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Improving your Pistol Skills!

After a three-day combat pistol course, a few of the students had questions regarding the exact “grip pressure” needed when griping their pistol.  In the military, we were taught the 60/40% rule of thumb.  60% of applied to the pistol with the main/strong hand, and 40% with the support hand.  I wanted to pass on the information, but this was an advanced combat pistol course, and I really do not necessarily agree with the application.  In a stressful environment (using your firearm to defend yourself), you mind and body relies on “gross motor skills”.  Being able to determine 60/40 is what I would put in the “fine motor skill” range.

If you’ve ever been startled, you can relate.  Your body tightens up in order to protect itself, as well as your hands.  In training, I was able to apply the 60/40 rule using a carbine or pistol, but in a firefight, or when a target pops up suddenly and you need to take care of it,  I can recall grasping the weapon with a 90-100% grip (support and strong hand).  This is how we are made as humans, almost like bracing for impact.  Don’t agree, try out this simple test.  Have someone stand in front of you and tell them to punch you using what ever force they would like.  I’m willing to bet in order for you to brace for the impact, your hands are going to tighten up as well with no predetermined pressure percentage and more than likely you will tighten them close to 90 or 100%.

In order to get a nice, strong, but yet comfortable grasp on your pistol without getting fatigued, I suggested to them that they invest in a simple but yet effective product.  A Grip Master or something similar.  I’ve been using these types of products to strengthen my grip on both hands for some time now and I’ve seen a huge difference, especially when shooting larger caliber pistols in a rapid succession and controlling the rise of the pistol.

I suggested to them that they use the Grip Master just as much as they would dry-firing their pistol.  It makes a world of difference.


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About Nick Irving

is a former U.S. Army Ranger with multiple combat deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan. During his service within the 75th Ranger Regiment, Nicholas served as an Assaulter, Heavy and Light Machine Gunner, and Designated Marksman.