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Need help gripping the 45

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Post by chopper 12/4/2020, 4:24 pm

Today I went to range to practice with 45, I use slabs and flat mainspring housing. I usually shoot a 600 for effect, then practice technique where I need more help, today I thought I needed blank paper and 1-shot drills.
  I noticed something about my grip, as I raise my pistol I don't have my grip tension until I'm about in the bull and my grouping stunk. I changed one thing and established my gripping tension before pistol is raised, much better grouping. My question is when shooting slows would you release the tension again between shots? 
  I also have a tendency to put more shots left of center at slows than when shooting sustained ( trigger problem?) it's got me baffled.
 Thanks for any help.
 Stan

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Post by Jon Eulette 12/4/2020, 4:29 pm

Yes you can relax grip slightly between shots and you should Smile
SF are your shots breaking late? Gotta squeeze trigger like you mean it and break the shots. Waiting too long will typically go to the low left when you help them off or wait too long to break the shot. Sustained fire you are probably keeping the trigger moving and the shots will be more centered because you are pulling trigger like you mean it and because 25yds is easier than 50 yards mentally Smile
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Post by chopper 12/4/2020, 4:50 pm

Ah ha, I was thinking finger position, but now that I think about it, I have been holding longer to center dot in bull. Now that I been keeping a better journal in November, one of my biggest faults is not concentrating on each and every shot S,T&R , it really gets intense in rapid. Probably a better description would be visualization while concentrating. I got to clean up gun and will check it out on the basement wall tonight and tomorrow. Get to shoot 1800 at Osage, Sunday afternoon, fun time at 25yds indoor.Thanks a lot Jon. 
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Post by SteveT 12/5/2020, 10:37 am

You should not change grip pressure while centering on the bull. You may miss the first 10 (Shoot the first ten you see) or you may pull the trigger with inconsistent grip pressure.

The grip & wrist should be ready to fire before raising the pistol and stay that way until the shot is complete and the pistol is lowered, then relax the grip. If you don't have the strength endurance, get the grip and wrist correct before settling on the target.

Throwing shots to the left can be the result of trigger finger placement but is more commonly snatching or jerking the trigger. It is easier to smoothly pull the trigger uninterrupted in sustained fire when we are willing to accept anything in the middle so we can get our shots off in time. In slow fire there is an almost overwhelming need to perfect the shot, so if the sights drift a little during the trigger pull we either interrupt the pull or mash on the trigger.

Ball and dummy practice can show if you are pushing the gun while pulling the trigger. If your group is good during ball and dummy then you are making sure to do it right during training and need to do that when shooting normally.
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Post by Jon Eulette 12/5/2020, 10:41 am

Jon Eulette wrote:Yes you can relax grip slightly between shots and you should Smile
For clarification this is during SF string. Of course for TF & RF you need to maintain consistent grip pressure from the bench/lift through the follow through of 5th shot.
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Post by hotshot9 12/5/2020, 11:27 am

Hi may i interject a new question to the grip story? i of late have been trying to hold my thumb straight up instead of parallel with the slide. started to have better targets on slow fire. after a while doesn't seem to make a difference anymore. i have been trying the rock hard grip. the mushy grip. the inbetween grip! any hints or is this just one of those thinks that is so individualized that we have to muddle through it?

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Post by chopper 12/5/2020, 3:46 pm

Thanks Jon and Steve those are great responses for me. I forgot about ball and dummy drills, haven't done since I was using the revolver, I'll have to make up some dummies and drill hole through em. 
  Hotshot, I tried putting my thumb on the safety, but it's not long enough. I just lay thumb around grip and concentrate on 2 middle fingers squeezing pistol into my palm. I might put a little pressure on pinky but not much.
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Post by rburk 12/6/2020, 12:17 am

This topic is exactly what I have been working on recently.  I saw a picture of a line of shooters, and one of them had the pinky completely off of the grip.  I decided to pay attention and relax the pinky and use the middle two fingers to pull straight back.  Dry firing, it looks pretty good, no movement when the hammer drops.  I have only tried live fire once indoors, and it seems to work so far.

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Post by -TT- 12/6/2020, 4:49 am

The pinky has a surprising amount of leverage. Using it too much tends to pull the lower part of the grip to the palm side, driving the shot low and left. You might find that simply lifting the pinky-tip off the slab can give you better control.

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Post by CR10X 12/6/2020, 6:32 am

I've posted this before and have a slight different opinion of grip / fingers / thumb, etc.  Everyone should experiment and find out what works best for them. 

I've opined that we generally have 4 fingers and a thumb and it is therefore easier to achieve and maintain a consistent, firm and reliable grip if we use all the available equipment.  The human body is somewhat "sympathetic" in that most of the hand appendeges will work better if used in conjunction and consistently.  

We are already divorcing the trigger finger from the grip so, in my opinion, leaving out any of the other fingers / thumb from assisting the grip should be looked at carefully.  (As a test, take a full magazine and hold it in your off hand as you grip and fire your gun.  Try to get the same grip consistency in both hands and see what happens and how that feels.  It just might help you realize if the grip on the gun changes as you shoot since you have something to compare it to.  And we don't want that. )

The main issues I see with most shooters is the need to get consistency AND firmness to create a combined unit; from the hand, through the wrist, forearm, elbow joint, upper arm and shoulder joint.   You should feel like you are pulling the trigger straight through the gun, hand, arm and all the way directly into the shoulder joint. You can feel like you're "driving" the gun into the target or "pulling" the unit back into the should joint, to achieve what feels best for you.  But, again in my opinion, most need to work on creating that unit to support the gun throughout the shot process. 

When holding the gun, most shooters tend to think they are just "supporting" the gun and trying to hold it still.  The mental picture / mind set seems to be like "weight lifiting" and just barely holding the gun "out there" thinking that easy/light makes less movement.  The issue is that we have to operate the trigger and induce a force into the process. And they are using the hand / arm / body in parts rather forming a unit. This results in some recoil consistency issues, allowing the trigger finger / process to affect the gun / movement, etc., etc. Then they try to compensate using the wrist and / or gripping / re-gripping throughout the shot / or shots. 

Creat a unit as described above and don't be afraid to grip the gun with more firmness.  But think of (mind set) the grip, arm and position as an isometric exercise with all those muscles forming a group to make the gun an extension from the shoulder / rest of the body; not weight lifting or supporting the gun (just trying to hold it still).

By the way, a good indicator is that after a 10 shot string, you should be able to see the imprint of the checkering in your hand.

This also applies to the other post in the equipment section where the gentleman has issues with .22 recoil control.

Jsut my 2 cents.


Last edited by CR10X on 12/6/2020, 6:35 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : can't type for carp)

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Post by hotshot9 12/6/2020, 12:46 pm

Thanks for all of you. so no thumb up is the general consensus. i get the idea of using the middle ring and pinky finger with equal pressure.seems to be a good idea,thanks again! Smile

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Post by SteveT 12/7/2020, 9:13 am

At one point I found that my thumb pressure was changing during a string of sustained fire. To cure that I shot with the thumb sticking out for 6 months or a year, to break the habit. It's OK to do non-standard things, so long as you know why you are doing it.
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Post by chopper 12/7/2020, 12:19 pm

Thanks Cecil. I did notice a couple of things I forgot at my match Sunday. I didn't think of my grip into shoulder as a unit, and I rushed the first shot on most sustained strings even timed, low left and high right. You gave a great suggestion, I forgot what it felt like to recover from recoil that drove the gun straighter back instead of up and to left. 
   Steve, I've tried some unorthodox techniques and reloading steps before too. I feel at least I tried something, even if they don't work for me at this moment, hell maybe they will at a later time. 
  Stan

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