When we say ‘get a grip’, we’re all for the importance of grip and trigger as two of the most important factors in shooting accurately with a handgun. With proper grip, you can shoot any calibre firearm – from the .22, all the way up to the .500 Magnum.

Marksman’s Nest chief ranger Geoffrey Coetzee emphasised that good grip would make you a more consistent shooter. “Your shooting grip is just one of the factors that go into becoming a great shot and learning to shoot well. The better and stronger it is, the less you’ll feel recoil. Also, whether using a semi-automatic pistol or a revolver, the right grip will not only reduce the movement of the firearm, but will also maximize the speed and accuracy of your follow-up shots.”

According to Geoffrey, the old cup and saucer shooting grip is just plain bad. “It’s so much better to use the Thumbs Forward technique, which almost always improves accuracy. And it’s imperative to maintain the same grip, shot after shot.”

On the draw

When taking hold of your gun in the holster, the web of your shooting hand must be in the top tang on the back-strap and no higher. If it’s higher, the slide will bite your hand and if too low, the gun will move more with recoil.

It’s important to have both thumbs pointing at the target. That means the heel of your non-shooting hand should cover the exposed area on the grip. To create a solid grip foundation, align the gun with your forearm.


A one-hand grip usually affects accuracy negatively. So, use both hands, with your non-dominant hand supporting your shooting hand. Don’t grasp too tightly: otherwise your hands and arms will tire easily. But don’t grip slackly either because then it increases firearm movement.

Ensure that your thumbs don’t interfere with the slide or controls. However, you also shouldn’t cross them behind the slide. The recommended position for your thumbs is having them either on top of each other or overlapping and pointed forward on the opposite side of your trigger finger. You’ll know you’ve got it right if both of your thumbs are almost parallel to each other and touching.

Remember, your arms, fingers and wrists all coordinate to get a grip for bull’s-eye shooting.

Nothing beats training

All the above will become as natural as tying your shoelaces with continuous training. So the mantra is: train, train and train.

To build up forearm and wrist strength, exercise with a stress ball, tennis ball, or grippers. Reverse curls using rubber bands of different strengths to spread the fingers apart are also good. And nothing beats regular pull ups to work out your upper body!


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