Do you want to be a better shooter? Of course you do. We all want to be better shooters. Well, you can follow the advice of this (as the kids call it) “dank meme,” or you can take actual steps, such as increasing your grip strength, to improve your shooting.
First up, a stronger grip will always help your shooting. There are a couple of things you can do to improve your grip strength. You can start with a good old-fashioned grip-strength trainer. Get a couple of them; keep one handy at your workplace and in front of the TV at home. Squeeze often to build up your hand strength. The Gripmaster Hand Exerciser and a couple of other brands are designed to allow you to work individual fingers, but I find it odd that these only offer 9 pounds of resistance per finger. The trigger pull on some long, double-action revolvers is about 12 pounds.
So you might be better served doing some dry-fire training with your own gun. Sadly, most offices and workplaces frown upon dry-fire training in the common areas. But if you really want something that isolates the movement of your trigger finger, you can try the Trigger Trainer. For $45 on Amazon.com, the Trigger Trainer gives the closest you can get to the feel of a real pistol grip combined with a weighted spring to help you improve your trigger pull.
But don’t stop with hand strength. Good, strong forearms will also help you improve your shooting. Stronger forearms make for better shooting by ensuring you have a solid shooting platform and by helping to control recoil.
One of the best ways I know to strengthen forearms is the wrist roll-up. There are several companies making devices to help with wrist roll-ups, but, with a little ingenuity, you can create the workout gear yourself. Get a 1-foot length of 1.5-inch-diameter dowel and drill a hole through it at the 6-inch mark. Insert a 2-foot piece of 550 cord and make a knot in the end. Attach a weight on the other end. You get to choose how heavy you want to go.
Now, grab the dowel and, holding your arms straight out in front of you, roll your hands to raise and lower the weight. This should get your forearms burning before too long. (Holding your arms out straight will help your arm strength too.) I mean, think about it: If you do the wrist roll-up in an isosceles stance, you are mimicking the perfect shooting stance. I know I have told you that, in a fight, you will very rarely be in a perfect shooting stance, but being stronger is better, so get stronger.
The “Wall Drill”
After you have done your exercises, take some time to practice the “Wall Drill.” The “Wall Drill” is a dry-fire training sequence that gets you to focus on sight picture and trigger-finger discipline. To do the “Wall Drill” properly, unload your pistol and move all the ammo out of the training room. Now triple-check that your gun is unloaded. Come up to your standard shooting position, keeping the muzzle of your pistol within an inch of a plain wall. There should be nothing on the wall to distract you. Get the proper sight picture and, focusing intently on the front sight, operate the trigger in such a manner that you add no additional movement to the front sight. That means you will be pressing that trigger slowly — so slowly that you are not moving your sights. You should not see any bounce in the sight when the trigger breaks. Repeat this 10 times, resting as you need to.
Improving your marksmanship takes work. Stronger is better. Get stronger.
Consider these past blog posts for further reading:
- “Change Your Grip to Improve Your Shooting” by Kevin Michalowski
- “One Thing I’ve Learned About Grip,” by Mark Kakkuri
- “A Great Grip Helps,” by Kevin Michalowski
- “ArachniGRIP Slide Spider: Grip Enhancer for Your Pistol’s Slide,” by Scott W. Wagner
About Kevin Michalowski
Executive Editor of Concealed Carry Magazine Kevin Michalowski is a USCCA and NRA Certified Trainer and is a graduate of the Force Science Institute Certification Course. He has participated in training as both an instructor and a student in multiple disciplines. Kevin is also a fully certified law enforcement officer working part time for a small agency in rural Wisconsin.