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Old November 23, 2013, 05:42 PM   #1
ezmiraldo
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Let's talk one-handed shooting

Hi all!

The more I train to use pistol defensively, the more one-handed shooting seems useful. Recently I've kind of gone to the extreme and decided to practice one handed for 85% of time, and shoot two handed only for the remaining 15 (mostly long-distance shots).

For the benefit of all of us here trying to master shooting one handed, what are some good tips? I'm talking stance, grip, position of the non-shooting hand, or anything and everything else that helps improve speed and accuracy. To keep things simple, let's assume we are doing short-distance defensive shooting with either strong or support hand.

Let's hear it.
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Old November 23, 2013, 06:27 PM   #2
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While practicing one-handed shooting, make sure to work in some weak-hand, one-hand practice, too. You never know when your strong hand/arm may become incapacitated.
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Old November 23, 2013, 06:37 PM   #3
Rat Robb
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For precision, slow rate shooting I'll stand with my target, shooting arm and body all in line with my non shooting hand in my pocket.

For more defensive, fast paced shooting I'll stand body facing target with my shooting arm out in front with my arm slightly turned to the right (Im a lefty, if you are a righty this would be cocked to the left) and my non shooting hand balled into a fist placed on my right chest (again, this would be your left hand and chest if you shoot righty)

Luckily for me, I shoot left handed but am a right handed person at everything else in this world. So, I really don't have an off hand as i can easily manipulate a firearm with my dominant hand.

Hope this helps

-Robb
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Old November 23, 2013, 07:07 PM   #4
kraigwy
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I'm a big fan of one handed shooting. In my 20 years in law enforcement I can probably count on one hand the number of times I had both hands free. Something is always in the other hand, ticket book, flashlight, doorknob, other people............something.

I'll go one farther, I believe most of the shooting should be one handed with your left hand. I normally do 50-40-10. 50% weak hand, 40% strong hand and 10% two hands.

Shooting weak hand is no different then strong hand, it requires nothing more then tons of dry firing.

Stance, what stance. Why practice with your defense pistol/revolver with a given stance?

I teach a weakly ladies firearms safety and self defense class. The Stance we use is setting in a car, setting at the table, on the couch, dragging a (dummy) child, laying in bed, laying on the ground at an ATM machine, and drawing from a diaper bag while pushing a baby buggy.

Stance is for square range target shooting, not self defense.
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Old November 23, 2013, 07:34 PM   #5
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If you have to shoot one handed, then it's because either one hand is hurt or because the attacker is on you. Taking careful aim when the BG is one foot from you isn't possible. You need to train for gun retention and not shooting yourself.
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Old November 23, 2013, 07:37 PM   #6
ezmiraldo
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kraigwy, i couldn't agree more with your take on shooting stance...
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Old November 23, 2013, 07:43 PM   #7
tony pasley
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Also 1 handed reloads, clearing jams, racking the slide, sitting ,standing kneeling laying down.
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Old November 23, 2013, 11:42 PM   #8
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kraigwy shoots straight and speaks the truth!
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Old November 23, 2013, 11:48 PM   #9
silverstang23
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I do a lot of one handed shooting at the range with both hands. Holding the gun "high" is key. Shoot some local IDPA's. Our's seem to almost always have a one handed component that works both hands separately.
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Old November 23, 2013, 11:58 PM   #10
4V50 Gary
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Like Kraigwy says, there might be something in your other hand so its good to practice one handed shooting and don't neglect non-dominant hand either. Shed sweat, not blood.
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Old November 24, 2013, 12:20 AM   #11
Nick_C_S
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I like shooting one-handed. Especially with the "support" hand. I should practice more of it at the range, however.

There are times in IDPA where I just kind of do it on second-nature.

There have also been a couple times where I've made the stage for our local IDPA event. Granted, my stages are boring from a "real life" scenario standpoint. I tend to make them more "skill drill" in nature. But the two times they've used my stage, there was a "support hand only" segment in them.
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Old November 24, 2013, 01:05 AM   #12
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There's another important reason to practice one-handed shooting. It can to be a stressing reliability test for some semi-automatic pistols. I've owned a couple of pistols over the years that were admirably reliable when fired two-handed but could be counted on for a malfunction or two every 50 rounds when fired one-handed unless the shooter concentrated on technique.

It's nice to find out about something like that at the range...
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Old November 24, 2013, 01:10 AM   #13
Buzzcook
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I was trained one handed and am more comfortable that way.

The same stance you'll find in the Army pistol manual 1912, for the 1911.

It wasn't until the the late seventies that I started using a modified Weaver stance.
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Old November 24, 2013, 09:26 AM   #14
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Here is a simple little test.

Get some sort of barricade. LEAVE YOUR GUN IN YOUR POCKET, don't need it for this test.

Get you range buddy to get behind the barricade while you stand in front about 15 yards.

Watch you partner while he points his finger at the right side of the barricade like its a gun. Have him do it with both hands, right hand only and left hand only. Check to see how much your partner is expose in each position.

Have him do the same thing on the left side of the barricade, Two hands, left hand only, right hand only.

You'll see the benefit of one hand shooting, and as to the left side of the barricade, you'll see the benefit of left or weak hand shooting.

If cover is available, the less you expose behind that cover, the better you'll be.
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Old November 24, 2013, 12:18 PM   #15
Deaf Smith
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ezmiraldo,

Start with the basics.

Dry fire, slow fire with .22, working ones way up.

And yes, both left and right hand. Do the basics and don't use shortcuts.

Over tine you will get quite good and will out shoot many who fire two handed, even rapid fire and multiple targets.

But it takes time and discipline (and ammo!)

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Old November 24, 2013, 12:31 PM   #16
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I've owned a couple of pistols over the years that were admirably reliable when fired two-handed but could be counted on for a malfunction or two every 50 rounds when fired one-handed unless the shooter concentrated on technique.

Absolutely. It's surprisingly easy to have a limp-wrist malfunction.
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Old November 24, 2013, 12:59 PM   #17
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I practiced one handed shooting quite a bit by breaking my wrist - I was signed up for of all things an injured shooter class. How convenient. Then I took LFI-Stress fire, still in the cast.

With practice, it's not a big deal. Last match we shot a stage one handed with the weak hand. Not a hard stage but I got all zeros. Most did -it is just a matter of time, grip and trigger control.
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Old November 24, 2013, 01:28 PM   #18
ezmiraldo
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it appears that the common thread is: similarly to training two-handed, start slow, focus on the fundamentals, give it extensive trigger time - including dry-fire and live fire, and over time shooting one handed will become natural and effective?

so, you mean there is no "majic bullet" or "secrete formula" that cam make you an expert one-handed shooter in just 10 minutes!?!! you dissappoint me, guys... lol
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Old November 24, 2013, 05:17 PM   #19
Deaf Smith
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Actually there is a secret formula.

Practice, practice,practice! That IS the secret formula!

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Old November 25, 2013, 01:01 AM   #20
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Also learn to offhand shoot rifles and shotguns....
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Old November 25, 2013, 06:55 AM   #21
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Grip, sight allignment, and trigger control are still the basics, one handed or two, and with strong hand or support hand. I regularly practice one handed right or left, and two handed with my support hand as primary. If you carry a BUG on your support side this can be advantageous. Its always good to have options.
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Old November 25, 2013, 12:11 PM   #22
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One handed full weapon manipulation is extremely important.

Shooting is one thing from retention and another with an extended arm. Two entirely different purposes. Each depending on the situation.

Other very important things to practice on handed:

Clearing a malfunction - which requires muscle memory, good sights, a good belt.

Reloading - a good holster that doesn't collapse. Re-holster with the slide locked back after you drop the mag, insert the mag, draw and rack the slide on the belt or holster. Continue.
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Old November 25, 2013, 01:11 PM   #23
Derbel McDillet
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Different perspectives:

Video of Roger Phillips point-shooting one-handed - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnrIdpo9odA

Another video of an actual shooting of two deputies in which the shooter draws and point-shoots one-handed while on a dead run - http://www.portorchardindependent.co...118674704.html
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Old November 25, 2013, 02:53 PM   #24
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Todd Jarriett's article in last month's Outdoor Life: says you can cant the pistol outwards 20 degrees {not inwards "gangsta style} in order to control recoil better.

Sorry...my bad, in another thread which I posted 30 degrees, instead of 20.


I also like to keep my free hand balled up into a fist --- up against my chest --- in order to keep it out of the way of the pistol --- during drawing an firing --- and be ready to use it for a close encounter punch too an opponent.

I use the same modern Isosceles stance as in two handed shooting, unless I was shooting bullseye style.
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Old November 25, 2013, 03:30 PM   #25
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It's like martial arts or hand to hand combat-you cannot rely on ONE technique. Ed McGivern, Bill Jordan, Charlie Askins etc. were all masters of one hand shooting and all emphasized you learn to shoot and master the handgun with one hand.
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