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Thread: One hand grip

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    pjelect is offline Junior Member
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    One hand grip

    Good evening, folks. This is my first post to this forum.
    I've had a CW9 for about four months now and have put around 300 rounds though it with no problems. I can shoot my CZ85 much better than the CW9 but the groups with the Kahr are fine for A CCW.
    With a two handed grip I can keep muzzle flip in a predictable up/ down pattern, but when I shoot one handed, strong or weak hand, I'm all over the place. This slows down a second or third shot considerably for me. I don't see much improvement when I tighten up on my grip or try to stiffen up my wrist some more. Am I missing something in technique or is just because of the lighter gun?
    Pat

  2. #2
    benzuncle's Avatar
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    I shoot a Sig Sauer P220 Compact, a Taurus PT-145 and a NAA Guardian 380 all one-handed when I go to the range. I shoot two-handed on occasion but I shoot mostly one-handed. I have this feeling that I'm not always going to be shooting at a piece of paper that is holding still for me with no obstructions in my way that I may have to move, like a bush or door. Consider moving the target in close until you begin to see progress, then back it up. Practice, practice and practice will help to "get you there".

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    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    From your description, it sounds like a trigger-control problem.
    If things go well with two hands, it may be that the support of your weak hand overcomes an uncontrolled trigger-finger jerk or slap.
    It may also be that you are "milking" the gun, one-handed. That is, when you tighten your trigger-finger, you also automatically tighten your other strong-hand fingers, causing the pistol to rotate or dip, more or less, in one direction or the other. The support of your weak hand would negate this effect, as well.
    Lighter pistols are somewhat more difficult to hold steadily, which may be adding to your problem.
    Try shooting one-handed, but with your strong-hand wrist and forearm (but not the hand) supported by something. If the problem persists, it probably isn't the light weight of the gun, but rather more likely trigger control or "milking."
    The advice from benzuncle (below) is also very good and useful.
    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    When you say "all ove rthe place," do you mean your hits, or the motion of the pistol in recoil? If it's hits, see Steve M1911A1's advice above. But if it's recoil motion...

    With two hands, it's easy to guide the muzzle flip to the correct "pop up pop down" motion. It's a lot harder with one hand, because of the torquing motion of the pistol.

    Techniques you can use to help:

    - Cant the pistol. At fighting distances the canting will have no effect on accuracy, but by rolling the gun inboard, your forearm will become more powerful and may control the recoil better. I learned this from Mas Ayoob who learned it from Ray Chapman.

    - Vary the position of the thumb. Shoot with a high thumb and see if that changes the recoil pattern. If that doesn't work, try a clenched/curled down thumb. Then try a straight thumb if necessary.

    - Lean sharply into the recoil when shooting one-handed. Don't let the gun push you around. Dominate it.
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    kev74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post

    - Cant the pistol.
    Is this too much??



    Sorry, I couldn't resist.

    On a more serious note, a little extra muscle tone / exercise might not hurt if your arms aren't your strong point. I used to know an older man who was into target shooting. He used to hold a gallon water jug at arms length while he was watching tv at night to keep his arm strong.

  6. #6
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Heh heh heh

    Seriously, don't cant more than about 45 degrees. Homey don't play gangsta!
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  7. #7
    TOF's Avatar
    TOF
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    But Mike, it excites the girls dont you know.

  8. #8
    unpecador's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kev74 View Post
    When you gotta go, you gotta go.

  9. #9
    Wyatt's Avatar
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    Yo, Kev-Diddy, that gun is the bizzle for shizzle.

    But I have to say I'm surprised this thread hasn't already turned into a discussion of safe gun handling practices, but I'm sure it will.

  10. #10
    zhurdan's Avatar
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    To satisfy the Gods...

    Finger... must not.... trigger... powers failing...safe direction...getting dark...muzzle... not safe... reserve power...public place... oversized neck chain... must not...system reset... power failure

    Sorry, but pictures like that do bother me.

    I would recommend firing slowly, over and over and if possible, get video of it from the 45degree rear and try the thumbs as Mike stated. Trying to focus on the target and what the recoil is doing is hard, get some video it'll help you analyze the problem.

    Zhur

  11. #11
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhurdan View Post
    Trying to focus on the target and what the recoil is doing is hard, get some video it'll help you analyze the problem.
    Another way I have found helpful in analyzing gun movement is to simply not use a target at all. Just shoot at the backstop and watch the gun. No distractions this way.
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  12. #12
    kev74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zhurdan View Post
    To satisfy the Gods...

    Finger... must not.... trigger... powers failing...safe direction...getting dark...muzzle... not safe... reserve power...public place... oversized neck chain... must not...system reset... power failure

    Sorry, but pictures like that do bother me.

    I would recommend firing slowly, over and over and if possible, get video of it from the 45degree rear and try the thumbs as Mike stated. Trying to focus on the target and what the recoil is doing is hard, get some video it'll help you analyze the problem.

    Zhur

    To satisfy those who like "safety", the pic isn't me and I wasn't shooting anyone in the men's room. However since that gentleman is using that tool for its intended purpose (kind of???) the finger on the trigger would be reasonable and expected.

  13. #13
    pjelect is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks to all for the helpful advice. I'll be shooting again in the next couple of days and I will try your suggestions and let you know my progress.
    Thanks, Pat

  14. #14
    sesquipedalian101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyatt View Post
    *snip*
    But I have to say I'm surprised this thread hasn't already turned into a discussion of safe gun handling practices, but I'm sure it will.
    Well, in the name of getting your expectations met, I'm going to tell how I deal with "trigger control." This post contains enough "controversial" stuff, it is sure to "trigger" (pun intended ) somebody's desire to discuss safe gun handling practices...

    Somewhere around <Ivory Soap> percent of the time I shoot one-handed. When I can talk my wife into it, I often use her .357 (it used to be mine, for about 10 minutes after I got it home, until the DW tax was levied). The rest of the time, I'm "stuck" with my .44 -- I am marginally less accurate; albeit, marginally faster -- with the latter because it is a lighter gun… So, I am going to comment upon this topic as though the problem pjelect mentioned is one of "hitting" all over the paper and probably "trigger control related" as opposed to recoil control.

    Most problems with "hitting all over the paper" come eithr from a basic inability to hold the gun on target or, as Steve mentioned, poor trigger control. I am going to speak to *my* solution to trigger control. I don't have accuracy problems stemming from trigger control issues because: I don't "squeeze" the trigger; I don't "pull" the trigger; and I don't "jerk" the trigger. For lack of a better term, I "touch" the trigger.

    Let me start with the standard disclaimer: 1) don't do this at home; 2) don't do this at the range; 3) don't do this at any other location; 4) simply put, don't do this. This is a description of what I do, not any sort of encouragement for anyone to emulate my actions. I hope I wasn't too unclear for all you lawyer-types out there…

    ============

    As my Dad taught me an unspecified number of decades ago, when I grasp a pistol (whether in a "draw" or lifting it from a table, et cetera), I place my index finger alongside the trigger, outside of the trigger guard, pointing parallel to the action & barrel. I have lately seen people encouraged to do this as a matter of safety; Dad never broached the subject in that manner. He simply said, "This is how you hold a gun, son. When you are ready to point it at your target, you just 'point your finger' and the gun points where your finger points."

    When I am ready to shoot, I "point my finger" at the target. As the gun lines up with the target, the finger goes inside of the guard. Then (here is the part that I am NOT recommending) I take all the "slack" out of the action. This requires that I "know" the firearm. The trigger is depressed until, subjectively speaking, "the merest thought will cause it to break." At that point, I "freeze" my finger, wait (generally a very short time) for the gun to settle on target, then think "bang" and the gun goes "bang." I know, so far as the human nervous system can perceive such things, exactly when the gun will discharge.

    The important thing for this discussion is there is no way I could "jerk" or "milk" or otherwise disturb the sight alignment with my final trigger manipulation because, typically, (depending on the actual firearm), I have something less than .020 inch of travel left. The amount you CAN deflect a firearm by improper trigger handling is a function of the inertia of the firearm, the acceleration applied to the trigger, and the distance the trigger has to travel. Most trigger techniques I've read about try to control either the inertia (add a second hand, for example, to make the firearm harder to displace) or the acceleration applied (accelerate smoothly in a "straight" pull). As the inertia approaches infinity or the angle of deflection, with respect to the barrel axis, on the trigger acceleration goes to zero, movement of the firearm off target (as a result of trigger pull) disappears. I am simply taking the third term in the equation, distance traveled (id est: remaining trigger travel), to zero instead to get the same effect.

    Lots of people used to pursue this result by setting up their guns with a "hair trigger." "Removing the slack" gets essentially the same effect without making the firearm less safe when there is no finger on the trigger. By contrast, I am sure many will dispute how "safe" I am. I can only point out that I don't take the "slack" out of the trigger until the firearm is pointed "at" the target; then there is the briefest of hesitations while the alignment completes…

    =============

    Why did I start doing this? Well, when I started shooting a long gun, I was just a little fellow (the rifle was taller than me). It was pretty hard to hold it steady enough to draw a bead and squeeze the trigger -- the rifle/shotgun would "wiggle" from side-to-side & up-and-down. I found, however, that if I started aiming below the target and lifted it smoothly up through the intended point of impact, the vertical change was controlled and the horizontal "wiggling" disappeared. The only trouble was, if I was "squeezing" or "pulling" the trigger, I didn't know exactly when the firearm would discharge. I was getting what they seem to now call a "surprise break." Of course, if I jerked the trigger, I knew when it would go off, but I'd misalign the aim with the acceleration of the jerk. I found out that I could take the "slack" out of the trigger, then apply that teensy bit extra just as the sights crossed the target and get a bull most every time… It works for handguns too…

    Now, I don't just "pick up a gun and do this." When I'm getting used to a firearm, it takes several hundred cycles before I can "naturally" (without thinking about it) find the position just before the break where I "freeze" my trigger finger.

    I am sure that some will say that I should have a flinching problem from shooting this way. In answer to that, I point to the flintlocks our ancestors (and one of my sons) used. You'd have to line up on the target, squeeze the trigger, and continue holding on the target for anywhere from 1/10th to ˝ second while the ignition sequence takes place. Quite often, you know you are going to be hit in the face with burning powder and you still have to hold still. By comparison, a modern cartridge is nearly "instantaneous" -- or my "passing through the target" technique would not work. The point is, even if a flintlock user gets a "surprise break," he knows full well what is coming after the hammer falls and he has plenty of time to flinch and destroy his aim. I get past my tendency to flinch by concentrating on watching the target to "see the hole appear."

    FWIW,
    -101-

  15. #15
    pjelect is offline Junior Member
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    Using the above definitions, I seem to be having a "recoil problem" as opposed to a "trigger control" problem. I can keep the shot groupings tight enough with two hand firings or slow single firings. With rapid two or three shot firing, the first shot goes where I aim, but the second or third shot might be 5-6 inches away in any direction. I think more practice firing one handed with the above techniques will help out.
    I got the impression from a couple of the above posts that one hand firing is the norm and not an "also practice" regiment.
    I have no formal training (defensive course next month) so I have been ASSuming? that two handed shooting would be preferable to one handed shooting whether it be in practical shooting or self defense senarios, or is it just a matter of what you're most comfortable with?
    Pat

  16. #16
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    Firing with two hands has been preferred since at least the 1950s and Jack Weaver's innovation. One handed shooting is generally considered an emergency technique.
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    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
    Firing with two hands has been preferred since at least the 1950s and Jack Weaver's innovation. One handed shooting is generally considered an emergency technique.
    ...and, generally, only for use at very short ranges.

    Weak-hand-only shooting, however, is a very useful skill, and worth developing. But I suggest that you wait until you have strong two-hand-shooting skills before you start learning about it.

  18. #18
    Mike Barham's Avatar
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    I'd consider weak-hand-only shooting an emergency technique, as well, albeit one that is potentially useful in very dire circumstances. I practice it at every training session.
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    sesquipedalian101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pjelect View Post
    Using the above definitions, I seem to be having a "recoil problem" as opposed to a "trigger control" problem. I can keep the shot groupings tight enough with two hand firings or slow single firings.
    In my experience, recoil is handled differently if using one hand rather than two. My two-handed experience is, admittedly, pretty limited. I did just recently try a friend's Glock that simply did not (for me) "fit" unless I used two hands. (Nothing against the firearm; it seemed a fine piece of machinery; it just didn't fit my hand and, for me, required a second hand to control the "kick.") When I shoot one-handed, which is most of the time, I treat the recoil (for lack of a better explanation) as though I am catching a line-drive baseball bare-handed. I "give" with it just a bit. If I try to "stiff arm" it, the gun still moves and it heads off in an unpredictable direction; if I start a little "softer," I can make the gun "pop up" in the same direction each time and I take advantage of the return to alignment with the target to ear-back the hammer for the next shot...


    Quote Originally Posted by pjelect View Post
    I got the impression from a couple of the above posts that one hand firing is the norm and not an "also practice" regiment.
    For some of us, on an individual basis, it is "normal" -- as "normal" as we get That said, as Mr. Barham pointed out, two-handed techniques are now by far the most common, I would even say they are considered de-rigueur by most shooters. There are some exceptions however. For example, if you are going to shoot two-handed, you need at least two hands; not everybody is so equipped. As a matter of fact, only today I was discussing shooting with an old friend and he mentioned that he's kind of laid up at the moment. He managed to rip a bunch of tendons loose in his left arm a few months back and, after restorative surgery, he is under a five (5) pound weight limit until at least October... No rifle, shotgun, or two-handed pistol shooting for him until this fall sometime... (Maybe it's time to invite him over to target practice for two-bits a point )

    There are also circumstances / environments that preclude two-handed shooting. For example, I grew up on a working ranch. I started carrying a pistol because, on horseback (or afoot & leading a horse), I don't necessarily have two-hands readily available for shooting and one-handing a carbine is not as easy as they make it look in the movies.

    Even though I no longer make my living in that world, I still visit it from time to time. When I'm 30 miles back in the high country and find myself suddenly in need of a shooting iron, there's no way I'm dropping the reins or a lead rope to “two-hand” a pistol. I consider having to choose between losing an argument with something that wants to eat me and losing my horses and supplies because they got spooked just as I needed two hands to shoot... unacceptable... Since I do, as my Dad would have said, “tolerable fair to middling” with one hand, that's the way I practice; that's the way I shoot (Glocks notwithstanding )

    Quote Originally Posted by pjelect View Post
    *snip* I have been ASSuming? that two handed shooting would be preferable to one handed shooting whether it be in practical shooting or self defense senarios, or is it just a matter of what you're most comfortable with?
    Pat
    It's a matter of what you do better with! If you do better with two hands, by all means USE two hands. Don't forget the purpose of the exercise. It ain't about looks or style; it's about speed, accuracy, safety, and reliability. For *me* that means one-handed (unless I am using two guns ) for most people, probably including you, that means two-hands.

    -101-

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    unpecador's Avatar
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    Does anybody know how I can get rid of that annoying luminous vapor that surrounds my presence when I'm levitating?

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