The TACO Grip
Silhouette shooters, each with a slightly different variation of the Taco grip. All pictures can be clicked on for a larger view, all picture credits (except the last one) to the International Handgun Metallic Silhouette Shooting Association.
An international shooter from New Zealand, with his forward hand under, rather than over, but still a Taco variation.
Most people outside of the handgun silhouette shooting world have never heard of the Taco grip. The basic difference is that the main hand is on the pistol grip in a normal manner, but the second hand is holding the barrel or the scope, instead of being wrapped around the primary hand holding the grip. In just about all forms of handgun competition this is an acceptable practice, as how you use your second hand is more or less up to you. The only exception that comes to mind is handgun bullseye competition, where you must hold the handgun with only one hand.
Each grip and stance combination has its own advantages and disadvantages, and a savvy shooter will select a grip and stance most suited for the type of competition at hand. The Taco grip, for example as used by silhouette shooters is quite accurate, but it is also quite slow if you are shooting several targets and must do so quickly. The Taco grip also works well at keeping the muzzle rise to a minimum, which partially offsets the slowness when speed is a concern.
When I first started using the Taco grip, a couple of things became immediately apparent. First, it's harder than it looks. Second, it really IS slower. I also noticed that my groups were tighter, so I decided to see what I could do to build on the accuracy and overcome the slowness.
The position of the weak-hand elbow is important. The lower you have it, the more stable you become in the vertical plane, but the less stable you are horizontally. Also, the lower your weak- hand elbow, the harder it is to move the gun to either side quickly. The higher the weak-hand elbow, the easier it is to move the barrel to either side, but vertical stability suffers.
Since most of my shooting matches involve shooting for speed at bowling pins, which are tall and narrow, horizontal accuracy and speed of movement are more important than vertical accuracy. Through trial and error, I have found that having my weak-hand elbow as close to horizontal as possible seems to work the best for me, as you can see in the lower picture.
I have also modified the more traditional taco stance into a slight crouch. For me it feels a bit more compact and stable, and I don't have to raise the pistol quite as far to get it to shooting position.
Is the Taco grip a huge advantage that makes you unbeatable? Nope! In fact, when time becomes a factor, or targets are spread wide apart, it's more of a liability.
There are a lot of grips and stances, and you match them to your type of shooting. Just remember that no matter what grip and stance you use, it still ALL boils down to trigger control.
Without good trigger control, your stance and grip don't make too much difference.......