1. #1
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    Default Pistol grip nozzles?

    I personally have no use for them but would like to hear some input, for and against. 1 1/2", 1 3/4", 2" ans 2 1/2" lines, fog and solidbore. What are your experiences?

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    Pistol grips have a couple of advantages: Reuced hand fatigue, provides a grip even with icy gloves and hose during the winter conditions, in long hand line operations, you can rotate the grip towards your body and use your body for support, makes a good hook to keep the nozzle off the ground during overhual, and the pistol grip can be used to bust out windows.

    A disadvantage is the larger profile; sometimes it's nice to be able to shove the nozzle up through a hole, (ie: through the ceiling into an attic, up through an eve or porch overhang.) The handle has a tendency to hook everything. Some may complain about the added weight, but if that extra 1/2 lb is to much, you need to get into the weight room for some excercise!
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    i agree with SPFD. I myself prefer the pistol grip nozzles, just since my small size it is easier to hold onto the line. the more tools you have the easier it is to do a job. every tool has it's advantages and disadvantages.
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    I dont like pistol grips. In my experience with using them they actually tire me out quicker because im taking all the back pressure into my hand whereas if i were holding onto the hose line it would go into my body. Ive also had the misfortune of an engineer overpressuring the line a great deal which happens from time to time so when u are holding onto a pistol grip you have it closer to your body already this overpressuring causes the nozzle to get jambed back into your armpit which isnt a good thing at all. One more reson I dont like them, if you are holding the hoseline as you should, out and away from you and holding onto the line you can lay down and direct the stream overhead by simply rolling over if u are suddenly in a flameover or worse situation, on the other hand, if you are holding onto a pistolgrip and suddenly have to dive on your belly you will have the nozzle pinned under you and u wont be able to roll over and use the nozzle effectively because when u hold a pistol grip the nozzle is close to your body. These are just a couple of disadvatages, im sure i can think of a few more if i thought about it. Oh yea also when you are holding the hoseline back away from the nozzle you can play the pipe alot more easily and effectively like your supposed to. To almost violently rotate the nozzle is pretty eazy to do with your hands on the hose whereas it takes alot of arm and body work to do the same while holding onto a pistol grip. So just for this fact I think its harder for someone using a pistol grip to effectively knock down fire as oppossed to someone using the hose. If i were chief for a day all pistol grips would go in the circular file where they belong.

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    They have an additional benefit, recently a while using a 1 3/4 " line was for an interior attack at a structure fire( due to a misunderstanding) this line was overloaded and i lost control of it instead of losing the line I dug the pistol grip into the wall and it held fine.

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    We use the pistol grip on the 1 3/4 but not on the 2 1/2. Me personally I don't care one way or the other.



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    Pistol grips on our 1 3/4" lines, not on our 2 1/2" lines. TFT automatics on the 1 3/4" lines, smoothbore on the 2 1/2" lines. Assuming (know what that gets us) the second guy on the line is doing his job, one hand on pistol other hand on TIC. Easier to hold the pistol with one hand instead of the hose. Can be hooked on things for added support or simply to hold the line for a minute. We have seen when guys used our old 1 3/4" without the pistol, they kept a hand on the bale and would be closing it more often. With the pistol, they keep front hand on the pistol and back hand on the hose. Bale is open all the way and left that way.

    On the 2 1/2" lines we used to have the old straight tips with the 2 black rubber C shaped handles on the side. Were good for sitting around doing exposure coverage or defensive operation. We usually throw the 2 1/2 in a loop and put one guy sitting on it. On the rare occaision we have used them in attack, we have had 3 guys on the line and not had any problems without the pistol grip or the C handles. The way our 2 1/2" is packed on the back of the truck, a pistol grip would not fit well, so we went without.

    It works for us, it may not work for anyone else.

    PS - the TFT's are left in straight stream on the trucks.
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    One of the benefits I have found is that while advancing an interior line the grip makes it easier to pull the hoseline.

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    If the #2 man on the line does his job the guy on the nozzle should't need the pistol grip. Of course when does the #2 man perform perfectly? Never. Who could? I actually prefer not to have it, but for the sake of all involved I suppose it has become a necessity.

    One place it certainly has value is the industrial setting. When approaching a fire to close a valve in a pipeline precise and minute nozzle adjustments are a must. One hand must be kept at the nozzle to adjust the stream at a moments notice. Having one hand on the grip and one on the rotator is required, at least it was where I was taught
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    The Navy trained me exclusively in hose handling with a pistol grip, so I have found the transition to nozzles without the grip to be very tiresome. Also with the pistol grip I know exactly where the bail is at all times.

    During my first civilian interior/live fire experience (carried out by the JI of BC), we used straight nozzles and I found that all the crawling around we did through the structure, the hose had a tendency to twist, and that in turn twisted the nozzle and bail to a degree that I was not always confident that I had direct control over it. Another thing that I found out then was that I had to constantly monitor the fog pattern because by dragging the nozzle around tended to change it on me, so that the pattern adjustment that I entered the building with was not the one that I had when I checked it again on discovery of the actual fire site.

    Of course the use of a pistol grip is a personal preference, and one that I enjoy, mostly because that is what I was originally trained to work with. However, I do see the benefits of not having one also... its just not my cup 'o tea.

    Just re-read Duffman's post.... and he brings a strong point:

    "One hand must be kept at the nozzle to adjust the stream at a moments notice. Having one hand on the grip and one on the rotator is required, at least it was where I was taught."
    Last edited by MalahatTwo7; 01-10-2003 at 02:47 PM.
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    Default Love them...

    Again and as always, tradition or non-tradition-
    "Anything that makes my job easier, I'll take
    it." Therefor, I like the pistol grips.

    Gives me good control of the line, especially
    when I get an Engineer who for some reason likes
    to overpump the line with too much pressure.

    PLUS, makes it easier to tie off the hose line
    if needed. Simply use your webbing and the grip
    as an anchor point.

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    While there are as many methods as nozzles, I was taught as described earlier. Hold the line, not the knob. The knob should be out just far enough, so that your free hand can reach the bail. This way you get better stream movement, because you are not rotating the knob from in tight to your body, but instead the nozzle is in front of you.

    Some will agree, some will disagree......as long as it goes out, right boys.

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    Default Hate -em

    They give me hand cramps. I feel bound and restricted by them. I think that the grips are to close to the nozzle. If they could put more space between the grip and the discharge maybe these grips would be a bit more functional, for now I just hold on to the handline further back.
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    Me, I like them.

    I'm keeping this short cuz my wife wants to use the computer...

    One of the main reasons I like them, makes it easier to keep a grip on the hose. However, I don't always use the grip even if it is on the nozzle.

    The main thing against them: people tend to hold the hose incorrectly and the nozzle gets right up against them which decreases the maneuverability of the nozzle.
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    This sounds like we could be debating this as long as the smoothbore vs. fog vs. combination discussion.

    I personally have only used nozzles with a pistol grip. If I want to have a little more room to maneuver the nozzle I will push the nozzle out away from myself and not use the grip. But as has been stated before I like being able to pull the hose with the grip. Have them on our 1 3/4", and 2 1/2" lines, we also have the large combination tips with the rubber "C" grips on a 2 1/2" line. My opinion is it adds a little flexibility, if I want I can use the pistol grip, if I dont I dont.
    I think the only con I have encountered is trying to push the nozzle through a small opening with the grip. But I think that is about it - so far.

    I am going to vote along the same line as E40FNDYL35, I could take 'em or leave 'em.
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    Default Re: Pistol grip nozzles?

    - what, is there some other kind?
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    Yes, love pistol grips. We have them on all 1 1/2" preconnects and will be on the 2 1/2" attack lines shortly come budget time. Better grip with wet or icy conditions, better handling, easier movement.

    One disadvantage is the handle sometimes does not want to fit in a tight hosebed. It doesn't want to lay down and sticks up so the cover can't be put back on. It takes some creative hose laying to correct this. That is the only disadvantage I can find.

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    Default Well then...

    Originally posted by Adze39
    Me, I like them.
    Well then, that settles it. My bud Adze likes
    them and I do too. Final.

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    We have them on our dept. because when I specced out the nozzles I didn't want to fight that battle. One good thing , if you don't like them then take out the 2 screws and leave them off. In my opinion pistol grips are fine for the stronger guys, but what I've found is that after moving the line around the nozzle ends up under the firefighter's arm, instead of out front NFPA style. The problem usually shows up on the weaker folks. I have seen one guy holding a 2-1/2 flowing 330gpm while standing, using correct procedures. I've never seen that using a pistol grip. I really can't imagine someone using pistol grips on 2-1/2 nozzles. I did an article in Fire Engineering on this same subject about 2 years ago, in it was the results of our testing.
    Last edited by BLACKSHEEP1; 01-11-2003 at 11:28 AM.

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    The flaw with pistol grips isn't with pistol grips, they're just technology.

    The flaw is we in the fire service generally do a **** poor job training firefighters how to use & work a nozzle.

    Like some others mentioned, with a pistol grip there's a real good chance they'll end up tucked up next to your body and/or under your arm. Ya, sure you're gripping it -- but it sure limits your nozzle movement.

    Where do you hold a nozzle? Well, often you don't. You hold the hose behind it. For me that's left hand right behind the nob, right adjusts pattern, opens bail, then moves oh, 9" or a foot back on the hose. Now we have the leverage to move that sucker around.

    Exterior attack on heavily involved? Don't stand their with the nob in the window (generating a venturi pushing fresh air in), open up, push it 3-4' in and whip it around. Soon as it darkens down, pull it out and shut down.

    Unless you're doing, oh, say cooling a propane tank that nozzle should never not be in motion while water is flowing. Open, move, shut down, re-evaluate, open, move, shut, re-evaluate...

    BTW, yes, I do prefer pistol grips (most of our attack lines though lack them). Why? They are handy at times, and the "negatives" mostly are training issues that you don't get lazy with your nozzle work.

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    Hmm some really good reading in this one. Some really awesome points for and against as well.

    On the part of proper hose handling, I guess (judging by some of the commentary) that the Navy did a good job of teaching me how to work the nozzle and hose propery. (I think anyway)

    We were taught to catch the hose under your arm, pinching the hose with your elbow and grip the handle with that hand. Now your opposite hand is available to either change pattern, gpm or work the bail. We were also taught to work the stream by twisting the entire upper body and sweep the area.

    I am not really sure if this next part is correct or not (constructive input is always welcome) but when working the stream from an exterior attack position, I will normally hold the hose, pinched under my arm (right side) and hold the pistol with my left extened out. I find this gives good movement and range of motion for the nozzle, and once again good control over the hose itself. It seems to work well attacking vehicle fires too.
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    A pistle grip gives you an extra way to hold onto the line. Moving it around to put out fire is also more manuverable with a pistle grip. I love using them. Does FDNY use them?

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    Cool Gettin' a grip..........

    Up until 5 years ago, we didn't have pistol grips.....then the neighboring district bought them, and all of a sudden it was a must have on my guys Christmas list, so I bought them, and have received mixed reviews.

    The gang likes the pistol grips when fighting exterior fires...car fires, dumpsters, defensive, wildland wet lines, and drilling. For interior work they would rather bring in a "gripless" nozzle to avoid catching it on something. So we went 50/50 on the rigs, and they have their choice.

    Now a cool thing would be to design a bale that looks and operates like a gun trigger....and a teflon insert so that the water makes the sound of a lazer gun.

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    Boy what will they wish for next

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    Originally posted by tshayes
    Boy what will they wish for next
    A backup line that shoots Photon Torpedoes of course

    Either that or a siren that plays the Star Wars theme - what a great way to ride into battle!
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