Improving Grip and Recoil Control

I’ve been having a chat with a student about improving grip strength to help with recoil control.

There’s no question a strong grip aids in recoil control. Improving your grip strength will help because of the physics and physiology involved – the gun simply cannot move as much because you’re able to apply a greater counter-force.

There are different exercises one can do to improve grip strength, and the ones most applicable to recoil management are those which strengthen the crush grip, as opposed to extension, flexion, pinch, etc.. What sorts of exercises can you do? Anything that works to improve both your general gripping strength, as well as your grip endurance. If you’re the gym-going type, exercises like farmers walks, deadlifts, dumbbell bench press, anything that requires you to grip hard and hang on for a reasonable period of time. If you’re just looking for specialized grip training, one of the best is the Captains of Crush grippers. They are high quality, and come in a variety of resistance “weights” so you can start where you are and progress as you get stronger. I’d suggest picking up an array so you can practice different ways. For example, pick up a heavy one for low-rep (3-5) sets to build strength. Then pick up a lighter one for holds (10, 20, 30 seconds). Note, when doing holds, strive to increase your grip pressure during the hold time. Naturally your muscles tire so your grip will loosen, but that’s not what we want nor need! If you strive to increase your grip pressure throughout the hold, it will take you further and you’ll see greater gains that should pay off in your recoil management. FWIW, while I own a bunch of CoC grippers, I don’t regularly train with them since I regularly lift weights. But I am able to close a CoC #1.5 (167.5 lb), which is more than is necessary for recoil management, but IMHO there’s also no downside to having a strong grip.

But recoil management doesn’t just come from pure strength. It also comes from technique. Watch this instructional video from Mike Seeklander. While Mike does use strength, he’s really using some excellent technique to take recoil management to the next level.

Effective recoil management is a component of good shooting technique. Through a combination of grip strength and shooting technique, you can step up your game.

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