Questions on Grip Pressure

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Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by Grunt on 12/4/2011, 10:53 am

Greetings!

How firmly do you grip your pistol? Does the pressure change between .22, wad, or service pistol (i.e. 1911 ball)? Have you noticed any vertical stringing of shots due to a loose or too "soft" of a grip?

I typically use a rather firm grip with only my middle and ring finger applying pressure (straight front-to-rear, no thumb or finger tip pressure). In general this works well, but at times I get that annoying tremor in the front sight due to too much pressure. When this happens I decreased the pressure and that reduces/eliminates the tremor. But, I'm concerned that too light of a grip with CF/Ball may cause inconsistencies with where the rounds impact. My ball gun (which will also be my CF gun for a while) is still being built, so I haven't had any way to experiment with grip pressure (only shooting .22 at the moment.) Any insights you might have would be appreciated. Thank you!!

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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by Rob Kovach on 12/4/2011, 1:14 pm

I cant say I have any difference in any part of my shot process between .22 and 1911. Since I switched from my HS to a .22 conversion I think it's all the same. No pressure on my thumb (unless I want the round to hit at 2 o'clock) same pressure on the trigger finger as the other fingers until I add enough to make it move when my eye sees what it's supposed to.
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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by Al on 12/5/2011, 2:09 pm

I have tried from hard enough to squeeze the oil from the grips to a baby soft caress. I have a bad tendency to relax my grip around shot 4 on sustained fire.

Lately I'm trying something in between I had gotten from somewhere??? Grip the pistol with a firm grip (imagine holding the hand of your 6 yr old child when crossing the street, gentle enough to hold firm but not so hard as to crush). I've also just gotten back into regular shooting after shoulder surgery, so have to relearn and tune up my muscle memory.

I haven't shot the 45 a lot (300-500 rds) but have shot several thousand 22's. The 22 seems to react well to the firm grip, but the jury is still out on the 45, more testing is needed.

FWIW
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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by jakuda on 12/5/2011, 3:48 pm

It depends on the gun.
A good piece of advice I got for the 22, was to not forget about grip pressure. People tend to think that since the recoil is so mild in the 22, that grip pressure gets sloppy. This leads to inconsistent scores.

Grip pressure, whether tight or a little light needs to be consistent. Pick the pressure that is the most comfortable and repeatable. It needs to be repeatable. One of the local high masters, said he got distinguished pistol when he was in his early teens and stick thin. Don't need muscles to shoot tens. I believe him.

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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by Jack H on 12/5/2011, 7:13 pm

Ask yourself what is to be accomplished by the grip.
Grip should be thought of not as just a recoil management thing.
Rather, as a way to:
help hold the gun up,
help align the sights in front of the eye,
help stabilize the pistol in that alignment,
be the platform for a straight trigger press, ........
and help control, which I think will take care of itself if the previous 4 things are done to the max.

Read this by Blankenship:

  1. Pick up the gun by the barrel or slide.
  2. Place the stock between the thumb and forefinger of the
    right hand and push the gun firmly to the heel of the
    hand, being careful to watch how the gun seats.
  3. While pushing the gun into the hand, wrap the fingers
    firmly around the grip
  4. All the fingers are used to grip the gun and equal
    pressure by all the fingers is necessary to control the
    weapon. No excessive pressure should be exerted on the
    side of the gun by the thumb.
  5. The greatest pressure should be between the heel of the
    hand and that portion of the fingers on the front of the
    stock.
  6. While gripping very firm, the trigger finger must be able
    to work back and forth enough to give it an independent
    action. This can be accomplished through dry firing and
    practicing taking the grip on the weapon.
  7. This firm grip should be maintained at the same pressure
    while squeezing the trigger to fire one shot or an entire
    string of shots. A common mistake made is to not get the
    grip in the same way, causing the gun to feel differently
    in the hand and thereby causing the individual to
    hesitate to squeeze the trigger. A frequent mistake made
    is to gradually release the grip while squeezing the
    trigger especially during a string of sustained fire and
    will result in a definite loss of control. To grip the
    weapon with a very firm grip and with the same pressure
    throughout the delivery of a shot or string of shots will
    reduce the chances of making this mistake.
And about grip part way down in this from the AMU

http://www.bullseyepistol.com/chapter1.htm
(both above on the Bullseye Encyclopedia)
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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by Grunt on 12/7/2011, 5:03 pm

Thanks folks, I appreciate the help!!

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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by Dave C. on 12/18/2011, 5:44 pm

Use as firm a grip as you can with out shaking or relaxing your
grip mid way through your shot plan at the long line or 5 shot
string at the short line. You are working on building your grip
strength aren't you? And never grip the gun any harder than
it takes to get the sap running out of the grips!
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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by Jack H on 12/18/2011, 6:16 pm

When do we (you) apply that grip pressure? On the bench? Top of the raise. Outside the black? ??
And if early applied, what do you do to monitor not loosening the grip unintentionally during the string, or even during the trigger press?
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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by Chris_D on 12/19/2011, 5:35 am

Jack H wrote:When do we (you) apply that grip pressure? On the bench? Top of the raise. Outside the black? ??
And if early applied, what do you do to monitor not loosening the grip unintentionally during the string, or even during the trigger press?

During sustained fire, I go for "full squeeze" when raising the gun up, however, when I place the gun in my hand I also go for full squeeze. I relax my grip anytime the gun is on the bench. I only relax enough to release tension, especially during slow fire. I have had "tennis elbow" which lasted for a year or so and I don't want that to happen again so I rest the arm any chance I can.

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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by Dave C. on 12/19/2011, 7:38 am

60% on ready on the left, 100% on ready on the firing line.
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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by Founder on 12/19/2011, 10:47 pm

Your grip and pressure should be established prior to the gun ever leaving the bench. What happens when ready on the firing line comes along and as you tighten your grip the sights/scope is not aligned?
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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by Jack H on 12/19/2011, 11:37 pm

Actually I am using a final setting of the wrist and grip to finalize eye alignment and stability. I steer more with the bigger muscles of the arm and shoulder for placement.. Really it is my move to center (north pole) as I press the trigger. The wrist and grip hold the alignment to my eyeline.
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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by Grunt on 12/20/2011, 9:07 pm

I apply pressure as my gun leaves the bench. I don't typically have to worry about losing grip pressure, unless I'm really squeezing harder than normal (fatigue sets in and the result is less pressure.) But if I apply moderate pressure, its fairly easy to maintain pressure without conscience thought.

That said, one correlation I have noticed is when my front sight is low and seems to be stuck there. Almost always, this is due to too much pressure from my ring finger. If I back that off a tad, the front sight comes level.

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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by BE Mike on 12/22/2011, 9:15 am

In the Gil Hebard book "The Pistol Shooter's Treasury", there is a photo of Bill Blankenship's palm after releasing his grip on his pistol. One can see every "check" impressed in his hand from the checkering. That's the way I roll, but then again, I have never had the benefit of Brian Zin's classes.
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Re: Questions on Grip Pressure

Post by Jack H on 12/22/2011, 1:20 pm

Grip to accomplish something in the sights.
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