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Thread: Hand and grip size, am I overthinking things?

  1. #1
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    Hand and grip size, am I overthinking things?

    So, short version - I have XL+ hands give or take, and I'm finding that certain firearms/grips leave me at the point where my support hand isn't making contact with the firearm at all...which means recoil control isn't all that great.

    An example of this - a Beretta PX4 Compact with the large backstrap and grip tape on it; if I grip it with my strong hand firing grip ready for my support hand to meet it, if I take a dummy 45ACP cartridge, I cannot grip or squeeze it in the space between my index and ring fingers, and the meat of my thumb. I can't even orient them in such a way where that's possible; there's plenty of support hand grip space available on the gun for the support hand to make contact with the grip/frame without needing to move anything on my shooting hand.

    However if I try this on a CZ75/P01, I can very easily take control of and pick up a 45acp dummy by squeezing it between my strong hand middle/ring finger and the meat of my thumb, while in a shooting grip, without adjusting anything. Since my support hand isn't made of silicone putty, it basically never touches the grip/frame...it just can't really squeeze in the tiny amount of available grip space on the support hand side of the gun. Not unless I back the rear of my shooting hand off the backstrap a bit to let my support hand wedge in and make contact with the support side, which is what I wind up doing.

    On a 1911 with a flat mainspring housing, I can grip the dummy 45 with a slight shooting hand adjustment; with the arched mainspring housing, I can only grip it if I mess up my grip a lot. Same with a Beretta 92 (NON-Vertec); it's only if I deliberately crowd the frame into a grip I wouldn't normally shoot with that I can pinch the 45 dummy round between finger and meat.

    Anyway - the reason for this - I bought the aforementioned P01 ages ago; I like the CZ platform, I like that it's a decocker without a thumb safety; I like that it's G19+- sized with 14+1 (or more depending on mag size); I like that it's millable for an optic; and I like that you can mount a light to it. I spent a good bit of money on CGW bits and making some improvements to it like sights; DA pull is around 7.5 pounds and SA is a mushy 3lb (which is fine for me, I'm not shooting this in bullseye). I found though that whenever I took it out for practice, it was pretty difficult to keep total control over it; it would move around a lot under recoil...because the rear of my shooting hand was backed off the backstrap so my support hand could make contact with the grip. I also found that often after a few mags at the range, my support hand kept just slipping off no matter what I did since there was so little real estate for it to lock into on the gun.

    Am I overthinking this? Is this something I should just work/train around, or is this something I should actually pay attention to and try to fit things to me, vs fit me to things? I've been trying to whittle down and remove things that I just can't make work for me, but there's this nagging voice in the back of my head saying 'Don't sell this stuff, it's a "you" problem and not a problem with the tool'..

    Visual examples (all firearms rendered safe before photographing):

    PX4:

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    CZ P01:

    Name:  IMG_1766-cripped.jpg
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  2. #2
    Deadeye Dick Clusterfrack's Avatar
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    @Evil_Ed, I donít think you are overthinking it. Many top shooters recommend the largest grip you can use and still have a good trigger pull and operate the mag release and slide lock.

    Lok Bogies palmswell grips might be worth a try on your CZs. But some guns just donít fit some people.
    "You can never have too many knives." --Joe Ambercrombie
    Shabbat shalom, motherf***ers! --Mordechai Jefferson Carver

  3. #3
    I also have the large hands and some E.T. Fingers which makes most gun too small and I just crush the heck out of my SH fingers. For my SP01 and Shadow 2 I went went with the SSI scales 4.0 which fit nicely, but if you prefer to use G10, LoK will let you order specific thicknesses (currently on hold until 2023)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clusterfrack View Post
    @Evil_Ed, I donít think you are overthinking it. Many top shooters recommend the largest grip you can use and still have a good trigger pull and operate the mag release and slide lock.

    Lok Bogies palmswell grips might be worth a try on your CZs. But some guns just donít fit some people.
    The grips currently on it are "LOK Grips Compact CZ 75 Palm Swell Checkered G10 Grips" via Amazon...so, palmswells but checkered, not Bogies. And they do feel nice, just...small. I think it's more a front-to-back length thing than a width thing, to be honest..

  5. #5
    I think you are on to something here. You have found that the CZ doesn't work well for you. Oh well. Even though you like a lot of it's features, to me it simply is not the gun for you. The good thing is that there are so many good guns available now that you won't have a problem. OTOH, before dumping the CZ, experiment w/ modding the grip. If nothing else, grab some thick tape and build up the back strap so you make the front to rear dimension longer. If you find that makes the gun work better for you, then figure a way to do it more professionally.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil_Ed View Post
    Big hand problems
    I do not think you are overthinking this at all. I think it is really important to fit a pistol to your hand in order to reach your potential when shooting aggressively at a predictive pace. I believe fitting a gun to create space for your support hand is the most important priority above trigger length of pull (reach) then magazine release, and lastly slide release.

    It is a lot harder to prevent the gun from slipping inside your grip when you have a tiny amount of contact with your support hand on the frame of a pistol. In my opinion the technique of burying your firing hand fingers into your support hand palm is a viable but lesser technique that should be saved for circumstances when you don't have the option of making a too-small grip larger.

    The technique of flagging your firing hand thumb up and away from the backstrap on presentation to expose the back edge and create space for your support hand when building a two hand grip is my preferred method. I initially learned from watching slow motion video of Stoeger building his grip on the draw. Many others such as Mike Seeklander and TPC advocate for this grip building method.

    One other idea to toss around is experimenting with the beavertail not being centered in the web of your firing hand. If you cheat the web around where the center of the beavertail is in line with the base of your firing hand thumb you may be able to create enough space on the support side of the pistol to make a small grip work. I know this is against what a lot of instructors have advocated (Todd Jarrett comes to mind) but others have achieved success with it depending on the platform (Hwansik Kim).

    The PX4 pic shows a minimum amount of space for support hand contact. The CZ shows an insufficient amount of space that will likely require a software work around, especially since you have already swapped the stock panels for palm swells.

    I think experimenting with a platform with adjustable backstraps that allows you to significantly increase front to back length (Glock Gen4/5, etc.) might be a good idea as a last resort.

  7. #7
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    Ok, great - thank you all for the feedback; it's nice to know I'm at least in the ballpark with my thinking that this could be an issue. It's why I never looked at a Sig P365 in any way seriously, and honestly wondered how the hell people could shoot that with any expertise...it's just too small to get any kind of grip with.

    The P01 is perfect in every way except the grip. If there were a way to make a cut-down CZ97 frame work with it...sigh.

    Quote Originally Posted by LukeNCMX View Post
    I think experimenting with a platform with adjustable backstraps that allows you to significantly increase front to back length (Glock Gen4/5, etc.) might be a good idea as a last resort.
    This is one of the reasons why I've been lately on a CZ P07 and PX4 movement; the large backstrap on them both fit me very well. The HK P30 as well, to an extent; the large backstrap plus the large palm swells seem to work though there really isn't a huge contact patch for my support hand. I've got a couple Gen5 Glocks, and a nice Gen3 G21 which works really well...I just wish the things I actually wanted to use/carry/train with were all as ergonomically elastic.

  8. #8
    Member feudist's Avatar
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    You can always try the Lost River mod to increase front to back length.
    Take a piece of a leather belt, or some such, and tape it to the backstrap of the grip to increase the trigger LOP.
    While ugly(but it is concealed, right?) it would at least see if that's a productive line of inquiry.

  9. #9
    Focus JCN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evil_Ed View Post
    Ok, great - thank you all for the feedback; it's nice to know I'm at least in the ballpark with my thinking that this could be an issue. It's why I never looked at a Sig P365 in any way seriously, and honestly wondered how the hell people could shoot that with any expertise...it's just too small to get any kind of grip with.

    The P01 is perfect in every way except the grip. If there were a way to make a cut-down CZ97 frame work with it...sigh.

    This is one of the reasons why I've been lately on a CZ P07 and PX4 movement; the large backstrap on them both fit me very well. The HK P30 as well, to an extent; the large backstrap plus the large palm swells seem to work though there really isn't a huge contact patch for my support hand. I've got a couple Gen5 Glocks, and a nice Gen3 G21 which works really well...I just wish the things I actually wanted to use/carry/train with were all as ergonomically elastic.
    2011?

    It's too bad they don't make a TSO compact. That gun has a longer front to back dimension because of the magazines.

  10. #10
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    Before my daughter was born and I had more time to shoot I put 5000+ rounds in one year through a couple of HK P2000 pistols. I know that is a tiny number compared to most posters here, but it was about 4900 more than most of the gun nuts that I know shoot in a year, and thatís when a lot of things clicked for me with pistol shooting. I loved that pistol for the XL grips. I have large hands with extra long fingers. The large backstrap on the P2000 felt good, and I used that for a while, but I tried the XL grips and though they felt awkward, I really liked the way my finger interacted with the trigger through the entire length of pull, and the grip had plenty of open room for my support hand. This was four years ago, before I found pistol-forum, so I was groping about in the dark on my own.

    I moved on from the P2000 because optic mounting is an expensive proposition with that platform, so Iím trying to like Glocks. Iím still a novice, but figuring out how to properly judge the suitability of a grip for me was a huge step. If the grip doesnít fit nothing else matters. Itís like a nice pair of running shoes, it doesnít matter what theyíre made of, or who else wears them, if they donít fit your feet itís not going to work. It actually helps me handle the occasional case of new gun lust. I can fondle it for a few minutes at the store and tell if itís going to work for me or not.

    Iím sure more skilled and experienced shooters can find ways to work around an ill sized grip, but my resources, especially time, are very limited, so I make the most out of what fits me.

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