The Fundamentals : Grip

Your grip is the first building block of becoming more efficient behind a gun. Over the past few decades there have been a handful of different opinions on how you should grip your gun. As the times change, and weapons evolve your skills should grow and adapt with them.

If I’ve learned anything in my time around guns it’s over time things change, people find better ways of doing things and it’s better to be flexible and adapt to the change than be stubborn and resist it.

With that said they way I grip my gun, and the way I will be outlining on how you should grip your gun is currently the industry standard for proper grip while firing a semi auto handgun.

Building the proper grip starts with you dominant hand. A lot of instructors refer to your grip with you dominant hand as a master grip. A master grip simply refers to gripping the gun properly with only your dominant hand. With a proper master grip you should be able to fire you weapon with only one hand and mitigate the recoil as best as physics will allow.

What makes a master grip?

First you want to ensure your hand is as high on the gun as the gun will allow.


You want to get the web of your hand, the area between your thumb and pointer finger as high into the tang of the gun as possible.


Once you have accomplished this you will tightly wrap your “non shooting fingers” around the grip of the gun. Your grip should be tight enough to fire the gun without the risk of the gun jumping out of your hand. But not so tight that your hand begins to shake.

Now you will be left with a space like this.

Grip 1

This space or gap needs to be filled with as much as your non dominant or “support” hand as possible.

You accomplish this by rotating your support hand slightly forward, laying your support hand thumb along the side of the frame and resting your strong hand thumb on top of your support hand thumb. The next step is wrapping the fingers of your support hand over the fingers of your strong hand. This allows the palm of your support hand to fill the void left by your strong hand on the grip of your gun


This is usually referred to as a “thumbs forward” grip. It may not feel natural at first but over time you will notice how much more recoil you can mitigate with your thumbs pointed forward toward your target.

I understand that reading this may make it a tad difficult to understand so I would like to encourage you to click these two links below and watch a demonstration on proper grip from two of the most informative shooting instructors I’ve even found.

If you have never heard of Travis Haley or Chris Costa I highly encourage looking them up on you tube and purchasing their “art of the dynamic” series of DVDs.

The proper grip is vital to making your shots connect once the trigger is pressed. As you saw in the videos shooting with an improper grip is like working against physics. developing the proper grip will work with the mechanics of the gun, you want to remove as much of the path of least resistance as possible. With the proper grip the only way the gun should recoil is straight back. If you truly want to make your shots count and mitigate recoil to make faster follow-up shots, get a high tight grip with your strong hand, fill the void with your support hand, and point your thumbs toward your target.


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