The wrist of the gun hand is the most important joint in shooting a handgun. It can bend
upward or downward, inward or outward. It also tends to go to its strongest position as the
hand exerts strength.
This strongest position of the wrist is what I call its neutral position. This is
because when all the muscles that can flex the wrist in any direction are contracted, the
various tendons to which they connect will all be under equal or balanced tension.
To gain some insight on this position, close your eyes and make the tightest fist you can,
with the thumb up. Almost anyone who has not trained in a Japanese or Korean striking martial
art will, on opening his eyes, see some degree of outward flexion of the wrist.
If the sight picture is adjusted by motion of the wrist, the wrist will most likely return
to its strongest or neutral position as the trigger is pressed, particularly if the shooter has
any anticipation of recoil. This will direct the shot away from the original point of aim.
For this reason, the handgun should be grasped as firmly as possible, stabilizing the wrist
in its neutral position. Adjustments in sight picture should be made by the position of the feet
and motion at the other joints, such as ankles, knees, shoulders and neck.
If you don't have access to the books that I have mentioned, the position of the gun in the
hand to which I refer can be checked in the following manner:
Grasp the unloaded gun, with your finger out of the trigger guard and point it at the ground,
about a foot in front of you, while facing in a direction where you will be able to raise it
safely to eye level.
The gun should point straight to the ground. When you raise the arm to bring the gun to eye
level, the gun will point straight ahead, giving you either a coarse body index on a target
that you are facing squarely or a very rapid sight picture, with minimal flexing or twisting
of the neck.
A great deal of research suggests that most people will confront deadly threats by facing
them squarely and will focus on the threat, rather than on their sights. If, like me, your
primary shooting method is sighted fire, training in sighted fire with body mechanics
similar to those used for unsighted fire will give you the greatest
likelihood of hitting your threat under stress, whether you're using Plan A or Plan B.
Material is posted on this page for information and discussion only and
purports to be no more than the personal opinion of
Stephen P. Wenger.
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