NOTE: This is a Part 2 of a previous post on grip (opens in new tab) you might also want to read.
How you properly grip a pistol is an ever evolving set of techniques that are constantly improving by input from skilled shooters. Most of this is coming from competition shooters, improvements that make them the best in the world at handgun craft and accuracy.
My techniques also evolve over time because I’m still a student of the gun and I actively listen and watch what the best do. Last Sunday I competed with 110 shooters, some of which are the best in Texas and nationally. I watch and learn and want to share with you what I’m learning from competitors that just flat shoot better than I do. What I’ve seen is something that truly excites me in my progress in adding improvements to shooting quickly and accurately. It’s a quest that never ends.
In that regard I want to share with my students what is called the “Push-Pull” technique.
What is the “Push-Pull” Technique?
Once you have a solid grip on the gun, a gun size that fits your hand and you have fairly aggressive textured grips, you should learn how to push forward with the palm of your trigger hand on the butt of the gun grip, while at the same time pulling with your fingers on the front of the gun. This causes the gun front and back to held in a vice like grip that helps control recoil flip and prevents your gun from “flinching” as you press the trigger. Pressure from the sides should be firm but do not over press.
As in the photo on photo illustration, this is real simple. The best techniques always are simple, plus it makes sense. This is best proven during dry fire. Making sure your gun is safely unloaded, double checking it, extend your gun to the shooting position. Do not over tighten your grip because you want your trigger finger to be very loose and relaxed so it can move freely.
Now push forward on the butt while you pull back from the front to hold the gun in a vice like grip. You should do this pretty hard to get the effect. In that position, pull the trigger and notice if your front sight moves at all. Make sure you are easing the trigger back and not just slapping it. Flinching will kill accuracy. The softer the trigger pull on the gun the easier this will be without movement. Note that this is why most serious shooters have custom trigger work done on their guns so the pull is easy enough not to take a hard press yet firm enough to prevent accidental discharge. Out the door triggers on new guns are usually stiffer than is desired. They are made that way because most people buying guns are not skilled shooters. Stiffer is safer for poor shooters but less accurate.
Go ahead and try it. Did your front sight bobble or move left to right at all? If it did, work on a combination of easing the trigger back and push-pulling a little more. You’ll see it when it’s right, the front sight will stay almost perfectly still when pulling it. This is what you want. Not only will you reduce your tendency to be off target, it will also result in a flatter recoil on the gun. That means that you can take the followup second and third shot that’s identical to the first one because the gun comes right back into place. Little need to realign the sites.
If you are a new shooter all of this may seem mysterious. That’s normal. That’s what instruction is for. I rarely ever explain something like that and see a student stand up and do it like I said it. You will default to what you always do. I encourage you to take a class and get the tutoring that will help you just plain shoot better. That makes it way more fun to do.
Shooting a handgun is not easy, it’s still a heck of a lot of fun to do and even more so if you can do it well.
Thanks for checking and and see you at the range.