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Which Pistol is Right for You? Part 2 – The Grip and Magazine Release

In my first article I discussed how important a good grip is to provide the foundation for ease of operation and better grouping of rounds with your pistol. In this article I will discuss other issues you should consider with respect to a pistol’s grip and how it integrates with your hand to release a magazine. But first, here are one or two more thoughts on grips size as an update:

1) What about revolvers? The same fit questions apply. Here is how my hand fits a S&W model 29 .44 magnum. The grip is okay, but my trigger finger is still a little cramped: not the most comfortable set up. 2) Also, gun makers have figured out that not everyone is built the same, and are offering guns with grip sections that can change out to vary the size of the grip. I have seen M&P, Glock, and H&K models offered with this option, and there may be more. In my last article I mentioned that you should be able to easily reach things like the safety, slide release, and magazine release. This kind of goes without saying, but there is more to it than that. Here are some of tests you can do to see how you will get along with your gun when it’s time to reload.

First, lock the slide back with an empty magazine in the gun, and your finger off of the trigger. This is the state you will be in when the gun is empty after firing. Now try to actuate the mag release by only moving your thumb. How hard is the button to push? I tried this with the three guns from my last article, as well as with a Berretta P4 Storm. The only gun I could get to release by only moving my thumb was my 1911.

As the grips got progressively smaller, I had to move more fingers to get a mag to release. In some cases I had to place my middle finger on the trigger guard to offer some resistance so I could depress the release. Then, I had to start moving other fingers out of the way to keep the mag from hanging up (sometimes way out of the way!)