See how the right grip can cut your draw time in half and your followup speed by 75%

In a gunfight or competition, the time from beep to bang doesn’t matter nearly as much as the time from beep to when you make your first effective hit.

You simply can’t miss fast enough to win a gun fight…and only effective hits count.

And one of the fundamentals of fast first hits under stress and managing recoil so that your sights come back into perfect alignment after each shot is your grip.

There’s a quote from Colonel Jeff Cooper that I love.  Col. Cooper is the father of modern gunfighting, as we know it, as well as the founder of Gunsite.  To be honest, I’m not even 100% sure that Colonel Cooper said it, but it’s played a pivotal role in how I train for more than a decade and I’ve repeatedly given him credit for it.

It goes something along the lines of…

“If you only have 10 minutes to train, spend the first 9 practicing your grip.”

There are a few aspects of grip that make it so important.

First, in a very real sense, a proper grip can keep you from hurting yourself.  Burns, cuts, bruising, and more can be avoided by using the right grip for the handgun you’re shooting.

Second, if time isn’t an issue, you don’t need a good grip to shoot multiple shots accurately…you can even hold the pistol upside down and press the trigger with your pinkie…but if you want to put fast, accurate followup shots on target, you need a grip that quickly and automatically causes the sights to come back into perfect alignment after each shot.

Third, and most importantly, a proper grip will help you get your first shot on target in extreme stress situations where you don’t have the time or resources to miss.

Here’s how that works…


A few quick things…

This is a bonus video from the 21 Day Alpha Shooter home study course.  The 21 Day Alpha Shooter course uses more than a dozen accelerated learning hacks (like deliberate practice) to slash the time it takes you to master the fundamentals of high speed & high stress shooting with the pistol…all for less than a single trip to the range.  Learn more about the 21 Day Alpha Shooter home study course by going >HERE<

Deliberate practice is one of the keys to learning a new skill quickly.  If you slow down, pay attention to your technique, and focus on perfect form, you’ll learn faster and your performance will improve way faster than if you just slam out reps at full speed.

How much of a difference does this kind of “deliberate practice” make?

Psychologist and neurological movement specialist, Anat Baniel has found that if you don’t take the time to pay attention to how physical movement feels, there is very little neurological growth, but when you focus on how precise movement feels to the various senses, you can build up to 1.8 million new neurological connections PER SECOND.

So, if you just want to play with your guns, then by all means go out, have fun, and bang out reps as fast as you can.

But if you’re serious about improving and about performing at a high level under stress, slow down, and focus on building perfect form.  Speed will come…and when you build speed on top of solid fundamentals, performance doesn’t have to drop off.

As an example, one part of pro shooter, J.J. Racaza’s daily practice routine is to repeatedly react, draw, and shoot a 1” target at 30 feet in under 1 second.  J.J. doesn’t do that by simply moving faster.  He does it by repeatedly practicing perfect, mechanically sound technique and speed is a natural byproduct.

Support hand.

One thing that I didn’t cover much in the video is the support hand.

First off, you want to cock your support hand down as far as it will go WITHOUT PAIN. (I had an instructor once who was determined to make my wrist cock down as far as his did. I had a different range of motion than him and it was a painful and unnecessary experience.) As you cock your hand down, it will have the effect of moving the tip of your thumb forward.

In fact, I think more about pushing my thumb forward than I think about cocking my hand down…use whichever mental model works best for you.

If you look at your grip when you’re holding a semi-auto properly, your support hand thumb is the only finger that’s pointing at your target.

Some people mark up the frame of their pistol so that they have a tactile anchor to know when their support thumb is pushed forward to the exact same spot every time.

I won’t get into detail here, but the reasons for doing this are important and are covered in detail in 21 Day Alpha Shooter.

When you put your support hand onto your firing hand, the main thing that you’re concerned about is pressure on your shooting hand, straight back towards the body. You don’t need to squeeze the support hand around the shooting hand to keep someone from twisting it out of your hands…you just want to pull straight back to manage recoil.

I hold my support hand still, without squeezing or moving it, and pull back with my support side shoulder to apply pressure to my shooting hand and the grip of the pistol as I’m pushing forward with my shooting hand.

Put another way, I hold my fingers, hand, wrist, and arm completely still with isometric tension and pull straight back with my shoulder/shoulder blade to put rearward pressure on my shooting hand and the grip of the pistol.

I’ve seen this little tweak completely change how shooters shoot in minutes.  Shooting 3-5 round strings quickly goes from being spray and pray to tight, accurate groups.

Try it next time you go to the range.  As soon as you figure out what it feels right, start practicing it when you’re doing your dry fire practice.

Questions?  Comments?  Open fire below.

And, if you’re a serious shooter, you really need to check out the 21 Day Alpha Shooter course by clicking >HERE<



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  • Larry Crocker

    Reply Reply May 3, 2019

    Greetings Ox! I always read every one of your articles and wanted to say THANK YOU. As you know, I have gone through the 21 Day Alpha course and would recommend it to anyone interested in shooting better. The See Quicker Shoot Quicker course was very helpful also! I am now working through The Draw Stroke Mastery course. And the private, personal video coaching/tutoring course and feedback was fantastically helpful. But, what I really want to say today is, THANK YOU for sharing such helpful information, for free with all of us. You do not hold back, only giving teasers, to get us to buy courses, coaching, or products from you. I really appreciate your servant heart on that. I ran my business with a simple concept: take excellent care of the people, and the money will follow and take care of itself. For me, God honored and blessed that, that concept proved to be true. THANKS again for your time, teaching, and care for your students (real life or online).

  • Don Garlow

    Reply Reply May 22, 2018

    What you say about slow, deliberate practice is ABSOLUTELY true and focus on feel of the the motion at various points through completion of the activity is essential to success. I teach Golf the exact same way and any of my students that has had the patience and desire to follow these principles sees nearly instant improvement! I know I’ve hit pay dirt in my instruction when the student starts describing what he felt that seemed out of place when making an errant shot. Then, all I need do is confirm that what he felt can cause the shot to go where it did. They work on the correct feel and hit the next shot on the money. I’ve followed this same system with my defensive shooting and reduced my draw and first round hit times by 9/10 of a second in two weeks. I used live fire to set a base line on the first day and never fired another live round until day 14. Three 5 minute dry fire sessions per day focused on slow, deliberate actions gave me the results stated. When I return from my vacation, I will be signing up for the “Alpha Shooter” package. You made me a believer when you espoused the technique you described above as I’ve used it for golf instruction and have now proven that it works for both endeavors.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply May 22, 2018

      That’s awesome, Don! Thank you.

  • Kevin Lapinski

    Reply Reply April 5, 2018

    Hi I just signed up for your 21 day course. I am at day 2 but I chance to go the range today and practice. I’m police officer and have been for 20 years but my shooting had gotten worse. I’m having trouble qualifying every time. Today I shot every round to the left. Some high , some low left but not one shit to the right. A few round were right on the Q and few out side the target. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong. I think it might be what eye I’m shooting with. I know it’s hard to diagnose but I’ll take anything. Thanks.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply April 5, 2018

      Hey Kevin,

      I’d suggest that one of the first things you do is log into the members’ area and download the correction chart for my brain based diagnostic targets. Second, read this article:

      There are a few possible causes, but the easiest one to test for and the most likely is a visual suppression issue.

      If you’re at the range as you’re reading this, try closing or covering your non-dominant eye and shooting a few rounds.

      If you’re at home as you’re reading this, remove all live ammo from the room, verify that your firearm is clear, st up your phone with a safe backstop at chest-eye level with the video camera facing you, start recording, and do a few dry fire reps at the center of the lens of the camera. When you look at the video, the sights SHOULD be lining up with the center of the pupil of one eye. I would guess that as you’re watching the video, the front sight will be to the right of the rear sight.

      The short term solution is to shut one eye while you’re shooting.

      The long term solution is to do the visual suppression drills that I go over in the See Quicker Shoot Quicker Tactical Vision Training Course.

      Please let me know what you find when you do the tests.

  • herman

    Reply Reply March 31, 2017

    Fantastic advice and methodology. This is the best way to improve accuracy AND speed. Keep up the good work Ox.

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