In all honestly, it depends what you are shooting. Thumbs held too high on some frames may just get you cut. I tend to prefer a modified grip when shooting my Springfield XD-9, with my thumbs high and tight, but somewhat forward and out of the way of my slide.
I love a nice cup of tea, but not while I am shooting. “Tea cupping” or holding the firearm with your dominant hand, and placing your weak hand underneath like a saucer will not give you good control of the weapon. While you may be supporting your weapon, your weak hand will not assist you in managing recoil. It does seem to be a popular grip for the Hollywood set tho, keep an eye out when you are watching your favorite movie or television drama, you will be amazed at Hollywood’s creativity when it comes to firearms and grips!
One sure way to get a slide bite is crossing your thumbs behind the firearm. In a two-handed grip, your thumbs should be together, whether you choose high or modified, but they should not be crossed behind the firearm. Doing so places you in position to catch the soft, fleshy tissue between your thumb and forefinger in the slide as the firearm discharges. (Though I have never done so, I have seen pictures and it looks extremely painful!)
The positions I have mentioned are all for two handed shooting. I am an advocate however, of shooting with one hand. At each practice session, I shoot mostly two handed, but I do spend time shooting with both my dominant hand and my weak hand. If something were to happen and you were to injure one of your arms/hands and you needed to get a shot off, you had better know that you can shoot accurately and safely using only your weak hand.
Get out on the range and watch some of the other shooters. Pay attention to how they grip their pistol. Try out a few variations and see if any feel better than what you are currently doing. Go ahead and ask a friend with a lot of pistol experience to watch your grip while you are shooting. See what feels right; see what improves your accuracy.
Correcting bad mechanics takes time and practice, but it is always worth it. Here is one quick tip that I learned early on and I have done with some of my students as well as with my daughters.
- Grip your firearm as if you were ready to shoot. Once you are in the proper position with your grip, have a friend draw a straight line, in pen, down your hands from your thumbs to your hands. Each time you re-grip your pistol, make sure that the line is lined up and straight. This will ensure that you are back in the proper position.
Shooting is a sport of accuracy and we all want to be the best shots we can be. Get out there and practice!
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