Not saying that this is the only grip to use. This is merely an option, it may work for you it may not, depending on your hand size and structure. It works for me and it has worked for many shooters that Andy and I have taught it to. It is not UNSAFE for those who have questioned it, trust me the gun will move less with this grip. If you do use a grip that aligns the sights and gun up your arm to your shoulder you are putting yourself at a huge disadvantage.

Here we go.

A proper grip is a grip that will NATURALLY align the guns sights to the eye of the shooter without having to tilt your head or move your wrists around in order to that. Also a proper grip, and most importantly, is a grip that allows the gun to return to the same position that is one in that allowed the sights to be aligned without having to search for the sights after each and every shot.  

To many times I have seen, and I am sure most of you have also, may do it yourself. Someone shoots and you can see the front of the gun waving around as they try to get sight alignment back. This is not a problem with recoil management, grip strength or position. This is a grip issue.

If you line the gun up you arm and too your shoulder in order to align the sights one of 2 things must happen. Your head leaves a natural position in order to see the sights since they are lined up with your shoulder or you have turn your wrists until the sight are slignes to your eye and then the gun is no longer aligned up your arm. This was called “grip alignment.”

Yes back in the day they taught “grip alignment.” Well grip alignment as they described it is BS, just like Natural Point of Aim with a pistol is BS. But that’s a different conversation.  Two handed shooters don’t even shoot with the gun aligned up their strong arm to their shoulder. Unless you have some deformity and you head is growing out of your shooting side shoulder why would you want the gun aligned up your arm to your shoulder?

This is for a 1911 slab style grip or a .22 with slabs. If you are using orthopedic grips you can’t do it with them.

My grip is simple, it’s not hard to get into and once you get it, it will feel better and recoil will be better managed and the sights will always come back to alignment. If you rotate the meaty portion of your hand below the little finger behind the back-strap of the gun, everytime you shoot, it will want to move off of it. It is just a squishy, fatty portion of your hand that cannot control the gun or offer any resistence to recoil whatsoever. The fatty portion of the hand there cannot be moved, it is just fat. Try to move it. The movement caused by making fist does not count because the rest of the hand causes that movement.  The place the gun tends to move to is the valley formed between that meaty portion below the little finger and the meaty part of the thumb. So I ask why not start with the gun in the place it wants to be.

Even with a picture this hard to describe and even when done in person we still tend to have to work individually with shooters to show them how to do it.

The best and easiest way to get the proper grip, at least a good starting position as you may need to tweak it around a bit until it feels good, is with a holster.

Put your 1911 in a holster on the side of your body not in fron or behind, but on the side  of your hip. Put your hands in the surrender position, like the action shooters from. Keep your eyes and head straight. Allow your shooting hand to come down naturally to the gun, don’t move it around just let it come down and grab the gun. The fatty part of the little finger should all be on the right panel of the grip. Now keeping the gun in your hand with the grip assume your one handed shooting position. The sights should be pretty close to being aligned. If they are not the you will need to tweak the grip a bit. Like I said this is best if in person and someone who uses the grip can actually show you.

So if you ever run into me at a match or wherever please ask and I will show you or talk to someone who has attended a clinic or uses the same grip and ask them.

I hope the phots below are of some help.

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13 Responses to Grip

  1. GGinSC says:

    1 of 1:

    My apologies. Just realized you’d already answered my question.

  2. GGinSC says:

    1 of 1:
    Any comment on arched vs. flat mainspring housing? I’m having trouble getting the trigger finger to move straight back. My trigger finger ends up at an angle across the trigger, not flat. My hands are a bit large, and I haven’t found a good consistent grip yet. Been using a flat MSH, but thinking of trying an arched, as it might help align the trigger finger. Thoughts?

  3. hardball says:

    Thank you One of One
    To be clear, by “forward” press I mean with the thumb ham onto the grip safety area. This I believe counters the fingers in front and even the trigger press. Also seems to solid up the wrist and sight.
    Notice my fat thumb ham. It almost looks like a mini butt cheek :)
    Don’t know if links will work, but they will copy paste if needed

  4. 1 of 1 says:

    As far as the thumb goes. Just let it rest naturally and comfortably for you. Note I said “rest” do not put more pressure than what is needed to just keep it from flopping around in recoil. If there is extra pressure exerted on the grip by the thumb, when the trigger breaks and the hammer is released that pressure on the thumb will cause the movement of the gun. Once the pressure moving the trigger to the rear is gone the pressure on the thumb will take over and it is pushing the gun to the side.

  5. hardball says:

    Just shot a very poor gallery match in league. Seems I forgot how to grip in a year long layoff from matches. Somewhere I read that we must not let the thumb lower to the fingers. Keep it high so the push into the backstrap is forward and not down. When one small point is not right, the mental errors cascade into chaos and the 7 ring. The best mental game cannot make up for technique errors.

    I am sure there are other things I need to retrain on to get back to high expert-low master 22 scores.

  6. Tom Morrisey says:

    Hi, Brian — Tom here. As I understand it, the term “grip” in a bullseye pistol is a non-sequitur, because we don’t grip the grips — we grip the frontstrap and the backstrap and, with slabside grips at least, the panels are mainly there to take up space. I am currently working on a Smith 22A as my .22 pistol, and I need to modify the laminated wood grip on this pistol to achieve a grip that is more similar to the slabs I use with my 1911. I understand from the Bullseye list that you are doing similar work on your Feinwerkbau AW93, for the same reason. On the 22a, the wood grip surrounds the grip portion of the pistol entirely, so my plan is to use course sandpaper to take down the side slabs until there’s barely enough wood there to keep the grip from cracking, finish it with fine sandpaper and steel wool, and then use a Dremel ball-head tool to dimple the wooden frontstrap and backstrap portions of the grip (the way Randall Fung does it). I’ll probably leave a very modest thumbrest on both sides of the pistol (like a Pachmayr grip). Other than that, I’m leaving the side panels smooth as a baby’s butt, because I don’t think texture there does any good. Does my approach sound right to you? Just thought I’d check before I start sanding down a brand-new grip!


  7. 1 of 1 says:

    It does work for cross dominance very well actually. The relationship created between the eye and the sights is such that it can be easily adapted to the cross dominate shooter. I would try to shoot right handed if possible. If it is really akward for you then mater shooting cross dominate.

  8. Sara says:

    Does this grip work well with someone who is cross-eyed dominant or do I have to make some kind of adjustment? I shoot with my right arm but use my left eye and it’s hard for me sometimes to get the dot back on the target during timed and rapid fire with .45. I’ve also had some people tell me I should just learn to shoot with my right (non-dominant) eye, what’s your take on that?

  9. 1 of 1 says:

    I personally like the way an arched MSH feels in my hand but I have a hard time shooting with one. So I shoot with a flat. You really need to try them both out and remember that just because it feels good does not mean it will shoot well for you.

  10. ohiobullseye says:

    Is an Arched, wedge or flat mainspring housing best…I have medium hands.

  11. richard evans says:


    This grip does indeed eliminate gun movement in my hand, preserves sight alignment more consistently, and seems to accomodate recoil so that the gun returns to where it should. Many thanks.

  12. hardball says:

    Brian, can you post a profile picture of the grip on the gun? It looks to me to be a different type main spring housing.

  13. JonL says:

    Thanks for adding this information to your fundamentals section.

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