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Old June 22, 2001, 04:02 AM   #1
Justin Moore
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How can I improve my weak hand shooting?

I hate to admit this, but I'm a rotten shot with my left hand, especially one handed. I definitely want to improve this thou, because I can envision countless self defense scenarios where I might not be ABLE to depend upon my trusty right arm. I just can't seem to hold STEADY enough with just my left hand to hit
jacks*** past 5 yards so Are there any exercises or drills I can do to improve my weak hand hold? Any thoughts would be appreciated thanks
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Democracy: A government of the masses, authority derived through mass meetings or any other form of direct expression; results in mobocracy; attitude toward property is communistic negating property rights; attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences; its result is dem-o-gogism, license, agitation, discontent and anarchy.

Republic: Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best suited to represent them. Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights and a sensible economic procedure. Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles that establish evidence with a strict regard for consequences. A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass, it avoids the dangerous extremes of either tyranny or mobocracy. Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice contentment and progress, is a standard for government around the world.
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Old June 22, 2001, 10:26 AM   #2
FPrice
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Justin,

The simple, and slightly smart-*ss answer, is to practice shooting weak-hand!

But more seriously, you should check some of the shooting mags, websites, etc., for tips on weak-hand shooting techniques and work that into your practise sessions. You do practise your shooting techniques and positions, don't you?

Ken Hackathorn gave an interesting practise routine in the Sept/Oct 1998 American Handgunner magazine. It is a roughly 50 round course of fire (if you want to call it that) which has you shooting different positions, distances, hands (both, strong, and weak), and includes some limited movement. He also recommended timing yourself. I would consider it a basic to intermediate practise session which will exercise some of the skills you should master to consider being able to carry a handgun for self-defense. It is much better than standing at the firing line with a target at the same fixed distance, and firing from the same old standing position. The only drawback is that you need a range where you can move around.

If you cannot find this issue, email me with your address and I will send you a copy.

Just remember the old joke:

Tourist (lost in New York City): How do I get to Carnegie Hall?
Passer-by: Practise man, practise.

Frosty
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Old June 22, 2001, 02:29 PM   #3
KPS
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I'm a terrible weak hand shot too.I am currently practicing weak hand shooting with a pellet pistol in my basement.Although recoil is not the same, it does help in positioning the gun in my hand.
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Old June 22, 2001, 02:34 PM   #4
MBG
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Justin,

Two things helped me. First was getting a handle on my dominant / non dominant eye, and how to use them. If you are right eye dominant, it may take a little getting used to line the gun up across your face.

Second was practicing with a laser sight. (I practice with a grip site on my 1911.) It is much easier to get positive reinforcement with visible feedback.

Hope this helps,

Marty
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Old June 22, 2001, 03:10 PM   #5
eyeball
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i know you don't want to hear this but

you know as they say, practice makes perfect; the more you do something the better you become at it.
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Old June 22, 2001, 03:27 PM   #6
FPrice
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Justin,

One more thing I just happened to think of while re-reading your post. You may want to do some arm exercises with weights to improve your strength. That could help quite a bit.

Frosty
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Old June 23, 2001, 12:00 AM   #7
Justin Moore
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Thanks all for the replies

Frosty,

You're dead on there. The problem I have when I shoot weak hand is that I can't cleanly break the shot without disturbing my sight picture. Right hand/one handed is NO problem whatsoever. Can you or anyone here recommend some exercises to fix that?

Stay safe all!
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Democracy: A government of the masses, authority derived through mass meetings or any other form of direct expression; results in mobocracy; attitude toward property is communistic negating property rights; attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences; its result is dem-o-gogism, license, agitation, discontent and anarchy.

Republic: Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best suited to represent them. Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights and a sensible economic procedure. Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles that establish evidence with a strict regard for consequences. A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass, it avoids the dangerous extremes of either tyranny or mobocracy. Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice contentment and progress, is a standard for government around the world.
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Old June 23, 2001, 01:41 AM   #8
Ronbaci
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Erick, just wanted you to know that I use the same technique. Seems to work just fine. Oh yea, I practice lots and lots too.
Stay Safe!
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Old June 23, 2001, 07:54 AM   #9
FPrice
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Justin,

There are a number of ways to strengthen your hands, forearms, upper arms, and shoulders.

For the hands and forearms, you can try simple exercises such as squeezing a small ball, say tennis-ball size, or some of the devices made specifically for gripping strength. I have heard some people recommend taking something like a large Sunday paper and individually crumpling up each sheet with one hand. Do that and you will feel it in your hands and forearms.

For upper arm strength (biceps, triceps, and shoulders) I would recommend dumbbell exercises, as opposed to barbells or machines. The latter are certainly good and should be used, but I feel that using dumbbells to work each arm seperately may be of more benefit to your particular concern.

You can do dumbbell biceps curls, either both arms together or alternate your arm motion. For the triceps and shoulders, seated dumbbell overhead presses will help. Start with 2-3 sets of 8-10 repetitions with a weight you can handle, then try to work up from there.

This is just a quick and basic look at some types of exercises that do not require a large and expensive gym. I am lucky that I have access to a good gym through work but not all people are so fortunate. These should help you though.

Frosty
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Old June 23, 2001, 10:20 AM   #10
C.R.Sam
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Lot of good stuff already here.

A thought........pretend you are teaching a newbie to shoot, and follow your own instructions. Analyze your other self and make it do it right.

If you have a good sight picture, doesn't matter which eye you use.

Sam...my mother was afraid I was neither handed, I proved her right.
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Old June 26, 2001, 11:41 PM   #11
Edmund Rowe
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Perfect practice makes perfect

(wow, look at the font menu stuff for TFL now! I like it)

Dry fire practice is the best way to get good with both, or either hand. When you dry fire, study everything about how you're doing grip, trigger press, sight picture, etc. I found through thousands of dry fire reps what sort of grip and trigger manipulation seems to work for me with my chosen handgun.
As one example, I found that I have best trigger manipulation with my Glock 21 if the trigger face is outside of my first joint by about one trigger face width. So it's not quite the first joint and not the center of the pad. Also, I had to do a lot of work to find what sort of angle my fingertip makes for best effect. Too much curl sets up a sideways force on the trigger that makes the gun shudder from side to side when the trigger breaks. So my finger makes a sort of perpendicular contact across the front of the trigger. Another thing I found was that the human fingertip wants to move in an arc but the trigger is designed to move straight back. Therefore, a slight unnatural crunching move of my trigger finger to avoid curling works for me.

I hope your handgun has a short trigger travel. I tell people contemplating new handgun purchases to avoid double action autoloaders. That knocks out about 80% of the choices. Although it is possible to get good with a double action autoloader, it's a huge amount of effort and most of the people I've met who got to that point just went to a Glock or 1911. Some pistols like Kahrs have the same trigger pull for every shot but the travel is still pretty long. Actually, the first trigger pull on a Glock is different from the rest if you're shooting efficiently but it doesn't bother me or anyone else I know, unlike most other double action pistols.

Note that to get good, it helps tremendously to pick ONE handgun and use it for every handgun role you have.

Mental attitude is very important. It took me years of shooting to get to the mental focus where I try to make each shot perfect. I note that most people who throw a lotta lead downrange don't seem to mind inferior accuracy because they have lots more where that came from. When I took the attitude "THIS IS MY ONLY SHOT" then I got much better. Along these lines, huge numbers of dry fire repetition is not the best practice. If you do 25 perfect ones a day, then that's real progress.

Along these lines, my dry fire is in 50 "click" sets, but I may actually click for 200+ because I'm not counting the sloppy ones (where I can see the front sight move as the trigger breaks). I'm trying to reinforce the good points of my practice, not the mindless count to some set number for the day.

One other thing I do is when I get home I unload and dry fire ONE time. I view that as "this is the only shot I'll get so I have to be perfect because there is no second chance". This emphasis on perfection from the start seems to help me.

One last pointer: Try moving your trigger finger in a trigger pressing motion without moving any other fingers of that hand. It's not learned overnight. You can do this anywhere though you might appear strange to some.

I probably blew your mind with the details. Don't try to emulate me 100%. Find out what works for you.

Whew, how did I get so long winded??

Edmund
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Old June 26, 2001, 11:54 PM   #12
Justin Moore
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Edumund,

Thanks a lot You gave me a lot of useful info there, and things to think about, especially the "this is my only shot so I better" make it count. I'm not the 'spray and pray' crowd, but I hadn't given much thought to the 'one shot' school of thought either.
At any rate, thank you, and all the others here that have responded
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Democracy: A government of the masses, authority derived through mass meetings or any other form of direct expression; results in mobocracy; attitude toward property is communistic negating property rights; attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences; its result is dem-o-gogism, license, agitation, discontent and anarchy.

Republic: Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best suited to represent them. Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights and a sensible economic procedure. Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles that establish evidence with a strict regard for consequences. A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass, it avoids the dangerous extremes of either tyranny or mobocracy. Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice contentment and progress, is a standard for government around the world.
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Old July 6, 2001, 03:55 PM   #13
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http://www.rrpc.org/30rddrill.htm
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Old July 6, 2001, 08:48 PM   #14
JNewell
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EFH -- thanks for the link, amigo. I'll give the drill a whirl this weekend!
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Old July 6, 2001, 09:12 PM   #15
ArmedPatriot
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On the subject of dry fire practice...

Can anyone recommend a totally inert substitute for live ammo that will provide the proper weight and balance?

I'm sure there's an obvious answer here...
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Old July 6, 2001, 10:51 PM   #16
Justin Moore
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Fprice,

Wanted to say thanks to you I got the Hackatorn article in the mail the other day, lots of useful ideas in there
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Democracy: A government of the masses, authority derived through mass meetings or any other form of direct expression; results in mobocracy; attitude toward property is communistic negating property rights; attitude toward law is that the will of the majority shall regulate whether it is based upon deliberation or governed by passion, prejudice, and impulse, without restraint or regard to consequences; its result is dem-o-gogism, license, agitation, discontent and anarchy.

Republic: Authority is derived through the election by the people of public officials best suited to represent them. Attitude toward property is respect for laws and individual rights and a sensible economic procedure. Attitude toward law is the administration of justice in accord with fixed principles that establish evidence with a strict regard for consequences. A greater number of citizens and extent of territory may be brought within its compass, it avoids the dangerous extremes of either tyranny or mobocracy. Results in statesmanship, liberty, reason, justice contentment and progress, is a standard for government around the world.
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Old July 7, 2001, 08:07 AM   #17
FPrice
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Justin,

YOu are quite welcome. I hope it helps. I also noticed that exilefromhell published a link to the rrpc that had another Hackathorn drill. I am going to download that one since it seems a little easier to use on a range that does not allow much movement.

Frosty
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Old July 7, 2001, 08:48 PM   #18
gmanpma
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I registered just so I could say thanks to all of you. As a new hand gunner I have explored many sites looking for credible advise, and never seen so many helpful, knowledgeable and proffessional people as I have here. What I learned today reading this will help me greatly. You are a credit to this site and hand gunning. Thanks
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Old July 7, 2001, 11:25 PM   #19
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I hear that when you get really good you can swap hands without missing a beat!

R6
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Old July 11, 2001, 10:51 PM   #20
Hard Ball
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My solution is to fire @10% of y practice shots left handed un supported.
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