Friendly and Certified Firearms Training for Women Since 2011

How to Grip a Handgun

A proper grip helps better manage recoil and muzzle rise, and helps a shooter with accuracy, speed, and retention. The hands should be as high on the gun as possible. The handgun should fit in the hand to be straight like an extension of the shooter’s arm. The support hand’s fingers should wrapped around the front of the strong hand, so that all four fingers overlay the three lower fingers of the strong hand. While the strong hand squeezes the pistol with front-to-rear pressure, the support hand clamps pressure from the sides. This gives 360-degree pressure on the pistol providing a stable grip.

Gripping a semiautomatic pistol with thumbs behind the slide is extremely dangerous and can result in serious injury. The movement of the slide across the hand can have devastating and permanent effects.

On a revolver, a proper grip helps better manage recoil and muzzle rise, and helps a shοoter with accuracy, speed, retention, and the ability to manipulate a hammer. The hands should be as high on the gun as possible. The gun should be an extension of the shοoter’s arm with the center of the barrel aligned with the centerline of the arm. The support hand’s fingers should wrapped around the front of the strong hand, so that all four fingers overlay the three lower fingers of the strong hand. While the strong hand squeezes the handgun with front-to-rear pressure, the support hand clamps pressure from the sides. This gives 360-degree pressure on the revolver providing a stable grip.

When firing a revolver it is important to keep all parts of the hands away from the front of the cylinder. Explosive ignition gases exit the cylinder gap when the cartridge is fired. “Knuckles over” or crossed thumbs keeps the shοoter’s hands behind the cylinder without weakening the grip.

If you shοot both revolvers and semi-auto pistols, you must be mindful of your grips on each handgυn system. Because there is no slide, like on a semi-automatic pistol, “thumbs behind” is an acceptable grip for a revolver; however, thumbs behind is very dangerous for a semi-auto. While “thumbs forward” is a preferred grip for a semi-auto, this places the support thumb too close to the cylinder and is therefore dangerous for a revolver. Being aware of these issues may help you determine which grip is best for you, so that your muscle memory does not compromise your safety when switching between platforms.

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