Here’s a quick exercise for taking a good thumbs-forward grip with a semi-auto pistol. It offers a great deal of control, which might explain why it’s currently the standard grip for top practical shooters. Fortunately, it’s also easy for novices to learn. It might feel a little awkward at first, so start practicing with no gun at all, just to get a accustomed to it . . .
- Stand square to the target.
- Take a half step forward with your left foot, and give the target a big thumbs-up with your right hand.
- Point your left thumb directly at the target. Your wrist will be angled down a bit.
- Grab your right fist with your left hand. The left index finger should be in the groove between the index and middle fingers of the right hand.
- Lower your right thumb so it is also pointing at the target, on top of the left thumb.
- Press both hands firmly together.
Of course, southpaws will need to swap this. Once you’ve tried it a few times, add a firearm. (Unloaded, please, unless you’re on a hot range.)
Grasp the gun in your strong hand, point it at the target, thumb high along the slide, trigger finger off the trigger. Bring both hands together, support-side thumb pointed at the target. Your support-side palm is now firmly pressed against the grip panel of the firearm, thumb pointing along the frame*, index finger wedged up against the bottom of the trigger guard. And your strong-side thumb will naturally lower to rest on & disengage the thumb safety, if you have one**.
With both hands providing even pressure, and lots of good contact with the handgun, you’ll find that the it recoils vertically, and returns to a good sight picture naturally.
* Some shooters press on the frame with the support-side thumb, some don’t. Personally, it depends on what I’m shooting. With CZs, which have internal slide rails and lots of exposed frame to press on, I do. Other guns, not so much, since I don’t want to interfere with the slide. Suit yourself.
** If shooting a SIG, you might want to angle that thumb out a little, away from the frame, over the left thumb. This will keep you from riding the slide release, preventing the slide from locking back once the magazine is empty.