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Proper Grip From The “Git Go”

Posted by Rob Longenecker on July 15th, 2006

Pistol shooting has evolved greatly thanks to those like Jeff Cooper, Rob Leatham, Brian Enos, Chip McCormick, Jerry Barnhart, Todd Jarrett and many others who have contributed so much to the sport.

If you are training for self defense then you must†learn and practice these 3 key elements:

  1. Grip
  2. Stance
  3. “Index”

The first of these is the grip.† Now, several things have changed about proper gripping since I learned to shoot a 1911 with Jeff Cooper almost 30 years ago. But the one thing that hasn’t is getting a proper full firing grip with your strong hand while the gun is still holstered.

That means you won’t need to re-grip between†the time the gun clears your holster and it’s brought on target.

Can you imagine trying to pull your gun from the holster with your thumb and just two fingers, then re-gripping it under stress as you bring it to bear on your target?

Some holsters don’t have the necessary clearance and some IWB’s ride too low. Some who carry IWB mistakenly re-engineer a well designed holster to have it ride lower in their pants for “better concealment.”†

But in doing that, they sacrifice having clearance for a full firing grip. Not good.

When asked, they will tell you that they’ve practiced grabbing with fingers and thumb and then re-gripping while drawing.† And they’lll†probably claim to have mastered it.†

But do you think when their heart is pounding and they’re in fear for their life they’ll do as well?†

Fine motor control is lost under stress.† And besides, a two-stage re-gripping draw will slow you down and we all know what happens to the slowest guy in a gun fight, don’t we?

We’ll discuss the elements of a proper grip in another post another day.

Watch this†great video clip of 1996 IPSC World Champion Todd Jarrett†on how to properly hold a handgun.

Your holster must allow for a full firing grip.† There are some that donít. In the pictures below you can see there is complete clearance for your hand to grip your handgun fully.

grip_clear_exs.jpg

Whether under the stress of shooting competitively or the ultimate stress of defending your life, you must have the ability to grip your gun properly the same way every time with confidence and with no conscious thought.†

It’s the first step to winning or surviving.

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