A Different Approach To Handgun Recoil Management

Paul Van Dunk Jr. is a brand ambassador for Agency Arms. Paul also runs a shooting school, Pace Performance Consulting. Here is a video I saw on his Instagram page that shows how to grip a handgun. At face value, holding a handgun seems simple and yet it is the basic foundation to mastering a pistol. There are many iterations and interpretations on how to achieve a good hand hold on a pistol. Paul boils it down and demonstrates it very clearly and succinctly with a pair of sticks.

He starts off showing how to “drive” the hands forward and tilts the sticks forward. Then he shows an additional movement that makes a lot of sense and yet I have not seen it explained or demonstrated like this. He crosses the sticks.

It seems like such a simple technique and yet have you seen it explained like this?


Recent class at the @socalgunclub event I was asked if I would offer my time to teach a class absolutely I said yes for these guys . We covered aspects of Recoil management and control types for different guns and the corresponding grip technique. Here in context I am demonstrating my ideal technique with Recoil management. The technique I teach and use is adapted to each student for them to maximize the use of the technique . This is a small part of a Pace Performance Pistol one class with associate instructor @develop_eqm . #paceshooting #paceperformance #paceperformanceconsulting #blueprintyourskills #notaentertainer #skillnotequipment #2a #socalgunclub #agencyarms #agency #asset #dowhatyoucan #surefire #glock #trijicon #rmr #contextiseverything #perfectpractice video by my buddy @trauma_rn thanks man

A post shared by Paul Van Dunk (@vandunkjr) on

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 nicholas.c@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • Mergatroid

    Just when I thought you couldn’t post anything more tactiguido…. You continue to amaze me.

  • derpmaster

    He’s got the tactical beard but he doesn’t have sleeve tattoos. 3/10 would not train with

    • Full Name

      What, no tacti-gloves and tacti-scarf? This guy is no operator!

    • Cory C


    • FearlessFarris

      Tactical faux-hawk is worth at least +1/10 training credibility points. And he’s in Southern California, so he experiences a power multiplier in the presence of flat-brimmed hats.

  • Hellbilly

    Ol’ boy is operator as f*** with that tactical beard. Chuck Norris would be jealous if he saw this guy.

    • junyo

      Chuck Norris saw it, was almost jealous… then remember that he was Chuck Norris.

  • SGT Fish

    that dude looks hipster extreme. neat visual though

  • blap

    I don’t care that the man was a hipster with a gun. After I saw how flat the recoil was on his pistol and that he was immediately getting others to do it with that visual, I knew he knows what’s up. He seems like a great teacher of the gun,

    • Dougscamo

      I guess I’ve been living under a rock…or am a Fudd….so I am not familiar with the guy. That being said….I was impressed with the control that I saw of the recoil impulse….
      Used to be firearms instructor but admittedly, times have changed and it makes me look at other methods because I was teaching new techniques to older guys….now, I’m the older guy….

      • Sunshine_Shooter

        I only know of him b/c of a now defunct YT channel he made an appearance on a few times. And this is the only time in years I’ve seen any mention of him.

    • Tox

      I’d like to see it again with a stock glock 19 too – call me a skeptic but a stock glock 17 doesn’t exactly recoil much, and changing springs, lightening the slide and adding a light all cut recoil. I agree that its a decent explanation for a technique that’s been around for a long, long time.

      • PTMcCain

        Shoot a video of yourself using a Glock 19 and we’ll see how well you control the recoil.

        • Wow!

          Tox is kind of right. It really isn’t the grip that does it, it is the elbows canted out to the side. All a grip does is weld the handgun to your hands so your arms can absorb the recoil which leads to less muzzle climb. This is a somewhat new modification to the handgun stance but it definitely wasn’t started by this guy. I remember youtube videos showing this technique at least around 2010, and Viking Tactics also had a video on pistol stance that talked about it too I think. Even prior to that, some foreigners I met utilized that kind of “elbows out” technique, so it has been kicking around for a while. I have no idea where it came from but it does work.

      • noob

        I wonder if twisting a rifle into your support hand would work, or just cant the rifle

      • Accurate Okie

        He has a video on IG doing this.

  • Joe

    I actually saw this technique recently demonstrated by John Lovell, so I tried to incorporate it with my P320. To my surprise, I found it didn’t work with the SIG’s grip angle. When I locked my wrists forward, I ended up pointing towards the ground about 10 yards in front of me. This made me realize maybe GLOCK had some method to their madness with their grip angle. I’ve never like GLOCKs, but now I’m beginning to consider a switch.

    • Giolli Joker

      “This made me realize maybe GLOCK had some method to their madness with their grip angle.”
      Is it?
      Or is the technique born to get the best out of the Glock?

    • Harry’s Holsters

      This is the big thing people who criticize glock don’t get. When you’re trying to shoot a reasonable grouping under time a glock can’t be beat by other mainstream guns. The more I shoot the more I realize glock got a lot of things right. It makes me made that others won’t take what they did right and improve on it.

      • ExMachina1

        “When you’re trying to shoot a reasonable grouping under time a glock can’t be beat by other mainstream guns.”

        Novices shoot 1911-style grip angles better than Glock-angled pistols. People who shoot a lot of Glocks get very good, yes, but speed shooting records can be set my other pistols with non-Glock grip angles. Max Michael recently set a world record by shooting six 8″ plate targets, from draw at 7 meters in ~2 seconds with a Sig P320. Think it’s more the shooter than the gun.

        • Harry’s Holsters

          A great feat without a doubt. I think he could have done it with a Glock MOS or a SW M&P Core also. Like you said it’s the shooter not the gun. As long as he used the same gun through his practice beat it.

          There are some videos on instagram of me shooting a Sig P320 RX. I like the gun okay and have shot it at a couple training courses. I really like the red dot for distances over 25 yards or precision at shorter ranges. A great gun for the money. But I still shoot glocks faster closer in and I believe I could exceed the area the P320 RX shine for me if my glock had a red dot.

          If someone isn’t going to shoot a lot and are recoil sensitive I’d actually recommend a P320 over a Glock. It shoots softer but not faster. It all depends on what people are looking for.

          At my local ranges I haven’t seen novices do better with 1911 grip angle guns. Just not the experience I’ve had. Most have trouble shooting any gun with consistency.

      • iksnilol

        Then why aren’t world records being set with Glocks?

        • Harry’s Holsters

          Depends on the records you’re talking about. You’re also often talking about a shooter that practices the same course of fire to beat the record at an amazing rate. These guys are professionals who in the sport of breaking records and if they choose a specific record to break and put in the amount of time it takes it doesn’t matter what gun they are using as long as that’s their primary weapon while training during that period.

    • BrandonAKsALot

      Everyone’s body is different. My wrists feel like I’m putting a lot of strain on them when I hold a Glock. Same reason I hate A2 grips on AR’s. It’s physically uncomfortable for me and not in a “you’ll get used to it” way.

  • Dan

    Are those genuine Agency Arms sticks? Those are super desirable if they are. They make them by going down to the Home Depot, buying two regular pine sticks for $4.99 each. A lot of people aren’t aware that regular sticks are not very good when they come from the factory. Then Agency does a thorough rework of the sticks, cutting a few thou off each side to make them a true 1×2, sanding them, painting some gold stripes, cutting some notches at well-known 1×2 stress points, bending them a few times, lovingly, and most importantly sprinkling them with genuine operator sweat. These are worth every bit of the $15.99 Agency charges. They are far more reliable and 1×2-ish than any stick you could buy at Home Depot or Lowes. The one downside I’ve heard is that some people are disappointed when they find that the resale value of their Agency sticks isn’t what they’d hoped for once they finish with their ‘deployment’ to operator school down at the local range. In fact, they tend to get upset when, in response to their online used stick ad, people (I’d never do this!) ask them, somewhat confusedly, if they are in fact selling THREE sticks at this price or perhaps they have accidentally added a “1” to the front of the otherwise reasonable price. Other than that they are AMAZING sticks.

    • RSG

      Sticks must be staked properly and the grains in the wood particle tested.

  • Edeco

    Meh. I’ve had a newb, before ever shooting, hold the glock while I racked it to give an idea of what the feedback is like. I didn’t emphasize twisting or tightness, you know, for basic operation a moderate grip even with one hand is plenty. If you white-knuckle it you’re fighting yourself, pulling it back in the direction of recoil. A tight grip might be needed for absolute maximum aimed ROF but that’s an advanced, specialized thing.

  • USMC03Vet

    #derp #operatorioeratingoperationally #ridiculoushair #rangedance #hashtag #rangefashion #checkoutmuhglock #deathgrip #musclerelaxors #limitedmagazinecapacity #notamarchingband #perspective #tooearlyinthemorningforthiscrap #justhitbyillegalwithoutinsurance #quakeroatsortoast #rmrrrrrrrrrnowimbroke #doesthushatmakemyglocklookoperator #watwatinthebutt

    • Major Tom

      #awinnerisyou #whyarewetalkinginhastags #seriously

    • Hoplopfheil

      If that was supposed to be an Instagram post, you didn’t use enough hashtags.

      #everymorning #miracle #everymorningisamiracle

      • Cory C

        Hahahaha. So funny.

      • Major Tom

        You forgot #everymiracleisamorning

        • Hoplopfheil


    • Jonathan Page

      A picture is worth a thousand words. So put in a thousand hashtags. Duh.

    • AlDeLarge


  • Sunshine_Shooter

    This comment section sucks.

    5 of the 9 previous comments are ad homonym attacks on the instructor.
    3 of the 9 previous comments actually talk about the content of the video
    1 of the 9 previous comments discuss a tangent (not a bad thing, just trying to be thorough).

    Be adults. Yeah it’s easy and fun to mock his beard and Agency for being overpriced, but he’s out there demonstrating skills and teaching others to be proficient. Don’t like it? Be constructive with your criticisms.

    • USMC03Vet

      Don’t like? I hear tumblr is a safe space.

      • Sunshine_Shooter

        Please review my second sentence and my last sentence.

      • Spoken like someone who doesn’t spend much time on Tumblr, unless what you’re trying to be safe from is “calm” and “quiet”.

    • AC97

      I’m sorry, but…

      *ad hominem

      • Sunshine_Shooter

        Fixed, thanks.

    • Hoplopfheil

      Aw dude, did you ever watch Futurama? I love that show.

    • Ike

      Agree, but it’s not just this post.

      – Post about new polymer pistol: “Glock fanboys are gonna be butthurt”

      – Post about new 1911: “I could buy six Glocks for this price”

      – Post about training, tactics, or AR-15 accessories: “Do you even operate, etc.”

      Like clockwork.

      • Swarf


    • ExMachina1

      The level of snark on this site has increased to a crazy level as of late. Yes, I’ve seen some lazy posts on TFB but there are also a lot of posts that are informative (like this one). When I see a content-rich post (for example, the recent Roland Special post) get heavily pooped upon in the comments, I wonder just how long the writers are going to stay here.

    • BillyOblivion

      You must be new here.

      Welcome to the internet.

  • Jeff

    Ryan Gresham demonstrated essentially the same thing on one of their TV shows years ago. He talked not about the wrists, but about rotating the elbows outward after the gun is extended forward.

  • raz-0

    What is “different” about this?

    Do what he does with the sticks. Then do it with something resembling the grip of the gun. Guess what, you can’t turn your hands like that. So, what actually happens when you try? You turn your elbows out. It’s a perfectly valid technique, but it has been around at least as long as I have been old enough to buy my own handguns.

    It’s a different way of explaining it than I have seen, I’ll give it that.

  • Justin Roney

    I think it’s a good thing to talk about basics and different ways to approach them. As I’ve gotten more proficient with a handgun (I’m still just a competent amateur), I’ve always tried to analyze what I’m doing that works and what doesn’t. For instance, one thing this technique helps with is putting enough pressure on the sides of the grip to keep the gun from moving side to side under recoil and opening up the pattern horizontally. My palms are relatively flat compared to most individuals, and it took me a while to realize most of my grip was on the front and back of the grip, but not on the sides, and my shooting suffered as a result. Getting people to think about technique differently can certainly be beneficial.

  • PTMcCain

    Well done.

  • PTMcCain

    Is that Phuc Long training with him?

    • Giolli Joker

      The first guy really looks like him from behind.

  • richardstevenhack

    This! Wins the thread… 🙂

  • Dan K

    Honestly dude I got my first 10/22 three years ago so you are totally off base.

  • adverse4

    Are those sticks hi-cap? Extra bowl of stupid for breakfast……… anyone?

  • iksnilol

    Isn’t this standard way to hold pistol with two hands?

  • pinto

    yawn… since at least ’97… at least civvies are training

  • Tierlieb

    Got the same thing from Viking Tactics.

  • Ricardo LNU

    What he’s demonstrating is something competitive pistol shooters have been doing for years. The beard and hair thing has gotten so overused, It has gone the way of the mullet. However, it’s nice to see a positive evolution of handling, rather than the “this is how you do it”, then get dressed down because a foot wasn’t quite Zen, even though one is consistently shooting in the 90th percentile or better, and the muscle memory is squared away.

  • BraveNewWhirled

    You should write short stories. All the kids are doing it!

  • john

    This is the Bob Vogel grip. Bob has made this grip concept really take off recently and I believe others are now sharing (or stealing) it.