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  • Pistol grip designs.

    I'm looking for information about proper fitting of pistol grips to your hand.

    This post is prompted by recent social unrest and home invasion robberies that made me think that a couple of my pistols might be better off placed in the living areas instead of the safe. As I brought the guns down the hall I did the stereotypical "point at random head sized object" in order to judge just how accurate my shots would be if there was in intruder at the other end of the hall. Imagine my surprise to find that I was pointing left and high of the target. This gun is my favorite (Ruger Mark III .22 semi auto) and I'd even dressed it up with a red dot sight and custom grips. I gave up on the red-dot a few months after buying it. I had a terrible time acquiring a sight picture with it. I put the gun away a while ago in the middle of the .22 ammo shortage because it just was not fun to shoot anymore. I used my 9mm more often.

    So much for the back story. It occurred to me that the Ruger used to index effortlessly when I first got it. I shifted the gun in my hand and was able to find just the right way to hold it so that when I pointed it at something it was right on target. Obviously it was not the way the grip was designed to be held so I removed the custom rubber grips with finger grooves and went back to the original thin plastic grips. That did the trick. I could close my eyes, point it at a vase and find properly lined up when I open my eyes.

    Obviously the original Ruger grips are a good match to my hand. What I'm trying to figure out is whether there are concrete measurements that I can make to ensure that I'll get the right fit when I next try to upgrade the handles again. Is there a certain span that should match the circumference of the handle? Something about the placement of the trigger?

    Thanks,

    Dan
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

    Location: SF East Bay.

  • #2
    I shoot pistols a lot. Both bullseye and action shooting.

    The answer isn't to modify the grip to achieve aim when point shooting. Instead, practice practice practice. Find a grip that feels good to you, then lots of repetitions. After a while, as you bring the pistol up the sights will be right where you expect them to be. With enough practice, the brain makes the necessary adjustments without consciously thinking about it.

    I don't know of any grip manufacturers, even for competition bullseye grips, who tailor the grip to pre-specified dimensions. Even the custom grip makers will build a set of grips based on the size of your hand, but as far as I know, won't alter the grips to effect point of aim.

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    • #3
      Thanks Kev. I have a touch of arthritis in my wrist, so a grip that just happens to match my point of aim with a natural hold is a nice thing to have. Without it I find myself having to cock my wrist slightly to bring the barrel into alignment with where I think it's pointing. I found it interesting that my 1911 does not line up with my arm, but my 9mm Berretta does.

      If no one is making grips to accommodate off center holds, maybe there's a market for it!

      Dan

      At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

      Location: SF East Bay.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think the 2 best grips ever invented was the old Hi-Standard Supermatic .22, and Browning Hi-Power.
        I've seen some of the Rugers emulate the Hi-standard.
        The only thing even remotely close to the Hi-power grip was the old CZ-75B/steel frame.
        The absolute worst grips of all is any polymer gun, and for the love of Christ I cannot understand why.

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        • #5
          Dan,
          I suspect that you have a short trigger finger. The 1911 can be fitted with a shorter trigger. Measure from the back of the grip to the trigger on your 9mm, this is the length you should look for in a handgun. Grip angle controls elevation somewhat. 1911 you can get a flat housing or a arched housing. Others not so much. You could look at a Glock 30 SF. The best thing is find one that will do the job and then shoot a lot 10 to 50 thousand rounds. I used to teach point shooting. Used a 4 X 8 sheet of plywood set at chest level. You stepped up to the plywood and could not see your hands. This quickly taught you to look at the target and shoot. Works great for night when you use a flashlight, just hold the light at arms length to your side as bad guys shoot at the light. A pump shotgun with most any size shot is very effective inside a house.

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          • #6
            Dan, Kev sort of nailed it. Practice and dry firing are what develop muscle memory . a model 870 might be a consideration also. These guys may have something that would work for you as is or could be modified to suit your needs: https://www.hogueinc.com/handgun-grips/ruger-grips Jim

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jmm03 View Post
              Dan, Kev sort of nailed it. Practice and dry firing are what develop muscle memory . a model 870 might be a consideration also. These guys may have something that would work for you as is or could be modified to suit your needs: https://www.hogueinc.com/handgun-grips/ruger-grips Jim
              Thanks for the pointer. As soon as I hit the web site I realized that that's where I got the grip that I'm using. It's https://www.hogueinc.com/handgun-gri...s/mkiii/rubber . It's a wrap around rubber grip, and I think that's what's throwing me off.

              When they open the local range I'll start practicing with the 9mm for a while. Probably not a great idea to swap back and forth between the Ruger and Berretta when trying to develop muscle memory.


              Dan
              P.S. I realize that a shotgun is the best choice for short distances, but I've experienced the joy of a friend firing a twelve gauge inside the house. Idiot was shooting through an open window at some vermin. Kind of soured me on loaded shotguns in the house.


              At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

              Location: SF East Bay.

              Comment


              • #8
                Id be pretty surprised if there were any concrete numbers, least anything that gets you closer than just the general ballpark. Getting something to fit your hand right is probably gonna require starting with something oversized, then getting rid of everything that doesnt fit your hand. I know there are some guys wholl do stuff like use a tracing of their hand to wrap around the blank, then use that as a template to get rid of material, but not really any numbers there.

                All that said, a set of custom grips would be a pretty fun project. For something like that ruger, should even be pretty simple, the screw hole spacing isnt hard and all the necessary shaping can be done with a file and sandpaper, to get them to fit your hands properly. Slab of g10 is cheap enough to experiment on

                I do agree that its nice to have something that points naturally, rather than adjusting to something. Had about the same issue with a Glock 19, with the factory backstrap i pointed a little high. Not much, just enough to throw shots off, and it wouldve been easy enough to correct. Luckily though, the gen 5s come with a selection of backstraps, so i just swapped those out until i found one that fit my hand perfect. Im still a crap shot, but at least the gun points where i expect it to

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                • #9
                  Just for giggles and grins, get a pair of cheap (sacrificial) grip, and a tube of Bordens wood putty. Put a little putty on the grips (keep it off the metal), moisten your hand, take a grip, making sure you have a good sight picture, then set it aside to dry, after drying off the metal parts. I assume you're right handed. Repeat, building up a little at a time, creating a ledge on the left for your thumb, some grooves for your fingers, and a swell for the hollow of your palm. Use a Dremmel tool with a burr to remove any area that feels uncomfortable. If your aimpoint starts to shift, remove your last addition. I've seen DM's competing with grips at this stage. OR, you could use this as a pattern for a nice wood grip. I have a Herter's .357 that I bought mailorder in 1967, that I did this with, and then made a grip out of rosewood, that feels so natural, it comes right on aim. Have fun!

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                  • #10
                    Thanks Corbett. That's a good idea. I may need to do that for my 1911. I find the angle of the Ruger Mark III grip to be ideal for my hand. Interestingly, the angle of the Beretta 92f fits well too, even though the angle is different and the grip is much thicker.
                    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

                    Location: SF East Bay.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by danlb View Post
                      Thanks Corbett. That's a good idea. I may need to do that for my 1911. I find the angle of the Ruger Mark III grip to be ideal for my hand. Interestingly, the angle of the Beretta 92f fits well too, even though the angle is different and the grip is much thicker.
                      Expanding on what epicfail said. The grip needs to just fill your hand. Any compression of your bone alignment past filled is going to affect your aim and be uncomfortable. Just as uncomfortable as an over fill. Not mentioned is the angle of the grip. All of these would be accommodated with putty method. I’m tall and skinny and my hands reflect that. For me the most comfortable hand gun I have ever picked up is a German Luger. The angle and girth are my perfect fit. Only improvement would be to have a thumb rest built in.

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