Get a grip!

I had the pleasure of taking a long time friend shooting with me yesterday. I had first taken him some years back for his introduction into the wonderful, not so scary, definitely manly world of firearms. Since that day he has been asking to go again, which until now has not been possible due to his unfortunate choice of being a yankee for the last couple years. Like going to Harvard is good enough reason to leave the land of sweet tea and southern women.

I made sure he remembered everything about gun safety, loaded the gun for him and then proceeded to try to hide my laughter as he missed the target with all ten rounds. After I regained my composure I decided that he needed a little work on his grip. I was sure that with just a couple minor tweaks he would be able to hit the target with no problem and regain his dignity and dreams of someday becoming a real life action hero.

Now I’m no master marksman, but since grip is probably one of the most neglected aspects of shooting I will share with you the same tips that ended up allowing my friend to go from missing all ten rounds at fifteen feet to hitting eight out of ten at twenty five yards…not too shabby.

First you need to press the gun right into the web between your fingers and your thumb, making sure that it aligns straight with your wrist. If it is not properly aligned then the gun will move after the first shot, making re-acquiring the target more difficult and most likely forcing you to readjust your grip, costing you both time and accuracy.  Then with the gun in place wrap your fingers around the grip. At this point a lot of people will just squeeze the grip with all fingers. However, you only want to squeeze it with your middle finger, and maybe your ring finger too if you feel that it is not secure enough with just your middle finger. Your little finger and thumb should apply not pressure to the grip. Lastly, put the tip of your index finger on the trigger. If you put more than just the tip on the trigger, the gun will almost always fire to left (for a right handed person) because pulling your finger back will move the gun slightly to the left. By placing just the tip of it on the trigger it will pull straight back. Finally, when pulling the trigger slowly keep applying pressure until the gun goes off, this should not be a quick pull or jerk.

Well there you have it. Next time you go out to the range try these tips and hopefully you’ll see some improvement in your shooting.  Remember, always keep the gun pointed down range and don’t put your trigger finger on the trigger until you are ready to shoot the gun.  My uncle is a surgeon and I can’t even remember how many times he said he has seen people come into the ER with a bullet in their leg because they pulled the trigger when they were un-holstering their gun. So don’t be “that” guy.