Being able to shoot with either hand is a necessary skill.
For anyone who has broken their arm before, you know how hard it is to do normal, everyday things with just one hand. The things we take for granted and are normally easy tasks become monstrous problems. Tying our shoes, making a sandwich, even putting on our pants can be a challenge. So how about when we need to defend ourselves or our family? What then? Especially if you have broken your strong side arm. While it’s a challenge, it’s not impossible to shoot with your other hand.
Have you ever thought about the situation above? Or even worse, what if you are in a fight of some sort and one of your arms becomes incapacitated? Now you are left with just one hand to defend yourself and knowing how to shoot from that one hand is important.
How often do you take the time to train shooting one-handed? If you never have, now is the time to train yourself to shoot without that support. For a right-handed shooter, this means shooting with just your left hand. For a southpaw, it’s just the opposite. Most of us have never shot only weak-handed before, much less with only our strong hand. Let’s take a look as some techniques you can use to practice your one-handed shooting.
This is the easiest and most natural way to getting used to shooting one-handed. You are already used to establishing your grip and the gun feels natural in your hand. You’re used to sighting down your strong side and lining up your sights.
To begin your practice, establish your strong hand grip and hold the gun out in front of you. Canting the gun slightly inward towards your dominant eye will help to align your sights. Remember that the gun will jump off center slightly when the round goes off, and it will tend to go in the direction you have the gun canted. If you have it canted left, it will rise in that direction. Also, you may want to bring your non-shooting hand and tuck it into your chest. This will help to stabilize your shooting hand when your fist is tucked into the pocket formed by your shoulder and chest and it will also simulate you not having your weak hand available for shooting.
Just like when shooting with both hands, a smooth trigger pull is important. Since you are using the same muscles to hold the gun as you are to pull the trigger, the gun will have a tendency to jump around more. Don’t jerk the trigger, just apply smooth pressure. Have good follow-through when the shot breaks and get back on target immediately after.
Weak hand shooting is a little trickier than strong hand shooting. This is not as natural of a feeling and very awkward if you haven’t done it before. The controls on the gun will be backwards to you and the grip will feel wrong. But it is still like shooting with your strong hand.
When you start, you will need to establish your grip the same way you do on your strong hand. You may have to work with the gun at first as you get the feel for it and how your grip should feel. Then bring up the gun and align the sights. To help with this, if you cant the gun to about 45 degrees from vertical, this will help to align the sights with your dominant eye again. I’m not talking about laying the gun over 90 degrees in a gangster hold, but halfway between. Remember, the gun will rise in the direction of the cant.
Again, the same thing with the trigger pull; smooth and straight back. This will help you keep your sights aligned.
Taking the time at each range session to practice these techniques should be part of your range plan. These are not something that you can pick up naturally. These are skills that need to be trained and worked on as often as you can to become comfortable. You never know. There may be that one day that you need to shoot with your weak hand that could save your life.