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Fundamentals of Hold Control
Fundamentals of Trigger Control
Lessons cover;
(The Fundamentals of Hold Control, Revolver Versus Semi-Auto Grip, Revolver Grip, Semi-Auto Grip, Grip Pressure Ratio, Bad or Dangerous Methods for Gripping the Pistol, Fit the Gun to your Hand, A Perfect Fit, Recoil,  Stance and Bench Rest Positions, Weaver Stance, The Isosceles Stance, Summary of Stance, Bench Rest for Sighting in your Gun, Bench Rest Position as a Training Tool, Bench Rest Position for Home Defense, Steps to Sighting in your Gun, Using a Bore Sight Laser Device)
(Trigger Control, Controlling you Grip Pressure, "Single" and "Double" Action Triggers, and The Surprise Break)

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There are four fundamentals of shooting that impact accuracy. They are GRIP, STANCE, BREATH CONTROL, and AIMING.  These are all variables to be overcome through training, discipline, and practice.

One of the most critical fundamentals is how to properly grip a handgun. If your grip changes or relaxes each time you squeeze the trigger, your accuracy will suffer because your sight picture (Aiming) will change. When your grip changes, the chances are that your hits will be either to the right or left on the target.

There are two grips taught depending upon whether you are handling a revolver or a semi-auto pistol. In many cases it is advantageous to train using the revolver grip on both if you shoot both. Using the revolver grip on a semi-auto pistol assures your firing hand thumb is below the slide so it is not damaged by the movement of the slide. While it is true that using the revolver grip on a semi-auto pistol places your firing hand thumb below the slide release, how many times will you really need to accomplish a “tactical” reload of a fresh magazine? If you get your firing hand thumb to close to the moving slide, as shown below, you will need a first aid kit!

Bad grip Semi-Auto
Bad and Dangerous Grip

Correct revolver grip on a semi-auto pistol

This is the revolver grip on a semi-auto pistol above.

semi-auto perfect grip

The firing hand thumb is away from the moving slide.

This is the classic semi-auto pistol grip above. Notice that the firing hand thumb is not to close to the moving slide, and also able to work the slide release.


Perfect revolver grip

This is the proper revolver grip above.

To properly grip either handgun you must create a pocket with your hands. This requires you to mate your palms together as much as possible. The ideal pocket is when both palms actually touch each other as shown below. With the grip resting on the heel (or lower portion of palm) of your firing hand palm.

Grip hands together creating a pocket
At first this will feel awkward, but it is necessary to create the pocket in which the gun is trapped securely. If you are firing a semi-auto pistol, start by placing the gun in the web of your firing hand with your support hand as shown below.

grip creating a 'Y" with firing hand
The upper “tang” of the frame must contact the web of your firing hand otherwise you are gripping the gun too low. The gun should be a natural extension of your arm and hand otherwise you will be articulating your wrist to keep the sights on target instead of rotating your arm at the shoulder.  If possible, your firing hand thumb should contact your middle finger as shown below. If your hand is not large enough, get as close as you can. 

Correct Semi-Auto firing hand grip

Next, bring your support hand up to your firing hand making sure that your support hand index finger contacts the bottom of the trigger guard as shown below.

Correct revolver grip on a semi-auto pistol

With your palms touching and your grip as shown, you have created a secure pocket for the gun, with the heel of your support hand firmly on the butt of the grip. This creates stability, and by doing this consistently removes the “grip variable” and will increase your accuracy. Always remember to keep your firing finger off the trigger as shown below until you are ready to shoot!


(Keep your finger off the trigger during this process!)

This picture shows proper finger placement
until you are ready to fire the gun!!

Correct trigger finger placement on frame of gun.

The grip is one of the most important fundamentals to learn properly. The proper grip gives you stability throughout the shot and allows you to easily and accurately bring the firearm back on target. At the range you should watch other shooters who will be using improper grip, and their shots will be all over the targets!

Here are some pictures of incorrect grips:

Picture of bad Semi-Auto Pistol Grip - support hand under frame.

Bad Grip with a Semi-Auto Pistol - support hand under frame. With this grip there is no way to control the recoil when firing the gun.  You also may lose control of your grip on the gun with each shot.

Grip on wrist

Bad grip with a Revolver - the support hand grasping wrist. With this grip there is no way to control the recoil after firing the gun.  

You have no control and dangerous!

Picture of Bad Revolver Grip - support hand under firing hand.

Bad Revolver Grip -

Difficult Revolver Grip – Teacup Grip; support hand under firing hand. With this grip the firing hand is doing 95% of the work. Proper grip is a 60% / 40% split with the support hand providing 60% of the support. This grip requires a great deal of strength from the firing hand in order to balance the frame and muzzle through the recoil.

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