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changing grip technique

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Jon Eulette
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Post by orpheoet 8/8/2016, 1:34 pm

I don't know how I started shooting with my thumb up on the safety but I did. I've heard about and seen the vast majority of shooters with their thumb down on the grip in some fashion. So after a less than stellar match yesterday I thought I'd give it a try. Not pretty. To me it makes sense to have my thumb up on the safety. My 41 has ergo grips with a thumb rest, as do my 52-2 and my 280. Frankly I don't see why anybody wouldn't want their thumb up high....But I don't have a lot of experience. Unless someone has some compelling reason to shoot thumb down I think I'll stay on the safety. However I am willing to be convinced!
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Post by SteveT 8/8/2016, 1:54 pm

IMO the thumb is not terribly important except when it is inconsistent. I originally shot with my thumb on the safety and some side pressure. Then for a few years I shot with my thumb sticking out, originally to break myself of the previous habit then to make sure I wasn't putting any side pressure on the thumb. For the last several years I shoot with my thumb down touching the end of the second finger on the side of the grip. None of these solved my "jump to the right" problem which is all in my head and trigger finger.
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Post by john bickar 8/8/2016, 8:37 pm

Have someone lob an orange at you underhanded and you'll soon grasp what importance the thumb has for bullseye pistol, fellow primate.
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Post by james r chapman 8/8/2016, 8:59 pm

I'm scratching my head on how you "grasp" anything without the thumb....
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Post by Tim:H11 8/8/2016, 9:13 pm

james r chapman wrote:I'm scratching my head on how you "grasp" anything without the thumb....

Maybe not the full thumb but the muscle below it ??? idk.
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Post by john bickar 8/8/2016, 11:41 pm

james r chapman wrote:I'm scratching my head on how you "grasp" anything without the thumb....

The path to enlightenment is nearly within your grasp, fellow primate.
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Post by orpheoet 8/9/2016, 7:13 am

I have a fine thumb, opposable and everything. When I brought it down it felt like the trigger weighed 10 lbs and my groups were terrible. Maybe a better question is how long I should try this different grip if I decide to try it. Did shooters put their thumb on the safety in the past? I must have seen it or read it somewhere.
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Post by SteveT 8/9/2016, 7:53 am

Perhaps I wasn't clear. IMO where you put the tip of your thumb and how much pressure you apply doesn't matter as much as other factors in grip, but like everything in our sport, consistency is important. If the OP shoots better groups with the thumb on the safety lever I don't think that is wrong.
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Post by CR10X 8/9/2016, 8:04 am

I came from action / IPSC a long time ago and when I first started bullseye, I had my thumb on the safety as well.  Its kinda standard for that sport, since the safety has to be disengaged as part of the alignment process and seems to help with recoil recovery.  However, the grip safety was also set up to ensure it would be fully engaged, even with the high thumb.  I gradually transitioned to thumb off the safety, since I need to perfect the trigger operation to a higher level for bullseye.

Just a thought, but if the trigger weight seems to increase with a change in the thumb position from on the safety to on the grip, that might be an indication that the thumb and trigger finger are being used together to operate the trigger.  That means that you may be using the leverage of the thumb on the safety to help with the trigger operation (without really realizing it.)  That would also mean that there is probably some work needed in getting the trigger to move straight to the rear with only pressure from the trigger finger.

On the other hand, if the trigger feels heavier when going from off the safety to on the safety, the grip safety may not be depressed enough by the web / pad of the hand and riding on the trigger stirrup.

I found that giving less leverage to the thumb (off the safety) eventually resulted in better trigger operation (straight to the rear).  It also reduces the potential for "sympathetic" movement or pressure from the thumb while moving the trigger finger.  In other words, the thumb will not be able to move the gun as much if you increase the thumb pressure while trying to operate the trigger.  

However,  if you shoot great with the thumb on the safety.  Then that's OK because it works for you.

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Post by john bickar 8/9/2016, 8:34 am

CR10X wrote:
It also reduces the potential for "sympathetic" movement or pressure from the thumb while moving the trigger finger.  In other words, the thumb will not be able to move the gun as much if you increase the thumb pressure while trying to operate the trigger.  

However,  if you shoot great with the thumb on the safety.  Then that's OK because it works for you.

As usual, Cecil nails it. Our hand and fingers are designed (evolved, whatever, I'm not even going there) to work as a unit. One-handed pistol shooting is asking the diametric opposite of that system: to flex the trigger finger independently of the four others

So wherever you need to place your thumb to be able to bring the trigger straight back without moving the other four fingers is the right place.

I Dremel away the high thumb rest on every International-style grip I get. It took me a while (and probably 100,000 rounds) to realize that the "conventional" ergonomic grip wasn't right for me.
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Post by Jon Eulette 8/9/2016, 9:06 am

John, are you saying that you lower your thumb position on the orthopedic grip?
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Post by john bickar 8/9/2016, 9:45 am

Jon Eulette wrote:John, are you saying that you lower your thumb position on the orthopedic grip?
Jon

Yes. I'll snap some pics.

Edit: forgot I already had:

changing grip technique IMG_2880

changing grip technique IMG_2774

changing grip technique IMG_2771
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Post by Jon Eulette 8/9/2016, 10:33 am

When I had Morini make me some grips I wanted my thumb lower. He wouldn't flex/bend on that. I've always felt like thumb was too high on orthopedic grip. I just got a Pardini SP and have neen using orthopedic grip for first time in many years.....I've been lowering the thumb
 I find it to be a little more forgiving of thumb pressure. Was having problem with horizontal groups which isn't typical for me. Totally thumb related.
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Post by AllAces 8/9/2016, 10:44 am

Here's a photo showing a grip with middle and ring finger, no thumb pressure, just the two fingers pushing the grip back into the hand with the thumb just hanging out there. changing grip technique YK4y91TLPZRr9AGJ-Nx4Hb-PH-sM5T7GYBuwFbQaONXHOP3-iL7tL0XOIbNOjixshZ8qeKx2zKMi7g=w1920-h1080-rw-no
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Post by javaduke 8/9/2016, 11:21 am

john bickar wrote:

changing grip technique IMG_2880

And this man called my air pistol grip "ugly"! Oh, the humanity...

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Post by Ghillieman 8/9/2016, 12:17 pm

Try this...
Extend your arm in front of you as if you were about to shoot, now extend all your fingers and thumb too. You should look like you are trying to reach out to give someone a high five.
Now curl your pinky, ring, and middle finger in at the same time, as if to grasp your pistol. Now curl your thumb down to complete the grasp.
Did you notice how your thumb naturally curls down and sweeps through where the thumb safety would be?
I have found the thumb safety provides a natural rest for your thumb, allows for a higher grip, and provides a contact point that allows your hand to naturally absorb energy from the muzzle flip.
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Post by james r chapman 8/9/2016, 1:09 pm

Damn right handers,..
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Post by john bickar 8/9/2016, 8:43 pm

javaduke wrote:
john bickar wrote:

changing grip technique IMG_2880

And this man called my air pistol grip "ugly"! Oh, the humanity...

I don't remember doing that, but if I did, it was a compliment.

Ugly shoots.
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Post by Jack H 8/9/2016, 10:31 pm

How much does the length of your thumb and fatness of it's base have to do with your grip?
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