|T O P I C R E V I E W
||Posted - 04/12/2010 : 04:52:07
(Updated to reflect better information - I went down some wrong paths in my initial post)
About 25 years ago I started developing an arthritic condition. It was slow and gradual, with the most prominent problems being a very large calcium build-up in my right thumb joint and a significant reduction in the ability of both wrists to flex or rotate in any axis (probably about 90% loss of movement). Just one of those things I've lived with. No pain - just loss of mobility.
Picture 1 (http://www.pa-mailbox.com/glock1.jpg) gives you an idea what I am dealing with. As you can see, my index finger and thumb on my right hand form a 'V', whereas my left hand (and that of most people) forms a 'U' when trying to put the two digits parallel to each other.
About a year ago I finally got around to acquiring and training with firearms, with my choice of a handgun the Glock 17. I'm not lucky enough to have any gun shops within a 100-mile radius that also have ranges that allow customers to try guns out, so I made my decision based on reading (looking for reliability) plus what seemed to feel good in my hand at the time in the store.
Firing it a few times proved that I had some work to do. Accuracy was way off, plus I was having a lot of rounds stovepipe. I decided to pick up a used Smith & Wesson 22A to train with, as missing targets with .22LR was a lot cheaper than missing with 9mm! So I didn't use the Glock much of last year.
The past few months I've been looking at it closer, and discovered that the problems with my hands were not allowing me to properly grip the gun. As can be seen in Picture 2 (http://www.pa-mailbox.com/glock2.jpg), when I try to use the Glock indentations on the grip to guide the thumb and index finger, my hand is not positioned flush under the Glock's limited beaver tail - there is around a 1/2-inch gap there. That is the obvious cause of the stovepiping as the gun flips a bit.
In addition, although not visible in these photos, the gun then follows the path of the thumb and calcium deposits (since they provide the greatest resistance), so it twists to the left. Because of the limited flexibility of my wrists, I can't twist my wrist to the right to compensate, nor can I properly change the alignment of my body and shoulders to compensate either. And if I try to move my thumb a little bit behind the backstrap, that rotates my entire hand, so now my index finger is too far forward and too far into the trigger area. Plus I still have the gap under the beavertail.
Someone suggested I try a single-stack gun to see if that works. Personally I'd like to stick to the Glock platform as my wife has one as well, and we already have a number of magazines and accessories. I'd hate to give some of them up and switch to a "mouse gun". But it might be interesting to see what happens with that 1/4-inch or so narrower overall grip.
So I'm getting the impression that possibly all that might need to be done is for me to get a Timber Wolf from Lone Wolf Distributors when it is released (since I'd like to keep the stock Glock frame should I ever sell the gun one day). As many of you are probably aware, it incorporates a lot of the changes being made by grip reducers. Having the 1911-style grip may be a bit of an improvement, but the big thumb joint would still be a problem. Then I can have someone make the thumb indentation on the left side of the grip continued through to the backside of the grip. That would allow that calcium deposit to find a place to rest plus make the grip more of the V-shape that my hands make. I'd probably need the beavertail lowered as well, almost as much as to where the top of the grip safety is on a 1911.
Of course, how much material is behind the grip that could be shaved down without weakening the frame is a big question.
Has anyone ever run across anyone with a similar problem and, if so, what kind of custom grip work was done to allow them to hold a firearm properly?
|6 L A T E S T R E P L I E S (Newest First)
||Posted - 04/26/2010 : 12:25:54
Sorry about the deletion of my initial post. After doing some shooting and some more research I realized I went down some wrong paths, and didn't want to mislead people. Unfortunately it took longer than I had hoped to get the better and more informed material. If you go back up to the top you'll see a description of my situation, revised and I think better.
Also, initially I thought that my problems could be solved simply by building up the beavertail. For those who still want that material as a reference, here is that section of the initial posting:
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1) Mold On An Extended Beaver Tail
This is described on the Brownell's web site (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/lid=10437/guntechdetail/Glock_Grip_Reduction___Custom_Beavertails).
I don't find this a viable option because (1) I'm not that talented to make something that won't look like crap; (2) there are no armorers anywhere nearby who can mold it to properly fit my hand; (3) having something custom like this permanently attached to the gun would limit my ever selling it in the future.
2) The Glocktail
From Center of Mass LLC and Mike Gibson Manufacturing - http://glocktail.com
I'm sorry, but this just looks like a modified shoe horn attached with what they describe as a piece of inner tube. Not only does it make the gun look cobbled up (especially since it comes in colors), but I can't see it working in a concealed carry situation. I'll pass.
3) Magloc Recoil Control Thumb Rest
From Smart Lock Technology - http://www.smartlock.com/thumbrestComp2-r.htm
The actual intent of this device is supposedly for people with large hands to keep them from being "bit" when the slide moves back and forth. But because it appears to lower the rear of the gun around a 1/4-inch, I was wondering if perhaps this might help my problem. For only $20 I'm willing to gamble and give it a try. Has anyone here tried it?
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FYI, I did get the Magloc last week (the Competition 2M model). Although it is a nice addition and might work for some people with larger hands, it doesn't take care of my problem, because mine is strictly caused by the thumb joint. Until that portion gets taken care off, none of the other "fixes" matter.
My original post suggested lowering my right hand slightly (www.pa-mailbox.com/glock3.jpg) and putting my left thumb behind the backstrap between my right thumb and the beavertail, thus filling the gap (www.pa-mailbox.com/glock4.jpg). But because of the lack of flexibility in the left wrist, that also causes my left arm to arc and be above the plane of my right arm. Imagine taking a Weaver stance and rotating the left arm 90 degrees clockwise - that's the basic result. Perhaps if someone had the same affliction and wanted to do fun shooting at the range, this could be an option. But in a CCW or IDPA situation it is not really feasible.
||Posted - 04/17/2010 : 08:38:44
We would really appreciate if the origional posts were not deleted so that other members could learn from the same issues.
||Posted - 04/16/2010 : 18:58:51
Dunno, he posted the same over on the Glock Carry Forum. It's gone too.
||Posted - 04/16/2010 : 10:40:38
Anyone know what happened to the OP?
If it was a troll deal, I'm sorry I missed it.
||Posted - 04/12/2010 : 14:04:19
WOW Agreed, great post. A couple obvious points that I'm sure you have already considered:
1. What about learning to shoot left handed, assuming you don't have the same thumb problem?
2. What about changing to a revolver that would "work" with your crossed thumb hold?
3. Obviously your crossed thumb hold is not normally advised on an auto loader because of "slide bit". However, a couple of your alternative modifications would appear to provide reasonable protection from bit.
4. Would a right hand shooting glove assist with your hold? I'm thinking of something along the lines of a sailor glove which leave the finger tips exposed, but has good grip qualities for handling line (rope) when everything is wet. Here is an example:
http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/producte/10001/-1/10001/61069/377%20710%201674/0/Gloves/Primary%20Search/mode%20matchallpartial/0/0?N=377 710 1674&Ne=0&Ntt=Gloves&Ntk=Primary Search&Ntx=mode matchallpartial&Nao=0&Ns=0&keyword=gloves&isLTokenURL=true&storeNum=5001&subdeptNum=22&classNum=11054
5. I assume a thumb joint replacement has been ruled out for whatever reason?
As I understand your situation, you will only be shooting at a range. Sorry, I'm not an IDPA guy so I have no idea about the rules. If you do want to carry concealed, you might want to consider a revolver with rubber grips.
Whatever your solution is, please keep us posted. It would be very helpful to others in similar situations.
Thank you for the great post. Please stop by our new member section and introduce yourself.
||Posted - 04/12/2010 : 06:15:38
Wow, you've done good explaining. I have the same problem with my left hand due to an injury. I have trouble supporting with it due to the opening but I have done it so long I no longer notice. It may look odd to am observer but it works for me.
After my accident, I was lucky in that I had a therapist that into shooting. He made me an attachment out of kydex that i slipped my onto my hand and gun to help me hold it while I was recuperating. He used his own Glock to make the mold. I just used it for about six months then threw it away. Heck of a guy.
I don't know if you can use something like that in IDPA or not.