View Full Version : Shooting with your weak hand
February 24, 2009, 03:35 PM
I shoot right handed and have just decided to learn to shoot left handed. After years of right hand shooting ingrained in my head, it feels really awkward to even hold my gun left handed. Any of you guys have any tips/tricks on getting over the weird feeling of learning to shoot with your weak hand?
February 24, 2009, 03:41 PM
Depends if you are shooting weak hand only, or both hands weak. I can't offer much insight if you are using both hands, but...
In the case of shooting strong or weak hand only, try this trick that I was taught: After you extend the gun to the target, rotate the gun 45 Degrees to the inside (towards the center of your body). This trick allows you a little better sight picture, and more recoil control. With a little practice, its accurate enough to save your life if you ever need it.
Don't rotate it the entire 90 degrees (for fear of looking like a gang banger, and possible jams.)
February 24, 2009, 03:47 PM
Golf nailed it.
The turning of the gun really helps with recoil control by allowing the larger arm muscle to take most of the recoil. Maintain steady control on the trigger and practice dry-firing daily. The dry firing will help to stregthn muscles you maybe don't normally use.
Over time you will get stronger, and better.
February 24, 2009, 03:48 PM
Lots of weak hand dry fire at home. Focus on the same fundamentals as you would with your strong hand. Depending on how much you practice, it'll feel more normal, or at least, less odd, in a week or 2.
February 24, 2009, 03:50 PM
I have never been able to handle a weapon with my left hand with as much dexterity as my right. One benefit of using it though, is that I'm a bit more accurate with my off hand.
February 24, 2009, 05:16 PM
some good reading on the subject over on the BE forum:
February 24, 2009, 05:37 PM
Years ago I had trouble shooting with my non-dominate hand, in my case the left. I used the 45 degree angle trick and that does help a lot, however my groups did not really start to tighten up until when shooting with my left hand, I also used my left eye. Try holding your pistol in your non-dominate hand and aiming it at an object, then close your dominate eye and see where the pistol is in relation to your non-dominate eye. Now I realize if you close your non-dominate eye and look at your sights with your dominate eye they will be fairly close, but it has always helped and improved my accuracy for me to close my dominate(right for me) eye when shooting left handed. YMMV
February 24, 2009, 06:12 PM
One of the best things you can do is spend time just plain handling the gun with your weak hand.
With an unloaded (triple check and check again!) gun, set it down, pick it up, work the slide, figure out how to work the controls all while it's held in your weak hand. Eventually it will begin to feel more natural.
Then move on to live fire.
I'm a bit of an oddity in terms of eye dominance. I don't seem to actually have a dominant eye which makes shooting with both eyes open a nightmare but allows me to shoot lefty with the left eye and righty with the right eye. You'll have to figure it out for yourself where that is concerned as I'll be no help there, sorry.
This target was shot left side-left handed and right side-right handed.
February 24, 2009, 07:07 PM
im ambidextrous with long guns, but i have a hell of a time getting accurate with pistols.
even going for a month without practice will put me back to lousy.
and revolvers with my off hand is just impossible for me.
February 24, 2009, 09:43 PM
You know Troy, it's funny you say that because I'm fine Ambi with pistols and do okay with rifles but for some reason can't go ambi with shotguns to save my hide.
February 24, 2009, 10:06 PM
when i started to shoot with my weak hand , i also realized that my weak hand just wasn't as strong as the other.
so i started doing hand exercises with my weak hand.........i will hold a 5 pound weight straight out in front of me with my weak hand for 15 seconds and rotate my wrist left and right ........first with the knuckles down, then left, then up, the right, each time for 15 seconds
continue to do this until your arm aches.........you will be able to do more reps as time goes on
additionally, i got a "pro hands" finger exerciser to improve my grip and dexterity........this device really as helped me a lot.......click on this link for more information
February 24, 2009, 10:20 PM
That's why I like laser sights...the bullet hits the red dot regardless of which hand I use... :D
February 24, 2009, 10:30 PM
another good device for hand-grip strength (and your arm/shoulder for that matter) is the Dynaflex "Powerball" (http://www.amazon.com/Dynaflex-Powerball-Lighted-Wrist-Exerciser/dp/B000P53OHQ/ref=cm_cr_pr_sims_t).
Some folks just can't get 'em working but if you practice you will find it's a grip/arm workout that will just wear you out! Great for improving grip strength and endurance.
It's amazing that such a small device will work you so hard but it does.
Additional info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powerball_(exercise_tool)
El Paso Joe
February 25, 2009, 01:07 AM
Good thread! I am going to have to try it. I normally shoot right handed - firearms and pool. But I have learned to shoot pool left handed and can do a better job than right handed most of the time - the stroke is better. But I an definitely going to have to try handguns left handed.
The Great Mahoo
February 25, 2009, 09:35 AM
I often find I am a bit better left (weak) handed. You don't have the bad-tendancies with it, learned from when you first started shooting your dominant hand, and tend to put more of the fundimentals into shooting and concentrate more.
Tilting the gun a bit certainly does help; frankly its the only way I can shoot weak-side unless I am extending my arm straight out to the side, body turned. By the way, this is a helpful way to shoot, since it causes you to sight with the proper eye (left in my case).
I need to get some more practice shooting left/weak handed as I've been slacking a bit lately. I definately need to work on reload/malfunction drills; they always kill me in my left hand.
You know Troy, it's funny you say that because I'm fine Ambi with pistols and do okay with rifles but for some reason can't go ambi with shotguns to save my hide. I'm ok, or even pretty good at times, with pistols in my weak-hand, but can't handle long guns at all that way! I need to practice up on my rifles, I guess. Too bad I can't find any 45colt ammo around here to shoot my favorite rifle.
February 26, 2009, 04:06 PM
i try to practice with my weak hand each time i go to the range..lol not very well thou
February 27, 2009, 07:54 PM
Had carpletunel surgery last year done in both hands . strong hand first .then afew weeks later had the other one done . practiced week hand for a long time before surgery.
March 1, 2009, 01:32 AM
I'm with Golf.
I need to turn the weapon about 45 deg toward strong side because of rotator cuff surgery a few years ago. Still very poor results with weak hand... but I'm working on it!
The Great Mahoo
March 2, 2009, 09:33 AM
I'm happy to report that I am improving with my weak-hand shooting. I went to the range yesterday, with my 1911 and and snubbie revolver. At 50 ft I was able to keep all shots from the 1911 weak-hand in the 10/9/8 area with slow-fire. I tended to drift right (shooting lefty). This was better than I remembered shooting last at such a distance, but its been a while. Now I just need to keep at it, tighten up the group, and work on increasing speed.
March 7, 2009, 01:06 PM
According to my targets, I also am ambidextrous...I can miss equally well, and just as fast with either or both hands, thank you very much!:eek:
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