Grip Angle

If you peruse the many gun fora out there you’re likely to encounter discussions, and often heated arguments, about grip angle. People discuss “pointability” and how the Glock or 1911 always leaves them with the barrel pointing at the sky or the ground. The time and energy some folks put into this debate can easily lead a new shooter to believe grip angle is a critical factor in selecting a handgun.

The truth is that it’s like arguing over whether Adam and Eve had belly buttons. The winning response to that question is, “WHO CARES?” I think the Glock grip angle has a slight ergonomic advantage over less angled designs in two areas. The first is just my feeling that it helps me lock the gun down in my grip. However, the second point may be mildly significant. By rotating your wrists forward on the Glock grip you are bringing the top of the gun and therefore the barrel down closer to the top bone in your forearm (the radius). This reduces the leverage the gun’s recoil has on your wrist. Just look at your thumb joint as you rotate backwards like a Beretta 92 or forward like a Glock and you will see your thumb rise and fall relative to the radius. However, there are pro shooters dominating in competition with 1911s so the Glock’s possible advantage in grip angle can’t be too big a deal.

Something to remember is that our wrists don’t have a natural limit in their range of movement that will match a specific handgun’s grip angle. Getting a handgun or revolver to point consistently where you want is nothing more than a matter of practice.

A way that I’ve found helpful for pointing the barrel where I’m aiming is to think about pointing the metacarpal bones in my hand.

Wikipedia – Hand Bone Diagram

Staying with my example guns, if I am bringing a Glock into my line of sight I think about pointing the metacarpal bone for my pointer finger at the target and when I do the same for a Beretta I think about pointing the meta carpal bone for my pinky at the target. I find that gets me close enough so that I’m not searching for my front sight.

How a gun fits in your hand and how it feels when you shoot it really matters. Grip angle is practically irrelevant.

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