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Old December 24, 2001, 08:16 AM   #1
Dave McC
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Join Date: October 13, 1999
Location: Columbia, Md, USA
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Ambidexterity....

I've told the story of what happened last Thursday on a black powder hunt on the Hunt Forum, but here's a brief reprise.

I had a doe and fawn come up behind me as I watched a very nice buck work a scrape. I was positioned wrong for the shot, and had to switch around and take the shot lefthanded, which I did much to my satisfaction and the doe's dismay. She's at the butcher's now.

The important point is that I was able to switch and make the shot.This ability, applied to shotgunning, may not be important on a quail hunt, may be more important on medium and big game, and may be crucial in a "Serious" situation. Think about it...

Being able to fire your weapon effectively from the off side means you may better utilize cover. Or maybe just operate the thing. In the very unlikely event I ever have to rescue a family member from the lower floors of Casa McC, it's best done RH from top floor to center, and LH from center to basement. I say very unlikely because we have some good security measures in place. They'll be able to access weapons on their floor,etc. No details,sorry.

I see a hand up in the back of the room.

Q: We've these 870s you talked us into getting. How do we operate the safety in an A/S scenario if we're using the LH to operate the controls.

A:By this method, and you shoulda thunk it up yourself.

First, ensure the weapon's empty and leave the rooms where any ammo may be. Grasp the weapon with your RH on the forearm and your left on the grip. Leave your left hand loose but in contact with the grip. Rotate the weapon by twisting with your RH, and use your thumb to take the safety off, then rotate back, mount and dry fire. Doing this a few times a day for a week or so should get the habit started.Practice the mount while you're at it.

And you Mossberg owners can wipe off those smug looks(G)...

Next, try shooting a few shots from the off side next range day. If you have trouble with cross dominance here, close the R eye.

After that, try a round of clays from the offside. Your scores here may drop, but your handling will improve.

BTW, on that doe there was no fumbling. I kept a cool head, and,yes, I've shot that way before.

Questions,comments, donations?

Last edited by Dave McC; December 24, 2001 at 11:03 AM.
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Old December 24, 2001, 08:37 AM   #2
clown714
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i think alot of people overlook weak sided practice.it should be a part of your regular routine
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Old December 24, 2001, 10:47 AM   #3
KSFreeman
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Amen, Dave. Since my rude gun nut awakening several years ago, I realize that in a fight, you will get hurt, even seriously killed. You may lose one side of your body. E.g. Miami `86.

I am absolutely amazed by the number of people who do not practice weak (off, non-dominant, support, whatever) hand shooting. You must do it with pistols and long guns.

It is my opinion (whatever that's worth) that people do not practice one-hand techniques because they are in denial that they will get shot, stabbed or injured. The members of my gun club, even though they are all SEALs, SAS, SF, RLI, or Seolus Scouts, envision themselves hosing down legions of BGs like some silly IPSC or IDPA gun game.

It's a fight. You will get hit. Don't let it defeat you. Train, train, train . . . . I guess Dave's example is another way to stress the benefits of both hands.
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Old December 24, 2001, 10:53 AM   #4
C.R.Sam
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Good point Erick..............but.........
Accuracy with the off side not hard to accomplish with little practice. You already know what you want for a sight picture, all you have to do is hold the sight picture THROUGH the trigger pull and let off. Any stance, any handed or eyed, good sight picture will get good hit.

Accuracy with speed is nuther colourd horse tho. That takes practice. Dry fire could well make up the majority of the practice tho.

As Dave pointed out.....many long gun and handgun safetys are not lefty friendly, but with a little practice they are doable.

Sam...Mom was afraid I was neither handed, I proved her right.
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Old December 24, 2001, 02:39 PM   #5
Dave McC
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Thanks, guys, your views are all appreciated.

Erick,very good point.Sometimes I forget just how overtrained I was by most standards.

At least, folks should dry practice with this and do a few COFs periodically.

KS, combat is nothing like action movies. Time frames are fleeting, the simplest action requires major effort, and one hopes the warm liquid running down one's leg isn't blood.One acts as one has trained, for good or ill. There just isn't time or ability to think,mostly it's reacting. Churchill's comment about war being long periods of utter boredom punctuated by short periods of utter terror is true.

And, no Green Beanie, Scouts, Seals,etc here. I was a scared, undertrained kid trying to make it home,who had to change underwear after firefights.

Anyone who says they never had that problem is either psychotic or will lie about other things too.

Back to ambidexterity. It's not that hard to get to a safe level shooting with the support hand. Expertise is another can of worms. In the real world, I suggest concentrating on strong side shooting, but doing enough Support side stuff to have some idea of what to do if needed. And in the real world, it may be...
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Old December 26, 2001, 08:17 AM   #6
KSFreeman
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Dave, yeah, I know. However, that's why I said a fight is not some silly gun game. That's why you must train and train and train, because you will not have a lot of time to learn new skills. Shooting from both sides (with both hands and one hand) is a vital skill, as despite what Hollywood sez GGs do get shot.
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Old December 26, 2001, 08:35 AM   #7
K80Geoff
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Weak side shooting

I know of one local duck hunting legend in my area who regularly shoots from both sides with his O/U. He practices on the skeet range by shooting the birds from the high house from his right side and the birds from the low house from his left shoulder.

He actually switches sides shooting doubles!

The guy is quite substantial And his hunting buddy told me that he cannot move easily from side to side in the duckboat so had to develop his ambidexterous shooting style to shoot at the ducks!

And he is very good on the skeet range. I am told he is deadly on the quackers too.
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Old December 26, 2001, 10:33 AM   #8
Dave McC
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KS, I quit shooting IPSC seriously the day I saw a match won with a handgun I wouldn't carry on the street. "Practical" matches are little better unless one is limited to a duty weapon. If your cruiser gun's an 870, a tricked, tweaked 1100 isn't a great idea for a match.

Geoff, he'd be worth watching! He oughta switch up tho,ie shooting southpaw for high house.
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