a slide-lock reload, then four shots to the center-of-mass down-zero zone on an IDPA target (8 inch circle) at a target seven yards away.

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Re: How to properly grip a semi-auto pistol

Postby sarge22853 » Fri, 13 Jul 2012 23:17:02

Just some great all around information, I'll try some of the "new stuff." I learned on the "push - pull" technique, and it works for me. Let me date myself here, I was brought up on single action 45s and 44s, and while the movies like to show folks "facing off" (yeah like in a dual) I was taught to turn sideways draw and from a belly holster and bust the cap. I don't think I'd be any good in/at competition shooting, but I think I can still hit a man in the head at 12 feet (well at least with a single action 45). I "plink" with my autos and single actions now a days, and the speed, wel is slower. But it is still "fun." Thanks again ...... :thumbsup:


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