HANDGUN FIT, HOW IT WORKS
HAND GUN FIT, HOW IT WORKS
By Richard E. “Rick” Dennis CPP
Certified Protection Professional
November 15, 2022
Copyright 2022; All-rights Reserved
FIREARMS INTENDED PURPOSE
Prior to selecting a firearm, for defensive purposes, the first criteria to establish is: “What’s the firearms intended purpose?” Is the firearm going to be left in the home for home defense, carried in a vehicle for self-defense, concealed carry, or a combination thereof? Self-defense firearms comprise two categories. 1) A firearm kept in the home or carried in the vehicle and 2) a multi-purpose firearm, i.e., kept at home, carried in the vehicle, and for concealed carry in public locations. Home defense weapons are commonly comprised of: Any firearm, whether a shotgun; of any action type and gauge, semi-auto pistol, revolver, or rifle; of any caliber or action type.
However, a firearm for multi-purpose, i.e., home defense, vehicle defense, and concealed carry use resides to two categories: A Revolver or a Semi-auto handgun. The weapon of choice depends on the personal preference of the user. More specifically and above all criteria, the selected firearm for multi-purpose use must be easily concealable, carry sufficient ammunition to win a gun fight or stop an attacker, and the calibre choice should be sufficient to incapacitate an attacker and immediately end the threat. Notwithstanding, the selected cartridge should be one the user is comfortable shooting to mitigate flinching which will inhibit effective accuracy. Example:
If a 22 calibre rim fire cartridge is the top threshold of cartridge designs the user is capable of being comfortable shooting, so be it. As the old rule of thumb: “It’s better to have a gun and not need it, rather than need a gun and not have it!” However, in the right hands and with the correct training combined with the correct self-defense ammunition, a 22 calibre rim fire will accomplish the same thing as any other cartridge designed for self-defense can do: “Stop an attacker!”
FITTING THE HANDGUN TO TO THE SHOOTER, NOT - VICE VERSA
A common mistake many first-time handgun buyers make is: The firearm isn’t purchase by the user by correct fit, but more often than not, by a friends recommendation. The number one rule when purchasing a firearm is: “Pick a firearm, you can bet your life on!” More specifically, your firearm choice should have the ergonomics to fit your hand correctly, be well balanced and comfortable in the hand, and has an established track record of reliability, e.g., Military and Law Enforcement applications, etc.
When purchasing a firearm, the first firearm checks a new buyer or an experienced buyer should perform are: Pick up the firearm with your master hand and access it for weight and balance. Next, check whether or not the the firearm fits your hand correctly, e.g., is the firearms grip to large or too small in your hand, and does the firearm point naturally in your hand.
More specifically, while holding the firearm extend your arms in a safe direction with the firearm in your master hand, i.e., right or left hand, and point it at an object on the wall. If the firearm correctly fits your hand and exhibits natural point-ability the firearms sights should line up naturally with the shooters master eye and be on target, without manipulating the grip angle of the gun.
Therefore, if the firearms sights lineup naturally, it’s a correct fit. If it doesn’t, it’s a wrong fit. Moreover, a correctly fitting firearm should feel natural and well balanced in the hand. Also, a shooter should never have to adjust the hand or grip to the firearm to make it fit correctly. Many firearms manufacturers use different grip angles in the manufacturing process. The new buyer should pickup as many different firearms as possible, until the natural grip angle and point-ability is achieved. What may be good for one person, may not be good for you.
The last portion of the handgun fit assessment pertains to the size of the grip, in relation to the size of the shooters hand. When a handgun fits your hand correctly your three bottom fingers of the gripping hand should encompass and comfortably fit the entire butt of of the handgun, wether the firearm is a revolver or a semi-automatic. More specifically, there shouldn’t be large amounts of real estate protruding from the bottom of your hand.
If so, the firearms grip is too large for your hand. Conversely, if there’s not enough grip in your hand to comfortably accommodate all three fingers, the firearms grip is too small for your hand. A correctly fitting grip means all three bottom fingers fit comfortably on the firearm grip with just a little extra protruding from the bottom of the shooters hand.
With semi-auto pistols, the new buyer should be aware: On a particular handgun, the correct grip for his or her hand should be one where the knuckles of the gripping hand fall in the middle of the bottom of the trigger guard of the firearm. If your knuckles lie before the trigger guard, the firearms grip is to large. If your knuckles extend beyond the trigger guard, the firearm is too small for your hand. A properly fitting handgun will not only feel natural in the hand but it will also feel like it’s an extension of your body when in use.
Finally, if the firearm correctly fits a shooters hand he or she should be able to operate all of the mechanisms of the firearm without changing his or her grip. Example: On a revolver, the shooter should be able to cock, de-cock the hammer, release the cylinder catch and pull the trigger. On a semi-auto, the shooter should be able to operate the magazine release, the safety if one exists, the slide release lever, and pull the trigger without changing his or her grip.
“UNTIL NEXT TIME, KEEP EM BETWEEN THE BRIDLE!”
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Richard E. "Rick" Dennis
Freelance Writer and Author