Gun Control means Using Both Hands - ITS Tactical

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Gun Control means Using Both Hands

By Chris Sajnog

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Please join us in welcoming former Navy SEAL and current Director of Training at Center Mass Group, Chris Sajnog as a contributor on ITS Tactical.

I live in the Socialist Republic of California, where we take gun control to the extreme. I’m not too sure  of the exact language of all the gun laws we have here, but I’m pretty sure you can still possess a BB-gun as long as it is a single-load, one-pump deal and you use soft rubber projectiles.

Because of all the  restrictions on capacity, we need to make sure every shot we fire finds its mark. In the other 49 states  across our Great Nation, feel free to spray and pray, but when in the Republic…Gun Control rules the  day.

Today I’m going to address three amendments that need to be added to the current list of gun control  laws. By enacting these laws, you will find that not only will your rounds will be delivered safely to their  intended target, but you will even save money by wasting less ammunition.

Law # 1: Stand and Deliver

The first law in our amendment is an aggressive stance. This means having your body weight leaning  forward towards your target. During a gun fight you’re not going to be able to figure out what  percentage of weight is on our toes or your heels, so get that idea out of your head right now.

Just lean  into the shot with a low, wide stance. Due to the many positions your lower body may find itself in  during a gun fight, it’s important that you learn to control the gun with your upper body. Keep it simple:  Lean forward.

Law # 2: Get a Grip

How you grip your favorite firearm is vital to gun control. This is the junction between yourself and the  explosion going off in your hand, so it needs to be solid. Make sure that you have a gun that fits your  hand. This isn’t possible for the military or most law enforcement groups, but maybe that’s why some  of the gun control laws don’t apply to these groups.

If you’re planning on buying a gun, make sure  you try it out in your hand before making the purchase. You need to be able to wrap your hand around  the grip with your forearm in a straight line behind the gun and your trigger finger needs to be able to  press straight back on the trigger without dragging along the side of the gun. Be sure to read my last  article, You Want Me to Do What with My Finger? to dispel any myths you might have on  finger placement.

When you grip the gun, make sure that the forearm of your strong hand is in line with pistol. Your hand  also needs to be as high up the gun as possible. In a perfect world you would have your hand directly  behind the barrel, but most guns have moving parts up there making this impossible. Keeping this in  mind, your hand should be high enough on the grip so the webbing of your hand is compressed on the  beaver-tail. Wrap your hand around the gun and make sure your trigger finger is not riding along the  side of the grip as this can pull the gun off target as you press back on the trigger.

If you’re using a two-handed technique (and I suggest you do whenever possible), the support or  reaction hand should be placed with the palm of the hand filling the space on the grip left by the strong  hand. To do this your support hand should be angled down at about a 45-degree angle. Some people  teach a 60/40 grip for how hard you should be gripping the gun. I teach a 100/100 grip since that’s what  you’re going to do in combat and it’s best to think about how you’re going to drop the threat rather  than how hard you’re squeezing the gun with each hand. Both your thumbs should be pointing forward.  I’ve found that the more things you have pointed at your target, the better chance you have at hitting it.

Now that you’ve got the perfect grip, put the gun back in the holster and take the time to note the  position of your hand. Your grip needs to be established in the holster and you need to practice getting  the right grip every time. Did I hear someone say dry-fire? Practice drawing the gun from its holster and  bringing it up on target making sure you have the right grip. Once you’ve got the thing out in your hand,  the grip you’ve got is the one you’re going to shoot with, make sure you get it right.

Law # 3: Control of Assault Weapons

Author demonstrating improper support hand postition.

The grip for the firing hand of a carbine is the same as a pistol. The gun is controlled with support hand,  leaving the strong hand to concentrate on fire-control. Before I talk about the forward grip of the  carbine, I need to talk about accessories such as lights or lasers. Before you start tricking out your bang-stick with cool-guy gear, make sure you can shoot it accurately.

Take it out to the range and establish a  solid shooting position and note where your forward hand grips the gun. Now look at the open space  you have available, this is where you need to mount accessories. I see a lot of guys on the range saying  they can’t grip the gun properly because something is in the way. Don’t let the tail wag the dog! You  need to be able to shoot effectively first or that cool new light is not going to do you any good.

Author demonstrating proper support hand position

Now that we’ve cleared the playing field, grip your gun as far out on the gun as possible. I ask my  students; if you were going to nail a 2×4 to a wall and only had two nails, where would you put the nails  to give you the most support? The answer is always the same, as far apart as possible. If you want to  support your gun, you need to do the same thing. There are a number of different ways to grip the  gun, but it’s important that some part of your hand is above the level of the barrel.

The recoil of the  gun is going to kick the gun up. If you’re trying to hold the gun from underneath, it’s going to recoil  up every time. For the same reason it’s important that you take that hinge-point (elbow) out of the  equation. Most people I see on the range shoot with the support elbow directly beneath the gun giving  the weapon a perfect hinge to move around. By simply rotating the arm out to the side, you eliminate  the hinge and are better able to control the gun. As with the pistol I like to point anything I can at the  target. In this case, depending on your grip, you can either point your thumb or your index finger.

Gun Control: It’s your American Duty!

Help keep this land safe by following the gun control laws listed in this amendment. Write to your  Senators and Congressmen and ask that these be brought up on the house floor for debate. I would  love to hear what Senators Reid and Pelosi have to say about this important topic! What are your  thoughts?

Editor-in-Chief’s Note: Please join us in welcoming Chris Sajnog as a contributor on ITS Tactical. Chris is a former Navy SEAL and the Director of Training for Center Mass Group, started by two retired Navy SEAL Instructors. Giving people the experience of being trained by the most elite combat unit in the world, Chris is currently a Maritime-Counter-Terrorism and advanced marksmanship Instructor who has trained DOD, DHS, FBI, CIA and multiple foreign allies in all aspects of combat weapons handling, marksmanship and Maritime Operations.

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  • Juan

    Well, besides the voiced political opinion you seem to have, I think it’s a very good and interesting article. A lot of great points and recommendations, that I am totally planning on practicing at the range.

    And besides, I also live in California, and I know things aren’t so bad here. If anything, I love this state :]

    • Juan: Glad you like the article and the state! Although the weather is nice, I would like to be able to choose my barrel length. I hope the pointers help.

    • Craig

      I love the State but not their B.S laws n restrictions… States not the problem but their politicians etc

  • Ian

    That is an interesting grip on the magpul AFG. I recently put the smaller AFG on my AR and I used the whole grip with my pinky and ring finger in the lower area, and middle finger on the upper area, my pointer along the side of the hand guard for my accessories pressure switch and thumb on top of the rifle. I figured I should use the entire afg, but that does move my hand back further. When I get home I will try gripping like that. I’m sure I could activate the light with my palm when squeezing with that grip.

    I am new to this site and went back to read your previous article, please keep the articles coming! There is a huge difference in the most accurate way to shoot and the most effective in a bad situation.

    • Thanks Ian!
      Everyones body is built a little different, so do whatever works for you. Either way, it’s always good to try a different technique.


  • Espen

    I really like this, its important to know!

  • Michael Adams

    Thanks for your article Chris.

    I’m confused about the picture you posted describing the “proper” support hand position. It appears that your thumb is obscuring the front sight, which also happens to be flipped down. Maybe it’s just a trick of the lens. Maybe in this example you are using an optic instead.

    Can you explain this a little better, I’m not following…


    • Good eye Mike! I actually took those pictures in my bedroom and wasn’t concerned with a good site picture. The site is down, but when it’s flipped up (forward) my thumb goes where the site is in the picture and is well out of view of the front site. I keep my thumb on top of it when it’s down and I’m using optics, so I can slide it off to the side to pop it up when needed.
      One lens trick that did happen and someone commented on our website is that it looks like my elbow is locked out and my elbow is actually bent.
      Thanks for keeping me on my toes. I’ll have to do a better job setting up shots in the future!

    • Michael Adams

      Thanks Chris!

    • Mike,

      I’m using an Aimpoint in the picture. I keep iron sites down when in use and slide my hand a little further forward (every inch helps!).

      Hope this helps!


  • Cervantes

    Very informative read. I was trrained in the USMC to hold the rifle in the position you mentioned.Even when choking up on the M16 during combat training, I don’t recall the instruction to turn the forward grip to change the angle of the elbow.
    Great pointer, hope I never have to employ it outside of range time.

    • Hope it helps there Devil Dog! My fighting days ended 2-years ago when I retired from the Navy so I’m not likely to need it off the range as well. I’m happy to continue my service by helping others to carry on the good fight. Stay safe and shoot straight.

  • “Dr.”Dave

    Not everyone owns a 6 pound ar-15 and shoots it at under fifty yards. Try that grip on an FN-FAL with a loaded twenty round magazine and try and hit something at a hundred yards. Then try using some bone support to prop it up instead of just muscle. You’ll notice that front sight wiggle around a LOT less.

    The grip you talk about is excellent for certain rifles and certain applications. I just wana throw it out there that sometimes accuarcy is more important than controiling recoil, and shooting from a stable platform where you’re not putting so much muslce work into holding the rifle can be important.

    • Great point Dr Dave! I hope I didn’t confuse you into thinking this was the only way to shoot a weapon. As the Navy SEAL that was hand-selected to write the curriculum for our Scout/Sniper course, I can certainly appreciate what it takes to make an accurate shot.

  • Jeremy Jackson

    I also live in the fascist state of Cali…where you can own a “pink” single shot pump bb gun, that has a red steamer hooked to the front that says AIR PROJECTILE BB Cal with signs that you have to wear on three visible sides of the body, so that under trained or blind “peace” officers can visibly see, so that they don’t shoot you thinking it is an assault rifle, only based upon its looks and not of the actual inner workings of it of course.

    I was at a mall in San Jose over the weekend and met up with a guy that was open carrying. Of course he had full mags, none in the chamber and no mag loaded. I first started out by asking to shake his hand. Not too many people even carry anymore. After explaining that too him, he stated that its a bit of a curse. He then looked around and said, every “swinging d!ck” cop will stop you to do a “safe gun check”. Not more than 30 seconds later he gets approached by two cops with me standing there, to do just that.

    They were very unprofessional in there language, asking him if he was stupid, in a gang, why he needed to carry that, I could go on. I then asked the cops,”you can visually tell that their is no…I was told that I “needed to shut the F*ck up”. Then they offered to “lock me up” for “interfering with an investigation”. I then asked them in what manner? I never touched anyone and I maintained their 6-10′ reactionary gap (you know the one they are trained to maintain from all persons), that from there lack of attention, they did not ask me to step back, I did for them. (what are they “investigating? what crime was committed? what was the “probable cause?)

    This is where the problem of “gun control” stems from. They don’t want to spend the money to properly screen “peace officer” candidates (who later turn into cowboys who do and say what they like and have no repercussions later), and train them to ensure they represent their state, county, city properly. Lately in the news its been shoot first…investigate, “what went wrong”.

    • Christopher C.

      Glad I live in DFW the way ya’ll are talking about the gun control in California. Control being the foremost operative word too it seems. Gee wiz.

      Anyway, great article, I don’t own an assault rifle but the handgun part was a great piece for sure.

    • Warthog

      You guys in Cali have 3 categories of people out of control: politicians, cops and gangs.

      You need to jump the border into the US while it’s still legal. Cheers.

  • Aaron

    Actually New York State is pretty bad. No open carry, and we have to register each handgun by “amending” our pistol permits (a permit to merely own!) before we can even take possession of it.
    If someone with a pistol permit is firing their gun at a range and during a break someone next to you with no permit says, “hey, Nice 1911. May I fire a few downrange?” If the permittee lets the non-permittee shoot that weapon they are now at risk of a felony arrest! Insane!

    • Warthog

      Is that in the US?

  • Marty Black

    I harp on this all the time, not as eloquently of course, but I do stress control.

  • Rob

    Great article Chris. Im really confused on the grip for the AR, Ive never seen anyone shoot like that, is that standard for the mil or just spec ops? Is there a specific name for that type of grip and do you use it for most assault rifles regardless of model/make? Thanks!


    • Not everyone uses it and it will work with most weapons. As I noted in other replies, this is not for every shooting situation.

      Try it out on the range and then let me know what you think.


  • Tierlieb

    That style is quite modern and propagated by MagPul, who will happily sell you this angled foregrip, too. As “Dr.” Dave pointed out, it does not work very well with heavy rifles like most battle rifles. Works nicely on light rifles like those built for intermediate cartridges.

    Generally, this article is one well presented opinion. You’ll find different schools of thought for straight arm vs. bent arm (google “modern technique”, and compare it to all the modern detractors from Suarez to Hoffmann) and they all manage to get their shots placed, even under stress. Seems the main issue is how long it takes someone to adapt to the technique so it works under stress. And the jury is still out on that one.

    But just a short side note, because this really bugs me:
    “if you were going to nail a 2×4 to a wall and only had two nails, where would you put the nails to give you the most support? The answer is always the same, as far apart as possible” – actually, you’d put the nails at about 22% and 78% of the total length. Google “beam theory”, Euler-Bernoulli beam equation, Bessel or Airy.

    • Like you said, this is one theory and it works for me and those I’ve been teaching for 20+ years. Like anything I advocate, I always say if it doesn’t work for you, then you’d be stupid to use it.
      If you can’t wrap your mind around a simple analogy and “beam theory” makes sense to you, then go for it! Thanks for the references though, they will come in handy next time I’m in combat!

  • Rob

    Thanks. I tried looking those search terms up but didnt come across much for the rifle , it seems like it applies more to the pistol? I understand the leverage/support aspect of it, Ive just never seen someone hold their hand on top of the rail/barrel. I assume this technique is specific to that forward angled handle only?

  • Thanks Chris!
    Looking forward to attending classes at CMG.

  • Brian Roberts

    Thanks for the article. I am in my room practicing using your tips (with snap caps of course.) I am trying to establish a high grip on my pistol right out of the gate and smoothly bring the sights to my eye and then to the target. Which in my case is a splash of paint on a giant wall painting. Repetitive movements over and over until it is as natural as breathing. You SEAL guys really rock, and all of you guys are true unsung heroes. You guys are the epitome of elite warriors on the planet, thank you for serving.

  • Kenneth Fechtler

    Welcome Chris, and good article.

    Semper Fi

  • Rodriguez

    Since when is socialist a bad thing? I don’t understand using it in a derogatory fashion.

  • Mumashik

    If you look at your “No” picture you will see the man holding the gun with one hand is presenting 1/3rd. the body area towards the enemy as the man holding the gun with two hands.

    • Warthog

      Most concealed and even non-concealable bulletproof vests don’t protect the sides, only the front or the back of the torso.

      “Exposing” the side has a reason when behind a cover (wall corner, etc…) and in certain situations (like clearing a house) and you get to that side exposure to the left or to the right from the “isosceles stance”. How are you gonna do that if you train to expose only the left side (if you are right-handed)?

      Also the arms have a great deal of protection of the face and neck, which is very much diminished with the “side” stance.

      Frontal hit = one organ damage. Side hit = multiple organ damage.

      Get your head out of your ass before commenting.

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  • DragonFire819

    Looks like something out of Magpul Dynamics, no kidding

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