For the past some while, I’ve been working on gripping the pistol; especially weak-hand-only.
Of course, the general rule is to grip the gun as hard as you can, that so-called “crush-grip”. But it really wasn’t enough, and it’s not like I have a problem with grip strength.
It’s more a matter of technique (tho strength matters too).
Of course, when I grip, the harder I grip the better. There’s less disruption of the gun when the trigger is pressed, better recoil management, etc.. But there are some tricks.
One I learned back in my empty-hand martial arts days: engage the pinky. We tend to focus our grip with our thumb, index, and middle fingers. Yes the ring and pinky fingers wrap around things, but many times they aren’t involved in the crush. Try it. Grab something like you normally would and grip it hard. Maintain that grip, then see how much more you can engage your pinky in the grip. Chances are you’ll find you were able to clamp down a little more. Makes a big difference. I know to do this, but it doesn’t mean I always do it.
But the one that finally dawned on me is how and with what I’m crushing.
I am realizing that the primary force of my crushing – with my shooting hand – is against the front and back straps of the grip. There isn’t a lot of crush-force against the sides. This is primarily because of the way my hands are shaped: larger hands, long fingers, thin fingers. So wrapping my hand around the grip basically “tents” my hand (where the phalanges end and the metacarpals begin) and that part of my hand is NOT in contact with the grip. Well, there’s some touching of skin to grip, but again it’s the hinging of the hand right there, why I described it as a “tent”. That when the hand is crushing against the front and back straps, it pushes the metacarpophalangeal joint away from the grip. As a result, there’s not much force in that area involved in gripping, or even just skin in useful friction contact with the grip.
Part of why I didn’t notice it was because in two-handed shooting, the shooting hand can grip the front and back, but then the other hand wrapping around provides that side-pressure. So first you get the all-around clamping pressure, second your shooting-hand comes in full contact with the grip so tactile feedback is your shooting hand is “fully gripping” the pistol – when actually it’s only fully touching. Then when I would go to shoot one-handed, I’d just work to clamp harder, ensure pinky engagement, and the like (and also some “touching” feedback); not necessarily thinking about the all-around grip force.
So I’ve been playing around with this. That when I grip the gun, I work to actually wrap my hand around the grip instead of just “clamping” on it. Get as much skin contact with the grip as possible (for friction and thus aid with recoil management, if nothing else), and then make sure there’s more involvement of the whole hand in the crushing of the grip. It’s hard to explain, but basically ensuring that it’s not just a front-back clamping pressure, but an all-around squeezing pressure.
It’s actually harder for me to do this shooting 2-handed than 1-handed, so it’s resulting in a bit more one-handed practice (which is a good thing). I get better feedback that I’m doing it right or not, if I just practice 1-handed. For sure when I do this, the results in shooting are greatly improved.
The funny thing? The more abrasive grip texture on the M&P9 M2.0 has helped me realize this.
More things to continue working on.