How To Manage .45 Recoil With Only 2 Fingers

Sometimes, the firearms training industry gets in a rut…and people get very emotional about techniques that they read about or see on videos without ever testing them.

One of the sacred cows of gun training is that you should squeeze the life out of your pistol, get as much meat on metal as possible, and push in from the sides to manage recoil effectively.

I heard, believed, and taught that for years.

I’ve never been married to a specific technique…only to the most effective and efficient technique, so when Larry Yatch and Beau Doboszenski showed me the “Vice Grip,” I tested and adopted it.

The Vice Grip applies force in the same plane as the recoil forces of the gun (forward and backwards) to give you the most mechanical advantage.

You get better recoil management with less effort than if you squeeze in from the side.

But people dismiss it without actually trying it.

So I took things to the extreme…

and I’m going to show you how you can effectively manage recoil…even from a .45…with only 2 fingers touching the grip and nothing touching the sides of the gun.  Keep in mind, this is NOT a how-to video.  It’s a demonstration.

Again, this is a demonstration…not a how-to video.  You should always use all of the fingers that you have available to effectively manage recoil, but this illustrates the highest leverage points on the gun to apply force to manage recoil.

This is a prime example of how high leverage training can get you better results with less effort. And why we’re consistently able to help shooters shoot 2x faster, 2x tighter groups in only 21 days for less than the cost of a single trip to the range with >THIS TRAINING<

When you squeeze 100% with your shooting hand, one of the things that happens is that your trigger finger doesn’t move freely…when you try to press the trigger, your other fingers and sometimes your wrist will flex with it, throwing your shot off.

But if you could squeeze with less force, applied more intelligently, you can have better recoil management and faster, more accurate followup shots.

And, if you’re a serious shooter, you owe it to yourself to check out 21 Day Alpha Shooter…it’ll give you the biggest bang for the buck of any firearms training on the market.  It’s used by members of elite military units from around the world, top tactical law enforcement from coast to coast, and thousands of responsibly armed Americans.  Learn more now by clicking >HERE<

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  • Capt Phil

    Reply Reply April 23, 2021

    Thanks, Ox! You are a continuing source of leading-edge info!

  • Joe

    Reply Reply November 11, 2019


    Interesting video! Confused now or maybe just clarification.
    I’ve signed up for your Praxis training and in the intro you talk about using the shoulders to control recoil (strong side shoulder forward and support side backward). Here you’re referencing, what sounds like, the hands to apply the management force. Could you clarify?


    • Ox

      Reply Reply November 11, 2019


      The confusion might come from the fact that the description that we use to explain this has evolved over time. The technique is the same…the description has been refined.

      You could say that the hands are what apply the management force because they are what is touching the pistol…but a more accurate way to think of them is that they are filled with plaster and applying isometric tension and you’re pulling back with your shoulder/shoulder blade.

  • Alan Henning

    Reply Reply November 1, 2019

    Thanks Ox,
    Always enjoy getting tips! I usually send these out to my police “family”. Its always good to try to get them to shoot as well as an old retired firefighter. 😁
    I have seen people using the death grip, and by having that much muscle tension involved in the grip, it makes it much harder for them to get good results. I’ve always used, as snug as it needs to be, for good results. I guess that would include the leverage, you are demonstrating. A .22 doesn’t get the same grip, as a hot loaded .44 mag. Plus, it makes shooting more of a chore, than enjoyment, when your forearms cramp up.
    On a side note: The only sight, I’ve ever had, that hit me between my eyes (luckily), was on my old Browning A-5 (don’t judge me, it was a 1929, $20.00 trunk gun). I had the barrel cut, recrowned, and rifle sights soldered on, for deer hunting. The solder joint, on the rear sight failed. Bad gunsmith! No flux for you! Al

  • Armand

    Reply Reply December 16, 2018

    Great video!! It uses some of the same principle applied on sword grip.its not the same grip that we use when we handling an axe, One is for keeping the mobility and the other is for chopping. And the balance between both hands and the act itself.

  • John Hansen

    Reply Reply July 15, 2018

    The pressure points are right, that is one huge reason the “tea cupping” grip is a failure. I see people place their support hand index finger on the front of the trigger guard and this lets the gun flip (more muzzle rise). Soon as I get them to place the SH index finger under the trigger guard, the muzzle flip is considerably less.

  • Wayne Clark

    Reply Reply October 31, 2017

    Hey Ox,
    Looking at the way the support (finger) balances out the rearward & upward rise of the muzzle, while the web of the “strong hand” absorbs the rearward force, wouldn’t it be the same with a standard grip, only with the support hand canted more downward than straight, so more of the lower front of the grip would be engaged?
    I’m not disputing your demo at all…the proofs in the pudding…but I’m more about the practicality of incorporating it in a workable grip.

    Wayne Clark

    • Ox

      Reply Reply November 2, 2017

      I have to apologize if anything I said made it sound like I was suggesting that you should use the grip I demo’d…ever. The entire point of the video was to show that the 2 most important places to apply force was high on the back and low on the front and inward force on the grip doesn’t really matter.

      I use all of the fingers and palms of both hands to apply force to the grip…but my grip is focused on applying force in the same plane as the forces that the gun generates as close to the axis of the bore as possible and in a way to get maximum leverage.

      I hope that helps…if I missed the point of your question, please let me know.

  • Robert

    Reply Reply September 17, 2017

    Gear sir
    We need a side view of gun.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply September 18, 2017

      Hey Robert,

      I thought about doing that, but I purposely decided not to for a couple of very specific reasons…

      1. The video is a demonstration of a concept and not a how-to. I get frequent feedback that without an inward death grip on the sides of a pistol, a defensive caliber pistol will twist out of your hands and smack you in the face. This video was intended to illustrate that this simply isn’t true. It’s forward and backwards force that will manage the majority of recoil.

      There is yaw due to rifling, but it’s incredibly minimal, as you can see in the video. In addition, if your grip is at off-angles, it will convert forward-backwards forces to the side, but the pistol itself just doesn’t have that much side to side force and the palms of your hands aren’t that good at absorbing sheer forces.

      2. While there’s no reason to try the stupid-human-trick demonstration shown in this video, I want to strongly encourage you to try the vice grip shown in the next video for yourself. Instead of me showing you every angle, I WANT you to try to disprove the effectiveness of the vice grip for yourself. Why? Because I know it will work for you 🙂

  • David Gianndrea

    Reply Reply September 15, 2017

    I can attest to the vice grip! I have a very hard time trying to handle my S&W M&P Shield .40, the recoil is brutal. At times it would almost slip out of my hands at the range! ( Not Good ). I got Larry’s course, and just the one section dealing grip was worth the cost of the entire course! It made an incredible difference and now I can keep all of the rounds on target and follow up shots are much faster.

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