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Grip strength for pistol shooting


Leozinho

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Emphasis on grip strength in the practical pistol shooting (USPSA, IDPA, IPSC, 'run-n-gun') seems to ebb and flow.   Some argue that grip strength is important for recoil management; (others say not so much.)  If you can keep the muzzle down, your followup shots will be faster.  That's the long and short of it.

One of the top shooters, Bob Vogel (pictured below), can close the CoC #3 and likes to take grippers to the classes he teaches to demo the importance of grip strength.

While folks will debate how much effort you should use to grip the pistol (too much tension could induce shaking or slow down your trigger finger), it's generally assumed that being strong is better than being weak. 

Like a lot of folks these days, when shooters hear 'grip strength', they reflexively think crush strength and CoC grippers.  Most don't know about support or pinch strength.  Me being more enlightened :) (thanks to Gripboard), I wonder if crush strength is the most important.

The photos below will show you what the modern pistol grip looks like.  The strong hand (the right in this example) wraps around the pistol while the weak hand (the left in this example) wraps around the strong hand.  Part of the heal of the weak hand will be on the pistol grip while the fingers are just clamping on top of the strong hand. It's fairly 'open'.

What say you guys? Is that crush, pinch or support strength?  Combination of all three?

 

Vogelweakhand_zpsbc9528c9.jpgVogelstance_zpsd46f9e3a.jpg

  

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I think you could make an argument for all three but I would argue crush primarily and wrist supination strength for support. In terms of how much crush strength.. I am not a shooter but I would be surprised if anything beyond a COC #2 is beneficial?

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climber511

I'm learning all over again how to shoot a pistol (learned first in the  military 50 years ago) - and while grip is important - I think most grown men have "enough" - certainly closing a #3 is way more than is necessary.  I'd be willing to bet only a very few top shots could close a #1 - let alone a #3.    Watching women shoot with way less "grip" strength seems to bear this out.  Having a properly fit gun to one's hand can make up for strength "somewhat" - unless of course you're shooting some of the more powerful ones like 44 Mag etc.  Like most things - a very specific strength is what you want and need.  I'd probably say wrist strength is more important really.

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21 hours ago, climber511 said:

I'm learning all over again how to shoot a pistol (learned first in the  military 50 years ago) - and while grip is important - I think most grown men have "enough" - certainly closing a #3 is way more than is necessary.  I'd be willing to bet only a very few top shots could close a #1 - let alone a #3.    Watching women shoot with way less "grip" strength seems to bear this out.  Having a properly fit gun to one's hand can make up for strength "somewhat" - unless of course you're shooting some of the more powerful ones like 44 Mag etc.  Like most things - a very specific strength is what you want and need.  I'd probably say wrist strength is more important really.

You don't have to answer on here, but I'm curious what pistol was in service at that time for your branch.

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climber511

Colt 1911 Pistol  (45 cal) and M16 rifle.  Being a Seabee we didn't carry everyday - only at certain alert levels for our area or when on watch.  Being as we worked with our hands (I was communications) - we were given pistols to carry fairly often.  But we could range shoot whenever we had free time and ammo was totally unlimited - with not much in the way of entertainment - we shot fairly often (and with free ammo - quite a bit).  Vintage 1911's are worth decent money still nowadays - but the 1911 has been brought back in a modern version also that is a real pretty gun.

For those who may not know - Seabees - or CB for Construction Battalion is a separate branch of the Navy - and is just what the name implies - a construction branch - steelworkers - power linemen - communications - carpentry - etc etc.  Our dress uniform was US Navy but our work clothes were greens or camo.

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