May 21st, 2017 by asjstaff

Mastering the thumbs-forward grip involves more than just the thumbs.

STORY AND PHOTOS BY ROB REED

The thumbs-forward grip started with competition shooters and spread to defensive pistol instructors and others who recognized the benefits of this once unorthodox style. The grip grew popular because it provides excellent recoil management that allows for faster and more accurate shooting. To get the most from this technique it needs to be performed correctly. Some shooters simply point their thumbs forward without completely understanding the mechanics of the grip. The name aside, the key is really in the position of the support-side wrist, not the thumbs, and once that is understood, mastering the grip becomes easy.

STEP 1: GIVE IT TWO ‘THUMBS UP

To learn how to execute the thumbs-forward grip start by putting both thumbs up in the classic “Fonzie” or “double hitchhiker” position. Try to get as close to a 90-degree angle between the thumb and the index finger as possible.

STEP 2: CLEAR A SPACE FOR THE SUPPORT HAND

Place the pistol in the dominant hand, while keeping the dominant thumb high and out of the way. The trigger finger should index on the side of the slide and the second finger should be up tight against the underside of the trigger guard. The empty area on the grip is where the palm of the support hand will go.

STEP 3: FILL THAT SPACE WITH THE SUPPORT PALM

Now take the support hand, open it, and cock the wrist downward at about a 45-degree angle. Make sure to keep the almost 90-degree angle between the thumb and the fingers. While keeping the support hand’s wrist rotated down, place the meaty part of the support hand’s palm on the open area of the pistol grip to obtain as much hand-to-gun contact as possible. The support hand’s thumb rests alongside the slide and naturally points forward.

STEP 4: CLOSE THE SUPPORT HAND

Next, close the support hand’s fingers. The index finger on the support hand should be as high as possible under the trigger guard. The wrist remains cocked at the same downward angle and should feel “locked.” At the same time bring the dominant thumb down onto the support hand thumb until both thumbs point forward. (The strong hand thumb should ride the safety on 1911 or similar pistols). The support hand should provide most of the force of the grip. This makes it easier to isolate the trigger finger of the dominant hand to allow for better trigger control. While the thumbs-forward grip works well overall, there are a couple potential issues. The first is that the grip does not work as well onehanded due to the high thumb placement. Many shooters will lock the thumb down if shooting with only one hand. The other issue is that the slide may not lock open on an empty magazine if the shooter’s thumbs engage the slide release. In many cases a slight repositioning of the thumbs will avoid this. ASJ

Posted in Tips & Tricks Tagged with: , , , ,

May 15th, 2017 by asjstaff

With Armaspec always adding products to its American-made accessory arsenal, we decided to catch up with the company’s president, Alex Iosilevsky, to find out more.

INTERVIEW BY THE EDITORS PHOTOS BY ARMASPEC

Armaspec produces quality, innovative AR accessories designed to give you the ultimate tactical advantage. Our recent conversation with Armaspec president Alex Iosilevsky helped shed some light on their growing line.

American Shooting Journal: You have been coming out with some really innovative products for the AR platform lately. Can you tell us a little about your XPDW stock?

Alex Iosilevsky: We have been working on a lot of really cool stuff; some of the products have been released and others should be released in the near future. The XPDW stock is one of those products. We had requests from consumers and agencies to come up with a solution that would not require changing the buffer tube or bolt carrier group and still provide the PDW functionality. The XPDW stock clamps right onto a standard Mil-Spec buffer tube with no other modifications. We had a few other solutions, but we wanted to keep the MSRP at $179 for this release.

Armaspec’s new XPDW stock.

ASJ: How about your color parts, like your Ambidextrous Safety Selector and Extended Mag release – are they just as easy to install as the Mil-Spec?

AI: All of our products are just as easy to install as Mil-Spec products. Regarding color options, we initially only sold black, flat dark earth, olive drab green. When we launched the red color option, it was a huge success and at that time we started looking at launching other colors. At SHOT Show 2017 we added blue, dark blue, gold and purple as color options for a lot of our products. We have seen most of the colors sell very well, and we will continue to carry these color options for most of our products.

ASJ: Armaspec offers a recoil reduction spring. Can you tell us about that and why someone would want this?

AI: Absolutely. The Stealth Recoil Spring is a drop-in replacement for a standard buffer and spring. It has lots of benefits over a standard buffer and spring. It not only reduces the felt recoil with the multistage spring system, but also creates a smoother recoil. The sound of the spring scraping against the buffer tube is eliminated with the Stealth Recoil Spring by keeping the buffer spring away from the buffer tube. We also removed the metal on metal contact between the bolt carrier and the buffer with the addition of an O-ring. The Stealth Recoil Spring comes in six different configurations to fit your buffer needs: SRS-C for carbines, SRS-9 for 9mm, or SRS-308 to handle the heavier recoil and longer bolt of a .308.

Rhino R-23 Magwell Grip

ASJ: You have many other parts to trick out an AR, as well. What are your favorites that you think our readers would really like?

AI: I like all the stuff we make. I am sure every reader has their own configuration that they are trying to optimize. Our stainless-steel gun builder/LKP part kit is a great product if you have a stripped lower and want to start that next build. We’ve color-matched the button, selector levers and trigger guard to create that unique look. The titanium takedown/ pivot pins are a great choice as well.

ASJ: Do you have some cool new products coming out soon that you can share with us?

AI: There are a few products that we will be releasing soon and others that are currently in development. The Victory charging handle should be out shortly, as well as our AKPDW stock. We also have a few products in development that utilize our new Mini-Stealth Recoil Spring and that should be out later this year.

Visit armaspec.com for more information on all of Armaspec’s product offerings. ASJ

The Stealth Recoil Spring is a multi-stage drop-in replacement for your standard buffer and spring.

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