Friday, September 11, 2015

Is The Size of your Handgun Compromising Your Effectiveness?

Is The Size of your Handgun Compromising Your Effectiveness?

Buying a handgun that accurately suits you is not a trivial process. Whereas it is true that purchasers can walk into any gun shop and purchase the first firearm that looks cool, more forethought is strongly suggested. I often suggest to new first-time purchasers that they strongly consider taking the CPL Class before buying a firearm just so that they can have the benefit of Module Five where several handgun buying considerations are discussed.
The most common reason, given to me by first-time firearm buyers who choose to buy the handgun ahead of enrolling into a firearm safety class, is that they want to practice with their firearm before taking a class. I can appreciate the sentiment but it is all for naught if a non-optimally sized gun is purchased.
I am mindful that anyone in this current "Information Age" with at least an Internet enabled phone can research the subject aptly before making a buying decision. In actual practice, based on the people whom I come into contact with, there seems to be a greater reliance on the suggestions made by the salesman at the gun shop than articles posted on the Internet.
Many handgun consideration are critical and a relatively few others usually are resolved via personal preferences. It is not my goal to speak disparagingly of salesmen at gun shops, however, some apparently do a less than optimal job of suggesting an appropriately sized firearm to new buyers.
One very important handgun purchasing consideration is "Fit." If the handgun does not properly match up with the buyer's hand, he will have an up-hill challenge of being able to handle it and accurately shoot it.
The handgun should "feel" good in your hand. I realize that trying to verbally describe a physical sensation might be as difficult as trying to explain a color to a sight impaired person, however, it is important. A new firearm buyer should try holding and displaying a variety of different guns and assessing which models "feel" better to hold.
Usually, a person with large hands "should" buy a full-sized firearm. Conversely, a person with small hands "should" buy a smaller sized firearm. I am sure that the aforementioned advice does not come across as difficultly as "rocket science" might to a lay-man but the fit of the firearm to the hand is often botched.
Compromises in the operational handling and efficiency of the firearm could also be due to the obstinacy on the behalf of a buyer. If a buyer already irrevocably has made up his mind on the size of the gun regardless of other factors, then the gun shop salesman as a businessman will make the deal. After all, the customer is always right. A perceived slight might result in a lost sale.
Recently, I had a coaching client with large hands who wanted me to help her accurately shoot her subcompact pistol. Predictably, operational issues surfaced such as the difficulty of inserting the magazine up into the well while needing to move two fingers of her shooting hand out of the way. Additionally, it was not so easy to get a good grip on the firearm's frame both before shooting and immediately after discharging it. Moreover, proper trigger finger placement on the trigger was also an issue.
Alternatively, I have coached clients in the past with small hands who had purchased full-sized firearms. In these cases, operational issues also surfaced. Not only was an inability of surely gripping the frame problematic but also issues with proper trigger finger placement also surfaced. Furthermore, there was also an added operational issue of not being able to engage the magazine detach button with the thumb on the shooting hand.
The size of a handgun's frame does indeed influence the fit of it to a shooter's hand and will impact operational effectiveness. Additionally, the size of the firearm also affects concealability, comfort, recoil, and capacity.
Buying a handgun is truly not a trivial decision and requires considerable forethought before completing the deal. As such, I strongly endorse trying out several firearms and conducting research before purchasing one.

About The Author
Rick Ector is a National Rifle Association credentialed Firearms Trainer, who provides Michigan CCW Class training in Detroit for students at his firearms school - Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit.

Ector is a recognized expert in firearm safety and has been featured extensively in the national and local media: Associated Press, UPI, NRAnews, Guns Digest, Tactical-Life, The Truth About Guns, The Politics Daily, Fox News Detroit, The Detroit News, The Detroit Examiner, WJLB, WGPR, and the UrbanShooterPodcast.

For more info about free shooting lessons for women and Michigan CCW Classes, please contact:

Rick's Firearm Academy of Detroit
Phone: 313.733.74

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