There are so many reasons why you might need to have a gun. Knowing how to hold a handgun effectively is important for your safety. All in all, simply because you know how to hold a gun doesn’t mean that you know the right time to use it. For instance, you should not use your gun to threaten or injure anyone. You need to take safety courses and regular training to improve your performance when it comes to handling firearms.
Having a proper grip is crucial. A gun acts as an extension so it replaces your arms. The way you hold your gun will affect aiming, balance, ability to pull the trigger, absorbing recoil and much more.
For self-defense, having a double grip is always recommended. However, you need to have a comfortable gripping and then shoot using one hand. When two hands are involved, the support hand makes the handgun stable and this leads to accurate shots. You need to have a solid and firm grip if you want to get maximum accuracy and control when using your gun. This guide will help you understand in details how you can hold you’re your handgun like a pro.
#1: Assume the gun is loaded and make sure it is clear
This is the first rule in handling guns. Always assume the gun is loaded and point it in a safe direction. Even if there is no magazine in the gun, treat is as if it is loaded. The gun should be pointed away from people including you.
Remove the magazine to ensure that the gun is clear. Point the gun down range, and then slide several times to ensure that there is no round inside the chamber. Next, lock the slide back to keep the ejection port open such that you can see some light through. This is an indication that the magazine is empty. Then move the slide forward and your handgun is now ready for dry firing.
#2: Dominant and non-dominant hand grip
The most recommended way to shoot is when you are using two hands. Holding your handgun with two hands provides stability and more accurate shots. You need to hold the gun with your dominant hand and keep it on the grip. Wrap your middle, ring and the pinky fingers on the base of the grip below the trigger guard. Ensure that the fingers are close together but they should not overlap. Hold firmly and keep the index finger (of your dominant hand) extended against the gun frame. Never put the shooting finger on the trigger unless you have aimed and you are ready to fire.
The next thing is to place the non-dominant hand in the part of the grip that is exposed. Your hand should fill that space totally. The thumb of your non-dominant hand should be placed right under and a little forward of the thumb of the dominant hand against the frame. Wrap your index, middle, ring and pinky fingers firmly on the grip base just below the trigger guard. This should be around the dominant hand on the other grip side and then hold firmly.
If you are holding the gun for the first time, the two positions might feel unnatural but you will get used with time. The most important thing is to fill all the open spaces on the grip because of the gun recoil.
#3: Dangerous grip styles
When holding your handgun, you need to avoid some dangerous grip types. One of the grip types you should avoid is the tea cupping. This is a two-handed grip style which is unstable. In this style, the non-dominant hand doesn’t offer the dominant hand with enough support. This makes your aims skewed and the gun can fly back during recoil.
Another bad grip you should avoid is crossing your thumbs. This is a common mistake among many beginner shooters. Crossing your thumbs when you are using your handgun puts them at a risk of injury. As you know, the pistol’s slide moves back once you fire. If you hold the gun crossing your thumbs, you place them in the slide’s path and at full force, this can crash your thumbs.
#4: Proper shooting position
To make accurate shots, you need to have the right shooting position. Your feet should be shoulder width apart while your knees slightly bent. You should not lock out your knees or flex the leg muscles. Keep your shoulders square and bend forward a little with your torso. With your dominant hand, draw your handgun from the holster and grip the gun keeping the shooting finger away from the trigger. Keep the finger in a ready position and your body should be in front of your abdomen pointing towards the target.
#5: Extend your arms, aim and pull the trigger
Extend your arms and do not lock them such that they are in front of you and aim at your target with the dominant eye. Your shoulders should be square to the target while elbows slightly bent. Aim at your target then pull the trigger.
Other things you need to keep in mind
Always keep your grip tight
If you want to shoot better, have a tight grip. You should have more strength while maintaining your ability to control the trigger.
Set your wrist
The heel of the non-dominant hand should be high and flat on the handgun. This gives you better support and control.
Apply isometric tension
When you are firing, it is important to apply isometric tension. When your dominant hand is applying pressure forward, your non-dominant hand should pull the rear pressure.
Knowing how to hold a handgun is crucial if you want to get stability and accuracy when shooting. Many beginners hold handguns the wrong way and this might compromise their safety when using guns. If you know how to hold your handgun the right way, then you can be sure of a safety. I believe after going through the guide, it will be easy for you to hold your handgun the right way.
Note from Dave: I have written extensively about this topic, and I realize that the author of this post was talking about the weaver stance and not my preferred isosceles stance. While I don;t teach the techniques as they are described here, I realize that perfect range form is not the same as stance on a two way firing line….