View Full Version : Any lefty shooters switch to shoot righty?

October 19, 2009, 09:26 PM
I've only been shooting on and off for about 10 months now, and I'm a lefty. Now I love to shoot, and would love to possibly compete locally in IDPA. So that got me thinking a bit.

When I started golfing years ago, a pro told me that if I could handle golfing right, I should, since it would give me better equipment choices, and courses were laid out for righties, not lefties. So I did.

Today, I was reading some tips for fast reloading for competition, and it got me thinking. Unless you can find a gun with all ambidextrous controls, then you're going to have some disadvantages shooting left since the controls are laid out to be worked with the right thumb.

So, if I already shoot isosceles stance, with both eyes open, switching to shooting right would mostly consist of having a right handed holster, working on right handed draw and getting used to working the controls with my right thumb.

What am I missing? Any suggestions?

I've already been working on my off hand (right handed) shooting, and my groups aren't much worse than my left handed groups. (Which says more about the poor quality of my groups than my off hand abilities.)

Just wondering if anyone has gone down this road before, and if so, what are the benefits and pitfalls?

October 19, 2009, 09:52 PM
The mag release is generally more easily reached by a lefty's trigger finger than by a righty's thumb, so don't change hands to facilitate reloads. Most important controls are available in either ambidextrous or reversible form. What's really important is your dominant eye. If you are a lefty and right-eye dominant, changing to shooting with your right hand might make some sense.

October 20, 2009, 02:34 PM
Actually, the tip that I read wasn't related to mag release, it was about using the slide release (which is designed for the right thumb) to release the slide after a new mag, rather than slingshotting the slide.

That's just what got me thinking about the controls and placement.

I'm left handed and left eye dominant, but I shoot with both eyes open, and in isosceles stance, which is what got me thinking the big difference would be around hand placement.

October 20, 2009, 03:04 PM
i'm a lefty. once you learn to navagate around righty weapons you'll be just as fast as them. no need to switch. that is unless you're right eye dominant in which case you should switch.

October 20, 2009, 03:07 PM
Cool. Thanks for the tip. I have been spending some time playing with my guns seeing if there are good ways to make it work.

October 20, 2009, 03:10 PM
What am I missing? Any suggestions?
Learn to shoot "all four".

strong hand, single handed
strong hand, two handed
weak hand, single handed
weak hand, two handed

October 20, 2009, 03:12 PM
Works for me! I had been doing some of that already, so I guesss "what hand" I shoot has less impact than I was really thinking originally.

Great target. I have seen the correction charts before, but never really thought about using them as targets, I guess.

October 20, 2009, 03:17 PM
some people like to tell me that learning "all four" is a waste of time/ammo but if you learn "all four" you are as ready for any situation as you can get.

Also learn the techniques for racking a firearm with just one hand. For example if your right arm was disabled and you held the gun left handed, how would you rack it after loading a new magazine or to clear a jam since it's pretty tough to hit most slide locks as a lefty?

October 20, 2009, 03:56 PM
I love to shoot, as my primary hobby, and I get bored just doing the same thing over and over, so I don't see things like learning to shoot all four as a waste of anything.

Thanks for the tips Ze.

Glenn E. Meyer
October 20, 2009, 04:03 PM
Lefty - shoot a Glock or 1911 with ambi safety - no problem. IDPA is not a problem.

I did switch to shooting righty when I broke my wrist. Good experience.

Neither hand phases me nowadays.

October 20, 2009, 07:06 PM
Thanks Glenn.

I picked up my new toy today (a new-to-me Sig P220 in .45) and took it to the range and just went back and forth, each magazine. I like the idea of shooting all four, and using both hands.

Can't hurt.

GA Limited GM
November 8, 2009, 03:57 PM
Rob Leatham is a lefty who shoots righty. Doesnt seem to hinder him much.

November 10, 2009, 12:47 AM
I'm left handed by birth in everything I do except shooting. I'm right eye dominant but I don't know if that is from birth or from how I learned to shoot. I learened to shoot with a rifle first in a family of all right handers and that's how they taught me and that's the only way I can shoot a rifle but I've never practiced left handed,never needed to, but a pistol has always felt comfortable to me in either hand and I've always been able to shoot one aswell with either hand. No one taught me to shoot a pistol but myself so maybe that has something to do with it since my dad let me buy my first auto pistol when I was 13 from a customer of his. All my family are big hunters and never had much use for a pistol so I think it comes down to alot of training. So if you practice shooting left handed you'll be as fast as the righties or if you practice right handed you'll be just as good that way to.

November 10, 2009, 11:10 AM
I am right handed but I cant really see out of my right eye.

So pistols are right handed

Rifles/shotguns/archery are left handed (I have seen scopes that stick out about 3 inches to the left but they are really weird).

I I could I would go right because that is were are the parts are and the most mods. It ends up being much less limiting.

November 10, 2009, 11:43 AM
I'm left handed and shoot pistols primarily left handed (I learned right handed but switched as of relatively recently, so I'm okay at both). I have to shoot rifles right handed though as I have a birth injury which doesn't allow me to straighten my right arm. Thus, I can't put it forward enough on the rifle to feel comfortable when shooting a rifle left handed.

I also broke my right arm this summer so was forced to shoot pistols left handed (obviously, rifles had to wait.)

November 10, 2009, 05:24 PM
My dad shoots (and golfs) right handed even though he's a lefty. And he's been an absolute terror to the varmints in the forest since he was a kid during the Depression. He still outshoots me (and with rifle that, at 100 years old, isn't a whole lot older than he is!)

November 11, 2009, 11:30 AM
Yep. I'm lefty, but being unable to shut my right eye, I switched to shooting with my right hand. Since most of the handguns and equipment are made with right handed people in mind, this switch comes handy.

November 11, 2009, 01:15 PM
I'm 99.99% left handed in all sense of the term.
I've been working on shooting more with the right hand to improve my auto respone skills. Muscle memory is really important to quality shooting.
I'm actually going to work on two handed cowboy style shooting on some steel plates, with a pair of matching revolvers I have. I never tried it before, but it's got to be interesting.
I'm a better shot with my 9mmm right handed than left handed. All the others I'm better Left handed - doesn't make much sense to me, but it's just the way it is.
It's going to work out because my 9mm is my CC pistol.

Navy joe
November 17, 2009, 10:07 PM
No, plenty of lefty gear out there. I have advantages in reloading as a lefty too, for instance, try leaving your trigger finger laying on the slide release during a slidelock reload. Blazing fast. I run the mag release with my trigger finger, no shifting grip, no idea how righties run a mag release well. Stage design is a wash, sometimes coming from the "wrong" direction you see things that others don't, I especially like stage designers that make a wall that right handers have to get off balance to lean around. :D

That said, you should have holsters and gear for both sides and practice. When I was shooting IPDA we'd often shoot the match several times in a night, I've shot it left handed and gone back and shot it right handed the second time. I'm an expert left handed, a poor sharpshooter right handed.

Funny thing is I learned golf right handed, no left hand clubs available to me when I was a kid. I wouldn't even know how to swing a left handed club, I tried, it was sad. The transition with shooting is not as bad but still takes lots of work.

November 18, 2009, 09:02 AM
I am right handed but looking for a challenge I went through a period where I shot left handed. I thought reloads might actually be easier as there is less hand movement (I guess I need a longer right thumb). I used my #2 finger for the mag catch and trigger finger for the slide lock.

November 19, 2009, 06:25 AM
I'm right handed but my left arm is stronger because I'm missing a muscle group on my right side. Although I started shooting righty, during classes that I've been taking it has been pointed out that the muzzle flip is way more than it should be for a lousy little 9 mm and it takes a lot of time to reaquire target for followup shots.

So, I've been thinking about going lefty full-time. I have always practiced lefty for a couple of mags every time I go to the rang and done pretty well. Now I have to pay attention, and shoot lefty more to see if it makes sense to invest in lefty gear.

November 19, 2009, 07:37 AM
I picked up my new toy today (a new-to-me Sig P220 in .45) and took it to the range and just went back and forth, each magazine. I like the idea of shooting all four, and using both hands.

Congrats on the new acquisition!! Post some pics!

November 19, 2009, 09:12 AM
Congrats on the new acquisition!! Post some pics!

Hey sserdlihc, good to hear from you!

I bought it used. That's what happens when you love Sigs, but can't afford new ones. It's about 10 years old. Round count unknown. A little banged up cosmetically, but the internals look untouched. You can see some scratches on the slide, some kind of bad. And there's a small chip out of the anodizing on the frame.

I have been wanting to try my hand at Duracoating, and was looking for a project gun anyway. So I might try to do something creative with this one.

Pictures are pretty bad, because they were taken with the Blackberry. My normal digital camera got dropped on the tile floor and I haven't replaced it yet.



November 27, 2009, 01:27 AM
My brother is the same. He is left handed and not really ambidextrous with anything else other than firing.

November 27, 2009, 02:37 PM
If I left eye dominant but right handed and do rifles lefty, would it be good to switch to lefty handguns as well for consistency?

no one
November 27, 2009, 07:23 PM
Regardless of whether you are right or left side dominant, the posting about using both sides is VERY spot on. Due to problems with my right shoulder, I was forced to switch to left side for shooting and carry. For years I had been instructing people about the importance of shooting with both hands as equally as possible.

When I had to qualify left hand only (not even supported by the right) the range master noted the change. He also noticed the 100% score..so the practice is worth the effort.

November 27, 2009, 10:29 PM
You can see some scratches on the slide, some kind of bad. And there's a small chip out of the anodizing on the frame.

Who cares as long as it functions properly. If you do make it a project gun take pictures from beginning to end. U think we all would like to see the transformation!

Again, Congrats...Nice Sig!!

December 1, 2009, 09:09 PM
Up until about 2 years ago I had always shot left handed. After a couple of neck surgeries, I have so much nerve damage, that my left hand shakes. It is so bad, I had to switch to shooting right handed or quite shooting handguns. I started off shooting right handed with a 22, it didn't take long to become adjusted to the change.

Now with handguns its like I have always shot right handed. Rifles I shoot left handed, but I just don't shot long guns very much and haven't tried to change.

December 7, 2009, 11:51 PM
I am left handed. After finding I am right eye dominant, I switched to shooting right handed. The biggest thing I had to overcome was getting the right eye to take control of sighting, and do it properly. I use a strip of tape on the left hand lense of my shooting glasses, and that helps a lot. Early on I had a few embarrassing incidents where my eye picked up on the side blade of the front sight instead of the sight blade, and I made a wild shot. But now I'm shooting better than I ever did left handed.