Hand Gun Grip, Thumb Forward vs Thumb Over

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by SK2344, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. SK2344

    SK2344

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    I am a right hand shooter and was trained to shoot Revolvers and I carried a S&W as my Duty Weapon for 10 years. We then switched to Semi Auto and I purchased a Glock 19 which I used until retirement. I never did change my grip style to the Thumb Forward and to this day, I still use my left thumb locked over my right thumb and I still shoot very well or better while still using this method! Which Method do you use and Why?
     
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  2. dj45

    dj45

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    For me, it depends on the gun. Some guns I have to use the thumb-over grip so I don't ride the slide release. PPQ I'm looking at you.

    Other guns, Glocks for example, where the slide release is further forward, I can use the thumb-forward grip without interfering with the slide release.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019

  3. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

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    If it works then it works. Can’t argue with results.
     
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  4. jmohme

    jmohme

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    :agree:
    I have always been told that thumb forward was the proper grip method, but to be completely honest, I don't know if I practice that or not.
    I just grip my various handguns in whatever way feels comfortable and allows me to maintain control of the weapon.
    I will have to make the effort to watch myself at the range this week to see what I do.
     
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  5. illrooster132

    illrooster132

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    I SHOOT WICH EVER WAY MAKES IT EASY FOR ME TO HIT THE TARGETS. SOME FOLKS LIKE TO FOLLOW THE " PROFESSIONALS " AND DONT EVENT HIT CRACK!!!!!!!!! i'.m saying work with what ever works for you. no 2 humans are wired the same.
     
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  6. Fatboy2001

    Fatboy2001

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    I knew a guy who used "cup and saucer" - he always out-shot me. Whatever works for you.:cheers:
     
  7. Orive 8

    Orive 8

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  8. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Having grown up as a revolver and 1911 shooter, my grip always focused on controlling the guns and making sure my thumb didn't interfere with operation and manipulation of the gun being used (and also making sure my thumb didn't get bit or gouged by the thumb latch or the rear of the cylinder when shooting Magnum revolvers ;) ).

    The original 1911 Government and a couple Commanders I learned to shoot back then all had standard thumb safeties, so there weren't any "enhanced combat thumb safeties" to worry about being bumped by a thumb. I could use the same "crush grip" shooting both 1 & 2-handed on my revolvers as well as the pistols. My thumb found the 1911 thumb safety and the revolver thumb release latch with alacrity, as needed.

    Fast forward to the era of plastic pistols (and Sig Sauer's), with the slide stop levers shifted far to the rear, and some shooters were discovering problems with the slide stop levers being unintentionally bumped with a right thumb. Not with my crush grip thumb placement, though.

    Sure, when I became a LE firearms instructor I'd dabbled with a variety of grip techniques to better let me help other folks, but I returned to using my low thumb crush grip because it let me use any design of pistol or revolver without worrying about thumb placement interfering with controls. That was useful for me because I was often having to shoot a variety of pistols (and revolvers, still).

    Now, when older or other experienced shooters came through our range who had been trained using various grip techniques, including neutral or high thumb placement, I didn't try to "fix" their grip as long as it wasn't causing them a problem. Sure, sometimes an occasional shooter asked about improving or changing their grip technique, and their thumb positioning might be something we'd discuss and try a bit differently. Every now and again someone discovered that changing their thumb placement (in either direction) actually gave them better control and/or reduced manipulation errors due to their thumb placement.

    Different strokes, and all that. I was always more interested in them being able to controllably and effectively use their weapons, 1 & 2-handed, under stress, than just trying to make them look like me or anyone else. Quite often I didn't even burden them with the "names" of the grip and shooting techniques, but just helped them find whatever grip technique they could best use (and satisfactorily demonstrate for themselves) if their lives were on the line.

    It it works well for someone, it works, so why "fix" what doesn't need to be fixed? However, if it can be tweaked or refined a bit, and that allows someone to experience an improvement they can consistently realize for themselves? Well, why the hell not? Sometimes it's not just about looking pretty or cool on the firing line, but being able to effectively achieve your goal in the midst of some unexpected dynamic, chaotic and rapidly evolving life threatening situation that may come along in the outside world.

    Matter of fact, you could say I tend to use versions of at least 3 different well known shooting techniques myself, depending on the overall physical activities and conditions in which I'm having to shoot. Kind of like my martial arts.
     
  9. Gokyo

    Gokyo

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    In general (I am a right handed shooter).

    thumbs over for revolvers
    Left over right

    Thumbs pointed forward semi autos.
    Right on top of left.

    There are some semis that I use a revolver grip to avoid the slide.
     
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  10. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Also, if you can distinguish the difference when grasping a baseball bat, tennis racket, golf club, ping pong paddle, etc ... why not be able to similarly distinguish the difference among handgun designs, and be able to instantly adjust to use them as desired?
     
  11. byf43

    byf43 NRA Patron Life Member

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    Went to my local Sportsmans club last night, for an informal pistol match.

    Just “the old guys”.

    Paper targets printed with “bowling pins”.
    Targets set at 10 yards.

    One of the guys was shooting his G22 with thumbs forward, and had more misses than hits.

    He’s shooting thumbs forward, right hand shooter.
    Several of us watched him, through 3 relays.
    Cutting paper, just not on the ‘pins’.

    He asked me to shoot his pistol, and I put 3 shots on each target, total time from low ready: 8.18 seconds.
    All shots in the ‘fat portion’ of each target.
    (Regulation pins are 4.75” at the widest point.)
    All shots closely clustered, per target.

    I shoot “Weaver” stance.
    He said, “No effing way!!”
    I had never grasped that particular pistol, before.
    I showed him how I held/grasped his pistol, and after pasting targets, he proceeded to hit the targets, 3 shots on each.

    To me, that “thumbs forward” stuff ain’t for me. (Several others started shooting “Weaver” and their scores went up, too.)

    Granted, another “old guy” shot this pistol (thumbs forward, isosceles) and hit the targets, too.

    “Whatever floats your boat.”
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
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  12. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    I used to remind some guys and gals that the "bullets don't care" how the shooter looked when firing them, nor what gun or grip technique was used ... but just whether or not they ended up hitting where they needed to hit. Hits count. Nobody awards points for style. This ain't figure skating. :p
     
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  13. byf43

    byf43 NRA Patron Life Member

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    So, we’re not supposed to be wearing ‘tights’ when shooting??

    Darn.
     
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  14. CBennett

    CBennett

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    If I was running a range and saw something off(grip wise) and the person was also shooting poorly id take a minute to try to help..BUT if the person had a different(but safe)grip id leave them alone because everyone does stuff a bit different and there isnt any one set and ONLY way to do things effectively..

    aka as many have said...if it works for you, you shoot well, and it doesn't mess up the guns operation(like riding/activating the slide stop for instance) then by all means use what ever works best for YOU.

    Here is a thing that happened to me. I am not a "expert" shot by any means...but I have shot well enough to get perfect qualification scores and im normally around 1-6 points from perfect when we qualify. Typical federal LE B27 target from 3-25 yards typical LE course of fire.

    I kept having this range guy tell me I need to change my grip because im not "doing it right". I never had a issue with my grip and shoot well so I just ignored him as it wasn't a safety issue...and never caused me any issues in my job qualification or in civilian life shooting..the entire time he would bug me..so i kept ignoring him..

    When shooting a full size gun I use a thumbs crossed grip, shooting smaller guns compact to little snubbies/.380 I use thumb forward...I dont know why..this is just natural for me..

    Well anyways at the end of the day I had shot a 327 out of a max 330 score guy was amazed and I said thats why I didnt switch my grip..there isnt any one best way..later as he was a fellow range officer I tried explaining that to him but he is one of those my way is the one and right way lol..so it is what it is lol...but my point was go with what gets you the best results..and if you want to try other stuff feel free to see if you like it more or it gets you better scores..but if not and you do well as is and it causes you no issues/malfunctions..do what you think is best/natural for you.
     
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  15. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Well, that might be anywhere from distracting ... to horrifying. :p

    I wonder if scores would be affected if everyone was required to wear full Spandex when attending a qual session or training class? :faint:
     
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  16. CBennett

    CBennett

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    exactly :) or at least what I do..I also even go into guns that are full size with longer full size grips(like a Glock 17 lets say) vs I use a different grip if I cant get as much of my hand on the grip like say a 26 or 43..
     
  17. byf43

    byf43 NRA Patron Life Member

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    Hahahahahaaaaaaa!
     
  18. drumgod

    drumgod

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    IMHO, You will shoot well with whatever you practice. I generally shot well. I tried thumbs forward and shot poorly. I practiced thumbs forward. Now I shoot thumbs forward better than anything else.

    Thumbs forward felt really awkward at first but now it feels "right". I had to really break down and start over, but once I did I shot better than ever before. Sometimes you need to work outside your comfort zone to improve overall.
     
  19. fastbolt

    fastbolt

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    Isn't it often refreshing how much better things can proceed during quals/training when egos aren't allowed to intrude and interfere? ;)

    It's dismaying that sometimes firearms instructors can't see the training (forest) for the proselytizing of gun brands and shooting technique "name recognition" (trees). Awkwardly phrased, perhaps, but you get my point. ;)
     
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  20. dbuck47

    dbuck47

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    I am 61 and am self taught, though I have read a lot and of course lately watched a lot of videos.
    Back in the day, essentially growing up on Cooper, it was Weaver or some form thereof. Worked for me as I am right handed/left eyed. Old dogs and new tricks, but I am updating my techniques to incorporate some of the newer methods, and it appears to be working for me. I have decided to put some effort into changing for a variety of reasons, including being new to Glocks (and polymer striker fired in general) and changes in eyesight.

    Takeaways from a Jerry Miculek video "don't add extra steps" "Don't do anything that doesn't help you hit the target" and one that has helped me "Bring the handgun up to the dominant eye."

    So with grip, I am working on the thumbs forward, with some meat around the base of the support thumb and heel of support hand going in that space between the finger tips and heel of the dominant hand. I am finding that when I do this and bring the gun up to the dominant eye, the gun is on target and I am hunting less for the front sight. My challenge now is incorporating the new grip into my presentation, after all those years of Weaver.

    Still thumbs down for revolver.

    But to the OP, if it works for you safely, then its good.
     
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