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how to grip a 1911

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Dr.Don
Jon Eulette
Chris Miceli
Wobbley
orpheoet
Tim:H11
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Post by Tim:H11 1/26/2016, 9:36 pm

Anyone ever use the thumb safety on a 1911 as a thumb REST in their shooting grip?

And maybe if you don't lets talk about how you prefer to grip a 45. I'm still fairly new to the 45 and I'm learning as I go what works and what doesn't. I think I'm on the track to a good grip- something along the lines of an"Zins" grip.
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Post by orpheoet 1/26/2016, 9:48 pm

Thats how I hold it. Thumb resting on the safety with no pressure. Only gripping with 3rd and 4th fingers. Thumb and pinky are just along for the ride.
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Post by Wobbley 1/26/2016, 9:53 pm

In my grip the pinky is gripping but not as tight as the other two.  The thumb is placed AS IF I had fancy-schmancy Herrett grips.  It is not on the thumb safety.
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Post by Chris Miceli 1/26/2016, 10:18 pm

I take the pistol in my non shooting hand and insert into the V  between my thumb and index. Grip preasure with 2 & 3 finger pinky on the pistol almost no pressure.  Then I regrab the pistol my non shooting hand and wiggle my fingers a little while gun is in my shooting hand. Check if everything feels like it should. Raise the pistol to see if my grip has made my sights align correctly.  If it's off I redo it all over again. 

I'm a lefty so I contact the grip with my thumb but at no pressure.  Also I lift my index finger off the trigger a few times making sure I got the spot I like.


I grip the pistol like it assaulted my little sister till it shakes then back off enough so that it's not shaking.

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Post by Tim:H11 1/27/2016, 7:30 am

I recently added grip tape around the back side of the grip covering the mainspring housing. It helped a lot I felt in locking the gun into my hand. And I've tried putting my thumb on the safety and kind of like it. But I have smaller hands and it limits my reach on the trigger. Not bad but it changes things some. I'm just trying to find the best grip for me where there is little or no shift in the gun in recoil.
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Post by Chris Miceli 1/27/2016, 7:47 am

put some grip tape on the front strap as well.  Firm grips really helps.

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Post by Jon Eulette 1/27/2016, 7:51 am

Thumb is critical to shooting the 1911 45 pistol. Do not place it on the safety. You cannot grip with it like that! You'll never see a high master shooting it like that. Use your thumb to squeeze the grip.
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Post by Tim:H11 1/27/2016, 7:57 am

Christopher Miceli wrote:put some grip tape on the front strap as well.  Firm grips really helps.

I had grip tape on the front. Adding it to the back was a nice addition.
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Post by Dr.Don 1/27/2016, 8:36 am

I think the rules say the grip safety must be operative, so don't tape it down.
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Post by Tim:H11 1/27/2016, 8:44 am

Dr.Don wrote:I think the rules say the grip safety must be operative, so don't tape it down.

Oh I didn't do that for sure. I taped over the mainspring housing and front strap only.
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Post by john bickar 1/27/2016, 8:56 am

This might help:

http://www.brianzins.com/2010/06/11/grip/
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Post by Tim:H11 1/27/2016, 5:42 pm

I'm trying Zin's grip in dry firing right now. I don't think I'm over gripping because I have no shake. But the gut is "firing" and the front sight is making a little jerk to the right. Also the gun does not "naturally align" its sights when raised. Personally I have mixed feelings about a grip where the sights naturally align but hey what do I know. I'm learning right? So I try my idea of a grip that I was told wouldn't work and no movement. Not the most comfortable grip. But solid. Maybe I got weak hands. I don't know. 

Anyone ever try Zins's grip and have it pull one way or another?
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Post by rreid 1/27/2016, 6:30 pm

Is this what you read?http://www.brianzins.com/2010/06/11/grip/

The key is that the sights naturally align. If you raise the gun and the sights aren't aligned, you can rotate the gun slightly in your hand and try it again. When the sights are naturally aligned they will come back in line when you recover from recoil in sustained fire. If you get a chance to go to a Zins/ Moody clinic, it's well worth it. When I went, Brian and Andy went around the room and helped each participant with their grip.
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Post by Tim:H11 1/27/2016, 6:44 pm

I'm finding I need more of the meaty section of your hand below your pinky, like say your heal of your hand maybe but not quite, behind the gun. For me this allows me to lower and raise the gun and the sights aren't perfect but they're close.
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Post by rreid 1/27/2016, 6:52 pm

You can also experiment with a flat or arched mainspring housing if you need to fine tune the elevation.
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Post by dronning 1/27/2016, 7:01 pm

I found the arched mainspring housing to be the best fitting and most comfortable BUT my scores were never as good as with the flat one.  I went back to flat after several months.

- Dave
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Post by Tim:H11 1/27/2016, 7:06 pm

rreid wrote:You can also experiment with a flat or arched mainspring housing if you need to fine tune the elevation.

It's more of a left or right issue. Zins grip the sights are too far to the right. Shifting a little helps but I feel that the amount I need to shift makes it no longer a Zins grip.
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Post by rreid 1/27/2016, 8:39 pm

Ok, if the front sight is too far to the right you need to rotate the gun left in your grip, so you don't have to bend your wrist unnaturally.  Assuming you're right handed, take the slide of the gun in your left hand and place the grip safety into the V formed by the thumb and index finger of your right hand. Rotate the gun about 1/8" counterclockwise from where you had it. Easier to demonstrate than to explain on the internet. I wouldn't worry about whether you have "the" Zins grip or not. The important thing is that the sights line up with your eye.
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Post by Ghillieman 1/28/2016, 8:21 am

What is important to remember is that your hand is only there to hold the pistol, it should not do anything else. Your hand should not be involved with aiming or absorbing recoil.

Your trigger finger should be set so that it can produce a straight reward pull and not steer the pistol left or right while you pull the trigger.

Your grip should allow as much of the hand to get as high up on the pistol as possible, effectively lowering the bore into your hand. To do this I put my thumb on top of the safety. It's only job is to aid in concentric grip pressure.

I basically lived in the gym when I was in the Marines. When you start bench pressing over 300 lbs you learn that heavy weight like that will cause injury if you don't channel the weight through your body properly. You want the bar centered on your wrist and the forces going straight through the bones in your wrist to the bones in your arm, distributing as much as the weight as possible.

I took this same approach with my grip. I center the pistol so that the recoil follows the same path, straight through the wrist and down the bones in arm. This allows the pistol to snap right back in place when the slide closes.

Some people don't agree, but it has worked well for me and the people I have shown.
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