Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • A2

    I love this blog.
    I’m not entirely against the tea cup grip. As long as they are shooting safe, do what feels right.

  • Darkness

    I got love for Jack Bauer, but that teacup grip he (and alot of the other action stars) usin’ ain’t right folks

  • cm smith

    Well, the tea cup was once an accepted grip. There are even circa 1958 photographs of Jeff Cooper, pre Weaver, demonstrating both the tea cup and the wrist hold.

    • Duray

      …before he changed the shooting world by developing the “modern technique of the pistol.” You can probably find pictures of Henry Ford on a horse, too.

  • Darrell

    While at the range last weekend, I noticed two members I hadn’t seen before shooting in the lanes to my left. A man and woman together, the man next to me. Both were using tea cup grips, and were not shooting well; he was consistently shooting low, right, and wide open groups. I thought about offering them help, but decided to mind my own business. I bumped into them on my way out, and struck up a conversation. Turns out they are new shooters, that was their third time at the range. I mentioned that they should get away from the tea cup grip, and showed them the conventional two handed hold. I also got a copy of the shooter’s wheel from the guy behind the counter to show the guy what might be putting him off target. They mentioned that they’d seen my shooting (not bragging, but I had a good night), and wished I had said something while we were still on the firing line. Maybe next time.

    Oh, he was shooting a .40, too, don’t know about her. He was having a hard time controlling the muzzle flip.

  • Greg

    The ‘tea cup’ grip is a viable grip when shooting revolvers. If you go thumbs forward on a wheel gun you could easily end up with everything from a small burn to missing fingers. It isn’t taught much any more because revolver useage is dwindling.

    • MJ

      Yes, you shouldn’t go thumbs forward with a revolver, but thumb down with the strong hand, fingers of the weak hand over the fingers of the strong hand, and thumb of the weak hand down over the top of the strong hand thumb is a lot more stable than the tea cup.

    • Someone who is getting a thumb forward of the cylinder in a classic Weaver has some awesome huge hands.

  • Jerry

    Get a finger in front of the trigger guard on a revolver and bad things happen.

  • KM

    I want to say that the teacup grip is like a tea party, for little girls. But then even people getting their daughters into shooting wouldn’t teach them this

  • Joel

    Well, the picture is from 1995, and as noted above the teacup has more use with revolvers.

  • Alex-mac

    I thought the tea cup grip was more of a pistol shooting accuracy grip. With the left hand supporting the right hand. It’s purpose is to get accurate single shots off, not help control recoil.

    • MJ

      Forgetting recoil for a moment, I find the “Weaver” grip more accurate than the tea cup because there is less tendency for the gun to move during the DA trigger pull.

      • MJ

        Sorry, I guess that “Weaver” could be understood “tea cup Weaver,” which I came across after I posted the comment and which I didn’t mean.

  • JM

    I find shooting elitists satisfyingly ironic, because they sound just like the “mall ninjas” they claim to hate. Pretty sure Travis Haley would approve of this header image, which should be enough to calm the Blackhawk!ers around here down.

    To each his own.

  • Brian P.

    I used to use the teacup grip before I learned the “proper” gripping method. That’s what I did on my first time shooting, 10 or so years ago, when I was still a kid. To be honest, I actually had no problem shooting 9mm and .40 S&W semi-autos like that. It didn’t work so well for me when I tried shooting my granduncle’s revolver, though. I can’t remember what it was chambered in, but I think it may have been a .357 Magnum, because the recoil was a lot more than the 9 or .40 I shot. I couldn’t control the muzzle flip at all with that grip, and my accuracy suffered greatly. I have my own .45 now, and using the proper grip, I am much more accurate now than I was back then. I’m not sure how I would hold a revolver now, so I suppose I’ll have to experiment. The way I see it, everyone should figure out what works best for them. No one single method is guaranteed to work the best for everyone.

  • gunfighter 2012

    You pretentious, whiney a-holes! I don’t care if she shoots standing on an ironing board. If she (or anyone) enjoys herself and is not endangering anyone LEAVE THEM ALONE! DO NOT come riding in on your “high thumb isosceles” horse and attempt to save them from themselves. Leave your tacti-cool bullsh*t at home. IF AND ONLY IF they ask for help should you interject your “knowledge” and try to show them something. If they like your high thumb Spec-Ops Specwar CQB NSA approved grip, let them try it.
    And by the way mister “revolver useage is dwindling”, you can absolutely sod off to whatever Glock 1 through 4/XDlmnop fanboy site you came from. I would GLADLY take ANY S&W Mod 10/13 57/58, 23, 24, 25, 29, 586/686 (and others) or a Detective Special or Python or Single Action Army or Blackhawk/Vaquero over the latest whiz-bang plastic fantastic. There is absolutely no soul or sentiment to this plastic nonsense.
    We should endeavor to be Teachers and ambassadors of our sport not some geared-up tac’ed out weenie in the next lane scaring the women and children with our tactical specwar outfit and our blinding mag changes. And if you are the wannabe “operator” in the next lane, I’ll be the guy next to you kicking your ass with the improper grip and the unfashionable revolver.

    • Tinkerer

      Amazing. You manage to -in the same post- defend the right of people to shoot any way they want against the opinionated supporters of this or that shooting method, and then lay a barrage of hate against those who don’t use revolvers -like God intended us to-.

      • Burst

        I think the larger point is that there’s room for more than one type of shooter.

        Disliking something is not the same as saying it shouldn’t exist.

    • W

      good christ, applies and oranges man.

      “There is absolutely no soul or sentiment to this plastic nonsense.”

      semi-autos have their purpose and that is for tactical applications. Revolvers can be useful for home defense, sporting, and hunting.

      When I carry a gun, it is not about soul or sentiment. It is about carrying what is effective, reliable, and accurate, which happens to be a polymer semi-auto.

      Its a matter of preference. I agree that if somebody is being safe and accurate, leave them alone.

    • maro45

      Very true. Plastic guns are for wusses. Real men carry metal guns.

  • S O

    This grip / stance was taught to German soldiers during the mid 90’s at least. Pistols are near-irrelevant for the German military (most important as a live ammo weapon in use to protect troops with blank ammo assault rifles outside of barracks), and the stance employed is thus of minimal relevance.
    Knock that five kneeling cardboard targets at 25 m over, so you passed the pistol training and you’ll never need to use a pistol in the service again…

  • Greg

    No Teacup!

    • C J

      So sayeth the anal retentive mall ninja!

  • Is she enjoying herself?
    Is she being safe?
    Is she putting accurate fire downrange?

    Yes to the above, particularly #2?

    Then STFU and leave her alone, you whiny little keyboard commandoes.

  • Pete Sheppard

    At least she wasn’t using the ‘wrist grip’! This is where the shooter grips the strong wrist with the support hand.
    As for the photo: Was she getting good hits?

  • Jon Mac

    It was good enough for SOE and the OSS.

    • W

      and any US soldier/marine during WWII that carried a 1911 😀

      • Riceball

        I thought that they taught the one handed stance back then, you know the one where you stand sideways with the firing arm outstretched in front and the weak arm/hand behind.

  • jakes

    I was very surprised to know that the teacup is so bad… I do use this position with revolvers because I dont feel comfortable with weaver. I agree that teacup really sucks with semi-autos.

  • gunfighter 2012

    And another thing.. What happened to enjoying yourself at the range. Everything I read and see these days is all about “training” at the range. I remember shooting to have fun. This is something that is rapidly disappearing from this sport and it just kills me that the fun is being just absolutely sucked out of it.
    Tiny groups and great trigger control go with you everywhere. If you stress yourself when you shoot you will find yourself stressed when you shoot. If you are relaxed and not stressed when you shoot, shooting will be relaxing. And I guarantee you that will do more for your group size than anything.
    They say you fight how you train. Wouldn’t you rather be calm and accurate or would you rather be stressed to the max all for the sake of missing faster. To coin a phrase; speed is fine accuracy is final.

  • El Duderino

    Looks OK to me especially with a big revolver.

    Let’s save our hate for dopeheads that fire their Hi-Points cocked to the side “gansta style” or pose for Facebook pics with their (probably hot) guns, pit bull, and a joint hanging out of their mouths.

    99% of people who go to a gun range to shoot should be treated as friends and allies. It’s when we start picking each other apart we all lose.

  • 1911driver

    My 80 pound son likes shooting my 6″ full frame 357mag. The only way he can hold it is teacup. Not everyone is 6’3″ 200 pounds. I teach shooting, not tactical room clearing with night vision but how to hit a target shooting at the local range. Most of the smaller shooters I teach shoot better like this. I would happily put my teacup son up against a mall ninja that knows the right way to shoot at our local range. The hold really doesn’t matter if you can hit your target. When I teach I will shoot a gun held upside down pulling the trigger with my pinky to prove this and still out shoot the range. It kills me to see shooter with a bag full of guns and able to talk about all the latest news yet they can’t group. Out shoot me and I will use your style of hold.

    • Most of the time, the user of the tea cup is doing so out of bad/no training. Not an inability to lift the gun. The tea cup is derided not out of style but because it actually does not improve control the gun since the handgun recoils away from the supporting hand.

  • Reverend Clint

    i wouldnt even call that full tea cup looks hybrid. Could be worse she could be shooting gangster style.

  • Laserbait

    Use whatever works for you. If you shoot the best with a teacup style, go for it.

  • The tea cup grip is historical. Grips have changed more times then I can count over the last 20 years. Remember in the 50’s combat shooting was done with one hand. Now most of us wouldn’t use one hand unless we had to. Times change. This photo was taken in 1995 (17 years ago).

  • Tomaso

    Wasnt their a contestant on ” Top shots” who out shot a pro with the tea cup stance…….
    As for ” gangster style”… Quickly point at something with your index finger and see how your hand is positioned. Tada…we’re all gangsta..

    ….this is kinda like a kid telling a WWII vet that ” it’s a mag not a clip”

    It’s always best to find out how the end results are befor telling anyone their doing something wrong…..I bet she was shooting well with her ” way”

  • Joe Hooker

    It’s bad enough that we have wine snobs, beer snobs, food snobs, and the like. Now we have to have grip snobs? Lighten up….

    • maro45

      Are you the brother of TJ Hooker? That would explain the crap grip usage.

  • Big Daddy

    Guys from WWII call it a clip because that’s what they used before they ever saw a magazine. If you said magazine to a recruit they would think you were talking about a monthly periodical. They used clips to reload most of their weapons or reload a magazine. So I guess everybody just called it a clip.

    Now 70 years later it’s just plain ignorant to call it a clip, it’s a magazine, period. The usage of the word magazine came way before the clip and was used in terms with artillery but it still meant to hold ammo.

    This also applies to the grip in terms of how to do things better. As a shooter or with any endeavor it’s best to learn different styles not only as an educational tool but to learn what’s best for you and the weapon you are using. It’s called education, are some of us against that? It sure looks that way.

    As weapons evolve so does the way they are shot. One way does not fit all but it sure is a good idea to keep an open mind and learn new things. If you are unable to apply it that’s OK, but everybody no matter what they are doing should always try to learn new things and improve and enlighten themselves.

    The difference between using guns and other things is simple. I would think because of that learning and improving your technique would be even more important for safety reasons.

    Always keep an open mind and be willing to learn new techniques no matter what you do. Whether it’s driving a car( so many people cannot drive) or shooting a gun, both can kill.

    • Tomaso

      A clip is a metal devise to reload a weapon…just like a mag. Any one who says grab me a ” clip” I need to reload…i know what they mean.

      Your stuffy attitude about clips is nothing more then chest thumping.

      But I’m glad your ” open minded” about some things.

      And just for the record magazines were very much in use way befor WWII…Thompson and the colt 1911 were very well known.

      Clip is slag for mag no reason to get your panties in a bunch over it.

      • Big Daddy

        Magazines were NOT very much in use before WWII, the general public were NOT allowed to own military weapons. Not that many Thompson SMGs were sold, very few in fact and were not considered military weapons, they were $200 or more and that was a lot of money during the depression.

        Man get your facts straight.

        For instance the weapon used to kill Bonnie and Clyde used extended magazines only sold to LE people, not to the general public. I think they were 35 caliber semi auto Remington model 8 rifles which anybody could buy. They wanted a round that could penetrate the heavy metal doors on their cars, the Thompson couldn’t. They had to be modified to use those magazines and they were detachable. So even if you bought one you needed to load it with a stripper clip in stock configuration. It had a permanent magazine.

        Those days people owned revolvers, shotguns and lever action rifles handed down to hunt with mostly before WWII, not many people owned expensive semi auto rifles and pistols or even bolt action rifles. They did not use or see weapons with magazines unless they were in the military or law enforcement.

        So they if at all they used stripper clips for their Springfield or later Garand rifles when they went through basic training. Not many Army/Marine personnel even worked with anything other than a M1911 or BAR that used a magazine.

        Before WWII they did not use many Thompsons, they had BARs, no carbines or M3 grease guns. Not knowing any better and at war everybody called them clips. Simply out of ignorance, no time to teach everybody the little details that make a professional.

        It’s not OK to be ignorant nor perpetuate ignorance. That is the dumbing down of the American public. It’s cool to be smart or at least try to educate yourself. History is a good subject to start with.

        A clip is a metal device to reload a magazine.

        The Garand kind of uses one as both but not that many weapons do, that I know of. Even the Enfield bolt action had a permanent magazine loaded by a clip. if I am not mistaken the M-14 can be loaded by clips through the top without having to remove the magazine.

        Stop the ignorance……

        Sure hang around with some true professionals and call it a clip, you just made a fool out of yourself and lost any credibility.

  • JR

    If you don’t know the difference between magazine and clip then it much safer for me to assume you also don’t know diffence empty chamber and chambered round.

    • JR

      Sorry for the typo.

      • Tomaso

        Wow is that’s a stuck up comment.

    • Big Daddy

      I agree, if someone uses improper terminology you have to think that person is not knowledgeable nor conscious of proper firearms use.

  • Nicks87

    I’ve seen people shoot very well with some bizarre grips/stances.

    IMO if it works for you then go with it even though it may not be optimal.