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Saturday, March 30, 2013

45 vs. 40

I recently had the opportunity to put some rounds through a Glock 21. I had never given much consideration to .45 ACP Glocks. I don't typically buy into the "bigger is better" line of thought when it comes to wound ballistics...and I still don't. But I do buy into the "if it shoots better, it shoots better" line of thought. I have a lot of time behind .40 S&W handguns, it has just always been what I ended up shooting. I have a marginal amount of time behind 9mm handguns, and I like them well enough but I could always source more .40 S&W than I could 9mm, so I stuck with .40. Just through happen stance I got my hands on Gen2 Glock 21. The original intent was to do a series of post on modifying the Glock, and thought the Glock 21 would make a good host. Before I did anything, I shot it, and decided I liked it. My splits on the 21 are running in the low 0.20's on a USPSA A-zone at 7 yards. Best I can usually do with a Glock 22 is mid to high 0.20's. My 9mm times run in the low 0.20's and high teens. In all honesty, it caught me completely off guard to shoot the .45 that fast. I thought it would be the opposite. But it is what it is. Might just mean the demise of my .40 cal. handguns. Plus, I can actually find .45 ammo right now.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gripping a Handgun

A while back I was approached by someone about some basic tips for handgun shooting and wrote up a quick "how to" on gripping a handgun, or at least how I grip a handgun. Step one of building my grip is acquiring a high, master grip with the shooting hand. The web of my hand between the thumb and forefinger is pressed into the rear tang/beaver tail of the handgun. The goal here is to get my hand as high on the gun as possible to limit the amount of leverage the reciprocating slide has over my grip. For handguns with slide mounted safeties (i.e. 1911, etc.), my shooting hand thumb rest on top of the safety. This helps to properly position the hand, as well as ensures that the safety is disengaged during the draw stroke, and remains disengaged throughout the firing cycle.

When initially establishing my grip, before the support hand has come to meet the gun, my shooting hand thumb remains flagged in an up position. This allows access to where the support hand needs to go in order to maximize contact with the firearm. If the thumb is folded down, or not raised high enough, it will block access to this area, or end up under the support hand.

When bringing the support hand to the gun, I use the top of my index finger as a physical indexing point on the trigger guard. By using a physical, repeatable index it allows me to have consistency in establishing my grip and make any necessary adjustments early in the gripping process. 

Once the index is acquired and confirmed, the support had is folded into the grip. The support hand thumb points forward, along the side of the slide, and the “meat” of the support hand at the base of the thumb is pressed into the side of the grip by the clamping force of the fingers. The majority of the gripping force on the gun comes from this hand when shooting for maximum accuracy. That allows my muscles in the shooting hand to relax slightly, which permits greater motor control over the trigger finger. This especially applies to the shooting hand thumb. I have found that keeping the shooting hand thumb loose will have a direct effect on the amount of control I have with my trigger finger.

As my support hand is folded into the grip, the support hand fingers wrap around the gun under the trigger guard. This completes the grip on the handgun. To further solidify the grip, my elbows are rotated up slightly while keeping the wrist locked and applying rotational torque. This creates a lateral pressure on the grip of the handgun and further enhances my recoil control. It isn't a very noticeable change from the outside looking in, but this was one of the break through moments for my handgun control when I started doing this.