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View Poll Results: Do you practice shooting both left and right handed?
No - I just use my dominant side 18 21.18%
Yes - I shoot pistol left and right handed 45 52.94%
Yes - I shoot rifle both left and right handed 0 0%
Yes - I shoot both pistol and rifle from both sides 22 25.88%
Voters: 85. You may not vote on this poll

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Old October 18, 2013, 09:59 PM   #1
iraiam
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Do you practice shooting from both sides?

I was wondering how many of you practice shooting from both left and right sides, or to put it differently, do you practice with your non-dominant side. is this a valuable skill to have?

I am right handed and practice shooting pistols right and left handed, I have practiced enough that I can proficiently carry, draw, and fire left handed as well.

I also practice shooting my AR rifles from both right and left shoulders. I used to practice other rifles from my left as well, but since I had to have a medical implant in my left shoulder area, the 5.56 AR is the only rifle I can shoot from my left side anymore. (I haven't told my doctor I do this either)

Strangely enough, I can usually shoot as accurately southpaw as i can regular, (but slightly slower) but I cannot write or throw anything with my left?
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Old October 18, 2013, 10:25 PM   #2
Deaf Smith
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Like John Herod said, "I can fight with either hand."

And I ain't ambidextrous. I just had to work hard at it.

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Old October 19, 2013, 10:32 AM   #3
3.Shot.Group.
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I shoot my .45 left handed, two handed, and strong hand. It's rare that I shoot a rifle or shotgun left handed, it's not near as difficult as shooting a pistol, so there's little need for practice.

I think it's important to practice shooting a pistol weak hand, if you're ever in a gun fight and you get shot in your strong hand or otherwise injure it, then your weak hand will be the only means of using the pistol to defend yourself.

Something about shooting a pistol left handed makes me shoot better strong hand. I guess it improves my focus or something.

Last edited by 3.Shot.Group.; October 20, 2013 at 08:35 PM.
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Old October 19, 2013, 11:15 AM   #4
Bartholomew Roberts
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I need a red dot sight before I can shoot weak side rifle well; but I make it a point to practice occasionally with both pistols and rifles.
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Old October 19, 2013, 01:01 PM   #5
gatorshark
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I think I was first exposed to shooting either lefty or right at defensive rifle and handgun training courses. Then also it's often used at IDPA competitions which i frequent.

I certainly see the value in being able to finish the fight with either strong or "weak" hand.
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Old October 19, 2013, 04:44 PM   #6
Bluestarlizzard
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This is one of those things I need to work on, yet I tend to procrastinate. Ideally, yes, I would be able too.

The reality is I can't hit the broad side of a barn with my left hand.

It's so demorelizing that I don't practice at it like I should.
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Old October 19, 2013, 05:49 PM   #7
ClydeFrog
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Hard habit to break....

In my armed forces days(active duty MP/95B, now in 2013: 31B) we had to re-qual on a 9mmNATO range using both strong & weak hand training.
We also had to shoot the M9s from different positions; standing, prone, barricade, etc. It wasn't easy.
In my own firearm training with my own revolvers & pistols, I shoot with both hands to feel confident if I had a "wounded officer" event.
Some gun owners I know avoid doing it but I think it's a good skill to have or at least feel capable to protect yourself if the angle/position requires it.

Some top instructors like Massad Ayoob even shoot entire pistol matches weak handed(and win ).
Im not that good yet.
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Old October 20, 2013, 12:09 AM   #8
plinkz
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In my LEO training, both initial and in service, I had to shoot qualification courses that included weak hand shooting with the handgun. In later years, I shot courses that included simulating being injured and on the ground, on my back and on my belly. Our firearms instructors learned more extensive shooting skills than those which we had to train on, such as racking the slide with only one hand available.
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Old October 20, 2013, 11:15 AM   #9
gotthegoods
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I had to from a practical stand-point.

I am a left handed shooter; having to draw and shoot with my left hand while sitting the the driver's seat does NOT allow for good defensive or offensive shooting.

From where you're sitting, imagine you are behind the wheel and go through the motions of LH draw (don't forget about your seat belt) and see where you can point your firearm (remember the door is scant itches from your arm); how easy/hard it would be to retain your firearm; how easy/hard it would be for the BG to leverage against your arm to point your firearm backs towards you or your passenger(s).

Yep, I practice RH shooting at 2 - 4 yard distances with my different handguns.
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Old October 20, 2013, 02:03 PM   #10
Mike38
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I shoot pistol with both hands. Had to learn, PPC competition. The first time I shot left handed was utterly embarrassing. Pathetic actually. Quickly learned, and I think most people can if they try. Really, you have to learn. What happens if your dominate hand becomes incapacitated for some reason?
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Old October 21, 2013, 02:02 AM   #11
dakota.potts
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I am right handed, left eye dominant. I shoot rifles left handed because of that but if I switch to right arm I do just as well. Shooting a bolt gun the "right" way just feels wrong now! The bolt's in the wrong place!

I practice pistol strong, weak, and both, but always left eye unless I have a scope on a rifle that I can use with my right eye.
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Old October 21, 2013, 06:45 AM   #12
DasGuy
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I only practice left hand pistol shooting one handed, as the only reason I could see needing to shoot it left handed is if I'm unable to use my right.

I need to shoot rifle left handed more often. It always feels awkward for me to pick-up the sight picture, even with a red dot optic.
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Old October 21, 2013, 09:05 AM   #13
kraigwy
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Quote:
do you practice with your non-dominant side. is this a valuable skill to have?
Its not only "valuable" its "Critical"
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Old October 21, 2013, 10:29 AM   #14
Jim243
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I think it is a silly mindset that one thinks they "Need" to shoot weak side. I shoot targets not people and doubt that I will EVER be in a gun fight where I will need to switch hands.

The one issue I have with shooting weak side is that regardless of which hand I would use, I am still "Right Eye Dominant" and a poor shot with my left eye.

Stay safe, stay out of gun fights and be well.
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Old October 21, 2013, 01:44 PM   #15
TopMCITWS
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Shoot in USPSA matches at least once a month and it is not uncommon for at least one stage to require either strong hand or weak hand shooting. In anticipation of those matches, will frequently practice with my weak hand. It can be done, but it definitely takes some practice.
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Old October 21, 2013, 03:14 PM   #16
K_Mac
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I will admit I do not practice weak-hand shooting as often as I should, even knowing it is more difficult for me to keep tight groups left handed. I do believe it is a necessary skill for anyone who carries a weapon.

Quote:
I think it is a silly mindset that one thinks they "Need" to shoot weak side. I shoot targets not people and doubt that I will EVER be in a gun fight where I will need to switch hands.
Jim243 I doubt I will ever be in a gunfight. If in one I also doubt I will ever need to use my weak hand. Once in one though would not be a great time to learn a new skill. Your response is interesting based on your signature. Preparing for war requires acquiring all the skills needed to pursue it successfully.
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Old October 21, 2013, 03:41 PM   #17
breakingcontact
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Yes, but not as much as I should.
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Old October 21, 2013, 03:55 PM   #18
markj
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My brother and I do that on our targets.Kinda like playing horse. Use the off hand till one misses, he buys the pizza.
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Old October 21, 2013, 06:05 PM   #19
histed
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Its a right-handed world and I'm a south paw. Learned a long time ago to improvise, adapt and over come. Shooting handgun from both sides came fairly easily, though I'm left-eye dominant. Shooting a rifle from the "wrong" took more practice and some coaching from a former Marine shooting instructor. Still feels strange, but...
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Old October 21, 2013, 06:55 PM   #20
Nick_C_S
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Quote:
I only practice left hand pistol shooting one handed, as the only reason I could see needing to shoot it left handed is if I'm unable to use my right.
^^ Me too. ^^

And I shoot quite well one-handed left, I might add. I always smile at IDPA events when I learn of a stage where one must shoot "support hand only."

(I shoot revolver in IDPA, btw.)
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Old October 23, 2013, 03:36 PM   #21
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim243
I think it is a silly mindset that one thinks they "Need" to shoot weak side. I shoot targets not people and doubt that I will EVER be in a gun fight where I will need to switch hands.
You know, after seeing how often people got hit in the hands during Force-onForce, I'm not all that sure it would be a rare event if you did have the misfortune to be in a gunfight.

Not only that; but it pops up occasionally in reporting of real life gunfights as well. The now famous Blitz308 thread comes to mind as an example.
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Old October 23, 2013, 05:31 PM   #22
Slopemeno
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I've played a ton of paintball, and I can tell you that hits to the gun/hand/face are common.

I'm a left hander when it comes to writing, but otherwise right-handed when it comes to anything else like shooting. Back when I shot in our Action Shooting league I excelled at the "weak-hand" stages, and I do really well shooting right handed on the left tape of the paintball field (i.e.- leaning left side out from behind the barricade, but shooting off the right shoulder).

In my experience- the old PPC style barricade is the closest parallel I can draw with FoF barricade shooting. I designed a stage once that was 6 standing left side, 6 standing right side, then kneeling left, kneeling right, etc. When I started getting involved in paintball I met the last guy to use a pump in tournament play (Marty from the Ironmen) and his "Marty Drill" was almost the exact same thing, just with two guys using trees as barricades shooting at each other with paintball guns- what a coincidence. And fun.

I don't think weak hand shooting needs to be complicated- some dry firing would be a great way to start.
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Old November 7, 2013, 01:51 AM   #23
Hitthespot
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No, I always practice assuming I'm the good guy, never the bad guy.
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Old November 7, 2013, 01:56 AM   #24
JD0x0
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Yes. I am cross dominant, so it's actually completely comfortable, to me, to fire from either the left or right shoulder.

It's actually really interesting, learning how to work a right handed bolt while shooting from the left shoulder. It's tricky at first, but once you get it, it's not as hard as it seems.
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Old November 7, 2013, 09:26 PM   #25
Jay24bal
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Like most others said, I do practice my pistol shooting with both hands. In case the need ever arises in a defensive situation, I like being proficient with both hands. I am not as good left-handed as I am with my right, but proficient enough for center mass hits at defensive distances.

I do not shoot my rifles or shotguns left-handed. I do not think it would be practical to spend time doing so, so I chose not to learn.
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