I have never been an advocate for grip angle making a difference because all of my guns have sights. And saying that you can’t shoot a Glock because it “points” low is like saying I can’t shoot that target because it is too low. All you need to do is put the sights on the target and press the trigger. Accurate shooting really is that simple.
However, over the past two weeks I haven’t been able to think of much else than what makes a good holster design (I’m sick I know), but I think I have decided 50% of a good design is how well it fits with your body mechanics. If that is true, then it should also be true for the gun as well… right?
I believe the grip angle affects how efficiently the gun performs for you at three critical times.
1) When you are shooting a gun you want to be in a relaxed, athletic posture and having a gun the naturally “points” well is important to being able to make fast, accurate hits. However, you may want to think about what you are shooting at. Are you shooting at a typical IDPA or IPSC level target at 7yds or a Bullseye target at 25yrds?
If you are exceptionally tall, a standard IDPA target might force you to shoot downward frequently, so a lower natural point of aim may be better. If you are more diminutive, you might find yourself shooting upwards at those close targets. (At longer distances the angles aren’t as drastic)
2) When you are establishing your master grip the angle of the grip should be at the same angle your hand falls naturally to reach the gun. This angle changes based on how high or low the gun sits in the holster and where around the circumference of the body the holster is worn. At 1st it may seem that this affects the holster decision and not a gun decision but since all of our gear is part of a system it affects both.
If the cant of the muzzle is important to you because you want a straight drop for IDPA or you want the muzzle sightly forward for appendix carry, you may want to consider the grip angle to help you establish a good master grip naturally on the draw.
3) When you are simply carrying the gun in the holster the grip angle and its length affect the guns concealability as well as its center of gravity. A more severe grip angle (like a Glock or Styer) allow the muzzle to be more forward in relation to the (less cant) for any grip position. This makes it less likely to print and allows the center of gravity of the gun to stay closer to the muzzle. This allows the holster to be narrower and have the belt loops closer together and still have an even weight distribution.
For me, the more severe grip angle “points” naturally, for a mid-chest shot on an average sized man between 3-10 yards, and allows me to use less cant in my holsters increasing concealability making it better for me.
I would love to see similar photos from others to see what their mechanics would suggest as a “proper” grip angle.
Written by by Ron Larimer