A part of owning or even temporarily using a gun is knowing and practicing gun safety, there’s just no way around it. So if you’re a beginner shooter, you need to learn about trigger discipline, muzzle discipline, and of course gun grip. For today, we’ll discuss different gun grips, why it’s important to do so, what grip is best for you and your gun, and of course, we’ll also discuss what grips you shouldn’t do. Without further ado, here’s your guide to proper pistol grips!

How To Hold A Pistol? Benefits of a good pistol grip

Many beginning shooters complained about learning proper grips, and I’m sure many more beginners still complaining today, and more will complain in the future. So why should we learn a good pistol grip? Well, there are several reasons, but all of them should prevent your guns from flying out of your hands (even though you have weak grip strength).

Here are some benefits and features to practicing a proper pistol grip:

Recoil Control – When a round gets fired in a pistol, the recoil causes the muzzle to rise, and that’s why pistols have some of the worst recoils and accuracy. Failing to control recoil will almost guarantee you a gun flying off your hands and maybe landing onto your face. And I’m sure we can find videos like that on the internet.

Keeping your gun with you – Most people get guns for one reason, self-defense. And what do perps do with a gun pointed at them? They try to find a chance to disarm the person holding the gun. Let me tell you that if you’re someone who knows proper pistol grip, not only will you hold recoil but you’ll also prevent having your gun stolen in a crucial moment.

Accuracy – A proper pistol grip will give you accuracy in three ways; accuracy on the first shot, accuracy on repeating shots, and accurate sight aligning 

The first shot is most likely the most important shot you have to take in real-life situations. And most it’s most likely that you’ll need several shots on an improper grip before getting accurate. And that’s why a proper grip will help you get better first shots. While shooting several shots while also on a proper grip will help you get more accurate group shots by guiding your hand back to your target after being flung by recoil.

Lastly, mastering a good pistol grip will allow you to align your sights while shooting faster and better.

Proper Pistol grip

Pistol grips are a personal preference so there’s no point saying that one grip is the best for everyone, if you’re a beginner, I’d like to encourage you to try all of these grips and find the one that you’re most comfortable with and also making sure that your grip feels as natural as possible. But before starting there are important gun parts and terminologies that you need to know to make sure that you’ll understand our step-by-step instructions:

Backstrap – The rear portion of a gun grip.

Tang – The uppermost curved part of the back of a grip, meant to protect you from the hammer or slide.

Slide – The moving part on top of most recoil-operated semi-auto pistols, responsible for reloading and cycling ammunition. Prevent getting in the way of the slide since this can “bite” your hand.

Hammer – A Moving part that slams into your gun’s firing pin allowing your gun to fire. Not always outside so know what’s on your gun.

Safety – Prevents your gun from accidental firing. Know where your gun’s safety is located and adjust your grip so you wouldn’t accidentally disengage the safety.

Magazine Release – A button that’ll release your magazine for reloading, avoid gripping this. 

Trigger guard – Protects your trigger from accidental firing, keep your fingers away from the inside or front of this part.

Dominant hand – This is the hand that you’ll use to pull the trigger

Supporting hand – Your other hand meant for gripping and supporting the dominant hand. Also responsible for cocking hammers and pulling slides.

Chamber – A rotating chamber found on a revolver, it’s where rounds are loaded and fired.

With those taken care of, here are the proper pistol grips

Semi-Auto Pistol Grips 

  1. Start by gripping your pistol’s grip as near as you can without going over the tang or without getting in the way of the slide. 
  2. Grip the gun tight and make sure there are no gaps between your hand and your grip.
  3. Put your dominant middle finger against the bottom of the trigger guard while your index finger is straight and resting on the outside of the trigger guard. 
  4. Observe the remaining space open your grip. Now put your supporting hand and make sure to cover that open space with the thick part of your palm. Your supporting hand should also grip and support as much of your firing hand. 
  5. Put your supporting thumb straight and aligned with the slide
  6. Take your dominant thumb and press your supporting hand with it to ensure maximum grip strength. 
  7. You can also do a one-handed grip by removing the supporting hand, but make sure to learn the two-handed pistol grip first.

Revolver Pistol Grips

Revolvers are a far more different gun, and if you try to use the semi-auto pistol grip on a revolver pistol, it can cause injury to your thumb due to hot gas escaping the chamber or you might not be able to fire if you’re also gripping the rotating chamber. Although, gripping a revolver is still essentially the same as a semi-auto pistol grip except for thumb positioning. So here’s how to properly hold a revolver:

Two-Handed Revolver Grip – Wrapped thumbs

  1. Do a two-handed pistol grip (follow instructions above).
  2. Take your thumbs up
  3. Put your dominant thumb down onto the weapon frame and grip it. 
  4. Rest your supporting thumb onto the dominant hand, and use it to pull the hammer if you’re using a single-action revolver. 

Take note that this grip is not ideal for every revolver, especially if you’re hands are a bit small or too big. If you feel awkward or unnatural with this grip, try the next grip.

Two-Handed Revolver Grip – Tucked Thumbs

  1. Do a two-handed pistol grip (follow instructions above).
  2. Take your dominant thumb and tuck it on the side of the revolver. 
  3. Take your supporting thumb and press it onto the dominant thumb to complete the tuck.
  4. Use your supporting thumb to pull the hammer back.

And lastly, you can also do a single-hand grip on a revolver, but make sure you can reach the hammer with your dominant thumb and practice cocking it single-handedly without bullets to prevent any accidents later on.


Watch your supporting hands and thumbs to prevent gripping and engaging the slide release and magazine release on a semi-auto pistol. 

Prevent the webbing between your thumb and index finger from getting in the way of the slide or hammer in a semi-auto pistol as it can get bitten by the slide or hammer. 

Your webbing can also get in the way of the hammer on a double-action revolver and prevent it from firing. 

You can tilt the gun inward while on a one-handed grip to make your grip feel more natural and make recoil easier to handle. Just take note that the gun will always recoil upward relative to its position, so if you’re tilting it, the recoil will also be tilted.

When using a one-handed grip, tilt your body 90° so that your body is in-line with the gun. This is to ensure stability.


There you have the best ways to hold pistols. Make sure to practice your grips at your own risk and preferably on a gun range. Also, make sure to read other how-to and tutorial regarding gun safety. Have fun, stay safe!

🤔 Benefits and Features of a good pistol grip

Recoil Control – When a round gets fired in a pistol, the recoil causes the muzzle to rise, and that’s why...

🔍 Proper Pistol grip

Backstrap – The rear portion of a gun grip. Tang – The uppermost curved part ...