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How to hold a pistol

  1. Aug 21, 2015 #1

    DaveC426913

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    It is popular to see (modern) gangsters holding their guns horizontally (roll, not pitch), as opposed to the usual upright.

    I was discussing this with a gun friend. He insists that there is no reason whatsoever for it but for trying to look cool (or stupid, if you are trained in gunfare), and it is actually terrible for aim.

    I was under the impression that it has its roots in a twisted form of efficiency. The idea is that, in a firefight, your targets are pretty indiscriminate. While firing rapidly (and therefore with poor bracing and setting), the kick-back - may spoil your aim - but it results in a more likely hit on other targets of opportunity in the crowd of an opposing gang.

    Any merit to this?
     
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  3. Aug 21, 2015 #2

    Bystander

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    Terrible for control of recoil. Plus --- big point --- why hide half your field of view behind your hand.
     
  4. Aug 21, 2015 #3
    Are you saying you've heard "gangstas" claiming this, or that it just seemed like an explanation that made sense?
     
  5. Aug 21, 2015 #4

    ShayanJ

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    Is it from your experience with your so many gangster friends or from movies?
    If its the former, I suggest you think twice about your friends.
    Anyway, I don't think any of those gangsters holding their gun like that, were in any way important people in their gangs. Its better to learn (and choose friends) from the heads.
     
  6. Aug 21, 2015 #5

    DaveC426913

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    Yes, that's what I meant.
    Terrible for aim - of all shots after the first. :)

    The latter. It's possible that I didn't come up with the idea, but the provenance of the idea is lost.

    Not sure I follow. Where did status come in?
     
  7. Aug 21, 2015 #6

    ShayanJ

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    From my experience with these movies. I've never seen any gangster leader or any high level criminal holding their guns like that.
     
  8. Aug 21, 2015 #7

    DaveC426913

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    You must have a discriminating eye, and a good memory. Are you watching for this detail?

    I wonder if Hollywood is biasing it: Side-holders look like punks. Straight holders look seriously dangerous.
     
  9. Aug 21, 2015 #8

    ShayanJ

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    Not sure how good my memory is. Also I don't watch for this much detail but usually it attracts my attention if some criminal hold their gun like that. So although I don't remember all such movies clearly, such style is attached to being a low level criminal in my mind. Which I can only interpret as seeing such a style dominantly being used by low level criminals.
     
  10. Aug 22, 2015 #9
    Here's something:

    https://thebsreport.wordpress.com/2...-sideways-gun-jams-and-police-shoot-him-dead/
     
  11. Aug 22, 2015 #10

    russ_watters

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    My first time firing a pistol, I shot a lot of thighs. "Pulling" the trigger instead of squeezing it results in missing low....but at least I hit the target. If you hold a gun sideways and do the same thing, you miss right by several feet.

    ....and that was holding the gun properly, which is to say, with two hands. Guns are heavy and you can't hold a gun steady at arms-length with one hand, upright or sideways.

    IIRC, my military 9mm qual included 3 distances; 5m, 10m and 15m, with the 5m range being one-handed and the others two-handed.

    [edit] er, more complicated than I remember: http://www.military.com/join-armed-forces/navy-weapons-qualification-course.html
     
  12. Aug 22, 2015 #11

    OCR

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    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  13. Aug 22, 2015 #12

    Choppy

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    One issue with movies is that what's shown is shown for dramatic impact and not necessarily a reflection of reality. If you show a criminal holding a weapon sideways it can make the weapon seem larger - covering a portion of his or her face when the screenshot it head-on, or simply making the relative size of the weapon larger and appear therefore appear more imposing. It can also portray a character motivated and driven my emotion rather such that the discipline of a "proper" stance/grip is sacrificed and shows that the characters is somehow off balance.

    As far as real life gangsters go, it's important to remember that you'll have a whole spectrum of people who are armed. While some of them may have in fact had training with the weapons, I suspect a lot of them start out as kids who have a firearm handed to them with no more training than "this is the dangerous end" and a sixty-forty chance that the "instructor" is pointing to the muzzle.
     
  14. Aug 25, 2015 #13
    I think it's the hidden society training morons to be even stupider.
     
  15. Aug 25, 2015 #14
    I have never hold one before. I think I have to hold one big hand gun with two hands, one firmly grabs the holder on from one side and the other from the other side but slightly upward to tightly and wholly embrace the grip. If the grip is longer, half of my hand will be overlapped with half of another for no sliding up and down to occur but still I can firmly grab it and enjoy its force to push back my hands every time the bullets come out.
    And nooo...I'm not going to point the gun right straight into my face. That's a bad omen!
     
  16. Aug 25, 2015 #15
    I think this idea comes from the media. Gang members are typically portrayed as ignorant and primitive. Holding the gun sideways symbolizes that the gang member does not have the mental capability to hold the firearm properly. It is a means of dramatic effect. The only way I see holding a firearm sideways while firing being viable, is when an enemy is behind cover or at a hard to reach angle. Since the enemy cannot be shot without exposing oneself to physical injury, you fire the gun sideways creating suppressing fire, which will help the attacker maneuver into a more strategical position. Ussually done in a twisting corridor or warehouse.

    Which is idiotic. Firing a weapon sideways lowers accuracy and it can cause physical injury due to recoil.

    My favorite handgun is a Colt .38 super. I can empty a clip real fast and accurately.
     
  17. Aug 25, 2015 #16
    And gang members do not hold their weapons sideways. It is common knowledge in the US that the military has a severe gang problem. Gang members are joining the military and getting combat training. Once their service is up, these gang members go back into the neighborhood and train fellow members in these tactics. Not to mention to gun smuggling that is happening straight out of the armory.
     
  18. Aug 25, 2015 #17

    DaveC426913

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    Of course it does, but you are applying your formal training to a different situation. In a firefight, accuracy is less of an priority. It ends to be more of a suppressing hail of bullets. More important that stray shots hit someone (anyone) in the crowd than go over their heads.

    I'm not convinced your antecedent follows from your subsequent.
     
  19. Aug 25, 2015 #18
    Anyone who's wondering about this need only fire a gun to realize how useless, stupid, and ineffective it would be to try and fire a gun, held sideways at arm's length. Unless you're shooting BB's, you will have zero control over the recoil. Plus you have no sites to aim with.

    Dave you can't fire a gun if you can't control it's movement. Your suggestion that holding it sideways somehow produces a "hail of bullets" just doesn't make sense. You can fire a weapon much more rapidly when held with two hands in a standard grip than you ever could held in the "gansta" fashion. Anyone who tried to engage in a shoot-out with that technique would quickly be dead.
     
  20. Aug 25, 2015 #19

    DaveC426913

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  21. Aug 25, 2015 #20

    Bystander

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    "You're not using sites in a close range firefight."
    Those who do not use sights do not hit targets.
    "... if you are firing sloppily enough, the recoil results in your weapon more likely pointing at another target"
    If you are in that "target rich" a situation (angle subtended by opposition exceeds 180), drop, and let them blow each other away.
     
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