View Full Version : Strong hand shooting, how many practice?

DOT, Trident Concept
February 21, 2002, 06:42 PM
Hey folks,

Just wondering how many folks invest quality time into training with their strong and weak hand marksmanship and manipulations? I have talked to lots of folks who will put some effort to lots of effort depending on their expeirences.

I wanted to relay an experience on my end that spurred a revival into this type of mindset. When my first son was born several years ago, I carried him primarily in my weak arm. Which meant I had to accomplish all the necessary tasks with my strong hand only. Some folks have mentioned to drop what you have in order to present in your two handed grip. Well, I am not about to drop my son, nor waste time doing it, so I started working real hard at strong hand shooting and everything that goes with it.

The reason for the rant is we have another boy and I am carrying him again in my weak arm, but was surprised to see the difference in my confidence. Over the years, my practice and training has paid off big time and my strong hand only tasks are pretty good right now.

I have made it a major part of most of the courses we do because I see how lacking it is in most folks tool bag. It has paid off for some folks out there, so I wanted to pass along it is worth the effort.

So as I mention, how many of you are putting honest effort into strong and weak hand only shooting? If not, you might want to consider investing some time.

Look forward to some thoughts.


February 21, 2002, 08:34 PM
Rifle, shotgun, shortguns.......I use em either handed and either side, one or two handed. And either eyed.

Think barracades, injury etc.


February 22, 2002, 09:51 AM
I can switch sides with a long gun with absolutely no impact on performance. Handguns...well, I'm working on it. In close quarters (under 10 yds) I'm good enough with my weak hand. I'd like to be better though. I usually set aside 3 days a week to go shooting. One with rifle, one with shotgun, one with pistol. I always practice one handed (both strong and weak) with handguns. I occasionally practice one handed (only strong) with a shotgun. That gets tiring though.

February 22, 2002, 12:11 PM
I don't own any long guns (yet) but with my handgun, I have practiced (granted, only one time) doing strong hand only/weak hand only target shooting, just to see how it felt.

I am looking at the targets I used, and at seven yards with strong hand only, I have about a three inch grouping. At the same distance with weak hand only, the group expands a bit to around four inches. Not great, but not too bad for the first time trying it.

I do think it is important to be able to shoot one handed, both sides in case of injury or barricades, and will continue to practice it.

My only issue is that I have a Makarov and they are designed with the mag release on the heel of the gun. I have only figured out one way to drop it without using my left hand, which is to catch it on the edge of a table or a corner of something. But what if there isn't a corner around?? Anyone? Thanks.


February 22, 2002, 12:21 PM
If things are going really stupid and you get in a fight, you will get shot. More than likely BG will shoot to weapon and not you. You will be hit in strong or support hand.

Practice from both sides (and ojos as Sam mentioned) and carry on both sides so you weapons to access from both sides.

Seek cover, wear your armour, stay fit and train, train, train. However, most of all avoid.

February 22, 2002, 12:27 PM
Shoeless, Europeans do not understand handguns. IMHO, I would eschew their type of release. However, if you choose not to, why not carry two?

(I was going to say "put the weapon back in your holster, hit the Euro release, rip out old magazine, put in new mag, rack slide on holster or thigh, and get back in fight." However, people have called me on carrying on about how tactically brilliant a holster is).

February 22, 2002, 12:33 PM
KSFreeman: I believe (from what I've read anyway) that the Mak was designed this way to prevent accidental mag drops. I guess those Eastern Europeans have wild, uncontrollable thumbs or something. ;)

Anyway, big DUH for me for not thinking of reholstering and releasing the mag. Thanks.


February 22, 2002, 12:46 PM
Shoeless, that's why they call it skul. You're still fairly new, pretty soon you'll know enough to ignore me.:D

February 22, 2002, 03:47 PM
Europeans do not understand handguns

I'll pretend I didn't see that :)

If you're shot in one hand, you will need to reholster anyway to put in a new magazine, regardless of type of release.

There is also a reason for not dropping the mag, regardless of release: You may need it again. If I had dropped a magazine when shooting a military qualification, I would have failed. I guess most European "tactical" type guns are made for military use. Personally I prefer the Browning style mag release, but it isn't all that important - if I should find myself in a situation I can't solve with 15 rounds I think I am in deep s**t already, with or without a "tactical" mag release.

February 23, 2002, 11:50 AM
UT, well, at least the Norwegians knew enough about handguns to copy the 1911!:D As I understand it, the Euros put the mag release in a silly place so that it would be easier to retain the empty mag upon reload (sort of like the first Glock mags that would not drop). Hence your disqualification situation in the militree. I care nothing for shooting for scores, trophies or qualifications and dump my empty mags with reckless abandon.

You can still do it (one or both handed), it just slows you down a little (sort of like bullpup raffles). Of course, speed is not of the essence in European gunfights where you can call for time and stage a protest march for bigger welfare checks, then go on a 6 week vacation and have socialized medicine to make you well after you are shot.:rolleyes:

February 23, 2002, 02:03 PM
at least the Norwegians knew enough about handguns to copy the 1911!
It wasn't a copy, it was a licenced improvement. :D The Norwegian model 1914 had a different (dare I say more tactical) slide release. If I remember the exchange rate between dollars and kroner in 1912 or so, the licence fee for an unlimited number of guns was 3500 dollars. And when we're into paying complements, at least Americans knew enough about rifles to buy the Krag. :D

I'm not saying reloads and one handed shooting isn't important (I do almost all my shooting one handed - I guess that is wrong too :) ). I just wanted to point out that there may actually be a reason behind designs "not invented here", even if the philosophy is a little different. BTW, the Luger has a button mag release, doesn't it? That's even older than the 1911.

Gunfights in Europe? We're too civilized for that, you know. :) Just read some English crime litterature - arsenic works just fine, then use battery acid to dissolve the dead body in the bathtub. That Main Street at high noon thing is just so ... American.

Seriously, we do have crime, but not quite the "gunfighting" kind. We're catching up, though, our punks are watching the same Hollywood training films as your punks. As far as Norway is concerned, we have more guns per capita than any other country except the US. Civilians do not carry. The police do not carry. They don't even carry nightsticks unless they have particular reason to expect trouble. Civilian gunfights just isn't a big thing here.

And what is wrong with a six week vacation? If you have trouble filling all that free time with something meaningful, may I suggest a two step program? Hunt. Shoot. Repeat as necessary. :D

February 24, 2002, 06:13 PM
The 1914 an improvement? Hmmm, don't know if having a longer slide stop is much of an improvement, but it's nice we can trade. I have a couple of Norwegian 1914s; good guns, only dropped twice.;)

No civilian gunfights in Europe? He prav, tovarish. I have personal recollection of some vivid fights and saw the origin of "Croatian offhand" in a former nation near you.

No civilian gunfights in Europe? Someone better tell Tony Martin he can leave prison now. "Hey, Tony, you're free. There are no gunfights in Europe."

No civilian gunfights in Europe? This would come as a shock to both grandfathers and your relatives who lived during Norway's latest conquering.

The "doesn't happen here" attitude is universal I see. Need to study one-handed because when you do get in a fight, it will go wrong and you need your one handed skills for shooting and manifpulations.

February 25, 2002, 08:00 PM
Ah, I think we are misunderstanding each other a little here, or maybe it's just me.

I didn't (mean to) say that there are no gunfights in Europe. Of course people are killed, sometimes by guns. That thing about too civilized was an attempt at a joke. A lot of people over here seem to think it is uncivlized to defend oneself. They really believe in the system, and to see someone take charge of their own life is a sign that the system doesn't work as these people think it should. A lot of us think differently, but carrying guns is as restricted here as in some US cities. Our systems are not all that different, I think, we just use different language to describe them. It's a potato - potahto thing, when you say liberal, I say socialist.

Yugoslavia was never a nation, it was a state containing several nationalities. The way I think of civilian gunfights there weren't a lot of them there, either. When only one side has the guns, it isn't a fight. If both sides have guns and uniforms, it isn't civilian.

As to Norways military history, those Colts were not dropped twice. We were neutral in WWI :)
As far as WWII is concerned, we held out longer than some frog eaters I could mention, but that may not impress you a whole lot :)
Most of the fighting was done by civilians who put on a uniform and often brought their own rifles. They did well enough to impress the Wehrmacht, German soldiers claimed during the campaign that the "Kopfschuss" was against the Geneva Convention. As for the fighting that happened during the occupation, I didn't think of it as "civilian". Our resistance were, considering the circumstances, a well trained and highly diciplined military force, with a staff in Norway and under the command of the Norwegian political and military leadership in exile in London. They in turn were a part of the overall allied war machine. This force was one of the reasons there were 350,000 Wehrmacht occupation troops stationed in a country of 3 million. That the occupation force considered the resistance to be "bandits" and tortured to death those they could lay their hands on, is a different matter. They didn't catch many.

Anyway, I can't see myself fighting off hordes of armed criminals trying to shoot their way into my house any time soon. If I have to take up arms, it would more likely be as a reservist (conscript) in a military scenario. Not that I see this happening next week either... but going back to the magazine releases we were talking about; in a military cituation my job would not only be to win a gunfight, it would be to survive to fight another day. It would be difficult to fight another day if all my magazines were dropped on the ground (or in the snow for six or more months a year). And to the original topic of this thread, I would think the important thing is to hit the target, whether with two hands, strong hand or weak hand, rather than how "tactical" the gun is.

If you still don't understand what I'm rambling about, don't worry, I'm not sure I do either :)

February 25, 2002, 08:29 PM
Ah yes, the big festival to celebrate the summer magazine harvest.:D


February 26, 2002, 08:07 AM
UT, my Norwegian .45s were dropped once by the Norwegians and once by the Germans, so (using new math) I get twice (or "twicet" in Hoosierese).

You're right that the myth of the magic sword ("tactical") is just a myth and the person matters most. My point is that you must train and be ready no matter where you are as no one can tell you what the fight will look like (except don'tshootit'sme who can use his kung fu powers to see into the future).

Christopher II
February 26, 2002, 04:14 PM
Handguns, yes. I train strong hand, weak hand, weak draw from strong side, one-handed reloads, etc... It's fun, and it might come in handy.

I'm physically incapable of shooting a longarm from my offside shoulder. So I don't.

- Chris