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How to Grip the Stock

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by phirel, Sep 2, 2007.

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  1. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Conventional thought (dogma) is that we should firmly, or very firmly, grip the pistol grip area of th stock very lightly grip the forend. The forend typically does not do much more than lay in our hand.

    However, we could probably agree on who has been among the top three men and and top three lady shooters over the last 20 years. In that list, we would find two of them (father and daughter) who subscribe to gripping the forend rather tightly. Yesterday, I shot my singles poorly and shot the first 50 of the handicap event poorly. I then decided, with nothing to lose, that I would change and make a firm grip on my forend. After changing to the hard forearm grip, I only dropped three birds form the last 50 handicap targets. The firm grip seemed to give me more control of the gun. I then gripped the forearm tightly during the doubles event and broke a 94 on somewhat irregular targets.

    This is not enough information for me to form any conclusions. The tight forearm grip style may just have somehow focused my brain on the targets. Or it may be a style that will help my shooting. Is it possible that what we have long considered as the correct way to grip a shotgun may not always be the correct way?

    Pat Ireland
     
  2. Hap MecTweaks

    Hap MecTweaks Well-Known Member

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    Pat, I've chatted with several shooters about this very subject many times. The one's in the "know" have always said while the grip was somewhat relaxed, the remainder of the arm was locked in? I can see having a relaxed leading arm and hand wobbling all over when making a quick upper body move at an extreme angle. Just another one of the important basics we take for granted when "XXXX" shooter says a relaxed or a grip works best. May be what one says while meaning something entirely different? Hap
     
  3. dennis (nj)

    dennis (nj) Guest

    Pat , I am no way a top gun but I shoot well and it`s my opinion because of holding a very tight grip on both the forearm and stock . Any looser and I have a good chance of pushing or pulling the gun where it`s not suppose to go . In another way of putting it -- flinching . But then again , everyone has their way of shooting and you found that it`s better to hold a tighter grip than normal , same as I have . Thanks for bring that up .
     
  4. OhioBob

    OhioBob TS Member

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    Pat....I have also thought about the conventional wisdom of a "light" grip on the forearm. I always wondered who decided it should be that way.

    FWIW... I had little to no basic instuction in how to handle a firearm when I first started shooting....my father was not a hunter or gun fancier at all. I didn't have my own gun until I was of legal age. I did however have an older cousin who shot a lot from a young age and he was quite handy with both rifle and shotgun. I think he told me to "hold on tight" the first time I shot his 12 gauge gun. This "hold on tight" advice (good or bad) has been applied by me to the present day.

    I hold my gun very, very firmly with both hands...so much so that I believe I absorb a considerable amount of recoil through my hands instead of my shoulder. Others may scoff at this method....but thats what works best for me.

    Sometimes after a long day, my hands will be a little tired (sore) from shooting. I never get a sore shoulder no matter the length of the day. Fortunately, my gun does fit me very well.

    I find that having a very tight grip on the gun gives me a positive "feel" of the gun as though it is actually a part of my body....not just some attached appliance I have loosely configured. My stance is very upright, with a high tight mount to the shoulder and very firm grip in both the forend and grip, and my cheekbone tightly on the comb. I think I swing as one integrated unit and believe the firm grip and tight mount keeps me from lifting my head (a problem I very rarely have)

    A tight hold on a good fitting gun seems to have kept the "flinch" bug from landing on me.

    Hope your comments may encourage some to rethink the "conventional" advice.

    Bob
     
  5. jakearoo

    jakearoo Active Member

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    Pat, Some days you get the bear and some days the bear gets you. Jake
     
  6. buzzgun

    buzzgun Member

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    I recall Brad Dysinger said on here one time...to grip the fore-end fairly snugly. That immediately stood in contrast to what you usually read from "wingshooting experts" (none of whom have two CTC rings).

    It seems the "wingshooting experts" who espouse the light fore-arm grip are usually Holland & Holland school / Sporting Clays / wingshooter types, who are not necessarily coming from the "control" type game that trapshooting is, where everything must be the same every shot (or as close as possible), and your goal is to go from 99% to 100% at all times if possible.

    ...I'm not saying the wingshooting types are necessarily wrong, in relation to their game...just that trap is a very different game.

    In Kay Ohye's clinic, he said the amount of grip to put on the forearm when shooting is about the same as what you use to pick the gun up out of the rack with one hand when picking it up by the forearm (that's a tip that's easy to visualize)...he said use at least the amount of grip you'd employ in picking up a gallon of milk.

    For me, I find a tight forearm grip helps absorb some recoil...the gun doesn't "explode" upwards as much. (When shooting a pull trigger, I also found that gripping the trigger hand tighter helped prevent some flinches...but that's a different story).

    Trapshooting is not wingshooting. This is one area where the "Holland & Holland" technique may not be the one that wins CTCs and GAHs and Doubles Champioships in Sparta.
     
  7. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    The All American that demonstrated the hard-grip-at-the-trigger-hand-and-just-support-at-the-forearm dogma to me in the '70s proved his point by dropping his fore-hand to his side and shooting trap with just the one hand on the pistol grip. He did so quite well by the way. I've used that "wisdom?" most of my time with the shotgun and find I begin to push/pull the gun around if I tighten up on the forearm. But, I'm gunna play with Pat's idea....Bob Dodd
     
  8. buzzgun

    buzzgun Member

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    Bob, mind if we ask who that All-American was?
     
  9. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    Dan Bonillas, Buzz....Bob Dodd
     
  10. buzzgun

    buzzgun Member

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    I notice Dan B. seems to grip the forearm with only the top of his hand...and he also puts his face on the comb very light. (He also shoots pull triggers - that shouldn't be remarkable, but it's becoming more so).

    He's my favorite person to watch shoot (outside of maybe Scripture back in the day...sorta like watching a Tyson fight, though). I think his style and form is very athletic. Much more appealing than, say, a Kay Ohye. Bonillas looks effortless, while Ohye is definitely putting his whole body into the effort.

    Mr. Ohye did add the GAH to his list of accomplishments at the age of 60-something, so I guess it just goes to show you...pretty is as pretty does. He's won every major trophy at the Grand (only shooter in history), and he's doing it at the age when many others have retreated to "also-ran" status.
     
  11. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Well Pat, I have to agree with you on this one. I'm a former proponent of the relaxed forearm grip and coached many students with that system but no more. I just think I have a tendency to push the gun forward or down when releasing the trigger. A little tighter grip seems to eliminate some mystery misses and gives more control.

    Now if only I can always remember this when I step up to the line!!
     
  12. maclellan1911

    maclellan1911 TS Member

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    Tight enough for control with out locking up. loose enough to have fluid movement but no control. Ill grip as hard as i can then light as i can and find a middle point.
     
  13. BDodd

    BDodd TS Member

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    Hmmm, Buzz, I've not been in the environs of Dan's favorite shoots for 15 years or so but recall he would hold the forearm with what would be considered a normal grip without even pointing the index finger that gained such great popularity. Maybe I don't understand your reference to "top of his hand." I totally agree with your observations of differences between he and Kay however. It was an honor for me to ever shoot with both at one time or another....breakemall....Bob Dodd
     
  14. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Several posters have made a potentially important point about a tight grip and recoil reduction to the shoulder/face. A tight grip will absorb quite a bit of recoil.

    Pat Ireland
     
  15. Rollin Oswald

    Rollin Oswald Active Member

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    The "need" for a tight forward-hand grip is dependent on the amount of force used by that hand and arm to move the gun laterally. It is best to power the lateral aspect of swings with rotation at the waist and hips.

    Shooters who power swings with the forward hand may be doing so partially as a result of the tightness of their grip, when the grip should be involved ONLY in supporting the gun and keeping it in place during lateral swing rotation at the waist and hips, i.e. in helping overcome inertia at the start of the swing and during lateral acceleration of the barrel. -- Stay tuned: Next week I'll attempt an eight-line sentence. (The book required considerable editing to eliminate sentences like this.)

    Although a tight forward-hand grip can reduce felt recoil slightly, the price paid is too high, in my opinion. Swing fluidity is reduced and the risk of arm-powered swings is increased.

    It should be noted that shooters who use jerky swings usually hold the forearm more tightly than those who have smoother, more fluid (and more accurate) swings. A tighter grip is required because of the rapid acceleration involved in the jerking of the gun.

    Rollin
     
  16. oleolliedawg

    oleolliedawg Banned User Banned TS Supporters

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    Frank Little employed a relaxed grip while Kay Ohye emphasizes a very firm one.

    Both destroyed me in a 550 bird marathon shootoff after 200 Straights at Maryland a long time ago!!
     
  17. buzzgun

    buzzgun Member

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    (BodD, I meant that Kay advocated making contact with the entire palm, where Dan didn't seem to bury the forearm that far into the palm).

    Another one to look at is Ray Stafford...he seems to be more like Dan.
     
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