Lake Island Rifle & Pistol Club
Get a Grip

 

Whenever a new shooter comes to me and says "I cannot hit the 21" x 24" target" I answer with "Do not worry, studies show +95% of NYPD officers cannot hit it 95% of the time. What is your shot process like?" Typically, after that question; the new guy will look at the gun, their ammo box and then down range as if the answer can be found in the tattered wooden backstop of our range. Women are generally more open to coaching and will ask what is a shot process? Stance, Grip, Breadth, Trigger feel and Sight Picture these are some of the elements of the shot process.

The grip is really important. My friend Brian Zins (12 times National Bullseye Pistol Champion and Top Shot Contestant) made this video below and he is running a clinic locally in February 2018. I will discuss the physical grip of the gun and I leave it Brian to discuss his grip technique in the video. The "Zins" Grip is basically a technique that has been around but perfected by Brian Zins. Russian Target Shooters in the 1960's used a version of the grip for rapid fire. It's also similar to a Cowboy fast Draw Palm grip. The grip technique works for some and if you are having trouble gripping the gun in the traditional way -why not give it a try? Brian best explains the grip technique for sure but before you watch the video new shooters often ask what grips for my gun I should use? My answer is you have to try them and see what works for you. Brian will probably tell you to shot slabs! So take Brian's opinion into serious consideration. In a recent survey, something like +70% of Master level shooters used slab grips for Center Fire and 45acp guns.
View Video

Grips for your gun. As a Precision Target shooter, there are generally three types of grips for your gun: Slab grips, Ergo Grips, and Target Grips. Which is better? Unfortunately, there is no 100% right answer but something like 14/15 of the last NRA national Champions shot the Center Fire and 45 acp matches with slab grips. Specifically, either Harrett's Checkered Slabs or Shark Skin Slaps are popular with Master level shooters. Both grip sets are thin and have an aggressive texture. The benefits of slabs are cost and trigger control. Brian Zins in the video discusses how he executes his grip which works for me. However, other National champions use a more traditional grip. Ultimately, you may need to try a grip technique or grip for your pistol for about 1 to 6 months to determine what grip or grip for your gun is optimal.

Ergo grips are an evolution of the target grip. The Ergo grip has a thumb rest, palm swell, a palm shelf, and channels which can be customized to fit your hand. The idea of the ergo grip is it forces the hand into the same "Grip Position" every time. Sounds good right? Ergo Grips are expensive and for people with short fingers, the ergo grip may diminish trigger control. My personal experience is with Ergos pre-existing nerve damage in my arm was irritated by ergo grips and others have experienced tendonitis with these grips. However, with a heavy gun or a Euro Style Sport Pistol ergo grips can help a lot in the timed and rapid fire stages. The companies making Ergo grips are Fung in CA, Precision Target Grips, Vitarbo as well as Rink and Nil in Germany. These grips cost between $100, and $275 new and can be bought for $80 to $200 used. After spending between $100 to $275 for a set of custom grips it is highly probable you will need to adjust the grip to change your point of aim. You do this wrong you will destroy your $275 grip. Russel in our club uses ergo grips and he shoots Master scores. So try them if you think they will help and you can afford to make the investment.

Target grips are simpler than Ergo grips as they do not have the level of contouring. Typically, they will have a thumb rest, a gradual palm swell and maybe a shelf. Nil, Harrett's and Volquartsen and others make target grips out of various materials. I used to customize my Harrett's National Match grips to fit my hand. The benefit of the target grips is the shelf and thumb rest. If you shoot iron sights like my Dad (who was an NRA master in the 1970's before red dots) target grips can help a lot with establishing a great sight picture, and make the pistol or revolver point better.

In conclusion, these are the three types of grips for your gun and National Champions have won with grips that cost $20 and $280 today. Please enjoy the video it is a great resource.

Kind regards,
Rich Tullo