Hand size and shape plays a huge role in how effective you are with a handgun and as we all know, hands come in different shapes and sizes. What makes hands big or small? Is it palm size? Finger and thumb length? For shooters, the measurement between the web of the strong hand and the distance to the full pad of the trigger finger is telling.
Someone with very large hands can struggle with smaller pistols. The length of their fingers can make it difficult to maintain easy trigger finger movement. A small frame can force them to pull the trigger at the first or even second joint. The result can make the trigger finger feel cramped and definitely not smooth which can ultimately affect both speed and accuracy.
A shooter with small hands has their own challenges. Many firearms instructors (usually ones with large hands) will tell shooters that the trigger finger should never rest on the side of the grip when shooting. The thicker the grip the more difficult this becomes for those with shorter fingers. The shooter often spends time worrying about where their finger rests on the frame and not how they are engaging the trigger. Worse yet, a large grip on the gun forces a compromise. In order to even reach the trigger the shooter must shift their grip which in turn causes poor recoil control.
Fortunately there are many options out there and today many handguns offer multiple grip sizes. It’s one of the reasons I love shooting my M&P’s. With my hand size, the small grip makes it that much easier for me to shoot these guns well. Aftermarket accessories, gunsmiths and custom shops offer grips or grip customization as well as trigger options of flat or curved and long or short triggers to help a shooter find the best combination.
Ideally you want your handgun to fit your hand size so that you can shoot it comfortably, accurately and quickly. It’s why handling a firearm before you purchase it can be an enlightening experience. Here’s one of my Shoot Sweet Range365.com videos on how to find the perfect gun for your hand.