Pistol Grip An Overview

The pistol grip is that portion of the mechanism that is held by the hand and orients the hand in a forward, vertical orientation, similar to the position one would take with a conventional pistol such as the Glock pistol. For firearms, the pistol grip is generally used by the hand that operates the trigger. Rifles and shotguns without pistol grips are generally referred to as having straight or upland style stocks. Some firearms, such as some versions of the Thompson submachine gun, have a forward pistol grip which is used to stabilize the firearm in operation. The pistol grip often serves multiple functions such as a magazine housing, bipod, or tool storage. In some firearms, like the Finnish light machine gun KK 62, the pistol grip is also used as a handle to charge the weapon. Pistol grips are a defining feature in United States gun law. A forward pistol grip on a pistol is restricted. Pistol grips which protruded below the weapon and not as a portion of a conventional rifle or shotgun stock are currently regulated in some states and were regulated by the now expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban.

Often the word gun appears in the name of pistol gripped tools such as the glue gun, caulking gun and nail gun. A number of tools, like firearms, have a forward pistol grip. Drills and grinders often include this feature for added control. One of the reasons the pistol grip style is so common in machinery is because it is possible to ergonomically position controls for ease of the user. For example, on the M16/M4 assault rifle, the index finger can control the trigger and magazine release, while the thumb can control the safety or fire mode selector switch without physically moving the palm off the grip. The Italian grip, though the earliest to develop, is rarely used today in sport fencing but is common among classical fencers. Its advocates say that it has most of the French grip's agility with a much greater degree of power and stability. The Italian grip consists of a straight handle, usually just wood or aluminum covered in grip tape, as well as a crossbar and two rings.

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