Magwell vs. Wristover AR-15 Holds – Enough Silliness!

What’s the correct way to hold your AR-15?  Probably better stated, what’s the optimal way to hold your AR-15 if you want to maximize accuracy and mitigate muzzle flip?

Well, firearms instructor and GunsAmerica contributor Clay Martin breaks it down for you in the video above.

Now, I don’t want to give you any spoilers, but here’s a tip from the video, you don’t want to look as though you’re trying to pay the rent. LOL.  Trust me, it makes sense if you watch it.

Enjoy the video and as always, feel free to leave Clay some feedback in the comment section.  You can also read Clay’s latest gun reviews and columns by clicking on the links below:

Fist full of Hardball: Why I Carry a Springfield XD-S

FN15 Tactical from FN in 300 BLK—Full Review

Former Green Beret Has Message for NFL QB Colin Kaepernick

Green Beret Responds to Report: ‘Half of Today’s Army Recruits Have Never Held A Gun’

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 91 comments… add one }
  • Shawn Hagenah March 25, 2017, 11:49 pm

    Yea go back to your otherjob, cause you are clueless, how the he’ll a guy your size can’t control his muzzle is beyond me. 1 you are losing your peripheral vision. 2 did not see anything I would call significant differance in your hold or recoil.3 it’s a fact you will lose more control sooner, your elbow is locked, and arm extended, sooner rather than later, you will experience numbness tingling, n your muscles will fatigue faster.4 it’s a fuking fad, that’s it, it is a way for shooters to distinguish themselves from others that is all, in other words it is to look cool. It is ridiculous as you trying to explain it.

  • Bob February 9, 2017, 12:55 pm

    I guess if you want to look like a video gamer douchebag , then go ahead ! LOL

  • Chris Hale February 9, 2017, 7:27 am

    This guy might sound a bit more professional if every other word he says wasnt “bullshit”. Hard to take him seriously.

  • Scott Miller February 9, 2017, 6:16 am

    I love your videos. I support the language you use. Paul G. Markel once said “Hard men insulate themselves from verbal abuse through frequent inoculations”. People that come from different professions speak differently. NFL locker room talk differs markedly from baby shower talk. Talk to your intended audience using the speech to which they are accustomed, respect and understand. Based on
    some of the negative responses I’ve seen regarding your language, perhaps you should address those people using the soft, pink speech of a gynecologist.

  • Ken October 13, 2016, 6:35 pm

    It sure looks like your vision is being obscured by your arm. Maybe that works with a bayonet charge?

  • Dave October 5, 2016, 4:19 pm

    Greta video, thanks. What handguard do you have installed in this rifle?

  • Dean October 4, 2016, 7:07 am

    Excellent article, of course some will glaze over the common sense of it all, but the advice is solid. thanks again.

  • jim williams October 2, 2016, 8:53 am

    Needs to slow down his speech. Can’t understand half of what he is saying.

    • roger buss III July 7, 2018, 3:32 pm

      You need to speed up your comprehension. I caught everything np. Js.

  • mocatz October 1, 2016, 9:30 pm

    I just lost 4:32 minutes of my life & I want it back!

  • Larry Koehn October 1, 2016, 8:07 pm

    For 20 bucks or so you can buy a nice handle to put on your hand guard that allows you to pull the gun into your shoulder and because of simple leverage hold down muzzle flip. Unnatural contortions of your body do not lead to greater accuracy. I also am not big on lasers and flashlights. If I am outside I call those “shoot me I am over here lights.” I will simply turn on my red dot and wait on you to light yourself up and shoot you. If I am inside the front door gun is a 12 gauge 18″ barrel pump shotgun with 00 in it. Then there are pistols in every room, including the bathroom, for surprises. I keep an AR-15 pistol beside the bed tat is only 28 inches overall with a red dot but like I said that is much better outside then in. A scope is useless inside and outside in the dark unless it is an IR sight. I can give you 3 – 4 thousand reasons I don’t have an IR scope. Of course I also have flip up iron sights on the pistol and the red dot is on a quick release mount although they register through the red dot also. I have a full size AR-15 that pretty much stays in the gun safe. Do you buy your guns for games then build them to win games. If you hunt with them then optimize them for hunting. If you have some dedicated to saving yours and your families lives you had better consider defending your home and property only. Of course if you are a fireside operator who dresses in black BDU’s and jump boots then do what you want because you will probably die early in the fight.

    • CM October 3, 2016, 1:26 pm

      “Unnatural contortions of your body do not lead to greater accuracy.”

      Uh, what contortions? If your wrist doesn’t do that then maybe your joint flexibility is the issue. The drop downs a fading out since it was found that this particular grip style works better for this type of barrel forend. Yoga wrist stretches are great for improving this.

      • Steve October 13, 2017, 9:36 am

        He’s 100% right. You’re wrong.

  • Tattoo October 1, 2016, 2:05 pm

    Clay, just keep doin what your doin Brother!! This former grunt loves your vids and instructionals, including your FULL grasp of the King’s English.
    Carry on…….

    • clay martin October 1, 2016, 5:22 pm

      lol. Thanks brother. I learned my most colorful expressions as an 0311.

  • HPD Dweller October 1, 2016, 12:55 pm

    After reading all these comments the first qoute that comes to mind is, “The good thing about the internet is everyone has a voice. The bad thing about the internet is everyone has a voice.”

    Personally after watching 3 gun comps I started experimenting with this grip. As I have long arms and a medium/ long length fore grip I use a shorty vertical grip as an anchor for my pinky and ring finger with wrap around grip. (if that makes any sense). Short of the video is if you can get an appendage over your barrel the better off you are. AR is unique in it being a straight line from muzzle to butt stock. Get behind it and lock it in.

    Thank You for the video.
    Thank You for your Service.
    Cuss to your heart’s content. I don’t care if you’re using kittens as targets.
    You’ve earned it.

    • clay martin October 1, 2016, 5:22 pm

      thanks brother.

  • Ranchdude October 1, 2016, 11:40 am

    I teally dont care if you drop a few swear words as long as it’s not every other word. And although I know I’ll never be as cool as you I don’t think this video served any useful purpose orher than presenting your own personal ipinion. If you are not going to show that you are actually shooting more accurately using one hold vs another then this video was a waste if my time. An AR has so little muzzle rise in semi auto you can’t really show any improvement between techniques by just presenting you shooting the rifle. If you were planning on just doing that then just use the shotgun for the entire video which would exaggerate the effect of muzzle rise so some difference could be seen. Otherwise show a target with holes in it so we can see if you can shoot faster and more accurately using one technique vs another.

  • DaveGinOly September 30, 2016, 10:37 pm

    Muzzle flip comes from the bore being above the line of recoil into the shoulder (or, in a pistol, over the hand). AR recoil (as mild as it is) goes very nearly straight back into the shoulder, so there is nearly no muzzle flip. Why worry about controlling flip that is nearly non-existent?
    As far as the two types of grips go, it’s very simple to demonstrate to yourself which is ergonomically superior. Take a light dumbbell (five pounds will do) and hold it in your support hand with your arm at full extension. Time how long you can hold it in that position before your hand begins to drop. A day or two later, after recovering from the test fully, do the same test with a bend in your arm, and your elbow very nearly below your wrist. Hold that position with the weight for time. Do I have to say which is easier? It’s obvious that you tire more quickly in one position than the other, making the less tiring hold superior. Still worried about muzzle flip? Get a comp.
    The other “advantage” of the wrist-over grip is that it makes it easier to “drive the gun” because the hand is out in front of most of the gun’s mass. Although it’s true that this grip puts the hand beyond most of the guns mass, it’s also true that in that position that hand must travel over a greater arc than when the hand is closer to the body. When the hand is on the mag well, not only is the arc over which the hand must drive the gun from one target to the next smaller than the arc through which the wrist-over grip must travel between the same targets, the shooter is stronger in this more ergonomic position. Even though more of the gun’s mass is beyond the hand (and we’re talking about the barrel, handguard, and not much else – the bulk of the gun’s mass is still behind the hand) the hand is in position where it’s much stronger. Between these two facts (stronger, less tiring position, shorter arc of travel for the hand driving the gun), the magwell grip is superior. (Never mind that you’re supposed to drive the gun with your feet – or your body, if you can’t move your feet – not your hands.)

    • Ranchdude October 1, 2016, 11:58 am

      Some very good points there. But every shooter is not the same though and what works best for one person may not for another. I’d say every shooter should try the different techniques on the range and find out which allows them to shoot faster and more accurately. And what works best for shooting a single paper target might be different than what works best shooting multiples such a plates or actual combat shooting which in the end is what we all need to train for in my opinion. Obviously competitive shooters prefer the over barrel method but they only shoot for a minute or two at a time which your comments address very well, long term stability of the hold vs short term.

    • clay martin October 1, 2016, 5:24 pm

      I can hold it longest straight down at my side in a farmers grip walk. does that mean we should all shoot from the hip?

  • Pat J September 30, 2016, 9:42 pm

    If knowledge and skills are equivalent, I’ll take a swearing instructor over a religious one any day. And thanks for the refreshing lack of piety on the American Indian front. I use a small v-grip, left wrist busted too many times. Be who you are, it goes back a long way.

    • clay martin October 1, 2016, 5:26 pm

      thanks! and I am a firm believer in’ ” we won, so we get to use what ever damn expression we like.”

  • JLK September 30, 2016, 7:23 pm

    It sure gets old listening to kids that can’t express themselves without swearing.

  • Kalashnikov Dude September 30, 2016, 5:30 pm

    I’m no competitor. I’m not a combat shooter. I’m just a guy who loves to shoot all kinds of firearms any chance I get. Over many years, I’ve developed a hold for rifles which affords me accuracy and comfort in most cases. I basically set the fore grip pretty much centered on my open palm. I don’t grip the gun at all. When I have a choice, I put a hand stop on the lower rail for the purpose it was designed to perform. It gets somewhat cinched against the webbing between the thumb and forefinger of the support hand, creating a steadying force controlled by the shooter. This works for me and seems to bring out at least the most accuracy I can muster, if not the rifle itself. The other holds look awkward as…..shit…….to me.

  • Dr. George R. Chance September 30, 2016, 2:25 pm

    Dear Sir,
    Would you consider dropping the swearing from your video posts? The expletives add nothing to your message. I believe your “shit” this and “shit” that, detract from your content and credibility. I spent 19 years in the U.S. Navy and 5 years in the U.S. Air Force, so I have heard and used swearing. Such words can be used for emphasis, but in your videos for Guns America, there is no need. If you are attempting to impress that you are an “Alpha Male” please don’t. Should you continue such behavior I intend to complain directly to your employer; Guns America.
    Earnestly, George R. Chance

    • Andrew September 30, 2016, 4:34 pm

      I tried to count the number of swears, and I found… ONE use of the word shit. What exactly are you complaining about? A single item of profanity should not have driven you to respond.

    • mach37 September 30, 2016, 4:40 pm

      Excellent reasoning. I often go back to my high school English sentence-diagramming, and note the function of words in a sentence: subject, object, predicate. The variations on the F-word in particular serves no purpose whatsoever in everyday speech – it is no more useful than “uh” – a meaningless sound. Years ago it could serve to shock the tender ears of women and girls, but of late one seems to hear it almost as often from the mouths of those women & girls we used to protect from the vulgarity of the world. Today, vulgarity seems to be the preferred means of expression in communication.

    • Smitty September 30, 2016, 5:05 pm

      Hey Doc,
      I too am a 10 year Navet and former CB. This is not a medical symposium. It’s a training video.
      Please cool yer jets. Just like television has a dial to change the channel the computer has a delete button.
      I suggest you use it accordingly and quit being a liberal trying to dictate the actions of others.
      Fair Winds & Following Seas……”Shipmate”

  • Paul DeRidder September 30, 2016, 2:24 pm

    Another great video. Is that the beginnings of a combat beard I see?

  • Todd September 30, 2016, 1:33 pm

    I have no problem in general with swearing as I get very soldier a lot. I, however, never swore while in an instructional scenario. Very off putting and anyone impressed with it is not worth impressing.

    The con ten and information as well as the appearance of the presenter was quite good and very worth the listening time but even one Shit or bullshit queers the play.

    Good job fellas – mind the verbal professionalism though.


    • Dave Emery September 30, 2016, 2:14 pm

      Yes, Clay please don’t cuss. I like to blow faces off using proper English.

  • Dillon Sheetz September 30, 2016, 1:16 pm

    Everytime I see an article like this I pray it has a comments section because its always full of idiots arguing over stance. If you can perform optimally and reliably in a certain stance with certain hold USE IT. PERIOD. Just because some guy at the range told you his technique is better doesn’t mean it is. You shoot how you want to and what feels natural to your body. OR you can experiment with everyone else’s stances and holds, listen to what ever 56 year old dad who has never had to defend himself, carries 2 guns and a truck gun to and from everywhere he goes everyday, has to say about what works best for him and everyone else. The firearms community is full of BS’ers and know it alls and the VAST majority of them have never drawn a weapon on another person. Train, practice, drill, tweak, drill, tweak, drill, perfect. No piece of advice out there makes up for good hard training.

    • DevilDog September 30, 2016, 7:02 pm

      I know right, I could care less how people shoot, it’s when they try and justify the technique with some bs, I mean in Afghanistan it was just about getting that gun up and on target lol I had a SAW mostly but hell I never saw any of this super tactical “operator” grip shit when we were getting shot at

  • Matt September 30, 2016, 12:02 pm

    Nice grip on the fore end but what kind of grip was on the pistol grip, his hand was barely touching it. Use what works for you but I’m at least going to grip with both hands not one.

    • Jim September 30, 2016, 1:11 pm

      It was for demonstration purposes. He not advocating that grip for the support hand.

    • Jim September 30, 2016, 1:11 pm

      It was for demonstration purposes. He’s not advocating that grip for the support hand.

    • clay martin September 30, 2016, 1:20 pm

      that was to illustrate the difference in support hand grips.

  • Phil September 30, 2016, 11:01 am

    Thanks for the video, Clay. Too bad about the comments section already devolving into petty BS. People don’t like being told they’re wrong, especially when they’re so convinced they’re right. 🙂
    I still like the mag well grip myself, but it’s always nice having options, especially for the sake of accuracy/precision.

    Aside from that, I had some similar thoughts on the calibre and type of weapon used. I did notice a slight reduction in muzzle rise from the video, and I know it’s a lot easier to feel than to see the difference (I’ll be trying that hold on my next range visit). If you get the chance and have one available, I’d like to see the comparison between holds on an AR-10.
    Either way, I’m looking forward to more videos from you.
    Thanks again.

    • clay martin September 30, 2016, 11:49 am

      thanks, and can do easy! turns out, we happen to have a 308 gun review coming up, I will add it in there.

  • luis perez September 30, 2016, 10:39 am

    when i looked at the video , couldn’t help noticing that when he shot using the magwell grip , there isn’t hardly any over powering recoil , the rifle wasn’t all over the place where follow up shots were probably not going to hit the same hole , but not going to be way off either , you will still hit the target . bottom line if you can shoot effectively with whatever grip you use and still at the end of the day your safe , alive , and got the job done , then that’s what counts . stay safe and always watch your 6 !

  • luis perez September 30, 2016, 10:23 am

    i too was in the army back in the early 80s and had the regular m16 , i did 4yrs in artillery and didn’t have any special training when it came to our rifle use in any kind of tactics . we were the rear echelon of defence . if the enemy was over running us , then something really bad happened to our guys in the front ! any ways , i got out , did 2yrs of reserves and went back in active and got reclassified as a 19d cavalry scout . so went from all the way form the rear to all the way to the front . we were the forwaed probe , eyes and ears for the armor . as a dissmount in iraq one of my jobs was to clear small dwellings we roll up on and clearing them and gather any intell if there were any . now there was no way i would go in using that type of hold . it’s not practical for that situation . and if you practice that way then you will lean towards the way you are used to and can find yourself getting your arm blown off or if you are entering a room and someone puts your arm and weapon in a standing arm lock of some kind , you will be defenceless because you will loose your weapons function and the function of thar arm . but if you use the magwell technique , then everything is tight the center of your core , if you get your weapon grabbed when entering a room , you have both hands on it to pull away and holding it by the magwell your shoulders don’t get as tired cause your elbows are tucked in and that’s energy saved . just saying !

    • clay martin September 30, 2016, 11:53 am

      We all have a right to disagree, and I respect the fact that you have some combat experience to back up your view, unlike some of the peanut gallery that is butthurt about this today.

      I am going to tell you though, as a CQB professional, this is the way. I did plenty of house clearing as an assaulter in Special Forces, and this is how we roll. It takes a little bit to get use to doing it, and it fires muscles differently when you start, but it is the cats pajamas. And no one is grabbing a gun out of your hands if you have it gripped near the end of the barrel. Its to easy to drive your muzzle into their chest and fill it full of lead.

      • Luis Perez November 28, 2016, 10:10 pm

        Hey Clay , I totally respect your experience and expertise and thank you for serving also . And I totally get where youare coming from . I guess it all boils down to what works for you , all scenarios are different even if it is the same thing , every person would have a different outcome . I wouldn’t care how anybody held their weapon as long as you kick ass , get the job done and we all go home to the loved ones , then I would want you by my side , cause rest assure I will do everything possible to for us to go home in one piece that night .

      • Luis Perez November 28, 2016, 10:11 pm

        Hey Clay , I totally respect your experience and expertise and thank you for serving also . And I totally get where you are coming from . I guess it all boils down to what works for you , all scenarios are different even if it is the same thing , every person would have a different outcome . I wouldn’t care how anybody held their weapon as long as you kick ass , get the job done and we all go home to the loved ones , then I would want you by my side , cause rest assure I will do everything possible to for us to go home in one piece that night .

  • Robert September 30, 2016, 10:02 am

    Why are you the expert????? Qualifications??? Not being a dick just a question I ask all that post these type videos??? Past experience ?? Training critical incidents????

    • Paul DeRidder October 1, 2016, 12:01 am

      There is usually a bio at the bottom of Clay’s articles but might not be included since this is a video but he has a vast amount of experience from The Marines, SF and sponsored 3-gun shooter.

  • Magic Rooster September 30, 2016, 9:26 am

    Clay, as always thanks for the video! The more “seasoned” people I watch, the easier it becomes for me to develop and sharpen my skills.
    As for the producers at Guns America, PLEASE LOOSE THE HEAD BANGING MUSIC! Jeez Louise.

  • Robert Bradley September 30, 2016, 9:17 am

    One more thing, a sling used properly, gives you a three point hold for keeping steady just like shooting a hunting rifle! Works on my ARs same as my hunting rifle!

    • clay martin September 30, 2016, 10:23 am

      correct you are my good man! we have a sling use video up on here somewhere.

  • Robert Bradley September 30, 2016, 9:11 am

    Clay, thanks for the video, to each their own! The only thing I have to say is anyone holding on to a mag in any situation should know: in the event of a catastrophic failure in the chamber, an AR is designed to blow out through that mag, thus lost fingers, hand neither worth holding the mag anytime, bad practice habit! For those who say otherwise, call Windham or some other manufacturers of AR Rifles they are designed to blow out through the mag! Again, your choice as a responsible adult if you choose to play Russian roulette not a smart move! Have fun shooting! Be safe! Many people just need to be informed who don’t know about this due to seeing others do this who may themselves not know it! Just trying to be helpful so no one gets hurt! Love the video! Thanks!

    • clay martin September 30, 2016, 10:32 am

      oh snap. I didn’t think about that either. well played.

  • Leslie September 30, 2016, 9:11 am

    I don’t know if they still teach this or not, maybe it’s gone to the wayside, but back when I was at Geiger, one of the things taught was to have your forward hand’s index finger point forward, aligned with the barrel. A fairly instinctive way to, point your finger at what you wanted to shoot. Maybe modern optics have made that obsolete. I do get that the further out, the more stable, but at a certain point, it just feels ‘bad’ to lock the elbow: I have always extended my hand further out the barrel than a lot of folks, but I wouldn’t have gone so far as to lock the elbow, I’ve always kept a bit of a bend in there, acting as a bit of a shock absorber…

    • clay martin September 30, 2016, 11:55 am

      i remember that as well, from school of infantry at Pendelton. That worked well for the older M16A2 method of CQB, with iron sights and the buttstock over top of your shoulder. modern optics and rifles have made it pretty much obsolete though. maybe we will do a video on that next!

  • Chest out/Shoulders Back September 30, 2016, 9:04 am

    LOL. Because the recoil is SO massive and hard to control on 5.56 – got to control it!!!

    No, but seriously. Keep using the tacticool/tactitard goofy grip on your AR. It gives us something to laugh at.
    (BTW, he did a good job on the video, but enough of the shoulders back/chest out already. Yeah, you work out brah?)

  • Trent DeRoc September 30, 2016, 8:29 am

    I am absolutely convinced that a wrist over grip offers superior recoil control than a magwell or cup grip, but i’m not convinced that it is a valid option on most of the firearms I regularly shoot. With the wide range of rifles and shotguns which have exposed upper surfaces on their barrels, or exposed gas systems, 4 out of 5 guns that I use would be exposing the tender meatsticks on my hands to uncomfortable temperatures. A superior method I can only use 20% of the time may be a net loss when the time (and ammo) could be used to build skill in a method I can use 100% of the time.

  • Jack Hinson September 30, 2016, 7:12 am

    Thanks Clay. Your videos are always instructive and entertaining. I have tried the wrist over grip and did notice an improvement in control.

    • clay martin September 30, 2016, 11:56 am

      awesome, that is what we are looking for. all technique is a tool for the tool box.

  • Robert September 30, 2016, 6:50 am

    How about…..if you are holding any rifle you are gripping it right……….

  • Dan September 30, 2016, 5:37 am

    I don’t want to get in the middle of the personal (and unfortunate) part of this discussion. Back to the main point, your technique does (for the most part) only work on an AR-15 configured your way. What’s your answer to that?

    • clay martin September 30, 2016, 10:33 am

      Use an AR?

  • james September 30, 2016, 5:25 am

    This is all great advice, unless you’re actually in combat clearing rooms and you have that left arm out and hand blocking your vision. Hollywood.

    • Kc September 30, 2016, 8:06 am

      I was just wondering how many rooms the demonstrator has cleared in combat.
      After house number 50 or so holding your arm out like that is going to get very, very old. Let alone if your platoon is tasked to clear 400+ houses in a day.
      Furthermore that doesn\’t work so well for GI issued type carbines. Wrap my hand around the FSB? Going to get warm really quick if you\’ve got to shoot it much. PAQ-2, weapon light, M-203 etc are going to get in the way very quickly.
      I went into Iraq with a traditional weapon hold using the handguard, but came back using the magwell grip almost exclusively.

      • clay September 30, 2016, 10:10 am

        I’ll field that one. A metric shit ton. I was in a Direct Action Company, which means i was in the kill house 3-4 days a week for years, and in combat it was hits every night. I have done the assault all night game too, as well as some huge structures.

        You have to evolve. I went to the invasion with NVGs on a skull crusher. Doesn’t mean it is the right way, its just what we did back then. Go try this out, then tell me you still like mag well grip.

  • Ken J September 30, 2016, 5:14 am

    If I try that with my AR, my support hand would be way in front of the handguard and I’d be gripping the barrel right behind the flash suppressor… LOL.

    I would kind of recommend you maybe use a larger caliber rifle to demonstrate this. Because when you go “watch how much my rifle jumps around with this grip” and you proceed to fire off a few rounds of 5.56mm… no matter how poor your grip is or how hard you try to give that rifle room to move, including taking your firing hand off the rifle, that round simply does not move that rifle much at all, especially with that full-length rail… I think you’d have to do some super-slow-mo with like a ruler behind the muzzle for us to see the difference between the grips using that rifle. 😛 But I get your point anyway, just saying, your “a-ha” moment of how poor the magwell grip is was pretty lackluster because honestly, the rifle barely moved at all, which is typical of any AR style rifle chambered in 5.56mm with a rail system installed… Heck, I can hold my AR out like a pistol, meaning only holding it by the pistol grip, stock off shoulder, support hand also wrapped around the pistol grip and fire off 5.56mm’s all day and the rifle doesn’t jump around much. I hate to admit it, but yes, I’ve done it before… 😐

  • Will September 30, 2016, 4:52 am

    I’m not a huge fan of the AR to start with, but one of the things I hated about the M16A2 was the slick fore grip. Unless you’ve got pine tar on your palm, your hand slides back to the mag well automatically. Your talking about a race ready rifle compared to a standard issue. One thing we did do was use the sling as a way to brace our off hand, and no, I don’t mean a loop sling. Saw a few cases of sling palsy from that.

    I would say that if I was to buy or build an AR I would likely put fore grips on that I could actually grip, and I would give the technique a try as it looks effective for certain situations. But to claim the mag well grip is silliness is, well, silly, as it works.

  • Mark N. September 30, 2016, 2:12 am

    The reason this technique was not developed for so long is because the M4/M16 has a barrel shroud? Clay, rifles have been made with barrel shrouds (i.e., a protective covering of the barrel) for nigh on 150 years, going back to early Mausers. Back then, soldiers used their bolt action rifles (with bayonet attached) as clubs in close combat. Further, it allowed troops to carry their rifles two handed instead of the classic shouldered weapons position. So the barrel shroud has nothing to do with the development of the overhand hold. If anything, it has a lot more to do with the raised sights of battle rifles, starting with the M16, where one could hold the gun in that fashion without obscuring the front sight–such as you demonstrated with the shotgun.

  • Rick Gregoire September 29, 2016, 9:10 pm

    Very valid and accurate for the purpose he is stating. For precision target shooting the hold is very different because the rifle is configured different. Also there wouldn’t be a high cap mag so to have the support arm locked as close to the body with the elbow directly under the firearm is acheivable.
    What he is stating and demostrating is definitely advantageous for optimum results. Three gun shooters use it to great advantage.
    Across the board hi-power would use the skeletal support hold, elbow under the gun.
    Both techniques are optimum to their individual application.

    • clay martin September 29, 2016, 11:15 pm

      I concur. The classic NRA standing is absolutely best for a precision shot. It does give something up in recoil management, but that is mostly a close range problem. Skeletal support is very hard to beat for a heavy gun, and a 300-400 yard shot standing.

  • John Babb September 29, 2016, 6:14 pm

    Clay’s tips are easy to understand and he is very articulate, which wastes no time. A point for improvement is to slow his speech tempo a bit. He talks very fast, and outruns the speed of many folks’ ears.

    • clay martin September 29, 2016, 11:16 pm

      Thanks brother. I am working on the speech flow. My coach has a taser and a stick, we are making progress.

  • Ben September 29, 2016, 12:25 am

    Oh yeah. Learn how to load your shotgun. Instructor my ass.

    • clay martin September 29, 2016, 11:18 pm

      Speaking of ass, I instructed your mom all up on hers last night. Quick learner that one.

      • Ed September 30, 2016, 9:20 am

        Ben’s comment was silly and uncalled for. But that response was worse. Please show some class.

      • Ted September 30, 2016, 9:53 am

        Hi, Clay, you need to toughen your skin up a little, Buddy. Insulting your commenters (back) is kinda poor style for someone with your skills and experience. Not everyone is cool! Thanks for the tips! Always enjoyable to watch.

      • Mike Veilleux September 30, 2016, 10:02 am

        Can we keep this quasi civil?
        Or at least focus our inflammatory rhetoric on the technicalities?

  • Ben September 28, 2016, 10:52 pm

    Okay Clay. Here’s some feedback for you. Why didn’t you show that technique on an AK if works so well? How about an M4 carbine with a front sight? Why not a bolt action rifle, pump action shotgun or a lever action rifle? I mean it seems as though this technique really only works on a specific type of rifle that’s set up in a very particular way. Hmmm.

    Why don’t you try carrying that gun like that on a patrol. I give 10 minutes, tops, before that support hand starts creeping back toward that magwell. Now I’ll be the first to admit this technique can be used to shoot very quickly for a short period but if a person can’t maintain that grip for a sustained fight they’d better hope its over in just a few rounds.

    Since you are an “instructor,” I’d really love to see a video of you instructing an 8 year old kid and an 80 year old lady in this technique. What!? It only works for certain people with a good deal of upper body strength!? You don’t say.

    Now who can I think of that doesn’t carry a rifle very long and only has to worry about shooting quickly for small stretches of time. They’re usually young adult males too. Oh yeah. It sound like a competitive shooter.

    So if that “technique” requires a specific rifle with a particular configuration and it’s not practical for a sustained fight, and it can really only be used by people who are physically able, I’d put that in the category of competitor bullshit. You can disagree if you like but you should probably do a check in the mirror before bad mouth a valid technique just because you don’t understand it. Instructor my ass.

    • clay martin September 29, 2016, 11:15 am

      Oh fun! Some one wants to play “on patrol”! Alright ninja, I was in Recce in two services. Multiple combat tours, plus some of the gray areas like Kosovo. I’m a graduate of LRSLC, ARS, and 3 DOD Sniper Schools. I figure I have walked about 10,000 miles with a gun over my career. How about you?

      • Steve C. September 30, 2016, 3:29 am

        Get ’em brother. Mall ninjas abound. I’d be surprised if they even respond, let alone post up a resume as experienced as yours. Great video, thanks for the explanation of the difference and why the wrist over is better if you can do it. It’s a bitch to do on a Steyr AUG, I’ll tell you that. Charging handle gets in the way and the barrel is exposed. But it works great on my AK.

        • clay September 30, 2016, 10:13 am

          I bet that is a bitch on a Steyr, I’ll have to try that. Fun fact about different guns- we accidentally put a guy in the hospital working the Viking Tactics barricade drills with FNH- SCARS. Reciprocating charging handle broke his thumb.

      • Dave September 30, 2016, 5:09 am

        Wow people. Instructors are human too. Guy picks a gun up from the table and because it doesn’t already have one chambered he cannot be a legit instructor? Sheeze! I’ve taught a lot off students about guns over the last decade and been hunting/shooting for 3x that and I still forget to top off the tube on a fast duck hunt, turn the safety off on occasion on a friends gun when handed to me (Dang that”s a heavy trigger pull, OH….) and even fail to put one in the chamber now and again at the range when casually shooting (Flinch much?)! If that disqualifies a person as an instructor then 99% of the good folks I’ve taught with over the years would be off the teaching roster. Thanks for the tip Clay. Not sure where in my style of shooting it might fit in but I’m always looking to try something new to see if it works ANYWHERE. If it does I’ll be pleased to throw it in my limited but always growing bag of tricks 😉

        • clay September 30, 2016, 10:15 am

          thanks brother. I generally keep things empty in the pipe until I’m ready to use them, just forgot on that one. I could have edited it out, but that is a chump move.

      • james September 30, 2016, 5:28 am

        18D, 3 Tours..none of us ever trained or used that type of shooting style. To each his own NEVER saw that in combat.

        • Luap September 30, 2016, 6:31 am

          Were you using a vertical grip?

        • clay September 30, 2016, 10:15 am

          18E/F, SFAUC instructor. What year did you get out? Because this did evolve later, around 2007-2008

      • Luap September 30, 2016, 6:27 am

        I like your info clay but just a few quick questions… yet they could be just preferences.
        Why do you prefer to have your stock extended so much? Me personally I like the buttstock short or completely collapsed. My reasoning behind this has to do with physics, and the further the rifle is out away from me, the more energy it takes to continue holding for any period of time. When I was in the ARMY, before I was shipped out overseas and assigned an M4, I attended Infantry School/AIT at Ft. Benning, Georgia. We all had to use the m16 with 18inch barrels and fixed stocks. Holding that rifle out for any substantial period of time would just wear down everyone, which affected their accuracy. I was still able to be the 1st in the Battlion to get expert at the range, yet I feel energy needs to be conserved when possible.

        Thanks for any input!

        • clay September 30, 2016, 10:17 am

          I like the stock extended fully when I am slick, and I like it collapsed when I am in armor. I feel like the length extended helps me drive the gun, but when I have the added 3 inches of armor and straps, collapsed feels more correct.

      • Corbin September 30, 2016, 9:07 am

        While I appreciate what your trying to say and do…..your “instruction” is going to be lost on anyone who has seen any kind of combat and/or training.

        Last time I went through, I never…..never saw anyone train, or fight with this shooting technique. You should know since your a combat vet as well it seems.

        Also Clay, you seem to be throwing around the mall ninja comments and childish insults around with no thought to how that makes you look as an instructor. Deal with negative input and try not to act like a kid with you panty knot whenever someone criticizes your long perfected technique.

        • clay martin September 30, 2016, 12:00 pm

          I have professed to be many things, but mature is not one of them. But I also don’t try to be something I’m not. Thats how I talk, take it or leave it.

          • Corbin September 30, 2016, 10:30 pm

            Fair enough, I’ll leave it. The crew we deal with keeps the professionalism first and drops the childish banter.

            Good luck, I’m sure you’ll have a good following.

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