Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

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Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by daflorc on 1/29/2018, 9:51 pm

I know this subject has been covered before, but since we all have nothing better to do than to post and learn on this forum, but what's one more time, right?

I have heard from several people on this forum that most high ranking shooters use slabs on their 1911's. I personally found early success (for me) with Herrett's Nationals, after starting my bullseye shooting hobby with slabs, and now I have a nearly identical pair of Dick Horton's custom grips on my 22 and my centerfire pistols. They took some getting used to coming off the Herrett's, but they were expensive so I stayed with them. Recently my slow fire scores have not been consistent, but timed are almost always 97-100, and rapid 93-99. I am also not able to go to the range 3+ days a week like I could last year due to work, so I do a small amount of dry fire. I have around a 278 or 279 average NMC score in rim and centerfire on the league. If match pressure and anxiety weren't a thing, my match scores would be much higher, but that's not reality right now. Still, knowing what I am capable of in practice makes me think I have a decent idea of the fundamentals. But I'm wondering if I'm holding myself back by not throwing the slabs back on and giving them a good solid effort for a few months straight. 

So now my question - why slabs? Are they ergonomically designed to let a good shooter shoot better at the top end than the Horton's or the Herrett's? I definitely feel that the palm shelf and shape of my grips help stabilize the gun, particularly in rapid fire/centerfire, and I think they are more forgiving of grip pressure. I also feel that they are more comfortable to grip than slabs, at least when shooting the 45, which I've noticed I need to grip much tighter. When I grip slabs as hard as I need to in order to recover quickly from rapid fire, or even just shoot tight groups, my hand cramps up, particularly when focusing on front/back pressure. On some level I feel that the grips I use are a crutch, like training wheels to make up for improper technique. On the other hand, I wonder if not everyone's hands are suited to making the most of slabs, and the ergonomic grips help a shooter play the game (bullseye) better. Kind of like using a red dot - I'd love to shoot master scores with irons only and stock grips, but I really don't think its in the cards for me - I have pretty bad eyes, and even with strong contact lenses its hard to see minute detail on my front sight, or its exact location. 

Any insight from the masters who have used every kind of grips? 

thanks,

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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by Wobbley on 1/29/2018, 10:38 pm

I’ve only ever used slabs on a 1911, and I’m not a master. But that said, I find ergonomic grips prevent me from truly gripping a pistol hard. And you need to grip a 45 hard to help control the recoil.
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by Jon Eulette on 1/29/2018, 11:22 pm

Consistency! Slabs are forgiving in comparison to euro grips. 99% of euro grips do not fit the hand correctly. Even when from a tracing/copy of the hand. I shot int'l for many years and fought it until I sat down with a grip maker and had my grips made in person. I had 3 Morini grips made by Cesar and immediately shot a personal best with each pistol that grips were made for. I recently shot a match with a pistol with euro grips. Every shot that wasn't a 10 @ 50 yds I could easily attribute to grip pressure changes. I could see it in the red dot. So the better shooters have learned through trial and error that slabs are typically the best choice. I also believe a closed hand can grip better than a slightly opened hand such as most euro grips do.
Jon
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by SMBeyer on 1/29/2018, 11:32 pm

I started with slabs on my 45 cause well that's what they came with.  I was shooting a model 41 for 22 at the time and purchased a set of Rink XL left hand for it.  I really liked the Rinks on the 41 and when a set of XL left Rinks for a 1911 came up on Target Talk I bought them.  Don't remember exactly what I paid but it was around $200.  I put them on my 1911 and they were huge!  Put a ton of putty under my hand to get them to contact the bottom of the non adjustable shelf.  Shot them for a while then decided to buy a set of L Rinks.  After a bit of Dremel work the fit OK but never really shot them that great.  Did a bunch more Dremel work and got them to feel really good but still never felt they were doing anything for me or my scores.  So now i'm $400-$500 dollars into grips for the 1911.  Picked up a friends 1911 with $16 Hogue molded rubber grips with a small palm swell and was like "yeah that's what I've been looking for".  Bought a pair and have never picked up a 1911 with "ergo" grips again.  Got about a gazilion dollars of Rink grips on other guns that I like but not for me on the 1911.  I will say on any given day my hold is not as good with the 1911 as it is with the Pardini with Rinks but I could never get along with them on the 1911.

All I can say is you have to try things to see if it is for you.  Unfortunately sometimes it's an expensive experiment that goes nowhere.

Side note:  I think 1911's are hideous with ergo grips but that's just my opinion.

John replied while I was slowly typing this and I would agree with the open hand comment.  I think that was my main drawback to the ergo grips was the feeling of too much "stuff" in my hand.

Scott
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by john bickar on 1/29/2018, 11:49 pm

Numbers.

I put up bigger scores with slab grips in bullseye.

And I am a guy who has put many hundreds of thousands of rounds downrange with ergonomic grips.
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by Chris Miceli on 1/30/2018, 12:26 am

Every 2650 shooter I’ve seen shoots slabs
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by CR10X on 1/30/2018, 5:43 am

I've seen people shoot great scores with "ortho" grips.  Those were mostly .22's.  I've seen people shoot great scores with "slab" grips.  Those were mostly .45's.  But those people also shot great scores with the .22 (with "ortho" or "slabs").   So, what's the difference?

It seems to me that it comes down to consistently "gripping" the grip.  If a shooter is gripping the slabs well and transfers that consistency to the "ortho" grips, they seem to do well.   Those that have any inconsistency with the "ortho" grips, just really don't seen to get settled in with the slabs.

This seems to show up even more when shooters have less time behind the trigger.  And yes, there is a transition and some strange feeling when shifting from one to the other (at least for me when I was trying different things.)

But when I settled on using slabs for everything and got the trigger length correct and consistent across the guns, things became more consistent.  And it does take some grip pressure to be consistent with the .45.  So l learned to shoot the .45 and simply now grip the .22 the same way (with slabs or similar on pretty much everything).  

Anyway, hope this rambling helps.

CR

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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by mspingeld on 1/30/2018, 7:24 am

About a year ago I surveyed 18 high masters about this. All 18, mostly strangers, took the time to send me thorough, thoughtful responses. The tally was: 15 for slabs, 3 for personal preference. On of my favorite responses was:

"On an ortho grip the pressure your hand exerts on the gun is spread out across the whole grip. This is good for a light recoiling gun but bad for a 1911 because it gives you a false sense of how hard you are gripping. To recover from recoil you need a good grip and with slabs the pressure is only on the front and backstrap instead of the whole grip."

Add to that what Jon said above: 99% of ortho grips don't fit the hand properly.

Those, and the other replies, convinced me to switch back to slabs for the .45. I do, however, use Dick Horton grips on my Pardini .22.

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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by Magload on 1/30/2018, 10:06 am

Dang guys maybe I should stop buying my grips for how petty they look.  I have always been in love with a fine wood gun stock.  Even have a AR 15 with wood furniture.  After reading many post on here saying to use slabs I have switched back to them and feel like my gripping the gun has improved.  Wish I could say the same for my scores.  Don
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by bogierich on 1/30/2018, 10:41 am

So for a follow-up question here, WHICH slabs are preferable when considering hand size? I have many times heard Brian Zins mention "thin slabs" for his .45, and understanding that rubber vs. G10 vs. wood vs. just about anything else would be personal preference, but how do you determine a "thin" slab grip vs. a "normal" or thicker slab? If "feeling" is an important factor then this can still be an exercise in experimentation finding the right slab.
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by Chris Miceli on 1/30/2018, 10:46 am

bogierich wrote:So for a follow-up question here, WHICH slabs are preferable when considering hand size? I have many times heard Brian Zins mention "thin slabs" for his .45, and understanding that rubber vs. G10 vs. wood vs. just about anything else would be personal preference, but how do you determine a "thin" slab grip vs. a "normal" or thicker slab? If "feeling" is an important factor then this can still be an exercise in experimentation finding the right slab.

I like the shark skins, If you have really meaty but small hands the thins might be helpful. A lot depends on your hand size and girth....along with your trigger length. If i remember correctly when i saw Zins gun it was a short gi style trigger and thing grips.
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by Jon Eulette on 1/30/2018, 11:01 am

I think thin are too thin for most shooters unless smaller hands. I like Sharkskins because they are thinner than typical wood slab and thinner than VZ G10 grips.
Jon
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by daflorc on 1/30/2018, 11:38 am

I posted a response but I guess it didn't go through - wow, some helpful and insightful responses from people who've been there, thank you. My suspicions are confirmed, time to throw my slabs on and give them another go. Everything I'm hearing I've seen myself - I've had to dremel, sand, stipple, and otherwise modify my Horton's to get them to fit right, and they still feel too thick, which often feels awkward. I've got shark skins from kensight on my ballgun and another gun, I think I'll put them on my wad gun and .22 and see what happens.

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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by bogierich on 1/30/2018, 12:15 pm

i appreciate all the info as well! And just an FYI - Brownells has the Kensight Sharkskin grips on sale for $19.00 (as of this writing 1/30/18).
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by Amati on 1/30/2018, 3:00 pm

....I had 3 Morini grips made by Cesar and immediately shot a personal best with each pistol that grips were made for..... wrote:Jon
Cesar, a biomechanics whisperer? Please identify him, he seems to be the man to consult for those of us sub-five percentiles on the anthropometrics chart.

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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by Jon Eulette on 1/30/2018, 3:30 pm

Cesar Morini....the man himself Smile
Jon
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by Chris Miceli on 1/30/2018, 3:35 pm

Jon Eulette wrote:Cesar Morini....the man himself Smile
Jon
Debated flying over to see him for some airpistol grips.... now he only makes custom matchgun grips, but will modify other grips.
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by Oleg G on 1/30/2018, 5:28 pm

Folks, sorry, but I feel compelled to ask one more question about Herrett Nationals. Do they fall into the category of the fifi Euro grips? Reason for asking - I am using them on both my Model 41 and my 1911. Have been dry firing a lot lately, which translates to better scores in the league. I feel that the Nationals fit my slender long-fingered hands really well. Willing to give slabs a try, if the Nationals are considered to have the same drawbacks as the true ergo grips.
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by SMBeyer on 1/30/2018, 5:49 pm

For me, Herrett nationals are some of the absolute worst feeling grips I have ever felt.

The Herrett trainers on the 41 though I liked better than the CMM grip adapter
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by LenV on 1/31/2018, 12:19 am

Oleg G wrote:Folks, sorry, but I feel compelled to ask one more question about Herrett Nationals. Do they fall into the category of the fifi Euro grips? Reason for asking - I am using them on both my Model 41 and my 1911. Have been dry firing a lot lately, which translates to better scores in the league. I feel that the Nationals fit my slender long-fingered hands really well. Willing to give slabs a try, if the Nationals are considered to have the same drawbacks as the true ergo grips.
I like using Herrett Nationals because no matter what pistol they are on they all feel the same. You still have to grip properly. I even modified a set for 1911's to fit on my 952. I don't shoot 2600's but I don't think changing grips is going to get me there so I might as well use these. I have never found a Euro grip that actually fit either.

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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by Tim:H11 on 1/31/2018, 7:50 am

I haven’t used every kind of grip. I have used Herrett Nationals and like them. I’ve used slab sides, particularly the Kensight Sharkskin grips. I feel this is what’s going on, at least for me - and I think it’s been mentioned already - ergo grips don’t let you grip the 1911 (45) like you need to in order to shoot well at 50 yards. The grip pressure and follow through needed is easier obtained with slab sides - I feel at least. 

My 22 EIC gun, my muzzleloaders, all have Herrett Nationals on them. But they recoil low. And a muzzleloader can’t be griped the same as a modern gun. They’re grip sensitive and will throw crazy flyers if you over grip. The 22 is a little different. You can grip hard like a 45 if that’s your preference or you can back it off a touch. 22 for me is a little more forgiving and I think and so you can get away with less. 

The 45 needs to be held hard. Takes more to control it, recovery, and follow through. They’re heavier, both in overal weight and in the trigger pull. And I feel that trigger pull weight plays a part in how the gun is gripped so some degree. Slab sides for a 45 just work. Ergo grips keep the hand open too much. The pistol needs to be in your hand. Not your hand around it. 

Maybe I sound crazy or this sounds like nonsense but this is just my take on it and for me it works. Might not for you.
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by JKR on 1/31/2018, 8:01 am

How many of you use Brian Zins recommended method of grip?  I've been experimenting with it and it does indeed turn the pistol so the sights align nicely with my eye. The problem for me is the pistol doesn't feel right in my hand. My grip feels lower than I like and less secure. The recoil of the 45 also feels a little more pronounced.

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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by jglenn21 on 1/31/2018, 8:03 am

Like any change work with it and see if it improves your scores in matches
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by Tim:H11 on 1/31/2018, 8:40 am

JKR wrote:How many of you use Brian Zins recommended method of grip?  I've been experimenting with it and it does indeed turn the pistol so the sights align nicely with my eye. The problem for me is the pistol doesn't feel right in my hand. My grip feels lower than I like and less secure. The recoil of the 45 also feels a little more pronounced.

Here’s the problem with the Zins grip - and at this point having said that I’m sure the people who know more than me are laughing at me and that’s ok. It’s alright. I’m young and don’t know everything and don’t presume to. But here’s what I’ve noticed about the Zins grip:

(EDIT: The problem: I hear many talk about the Zins grip, but little about the way you need to stand to make it work. Little on position, and stance. Like sight alignment goes along with trigger control, grip goes with stance.)

His grip works because of his stance and footing position. He faces the target more and because of that the shooting arm and shoulder are off to the side more so than they would be if you were to face away or off the target some. To present the gun between your eye and the target the wrist must be broken to angle if you choose to hold the gun from behind. Recovery becomes a little tricky because you need to learn to bring not just the gun but the wrist as well back to the shooting position. Zins corrects this by holding off to the side. However you’ll see that recoil is not straight back (nor has it ever been, but it’s now much further from that than it was before). The gun will have more torque and whip in my opinion and thats fine if you disagree. I find it hard to manage. And it’s probably harder on your wrist and arm. 

If you were to position your self, not like a duelist but use that as a reference. You’re facing off target slightly, so now your shoulder is closer to the alignment of the shooting eye. Your gun arm doesn’t have to cross over so far to align the gun between your eye and target. So now your wrist doesn’t need to break at such an extreme angle. Your head may have to turn in slightly but only slightly. This way I can grip the gun from behind, control it better, recover fine, ... it’s better. For me at least. And that’s important to understand. What works for one doesn’t work for all. 

Grip isn’t just grip. All aspects of the shot work with one another. Footing, stance, grip, and so on. They are all part of the same shot. They work together. That’s why this stuff ain’t easy. Zins is an amazing shooter. But what works for him doesn’t work for just anyone.
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Re: Grip, Grips, and insight from masters who have been there

Post by Amati on 1/31/2018, 10:20 am

Jon Eulette wrote:Cesar Morini....the man himself Smile
Jon

The choice to be made is between Frankfurt to Katzenfurt to see Rink or Milano to Vigatto to see Morini. German efficiency vs Italian artistry and Parma has the better food ....

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