Not Every Drawstroke Will Be Perfect
At some point, everyone will experience a drawstroke that produces what I call the sloppy shooting grip. The purpose of training is to develop the skill to produce an optimal shooting grip during the drawstroke, but what do you do when it doesn’t.
It All Begins With The Grip
For as long as I’ve been carrying a handgun I’ve preached about the importance of obtaining a crush grip. The crush grip begins with the handgun in the holster. Regardless of the holster’s location on your body, it is imprerative the grip on the handgun while still in the holster be the final firing grip when on target. There are a lot of variables at work durning a drawstroke. Such as, are you open or concealed? Are you standing or sitting? Are you dynamic or static? Every one of these variables can negatively impact the precision with which you grip the handgun. The more precise you grip the handgun, the more likely you will be precise with your aim, with your trigger control and with recoil control.
There Is No Doubt
The question about what to do when you get the sloppy shooting grip is the one we try to answer with redirects or avoidance. What I mean is when you get a sloppy grip the response in turn is “don’t do that” or “grip it correctly”. While I agree those are correct, they don’t deal with the immediacy of the situation. Should you be called upon to use your handgun in a defensive situation and you get a sloppy grip what have you done to prepare. Like anything in the world, if something can go wrong it will go wrong. If the possibility exist you can get a sloppy grip as a result of some of the variables discussed earlier then we need to have a plan. The plan is more about how to deal with the sloppy grip in real time.
You Might Want To Take A Split Second
When we talk about the sloppy shooting grip I break it down into either a catastrophic or workable. A workable sloppy grip means it is something I can improve. I can take a split second to adjust my grip or improve it’s positioning over its current state. It may not be perfect, but it was better than it was when I started. This happens a lot during the drawstroke with subcompact handguns. It is already hard to get a good shooting grip on the smaller handguns because they lack surface area. Add a little speed, concealment and or pressure and it can go sideways real fast. What I have discovered is that by developing a master shooting grip with my compact or full size handguns it has taught my body and specifically my hand how to grip. Over the years, my fingers and thumbs just move to the correct position and apply pressure. When I get the sloppy shooting grip with a subcompact handgun it is usually as I attempt to clear the holster. From there, my hands naturally want to adjust and I just let them. The result is an improved shooting grip that is more than adequate for the scenario.
Dirt Diving Is Fun & Beneficial
Things are a little different with a catastrophic sloppy grip. This means that I will not be able to improve the grip without taking additional remedial action. It could be a result of clearing the cover garment. The hand gets snagged requiring you to adjust your grip completly to free your hand to obtain your shooting grip. Another example might be bobbling the handgun during the drawstroke. It may actually slip or partially slip from your grasp. If you are injured and physically cannot obtain the normal shooting grip I would also consider this catastrophic. Our goal should be to avoid the catastrophic grips and adapt to improving the workable grips. Sometimes working through a few possibilities is all it takes, we call this dirt diving. You discover simple, yet effective ways to avoid or manage through this process. They are taught as contingencies in our curriculum.
While a slopping shooting grip is not ideal, it is not the end of the world. There are little things you can do to adapt and still achieve the desired outcome, effective fire to stop the threat.