Since I started this blog, I have found the biggest problem to be the lack of on-going material. Marksmanship is done, settled, proven, and anything I might add would be superfluous. I wish it were otherwise. My first book, “The Perfect Pistol Shot” was my best effort at writing about the fundamentals of marksmanship. When I finished the manuscript I realized that I had not written everything I knew on the subject but had captured about 97% of it. Perhaps I’ll revise the book one day but I can never write another marksmanship book because the subject won’t support it. We know all that we are going to know about the fundamental principles behind deliberate shooter accuracy. Unfortunately, the “we” doesn’t extend to the overwhelming majority of shooting enthusiasts who have joined us over the last twenty years. For example, the matter of grip continues to baffle the shooting population. This blog was recently disparaged because I have steadfastly held that a light grip is necessary for best accuracy. I’ve tried many times to explain this principle in terms of energy and movement: If a human grasps an object with more pressure than is necessary to hold that object, the lighter of the two (human or object) will move to disperse energy. If you grab the corner of the Empire State Building and try to lift it, you will shake but the building won’t move. If you pick up a gun and grip beyond what is necessary to hold the gun in your hand, the gun will shake (and your hand, too). That’s not debatable, and yet, it’s tortuously argued in well-established manufacturer’s gun blogs. I now accept that I’m idiot and this my first rodeo and I’m making it all up as I go, but I request  the reader humor me in my new-fangled, five hundred year old marksmanship theory and simply test it–right now:

1. Pick up an object in your shooting hand. Use a stapler, coffee mug, pencil, etc. Leave enough of the object exposed for you to see it.
2. Extend your arm in front of your body.
3. Focus your vision on the tip of the object as if it were a handgun front sight.
4. Squeeze the object for all your worth (don’t break it).

When you over-gripped the object did it become still, facilitating crystal clear sighting? Hmm? Do the drill again, but this time grip as lightly as you can without dropping the object. You will notice that extraneous movement is greatly reduced when pressure is reduced. If you don’t want a wheel to roll, don’t push it!

So, do we want to overpower the handgun or do the laws of nature apply even to shooting? That’s your answer to grip. Some will try to justify over-gripping due to recoil. Nonsense. But recoil deserves its own discussion. Until then….

Good Shooting.

Practics Handgun is in final edit. Go to for updates.

One Response to Grip

  • I agree with the author in that the book “Perfect Shot” pretty much is it and can’t be really improved upon until or unless another well proven technique is brought to light in the science of marksmanship , the one thing I can come up with is a training video using the information from the book ” Hint, hint “

The Author
Albert League is a former Marine and law enforcement firearm instructor who consults on a variety of security topics.