Snubby Grip Technique

Discussion in 'The Snubbie Club' started by ArtCrafter, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. ArtCrafter

    ArtCrafter ¤Hocker Mocker¤

    Mine, that is, with credit to the late Bill Jordan who noted in his book, No Second Place Winner, that many revolver stocks are designed to place the burden of recoil exactly where it hurts the most: In the 'web' between thumb and forefinger. While this is true, there are sometimes ways around it, and I accidentally discovered one with the J-frame Models 642-0 and 638-1.

    My 642 came with this type of stocks (shown here on a 640 in .357):


    This pair of stocks allowed for a conventional, full-finger grip on the gun with the thumb curled downward.

    My 638 came with this type of stocks (shown here on a 637):


    This pair of stocks did not allow for a conventional grip.

    In addition to lacking a spot for the little finger, I found I could no longer curl my thumb downward because it interfered with the trigger stroke. The tip of my trigger finger was basically stopped by my thumb. Not good.

    In order to get around this, I adopted a 'high thumb' hold. In essence, I use the thumb latch as a thumb rest. (Not quite, but you get the idea.) This in turn required that I flex the muscles in my palm in a different manner than usual in order to get a good grip on the gun.

    When shooting, I immediately noticed a huge difference in perceived recoil: The 638 with the little boot grip seemed to kick far less than the 642 ever did, even though its grips were much larger (and more 'conventional').


    Well, for some time, I never bothered to try and figure out why. I was just happy to have an Airweight − and, later, an Airlite − with stocks I could comfortably shoot.

    Then one day I finally ordered a copy of Mr. Jordan's book, No Second Place Winner. I'd read it once before, but that was a long time ago. In it, he talks about his grip design and the way it directs the kick into the palm of your hand instead of the usual spot where it hurts.

    The light went on. That's basically what I'd accomplished with the lowly Uncle Mike's Boot Grip shown in the second pic above simply by taking a high thumb hold!

    Amazing. And lucky.

    Anyway, if it makes any sense, maybe this can help someone else. Basically, pay attention to (and possibly change) the way the muscles in your palm interact with the grip.

    Like most of us, I think, I mainly paid attention to how I was flexing the rest of my hand when gripping a handgun. If I had figured out the other part sooner (or fully absorbed Mr. Jordans message the first time I read it 30+ years ago), I might have saved myself some pain.

    HTH :wavey:

    PS: For those who might be interested, you can get No Second Place Winner at Amazon for only $15.95. Much of it is dated, of course, but a lot of it is timeless. It's even in hardcover.

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
    #1 ArtCrafter, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
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  3. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    If you need to worry about special grips because your J frame .38 hurts your really shouldn't admit that in public. I'm been shooting them with wood grips and +P ammo since the 80's and haven't felt one that hurt yet.

    #2 Bren, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  4. Bill Jordan shot revolvers with a high thumb hold?
    The grip you are using may mitigate felt recoil but is there a difference in muzzle rise (less or more)?
  5. ArtCrafter

    ArtCrafter ¤Hocker Mocker¤

    It's not so much "hurt" as it can be uncomfortable. Either can lead to less practice, which is not good.

    Some people do get 'bitten' pretty good (from what they say), but as you point out, even wood grips can work just fine.

    My only intent with the OP was to offer up a technique for gripping the gun that I 'accidentally' discovered and found comfortable for shooting the little guns.

    Incidentally, the Uncle Mike's grips are pretty stiff, not soft like Pachmayrs. For all practical purposes, they might as well be wood. Except for finish wear, of course: The Uncle Mike's are much more 'forgiving' in that regard, too.

    Lastly, "special grips" exist because there is a demand for them. If you prefer factory grips or others of whatever composition, more power to you.

    #4 ArtCrafter, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  6. ArtCrafter

    ArtCrafter ¤Hocker Mocker¤


    No, I don't think Bill Jordan used a high thumb hold. Possibly he did in bullseye shooting (thumb rest grips were popular in that sport back then), but I have no evidence one way or the other.

    What I said was that I use a high thumb hold with the J-frame. I even explained why. Then, I expounded on the result (with respect to perceived recoil).

    I don't know about the "difference in muzzle rise." I only know the gun doesn't move in my hand and shooting it doesn't 'hurt.' (lol)
    #5 ArtCrafter, Jul 2, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2012
  7. I will have to try that at the next range session. My thumbs can usually stay down and out of the way but on J frames with boot grips and the LCR with the CT grips it can be a problem. I'm using the boot grip on the LCR right now and it's mostly ok but I have to be very conscious of how tight I lock my thumbs down. I'd like to go back to the CT grips on the LCR.
  8. Bello

    Bello America/Italia

    [​IMG]those are jerry miculek hands and his j frame grip technique

  9. I recently started using this grip when shooting my M&P340. Helped a bunch.
  10. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    I use support side thumbs crossed, not really any different than with pistols.
    I DO choke up on the J frames, at least the Centennials. I like the UM/Spegel shape as well.
  11. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

    That's great if you always shoot revolvers. Develop that habit and you'll use it in an emergency, which = pain and malfunction with an auto.
  12. If you notice the pic of Jerrys trigger finger, you see that it is not on the pad but down to the first segment joint. This is the technique I have adapted to eliminate trigger guard slap and control this little demon a little better. I hadnt noticed Jerrys grip until just now in reguards to the trigger finger.

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