Skeeter Takes The Finger Further

If Keith gave us the little-finger-under-the-butt technique for the most classic handgun of the 19th Century, Skeeter Skelton applied it to a classic of the 20th, the snubnose small-frame revolver.

Without a grip adapter or custom stocks, those things twist in your hand under recoil — especially with the slender “splinter” stocks of yesteryear. The pinkie finger tucked under the butt goes a long way toward curing this. It turns out to work remarkably well with short-butt autos of the “Baby GLOCK” genre as well. Skelton, by the way, got his start in — you guessed it — the pages of GUNS.

Ya know, back in the day I thought I’d figured out the little finger thing all by myself. I suspect now I didn’t so much reinvent the wheel — I’d probably read it in a gun book or magazine as a kid and internalized it without attribution.

In a similar vein, I learned as a handgun retention instructor the hardest gun to take from someone was a model with a short barrel and decent-size grip-frame to hang onto. Turns out another of the Old Masters figured it out earlier. In his book Shooting, the late Henry “Fitz” Fitzgerald wrote, “Some of the advantages of the 2 barrel are ... in a scuffle the barrel is so short that the man holding the revolver has far more leverage than the man trying to take it away from him.” He wrote those lines in 1930.

The upshot of all this? Ain’t much new under the sun. Sometimes we need to get away from being explorers of new shooting worlds and become archaeologists instead, digging through the sands of time for old concepts which worked but were sadly forgotten.