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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Most everoyne seems to either slap a T-grip or a new set of aftermarket stocks on to their older S&Ws with the "skinny" factory stocks, but I got curious as to how these stocks would behave if I just put my middle finger as high behind the trigger guard as I could, and shot from that position. Surprisingly, when I did this with my Model 19, my control improved.

It seems that my thumb curls nicely over the top of the skinny little stocks, and resting half on them, and half on the frame, provides me with a very secure grip. Also, because the sights line up best this way if I turn my wrist to the very bottom of its range of motion, there is never any question of whether I've got my wrist locked in the right position.

Is there any reason that gripping the gun this way would be wrong, or should I just shoot it this way, from now on? It seems to vastly improve my accuracy.
 

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I've been shooting revolvers since the mid-'80s, but it's only been a couple of years since I first noted that a very "high and tight" grip made my J-frames point perfectly; it also works with my K-frames. I have to say that my control isn't perfect, though, when I do this with the K-frames . . . unless I am very careful with my grip, the gun tends to wiggle somewhat in my hand between shots, causing me to have to re-grasp it to get it settled properly in my hand.

It's avoiding the "re-grasping" issue that leads me to want to go to aftermarket stocks or T-grips. I find that with an aftermarket stock such as the Hogue Bantam, the gun stays precisely where it started in my hand, and it still points perfectly.

Right now I'm still debating whether I should get a T-grip or Bantams for my 65-5 RB or keep the factory stocks and keep shooting the gun as it came from the factory. The fact that my gun is one of the few with front and rear serrations on the gripframe is one of the things that make me want to leave it "as is." I've been practicing dry-firing with the 65-5 in an effort to overcome the tendency toward "grip migration" through learned skill. I do find that forcing my middle finger up hard behind the trigger guard does take a bit more concentration on the draw, but I am finding that it's becoming more second-nature as I practice and practice. I think that aftermarket stocks and the T-grip allow folks to get good results without the practice that I've been undergoing. I'm not sure whether it's the lazy way out or not, but the fact that the grip that you describe allows such good results with the factory stocks makes me think that it was what S&W originally intended for these guns, and that most of us just never took the time to learn it (but rather took the easy way out by just slapping on different stocks or a T-grip). I must say that curling my thumb over the roundel on top of the factory stocks gives me a strong grip that seems to point more naturally than any aftermarket stock I've tried. (Interesting that S&W has given up and now just ships their revolvers with the Uncle Mike's/Butler Creek stocks, which actually don't fit me very well.)

(The other issue is, I believe, that we all get so excited about our new revolvers that we want to adorn and customize them, and new aftermarket stocks or a T-grip is a very easy way to do so . . . and it's a way that helps the gun to point well without the dryfire and drawing practice that I've spoken of.)

Chubbypigeon, I was excited to read your very able description of this method of shooting, because it's precisely what I've found to work for me, but I've never been able to describe it so well, and I've never read anyone else (Keith, Skelton, etc.) who discussed this technique. This is how I shoot the one 3" J-frame that I still have (a RB 36-1, with factory stocks and no T-grip), and how I've been shooting the aforementioned 65-5.

I have to say that, when shooting magnums, the triggerguard of the 65-5 does give my middle finger a bit of a knock using this technique. Nothing terrible, but another possible reason to migrate away from the factory stocks. I note that the Combat Magnums came with stocks that filled the gap between the trigger guard and the gripframe, and I suspect this was to address this issue.

However, my 65-5 and my J-frames are concealed a lot more than they're shot, and I believe my stocks should primarily reflect this (as long as they're capable of allowing me accurate fire). Given the practice that I'm undertaking, I believe that the "Chubbypigeon Method" is a very realistic means of utilizing these guns for precise pointing and delivering accurate fire. If my hand gets knocked up a bit in doing so, I suppose I can live with that.

Thank you for a very interesting thread topic. This is one of these things that I've thought a lot about, but that never occurred to me to be capable of discussion on the 'net. Your excellent description of the technique made that possible - I hope others join in and talk about this.
 

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Sorry to double-dip, but I had a couple more thoughts.

First is that you and I are both talking about S&W "service" aka "Magna" stocks. I first started doing the "Chubbypigeon Method" grasp after comparing the old-style short stocks on a post-war 5" M&P .38 that I had to the later service stocks. I was wondering why S&W made the switch, and this was how I got to experimenting with my grip and eventually found the grip that we're talking about.

I've always wondered whether I just lucked out in having a perfectly sized hand for these stocks. Since you got me thinking about it, I pulled out Ed McGivern's Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting, and - sure enough - he has quite a bit to say on the topic of handgun stocks. His Section 16 (p. 274-87 - the chapter is actually on "teaching the quick draw") goes into a lot of detail on the subject, and into great detail on the effect of thickness of revolver stocks on performance. He discusses grip adaptors (the Pachmayr progenitor of the Tyler T-grip and the S&W factory variant of the same) and states that the S&W "new" Magna stocks (the ones we're talking about on this thread) is "[t]he steadiest and most comfortable standard grips so far designed by anyone and exellently proportioned and well suited for fast double-action shooting and also quick-draw shooting."

The problem with McGivern is that he's not super easy to read, and that his book is geared toward teaching the reader how to do trick shooting - you almost have to read between the lines to glean what he thinks about grip technique.

This book is available from Midway, if anyone is interested.
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm glad I'm not the only one that's noticed this.

Some more thoughts I've had:

I think that a lot of people might be a tad uncomfortable with the web of their hand resting so near the hammer, but these folks would do well to remember that a DA revolver can't really bite like an automatic can.

This grip seemed to be the best one-handed grip I've ever discovered for any handgun. With two hands, I found it very useful to "stack" the off-hand index finger just beneath the trigger guard, rather than reaching around in front of it. This allowed me to use the extra leverage I gained by providing resistance so low against the stock to dampen muzzle flip. Moreover, just enough of the grip remains below the strong hand that I seem to be able to get leverage against it with my pinky, when using an Isoceles hold. Not so much in a weaver, though, but this seems more like a point-shooting technique to me, and isoceles and strong-hand-only generally work better for that, anyway.

Also, this technique makes the reasoning behind the deep curvature of the trigger abundantly clear, as I find that my finger seems to glide upwards along its length as squeeze. This has the added benefit of causing the pull to slow somewhat towards the end of travel, which seems to make tmy breaks a bit cleaner.
 

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Hi chubbypidgeon,

I don't really know if there is any right or wrong way to shoot the revolver with the narrow service stocks that you are refering too. Since hand shapes and mechanics vary from individual to individual, what is a great grip for you, may be awkward to me.

The important aspect of this is to be able to control and shoot the revolver accurately. If it works for you--go for it!

As Erich mentioned, there is a "trade-off" between comfort and concealability for a lot of people including me. I like the asthetics and concealability of the older skinny service stocks, but I can't control the revolver as well. In the end, there has to some sort of compromise.

As for my M-65-5 K frame, I am putting a set of RB checkered Target Factory Stocks on it. If they don't work out, then I will probably try a set of Pachmayer Compact Professional Stocks. They conceal well for me and are comfortable to shoot.

Chris
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I tend to put Hogue rubbers on mine.

There must have been a change in thinking a long the way somewhere though.

Josh wrote a piece here somewhere about why sights were so crappy for so long. His conclusion was people didn't use sights much on earlier handguns. Point and shoot. Possible I guess.

As for the grips, I think the proper handgun grip has changed radically in the past 30 years or so. Go back and look at the USGI instructions for the 1911, for instance. The gun is gripped lower than today. The thumb doesn't ride the slide safety. And it's gripped single handed.

I've tried to figure all this out on my 1930s M&P. Weak sights. Skinny grip. I believe the proper grip was lower than today, with perhaps more lateral palm pressure instead of the fore and aft pressure we're taught today.

On my j-frame, I've found that a tad-bit lower grip reduces recoil sting almost completely, but I couple this somehow with a kind of roll, or lean, of my wrist toward the hmmer area that keeps down muzzle flip. Hard to describe, but it works. (This is with the std Butler Creek or Hogues ior whatever mine is wearing.)

You'd think there'd be a USAF procedure manual for the M15, equipped with stock grips, that would demonstrate the previouslky correct procedure. The 15 was the std AP sidarm for long time. Never seen such a book though.

Also bear in mind, the science of ergonomics has come long way over the past 20 years. Design and function are more closely aligned than they once were. Some of those stocks may have been screwed on because they looked good and fit in with the Art-Deco fads of the day. Little consideration may have been given the notion that a different style might have aided accuracy by facilitating a better grip.

Max
 
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