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Maybe you didn’t have the time or the spare change to attend the NSSF’s Shooting Sports Fantasy Camp in Las Vegas this weekend. Never fear, TTAG is there. Here’s a free lesson from the gunmeister himself on “losing the noodle” and getting a firm grip on your pistol. As you’ll see in the video, that doesn’t mean putting a death grip on your M&P, it means firming up your wrists to stay on target. We’ll let Jerry take it from here….

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  1. I haven’t figured that part out yet, how to lock the wrists. Or maybe I just have weak wrists.

      • Understand you have your perspective. But Jerry does pretty good with his, so I think I’ll go with it.

    • It IS in the wrists. The only places you should feel tension in your body while shooting is in you calves and your forearms.

      The shooter in the video had his elbows locked out straight. They should be bent a bit at the elbows. This allows the wrists to bend, which makes it possible for the shooter to lock their wrists in the downward position, to resist recoil.

    • Clamp in with your pectoral muscle for targets that are easier than when it requires maximumly minimal swinging arc.

  2. For the first time ever I had a problem with my makarov last weekend. Failure to feed. Same ammo I always use. Happened on all mags I was using. I bought the gun used, natch, and I’ve used it a lot since I got it. So I ordered a new recoil spring from wolff.

    If that doesn’t solve the problem then it could be me limp wristing. But that can’t be possible, right?

    • Yup. Possibly imperceptibly devolving into a bad habit. Tightening up in the wrong places leading to a weakening in other places…

      • Yep. Once I install the new spring I’m giving the mak a test run with myself and a shooter that has used my mak a number of times before. If the FTF happens with just me………

        • A life time of 1911 tormenting taught me,

          FTFeed happens when there is not enough time given for the mag to present the cartridge properly, before the slide attempts to strip it. Or the cartridge just somehow wont feed.


          Causes may be,

          Limpwristing causing shortstroking
          Ammo dimension/charge out of spec
          Extractor out of spec

          Mag not fast enough:
          Mag lips out of spec all at once
          Mag spring fatigue all at once
          Mag tube contaminated/out of spec

          Shortstroking, slide not going far back enough:
          Recoil spring too heavy
          Something gunking up the slide/frame rails
          Chamber dirty/out of spec
          Something tangling the recoil spring
          Mainspring tangled up
          Mainspring too heavy
          Hammer/strut tangled up
          Mag lips rubbing against bottom of slide
          Ejector binding up slide

          Shortstroking, slide going forward too fast:
          Recoil spring too heavy
          Mainspring too light

          and then you know how much Gaston did for us

        • @James in AZ

          You nailed it, Brother!

          God bless Gaston! May he always have plenty of guns and pretty women in this life and the next.

          I have a Gen 3 G21 purchased in 2003. I have put thousands of rounds through it, most of it cheap, Russian, steel cased practice ammo, with no malfunctions. No exaggeration . . . Zero. A couple of FTF that were caused by bad primers in the cheap ammo. I still carry it daily as my EDC with quality HTP HPs and trust it completely. I carried a Glock 17 for some of my time in Iraq with no concerns.

          People can dis them as ‘plastic guns with no safety” all they want, but to put it in a nutshell . . . . Glocks work. Always. Every time.

        • And yet, somehow when the 1911 was accepted by the US Army, it managed to fire 6,000 rounds without a malfunction, with a break every 1,000 rounds for cooling and oiling.

  3. Cool, that was really helpful, I’m definitely guilty of turtling and peering over the rims of my glasses will try and shoot more heads up next time out.

    • I sure wish I had both the time and the money to invest in some training, I know I need it.

      Another thing to the list…

  4. He just diagnosed two critical issues I noticed in my shooting yesterday – noodle and top of glasses. Great stuff.

    • I wonder if bottom-peering or top-peering is more than just habit based – perhaps it’s due to trying to avoid scratched areas of the eye protection?

  5. You know, it’s guys like Jerry who can really help shooters improve. And even if you can’t meet him in person, if you shoot in meets like USPSA, you can learn a lot. I think I learned more in 6 USPSA meets from the other guys, than I had learned in 2 years of range time when i was getting ready for Iraq.

    They were just like Jerry . . sincere with no attempt to make themselves look good by making you look stupid. Not that a Grand Master worries about that, they were just seriously trying to help me shoot better, and it was a big help, I promise you.

  6. Don’t be afraid to have a stranglehold on the smaller guns. It’s a lesson I learned with my P3AT.

  7. I can only do this right when I’m practicing quick-draw. When I’m just plinking, it’s never quite as solid as when I do – for example – Mozambique drills.

  8. Thank you Jerry! This brief 1:21 clip just helped me identify so much of my handgun frustration.

    • Turtling burns up so much energy, it’s not remotely funny. When I first started shooting IPSC, I would turtle really hard… and then wonder why I was exhausted at the end of the day.

  9. Tell ya what, it took me 60 years to perfect my bad habits and i;ll be damned if someone who knows better is going to change them now!…lol

  10. Jerry Miculek seems like one hell of a human being overall. Everything I see of him impresses me both in terms of talent and how he conducts himself.

  11. I guess to actually feel this is to
    Extend your arms out a little bit, just before your elbows are locked out.
    Lock your wrists with a downward force.
    Then extend your elbows completely out and lock them.
    Then bring your elbows slightly back from extended, lock position.

    I think I feel the difference in my wrist strength.
    When my elbows are completely extended, I feel less strength in my wrists.

    I guess this is the result of the mechanics of our skeletal system.

    I wonder if there is a difference in strength in the lifting, upward motion of the wrists when
    the elbows are slightly bent and then extended.

    I think these would be interesting experiments.

  12. When I was presented with my first pistol my dad told me that the best pistol shooters could lock their elbows, with arms straight. (His did, and he was a good shot.)
    My elbows lock before my arms are straight, and I have always had trouble recovering from recoil for quick followup shots.
    I will keep this video in mind at my next range session.

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