Nothing New With The C Clamp Grip

Ballistic Radio posted this over the weekend.

1986 NYPD FTS, Rodmens Neck. I have no idea who, what, where, or when. But nothing is invented by anyone in this business. I have never had an original thought in my life and I’m pretty sure I copied that from someone else.” – Pat Rogers, discussing the origin of the C-clamp grip.

Shane Keng of Magpod and Multitasker, shared this photo of his father.

Saw the post by Ballistic Radio with Pat Rogers about experimenting with the C Clamp Grip back in the day; these are of my pops back in 1981 and 1986; he told me he started practicing point shooting back in the early 1960s when he was in the Taiwanese Sea Wolves commando squadron

C clamp


As my friend Tony Yao always said “There is no truly original idea”. All ideas are influenced from something else and owes its creation to those influences.

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • Adrian

    “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.”

    And even that was written in the 3rd century BC.

    • hikerguy

      Ecclesiasties 1:9. Still applicable today, as you said.

      • Giolli Joker

        Yep, and it was typed on a tablet, during an intercontinental flight…

    • 6.5x55Swedish

      So that is why inventors are always hiding in a lab or a basement?! 🙂

    • Randy

      It has been said, “Originality is the art of concealing your source.”

      Sounds about right to me.

  • Justaguy

    Seems I read this somewhere earlier.

    • consultingdoc

      Gentlemen, I’ve only been reading this blog for some 6 (?) months. I must opine that imho, the readers of this blog are the most intelligent, most clever and probably best read of readers who’s talkbacks I’ve read on any blog that I read. Mes compliments to y’all. K. P. Price, Ph.D.

  • USMC03Vet

    Does this mean The Costa loses it’s power?

    • Giolli Joker

      Not as long as he keeps his beard.

  • People have been doing this since WWI.

  • Shootin’ Buddy

    That’s Pat “F&*king” Rogers!!!

  • Patrick Mingle

    “There is no truly original idea” Im pretty sure I came up with that saying

  • Bill

    looking at photos of people gripping rifles like this is essentially pointless unless we can also see photos of their targets afterward.

    • Dracon1201

      And that is useless unless we have a video about it. This isn’t trying to prove anything except they tried the same thing in the 80s.

      • Bill

        Absolutely – it didn’t work then, so we’ll wait a couple decades and repeat our mistakes. It’s human nature and the basis of history.

        If we looked at enough Revolutionary and Civil War art we’d probably see a painting of someone using a C-Clamp grip on their muzzleloader. Once.

        • Dracon1201

          Possibly. However, it is a technique that does work. Just like vertical forgrips and everything else. Personally, I wasn’t sold on it until Costa explained the history and reasons behind it. Then it made sense. For many rifles his way makes sense. It’s not for everyone, and you can hate it if you want to. However, it works for him, among other people, and that is what matters.

          • Bill

            Lots of things “work,” like Yugos and shooting over your shoulder lining up your sights with a mirror. For competition and shooting stupid fast, it may work just fine, but I don’t drive a Yugo police car and the mirror is for looking around corners.

            We’ve lost the ability to think critically, particularly when we’ve given a large amount of money to an “expert” to teach us how to do it right, which translates to “their way.”

          • Dracon1201

            So what you are saying is, it works. Different strokes for different folks. Do whatever technique works for your time and place. Just because it keeps getting rehashed doesn’t make it any less relevant.

          • Bill

            Ok, it “works,” and I suppose under the right circumstances an electric carving knife would “work” for a vasectomy. It keeps getting rehashed because there’s no legal way to stop stupidity, and we have to keep the interweb tubes full or they’ll loose pressure .

            I’m NOT directing this at you, but sometimes I wished that I lived back in caveman days when the cavemen who had really stupid ideas got eaten. Now they just start shooting schools, or go into politics.

  • Core

    I like Chris Costa’s logic behind CClamp grip. One thing not always mentioned is the pure mechanics of the elbow when using the grip. It allows driving as Costa mentions, and cross platform repeatability with the AR10, but prevents the rifle from following the path of least resistance. Tying this into the pistol hold is priceless.

  • Ranger Rick

    Saddam using the c-clamp method circa 1980.

    • If I ever become a dictator, you bet your ass I will have a similar portrait… But I will incorporate that shirt with the three wolves on it.

      • Anonymous

        They would all be howling at the moon, right?

      • Brett

        Alex, You should do it anyways. Hang it in a roon with a fire place, fancy chairs, and a bear skin rug!

        • My God. Now my life won’t be complete without this.

          • iksnilol

            + you are like one of the people who can actually afford that. I don’t know if I should mention I know an artist that’s pretty good at drawing and painting.

  • Joel

    I would point out that Costa was the one that started doing this from the shoulder. It’s only really practical with an AR-type setup with raised sights.

  • Don Ward

    Like platform shoes and one-piece bell-bottomed jump suits, stupidity never goes out of fashion.

  • Rich Guy

    The earliest instance I have seen this used in BAR gunners in WW1 with their stock cup belts. Can anyone think of any realer instance?

  • RealitiCzech

    I tried it as a kid. Turns out that it requires rather prominent sights, cowitnessing your thumb doesn’t really increase accuracy too well.
    Plus, c-clamp really requires either gloves or rail covers, or you will melt your fingerprints (did that on a Bushmaster once – ONCE!).

    • Core

      Fingerprints are for sissies.. ROFL@ above Costa avatar…

  • KIR

    All the photos in the story are merely the acts of “point shooting” and seems to be from some movie or advertising. By holding the rifle next to you hip, you have no other choice on where to hold the rifle. Its not a “C” grip, its the only grip available.
    “Not everything needs a label”

    As far as COSTA, his style of holding the rifle may work when shooting paper. But stand just to the left of him as he shoots and he will not know you are even there. Your arm and shoulder block you vision.

    I have no clue why anyone ells would take what he does and think its worth a crap.

    Basic rifle fundamentals out perform coolguy hype shooting.

    …..But what do I know…I dont have a little girls doll that looks like me!

  • Uniform223

    Its not about trends, its about what works best for the individual.

  • CommonSense23

    There is old training video of the c clamp being used from the shoulder from a SF guy back in Vietnam. Had nothing to do with teaching shooting, but was pretty funny that a guy walks buy the camera shooting that way. So the style is pretty old.