When it comes to shooting a pistol with accuracy and speed, the grip is where it all begins. As the only physical link we have with the gun, our grip technique plays a crucial role in sight alignment, accuracy, and in our ability to properly manage recoil.

In order to reduce muzzle flip and create a strong and consistent grip, we must place the firing hand as high on the gun as possible. The top of the middle finger should be pressed firmly against the bottom of the trigger guard. The web between the thumb and index finger should be driven up against the grip safety and along the backstrap of the gun. There should be no gaps between your hand and the pistol in these specific locations.

The thumb of the firing hand should always ride the thumb safety. Keeping the thumb up and in this position, will maximize the amount of surface area available on the pistol for the palm of the support hand. This also helps to ensure that you’re disengaging the safety as needed.

Like the firing hand, the support hand needs to be placed as high as possible on the pistol, and as close to the bore axis as you can get it. Start by camming over, or rotating the wrist of the support hand in the direction of the pinky. This rotation will lock the tendons of the wrist, and drive the heel of your palm as high against the support side of the pistol as feasible. Notice that the base of my left thumb (where it attaches to the wrist) interfaces with the joint of my right thumb, like two pieces of a puzzle (see photo). This creates a grip where your thumbs are generally pointed in the direction of the target.

The support-hand index finger should also be pressed firmly against the bottom of the trigger guard. The goal should be to get as much of the support hand palm in contact with the pistol as possible. Remember, the more skin you can get on the gun, the better!

Next month we’ll take a closer look at grip pressure and how to improve your recoil management. Until then, give these tips a shot, and I hope to see you on the range.