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Old September 20, 2011, 06:41 PM   #1
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Weak hand shooting

During range quals i shot my practical and we have to do 5 shots left hand only and 5 right hand, right i was perfect but left was just awful, 3 of them missed from 10 yards, recoil felt higher, and i couldnt control trigger or keep it steady. This is the first time i ever tried it. Any tips on what i can practice when i go shooting next.
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Old September 20, 2011, 06:47 PM   #2
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You pretty much seen what you need help with
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Old September 20, 2011, 07:17 PM   #3
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Captains of Crush Grip Trainers will eliminate weak hand. Shoot, exclusively, weak hand until it feels natural.
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Old September 20, 2011, 07:47 PM   #4
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The problem is simply not practising with the so-called weak hand.

While ago I gave up having a weak hand. Yes I'm right handed but I can shoot left handed also.


I simply got a .22 and started shooting left hand. Slow fire first.

Then I got a couple of dummy guns, all metal, that match my Glock 26 and J .38. I then started drawing and going through the same motions I do with my right side. Even got left handed holsters and mag pouches.

Did everything I'd do with the right side. Two handed shooting, one handed, hip shooting, draws from under t-shirt, etc...

At first it was awkward, but later I got used to using the left as well as the right.

I'm still a bit faster with my right side, but I'm more accurate slow fire with the left side now.

But I can go to any IDPA match and not look bad at all left handed.

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Old September 20, 2011, 08:20 PM   #5
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I've always tried to practice left (weak) hand shooting.

When in LE during building searches you lead with the gun, Not aways can you lead with your strong hand.

A guy needs to learn to shoot with his weak hand.

I've found, for me, I shoot better weak hand by cocking the gun about 15 degrees. (Being right handed that means cocking it to the right).

May not work for everyone, but for me it helps with recoil, trigger control, and sight alignment.
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Old September 20, 2011, 08:37 PM   #6
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Shot PPC for many years and I think shooting "weak" hand made me a better shooter. In a 150 round match 24 rounds are "weak" hand. When you learn to shoot with your off hand you should carefully analyze your strong hand grip and stance and simply reverse it. Some days my off hand hits were better than strong hand because I worked a bit harder on them. As the captain pointed out sometimes the gun needs to be in the other hand.
Got a little tired of shooting standard load .45's in my little lightweight carry gun a few weeks back, simply switched hands and hits improved. Shooting buddy had never seen that trick before, he was impressed.
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Old September 20, 2011, 09:02 PM   #7
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Since I was 16 years old I have tought myself to shoot right and left handed.
Today in my late 50's I still can equally.
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Old September 20, 2011, 09:12 PM   #8
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The easy way to work on this without a lot of money.

Get a 2 or 3 pound can of veggies from the store. Practice lifting it straight out in front of you and straight up beside you. Do numerous reps a couple of times a day. Add in a good grip trainer, a tennis ball, or raquet ball to work on hand and forearm strength.

Then just practice as much as possible.
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Old September 20, 2011, 09:25 PM   #9
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It takes practice to shoot well with the weak hand, but practice is what is needed to become skilled with firearms.

Dry fire drills help alot.

Last year, during a live fire exercise, there were targets behind a garage sized boulder. You had to shoot from both sides. When I got to the left side, I switched hands and shot all the targets weak hand.

One of the other shooters, a gal, said, "Can he do that?"

Well, of course I could. Now she knows.
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Old September 21, 2011, 07:04 PM   #10
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Here is a thought...

"It is not difficult to wield a sword in one hand; the Way to learn this is to train with two long swords, one in each hand. It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first. Bows are difficult to draw, halberds are difficult to wield; as you become accustomed to the bow so your pull will become stronger. When you become used to wielding the long sword, you will gain the power of the Way and wield the sword well."

Miyamoto Musashi

In short, do away with a 'weak' side.

Learn to shoot with either.

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Old September 21, 2011, 07:47 PM   #11
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SPUSCG, I think what kraigwy means by "cocking the gun 15 degrees right" is that he is strongside eye-dominant, so he rotates the gun's vertical access inboard, toward the strong eye when he shoots left-handed. I've seen this technique taught with good effect. I use it, to some extent.

As far as recoil control goes, are you making sure the barrel of the gun is aligned with the long bones of your forearm when you shoot lefty? Are you getting a high grip? Those two factors can really bite you when it comes to recoil control. If not aligned with the long bones, the recoil and muzzle rise work against the drumstick of your thumb instead of the web of your hand.

Otherwise, I'd recommend lots of dry fire with the weak hand, same as you probably already do with the strong hand.

Good luck,

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Old September 22, 2011, 02:36 PM   #12
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Good news is that you found this out in training. That's what training is for. To teach one what they need to know. When a gun is pointed at you you tend to focus on the weapon. It's perceived as the threat. We are hard wired
to do this. So it is pretty common to be shot in the gun hand. Much more than people think. I've seen this happen quite a few times with people just training to shoot the bad guy targets that have a picture of a gun. So yes practice shooting in every position you can imagine. Truly you just never know.
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Old September 22, 2011, 09:15 PM   #13
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I am right eye and right hand dominant, and honestly never shot left handed until then. i shot a 191 on the qual, and each stage (right hand, 5 shots, left hand, 5) is worth 25 points. I shot 25 points right hand and 4 left hand, so if i had shot equally well weak side i would have been a very decent score but barely scraped by instead.
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Old September 22, 2011, 09:57 PM   #14
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Everyone needs to learn to shoot with their weak hand, what if your main hand is hurt.
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Old September 22, 2011, 10:09 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by 9mm View Post
Everyone needs to learn to shoot with their weak hand, what if your main hand is hurt.
+1 always train to be able to shoot with either hand. If you every need to shoot with your weak hand you'll be glad you did.

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Old September 23, 2011, 12:06 AM   #16
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I like to practice with strong and weak hand. You never know like someone said when you may get shot I'n strong hand and no matter the fight can't end until after you've taken your last breath. I'm also a big fan of the crimson laser grips to help you with awkward positions are for same reasons and others even though i don't have one ( the don't make them for Gen 4's yet) but i believe I'm gonna get one when they do. But you practice Anything long enough you'll get good at it.
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Old September 23, 2011, 03:27 AM   #17
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Everyone needs to learn to shoot with their weak hand, what if your main hand is hurt

Exactly! During My 32 yrs as a LEO we had firearms qualifications every 13 wk's . We had different types of tactical training during the sessions but in just about all we had some weak hand shooting. at first it was awkward but after awhile it becomes easier and the target score improves. Just keep on practicing to make it better.
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Old September 23, 2011, 02:24 PM   #18
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First time I had to shoot left handed caught me by surprise. My first PPC match and I had no idea what to expect. It was awkward but I was lucky that day and didn't embarrass myself. Since then every session has included at least 2 cylinders or two magazines of weak hand shooting just to keep it familiar. I had what could be considered a lucky break, I broke my right arm twice in one year while I was teaching marksmanship and training for the All Army competition. Instead of not shooting for that period of time I prevailed on other people who graciously loaded my guns or magazines for me and I shot left handed. By the time I lost my cast and was able to go back to strong hand I was nearly as good with it as I was with weak arm.

No special technique needed for my eyes, I could use either, the big thing was just getting used to it. Only time, dry firing and live firing will do that for you. There is no magic to it. It's like eating or having to write with weak hand after our strong arm has been injured. By the time you get rid of the cast it seems almost normal.
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Old September 23, 2011, 02:36 PM   #19
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Any tips on what i can practice when i go shooting next.
As they say practice makes perfect. In any case, you will get better if you invest the time shooting weak handed. At one of our local matches we had a stage that was a mirror for strong/weak hand.
While a shooter was switching from strong hand to weak hand he put a round through a dividing wall. Naturally he received a DQ for the hole in the wall and was absolutely urinated off with the SO and MD because as he stated and I'll quote him "I never shoot weak hand this is bull poop". He did not stay to help with the remainder of the match
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Old September 23, 2011, 03:06 PM   #20
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Kragwy's suggestion of tipping the gun in 15 degrees is spot on, IMHO. I'm a leftie that shoots right handed, but it still helps.

I also suggest a brief session each day of dry firing, left handed. Just five minutes every morning makes a huge difference.
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Old September 23, 2011, 03:41 PM   #21
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As many have said, it is not about being weak; as in lacking strength. I refer to the non-dominant hand as the off hand (although I shoot using both hands when I can). Most of us have sufficient strength in the non-dominant hand to shoot if we only had the coordination needed.

What we lack mostly is coordination with the hand that we never or rarely shoot with. It may also be weaker.

We gain coordination by practicing that skill which we want to increase. It is sometimes referred to as muscle recruitment, or building neural pathways.

If you usually practice for an hour, perhaps try splitting your practice time 50-50 between your hands. Remember that you are training your "off-hand" at a lower level of skill compared to your dominant hand. Practice basics until you are competent with that "off-hand". Proper stance, grip, finger position, sight alignment, breath control, trigger squeeze and follow through.

For defensive shooting, it may be assumed that you should practice shooting the "off-hand" with out any support from the other hand or arm. It may be assumed that you are shooting "off-hand" because the dominant hand has been incapacitated.
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Old September 23, 2011, 11:37 PM   #22
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I figured I never had to shoot weak hand again after our black badge IPSC course, so never practiced it much. Then on one particular match about 8 months after the course, we had two entire stages that had to be shot weak handed. A bunch of us just looked at each other, rolling our eyes, during the walk-through. I swear, half my squad scored zero on that stage. Many of the targets were 3/4 covered with no-shoots at 20 yards. They ran out of white patches and an RO had to go back to the club house to get more

Now I practice weak hand shooting at least a little bit on every range trip, and that includes twisting around barricades or barrels to throw off your shooting index. I also dry practice transfers and weak hand shooting a few times a week. That includes reloads with mags positioned on the table too, inserting them with my strong hand. There was one stage earlier this year where we could place the mags on barrels anyway we liked, but the stipulations were that we shot everything weak handed and no mags in our mag pouches.
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Old September 24, 2011, 12:33 PM   #23
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You know, it's entirely possible that a life-or-death fight might disable your dominant hand.

But really, it's much more likely that more normal activities might disable your dominant hand, prior to a life-or-death encounter.

The most common injuries in skiing, snowboarding, skating, rollerblading... are hand and wrist injuries. People tend to break falls with their hands, yet hands and wrists are made of lots of small, relatively weak bones and joints. They are very easily disabled.

Yet another reason why it's a good idea to be proficient with either hand. Don't wait until your dominant hand is in a cast, or dominant arm in a sling, to figure out how to use the weak hand.

I try to put 20-25% of my training time into weak-hand shooting. I'm almost as accurate with my left hand as I am with my right, but I am somewhat slower.
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