Cheek Pistol Concept: Unorthodox But Effective

My friend Rhett Neumayer has been experimenting with an unorthodox but very interesting way to use handguns that don’t have reciprocating slides. He fits a red dot optic on a relatively tall mount, then presses the back of the pistol into his cheek while gripping it over the top of the frame with his support hand. There are only a few pistols that can be used this way, like the KelTec CP33 and the Steyr SPP, but it allows remarkably fast, accurate shooting with a very compact presentation (basically the same as shooting a traditional handgun form retention). It’s a really interesting idea, and Rhett has shown it to be very effective. Check out his channel for various demonstrations…


  1. Interesting. Better with the support elbow braced against your torso for extra stability IMO. Perhaps best as a PDW for support personnel behind the front line such as logistic drivers, artillery crews or signallers, but also well suited to concealed carry by bodyguards and urban guerrillas or special forces who want something more effective than a conventional handgun but more concealable than a SBR. That said, I’d prefer a POF 5PK (reverse stretch MP5K) with an A3 stock and extend the stock when I had time to open it up.

    • Push/pull cheek weld… He looks fair strong… If you were also, probably.

      If not, might increase dentist visits; .45acp etc. Not sure. A cheek is not a shoulder he he, in regards its ability to support.

    • A cheek “brace” option was available for a few months for AR pistols. “In the day,” about 1969 IIRC my ROTC unit in High School visited Ft Leonard Wood and the course of exhibition was led by a SGT who was adept at “quick kill” no sights shooting. His visual familiarization warm up was to put the trapdoor buttstock of an M16 A nothing against his chin and discharge it – hitting the target. Not a .22 kit, full power ball ammo. He started with alka selser tablets at close range and working out shooting from the hip and hitting targets one after the other. I have read from a section of a report I stumbled across in the post VN era which stated the increase in accuracy and number of hits in combat which supported how well the technique worked.

      Like a lot of GI programs, I think it was discarded because too much range time. When Red dots became a complementary improvement (high contract cost no ammo expense) it became the go to solution.

      Anyone running an AR pistol NO BRACE has long ago explored these options. As I shoot NTTCH you learn to brace the grip against your locked in arm while pushing out with the front handguard. Straps and stuff can help, I’m finding more and more grabbing the left front pocket in the grip of the pistol and using it as a “shooting shirt” helps too.

  2. I now recall my 1st AR pistol used a rifle buffer tube, and I would shoot it w/ the buffer tube over my shoulder, which lined up my fixed-carry handle sights as long as I kept my head up.

    • That is consistent with M16 hold as you see in pictures – the top of butt is sticking way up over the shoulder. Talking ergonomics of “in-line” layout… less than perfect. In other words, the sight line should be lot higher.

      FAMAS is better in that regard.

  3. Yeah, a BIT unorthodox – and as previous caller says, it may be bit “inconvenient” with moving slide, since it would follow with speedy visit to emergency room.

    But, this does not mean “unorthodoxy” is a bad approach per se. I practice it myself when shooting my revolver. My left arm is resting against rib cage (I am right handed) while holding it with both hands as usual. I am getting lot better results compared with “praying” style. Could I do it with a conventional pistol? I do not see why not. Style does not matter, he result does.

    • The P50 has an ejection port nearer the top, and can be expected to eject brass hotter and faster than a .22.

      IMHO, it would have worked a lot better for this purpose (and in general) if they’d located the grip near the balance point and ejected the brass through a chute right behind the firing hand.

    • .22 wmr… Do you know in very short barreled guns; like that naa mini, would… Forward ignition increase powder burn, to a noticible degree in such a short barrel. Say if you got a .22 wmr case and loaded a “nail” head over the primer, over say a wire gauze and then pinned a percussion cap at the front of the nail… Or pin, as in pinfire; pinned through the case like those cocktail sticks in pin fire shotgun shells… Below the projectile. Would the flash burning the powder from the front mean more burned before the bullet left the tiny barrel. In this the primer blows the pin, into the cap; cap detonates, flash burns powder from the front.

      Just saying, as the mini in .22wmr is a bit of a powder burner after the bullet leaves the barrel apparently. Might be an improvement; just thinking if you could replicate the 4″ barrel one in the “no” barrel one… Its the same steel etc, shouldn’t “grenade”

  4. You mentioned the scorpion, Ian. And that got me thinking. It doesnt solve the ambidextrous problem mentioned but… Could this be the “correct” way or at least a better way to shoot the HK MP7 without the folding stock? Instead of pistole style?
    Yes, in general not using the stock when you have it, is stupid and the optic would need to be even higher up. But if for some reason you have to (lack of space/time)? Holding the MP7 like a pistole always looked kinda goofy to me. Some sharp edges could be unpleasant to the cheek but in principle?

  5. What if you built a pistol with forward-ejection?
    I vaguely remember one low-production bullpup assault rifle with an extra tube above the barrel. The sole function of the tube is to eject spent casings towards the muzzle.

    A second suggestion involves adding a sheet-metal cheek-rest to existing slide pistols. Replace the left hand-guard with a plate that extends up and over the slide. It might resemble the dust cover on the early Lee bolt-action rifle that you showed us the other day, or the dust cover installed on many FN FALS. This extended side-plate/cheek-shield would prevent your beard from jamming the slide.

    • “(…) bullpup assault rifle with an extra tube above the barrel(…)function of the tube is to eject spent casings towards the muzzle.(…)”
      TKB-022PM does fit that description, see photos

      There is always possibility of chute which eject downwards, like in S&W 1940 Light Rifle see 5th image from top
      it must be noted that this make grip exceptionally long fore-to-aft if it has to encase magazine and chute, so it would be feasible for short cartridge

      “(…)second suggestion involves adding a sheet-metal cheek-rest to existing slide pistols(…)”
      Yet another possibility is using automatic pistol which offer “repeating mode”, though this feature is rather uncommon. Example of such automatic pistol is MAB Type II Model F
      The distinguishing feature of the MAB Type II Model F is a lever on the left rear of the slide, just above the manual safety, which serves to lock the slide–and hence the breech. The lever rotates a wedge of steel down into a v-shaped cut in the back of the frame. This enables the breech to be sealed when a round is fired, giving maximum velocity. It also enables the gun to be very effectively suppressed. Not only will little sound escape from the breech, but there will be no sound of the action working, and no cartridge ejected.
      Naturally this is not option if you want to fire second time as rapidly as possible.

    • Blow forward maybe, even… Seems to work; although, given you are giving it 3 places like a stock… Is probably expected, if unorthodox. Blow forward .327, niche use.

      Nitinol expanding Bullets, ring of niti tightens around the rear of like a dum dum bullet… Making it wider at the front.

      4 330mls beers for you after weeks, he he.

      • You know those “robot” dance… Er, suits. You wear them and a robot copies your moves, thats an easy multiple round solution we just make wee (leprechaun) robots about 2ft tall, that aim AR’s wherever you point and fire them.

        Like mini Terminators. Top o the morning. Actually I am pissed. But I meant instead of an An94… Or multiple projectile rounds. Actually I stand by that, some “one” will hit; the future of warfare he he.

        • The expandy bits could be less squishy… Maybe. So as to be… More hard, sooo… Like… Penetration… Expansion. X or x niti wants to X as oppose x in regards expansion size.

          I don’t know, try it.

  6. “(…)Steyr SPP(…)”
    This is self-loading version of Steyr TMP.
    Going this way is it possible to find some other such guns, one example is UZI pistol developed from Micro-UZI

    Blow-forward automatic pistols (like Schwarzlose 1908) should be also usable this way, but they were rare in history and are known for relatively felt recoil for cartridge used.

    • Aye well said, blow forward; missed that.

      Pipped you on leprechaun terminators though, bet you didn’t think of that he he.

  7. I have used this type of hold with a Ruger 10/22 Charger pistol in Rimfire Challenge competitions to very good effect. I did not even know it was a thing, I started doing it because it made it easier to use the red dot and was way way faster than a normal hold for me. The competition was a 2 gun, and I was very fast with my 10/22 rifle but not so much with my pistol. Then I got the charger, and figured since I was fast with the 10/22 rifle, why not mimic that with the Charger pistol, and wala, better scores!! It got some strange looks in competition, but nothing in the rules forbade it.

  8. When I was a kid, I tried to shoot a Feinwerkbau match pellet pistol that way. On that day I learned that the recoilless

    • When I was a kid, I tried to shoot a Feinwerkbau match pellet pistol that way. On that day I learned that the “recoilless” spring piston air pistol worked by recoiling back, with enough force to really hurt.


      • I had a Gat gun; British… Sort of blow forward. Can’t remember recoil impulse.

        Anyway the cheek thing as oppose shoulder works… In certain calibres/guns seemingly.

    • I’ve used the Rossi Ranch Hand (don’t laugh) in 357mag like this. You would think the caliber would hurt your face, but the weight of the gun takes the recoil well. It might also touch your collar bone depending on how you’re built.

      With a red dot in place of the rear sight it will dispatch critters at 50-75 yards easily. (Stop laughing already. I know it looks stupid, but if it looks stupid and works…)

  9. I would have to say the calico 9mm pistol might be the why to go for this concept. It offers a bottom eject and a cheek weld on the 50 or 100 round magazine. I’m not sure if the reliability is much better than the keltec. But I think would be a valid option to explore

  10. Wasn’t there a chin brace offered a few years ago? Ian’s concept at least does not look like it unhinges the jaw.

  11. This cheek hold goes way far back in the muzzleloading era. Some early arquebuses and handgonnes where used that way. Most notably the Japanese Tanegashima Teppo matchlock.

  12. Re: Scorpion. I own one, and was advised by a friend that with the stock folded, either of the wings in front is JUST the right size to slip a thumb through, inhibiting no other function and permitting a fairly good grip. The ejection is at the top, I can see this being a problem with a basecap on, but I’ll test it. I think it could work. I’ll make a vid sometime this month.

  13. I was also going to suggest that the Calico would be perfect for this, but others beat me to the punch.

    It might not be as simple to mount an optic on, but it could be done (probably in conjunction with an upper barrel shroud to allow support hand placement that isn’t directly on the barrel).

  14. Looks the same as the taco hold used by silhouette shooters. Ask the old timers at the Pima Pistol Club. They held silhouette matches back in the 1980s, don’t know if they still have them.

    • I don’t think they still shoot silhouette at Pima, they do at the Sierra Vista range. I started silhouette in the 70’s, don’t remember the taco hold catching on till the early 90’s. I still have two Contenders set up to shoot that way. Not much new under the sun.

  15. Ditto on the Ruger Charger as a possibility-maybe the takedown model with a shorter barrel such as the 5 & 1/8” Beyer I have. It’s so short, I use it without a forend by grasping the takedown lever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.