What is the best way to grip a handgun?

What is the best way to grip a handgun?

Tips For Improving Your Handgun Grip

I’ve seen many shooters struggle with their handgun grip, but there are some straightforward techniques for improving your handgun grip. A proper grip is essential for accurate and safe shooting, as well as recoil management. In this blog post, I’ll review the best way to grip a handgun.

Why is a Proper Grip Important?

A proper grip on a handgun helps to control the recoil of the firearm. The recoil is the backward force generated when a bullet is fired. Without a proper grip, the recoil can cause the shooter to lose control of the gun and miss their target. A proper grip also helps to maintain a consistent point of aim, making it easier to shoot accurately.

Handgun grip

Some additional reasons your handgun grip is important:

  • Accuracy: A solid grip helps control recoil and allows for more accurate shots.
  • Safety: A good grip reduces the risk of the gun slipping or shifting in your hand.
  • Comfort: A proper grip can reduce discomfort and fatigue during extended shooting sessions.

Basic Grip Technique

The basic grip technique is used for most handguns, including revolvers and semi-automatic pistols. Here are the steps to follow:

  • Place your dominant hand on the handgun’s grip, ensuring your index finger is outside the trigger guard and not touching the trigger.
  • Wrap your fingers around the grip, with your middle, ring, and pinky fingers gripping the grip firmly.
    Place your thumb on the opposite side of the grip, pointing toward the target.
  • Make sure your grip is high on the handgun, with your webbing between your thumb and index finger as high on the grip as possible.
  • Press your palm forward and toward the target to create a solid grip.
  • After following the basic grip technique with your dominant hand, place your non-dominant hand on top of your dominant hand.
  • Wrap your fingers around your dominant hand, ensuring your fingers do not overlap.
  • Place the palm of your non-dominant hand on the gun grip, with your thumb pointing toward the target.
  • Press your palms forward and toward the target to create a solid grip.

Keep in mind these additional tips:

  • Use both hands: Using both hands to grip the handgun provides more stability and control.
  • Position your hands correctly: Your dominant hand should be high on the grip, with your non-dominant hand wrapping around it. Ensure your fingers aren’t interfering with the slide or other moving parts.
  • Apply pressure evenly: Apply pressure to the grip with both hands evenly, squeezing the grip firmly but not so tightly that you lose feeling in your hands.
  • Relax your shoulders: Keeping your shoulders relaxed can help reduce fatigue and improve accuracy.
  • Practice: Like any skill, improving your grip takes practice. Try dry-firing exercises to work on your grip without using live ammunition.

Semi-Automatic Grip Considerations

Grip for semi-auto pistol

Semi-automatic pistols have a slide that moves back and forth when the gun is fired. This can cause problems if the shooter’s grip is not correct.

Because the slide moves back with force, it is also important to position your fingers and hands outside the “bite” of the slide.

Revolvers Grip Considerations

Revolvers require some minor modifications in your handgun grip. They have a cylinder that rotates to feed rounds into the chamber. This can cause the shooter’s grip to shift if they are not holding the gun properly. To prevent shifting, it’s important to use a high grip and a firm grip on the trigger guard. Here are the steps to follow:

revolver grip

Tips for a Proper Grip

Here are some additional tips for improving your handgun grip:

  • Use a grip that feels natural to you. Experimenting with different grips is important to find the best one for you.
  • Keep your wrists straight and in line with your forearms. This will help to prevent wrist strain and improve recoil management.
  • Use a grip that is firm but not too tight. A grip that is too tight can cause muscle fatigue and affect accuracy.
  • Practice your grip regularly. The more you practice, the more natural and effective your grip will become.

How to Improve Your Grip Wrap-Up

The handgun grip is one of the most important aspects of handgun training and sets the foundation for all other skills. A proper grip is essential to controlling recoil, managing sight alignment, and achieving accuracy with your shots.

The grip should provide a firm, consistent hold on the firearm, allowing you to maintain control during firing. Additionally, a good grip can help to prevent malfunctions caused by limp-writing or other grip-related errors. Proper grip technique should be practiced regularly, both with dry fire exercises and live fire practice, to ensure that it becomes second nature and can be applied effectively in high-stress situations.

Ultimately, the handgun grip is the starting point for all other handgun skills, and mastering it is essential to becoming a competent and confident shooter.

Tips for Improving Your Handgun Grip FAQs

Why is a proper grip important for shooting a handgun?

A proper grip is essential for accurate and consistent shooting. It helps to control recoil, improve aim, and enhance overall safety by reducing the likelihood of the gun slipping or shifting during use.

How do I improve my grip strength?

You can improve your grip strength by performing hand squeezes, wrist curls, and pull-ups. You can also use grip strengtheners and hand grippers.

How do I hold a handgun properly?

The proper grip for a handgun involves placing your dominant hand high on the grip, with your fingers wrapped around the grip and your thumb pointing forward. Your non-dominant hand should then be placed over your dominant hand, with your fingers interlocked and your thumb pointing forward.

How can I make sure my grip is consistent?

Consistency is key for accuracy, so it’s important to develop a consistent grip. You can do this by practicing regularly, focusing on proper hand and finger placement, and using a grip trainer or grip tape to maintain the same grip each time you shoot.


  • Michael Hodgdon

    A firearm, shooting, outdoor, and hunting enthusiast for over 35 years. Thank you all for the suggestions on topics you would like to see; we'll keep posting as you keep sending them in. Please comment; we will try to answer all comments quickly.

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