Shooting Stance and Grip 101


If an intruder kicks in your front door at 3am and is charging up your stairs to attack your family, you want to be as prepared as possible to stop them.
This is why in a safe on my nightstand is a Sig P226 loaded with Speer Gold Dot.
However, just because you have a quality gun loaded with good hollow-point rounds, it obviously doesn’t mean you’re going to stop the intruder if you can’t shoot.
This is why I want to quickly cover the best shooting stance and grip that will help you be as accurate as possible when the stakes are high.
When it comes to stance, you first want your feet to be shoulder width apart and maybe even a little further than shoulder width apart. Since all of us are different sizes there is no exact distance to separate your feet, but I definitely wouldn’t put them any closer together than your shoulders.
Once your feet are in their correct place, you’ll want to drop your gun foot back about six inches. For me, I’m right handed, which means my right foot is dropped about six inches back.
Next, you want to slightly lean forward on the balls of your feet and put a little bit of bend in your knees. You shouldn’t be leaning so far forward that you’re going to fall over… But if someone were to come up to you and give you a slight push you shouldn’t fall backwards and should be able to absorb the push.
Once you get in this stance you’ll realize that it’s an aggressive stance that allows you to absorb the recoil of the gun so you don’t fall over backwards and so you can get back on target quicker each time.
Also, this stance allows you to move quickly in case you have to have to move to the right or left or another direction to avoid oncoming danger. (To put this to the test, get in the stance now and practice taking a quick step to the left or right to “get out of the line of fire.”)
After you’ve practiced this stance several times and are comfortable replicating it each time you shoot, then it’s time to work on the grip.
The majority of people grip a handgun wrong, but the good news it’s an easy fix and once you fix it you’re accuracy will instantly improve.
First, let’s start with your gun hand, which is the right hand for most of us. You want to grip the gun as high as possible on the backstrap. Don’t grip so high that the slide will bite you (meaning the slide will come back and tear your hand) but grip up as high as possible right underneath the slide.
After your high grip, simply wrap your three fingers and thumb around the gun. (Your index finger should be pointed straight along the frame of the gun and should be nowhere near the trigger for safety purposes.)
You don’t have to grip the gun to death with your right hand, but you want a firm grip as if you’re gripping a hammer.
Once your right hand has the proper grip on the gun it’s time to add your support hand.
The support hand happens to be the part of the grip that throws most people off.
The easiest way to properly grip your gun with the support hand is to lock out your wrist as you point your thumb directly at some type of target. (It could be a real target, a light switch… anything.) When you point your thumb directly as this target it will cause your fingers to point downwards at about a 45 degree angle.
Once you’ve got this angle simply move your support hand to the side of the gun. Your palm should rest on the gun, all four of your fingers should be underneath the trigger guard and should wrap around your other fingers… and your right hand thumb should rest on top of your left hand thumb.
Also, and this is very important, your two hands will meet in the back. Most likely, the palm of your left hand will be touching the palm of your right hand. Wherever your two hands meet you want to roll your elbows up a bit and squeeze the two hands together as if you are locking the gun in a vice.
The first time you do this grip it will feel awkward, but it will definitely make you a better shooter. If you do try this grip remember that you want a lot of flesh on the gun with your left hand. Your palm should be in direct contact with the gun. (A lot of people allow the thumb on their right hand to sneak underneath the left hand, and this breaks the grip and you’ll have a lot more trouble absorbing recoil and getting back on target fast.)
Next time, I’ll talk about more shooting mechanics… But for now, work on your stance and grip because they build the foundation for deadly accurate shooting.
In other words, spend 10 minutes today doing dry fire practice where you only focus on your stance and grip.

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