Listen to Episode 430 of the SSA Podcast Here
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Why is a solid grip important for defensive shooting?
Your grip is the interface between you and your defensive handgun. Your handgun is an intimate object and without input from you, the handgun will do nothing. The better your interface is with the handgun, the more efficiently you will be able to drive the handgun to do what you want and need it to do.
Grip Issues in Defensive Handgun Training
A common issue I see with students is the difficulty they can have making precision hits or managing recoil for fast follow up shots because their grip is compromised. Often times, the poor grip begins when the student grasps the gun while it is still in the holster. With a less than optimal grip on the gun, when the gun comes out of the holster, the student is forced to either adjust the grip, or work with a grip that is sub par.
A poor grip can lead to difficulty in placing the trigger finger in the proper place on the trigger leading to poor precision. Too much finger or too little finger on the trigger can both be an issue. Add to that the possibility that a poor grip could make it difficult or impossible to deactivate a trigger block safety and you can see how a poor grip in the holster can lead to problems.
In addition, if the grip isn’t established properly, it can be difficult to place the support hand on the gun. This leads to poor recoil management and slower less precise follow up shots.
A poor grip can be a safety issue as well. If the trigger finger isn’t placed correctly while the gun is still in the holster it can easily drift to the trigger during the draw. The obvious possibility of a negligent discharge is certainly an unwanted outcome.
Your desire to fix your grip can also be a problem. I see shooters work to adjust their grip in two different ways which are both problematic. The first is the “flip it and hope” technique. When a student fails to get a good grip on their gun in the holster, during the draw stroke, they release the grip on the gun in an attempt to shift the hand on the gun. The potential outcome is pretty obvious, a loss of control of the gun and a possible dropped handgun.
The other way folks try to fix their poor grip is the “gun sandwich” technique. Shooters with a poor grip sometimes try to shift their grip while smashing the gun against their body. The gun is the meat in the middle of a couple of slices of you. The issue here is the fact that the gun almost always ends up pointing at some part of the shooters body. You are not a safe direction.
Why is a solid grip important for defensive shooting?
All of the problems of a poor grip can be mitigated by simply working to establish a quality grip on the handgun while the gun is still in the holster. A solid strong hand grip sets you up for success when it comes to drawing the gun, making precision shots from the holster, delivering rapid follow up shots, and keeping control of your handgun from a safety standpoint.
What Makes for a Solid Grip on a Defensive Handgun
When it comes to gripping the gun while it is still in the holster I tend to see some relatively consistent problems with shooters that all can be easily corrected in the holster.
- First, make sure your grip is high on the backstop of the handgun. This puts your hand in the right place to manage recoil.
- Second, your trigger finger needs to be staged so that when the gun is drawn your finger will be up and away from the trigger and trigger guard.
- Next, make sure that your middle, ring and pinky finger come between the front strap of the grip of the gun and your belt. Your middle finger should be pressing hard against the bottom of the trigger guard.
- Finally, make sure that your thumb is able to make its way between the gun and your body.
8 Points of a Quality Grip
I describe the 8 points of the handgun grip that I start out most shooters with in this blog post titled “Get a Grip” and I talk about it in detail in the podcast episode included in the post. You can listen to it below.
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In this episode’s EXCLUSIVE Patron only content I go over the gear I will be using in the upcoming MAG-30 course that David Maglio will be teaching here on September 16-18th.
In addition, I review the goals we have set for the Safety Solutions Academy Patreon Program!
- 50 Patrons – One Patron will win a 2 day Critical Defensive Handgun Course
- 100 Patrons – One Patron will win 1000 rounds of 9mm training ammunition.
- 250 Patrons – One Patron will win 1000 rounds of 9mm training ammunition and a 2 day Critical Defensive Handgun Course
- 500 Patrons – One Patron will win 1000 rounds of 9mm training ammunition, a 2 day Critical Defensive Handgun Course and a new 9mm Gen 5 GLOCK handgun!
So, spread the word so that we can start giving away some of these awesome prizes!
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