A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Grips and Stances

Even though the rain had abated and the sun baked the moisture from the ground, I found myself alone at the range this afternoon. Click to enlargeI had planned to shoot a bit with Frieda again, but she had other things to attend to. Since I was alone at the range, I worked on controlled pairs with my two Teflon coated 1911s.

A double tap or "hammer" is a bit different than a controlled pair. When a shooter fires a double tap, he fires off the second shot as soon as the muzzle of the gun settles, without reacquiring a sight picture. With a controlled pair, a flash sight picture is achieved before the second shot is squeezed off. It doesn't always result in greater accuracy, and if the truth be told, most people do a blend of the two.

I have found that the isometric grip I use places the muzzle back on target efficiently. To use that grip, the shooter should wrap his support hand far enough around the other to provide for a firm backwards pull.Click to enlarge The knuckles of the support hand should be over the first joint on the primary hand's fingers. Then, as the shooter aligns the sights, the primary hand pushes forward while the support hand pulls back. The pistol is enclosed in a fleshy vise like grip. The grip quickly springs back to it's original configuration after the pistol recoils. While Jack Weaver is generally credited with the two hand shooting grip, many believe it was Jeff Cooper who introduced isometrics into the equation for recoil management. It really doesn't matter where it came from, it works for me.

You can learn more about the big three classical stances at this link.



Blogger Retired Rick said...

I am always amazed the information I learn when reading your blog. I do share some common interest. I like photography, shooting, and a few years back did a lot of Mountain bike riding. I still have it and been thinking of dusting it off and using it again. Keep up the good work.

Retired Rick

10:04 PM  
Blogger Jerry The Geek said...

It works for me, too.

Many people (especially IPSC competitors) advocate a different grip.

Assuming that they are "right-handed" shooters, they place their right thumb on top of their safety. This provides them with more muzzle control and faster double-taps.

My personal experience has not been the same.

When I try to control the muzzle with my right thumb, I tend to shoot to the left. Not a little bit, but a LOT to the left.

I suspect this is not because I am placing weight on the left side (safety side) of the gun, but because I am adding tension in my shooting hand.

That is, I'm not "Pulling" my shots to the left, I'm "Pushing" my shots to the left.

The actual Best Grip may be a matter of preference. Given the HUGE number of competitive (USPSA) shooters who use the 'thumb-rest' grip to best me in competition, there is probably something to be said in favor of it. I'm probably trying to consciously push down on the safety, for example. They might only 'rest' their thumb on the safety.

However, I mention only in passing the anecdotal evidence of a local gunsmith who states that when he receives a 1911-type pistol with a broken safety, he usually discovers that they use the thumb-safety grip.

Does that make them inaccurate shooters? Decidedly not.

I leave it to the shooter to draw conclusions.

Try it for yourself, under pressure of time. See which grip works best for you.

6:03 AM  
Blogger Eric said...

According to The Outdoor Wire, Jack Weaver passed away on April 7: http://www.theoutdoorwire.com/archives/2009-04-13

9:10 PM  

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