THE EFFECT OF GRIP SIZE AND GRIP STRENGTH ON PISTOL MARKSMANSHIP IN POLICE OFFICERS: A PILOT STUDY
Background: Police officers may be required to use their firearms in self-defence. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationships between hand grip size and strength on pistol shooting accuracy in police officers. Methods: Twelve (age = 38.08±6.24 years; height = 174.42±7.33 cm) police officers had their hand sizes (palm width and hand span) and hand grip strength measured. Handgrip dynamometer was set at a Glock 17 pistol’s grip width (50mm). The officers fired 10 rounds from their service pistols at a stationary target. Independent samples t-tests were performed to identify differences between the sexes. Correlations were used to investigate relationships between measures of hand size, strength, and marksmanship. Alpha levels were set at p<0.05. Results: Male officers were significantly stronger (p=0.01) and had a bigger hand width (p=0.03), but not hand span. There were no significant differences in marksmanship between the sexes. Conclusions: Neither hand size nor grip strength had a significant impact on marksmanship even though there were strong and significant relationships between hand size (span and MCP) and grip strength. A V-shaped curve appears to exist between grip strength and marksmanship and hand span and marksmanship, with a potential influencing factor being the standard sizing of the pistol grip.
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