Fundamentals of handgun accuracy: Part 1, Grip

Aimed, accurate fire (single or double action) has a definite place in police combat training. After bull’s-eye target accuracy is achieved, the … trainee should then be projected into practical … combat ranges, where he shoots at silhouettes under simulated conditions such as he may encounter during routing performance of his many and varied duties.” Col. Rex Applegate

Among the greats of shooting several names come to mind, Rex Applegate, Elmer Keith, Annie Oakley, Ed McGiven, Jerry Miculek, D.A. Bryce, Jeff Cooper and .22 Plinkster are some of the first names to come to mind for me. Now many of the modern class of shooters have never even heard of least of all read anything written or filmed by these individuals. Most modern shooters know the name, .22 Plinkster the psuedonym for an internet phenomena. However, others, maybe not so much. I do highly recommend reading and absorbing the various articles, books and shooting approaches initiated by or popularized by the names above.

One constant that exists with all of these amazing shooters is, they practiced the basics regularly to the point of wearing out many a firearm in most cases. I personally have worn out several handgun barrels practicing and am no where near the same level that even today’s competitive shooters are at, though I am quite satisfied with my ability. All of them have or had made adjustments to their firearms that individualize them. Crisper triggers, better barrels, adjusted timing, cropped or extended hammers and more. However, the simple reality remains, if you gave exactly the same firearm to each individual on this list they would be able to shoot it well. Easily the most important part of solid marksmanship is in the basics.

Gripping a handgun

  1. Dominate (non dominate can and should be practiced with as well) hand should be firmly seated with the webbing of the hand tight under the curve at the top of the grip.
  2. The meat of the palm should be towards the back of the grip, it is important to maintain as much skin on grip contact as possible.
  3. The bottom three fingers should wrap tightly under the trigger guard firmly touching the bottom of the trigger guard and clasping the grip.
  4. The trigger or index finger (otherwise known as the safety) should be laying along the frame above the trigger guard, a slight crook in this finger allows stronger retention.
  5. The thumb can be either pointed up or alongside the opposite lower side of the frame from the index finger. This is up to the individual, though, some firearms are known for their desire to eat your thumb if it is too high.
  6. The support hand should be placed with the meat of the hand in the gap between the fingertips and the meat of your dominate hand on the opposite side of the grip.
  7. Wrap all four fingers around the front and underneath the trigger guard again firmly placing them against the underside of the trigger guard and wrapped over the three fingers from the dominate hand.
  8. The alternate thumb should be underneath the dominate hands thumb, it is important to not cross these digits as this will not aid in a firm platform.
  9. Utilizing a “crushed” grip or a very firm grip (finger tips reddening, whitening hands) one may assume that this grip will in fact provide a strong platform for shooting and doing so accurately.
  10.  Understand that the same principles can be used for a revolver, single hand shooting and alternative shooting approaches.

This is grip, the first most essential aspect of accurate aimed or point shooting approaches.

Free the mind and the body will follow


About Jesse Mathewson

Jesse Mathewson is the author of the popular blog, and provides commentary to many varied places based on a background that includes education in criminal justice, history, religion and even insurgency tactics and tactical training. His current role in his community is as an organizer of sorts and a preacher of community solidarity and agorism. He also runs Liberty Practical Training, a self defense school specializing in the practical applications of defensive approaches versus the theoretical. As an agorist, voluntaryist and atheist his life is seen as crazy and wild by many, though once they get to know him most realize he is a bluntly honest individual who will give you the shirt off his back if he believes it is necessary to help you. Very simple, "That which is voluntary between all individuals involved is always right, if it is not voluntary, it is always wrong."
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2 Responses to Fundamentals of handgun accuracy: Part 1, Grip

  1. jeffreycanthony says:

    Funny memories of the military teaching teacup style grip. I have a feeling it was “studying to the test” for the type of qualifications they are doing.


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