Thumb Placement

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Thumb Placement

Post by Soupy44 on 5/2/2017, 12:32 pm

First off a thank you for all that have been responding to my questions. Was first person out of leg points this weekend at the CMP Eastern Games in service pistol with a PR of 255. Probably could have found 8 points to get a bronze leg if my 79 SF hadn't been nine 8s and a 7; had that sucker surrounded!

Someone mentioned I appeared to be gripping with my thumb a bit too much. I haven't really put much thought into my thumb, mainly my squeezing of the other fingers. I feel like I rest my thumb on top of the tip of my middle finger simply as a point of reference, and there is little to no tension in it, and little to no pressure applied to the gun.

What are the effects of excessive thumb pressure or a lack of pressure? I've experimented with it in my dry fire practice, but I see little difference.

Thanks!

Soupy44

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Re: Thumb Placement

Post by Froneck on 5/2/2017, 12:59 pm

From my experience with grips that had a thumb rest when I was getting started was that the thumb tend to push the shot down or in the lower right (right handed shooter) You might want to try keeping your thumb off the middle finger, it may be acting like the thumb rest in my case. Some shooter have it sticking out but I like in closed to add stability to my grip. My best at Perry in the Nation match was 287 with 1911 using 230gr issued FMJ bullets.

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Re: Thumb Placement

Post by bdas on 5/2/2017, 1:18 pm

Soupy44 wrote:Someone mentioned I appeared to be gripping with my thumb a bit too much. I haven't really put much thought into my thumb, mainly my squeezing of the other fingers. I feel like I rest my thumb on top of the tip of my middle finger simply as a point of reference, and there is little to no tension in it, and little to no pressure applied to the gun.

What are the effects of excessive thumb pressure or a lack of pressure? I've experimented with it in my dry fire practice, but I see little difference.

The typical answer is the that excessive thumb pressure will cause the shots to go right for a right-handed shooter, and left for a left-handed shooter, because the thumb is pushing sideways on the frame and thus causing the gun to move away from the thumb as you are pulling the trigger.  As Froneck points out, if you had a thumbrest in the grip (which I assume you don't, since you said your thumb touches your middle finger) that pressure would be down-and-right for a right-handed shooter, or down-and-left for a left-handed shooter.

But I think that would only happen if you are changing grip pressure as you are pulling the trigger.  As long as your grip pressure doesn't change while pulling the trigger (and you're not gripping so hard you create tremors or so loose that the gun shifts in your hand), I'm struggling to see how any level of thumb pressure would affect POI.  And that might explain why you don't see any difference during dry fire.

That being said, most of what I've read suggests that you should use very little thumb pressure for bullseye.  Most people suggest that pressure should be applied to the front strap with your fingers and to the back strap with your palm, with minimal pressure on the sides from your thumb, fingertips, palm, etc.  I heard it described the other day as being like holding a pair of pliers.  I believe the idea behind gripping with minimal sideways pressure is that that makes it harder to mess things up while pulling the trigger.

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Re: Thumb Placement

Post by Soupy44 on 5/2/2017, 10:11 pm

There's a thumb rest on my M41, and my thumb does rest on that.  My thumb resting on the side of my middle finger is when I'm shooting the 1911.  I am right handed.

After dry firing the last few days, I feel my thumb is a non-issue at least for the level I'm at now.  After getting rid of my 1oc shots, my groups have become quite round.  The wide shots I get now I understand why they're there...aka I'm now much more aware each time the nut behind the sights being loose.

Thanks!

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Re: Thumb Placement

Post by Jon Eulette on 5/2/2017, 11:09 pm

I recommend learning how to grip the 1911 using your entire hand to include fingers and thumb. Just learn how to consistently grip it keeping the trigger finger independent of gripping fingers. I used to shoot with just front strap and backstrap pressure but wish I would've converted to using the entire hand to grip sooner. Once you figure it out you'll see better more consistent groups. I shoot all calibers the same way. You guys that still shoot warmer loads will benefit! Dry firing is where you learn how to grip your pistol. Live fire just confirms it Smile
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