Fundamental 1: How to grip the pistol

Learning a strong and consistent grip is one of the most important and overlooked skills. With a little practice you can learn a strong grip that increases your shooting accuracy and speed.

To be consistent at anything you need to have key indexes to check during your training. Without the proper indexes you might be training incorrectly. Training incorrectly is not only wasting time, but it can actually hurt your progression by building bad habits. During practice every time you obtain a grip on the pistol, check for the following indexes. Soon your grip will be perfect every time.

There are a lot of different grips out there and I have learned a few variations. I like to use and teach the thumbs forward grip. This is a variation of the stacked thumbs grip used with semi-auto pistols.

Initially grabbing the pistol with one hand looks like this:

Snapshot 1 initial grip

Grip it firmly but if your hand is shaking, then loosen it until it stops shaking.

From the picture you can see a few indexes to look for:

Strong hand high on the backstrap.

Fingers together and middle finger touching the trigger guard.

Thumb out of the way of the support hand.

Then when we place the support hand on the pistol it looks like this:


The support hand should wrap around the strong hand without any gaps. The indexes to look for in your support hand are also all the fingers together and the forefinger touching the trigger guard. The thumbs of both hands should be stacked together with no gaps.

This is a very common and good grip that many people call stacked thumbs. If you look at the next picture you will notice that the trigger finger and support side thumb are the same length on the slide.


What most people find is that the thumb is not as long on the slide as the trigger finger. The thumb forward grip is just that. Before placing the support hand on the pistol you cant your wrist until the thumb is the same length as the trigger finger. This is not a natural feeling, but with practice at home it will become second nature.

The last thing to do on the grip is to press your palms into the grip of the pistol. Remember that you are pressing into the sides of the grip with different parts of each hand. For me you can see that the finger pads (inside of my knuckles) at the top of my right palm and the lower thumb joint of my left hand are pressing inward on the grip of the pistol. You are not pressing your palms together like you are praying. If you do this the pistol will tend to twist left or right in your hand.


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