Is it me or are there a larger than normal number of folks posting articles who don’t really know what they are talking about. It became pretty evident after getting caught up on some reading recently.
I’m coming back from a crazy couple of weeks and spent the final days of summer off grid. During the quite times I would get caught up on some reading. As much as I hate to admit it, with my schedule, my reading has taken a back seat much to my chagrin. I do read a few articles, but I tend not to veer too far from recognized authors. Until I had an article come across my feed about the firing grip for shooting. As I read through the article I was surprised to find the most important aspects to grip hardly addressed or even omitted. It got me thinking, these types of articles are a dime a dozen these days as various groups try to grab your attention span with a little knowledge bomb. These are more like knowledge duds.
Sub-optimal as the standard
The lesson learned, constantly reinforced, is nothing is free. There’s this idea of different approaches towards the same end. I recognized the dismissal, been doing this for a while now, is due to lack of expertise. Yes, we all have opinions and are entitled to them, but make no mistake there are plenty “wrong” opinions out there. I’ve mentioned this before, you’re not going to see a meaningful change to your performance because you read something. You will have to take the information and convert it into performance. Here is where the problem surfaces, much of the advise I’ve seen on this subject makes up a large portion of the corrective strategies we take to remedy student’s sub-optimal performance on the range.
The grip defined
The good news is I feel better venting so let’s talk about the real mechanics to your firing grip. Again, these corrective strategies are not “feel good”, they are based off performance. Our standards used to gauge performance either shows us yes, or no. It’s really that simple. Using standards allows us to make meaningful corrections to technique and get the student moving forward. Yes, there are a lot of ways to fire a pistol. There are a lot of ways to perform an Olympic snatch, but there is a very and I mean very narrow lane for doing either of them correctly. If you venture out of the lane for any reason you will see sub-optimal performance, you get really good at doing the wrong thing.
Start with your trigger finger
In class I make an attempt early on to nip these problems in the bud. I want the student to move through the curriculum with as many opportunities to “rep” out the correct technique under instruction. There are two principles we work really hard to correct; trigger finger placement and crush grip. Regarding trigger finger placement; start by placing the trigger finger on the trigger to achieve maximum leverage and power. The more leverage you have the more control you will have over the trigger’s movement. From there, you forge your firing grip. Wrap your hand around the frame maintaining correct trigger finger placement. Yes, not every one’s hands are the same, but the constant is the pistol’s frames. A mistake I see at an individual and industry level is recoil management taking precedence over trigger management. Without the ability to control the trigger’s movement straight to the rear with minimum sight deviation your recoil management is of little use. The cart before the horse scenario.
Best chance for success
The crush grip is the next principle and we do mean crush grip. There are a lot of ways to grip the pistol, not all are optimized for combat shooting. Assuming we are talking combat shooting the crush grip will give you the platform to ensure the best performance of your pistol as well as shot to shot recovery. Here is the knowledge bomb for the day. It doesn’t matter what a shooting super star does, what matters is what I can get you to do and do on command consistently. Applying a crush grip with correct trigger finger placement will provide the student the best chance for success, whether it be a single round or the full magazine. There are points of diminishing returns, remember the narrow lane from earlier. Knowing that, a strong and powerful grip will out perform all other grip variants.
Success comes from measured progress. If you have nothing but a feel for something, don’t be surprised with your mushy results.
You must not fight too often with one enemy, or you will teach him all your art of war. Napoleon Bonaparte, French military and political leader