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Jerry, I think it just shows the hand is stronger with the thumb curled/low grip...it is a kinesiology thing and it shows how much stronger the grip is with it low grip.
Agreed. Didn’t mean it in a negative way. It kind of shows what solid muscle memory will do. I don’t think I could get my digits to work like that. With exception of the revolver, don’t want a thumb in the wrong spot there. Two different distinct hand placements between revolvers and pistols though.
 

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Agreed. Didn’t mean it in a negative way. It kind of shows what solid muscle memory will do. I don’t think I could get my digits to work like that. With exception of the revolver, don’t want a thumb in the wrong spot there. Two different distinct hand placements between revolvers and pistols though.
Same.

I DO thumbs locked for heavy recoil revolvers.

I do the standard thumbs parallel for Glock with crush high grip and have found it works well. Doubt I'll change it but this gives food for thought.

ONE thing is from the draw the gun stays very close to my body until it's up to shoot (and I do train to the draw/rock to torso and fire from there while building room and bringing gun up while engaging target as well). I think the key is have a plan because you'll be in a fight. Keeping the gun close to your body until employing is important.
 

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Thanks for this post. As a former CCW instructor I taught grip techniques for years, but forgot why we do what we do. This video is a nice reminder. If Mas says it, I believe it


I think the thumbs up or down depends on one hand or two hand. All the gurus use a two hand hold with the power applied by the second hand so the thumb placement only matters when firing with one hand as Massad indicated.
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Now this guy below shows the proper low thumb hold when firing with only one hand, of course he uses two one hand holds for maximum firepower. His foot placement is off a bit and perhaps that 45 is held a little too close to the face but his thumb is properly placed. He does have the right foot forward as we teach and the elbow bent but he needs to lock his wrist and put more pressure into that right hand grip. Other than than, he is OK. Sure would like to see him fire that left one held as it is in the pic.


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And of course the lady has it right.
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Seems like lots of folks have different grip styles. I shoot the light calibers, 22lr through 9mm with a loose thumb, the manly stuff like 357, 44s and 45 Plus P I do put the thumb down on one hand firing. Never paid much attention just do it for the control. I shoot mostly 44 and 45s in my old age so it matters. Whatever works for you is all that matters.
 

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His point about the extra strength with the low thumb hold if you were in a scuffle to maintain possession is exactly right. When I started doing strong hand and weak hand drills years ago no matter what type of handgun it is I always employed a low thumb hold. I can do some of those other holds, but doing so necessitates the weak hand supplying some of the strength that was sacrificed by simply repositioning the thumb of the strong hand.
 

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Thanks for this post. As a former CCW instructor I taught grip techniques for years, but forgot why we do what we do. This video is a nice reminder. If Mas says it, I believe it


I think the thumbs up or down depends on one hand or two hand. All the gurus use a two hand hold with the power applied by the second hand so the thumb placement only matters when firing with one hand as Massad indicated.
View attachment 168338 View attachment 168339 View attachment 168341 View attachment 168342

Now this guy below shows the proper low thumb hold when firing with only one hand, of course he uses two one hand holds for maximum firepower. His foot placement is off a bit and perhaps that 45 is held a little too close to the face but his thumb is properly placed. He does have the right foot forward as we teach and the elbow bent but he needs to lock his wrist and put more pressure into that right hand grip. Other than than, he is OK. Sure would like to see him fire that left one held as it is in the pic.


View attachment 168340

And of course the lady has it right.
View attachment 168343 View attachment 168345 View attachment 168348 View attachment 168349 View attachment 168348

Seems like lots of folks have different grip styles. I shoot the light calibers, 22lr through 9mm with a loose thumb, the manly stuff like 357, 44s and 45 Plus P I do put the thumb down on one hand firing. Never paid much attention just do it for the control. I shoot mostly 44 and 45s in my old age so it matters. Whatever works for you is all that matters.
Lol....the reason that the thumb down gives more lateral torque is the same reason it's often used on very heavy recoiling revolvers (especially small light ones firing heavy charges) OR ones that are physically heavy (although it's in a different axis) and fully uses the tension of the muscles of the hand on the gun which are used keeping the thumb down as well as gripping the gun. The thumbs locked and down grip is probably the strongest grip on the gun a person can get.

BUT

Everything is a trade-off. Grips are no different.

This type of grip imparts significant (unconscious) lateral bias to the gun which varies in magnitude (you could say it's real unconscious bias lol). So when you do the thumbs locked you're more likely to have a slight twist on the gun (compared with the 'Glock' thumbs parallel). For me (I'm right handed) this is usually somewhat to the left. Is that a big deal in contact situations. No. But it can be as range goes up.

The thumbs parallel Glock style (I call it that at least) is a bit better suited (IMHO) to a dynamic situation and also minimizes lateral torque on the gun assuming a crush grip is being used to begin with (which I believe a good idea in that when the adrenalin flows you kinda do this anyway--why not train to it ?). It also to me is a bit more logical and speedy when transitioning from 1 to 2 handed with an autoloader. So I think it better suits my situation. If you see someone consistently shooting one direction or another (assuming OK trigger control) this is something to look for (does the person have a thumbs down/locked grip or more of a thumbs parallel grip--if it's the former that can explain the lateral movement). And this IS gun and person dependent (as is many things shooting). If you're disengaging a thumb safety it might well make alot more sense to have the thumbs down locked depending on how you manipulate the safety.

And it needs to be practiced to become muscle memory in that if a person isn't careful they can drag the support thumb against the slide causing failures to battery. Thanks to TAC for pointing this out in that when I transitioned from the smaller Glocks to the Sig P365 for tiny - 9 carry-- it was remarkably easy to do.
 

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Thank you for posting that. I have been having trouble with my grip safety on my 1911 & this may be what I need to get it to fire consistently. I may have been holding it wrong, I've been using the straight thumb.
 

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Lol....the reason that the thumb down gives more lateral torque is the same reason it's often used on very heavy recoiling revolvers (especially small light ones firing heavy charges) OR ones that are physically heavy (although it's in a different axis) and fully uses the tension of the muscles of the hand on the gun which are used keeping the thumb down as well as gripping the gun. The thumbs locked and down grip is probably the strongest grip on the gun a person can get.

BUT

Everything is a trade-off. Grips are no different.

This type of grip imparts significant (unconscious) lateral bias to the gun which varies in magnitude (you could say it's real unconscious bias lol). So when you do the thumbs locked you're more likely to have a slight twist on the gun (compared with the 'Glock' thumbs parallel). For me (I'm right handed) this is usually somewhat to the left. Is that a big deal in contact situations. No. But it can be as range goes up.

The thumbs parallel Glock style (I call it that at least) is a bit better suited (IMHO) to a dynamic situation and also minimizes lateral torque on the gun assuming a crush grip is being used to begin with (which I believe a good idea in that when the adrenalin flows you kinda do this anyway--why not train to it ?). It also to me is a bit more logical and speedy when transitioning from 1 to 2 handed with an autoloader. So I think it better suits my situation. If you see someone consistently shooting one direction or another (assuming OK trigger control) this is something to look for (does the person have a thumbs down/locked grip or more of a thumbs parallel grip--if it's the former that can explain the lateral movement).

And it needs to be practiced to become muscle memory in that if a person isn't careful they can drag the support thumb against the slide causing failures to battery. Thanks to TAC for pointing this out in that when I transitioned from the smaller Glocks to the Sig P365 for tiny - 9 carry-- it was remarkably easy to do.
Totally agree. A couple other thoughts, people with short fingers and a gun with a longer trigger length have additional issues. The little people do not do very well with a one hand hold. Lots of guys have burly stubby fingers. The second issue is grip strength. Those big forearms on Jerry Muculek make a lot of difference.

To compensate people can change the gun or sometimes the trigger length or grip size. In law enforcement I liked to carry the 1911 Commander, but did not shoot it well one handed. On the ones I build now, I use a shorter trigger and thinner grips. People who have problems with the revolver trigger pull have made Wolf Spring company a lot of money in the revolver market.

Just depends on how that gun fits that person. As you state, training the way you will shoot under stress is essential to shooting well under stress. That said, nobody want to fire 150-200 full power 357 mags like we might do with a Glock 19 on a nice day at the range.

I still see lots of shooters at the range who are throwing rounds low left and high right. I think we all do that early in our learning curve and often when we go to a new gun. You can change the gun or the trigger pull but it all comes down to making the best fit for you and as you say training as close as you can get to when the adrenaline flows. The two other suggestions I was taught and teach is find a similar gun in 22 and shoot it a lot. And secondly to put a laser on it for training, even a cheap temporary laser. just for range sessions. They show you the wobble factor so during training you can predict where that round is going at the last instant of the trigger process. I personally also suggest shooting suppressed for training if you can at all.

I am thankful for the post of this thread because it makes me want to double check how I am dealing with the frequent change of carry guns. Like many, I change guns with wardrobe or season or where I am going that day. Thanks for the discussion. I am going to concentrate of the thumb hold and see if there are improvements I can make when shooting with one hand. Guess we never stop learning.
 

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As an instructor, I show my students several way to address this problem and allow them to try the different positions and use what ever works best for the individual!
 

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As an instructor, I show my students several way to address this problem and allow them to try the different positions and use what ever works best for the individual!
Agreed. The thumb down option may not suit all people. The TWO handed 'very firm' grip is much much better than any single handed grip. I have also taught a number of people to shoot. I have always used the parallel grip as it is what I use, and therefore what I teach. Special Ops operators are, of course, trained in defending against someone grabbing for their firearm in 'all hell breaks loose' scenarios for just the type of situation they might find in a fur ball. Less applicable to the home defense situation or a stateside encounter. As stated by several folks above, find what works for you and practice it.
 

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Agreed. The thumb down option may not suit all people. The TWO handed 'very firm' grip is much much better than any single handed grip. I have also taught a number of people to shoot. I have always used the parallel grip as it is what I use, and therefore what I teach. Special Ops operators are, of course, trained in defending against someone grabbing for their firearm in 'all hell breaks loose' scenarios for just the type of situation they might find in a fur ball. Less applicable to the home defense situation or a stateside encounter. As stated by several folks above, find what works for you and practice it.
I am not sure what specialized training you are referring to when you say "Special Ops operators are, of course, trained in defending against someone grabbing for their firearm in 'all hell breaks loose' scenarios ". Are you referring to some specific schools taught at the special warfare centers or something different?

I have been retired over 20 years so my information may not be current but I think there is quite a bit of misunderstanding about the various groups lumped under the title of special operators.

I had the pleasure of attending some of those specialized schools that were taught to the military but outside the military and they did not include much in the way of defending against someone attempting to snatch a weapon. I have attended four law enforcement training programs (both military and civilian) where weapon retention was a big deal, just not so in the military specialized unit training. The "john wick" stuff I attended was before there was such a movie. That said the training was more of a stress induced activity. For example during the handgun training, each student would run a course going up a path engaging popup targets to the front and each side. with the goal of rescuing a hostage in a house about 150 yards away. Every 10 yards or so a target would popup. It might be a terrorist, a lady with a baby, a dog, or just a passerby. While running the course and hiding behind bushes, cars, trash cans , hedges, buildings and the like. Every second while running an instructor with a bull horn was screaming in your ear and every time a target popped up the instructor would fire a couple rounds (from a 45) into the ground with bullets whizzing by your head a couple feet away. The path was gravel and had a waterway on both sides about 1-2 foot of water. He would shoot into the water directly to my side or into the gravel in front of me. Getting plashed with water or gravel with a 45 near your ear, is pretty stressful and the darn bullhorn was so loud you could not hear anything. And there was no ear protection, for a reason. During the 150 yard run you engaged 15 or so targets which meant several reloads, you had to have 2 hits on each target. At the end you rushed into the house and shot all the bad guys in each room, and hopefully not the innocent people. That is the specialized training I personally attended. I was told the total cost of the training was about $40,000 per student, that included 3 days of driving on a professional race track I will not identify because they may still train there. There is not many things more fun than shooting out of cars at high speed. I suppose you could call it John Wick training because no private company is going to train the average guy with probably 25-30 live rounds zipping by the student and landing 4-5 feet in front or to the side of the student.

If any of the military guys on here have attended those schools in the last 20 years I would like to hear of any changes. As to the grip of the gun, when you are running an gunning you do not think much about. We were taught to get a 2 hand hold if you could and the Weaver stance was the rule back then.

Anyway if others have attended those schools I think such info would be of interest to the folks at G and G. And like you, I think most people do use the parallel grip because it just works on the 9mm guns.
 

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RFF I wasn't very clear, but meant to actually type Special Ops Forces, which still may not be clear. I was referring to the most highly trained forces we and other countries have such as Devgru (seal team 6), Delta Force among others around the world who pass he most rigid training. This most skilled pro athletes of any sport would not want to cross these folks. In recent years there has been more "cross training" with these forces from other countries, Israeli Shayatet, British SAS, Norwegian Marines (Arctic Force) and even the Russian Spetznaz.
From what I have read, the difference between the regular Seals, Rangers and others, that is in order to be a member of the most elite often comes down to the ability to memorize and learn advanced instructions quickly.....which implies very high intelligence. I have come to admire greatly the skills they have and the good that they do. For the good folks at G&G, here is one example.
Seal Team Rescues Jessica Buchanan - Bing video
 

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RFF I wasn't very clear, but meant to actually type Special Ops Forces, which still may not be clear. I was referring to the most highly trained forces we and other countries have such as Devgru (seal team 6), Delta Force among others around the world who pass he most rigid training. This most skilled pro athletes of any sport would not want to cross these folks. In recent years there has been more "cross training" with these forces from other countries, Israeli Shayatet, British SAS, Norwegian Marines (Arctic Force) and even the Russian Spetznaz.
From what I have read, the difference between the regular Seals, Rangers and others, that is in order to be a member of the most elite often comes down to the ability to memorize and learn advanced instructions quickly.....which implies very high intelligence. I have come to admire greatly the skills they have and the good that they do. For the good folks at G&G, here is one example.
Seal Team Rescues Jessica Buchanan - Bing video
OK, I do understand your comment. To me it is more about their commitment than their skill. Whenever they put on that unit badge or insignia, they earned it. My respect comes when they load their gear and move out in the dark for a dangerous spot they have never been and may very well die on that spot. And there are a lot of them.

I think there is perhaps a little misunderstanding of who does what in the special ops community. Generally the units designated as Special Ops are centrally managed by the US Special Operations Command, co-located with USCENTCOM at McDill AFB, FL. Actually the buildings are just a couple blocks away, but since US CENTCOM does all the mid-east countries that is handy. Most of the significant missions involve the desert countries.

I read all the time about Tier 1 Operators and all of that but do not recall the military ever designating any unit as Tier 1 or Tier 2 or whatever. I do not ever recall those terms as any official designation. They just listed certain units as Special Mission Units which gives them an organizational way to move groups quickly around the globe. I was assigned to JSOC for a time, was assigned to a Special Activities Command for a while and at USCENTCOM co-located with the US Special Ops Command and a couple other outfits so I was in that community long ago. We did not use the terms Tier anything. I think most of that concept comes from magazines like specialopsmagazine.org. They are a magazine, a corporation. Kind of like my old favorite Soldier of Fortune, which was made of mostly ex-military, many in unique units, Lt Col Bob Brown was he real deal. I think they just made up those terms some time in the past because they sounded cool, but I could be wrong, maybe somebody could point me to a regulation creating such designations.

But your comment is well taken. Everyone in the specialized units must shoot expert with every thing they may be issued. I have the oak leaf for 7 weapons. But the more important issue to me is that while everybody is well trained in the military these guys can run 12 miles with a 70 pound pack. Then they have lunch and run back. That level of skill when coupled with good marksmanship and a proper attitude makes for the kind of guy you want to go with your group or you go with him, whatever the assignment brings, you know everybody on the boat is going to do their job regardless of how loud it gets.

You mentioned cross training. I attended about 9 special ops training programs over about 15 or so years. In every course there were people from all military branches , some civilian 3 letter agencies and often military guys from Canada, Australia, and the UK. I went to 3 intel schools where there were lots of other countries students there, NATO and even some from the Mid-east countries.

For those of us on this side of the water, I will never run 12 miles again, LOL, I am disabled, not likely I will ever run a mile again, or so the wimpy surgeon told me a few months ago, but we gun nuts all know that if we learn to shoot well, practice to shoot without mistakes and make sure we have guns that do not fail, in the types of defensive shootings we may face, then we will come out just fine. Most bad guys are just taking an opportunity, they buy or steal a gun, shoot it a few times if at all, and the go on their criminal missions. What they do not know is that lots of us out here, have a hobby of making guns shoot fast and accurately just the same as the guys that run 12 miles before lunch. I have no doubt that most of the regulars on this site have the skill and mental presence to put down any attack that might come.

Anyway, I know what you mean, nice discussion.
 

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Okay here's a quick grip that I practice with at every opportunity I can from 0-7yards left and right handed.
Right being my primary hand; I don't believe in Strong/Weak hand.(That's what weight training helps with.)
Gesture Finger Thumb Trigger Gun accessory
 

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I had never thought about my thumb placement beyond what could hit it or pinch it under recoil. Thanks to this thread, and after quite a bit of messing around, I realized that my thumb placement is largely dictated by the gun I am holding.

With revolvers I tend to shoot with my thumb almost vertical. I'm so used to shooting single action, or very old double actions that work better as single actions, that that has become a habit. The exception seems to be the S&W magnums with those fat grips, which I hold like many semi-autos. With several semi-autos my thumb is straight forward, on a Tokarev the thumb is slightly down, and on a 1911 it rests on top of my middle finger.

I have hitchhiker thumbs, and it appears that with guns with smaller grips, only the inside of my thumb-knuckle is touching the gun, while the thumb tip points either up and to the left.

Man, the things some people will obsess over. I had to get out of competitive shooting because people got into my head about me having bad stance, or my breathing, or other things. I had to learn the hard way to just stick to doing what works for me.
 

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We grew up in the country shooting BB guns from about the time we gave up diapers and no one knows who taught us to shoot. By the time we were teens we were saving money to fund the 22s and had contests shooting gourds out of the air, who could hit the most without a miss, 18-20 was common. And I remember when it was common to kill one dove with one shot, only after I was grown did I realize people with expensive shotgun missed 2 out of 3 doves. I remember shooting ducks and prairie chickens out of the air, with a 22, we did not know you could not do that.

Anyway, folks in my day went into the military and just had a blast shooting all that free ammo. And we did not know much about a proper stance or a proper way to hold a rifle or handgun, we just shot them and shot them well.

But we are so lucky now to have all this science that shows us where to place the pinkie finger we now measure trigger reset time to the 4 decimal point. We are lucky indeed.
 
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I had never thought about my thumb placement beyond what could hit it or pinch it under recoil. Thanks to this thread, and after quite a bit of messing around, I realized that my thumb placement is largely dictated by the gun I am holding.

With revolvers I tend to shoot with my thumb almost vertical. I'm so used to shooting single action, or very old double actions that work better as single actions, that that has become a habit. The exception seems to be the S&W magnums with those fat grips, which I hold like many semi-autos. With several semi-autos my thumb is straight forward, on a Tokarev the thumb is slightly down, and on a 1911 it rests on top of my middle finger.

I have hitchhiker thumbs, and it appears that with guns with smaller grips, only the inside of my thumb-knuckle is touching the gun, while the thumb tip points either up and to the left.

Man, the things some people will obsess over. I had to get out of competitive shooting because people got into my head about me having bad stance, or my breathing, or other things. I had to learn the hard way to just stick to doing what works for me.
It's great to do you. I've never got obsessed over stance or grip (except in the cases with a real no kidding dangerous one where someone's about to get scalpeled by a flash gap or bit by a slide or bolt, etc).

It's just that some let you do things better than other ones depending on circumstances.

Kinda like a guy just out jogging for fun vs. someone who's training for a race. You get to a point where form DOES matter as you get more and more proficient and the why of why I'm doing something becomes important as well. I'm unlikely to get rid of my weaver stance BUT I can figure out ways to move that are more efficient and better than others. Same as for grips; modifying my techniques to make me better.
 
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