Hand placement on single actions

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onesureshot

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 11, 1999
Messages
36
Location
Copperton, Utah USA
I was shooting with a buddy the other day and shot a couple cylinders of factory ammo in his Super Blackhawk and felt like an amateur. I could not find a good grip that felt like I wasn't going to lose the gun or leave my hand throbbing. It has been over 10 years since I have shot single action revolvers and I am so used to my pistols and DA revolvers that I couldn't seem to get it right. I can't believe I had the problems I did, as I used to shoot SAs a lot. I had a few different Vaqueros and even did a little cowboy action shooting back then.

It seems like I recall something about a firm grip, but not too hard so as to let it roll through the recoil. I tried that and felt like I was going to eat the front site. I tried a firmer grip and my hand ended up throbbing.

I am wondering if I am not getting the hand position right. Does anyone have any pictures of how your hands should be placed? Or if you know of a video clip that will show it that would be great too.

Thanks in advance.
 

c.r.

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
436
Location
Texas
Here's a link to a thread on this subject. Jerry b provides some pretty good pics of options for the "strong" hand. These are on page two of the thread.
http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtop ... highlight=

hope this helps,
c.r.


edit............. depending on which SBH grip frame you were holding, the pinky under grip may not even be possible for somebody with normal sized hands. I'd have a hard time with a pinky under grip on the square back trigger guard SBH grip. but I use the pinky under grip on all Ruger round trigger guard grip frames. that's just my personal preference.
 

pete44ru

Hunter
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Messages
2,176
Location
Rhode Island
[I am wondering if I am not getting the hand position right.]

And, then............ place the palm of the "off" hand on the forehead while firing, to protect your temples from the front sight. ;) :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

.
 

gunman42782

Hunter
Joined
Jan 4, 2004
Messages
3,373
Location
KY
I always put my little finger under the grip frame. Otherwise, the gun will whack my middle finger. Have used this grip for many years, and it works for me.
 

onesureshot

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 11, 1999
Messages
36
Location
Copperton, Utah USA
pete44ru":3nwpigkp said:
[I am wondering if I am not getting the hand position right.]

And, then............ place the palm of the "off" hand on the forehead while firing, to protect your temples from the front sight. ;) :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

.

Or I could develop a shooting helmet :D

Thanks for the input guys. Not sure how I missed that other thread, I looked back many pages to see if it had been covered. I will have to give the pinky under grip a try.
 

rugerlovah

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
196
c.r.":3j16utki said:
Here's a link to a thread on this subject. Jerry b provides some pretty good pics of options for the "strong" hand. These are on page two of the thread.
http://www.rugerforum.com/phpBB/viewtop ... highlight=

i hold mine just like jerry b in that pic ... high on the gripframe. my trigger finger actually ends up very high on the trigger, and that helps in feeling out the "creep" in the ruger trigger before it breaks. if i hold it lower on the grip frame, recoil feels very unnatural (gun is "jumpy") and my accuracy deteriorates.

now, the hottest thing i have shot in a SA is full-power .357 magnums. i havent tried that grip w/ harder kickers like the .44 mag.
 

rtl

Single-Sixer
Joined
Feb 9, 2006
Messages
194
Location
East of Dallas
What works for me with the standard plowhandle in .44 and larger is pinky finger under the grip with arm relaxed to let it roll and rise. If you use two hands, watch for the placement of the off hand palm to prevent slamming the backside of the butt of the frame into it causing some bruising.

Your mileage may vary.
 

steveinaz

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
116
Location
Arizona
I hold revolvers much like an auto pistol. Both thumbs up and laying side-by-side against the left side recoil shield. This allows me to grip the gun high, and the pressure on the shield from my thumbs acts as a buffer to muzzle lift. I can shoot .44mag all day without any pain. It works very, very well.
 

onesureshot

Bearcat
Joined
Dec 11, 1999
Messages
36
Location
Copperton, Utah USA
steveinaz":q9l0swf8 said:
I hold revolvers much like an auto pistol. Both thumbs up and laying side-by-side against the left side recoil shield. This allows me to grip the gun high, and the pressure on the shield from my thumbs acts as a buffer to muzzle lift. I can shoot .44mag all day without any pain. It works very, very well.

That sounds interesting. Could you by chance post a picture showing your grip? My first reaction is that having the thumbs up there would make the gun recoil up and to the right, in a twisting motion. I would really like to see what you described to make sure I am understanding you correctly.
 

steveinaz

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
116
Location
Arizona
Let me snap a pic tonight when I get home from work, and I'll post it. I actually came up with this grip after taking a pounding from a Super many years ago. It's quite natural if you shoot autos, really works well, allows for all fingers to fit the grip, and keeps you high on the gun for better control. Works just as well for single handed shooting too.
 

c.r.

Single-Sixer
Joined
Apr 23, 2008
Messages
436
Location
Texas
steveinaz":kv0jq8o9 said:
This allows me to grip the gun high, and the pressure on the shield from my thumbs acts as a buffer to muzzle lift.

i've always been under the impression the design of the grip on a SAA style revoler was to actually facilitate muzzle rise and MAYBE reduce felt recoil. The design looks like it was meant to roll in the hand. I'm not sure the SAA grip frame was designed to keeping the muzzle down for "double taps".

But fortunately for all us, we don't have to do everything exactly the same to have a good outcome.

~c.r.
 

steveinaz

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
116
Location
Arizona
It's probably a compromise to the original design intent, but it does allow me to shoot better, and with far more comfort. My method does direct a little more recoil rearward, but it's the muzzle-flip that tends to bang-up fingers and start shooters to flinching.

Nothing stops energy, but you can redirect it in another form. What I do results in slightly more recoil "push" (let's call it), and less muzzle rise. Because I'm fighting the revolvers impulse to rise, it replaces it with more rearward energy; either way the energy will be released.
 

Driftwood Johnson

Blackhawk
Joined
Sep 25, 2007
Messages
699
Location
Land of the Pilgrims
i've always been under the impression the design of the grip on a SAA style revoler was to actually facilitate muzzle rise and MAYBE reduce felt recoil. The design looks like it was meant to roll in the hand. I'm not sure the SAA grip frame was designed to keeping the muzzle down for "double taps".

Howdy

The SAA grip is the same as the Colt Model 1851 Navy grip. The Navy was a 36 caliber percussion revolver, and recoil was never a problem with a 36 caliber C&B. There just was not that much recoil developed. A 36 cal Navy would not roll in your hand at all, there was just not that much recoil. When Colt brought out the 1860 44 caliber Army model they added 1/4" to the bottom of the Navy grip, other than that, the grip was identical to the Navy grip. When Colt brought out the SAA in 1873 they reverted to the original 1851 grip style. It is the same. With a 45 caliber cartridge firing a 250 grain bullet, it was found that the gun could roll in the hand to help absorb recoil, but that was never the design intent.

For what it's worth, I shoot all my single action revolvers with one hand and wrap my pinky under the grip. I shoot mostly 45 Colt cartridges stuffed full of Black Powder and they do exhibit considerable recoil. As somebody mentioned, holding low on the grip allows about 1/4" of space between my knuckle and the rear of the trigger guard. This 1/4" ensures that my knuckle will not get bruised by the trigger guard. I grip the gun relatively lightly, I do not hold it with a death grip. When I fire it, the gun rolls in my hand a little bit until my pinky stops the roll. Then the recoil continues, raising the gun and my fore arm up about 30 degrees or so. It does not hurt, I can maintain control of the gun this way, and I can shoot it all day without a bruised knuckle.
 

Wobble

Bearcat
Joined
Jul 31, 2009
Messages
45
Location
Georgia, USA
Even though I don't shoot Cowboy Action, I like the two-hand grip used by many. The grip facilitates the use of the weak-hand thumb for rapid cocking. The forefinger is on the front or just below the trigger guard, and the thumb is poised just above the hammer, ready for the next cock, using the anchored forefinger as leverage.
 

steveinaz

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
116
Location
Arizona
Here's the pic. My supporting thumb is on the recoil shield, my firing thumb somewhat on top enough to clear the hammer. Note the degree in which my support hand index finger is under the trigger guard; there's no way my firing hand middle finger can get "beat up" during recoil. When firing one-handed, my firing thumb lays completely against the recoil shield. In this hold, I use my firing thumb to quickly cock the next shot. I can shoot all day like this in comfort:

sahold.jpg
 

steveinaz

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Messages
116
Location
Arizona
It's quite natural for those used to doing alot of auto-pistol "high thumbs" shooting. Though just a .357mag is pictured, I used this with my .44mag Hunter and I would get tired of holding the thing up before I'd tire from recoil.
 
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