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Old March 6, 2013, 11:19 AM   #1
kraigwy
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One Hand Shooting

If one has read many of my post they would know I'm a big fan of one hand shooting of handguns for SD purposes.

This time I'm talking one hand shooting when you only have one hand.

I was contacted by an individual who wanted me to help him load, shoot, and carry a handgun.

He assumed it would have to be a revolver as he can't work the slide on a semi since he has one arm.

I asked WHY, WHO TOLD YOU THAT? I added if you want a pistol for carry then carry one.

I'm a firm believer in there is no hopeless shooters. Since I've been involved in firearms training (since the mid 70s) I've prided myself in the ability to work with handicaps in my firearm instructors.

I'm also a firm believer in revolvers for SD, but there are exceptions to every rule (even mine). I think that if you have only one arm/hand, its easier to load and use a semi then a revolver.

I'm taking him to the range tomorrow to work with him, showing him that one hand is not a handicap.

In case you (fellow firearms instructors) don't know, semis are fairly easy to use with one hand.

Simply keep a empty magazine handy for loading your pistol. Insert the empty mag into the pistol and run it down your leg. The sights will drag on your pant leg pulling the slide back locking it open. Now hit the mag release and drop the mag (only carry pistols/mags that will fall free of the gun when you hit the mag release).

Stick the pistol with the mag out in you waste band, take your loaded magazine, insert it, draw the pistol out and hit the slide release.

Stick the gun in your pocket/holster or how ever you carry it. Now you're ready to go about your daily business while carrying.

When I say semis are better, in my opinion, they are easier to load one handed, plus normally have more ammo, meaning less chance of having to reload if you need the gun. Plus if you do have to load, drop the mag, insert in your belt, replace the mag, hit the slide release.

I also teach loading revolvers with one hand, not easy, the cylinder is flopping around while you're trying to get the speed loader lined up.

I tried to make a video of getting a pistol in action but I really suck making movies.

A bit of practice and you'll see the above method is quite easy.

PRACTICE WITH TWO EMPTY MAGAZINES. Don't close the slide on the pistol while its in your belt. Point at a safe direction and close the slide.

It's a lot easier then it sounds.
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Old March 6, 2013, 11:41 AM   #2
2damnold4this
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Quote:
I also teach loading revolvers with one hand, not easy, the cylinder is flopping around while you're trying to get the speed loader lined up.
I'd be interested in your thoughts about loading a revolver with only a left hand.
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Old March 6, 2013, 11:42 AM   #3
Gaerek
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Quote:
I'm taking him to the range tomorrow to work with him, showing him that one hand is not a handicap.
I'm nitpicking...but it truly is a handicap. It's not impossible to work a semi auto with one hand, but it is far more difficult, and it takes more time than with two hands.

However, I agree that if you are limited like that, it is not impossible. It is very possible, you just have to learn to do it and practice, practice, practice.
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Old March 6, 2013, 12:01 PM   #4
kraigwy
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Quote:
I'm nitpicking...but it truly is a handicap.
Only if you let it be.
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Old March 6, 2013, 12:41 PM   #5
kraigwy
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I'd be interested in your thoughts about loading a revolver with only a left hand.
Left hand is easier then right hand, simply because the cylinder flips out on the left side.

Using the Left hand:

Disengage the cylinder release with the trigger finger and give the revolver a slight flip to get the cylinder to flip open. If you can, it would be easier to roll your thumb up and push the cylinder out.

Twist the gun in the hand so you can reach and dump the empties.

Then with the cylinder open tuck the gun in your waste band. The cylinder flips around a bit so tilt your speed loader a tad to get it started then push to get the speed loaders to dump the bullets in the cylinder, then push the cylinder closed and you're loaded up.

Using the right hand, its the same except you have to twist the revolver around sticking it in the waste band back wards to have the cylinder on the outside.

I recommend speed loaders like the comp II or III. You just push down to get the gun loaded. With the twist type, your cylinder will try to rotate.

Use snap caps or dummy rounds and empty rounds to practice this.

Don't close the cylinder until you get the gun out of your waste band and pointed in a safe direction.

Like anything else, the more you practice the easier and faster it will be.
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Old March 6, 2013, 05:26 PM   #6
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Good for you! Your friend is lucky to have someone like you instructing them.

If you had a video it would REALLY show what you're talking about.
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Old March 6, 2013, 06:13 PM   #7
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Just read an article about reloading a semi-auto with one hand. Some rear sights have a right angle leading edge that can be pushed against a table or your pocket and the front of the rear sight will get caught on the table.

Was at a clients today and he had a M&P 9 that had this type of sight and showed him why it was cut that way. It was really ez to rack a new round in to the chamber.
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Old March 6, 2013, 07:25 PM   #8
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As a youth I was taught that if a handgun was meant to be shot with two hands it would have two handles on it.
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Old March 6, 2013, 08:04 PM   #9
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kraigwy,

Does your friend have any part of his other arm? If so, he can tuck it under his arm instead of his waist band. This will be much faster and much easier to reload. I imagine it will also be much easier on the finish of the gun if he typically wears a belt. Sticking a gun in your waist band usually leaves a few marks if it hits your belt buckle or metal buttons on jeans.

I applaud your friend for seeking training. It is a bummer that he only has one arm, but at least he is doing what he needs to do to defend himself.
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Old March 6, 2013, 08:29 PM   #10
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Check out youtube.

here is one video that shows it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKyGUYjCruY

Here is another: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JT4zJ-BfEM

and there are others. If I remember correctly on Best Defense Rob Pincus showed how to do this quite well.
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Old March 6, 2013, 08:39 PM   #11
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I watched the movie Blue Steel with Jamie Curtis last night and this post struck a cord.

In the movie Jamie Lee is wounded and one arm is useless. She stuck the revolver in her waste band with the cylinder open and loaded the weapon singly as was the practice at the time.

It seemed to be a good demonstration even for Hollywood.

your thoughts.

As an old bullseye shooter, i am more comfortable shooting with one hand, arm extended in the classic position.
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Old April 2, 2013, 03:02 PM   #12
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I have a use of left hand only. After being robbed couple of times in my bussiness, started carrying 5 shot snub revolver. For a while, it seemed like sufficient option till I went to the range and started looking into different scenarios. Five rounds is not a bad scaraway option, but not necessarily the best option if one would encounter more determined attacker, or more than one attacker. One of scenario is several pitbulls running loose in my neighbourhood as well. In the meantime, we,ve been getting shot at movies, malls, churches, schools and so on. Seems like there is a "mad dog" on every corner of this country. Reloading revolver can be done, but not even as close as fast as semi can be loaded, specially in high stress situation. If one would decide to stick to revolver, lots of reloading practice would be in order, as well as choice of models with higher round capacity. I carry 38 snub as a back up gun only in tandem with semi. Drawing revolver can be faster than reloading, or clearing jamed semi.
As far as semi, or autoloader, lefthanded only person can overcome some difficulties by proper selection of weapon. There are fully ambidextrious models out there and some are much easier to rack than the other. Nines are good choice with that respect. Personaly, I have opted for magazine capacity of 13 rnds, which makes it 14 alltogether, for carry and home defense, which seems sufficient for most of the scenarios I could think of. It takes me 5-6 second to load another mag. which can be 13, or 17 rounds.
The most important factor for one handed operated semi, in my wiev, is the choice of highly reliable weapon, one wouldn't want to have to clear chamber before thew clip is empty. I would also recomend DA/SA choice; in my wiev it can be carried wit safety off, one less operation to do in higly contentious and stressful moment.

Last edited by valent; April 2, 2013 at 03:35 PM.
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Old April 3, 2013, 12:38 AM   #13
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Kraigwy

excellent post to bring up .

your right - its not hard to work a semi with one hand. Its a drill that should be in everyones tool box.

I do one hand drills all the time both if your firing hand is disabled and if your non firing hand is disabled.

there are several sound techniques for getting the gun out using the non firing side (ie. reach behinds) and several techniques for mag changes - back in holster/belt/between knees/armpits etc and a surprising number of places to manipulate the slide. hard belts/ heels / holster edge etc.

never thought about it till this post - i never see civilians practicing that on the range. I wonder if its one of those things that some ranges will call a cease fire on if someone did try ?

i think i might make a video (snagging your idea) I could easily get a good hour of edited video out of this subject . Have you ever wrote a video outline on this subject? I would be interested in your thoughts

im thinking:

1 - intro - why its important - who can use this skillset
2. Alternate Draws / presentations
3. Slide manipulations
4. Mag Changes
5. Dry fire drills for the shooter
6. Range training exercises and safety

what do you think?
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Old April 3, 2013, 09:01 AM   #14
kraigwy
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Alternate Carry:

Most competitions and or ranges discourage cross draw or shoulder holster carry because of the safety issue.

Not for the shooter but those on either side of the shooter one the firing line.

Its difficult to use a cross draw and not sweep the person on your left or right, depending on if you're carrying left or right side so I can see the safety issue.

I teach the option of cross draw or shoulder holders. To do so I only have one person on the line and I stand on the opposite side of the carried gun.

My opinion its easier to draw the gun with either hand if you are carrying in a cross draw holster.

To give you an example. Lets assume you're right handed and carry your gun in a cross draw fashion. The butt should be facing forward. Simply reach the gun with your right hand and pull it out of the holster (being careful not to sweep your left arm). Its really quite fast, faster then if you're carrying the gun toward your right hip, slid back a bit.

To draw from the cross draw holster with the left hand simply flip the hand sideways slipping the open hand between the butt of the pistol and the body grabbing the grip and pull out in a twisting motion.

It can be done fairly quick, much quicker then trying to draw the gun mounted on the right or strong side, especially if the holster is carried toward the back a bit.

In addition a cross draw set up works much better setting in a car, horse back or riding a motor cycle.

Understand I don't mandate any carry position (or firearm). Every one is different, everyone wears different clothing.

I pocket carry. Works for me, but my wife wear her jeans a bit tighter then I do. She couldn't get a 22 shell in her pocket, let alone a J Frame.

Anyway I suggest giving the cross draw a shot, again BEING CAREFUL NOT TO SWEEP anyone else or your own arm.

Many of the women in my Monday night classes say they can draw and get on target faster with their off hand then their strong hand.

The cross draw is also much faster drawing from a setting position, in a recliner, setting at a table, and in a car there is less chance of the gun hitting the steering wheel or dash of the vehicle.

Another thing I do is presenting the weapon while holding the hand of a child. We use a 3 foot rag doll. The lady has to hold the hand of the doll, and at the buzzard, turn sideways pulling the doll behind her, using her body to protect the doll while she engages the target.

I make the ladies to this holding the doll in the right hand, then the left.

The cross draw makes it easier to get to the gun with either hand.

Think about it. Pull the child (doll) back behind you with your right hand, then try and draw your gun with the left.

We only get the luxury of choosing which hand to use the gun in at the range. One or the other hand is going to be tied up doing or holding something.

THINK UNCONVENTENAL.
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Old April 3, 2013, 10:12 AM   #15
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Is catching the slide front or ..

front sight on an "edge", be a alternate for racking the slide back?

For revolver, is either a "speed-loader or a bianchi-type strip" be a asset?

I swap cpl firearms on circumstance, be nice to see videos with you and the gentleman you are helping.
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Old April 3, 2013, 06:43 PM   #16
WW2
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Kraigwy

For the cross draw holster, does this require a purpose built holster or can I simply use my strong side paddle holster on my weak side?

Also, when drawing the gun with the same side hand, how do I prevent covering my torso?

This practice seems like something best practiced with snap caps and at home.
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Old April 3, 2013, 09:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
parisite said: As a youth I was taught that if a handgun was meant to be shot with two hands it would have two handles on it.
Well, you know an ax just has one handle too. But I use two hands using one.

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Old April 3, 2013, 11:20 PM   #18
kraigwy
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The cross draw can be done with most holsters. It can also be done without sweeping your body. Care must be taken to prevent sweeping your left arm (assuming you're right handed.

To draw with the left hand simply twist your hand so its flat and facing out or away from the body, slide it down where you can get a grip on the gun, then pull the gun twisting it as it comes out of the holster. It doesn't cross the body.

KEEP YOUR FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER.

Like anything else it takes practice. For defense classes I have a set of blue plastic training guns, but an empty gun works if one is careful to make sure its empty.

Quote:
Well, you know an ax just has one handle too. But I use two hands using one.
Bob Wright

That is quite true, but when I'm using an ax I'm not normally doing anything else, both hands are free to grip the ax handle.

I'm not holding a flashlight, I'm not opening doors, I'm not poking a mirror around the corner. I'm not pulling or pushing a family member out of the way.

Can't say the same thing for a pistol/revolver.
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Old April 4, 2013, 02:25 PM   #19
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WW2,

I find the paddle on the Serpa holster is to large for proper cross draw.
I prefer cross draw for all the reasons the Good Captain has listed.
I do practice positioning my body so that the gun needs not sweep as i take up a Chapman stance.
I am also of the opinion that practice never needs to be done with live ammo for many of these outside the box techniques.
It wasn't that long ago where a man lost his life doing a one hand cross draw technique that should never have been done ever loaded in practice.
http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=444087
http://articles.kwch.com/2012-12-08/...class_35694646
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Old April 4, 2013, 10:53 PM   #20
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One thing I would recommend is a lanyard of some sort, on those occasions where I had to use my M1911 in action the lanyard almost functioned as the support hand, and I think a one handed person doesn't need to worry about losing his weapon-Jeff Cooper advocated the lanyard, he said it's mighty difficult to take a weapon away when it's attached to someone.
I personally did not become a good handgun shooter till I practiced Bullseye and as for using two hands, I wonder if we're not becoming too tactically rigid and losing the ability to choose tactics based on the situation. The version I learned in the Army was "If it works, it's good!"
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Old April 5, 2013, 12:43 PM   #21
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I think your method of loading a semi with one hand is too complex, at least for an emergency, though it may be safer for range use.

I have seen it done like this: Take gun in hand, place it in waistband.* Pick up magazine and insert in gun. Remove gun from waistband, bump gun butt on hip to be sure magazine is seated. Drag gun (as you described) on pants leg to retract the slide and load the chamber**. No need for two magazines or an empty magazine.

*Other options are in the off-arm pit (if there is enough arm) or between the knees.
** With a 1911 type with normal recoil spring guide, the slide can be pushed against any handy object, like the heel of a shoe or a table to retract the slide and load the chamber.

Jim
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