John Farnham [Not Shown] on One-Handed Shooting

[HTML1]

Some thoughts on one-handed shooting relative to firearms design from gun guru John Farnham in a piece called Pistol grip size/shape, revisited [via defense-training.com]:

These sage comments from ATSA Staff: “Over the years of the NTI (National Tactical Invitational), we have done many instances of short-distance, surprise shooting that required sudden presentations of holstered pistols. When engaged in live-fire exercises, and confronting inanimate targets at close range, virtually all Practitioners are observed to use some variation of a two-handed grip and stance. However, in conditions where the target is another human (Force-on Force), Practitioners often draw and fire strong-hand only. So, we decided to do a relative-accuracy study of both styles. A G19 Glock and an S&W, M&P Compact (9mm) were used for this Test.

Installed on the M&P was the smallest of the three backstraps available. The Test was comprised of multiple draw-and-immediately-fire drills, five strong-hand only and five using a two-hand grip. Distance was six meters. With the G19, shots fired by most shooters, while shooting one-handed, were biased to the support-hand side of the target. When shooting two-handed, shots were significantly better centered on the body midline. With the S&W, shots were centered on the body midline, no matter which technique was used.

My conclusion is that wide-body pistol grips, while currently all the rage, can represent significant accuracy compromises when there is a need to employ the pistol using only one hand. Pistol grips that more resemble a flattened oval appear to us to be consistent with superior accuracy, again when only one hand is on the grip as the pistol is employed.”

Comment: Even I am amazed at the number of shots that are fired via strong-hand only during the NTI. Statistics from police shooting appear to support that observation, even though we’re all trained extensively to draw and fire using a two-handed technique. I’m not at all sure I understand why! I’ve always found flat-gripped pistols (like the 1911) to be more inherently accurate than round-grip ones, at least for serious shooting. We are apparently irreversibly into double-column pistols, but pointability obviously continues to be directly linked to the degree to which the grip resembles a flattened oval. /John