From The Foxholes To The Ghetto

by Chris Bodenner

Brian Palmer explores the history of the "side grip," or holding a gun sideways when firing, which makes for terrible aim. Its contemporary origin is traced to the opening scene of the 1993 film Menace II Society, which popularized it among street gangs. But the side grip has an even earlier history:

During the first half of the 20th century, soldiers used the side grip for the express purpose of endangering throngs of people. Some automatic weapons from this eralike the Mauser C96 or the grease gunfired so quickly or with such dramatic recoil that soldiers found it impossible to aim anything but the first shot. Soldiers began tilting the weapons, so that the recoil sent the gun reeling in a horizontal rather than vertical arc, enabling them to spray bullets into an onrushing enemy battalion instead of over their heads.

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