View Full Version : Proper Fit Of A Handgun

03-01-2004, 05:14 PM
I have read many posts asking "How to select a handgun" or "How can I tell if the handgun fits my grip?"

This is an excerpt from the Basic Firearms Classes I give concerning the issue of Proper Fit In Selecting A Handgun."


A gun has to fit your your physique or you will spend a lot of time trying to adapt to it. There is nothing you can't adapt to and learn to shoot well with practice, but it is far better if the firearm fits from the start it'll be quicker for you to learn to shoot properly and accurately.

Things To Consider :


When you hold the firearm does your hand wrap completely around the butt of the firearm? Is the butt so short that your little finger goes beneath it with nothing to rest on? When you pick up the firearm, the backstrap fits into the web of your hand between between your thumb and forefinger? If it fits properly your thumb will slightly overlap your other fingers: the trigger will hit your forefinger on the first pad or at about the first joint. If it is too big you will have to stretch to reach the trigger, magazine release, slide release. If it is too small you will have a lot of finger left everywhere, the firearm will be hard to hold onto when it recoils. Revolvers typically have smaller grips than auto loaders because the auto loaders must be large enough for the magazine to fit into the butt of the firearm.


Make sure you can reach all of the controls. This is especially important if you are left handed. Many modern firearms have ambidexterous controls so that most can be accessed by left handed shooters, but some do not. **A noticeable exception to the rule is the Beretta. All Berettas come with the magazine release set for the right hand shooter, but most can be easily swapped to the opposite side to accomodate the left handed shooter.** You should be able to reach the safety, magazine release, slide release and/or cylinder release without having to move or rotate the firearm in your hand. The less you have to change the grip to operate the controls, the better off you'll be.

The above is a basic overview concerning how a firearm should fit in your hand. I've already stated that anyone can learn to adapt to the fit but it's to your advantage if firearm is comfortable in your grip to begin with. It will undoubtedly save time and frustration in trying to control the fiream and to shoot properly. I have other information concerning proper sight alignment, etc., but I feel the proper fit is key to learning to shoot properly and controling your firearm. If anyone would like the additional info please send a PM and I'll send it to you or post an addendum to this initial post.

03-01-2004, 11:00 PM
Can't tell this to the "one gun fits all" and the "uniformity" types that I have to argue with.

03-02-2004, 02:29 PM
sw99's got adjustable back straps, too bad it's too ugly and too small for someone like me to carry

03-03-2004, 10:25 AM

Isn't amazing how much rookie's and novice shooters know! The know-it-alls soon run into more trouble than they can handle and wonder why they've been brought up on charges!:confused: :eek: :rolleyes:

Yet again, you have those that ask the same question repeatatively. Either it doesn't sink in or they like to see how many "posts" they can rack up! :rolleyes:

In any event you're right when it comes to "arguing" with those who maintain the "one gun fits all" and "uniformity" mentality!

I just posted what I teach because I see this question pop up frequently, sometimes by the very same author. It's almost as though they're hoping the response will change!:cool: ;)

03-04-2004, 05:32 PM
Good post, but you have hit on the one failing of autos vs. revolvers. I used to have to carry a BRT (Big Round Thing), so I bought a pair of wood stocks, and sat down with a wood rasp and a 1911. When I was done, those K frame S&W grips fit my hand just like a 1911 - still do, as I still have that old 21/2" M19. Can't do THAT with a plastic, fantastic, semi-auto. (OK, OK, so ROBAR and a few others can.)

03-04-2004, 11:57 PM
Originally posted by NYPD102
who the hell r u the firearms god?????

One would think that if anyone, you would at least be cordial to someone from your own department.

03-05-2004, 01:07 AM
Originally posted by PatrickM98
One would think that if anyone, you would at least be cordial to someone from your own department.

Nah, thats not how it works in NY. Sucks.

03-05-2004, 03:58 AM

NYPD102 is definitely not an N.Y.P.D. officer!

It's probably a kid or a troll. I went back a read previous posts. The responses attest to this fact.


You've got strange and sarcastic people everywhere not only in New York. The internet gives "rise" to many imposters who claim to be representative of a certain group.

If you noticed there are a few L.E.O.'s from New York : N.Y.P.D. Highway, Sentinel, NewYorkCop, myself. None of us respond like the "alledged NYPD102!"

****For your information nypd102****

I'm a Certified Firearms Instructor at Rodmans as well as an N.R.A. L.E.O. and Civilian Instructor. You definitely haven't set foot in the police Academy in New York City!

03-05-2004, 01:27 PM
More on point, Invisable's posts have been accurate, informative, and well thought out. What have you contributed, other than insults?

03-07-2004, 11:07 PM
If I can throw in my .02 here, I own a Sig P226, I am a left handed shooter, and as you all know, the magazine release is on the left side of the weapon. At first I had a little bit of trouble changing magazines quickly, but the way I do it is to simply take my index finger off the trigger, and pop the magazine release. It allows me fast changes and quick target acquirement, since I never lose grip of the weapon. I would guess that this would be universal for all left handed shooters.

03-09-2004, 04:24 AM

I also have the Sig Sauer P226 it's a fine gun! As I've indicated in my initial post anyone can learn to adapt left handed shooters included! What you've explained is what most left handed shooters acclimate themselves to, provided the firearm doesn't have ambidextrous controls.

I applaud and commend you upon mastering this technique!