I like Glocks.  That statement is guaranteed to divide the audience.  Keep reading, even if you don’t like Glocks because what I’m about to tell you will help you pick the best gun for you the next time you’re shopping.

If you didn’t know, Glocks are a polarizing brand in firearms.  Like I said, I like them.  In fact, I’ve got 5 firearms that are either Glocks or based on the Glock and take Glock magazines (KelTec Sub 2000s). They’re reliable, accurate, and my experience carrying and shooting the same Glock for over 14 years is that they eat anything that I put in them.

Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE my 1911s and I’m pretty fond of my other handguns as well, but I have a particular affinity for Glocks as a result of carrying my Glock 27 next to my skin the majority of the time, year in and year out, since the late 90s.

I’ve read debates for years saying how poor of a gun Glocks are. I never understood the criticism. I’m not at the level of professional shooters, but I’ve shot better in competitions than countless guys with $2000 1911s and 2011s with my humble Glock 27 subcompact. My Glocks have eaten hundreds of rounds at a time in classes without malfunctioning and they’ve just performed like tanks for me.

And then, a couple of years ago, I traveled to a class with a guy who had won several Glocks at Glock tournaments. The interesting thing was that he didn’t like Glocks at all. In fact, he told me that he trained with his Springfield XD for 50 weeks out of the year and only pulled out his Glock to train with for 2 weeks before the Glock tournament every year. But I still didn’t understand why.

Last year, I was going through some advanced training and the instructor started Glock bashing. I’m used to it and usually just space off until whoever’s talking gets done and moves on to something worth listening to, but something he said actually made sense and I tuned back in.

John Browning designed the 1911 with an angle between the barrel and the grip that happens to be the angle that most people’s fist is at when they throw a punch.

The Glock, on the other hand, has a grip angle that’s just a few degrees more. This happens to be approximately the angle that martial artists punch with if they’ve learned to concentrate the impact of their strikes on the knuckle of their index finger and middle finger rather than across all 4 fingers or the bottom 3 knuckles.

Here’s where this comes into play. After reviewing thousands of lethal force encounters with handguns, it becomes obvious that under extreme stress and high pulse rates, untrained and semi-trained people instinctively punch their firearm out one handed and mash the trigger. As they’re punching under stress, very few people end up firing with their handgun straight up and down and most have it canted to the side somewhere between 10 and 11 o’clock from the shooter’s perspective–as if they were throwing a punch.

Keep in mind that this isn’t an issue when shooting competitions or qualifiers. It is specifically an issue when stress levels are so high, pulse rates are so high and reptile brain thinking take over and your body responds with a lot more instinct than thought.

The result of this is that if you’re shooting a Glock and you do a high volume of consistent training or you’ve done extensive training to focus the impact of your punches on the knuckle of your index finger and middle finger, you’ll probably hit close to what you’re aiming at.

Both of these are the case for me.  I train extensively with my Glocks AND I’ve thrown focused punches for the last two decades.  I’m not sure what WAS natural for me before all of this, but by now, my arms, hands, and muscles are hard-wired to throw out my fist in a two knuckle punch…and line up the sights perfectly on my Glocks.

But if you’re used to punching traditionally with all 4 knuckles (as most people are), there’s a good chance that your shots with a Glock will go high and to the left when you’re under stress. Incidentally, this matches up with analysis of over a decade of after action reports of officer involved shootings. In one semi-famous case, officers fired more than 30 rounds at a bad guy firing back at them IMMEDIATELY ON THE OTHER SIDE OF A BED! Nobody was seriously injured in this demonstration of instinctive shooting.

So, how do you take this fascinating bit of trivia and turn it into something other than simple fodder for debate with your gun buddies?

Take a minute and do the following drill. You can do it either while practicing dry fire after following all necessary steps to make sure that you do NOT have a loaded weapon or you can do it with a loaded weapon at a range.

This comes from Dry Fire Training Cards and a drill called, “Yoda says: Aim With Eyes Closed, You Must!”  It’s one of 50+ dry fire drills that will help you become faster and more accurate shooter for less money than the cost of a box of practice ammo.

1. With your firearm at your side or holstered, pick a target that is 5-10 feet away.

2. Close your eyes.

3. “Punch” your firearm at where you think the center of the target is. Use the same stance that you’d use if you were punching a heavy bag. This probably means that your feet are slightly more than shoulder width apart, your dominant leg is back slightly, your weight is equally distributed between your legs, knees bent slightly, shoulders rolled forward and closer to your target than your hips are.

4. Open your eyes and see where you are, in fact, aiming. Try to keep your firearm exactly where it is and move your eyes as necessary to line up with the sights to see where you’re aiming.

5. Either mark where you were aiming with a pen, shoot (if safe), or make a mental note and repeat 5-10 times.

Wherever the majority of your rounds land will roughly be your natural point of aim and will probably be what your groupings would look like in a high-stress lethal force encounter unless you regularly do firearms training under stress.

If the group is tight, but high and to the left, then you’re going to want to either do a significant amount of dry fire / airsoft training / range time to change your natural grip angle to match the Glock or find a handgun that matches your grip angle.

If you don’t really have a group and the shots are random then you are going to want to do a significant amount of dry fire / airsoft training / range time to establish a consistent natural point of aim.

The next time that you go shopping for a pistol, I suggest that you go through the 5 step process above with as many firearms as you can and pick the firearm that best matches your instinctive grip angle. In other words, instead of picking a cool gun, and then figuring out how to get good with it, pick a gun that compliments your natural ability.

Regardless of whether you have a handgun that matches your current natural grip angle, the more you train with your firearm and the more stressful your training, the more likely you’ll be to hit what you need to if you find yourself under high stress in a lethal force encounter.

This drill can be particularly useful when working with new shooters, as it helps you stack the deck in their favor for having positive experiences early on with shooting.

If you find that your natural punching angle is more of a 4 knuckle punch than a 2 knuckle punch, an option in the Glock “class” that you should consider is the XD. Springfield XDs have most of the strengths of Glocks along with the grip angle of the 1911 AND metal drop-free magazines.

To get 50 more drills like this for less than the cost of a box of practice ammo, click >HERE< now.

If you’ve gone through the same struggle with grip angles, please share the rational for your decision by commenting below.


    142 replies to "Glocks, Grip Angles, and Picking Handguns for Combat & Self Defense"

    • Zoss

      The punch angle thing is interesting to me.

      I’ve read about and put to practice (studied) striking for over 10 years and have come to the conclusion that I personally prefer the old school bare knuckle technique as taught by Jack Dempsey in his book Championship Fighting.
      The way he explains it, in my own words; is that you put your fist against a wall and lean your weight on it, your body lines up more naturally and bears weight more solidly with a vertical fist on the last three knuckles.
      Of course, you don’t want to hit with your pinkie knuckle at all, but it seems to me, after comparing the two (I was taught the first two knuckle fist formation in earlier martial arts study) that the western bare knuckle style is just better, because as a more solid structure it can be utilized to deliver more force overall vs. the first two knuckles advantage of simply being a smaller surface area to make what force is available focused over a smaller area to increase impact.
      I find the two knuckle fist to sort of hang the knuckles “out there” while the three knuckle fist is built up solidly in line with the wrist and forearm.
      Anyway, this might be the type of fist alignment the 1911 might have been designed for, and that makes sense if its the case, because this was 1911, long before the eastern martial arts swept over the nation. This is, however, the first time I’ve heard of the martial fist formation/alignment thing, although I can see where it makes sense.

      And in sum, its really all personal preference, as people are built differently they might favor different technique and equipment.

      The good thing, is that theres such a breadth and depth of differing techniques and equipment to suit different folks, so, its really kinda silly to argue over which one is “better” or whatever.

    • Stuart

      You’ve hit the nail on the head with this one, and your explanation is one of the clearest I’ve seen in print. I have owned and trained with a few handguns, including carrying a Browning Hi-Power professionally for a number of years. I was initially a Glock-sceptic, but found that I was much more consistent and accurate under stress with it, than I had been with either my Browning or my Colt 1911. The issue with grip angle isn’t limited to these two groups of handguns though. I’ve taught my customers and students for years to use the method you described in selecting a gun that fits them, rather than getting stuck on one make/type or another. The results have surprised them time and again, and they often end up choosing something that hadn’t even been on their list. The end result? Good fit leads to better accuracy in ALL conditions. Although most of these folks will never have to use their guns under stress, it’s nice to know they could if they had to. Thanks for the great article!

    • Mnm

      Wow. Popular this one is. Thanks for explaining a practical difference between blocks and 1911s etc. makes total sense. Now I just have to figure out how I throw a punch.

    • Calvin Tidwell

      Dear Sir
      Thank you for a great article. I am a concealed handgun licensing instructor and work at a gun shop selling firearms in Texas. I have never been a big supporter of Glock handguns mainly because that we too big for my hands, until the gen 4s came out. But I have bad mouthed them so ling if I ever purchased one I would never hear the end of it from my co-workers.
      That being said I know that Glocks are very good firearms and bang for the buck they are hard to beat.
      I encourage my customers and students to handle every firearm in the case until they find one that seems to fit their hand best and that feels best to them. We have a range and rental guns to shoot and I tell them to go rent the gun that felt the best and see if they can control it, that way they make an educated purchase.
      Now back to your article, I have never had the grip angle explained to me in such an easy to understand method. Again thanks for a great article and you have given me another tool to use when instructing.
      Calvin Tidwell
      TNT Tactical Training

    • Big D

      Your article makes a lot of sense after reading. I have learning and teaching Self Defense over thirty years now and I always punch and teach students to punch using their two big knuckles. I would also compare it to looking down the sites and a handgun. I own a few Glocks and never really knew why until this article. It really makes a lot of sense. Thank you.

    • Chris

      I have used this information over and over after the first time it was put out to help people select first firearms, or to analyze strange shooting patterns. So simple, and it makes perfect sense. I have both also, but the Glock is my home D/fun gun, and carry much smaller but similar grip angled guns. The 1911, a favorite for many reasons but too big to carry on a regular basis for me, is like another fellow, what I wear to BBQs or “social” events. The original article did cause a bit of a shuffle in my gun collection, as all my carry/defense guns now have the same grip angle. MUCH more consistent across the board with my defense guns. Thanks for this great insight.

    • Stuart Ashley

      Hi Shooters;
      Just a line on self protection against bears from an old Alaskan (climbing, not hunting) guide. The gentleman with the .40 Glock that shot two bears in his garage was a very experienced shooter and was dealing with black bears, most likely. Alaskans know that even a .44 magnum handgun is only about half what you need against a grizzly, which range up to 1600# and can run at 35 MPH. What’s best is 12 ga. slugs or 00 buck in a short- barrel pump. Aim for the down-slope shoulder with the first shot to deflect a charging bear. Then finish it off with as many shots to the heart as required. You will not penetrate the two inch thick skull bone to hit the two inch wide brain, even if you are a very good shot.
      Cheers! Stu.

    • Don

      I’ve never particularly cared for Glocks only because I’ve always thought they’re just plain ugly! Having said that, I own two: the G42 .380 and the G20 10mm.

      The G20 is a real handful and I only bought it because I wanted a second 10mm to go with my EAA and it was affordable. I later bought a used Colt Delta Elite, just cuz I think it’s one of those guns in the “gotta have” category, so I bought a used blue one that had been refinished so I could shoot it without worrying about its collector value! This was after I’d sold my stainless Delta Elite because it was so nice that I was hesitant to shoot it, if you know what I mean. I also bought a used Colt 1911 .45 ACP for the same reason: a “gotta have” gun.

      But I digress, like we gun guys so often seem to! The G42 is great to shoot. I have five .380s: Kahr CW, Beretta Pico, Ruger LCP, Micro Desert Eagle and the Glock. I’ve been disappointed – or at least underwhelmed – by all but the Glock (the Kahr’s probably about as good, but after all the hype I read about Kahr’s triggers, I didn’t notice any remarkable difference). Also, the Micro Desert Eagle was what I expected it to be, so it wasn’t disappointing …

      I really enjoyed this article and will try the exercise when I get home and see what’s what.

    • Dennis

      I shoot Glocks and own Four. I don’t care what anyone else shoots–use whatever works for you. Personally, I am not fooling with a external safety and I like the trigger on a Glock because it works well under stress. If you actually practice with your gun, after a few thousand rounds you hit the level of unconsciousness. AND I like having twice the rounds in the magazine compared to some semi automatic pistols.

    • Steve Gunlock

      I don’t own a Glock , but my son owns a Glock 17, which I have shot. My only complaint about that gun was you have to just about be a contorshionist, to remove the slide, prior to field stripping. Forget it, if you in a hurry. Contrast to my Berettas, which are very easy to remove the slides prior to cleaning.

    • jim

      Why I like Glock 22 or 23 .40 caliber is I can purchase a 9mm conversion barrel ( Lone Wolf conversion barrels was my choice ) & 9mm Glock mags for it . It’s an easy & quick switch to change out the barrel. Then I can shoot 2 different calibers from the same pistol adding to the versatility of the firearm. Also the capacity of the over size mags is great if your really in trouble. They mentioned rubber sleeves, I use the stick on rubber or sand grips readily available. A Glock is like an AR, you have so many choices to dress them up any way you like to meet your requirements.

      • Steve Gunlock

        I don’t own a Glock, but I do own a 9 mm Beretta Model 92FS (M9 Military). I love this gun. It’s heavy…the only plastic on it are the grips., I figure if it’s good enough for the US military….since 1985, it’s good enough for me.

        • Mikey

          The only reason the u.s. military went with the Beretta was to kiss nato butt after changing to the 556 ar.the
          sidearm of the Italian military is the glock 17

          • Steve Gunlock

            Ahh… Well, please list your source(s) for this jewel of information….
            as you are a
            military expert.

      • Tom

        I purchased the M&P for the same reason, I have a 9MM, .40 S&W and a .357 Sig for my full size. I wanted the Glock and rented and borrowed a few to get to like it but I and the Glock could just not get together. Also have started to like the Springfield’s XDM’s

    • Nanook

      Gosh, I missed this article and just came upon it. Being the opinionated old dog that I am, I have to sound off. Way back when auto’s were looked down on and everyone in LE carried a wheel gun, either S&W or Colt, depending on what part of the country you were from, I got hooked on S&W wheel guns, probably because Dirty Harry carried one. I initially only had trained and fired the 1911 up until then. I have a relatively large hand and the 1911 just didn’t fit right, although I fired expert over and over with it. After several years of wheel guns, I got my hands on a S&W 659, it was a sweet gun but got sloppy over the years because of wear between the slide and frame. I dumped on some unsuspecting …. and went back to the S&W 19, which to this day is a great gun. Then a ex seal turned me on to SIG’s, I got a P 220 & it fits my hand so well I thought it was made specifically for me. Now, I have furnished all my kids with one, sold a couple, and carry 2 relatively new ones. Sadly, I have never owned a Glock, nor have I fired one. But considering where they were initially made, and the durability and cost, if I didn’t love my SIG’s, I’d have a Glock. Even if it does look like something from Star Wars. A side note. I also have SIG rifles, and they are so superior to Colt, DPMS, and Springfield, it isn’t funny. and right out of the box. Sign me the opinionated old fart. But remember “Peace Through Superior Firepower”.

      • David

        I agree with nearly every word! Finally, someone as enthusiastic as me about SIG. The only place we disagree is that my second choice to SIG would not be Glock. Otherwise, right on!

    • markthemagic

      I had Glocks for several years, liked them, and shot them well. The only issue I had with them was that when inserting the polymer magazine I did not get a positive click. Even though I had no failure to feed miss-fires due to mags not being fully engaged, it left me a little concerned. At the range I also noticed that aiming was a two step process for me; 1. Draw and extend my arm. 2. Tip the barrel down. Then one day I read about the difference in grip angles with the Glocks and 1911 pistols and decided to do my own experiment with closed eye aiming, similar to that suggested in the article. I found with my Glock my natural aim point (with eyes closed) was always barrel tip up, which would make my shots high. The Springfield XD was the answer for me. The grip angle points true for me naturally and the metal magazines have a reassuring positive click when loaded. Glocks were are good, but XDs are better for me.

    • Jeff

      Being a retired police officer of 30 years, I had to transition from a wheel gun to a semi-auto that was supplied by my department. That weapon was the 40 cal. H&K. I was always a marginal shooter with the wheel gun. When I transitioned to the H&K my shooting improved exponentially. I never worried about qualifying. I would go out twice a year and bang, done in one.

      Then the dept. made us transition to the 40 cal Glock. What a disaster. Everytime I went to qualify, it was problematic if i would make it, and on several occasions, had to get remedial training. I was not alone in with this predicament. Ever since we transitioned away from the H&K to the Glock, more and more officers that easily qualified, had a difficult time making it.

      Having read this article, it now makes sense as to why I had such problems. To compound matters, I am left handed.

      I do not believe our instructors are aware of this issue of the increased angle. I wish I had as I would have at least understood why I was shooting so poorly after having done so well for may years with the H&K.

      I still hate the Glock.

    • Fox

      What a great string! I am 69 years old, have shot every thing that goes bang, twang, or snick, and when it comes to hand guns, I’m still a dyed-in-the-wool M1911A1 shooter.

      I carefully read all the above comments and I believe I have something that will help all in practice. I learned this many, many years ago when I first started out on the pistol team. I had no bad habits so I paid close attention to the old f@arts and tried everything they suggested. Here is the aid: Doesn’t matter what pistol, stick and ordinary kitchen pencil down the barrel and cut it off about one inch from the muzzle. Sharpen it, then wrap string around it near the front and again near the back. When you slide it back down the barrel, it should be a good snug fit. When you dry fire this pencil, the firing pin will strike the eraser and drive it forward about a quarter of an inch. Hang an ordinary 8-1/2 by 11 pad of paper on the wall, and draw a 1/8 inch diameter circle darkened in, in the upper l/h corner, center, and upper right hand corner. These will be your aiming points. (Hopefully you already know how to achieve a proper sight alignment and proper sight picture.) Tie a pair of boots together by the laces, hang over the wrist of your shooting hand, with pistol in hand, and practice dry firing. Over time you will see your “shot groups” slowly sink until all shots can be covered by a 1/8 diameter circle.

      When you get to this point, put the boots on your feet, go out to the range, and you will surprise yourself with the two inch groups you shoot at FIFTY YARDS! (One inch at twenty-five…. single hole at 5 yards.) All this is done with a .45, btw. The boots on wrist part helps to strengthen the wrist and arm during practice. Incidentally, this is all done one handed.

      Train yourself to shoot with both hands, and weak hand, as well as strong hand. When the shooting contest has rounds coming back at you, you might be glad you learned how to shoot with either hand.

    • Chad in Utah

      “you can’t shoot cast bullets in Glocks” I find this comment obsurd. I have a 23 that has fired over 10K cast bullets reloaded in my Dillon Square Deal B. This also disproves the “you can’t reload ammunition for the Glock”. Myself, my father and my brother have fired over 50K rounds of reloaded cast bullets in Glock 23, 27, 35 and 22’s. Never had any issues. My dad always says, “do you know how to tell if a certain ammunition will function in a Glock? if it will fit in the magazine.” You can easily blow up any gun fireing reloads that weren’t loaded correctly. Progressive reloaders remove a huge amount of human error that causes guns to blow up.
      I started shooting Glocks because my father owned them. I keep shooting them because I compete in Cowboy Action and the grip angle is close to my Ruger Blackhawks. This helps me have a more natural point of aim with both instead of relearning the gun I am shooting at the time. I carry a 27 and compete in IPDA with a 23. I have had several 1911’s and I absolutely love them. To me they are like a 69 Camaro where my glocks are a Honda Civic. They get me by day in and day out without a lot of excitement.

      • Timothy

        What do you mean by “progressive reloaders?” Seems to be a non-sequitur.

        • Cory

          Reloading with a progressive press like a Dillon or hornady lock n load. High volume reloaders only use progressive presses they are much faster than single stage or turret presses.

    • PMcCurdy

      I found your points about Glocks vs 1911s very interesting. I’ve been a Law Enforcement Officer for almost 20 years now, and have carried Glocks for most of that time. As a Law enforcement and military trainer, I think that the two most important points that you made were to train as you wish to fight, and to train in stressful conditions. I have a few observations of my own to include to your article.
      Yes, you should train frequently with the gun(s) that you carry to acquire proficiency. You should also train with other guns often. If you are a member at a range that allows you to do so, check out a variety of different guns and shoot them (ideally, again, under stress) so that you can familiarize yourself with the function of different firearms. If you are ever in a situation where you need to grab a gun from an assailant that you’ve put down and continue in the gunfight, you want to be able to “grab and go”.
      Train with the gun(s) of your enemy. This is impossible to predict, but there are trends and likelihoods that we can prepare for. I know that the gun that I have seen most commonly carried by suspects that I arrest is a Glock (or Glock-type platform handgun). I believe that the second most common gun that I’ve seen on the streets is a revolver. This trend is also the case nationwide. I have yet to recover a 1911. Glocks are widespread and easily obtained all over the United States and in most countries of the world. They are not overly expensive, and they’ve been glorified in Hollywood and rap music for decades. Just recently I was in a range when a few guys sporting prison tattoos came in and asked to see the Glock under the glass. Because of their notoriety, not only are the Glocks and revolvers arguably the most commonly purchased guns, but that also makes them the most commonly stolen guns. Once again, if I find myself in a position where I have to acquire and use the weapon of the opposition, I prefer to have some experience with that weapon. It is for that very reason that I own and frequently train with an AK-47, even though it would not necessarily by my first choice for a rifle. One other possible advantage of this tactic would be that if you face an oppositional force, as opposed to an individual, there might be more ammo available to you as well.
      One last factor to consider, since you are talking about survival, is choosing a handgun caliber for which you can readily find ammunition. .45 Cal, 9mm and .22 ammo can be found and purchased virtually anywhere, though during wartime engagements stateside supplies of 9mm and .45 sometimes are affected. .357 semi –auto ammo is harder to come by. 10mm and some other types are even more rare. I prefer to carry guns that I know I can load and find ammunition for even if there is a shortage.
      Thanks for your always-interesting posts!

      • David

        I agree with EVERY point you made. Very informative and very precise information and makes sense to the least informed shooter.
        I choose Glocks for one reason and the reason so far has not been listed and probably will not be listed and I will not mention it. If you know Glocks, you know what I am talking about, if you do not, it doesnt matter.
        Glock overall would not be my first choice of weapon. I have smaller hands. I’ve always had wheel guns and started into semi’s. As far as a semi that feels comfotrtable to me is a Ruger SR9C as a great carry weapon for people with smaller hands.
        Just like someone else mentioned. I have shot all of my life and never had a problem but for some reason I cannot zero out a Glock. I can pinpoint any other weapon, I just cannot get the zero on a Glock and I know that it has to do with the width of the nose sight. It is just to wide for me to see down and pinpoint my target like I am used to doing. However, I also know that isnt the way it was meant to be shot. I just havent found the median shooting point. But I will

    • Alex

      I personally know 6 guys who switch from Glock to CZ75. But I don’t know anyone who did it other way.

      • Boyd

        I think the CZ is a better shooter but I keep Glocks around because you can buy every part except the frame on-line and for pretty cheap too. Guns are tools and parts will wear out. So its a whole lot easier to keep a stash of Glock parts around just incase there comes a time were resupply isn’t posible.

    • Rohang

      How come i never see a Glock at a local, State or National bullseye match?

      • Newge

        Because they aren’t, nor will they ever be, bullseye guns. They are combat pistols, period.

        I could reverse your question and ask, “How come I never see a bullseye gun on someone’s hip”? Probably because it’s a 1911 that’s been customized for bullseye shooting and doesn’t make a very smart choice for a carry weapon.

        • Rohang

          So a SS Colt .45 Gold Cup would be a poor choice for self defense?

      • Dennis McCarty

        No, but you’ll find Glocks in almost every nightstand. My experience with expensive 1911s was that they are ammo sensitive and delicate. I can throw my Glock in the mud for 24 hours & pick it up & get first place in my local IDPA match.

    • CB

      Thanks to everyone for your thoughtful and experienced comments. This entire post is of great value to me in answering questions and providing advice to those who literally have “had it” with (a) diminishing law-enforcement budgets (meaning no police protection when you need it) and (b) the nearly vertical rise in crime rates in certain parts of the country, especially God-forsaken California where 38,000 felons were released from our state prison system as a cost-saving measure. Lots of humble men and women are now seeking CCWs or frantically arming themselves illegally. They logically want the pistol with the best feel and the most effective caliber. I’m now old and gray, but have about 10 years in counter-terrorism that stuck in my shrinking brain somehow. Tons of time on the range and also many direct-action missions. Let me just say that folks interested in self defense should not use any caliber less than .40. I’ve had several bad experiences with 9 mm and .38 Specials where it took more than two or three center-of-mass shots to stop provocateurs. One persistent North Vietnamese infantryman absorbed 5 chest shots without slowing down, and finally died when I pushed the barrel of my .38 Special through his forehead and blew the back of his head off with sheer muzzle blast. (Sorry David, but this is important information for your fans.) I never touched a .38 again. Regarding feel, I recently confronted two bears in my garage, one inside my refrigerator and the other trashing my valuable year’s supply of canned and bottled food. I came upon them by surprise, but was armed (CCW permit) with my little Glock .40 and hollow-point rounds. Because I stood in the middle of their escape route which was considerably narrowed by our car in the garage, they attacked me in sequence. Thank Heaven for all of the time on shooting ranges and in shooting houses, despite my 68 years of age. Two heart shots (one bullet per bear) dissuaded both of them from continuing their attacks, although one brushed my left leg out of sheer momentum, and, as they passed to the front of the garage, a total of two more quick shots took out their lungs and other vital organs. All of this action took place in seconds. The third bear, a 600 pounder, ate a .45 hollow-point from my WWII dad’s, U.S. Army issue 1911 the next morning. No contradictions in aim-point between the Glock and the 1911, evinced by all 5 bullets hitting moving targets within one inch of their intended target points. I remain grateful for my extensive range instruction, shooting house opportunities, actual combat experiences, and, most of all, my .40-caliber Glock with its Hogue grip and night fiber-optic sights. When I say my prayers these days, I express sadness for that family of rogue bears, yet thankfulness for my preparation. Years of military experience teaches one to consider attack scenarios all day wherever you are (the PTSD psychiatrists call it “hyper vigilance”) and forces us to be prepared when the time comes to react. Please don’t mistake my PTSD comment for being frivolous, for we’ve not ever seen a suicide rate like this among our troops. I take that seriously and chalk it up to PTSD. Moreover, I blame the worst Commander in Chief we’ve ever had for limiting wartime budgets and thus forcing the theater commanders to send young men and women, time-after-time, into battle. In contrast, we SEA Veterans had to serve a minimum of a single, one-year combat tour. Suicide by one’s troops is THE MOST TELLING inexcusable evidence of negligent leadership. I don’t mean to belittle the REMFs and inexperienced observers who call every hiccup PTSD, but I know better in my case. I’m not alive today because my commander sent me to PTSD counseling. To the contrary, the Boy Scouts of America taught me to BE PREPARED when I was an adolescent. When you purchase a weapon, learn how to use it properly and then shoot it as frequently as possible.

      • Mark

        ABSOLUTELY the most meaningful and no doubt ‘heartfelt’ comment in this whole string of worthy and insightful, information-laden venue. Hats off to all those who have and DO serve our country proudly…under these most trying times.

      • Jay

        Thanks for your comments an service!

      • TRE

        CB, I want to thank you for your service. I flew over you guys as a FAC and marveled at your courage and dedication. And we FACs all did our best to help keep you alive. My troops were SOG guys working over the fence. Truly amazing warriors. Congratulations on surviving.

    • WCH

      I carry a Glock for fighting and shoot a couple of Colt Gov’t models and Commanders for fun or for wear at a fancy BBQ. I use the same 40 S&W Glock 15 and 22 round magazines in my Mech Tech Glock CCU. I will try the drill you wrote about.
      Thank you I enjoyed the article

    • Bill

      Just a note in reference to grip angle and “natural point” of any firearm. . . I stumbled onto a drill that has helped me immensly one day while going through the safe and checking on things and while I was “bumping” the lasers to see if the batteries were still hot on some of my pistols that I hadn’t used in awhile, for some reason I started pointing a “safe” laser equipped pistol around the room. . . . With the laser “off”, and using “no sights”, I would pick a small object in the room and point the gun as if to shoot it without the use of the sights. . . . I would do this relatively quickly, then “bump” the laser and make a mental note of where it was “hitting.” . . . . At first I was off most times. . . But as I did this little drill more and more, I got to where I could pretty much hit a 2″ x 2″ target area with the laser almost every time in a 18′ x 20′ living room. . . . I killed off countless knick-knacks ! . . . Natural point is one thing, but “instinctive point” is also very much a useful tool. . . If you instinctively know where the round will impact in your “minds-eye”, I think you have a very useful tool at your disposal, especially in circumstances where you would be firing from a concealed position such as “around a protective corner” or “pop up” firing over an object or while on the move such as running to cover while returning fire. . . . It’s cheap, it’s fun, it’s beneficial and if done in the evening, may prevent a breakin. . . If a possible thief sees lasers dancing around your living, they just might think twice about leaving you alone. . . OK, the last part wasn’t serious, but the dry fire laser really has helped my “instictive point” capabilities. . . Just a thought !

    • Wayne Whited

      All of the Glocks I own have had their grip angles modified to the 1911 with flat mainspring housing by a local gunsmith friend of mine. This was a game changer for me, because I love the 1911. The reliability of the Glock has been 100% for me and they seem to last forever.


    • Roger T

      I have a Glock 23 with a crimson trace laser best pistol I’ ve own. No safety just point and shoot. Don’t get much simpler than that. Have bad eye sight especially in right eye, left eye dominate,I need the laser. Because of the laser my shooting has improved considerly wether I use the laser or not. My next pistol will be another Glock in 45 . Have you had any problems firing reloads? Was told not to use them.

    • Dave W.

      I tried a Glock and I did not like how the barrel jumped.It was twisting my wrist in an upword why,and it hurt like hell.After firing 2 mags through it my wrist was sprained. That is not the pistol for me.I gave the Springfield XD a try and fell in love with it.No jerking of my wrist,and no pain.I don’t have anything against Glock. It is a great weapon if it works for you.

    • Bill Roberts

      Thanks for a Great Article,Good Info.Something I Haven’t given a lot of thought too, but now Will…..

    • Brian Sandman

      Not sure about this “grip angle” and how it transfers to shot placement and grouping?
      Since the age of 7 I have been shooting pelletguns ranging from small pee shooters up to 45 calibres. It seems the the Center-of-the-Body-Line as part of the firing platform plays one part in the shot placement. The other is elbow placement in the same “line” There is a 3rd portion in the Triade to accuracy and placement that I learned directly from Charles Smith the 1st FBI weapons instructor for Point Shooting, and that is the indirect visual field for final allignment. The rest of the equation was gleaned from my father a G/Sgt in the WW2 LRDG. Perhaps it is the person shooting the weapon, and not the weapon itself that produces accurate and repeatable reflexive shots ?
      Take a look at the oldtime movies with Humphry Bogart and watch how he uses point shooting as a WW1 veteran.

      Brian ……………

    • Luke Wagler

      I am very fortuneate in that I am able to shoot most handguns pretty well, so for me it comes down to comfort and ease of shooting. I have shot a lot of different types of handguns, and have to say my favorites were a 5″ Kimber, and an H&K USP compact tactical. For me, those were the most natural feeling and the easiest to shoot well. As for the Glock, while i can shoot it fine, i dont like it. It doesnt feel natural or comfortable to me. It forces my wrist into an awkward angle. And i have seen several of them jam, so that argument goes out the window for me. The biggest complaint i had with the Glock was the trigger. It is heavy and long. As far as triggers go, I like a good tuned 1911 trigger at about 3.5 pounds. I’d really like to se something like the Savage Accutrigger on a handgun. My current carry gun is an FNH FNX-40. I bought that because it felt comfortable and had the best double/single trigger ive seen on a semiauto. It is a little big to conceal easily, but I would rather have a big gun that i can shoot well than a tiny gun that is easy to conceal but hard to shoot well. I live in Oklahoma where it looks like we will get open carry soon, so i might just buy a Mark 23 to carry.

    • dog

      thanks folks for many diferant opinions and some great advise.

    • Andre Lefebvre

      I totally agree with you.
      Over many years, I have owned Springfiels 45 acp, High Power in 9mm and 40 cal., Smith & Wesson, M&Ps in 9mm, Walter in 380 cal., Ruger 22 Government Model, Sig 226 in 22 cal. and 9mm, etc… I also purchased a Glock 19 in 9mm. I like Glocks. In addition to my Glock 19, like you David, I have a Kel Teck SU 2000.

      About one year ago, I decided to standerdize both my guns and ammunition.
      My decision was to stay with the 9mm. cartridge. Then 9mm cartridge is very effective with proper shot placement. I traded-in all my other guns, other than my Glock 19. I purchased a Glock 34 in 9mm. (very accurate), and three days ago, I purchased a Gen 4 Glock 17L (6″ barrel.) Later-on, I will purchase a Glock 17 barrel and slide , which will provide me with a Gen 4 Glock 17.

      Glocks are dependable, have few parts so that it is easy to fix, and with proctice “shot plecement” becomes the norm. The 9mm in 124 grains Hollow point is very effecftive and the price is low enough to practice frequently without breaking the bank, because, now I am totally retired.
      I have serious arthritis in both my hands and the Goick, which is light, in weigth, is helpful.

      Like everything else in life, it takes practice to become proficient with any weapon and or anything else for that matter. Be it a Glock or any other brand. I do believe that the argument agains Glock is totally irrelevant because, like everything else in life it is a matter of personal preference.
      For me it is Glock, for others it is another brand.

      As far as I am concern, the most important thing is the end result. The real question , which should be asked is as follows: “Do you consistently hit what you are shooting at? If the answer is no, then you have several options like getting additional training, or changing gun. If the answer is yes, then stick with what you have and keep practicing.

      Like most new commers, when I started to get involve with guns, I purchased “the gun”, which was considered fashionable at the time. As I grew older I just got to the point that I did not care what other people had to say, especially about guns and decided to do what worked for me. If I had realised this earlier-on, I could have saved myself a lot of money.

      Just remenber one thing : “a gun is a gun and is an innanimate object”. How well you become proficient, with your weapon, depends entiredly upon you, not the weapon.

      Andre Lefebvre, M.B.A., “Mustang” Lt., US Navy (ret.)

    • Andre Lefebvre

      I totally agree with you.
      Over many years, I have owned Springfiels 45 acp, High Power in 9mm and 40 cal., Smith & Wesson, M&P in 9mm,
      Ruger 22 Government Model, Sig 226 in 22 cal .and 9mm, etc. I also purchased a Glock 19 in 9mm. I like Glocks. In addition to my Glock 19, like you I have a Kel Teck SU 2000. About one year ago, I decided to standerdize both my guns and ammunition. My decision was to stay withg the 9mm. cartridge. Then 9mm cartridge is very effective with proper shot placement. I traded-in all my other guns, other than Glocks. I purchased a Glock 34 in 9mm. (very accurate), and three days ago, I purchased a Gen 4 Glock 17L (6″ barrel.) Later-on, I will purchase a Glock 127 barrel and slide , which will provide me with a Gen 4 Glock 17.

      Glocks are dependable, have few parts so that it is easy to fix, and with proctice “shot plecement” becomes the norm. The 9mm in 124 grains Hollow point is very effecftive and the price is low enough to practice frequently without breaking the bank, because, now I am totally retired.
      I have serious arthritis in both my hands and the Goick, which is light, in weigth, is helpful.

      Like everything else in life, it takes practice to become proficient with any weapon and or anything else for that matter. Be it a Glock or any other brand. I do believe that the argument agains Glock is totally irrelevant because, like everything else in life it is a matter of personal preference.
      For me it is Glock, for others it is another brand.
      As far as I am concern, the most important thing is the end result. The real question , which should be asked is as follows: “do you consistently hit what you are shooting at? If the answer is no, then you have several options like getting additional training, or changing gun. If the answer is yes, then stick with what you have and keep practicing.

      Like most new commers, when I started to get involve with guns, I purchased “the gun”, which was considered fashionable at the time. As I grew older I just got to the point that I did not care what other people had to say, about gun, and decided to do what worked for me. If I had realised this earlier-on, I could have saved myself a lot of mloney.
      Just remenber one thing : “a gun is a gun and an innanimate object”. How well you become proficient, with your weapon, depends entiredly upon you, not the weapon.

      Andre Lefebvre, M.B.A., “Mustang” Lt., US Navy (ret.)

    • Pat

      I can’t wait to try this exercise. But, I like Glocks and Love my 1911s too.

    • Boyd

      I have owned a Glock since 94, have fired thousands of reloads through it.(copper plated, never bare lead) I like the way they point a little high. The first thing you do when you draw your pistol is look for the front sight. I can immediately find it with the Glock. I also like how low the Glock sits in your hand aiding in recoil reduction, similer to the 1911. Thats something I hated about Sigs and HKs, they just feel too top heavy.

    • Bill

      I noticed this right away when choosing my handguns. The Glock is a good, reliable pistol, no doubt about it –but that grip angle was not right for me. I do not like the 1911 action much, so opted for a Ruger SR9 striker fired, and a Kahr CW45 as my carry gun. Both of these share the same grip angle and are comfortably clost ot the X when I’m point shooting. On the revolver side, I felt that the Ruger SP101 was a good choice, but the grip angle on it had the same problem as the Glock; I fixed the problem by ordering new grips from Traush.com. Now the SP101 has the same grip angle as my S&W 686 plus.

      We teach beginning shooters in classes that the natural point of aim is one of the most important aspects of choosing the right gun for them, and we caution them not topurchase a gun efore the class, but afterwards, when they’ve had at least some live fire experience.

    • Carl

      Lots of good info here !! I am very Blessed that my hands fit my Glocks,I carry my G22 and G23 alot , and recently 2 a full size 1911 and a compact found their way into my safe as well as my holster , my hands have naturally been able to adapt to both grip angles and can stay on target !! I encounter many people who say the same, “Glocks do not fit my hands ” all I can say is MORE FOR ME !!!!

    • Ray McGrath

      A really good discussion. I could not understand why I always shot low with a 1911, but I’m beginning to think that I have the scent now. Currently, I’m shooting an S&W M&P and a Sigma in .40 S&W. I’m going to try the pointing exercises now, and see how well the point.

      I owned a Beretta 12 ga auto shotgun that was the most comfortable shotgun that I ever fired, and all because it pointed so well. Stupid me, I sold it for some reason, and still regret taking that action.

      Thank you again for a most stimulating discussion.

    • Bill

      If you don’t like Glock triggers, try a 3 to 3 1/2# trigger group. It’s a 5-10 minute changeout and gives you a shorter, smoother pull with a really crisp send off. Really makes a big difference in accuracy all by itself. . Couple the trigger group with a match grade barrel like the Lone Wolf and it’s a whole different animal ! . And no!, I’m not a salesman for anything or anybody. . I happened to try this and for not too much money it made my G20 x10mm so nice I had to do it to two more.

    • Peter FirmedicIMD

      The reference was from FMJ movie from the drill instructor that loves glocks!

    • CdrVic

      Interesting observations and preferences… some well founded, some bias.

      Remember the combat mindset (modeled at FS), Any gun will do, if you will…

      At typical self-defense engagement ranges, precision is generally not critical.

      With reasonable practice, every person should have a pretty good feel for where stressful, quick shots will tend to impact.

      If the cost of ammo is a factor, dry practice using perfect techniques can be an excellent substitute…followed up periodically with live fire.

      My Kimber Gold Match is by far, my most precise handgun…but with its light 4 pound trigger, given the choice, I wouldn’t even consider using it during the stress of a confrontation… I fear the adrenaline could result in lighting off a round while just taking up the slack.

      Most of my handguns have perfectly adequate precision for self defense. For the person questioning stock Glock precision… FrontSight trains the Hostage Rescue drill… Bad guy’s head half hidden behind the hostage. Distance 7 yards. No time pressure. Target one half of the cranial-ocular box… without hitting the hostage OF COURSE. On my last training… with a stock G19 and cheap ball ammo, I put four separate (present from concealed carry) rounds in the same barely ragged hole. Tell me the stock Glock is not accurate enough. Photo available on request.

      Besides the obvious need to be able to hit your target, the weapon must function reliably. i do not own a self-defense weapon that is not completely reliable with quality ammo. I have gotten rid of a few pieces that did not meet my criteria…very few. (BTW, I heard that somebody ran a test with a Sig… and I have a few… by loading an empty case in the middle of a loaded mag… the Sig properly fed the empty case…. An interesting drill to try for any Semi-Auto… not realistic or practical… but indicative of exceptional function engineering.

      Recoil sensitivity is a very relative characteristic. My 100 pound daughter loves her G26’s (9mm). It jumps a lot, but it doesn’t hurt. And she amazed me by putting three rounds just touching on an orange paster at 5 yards. Conversely, I bought a less powerful 380 Beretta that hurt my hand… and I shoot BIG guns. BTW, to appreciate the range of power, for those of you who don’t like the recoil of the 45acp, one round from my S&W 460 Mag has about the same energy as an entire 1911 magazine.

      The best cover during self defence engagement is to hide behind a controlled pair sent down range to the thoracic cavity of your aggressor.

      Minimum Condition Yellow unless you’re in your secure in your home.

      Pray for us sheep in California with CCW’s, but not valid in CA. Yet I understand a certain actor, SeanP, with an assault conviction has two CCW permits in CA. Hopefully TFT may provide some mitigation.

      CdrVic out.

    • Higherview

      You make some very interesting points that I was not aware of. I did not know the points you make about differing fists. However, I haven’t spent enough time on making fists to know what is preferable or “natural” to me. Years back when I was ready to purchase my first semi-auto center fire pistol I was leaning towards a stainless steel handgun with rubber grips. It was in use by many law enforcement agencies and I figured that would mean it had been vetted and would be a good weapon. When I was at the gun counter and asking a few last minute questions before making my purchase, the salesman suggested I try a couple different pistols including a then new Glock. He had me pick out a spot on the wall as a target and close my eyes, then lift the gun up to what felt like the proper aiming point and then open my eyes. I used his technique to find the one pistol that was, for me at least, right on every time. That’s how I came to purchase my first Glock handgun and the Glocks still are the ones that point the most natural for me, and a lot of my friends, because I have used this same technique to help others choose which pistol points the best for them.

    • Slackman33

      Retired SF MSG, and basically old school as in my day (chuckle) I trained with Jeff Cooper when his school was first opened. In this day and age, one doesn’t have the time to BS about tech’y shoot’en irons. Always buy something you can afford to lose, and make sure it’s 45 Cal..!! I pick’em up at Pawn shops $475 – $550.., and no matter what the training.., it’s two to the center of mass, and one to the head..(smile)..!! Works for me..!!

    • Walther

      I tested every brand and nearly every model at a large outdoor store before deciding on the Walther PPQ 9mm. The trigger reset on this one is so short. It actually seems to me to allow more precision when shooting rapidly and multiple rounds. I absolutely love Walther pistols. I could not believe how spot on it was from the first round. I have been able to quickly and repeatedly hit intended targets unlike anything else I have tried. The grip is the most comfortable I have ever had. Thus, I have a few Walther pistols in different calibers, but after getting the PPQ, I’m now looking to get the PPQ .40. Just another option to consider that I don’t hear much about.

    • Todd Alexander

      Nona Name,
      I agree that if any gun is uncomfortable, unless it is the only one available to you at the time, then it is of little use for the long run. You do have a very good Glock choice available if you still want the 34 part simplicity and reliability that is manifest in Glocks. It is the .45GAP single stack shooters. Great ballistics and a much slimmer and also shorter handgrip that might just fill the bill. If not that check out the KHAR arms or one of Ruger’s new compact offerings. Very slim and easy to grip for svelt hands.

      • Bill

        To Todd: . . . . You may like the Glock G-36 also. . . . It is .45 cal. ACP, single stack and very thin compared to the G-30 x .45 cal. double stack.

    • Mariowen

      I learned to shoot with a Glock and took my CCW with it. I trained at Front Sight on a Springfield XD, and used it there exclusively. Since we didn’t learn to shoot one handed, I don’t know about that, and I wouldn’t be accurate with anything without a two hand hold on the gun. That is how I learned and that is how I shoot. I really can’t tell the difference between the two except the Glock is smaller because it is the gun I carry for protection. I am comfortable with both. All I need is protection. I am not into competition so that isn’t an issue with me. Through Front Sight, I have been able to procure a CCW to carry in 30 states. That is good enough for me.

      • Bill

        To Mariowen : . FYI, If you ever want a extremely small carry pistol, and you like the Glocks, check out a “Diamondback DB380”. . . They aren’t really Glocks, but you wouldn’t know it. They tear down for cleaning exactly the same as a Glock, and shoot really well. They are about 2 sizes smaller than the “Baby Glock G-26, and are single stack so they are thin. . . If it were a Glock, they’d have named it the “Infant Glock” I’m sure. . . I was looking at a Sig for $650, but instead bought the DB380 for $300. What a good choice ! . . It shoots right with my buddy’s little Sig for 1/2 the price, and they’re made in the U.S.A. . I love my sig’s, but for the $’s, I couldn’t pass it up.

    • Vic Monzon

      Right on D3. There are no accidental discharges…just negligent discharges. He who fails to positively clear a handgun before attempting to clean it…is negligent. If you fail to see an empty chamber and magazine well, the weapon is not definitively empty.

      As for my preference for the Glock, it is probably its simplicity (triple internal safeties) and my exclusive use of Glocks at FrontSight training. Yes, I have other very fine handguns… Sigs, Berettas, Smiths, Colts, Rugers, Taurus, Browning… but with six Glocks, the familiarity makes them a great “security blanket.” They must point well for me, having earned Distinguished Grad three times at FrontSight…

      As for using a 357 in Grizzly country, I’d be concerned. I’m a serious pig hunter. And after putting two 44mag HP’s thru the chest of a 175# porker…who didn’t even react to it, I now carry a 5″ S&W 460Mag. First 2 rounds are 454 Casull followed by 460’s. The Casulls generally do the job on the porkers. I wanna go home at the end of my hunting trip…


    • jerryk

      I have shot most everything from 22 cal, to 44mag and find the 1911 and cz 75 to fit the best both are john brownings design, the glock never malfunctioned but I couldn’t hit the target as much. but if the situation called for a one shot stop, I would prefer a single action colt,

    • Ed Gabel

      Good story and good comments. I don’t hate Glocks, but i don’t shoot them well either. I like the shorter trigger pull on on 1911s and the Browning 1910 new model .380. I have shot a lot of different pistols and I have found this to be true. You either like the trigger pull or you don’t.
      I have seen some impressive shooting with Glocks. I have known purists to move on to S&Ws. The main objection I have to Glocks are the fat, double stack grips. Good Glock target shooters suddenly work their hands around the grip when in stressful situations and start shooting poorly. If it fits your hand confortably, has good sites (target acquisition), and trigger pull you like then it’s the right gun for you – even if it’s a revolver..
      Ed Gabel

      CZs are outsanding. The CZ52 shoots a “deer hunting” 7.62×25 round.

      • Bill

        To Ed: . . I agree, I love the CZ-52’s because of the positive roller locks in the slide and they are beefy enough to fire the Xtra hot 7.62×25 “machine gun ammo”. . . My TTC Romanian is neat, but can’t handle the hot machine gun ammo, only the standard rounds which are pretty zippy in their own right. . . CZ-52 decockers are UNSAFE though. . . For $225-300 they are hard to beat and the only ammo cheaper is a .22 LR.

        • Bill

          ED: . . Also Sportsman’s Guide has a $20-25 tool to make your own hollow points out of the 7.62×25 which stops the hardball “shoot thru” problem of the super fast round.

    • Gerald Rains

      This was a great article. I have always had the “I would rather throw a rock than shoot a Glock.” mentality. I cannot stress the importance of the right tool for the job and the ability and proficiency to use the tool. I am a huge fan of Sig and the XD. I may revisit the Glock with a different attitude.

    • Bill

      I don’t know if anyone covered this, but the angle of my Glocks grip also aids in less felt recoil due to the steeper angle. . . The recoil force is directed more into and down your arm, instead of at the wrist in a upward twist. . . This is also aided by the resin frame which twists and flexes. . . . I dressed 3 of my glocks up a bit with tapered mag funnels, Tru-Glo tritium day/night sights (they’re neat!) , and fairly inexpensive Lone Wolf barrels. . . . I hear all the time that Glocks aren’t accurate. . . . .They are accurate enough for tactical purposes with the OEM barrels, but when you put a LONE WOLF barrel in them, they become shooters. . . My G-20 (10mm) will outshoot my 2 Colt Gold Cup Trophy Match’s in 45 cal. and also my Colt Delta Elite 10 mm that has been tricked out ! . . .I would not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes ! . . . I have a lot of money tied up in guns that don’t shoot as well as the Glocks ! . . . The G-29 (10mm) with Lone Wolf barrel is the same way ! . . . If you want the best bang for the $ upgrade, I recommend a $125-150 Lone Wolf barrel for your Glock and you may want to consider the threaded cap version. . . And I still love my 1911’s, but I have to admit I pack the Glocks for everything but the beauty contests.

    • Crow

      Nobody seems to shoot revolvers any more. Pity. I live in grizzly and lion country, so I carry a Ruger SP101 in the woods, stoked with full-bore .357 ammo, and a ultra-light S&W 340PD (with Gold Dot .38 Sp.) for social encounters. Switching back and forth doesn’t bother me where grip angle is concerned, but the difference in trigger pull does. The 340 has spoiled me to the point that most guns are just too damn heavy for an old man.

      What about the limited firepower? To begin with a five-shooter trains you to shoot carefully rather than spray & pray, and if you need a gun that allows you to miss a lot, get an Uzi. Where I live my revolvers will get me through most days . . . I can always pack two or three.

    • goezy007

      Hello Folks,
      Great article with interesting thinking points. Nothing wrong with ‘plastic’ pistols, makes carrying easier, I have tried Glocks. Those are great pistols but not for me. I have large hands and find that the slide catches a knuckle. That gun doesn’t fit right in my hands – ergonomics. I have Beretta storm, H&K, & Sigs. All these seem to have the same ergonomics for me and fire everything I put in them. However, Beretta fits my hand the best and is more a natural sight. So that is the one I train / shoot the most.
      Keep up the great analysis coming.

      • Bill

        Just in case you still have a Glock you would “like” to use, they make a “whale tail” for the Glocks that essentially makes it resemble a 1911, and makes it virtually impossible to pinch or rub your hand with the slide. . . Just pull a pin, set it on the grip, replace the pin and you’re done. . . . They cost about $20.00.

        • dog

          hey bill, thankss for the advise on the glock grips.

    • D3

      Mr. Morris,
      A good friend sent me this link and wanted my opinion.
      Very good article: well written, informative and right on the money. You must train, train correctly and train often. Your “punch” through drill is an excellent example of what can be accomplished at home, away from a range. Once muscle memory is developed, it can easily be applied at the range.
      Let me add, great web site! Hope folks are preparing and getting the correct mindset.

    • Jeff

      I just recently started shooting. I’m in the process of purchasing my first firearm. My friend, who is a police officer, owns three Glocks. He likes them. He took me shooting to help me get acquainted with some different guns. I shot both the Glock and the Smith & Wesson stainless steel revolver. Although I liked the Glock I preferred the S&W revolver for one main reason. I could tell/know when the gun was about to fire. A Glock you pull the trigger and it fires, yet, as someone who is new to shooting it also “surprises” you. When I shoot the S&W revolver, I am not”surprised” when the gun goes off because I can see the hammer move. Just my thoughts.

    • EricX

      Not just the angle of the Glock grip but that shallow dip at the top causes you to shoot WAY high under stress. I call it “Glockitis” and demonstrate by shooting my Beretta M9, Springfield XD45, RIA M1911A1 and S&W M5906 all with my eyes closed hitting the target BUT doing the same with the Glock 17 puts all the shots over the head of the target.
      It’s the grip angle, the contour of the grip and your natural ability to point without having to look and see if your finger is properly aligned at what you are pointing at.
      HOWEVER, there IS a cure… gripforceproducts.com I put one of these on my 17 and it damn near aims where I want it to under stress (still a slight bit high… that’s the angle not the dip that accentuates that angle)!
      I have the older version with the ugly ribs on the back that goes into the beavertail… ugly but helps with the grip. the newer ones are smooth back.
      It really does work! My 2 buddies that carry Glocks every day both put these on their carry pistols after trying mine (one a 19 the other a 23) and like me, swear by the effectiveness of this neat little attachment in correcting “Glockitis”.
      If you love a Glock but hate the angle like I did, this little thing is a godsend!
      A couple places on amazon sell them too, just search “Grip Force”

      (btw, I am NOT affiliated with grip force in any way… just a satisfied customer and instructor who found a great solution to an existing problem)

    • azure639

      No wonder the Glock just felt right!

    • Martin

      David, the Glock is a very popular weapon. For this reason it therefore must be a quality weapon. I’ve never even shot one, so I must take others words on it. I love my 1911’s, but carry my Sig 220. It shoots well for me and I’ve carried it for years. It is heavy, but since I always carry it in a shoulder holster, the weight isn’t a concern for me. I thought I would try a ‘striker’ type 45, and ended up buying a S&W M&P. It shoots very well and is real light. After putting hundreds of rounds through it, I continue carrying the Sig, leaving the M&P in the safe. Guess I just don’t like change.

    • Mark

      I think Glocks are fine pistols. I have a couple for a while and cannot complain about their function at all.

      My problem was that I learned to shoot with the venerable 1911 Government…and just as your article states….the grip angle is quite different from a Glock. As a result, I’ve never been able to shoot worth a darn with the Glock. Muscle memory makes me point the thing way high. Frankly, I didn’t want to spend the time and money to retrain my body so that pointing the Glock would become instinctive.

      So….I moved back to the 1911…bought a Kimber and just haven’t looked back.

      Good article though, and something folks should consider.

    • Dr. Prepper

      I use the ” three gun rule”. I have three and thats it. Shotgun, ar15, and 380 Bersa pistol. The wife also has a Bersa. These are the guns we practice with and are extremely comfortable with.
      Since we are talking pistols, why the Bersa? I tried about every pistol Bass Pro & the local gun shop had in their display cases [Glocks, 1911’s, and every other]. How did I make my choice? I put the gun at my side and immediately brought it up as if I had to shoot quickly. Every other gun but the Bersa I had to adjust the gun or move my head to complete the sight picture and get on target. The Bersa came up dead on the money every time and I immediately fell in love with the control and light weight. The other guns felt ……I guess the word “unwieldy” best describes how they felt. I know a 380 is described as “anemic” but I would rather have a gun that I actually feel comfortable with and would actually carry [ The 380 in your pocket is better than the 45 in your safe]. My wife also found this to be true although a few of the other guns came up for her on target. We chose the Bersa and are very happy with our choice.
      I have shot thousands of rounds through the Bersa with NO malfunctions of any kind.
      I feel comfortable knowing that under duress the Bersa should come up ” On target” because it just naturally does this in my hand. I also like the Bersa, even though it is a smaller gun, because your whole hand fits on the grip [ no dangling pinky ].
      My 2.5 cents…..
      I have a GREAT AR15 story for another time.

    • Frank Sladek

      Favorite carry is the CZ83 cause it fits my hand. Although it is only 380 caliber, at 30 ft. all “center of mass” hits rapid fire even if gun has not been cleaned in the last 500 rounds. Only “stove-pipe” was with Russian ammo, so don’t use it. Have shot 45 & 357 in other pistols but
      still favor the CZ83. I am curious about the new 40 calibrer “Duty” pistol.

      Anybody else practice with CZ’s & what are your results?

    • Wendell Cheek


      Enjoyed your article, and agree with pretty much all of it. Would have liked to see mention of the more important shortcomings of the Glock, namely the safety issue of takedown from the closed slide, and pulling the trigger to release the sear. Many police agencies, including the Wyoming Highway Patrol have had a number od AD’s when Glocks are being taken down for cleaning, and the wrong sequence employed for the mag release, slide rack, trigger release of sear. Rack the slide before mag release, and Bang….. While this is not much of a concern for those who handle theirs all the time, many police are not in that catagory.
      I beleive that the XD, and especially the S&W M&P address nearly all of the concerns that people have had with the Glock for the last 25 years, including frame rails molded directly into the frame, polygonal rifling that prevents shooting cast bullets in quantity, suitability for left handers, an unsupported case head (especially in the .40) and a grip angle that matches no other gun on the market other than the Luger. Virtually all other duty weapons are very close to the 18 degrees of the 1911. S&W even did a computer analysis of grip angles when designing the il fated Sigma…… spent 2 million dollars measuring hundreds of peoples’ grip, to find out that John Browning figured it out 75 years earlier. While the Glock revolutionized the use of polymer frames, and became the defacto choice of the police community, there have been significant advances in the design of those arms that compete with the Glock, and in fact, make a much better choice, especially when a person owns more than just the one brand. The Wyoming Highway Patrol has gone to the M&P….. there have been no AD’s during disassembly.

      • D3

        Mr. Cheek,
        “the more important shortcomings of the Glock…” & “a number of od AD’s” – just want to submit to you that there are no AD’s. There are plenty of ND’s (negligent discharges) which are caused by operator error, including LE. We are issued the M&P40 at my department and unfortunately have had to send most of them back. Front sights kept falling off, slides would not lock to the rear.
        “and in fact, make a much better choice, especially when a person owns more than just the one brand.” – I own more than one brand and could not say that any of them make a much better choice than Glock…my 2 cents

        • Bill

          If a Glock is field stripped and a round is in the chamber, that is what I call “premeditated carelessness. I do know mistakes happen as I’ve made a few myself, such as trusting a decocker to work on a CZ-52. . They don’t !

        • Wendell Cheek

          Not to argue semantics, the issue of AD’s or ND’s does not relsove the issue of pulling the trigger on a closed slide. If you remember, the Glocks had a number of growing pains in the 80’s, and I would argue that the front dovetail is preferable to the Post/screw of the Glock. While we all have our preferences, (I,m a 1911 guy), the newer guns correct the design areas in the Glock that have been shortcomings in many peoples’ minds. While training is a large component of this safety issue, most againcies’ training budgets have suffered with the economy for the last 20 years. The Glock has been the dominant police gun in the U.S. during this time, and though the lesser price tag to agencies is a large part of that success, one cannot argue that it is not a reliable arm. I maintain that the design advances of the arms listed in my first comment put them at the top of the heap.

      • Bill

        David: . . . I have a question or two for you. Aren’t the frame rails molded into the frame on the Glock’s also ? In the “unsupported case head especially in the .40 cal.” , do you know if that also applies to the 10mm chambers as the .40 is based off of the 10mm ? . . What are the ramifications of this situation and does it correlate to that of the .223 verses the 5.56 scenario ? Sorry for all the questions and Thanks for your reply.

    • Sherm

      The Glock is an affordable, dependable firearm. The biggest gripe I hear from non-Glockers is that they hate the factory plastic sights. I spent an extra $80 to have Trijicon tritium sights installed when I bought my Glock 19. I also heard the term “Glock Grip” being bantered around by some shooters, claiming you needed a special grip to overcome the tendency of Glocks to point off target. I have not personally found that I need to change my grip to bring my Glock on target. Many claim you should not reload ammunition for the Glock because of the chamber support issue, I would concur, my son blew up his Glock 23 using reloads, although he may have been intentionally exceeding recommended powder charges. I also shoot an Springfield XD40. I love the grip on the XD: it seems to fit my hand perfectly and seems to be a “natural pointer”. The problem with my XD that it is too large for a CCW, (for me). Law enforcement seems to issue more Glocks that any other make, the main reason is that the Glock is highly dependable, seldom jams, and is easy to maintain. The Glocks popularity resulted in the XD’s, the M&P’s and most similar designs.

      • Buz

        Surely to goodness you’re not using the barrel that came with your Glock?!?

        First step when I buy a Glock, replace the barrel with a Lone Wolf. Full case support and they don’t have a problem with lead bullets. Bonus, they no longer match the test bullet on file for that serial number, even though the paper trail is usually completely untraceable after it leaves the wholesaler.

    • John

      Prior to reading your article I never thought much about grip angle. I have however tried to like Glocks in the past and just can’t do it. I think they are great guns. For durability and reliability and feed-anything-through-it-ness, Glocks and Sigs are two of the best! However the squarish handle on Glocks just doesn’t fit my hand. It feels awkward and affects my accuracy. I am certain that with enough training on a Glock platform, I could overcome this. However, Sigs and 1911’s both fit in my hand like a will tailored glove. They feel like a natural extension of my hand. Therefore my preference is a 1911 for fun/home defense and a Sig 226 for everything.

      Now for grip angle. As a trained martial artist, I do lead with the first two knuckles. A couple of times through your training test proves that. So technically I should do better with a Glock…..if only the damn thing would fit better in my hand! The way around this is simply to train more with the Sig. Having trained several different Martial Arts over the years, it is possible to train the body to do different things in different situations. i.e. – lead with first 2 knuckles when punching and all 4 when shooting. Heck, training is fun anyway! Good excuse to get more range time in!!

    • Caribou

      I agree that most people are better off with doing most of their training with one weapon system. I had not considered the grip angle previously. If you practice with and carry a Glock then decide that your “dress” gun is going to be a 1911 or a Ruger SR9c you have set yourself up for failure. They have different controls. The SR9c and 1911 have thumb safeties. The 1911 has a grip safety. The Glock has internal safeties. If your primary sidearm is a Glock and you decide it would be fun to carry Granddad’s old 1911 you may find that in a high stress situation you do not get your grip right or you forget the thumb safety. Either of these mistakes would probably only cost you a second or two to correct. When you consider that a typical draw takes a second and a half we are talking about doubling your draw time.

      I also like Glocks and the magazine compatibility with the Kel-Tec Sub 2000. They make other models. The 9mm SUB-2000 can be configured in the following magazine types: GLK17, GLK19, S&W59, BERETTA92, SIG226. The .40 SUB-2000 can be configured in the following magazine types: GLK22, GLK23, BERETTA96, S&W4006, SIG226.

      Do you know how lasers affect this instinctive aiming in a high stress situation?

      • Stephen

        Hey David & Caribou,

        Both of you make intelligent comments and I agree with you both. Regarding the ‘laser under stress’ you’ll find at first you will be way off unless you have trained specifically under man-made stressful situations, such as I do when training Special Forces. Taking the physical & mental aspects of stress and incororating them into a training regimen, such as my Survival Fitness Program, your abilities improve rapidly.

        It’s a matter of becoming aware of your physical & mental incompetence and do not mean this in a negative way. Too many guys ‘think’ they can rise to the occasion. There’s a big difference between an athlete rising to the occassion when pressure is on and when some scum bag has a knife to your wife’s or child’s throat in the middle of the night. Your physiology, neural response and chemistry work in a much different way than in everyday life.

        Learning, understanding, training and controlling your body’s chemistry during stress will make you a hero in 911 scenarios when applied to your shooting skills.

    • Dan in Colorado

      Along the same lines, I couldn’t hit ‘nothin’ with my Springfield 1911, but my Springfield
      XD points much more naturally and I can actually hit what I’m aiming at. I found that in
      the gun shop when I first handled the XD. I closed my eyes and pointed the gun, opened
      my eyes and the sights were nicely aligned! I was sold right then and there. Never have
      tried a Glock….

    • Bill Johnson

      Four years ago I was in the market for a new handgun, I checked out all three gun stores in town picking up and handling every semi auto pistol in stock. I finally ended up with the Ruger P345 because it seemed to fit my hands the best. I’ve lost track of how many rounds I’ve put through that Ruger and it has never failed to shoot except for two rounds that were reloads i bought at a gun show. Yes it’s a little heavier than some for concealed carry but with the holster I designed just for it it carries just fine. i have a freiend who was just starting out with guns and had been sold a Glock by a salesman who convinced him that Glocks were the only gun to have, after he tried my Ruger he realized that the salesman had fed him a bill of goods and now he wants to buy a Ruger. The only draw back I find w/ the Ruger is the take down process which can be difficult.

    • Brad

      Good thoughts there. I own a Glock 21 and my large hand and my extensive years of martial arts seem to fit together well. I train my muscle memory the same way and the training fits whether I am hitting, shooting a pistol, shooting a long gun, or other weapon. I hit with a straight wrist in a full power punch and hit middle of the fist, not with the two top knuckles. I trained with the Glock under stress by shooting at 10 meters from a circle around a milk jug filled with water. Run a complete circle around the outside of the 10 meter mark then DRAW AND FIRE TWICE. …re-holster and run the circle again. You want to hit the milk jug consistently twice each time from a draw and fire. This is, however, not something you can do at every range. (incidentally, the milk jug roughly represents your 9 ring on a silhouette target ). This will get your instinctive shooting down for all close range work. It is unconventional, but very simple and you get the effect of stress shooting.

    • Bill

      Thanks David; This info is most enlightening. I don’t have the place nor the [$] to spend a lot on ammo. So, I don’t shot much. but, I do generally hit what I aim at with my HP9. I prefer it over either the Glock or the 1911. I’ve Shot both; 1911 kicks too much,, & the Glock is not my kind of hand gun. I would prefer a hand gun that “Absorbs-the-recoil” like the Ma-Duce,, I haven’t seen or found one yet!? This is where the NEXT-DESIGN in hand gun design ought to go.

    • Rick

      Excellent article Dave. I too have heard people hating Glocks and I wasn’t sure why, my experience with them has been rather good. I did learn to punch in martial arts, perhaps that is why I do like Glocks and own them. After reading your article I pulled out my Glock 23 and practiced the dry fire exercise. I need more practice.

    • Nom

      I had an FFL when the first Glocks became available in (as I recall) the late 80’s – early 90’s. That was my ‘show & tell’ piece to customers. With that one Glock 17 I sold countless Glocks of all configurations. Cops & security guys took to them like a fish to water. Then in about 1996 I simply lost interest in them. It was not until I just read the above piece that I began to understand why. At the time I began carrying a CZ75. Today, my #1 go to choice remains the CZ75, with the 1911 close behind it.
      Norm Fishler

    • John B. Barrett

      My problem with Glocks has nothing to do with the angle of the grip.

      I reload. This presents 2 problems with Glocks. The first is that Glock specifically voids the warranty if a person uses reloaded shells. The second problem is the Kaboom of KB incidents that can result from the back part of the chamber being cut away to facilitate reliable cycling, when a person used reloaded shells.

      Having seen the FBI’s ballistics tests back in 1989 or 90, since as an ex-agent, my father received the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, I was, and still am sold on the 10 mm. Since Glock is the only manufacturer currently making a handgun chambered for the 10 mm, I would love to buy a Glock chambered for that cartridge. However, when I learned about this problem with Glocks, I bought a S&W M&P .40S&W as a carry weapon.

      S&W does not void the warranty for using reloads and fully supports the entire shell.

    • Dan D'Oria

      I struggled for years with Glocks. My problem is that I shoot 1911s, Glocks, Berettas, Revolvers, H&Ks, and Sigs, big guns, and small guns. I just recently got rid of all my DA/SA pistols. That helped me out tremendously. Not so many action types to stay proficient with. All valid and true comments in your article. I do find that if the gun in question is comfortable and actually fits the hand well, it will be shot well. I adore my M&P40. It is as reliable as my 17 but is more comfortable. So is the XD. Thanks.

    • Dennis

      Thank you for the great tips. My carry gun is a Glock 26. I have, unfortunately, known for some time that my aim might be rather terrible in a real defense situation. I just did not know why. Now I think I know. I will practice what you said.

    • SJ

      I am a Glock user myself. Granted, I started with a Browning, but fond a Glock better suited for me.
      I have been promoting the “Close your eyes and check your aimpoint” for years to help people choose a handgun, but didn’t realize the reasons for the angles.
      I find the Glock is a natural angle for me, reliable and simple. The times I have fired a 1911 at the range I found that my groups were much tighter than my Glock. But that won’t help much in a combat situation where stress fire is the call.

    • Daniel

      This is a very insightful piece. I have read some of this info elsewhere, but have never seen it so clearly stated or set forth with such a helpful set of instructions for the Glock user. My compliments!

    • J. Burke

      Great comments David. While I have both Glocks and 1911’s, I have always found I shoot the 1911’s a bit better. Not having spent the last several years throwing 2 knuckle punches, I now am closer to understanding why. What you point out is is a huge dilemma for many shooters – they shoot the 1911 better because of the grip angle but prefer the increased capacity and sometimes enhanced reliability of the 1911. A buddy of mine in Law Enforcement has developed a solution that has seen huge adaption in the LE and Mil community – it is called the Grip Force Adapter. Seriously easy to install and changes the grip angle of the Glock. His name is Frank Royce and can be reached at [email protected] – he is full time LE and does this on the side as much as he can. Great guy, great product.

    • Robin O'Brien

      Excellent article. Thank you for pointing out things that most of us never consider. I like the 1911s. I guess because they are pretty and I consider the Glocks to be ugly. That being said, I know that you can drop a Glock in the mud, drive a truck over it and when you pick it up it will still go BANG. So the question becomes “why do we carry a handgun anyway”. As you said, is it for “FIGHT’N or for FUN”?

    • Buster Breitenbach

      My “solution” to the grip angle problem has been two-pronged. I train with my Glocks only and have pretty much stopped using other handguns altogether – with the exception of my Ruger .22 target pieces. The other thing is, I have had the “hump” removed from the back of grip on all my Glocks so they tend to point more naturally (for me).

      I carry consistently but am a civilian with a CCW and not law-enforcement so I have not, to this point, had to test my “solution” in a life-threatening stressful circumstance. God willing, I never will have to face that test but, I’ve been told that you “revert to your training” and I hope that holds true, if and when…

      Good article! Thanks

    • Richard

      J.K.D. vertical 4 knuckle punch on instinct. If I’m reading you right, I’m a 1911.

    • Bill

      i have been thru this scenario before. My initial ccw was a colt cobra .38 snubby revolver.
      I have trained in moving and defensive drills and always shot high and to the right.
      I trained myself to overcome that, but when I decided to get a semi-auto pistol, I looked for one that matched my natural sighting tendancy.
      The one I found was the H&K P30. I get a perfect sight picture with every draw w/out having to move the gun around, and when I point and shoot, I hit what i point at.
      A very reassuring experience.
      fortunately I haven’t had to draw to dfend myself yet, but am ready if i have to.

    • Nick

      Great article! Love the focus on biomechanics and natural point of aim. I’m a 1911 guy for more reasons than the grip angle but I do appreciate the Glock platform and the impressive design and durability. Thanks for the article!


    • Sam Jones

      Interesting viewpoint. My additional comments:
      The Glock is a VERY reliable weapon…does not require much maintenance, cleaning, repairs, etc.
      Glocks are reasonably priced eg: $500-600 for a 9 or.40 or.45 vs. $800 to $1200 up for a good 1911.
      GLocks have a very low bore axis, which keeps the recoil closer to the hand..thus less muzzle flip – very improtant for female shooters.
      Sam Jones – TxCHL Instructor – Competitive IDPA shooter (2 highly tuned STIs)- Capt. USN Ret. – and a Glock 22 carrying Texan.

    • Terry Smith

      Thanks for this article. I am a GLOCK person and have carried a G19 for about eight years for personal defense. I shoot competitively in IDPA with the G19 as well. I get some flak for using the 19 in competition rather than a 17 but I shoot as well or better than most in my category so I don’t listen too much to their advice. I have nothing against the 1911. As a matter of fact, I own one and enjoy shooting it too. However, I prefer the GLOCK for its simplicity and lighter carry weight over that of the 1911. Immediately after reading your comments on grip angle and the resulting problems that can arise, I did the drill as you suggested. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my aim point was correct most of the time. I did about 30 reps and was only off aim about 3 or 4 times and those were in the early draws. My take home from your article is this: First, I have advanced my confidence in gun handling and the knowledge that if it ever becomes a “gun-kind-of-day” it is more likely I’ll hit my intended target. And second, I also serve as a volunteer range coach for a mid-west defensive firearms school, this is good to know information to use in our intermediate and advanced classes. Keep up the good work.

    • Pat

      Dang David!
      If I would have written this article, it would almost be a word for word copy of what you wrote, except that my Glocks would be for “fun” and the 1911’s/Springfield XD’s would be for battle! LoL…
      I agree with you 100% on the Glock grip angle synopsis, I’ve been telling people this for years. This is the same problem I have with them. Instinctually, Glocks aim high for me…
      I also tell my friends who carry regularly to do the same instinctual pointing drill you describe every night when they put their handgun in the nightstand drawer; pick a target across the room, get in a shooting stance, close your eyes, level the handgun at the target, open your eyes and see how far off target you are. You WILL notice improvement in your instinctual aiming skills if you do this regularly (nightly) like I do. You don’t really need to actually pull the trigger either, just do a few of these pointing drills daily.
      Another thing that can help with this drill AND help engrain safe trigger habits into your brain, is how you handle your trigger finger while doing this pointing drill.
      Since we all know that even when drawing, until we are “on target”, the trigger finger is NOT supposed to be on the trigger or inside the trigger housing at all. I tell my friends it’s a GREAT habit to get into to use your trigger finger to help you point the weapon instinctually. What I mean is, almost everyone can naturally get their trigger finger “on target” if they do the above closed-eye drill with no gun in their hand, and their hand in the “finger gun” configuration (shooting hand in a fist, index finger pointed straight out as if it was the barrel of the gun). This same “finger gun” configuration is a good way to hold your hand while drawing an actual pistol; with your index/trigger finger pointing straight down the side of the frame of the pistol, completely in line with the barrel of the gun. In this position, your trigger finger helps you keep your gun pointed closer to your hand’s natural point of aim, and you also don’t get into any bad habits of putting your finger into the trigger housing until you achieve your final “point”…
      One comment on the feeding of the Glocks; I find my 2-Glock 22’s do not like the truncated-cone shape of projectile (whether ball or hollow point) as much as projectiles with a more rounded bullet nose like traditional ball or say the Speer Gold-Dot type of hollow point. I’ve had a couple of officers tell me the same thing, as well as the police supply place that I bought them from. As always, test your carry ammo extensively before relying on it to feed properly….

      Good article Dave!

    • David W

      That’s a good analogy David. I’m not sure where my P7 lines up but it has a natural feel for me so it’s worth doing that test on to see how it fits.
      I too quickly dismissed the S XD’s as cheap knock offs. I’ll have another look next time I’m in the gun store.

    • Adam McIntosh

      I own a Glock 24 & 22 that I inherited from a close friend. I vary rarely shoot either of these guns as I much prefer the 1911 platform. People who bash Glocks are, in my opinion, idiots. They are a very functional pistol with acceptable accuracy. If you practice with one you can become extremely competitive in the world of action shooting. I am a USPSA master class shooter and shoot an STI Edge variant that is a “better” competition gun in limited class. I have had my posterior handed to me many times by fellows shooting Glocks. That being said, I don’t carry either type of gun because of their bulk. The Ruger LCP is my carry gun of choice because of it’s ease of conceal ability and light weight. Obviously the .380 is a bit on the anemic side but a .380 that you are actually carrying beats heck out of a .45 that you are not.

    • Charles Krim

      I appreciate the information you provide. I am woefully unprepared for a major catastrophy. I own a 12 gauge shotgun and a very old Browning 9mil pistol with a 13 shot mag, a friend(?) gave it to me many years ago. I have always loved fire arms. When I was a kid I dreamed of them and would gaze at them in store’s showcases for many minutes and just daydream about owning them. I cannot afford to buy them at the prices I find in the shops. do you have any suggestions for finding decent firearms at affordable prices?

    • Tim Pittman

      I have shot a lot of pistols and though I like Glocks I like my double action Sig P226 better than any hand gun that I have fired.. I consider it a better built gun than anything else that I have shot. I am not saying that the Glock is not a very nice and well built hand gun. What I am saying is that I like my Sig just a little bit more. Tim

    • Robert

      I am glad there is always something new under the sun to learn. Have never seen such a relevant article on those grip angles. Thank you, David.

    • bud dayer

      Well, I learned all this in the first grade.

    • Sheron Westrick

      I agree with the guy who likes his Springfield XD…I dearly LOVE my Springfield XDM….the grip angle fits my hand,Helps my accuracy for me as a female. I am very comfortable with this handgun and would not trade it for the world!!!

    • Rick

      Good article..again something you better think about.. Not sure if this story is true but it sounds good. Supposedly Minnesota Fats (famous pool player) said if you can’t walk into any pool hall and pick up any cue stick and kick everyones butt then you ain’t crap. LOL..but in order to be like that you must practiced it a miilion or so times..

    • Anthony

      Neither my wife or I are into martial arts. Recently we were at a gun counter and I put a Glock in her hand followed by a Sig, and asked her which she prefered. She prefered the Sig and so did I. For some reason we though the Glock was kind of “hinky” in our hand. Now I know and like they say, knowledge is power. Yesterday I just happened to purchased a 1911 angled pistol. Thanks David. Love your newsletters and the discussions every week.

    • Dave McGraw

      This makes a lot of sense, I’ve never loved or hated Glocks, I’ve just always had trouble shooting them well, they don’t “feel” right in my hands and they don’t seem to “fit” for me.

      This may be why,



    • doc killdare

      well i have two glocks (21 and 23) love them both, dont tell anyone but i carried my 21 in afghanastan when i was there in 02. that said i also love my 1911a1. i learned to shoot pistol with a gi issue 1911a1. when i consider a pistol for survival both are intergral parts. but as much as i do love my glocks (more partial to the 21 for the above stated reason and its 45 acp) the glock is missing a few minor points, a; 85 years of active military service b; in that service time the 1911 fought through the two largest wars in mankinds history ww1 &ww2. this weapon has proven itself to be the most reliable, easy shooting pistol ever made (colt single action army 1872 might beat it on ease of shooting) c; the 1911 was made for city folk who never fired a pistol in their lives and needed to be trained up for combat asap. the glock can not keep up with that. in my opinion as a former paratrooper with 3 combat tours under my belt, if you are just starting out and have never fired a pistol before, the 1911 is for you and you can get inexpensive versions that are just as good as a colt. myself i have both my 1911 and my glock 21 set up wth holsters on my survival lbv so if i got to get up and go quick im taking both…

    • Jerry

      Most gun shops will rent guns. Rent and shoot them until you find the on you like. Personally, I carry a Glock 19 gen 4. My wife carries an XDM9. But, as important as finding the gun you feel is an extension of your hands, train as much as you can.
      The way you described your drills, it sounds like the training method developed by Rob Pincus. We are lucky enough to have shop in Houston that teaches that same method.

    • David O

      Thanks for a great article David! I spent several years carrying and shooting nothing but 1911s and when the Glock 17 first came into the US I thought they were the ugliest pistols to have ever been designed by mankind. I purchased one with the intention of breaking it or at least proving it to be a piece of junk. Within 6 months I found myself carrying the Glock the majority of the time because I found it to be every bit as accurate as my 1911s, not to mention it was lighter weight and held over twice as many rounds as a 1911.

      I was introduced into what was called, “The Punch Drill” by one of my agency’s firearms instructors a few years ago and found that my rounds were a little off center, but not enough to matter at close range. Over the years since then my rounds are centered and inside a 5×7″ index card taped over the “Q” on the target.

      I still like shooting 1911s and have owned a SA XD, but traded it off because I couldn’t carry it on duty and wanted to just carry one type and brand of pistol on and off duty. I gone 7 years now carrying nothing but one of my Glocks everyday.

    • Tim Enright

      Do you know what the grip angle is for the Kimbers?
      Thanks if you have time to answer.

    • BeachBow

      Excellent article. And it explains my experience with Glocks and non-Glock weapons. I was into martial arts for many years before I got into pistols, and my first pistol was a S&W 5906, which I still have. I bought it because it felt good in my hand, and aquiring the target “felt” automatic. Last year I had the chance to shoot a Glock 19. Holding it felt better than my 5906, and I shot great!! So, I’ve now added Glock to my inventory. After reading this article, I’m going to pay more attention to your theory and see if it holds true. And having been in the military, I do understand “this is for killing and this is for fun”!! LOL!! Thanks for the informaiton.

    • victor hunt

      Your grip angle/punch angle was interesting. I like the 1911 and I’m assuming that the Glock used for comparison is also 45 cal. I have seen a lot of bullet wounds and never seen a 45 torso hit that wasn’t fatal. The first time you have to shoot someone your mouth will get so dry that you can’t even spit, your heart will race, and you may not remember how many rounds you fired. These calm TV morons that hold their pistol parallel with the ground are just that ….TV morons. Glock or 1911 if it’s a 45 please don’t point it at me. Col. Hunt

    • GaryF

      Very interesting observation, and a good piece of advice.

      And, yes, there’s a difference between a real weapon and “just a gun.” ;-)

    • Jim

      I’ve shot both and find the XDs more comfortable,especially with my small hands. 1911s also fit the bill and I shoot even better with those.

    • Joe Schier

      You have hit the nail on the head. As a former police officer/SWAT team member and someone that has gone through countless hours of firearms training, it doesn’t matter which gun you choose. It matters that you take the time to train to be proficient with that firearm. I love my Glock and I love my Kimber. I have done enough shooting with both to where it does not present a problem for me. Also, there is a device called a grip force adapter that one may put on a Glock to change the grip angle to that of a 1911. I have not used one, but have ready many reviews from respected shooters on them. They might be an option for those wanting a Glock but preferring the grip angle of a 1911. But once again, the bottom line is train with whatever pistol you choose and be deadly proficient with it. Your life and the life of your family may depend on it.

    • gena

      I have never fired anything but a 22 cal handgun years ago and a pellet gun so basically I have no idea about most of what you were talking about. I know that for the most part, most big handguns are probably more than I can physically deal with (65 old, weak arms due to nerve damage from back, spinal injuries). My brother told me to get a shotgun, hold it to my side if I need self defense, and never aim it at anyone unless I’m willing to kill them. My shoulders are also shot and need surgery, and my brother told me if I tried putting a shotgun to my shoulder I would not use the shoulder again. He said if someone broke in, try retreating to a safe room, let them steal THINGS, if they try to get in to me, kill them. Ugly thought, but what I guess I would have to do.

      • Caribou

        It sounds as if you got some good advice. What ever you get make sure you can use it and practice. Contrary to what you see on TV you need to aim a shotgun. If you don’t plan to shoulder the gun then get a laser for it. You might also want to consider a muzzle break to reduce recoil.

    • Ron

      I’am a lot like you David,I love the Glock handgun.I believe the Glock is the best defence weapon you can get,next to a shotgun.Have never had a jam or a misfire.I also have a high end 1911A1 that has been completely done for comp shooting that I would not take to a gunfight.Out of the box the Glock was the better shooter and with more firepower for less money.My favorite 3 Glocks are the 22,32C and 21C,I carry the 22 for pesonnal protection.I have night sights,grip plug,stainless guide rod and 4.5 trigger loaded with 165 grain JHP.

    • Craig L Johnson

      I’ve extensively carried Glocks for duty use as an officer for two different agencies first a model 23 then a model 22, both of which are great weapons. We did extensive training especially under stressful situations to work on consistent reactions. I also like you David carry a model 27 close to me and at all times when I am able legally. Ive never had problems with ammo in my Glock and it is what I am used to. I really enjoy shooting my Glocks and I also have a sub2000 in 40 that shoots Glock mags which is great fun as well. We can always use more training but I think this was a great article. I know if I do have to draw my Glock out under a stressful situation it should function well and hit where its supposed to. My wife has a Keltec Pf9 which is a totally different animal compared to the Glock and has required both of us to retrain ourselves to shoot it better. I hope to get her a Glock sometime this year. Thanks for all that you do!

    • Paul M. Burke

      This information to most would seem trivial. Since I rely on my hand gun skills to protect myself, my family and others if the situation presents itself. I carry a Hungarian Makarov as my carry weapon of choice. I do realize that by today’s standards it is underpowered but because of skill, training and specific loads I feel comfortable. I will however, when economics improve, purchase either a 357 mag revolver or a 40 cal. simi. I purchased the Mak for $125 six years ago and it has never let me down. I keep all my weapons loaded, chambered and off safe. I am 69 years old and can certainly use the extra seconds and I am never confused as to the position of the safety. I learned from this site that I was right hand and left eye dominant. To many this too would seem trivial but knowing it has improved my skill level immensely.

    • Rob Heath

      Aha! This must be why I shoot better with my XDm and my 1911s than I do with my Glocks. I will try this at the range this weekend. I’m one of the rare few who love both. But then again I love all thing GUN! The blcker the uglier the better.

    • Nona Name

      As a new shooter who has struggled to find just the right CCW, I have come to learn that there is so much more to handgun choice than “Glock or Not”. If the gun does not fit your hand, the investment of precious funds is made less than wisely. Glocks are wide across the back of the grip, regardless of any interchangeable strap. If you have small hands or shorter fingers, you will forever work to compensate for pulling shots to one side, and to struggle to reach the mag release for reloads. No matter what model I tried, it just was not a natural fit. In a pinch, I will shoot what EVER is available, but I could never shoot it as well as a gun that fits my hand properly. Brand names should not affect my personal choice of a defensive backup gun.

      The XD has a high center of mass because of the height of the barrel and slide. It does take getting used to. M&Ps with the thinnest backstrap fit my delicate paws very well and my accuracy with one shows it. The quality of the build, however, left me looking for a better lifetime choice. Replacement parts and the prospect of having a reliable weapon that is repairable by the user is another consideration if TSHTF, and there the Glock does get a hearty plus. Sigs are well made and can fit a variety of hands and many models are very concealable. A Colt was my final semi-auto choice, and even then, QC control issues have been a concern. A wheel gun may not have the capacity and speed of reload for the average shooter, but grips are entirely adaptable to fit most any hand–and dependability is a certain plus.

      The (accurate) choice of a handgun is so reliant upon fit to hand, that I would really recommend taking the time to work with a professional to find just the right fit, and also the right fit to intended use. Just this newbie’s two cents worth.

    • Robert Agar-Hutton

      Hi David,

      Thank you for a very interesting article.

      Guns per se don’t interest me because as a civilian living in the UK, I no longer have access to firearms.

      HOWEVER as a martial arts and a defensive tactics instructor – anything that considers how we ‘fight’ under stress is always of interest so your article reinforced the old adage that (you tend to) “fight the way you train” – and in this case for some people fight the way they don’t train. i.e. If you do not spend a lot (and I mean a lot) of time training then your ‘natural’ in-built reactions are what you will exhibit under stress.

      Again, thanks for the article.

      All the best.


    • Lueder

      When I first heard about Glock, I think I fell in love. THAT was the gun I wanted!!! Several years ago, I had the opportunity to shoot a Glock. I did not enjoy the experience. The grip was too big for my hand and the caliber was too high for what I was comfortable with. I have never had another opportunity to shoot any other Glock so I don’t know if I would ever fall in love with one that was a better fit. But I sure would like to give it a try. Until then, I will enjoy shooting my Springfield and my S&W.

    • Don Burnette

      Excellent Article. Right to the point!

    • Todd Alexander

      Although the XD is a good firearm, the Glock option is still fine if you choose to purchase a 4th generation (the newest Glock series) which come from the factory with 3 different interchangeable grip backs. They have different swells in order to alter the grip angles and would allow one to get the best grip fit for them….including the 1911 angle if that warms your cockles.

    • Vic Monzon

      Hey David! This is your FrontSight connection :-)

      Very interesting to learn more about your background. Mine is probably not as extensive, but definitely with parallels.

      Yes, I have trained in some martial arts…Aikido, Judo, Chuck Norris studios in LA. So, my punch is clearly two knuckled. BTW, I am also attending next month’s TFT class in LV :-)

      Another parallel is that I medalled a couple of times in All Navy competitions with 1911 (and also M14). And I love my Kimber Gold Match for precision (different from accuracy).

      However, my combat preference is the Glock. I have several (17, 21, 22, 23, 24C, 26, and 30). I have only used Glocks at my four (4-day) FrontSight Handgun classes, earning Distinguished Grad on three. I had never presented from a holster until the first FS class. And the malfunction handling was challenging at first.

      I prefer to use a rubber sleeve over the hard squarish grip of the Glocks. Works great for me. I avoided Glocks for 10 years before I found the rubber sleeve.

      The FS school has you putting up to 900 rounds down range during the class. After hearing the lecture that an Armorer was conducting a torture test…and was at 47,000 rounds without cleaning and without a malfunction… I shot one entire class without any cleaning…it was grey at the front when I finished… functioned perfectly.

      Getting to your point, I will experiment with the natural point of aim. We did something similar for match shooting, and it was very useful.

      BTW, half the time I rented a Glock from FS and the fixed sight, left handed use was just fine to shoot DG…including the :Failure to Stop” drills where you place a single round to the cranial ocular box… the end the fight when a controlled pair might fail to stop a bad guy with a vest.

      BTW, I have adopted the FS shooting stance, two handed (30 degree angled toward strong side) with support side arm bent considerably. Haven’t done much one-handed shooting since the bullseye competitions.

      Great article, as usual. Now that I have read this latest one, I will reflect on whether I have anything significant to contribute…as we had started to discuss earlier ;-)

      Thanks so much for being out there, Bud.


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