View Full Version : How often do you shoot weakside and how much does it effect your accuracy?

February 25, 2008, 01:40 PM
Shooting weak side has been a technique that I've incorporated into my training since it was first mentioned to me by an instructor at the police academy a decade ago. At first it seemed unnatural but now I hardly notice a difference in accuracy. I do notice a real difference loading and cycling the action though.

It's an important skill to master. The FBI shootout in Miami comes to mind. An agent had his hand mangled in the firefight and had to reload and fight one handed. It is also important if you ever need to shoot from a covered position and using your strong side would expose more of your body to fire.

I make a point of forcing my students in the MOUT class to practice this technique in the glass house and observe how much of the body is exposed both ways.

It's not enough to do it with empty weapons or with blanks. To get comfortable it means shooting AND RELOADING weak side at the range too, and alot of times guys won't do that because they want to have the best scores for record possible. That means doing it on our own time.

Just something to think about.

February 25, 2008, 03:14 PM
While I don't have any plans to add an ambi safety to my Sig C3, I can say it takes some getting used to taking the thumb from a grip position over to the fingers side of the grip to flick off the safety. One handed reloading practice has been using the shelf at the range, since I don't think the rangemaster would smile on me working the pistol with my knees...

That said, at ranges from 10 yards in, I am confident I can hit a stationary paper target within the kill zone of the reduced silhouette. On a moving or returning fire target? Hope not to find out.

I do practice at least 25 rounds of weakhand per session, though. Some days, I will do over half my shooting weakhand.

I have noticed a tendency to hit slightly high and right when shooting lefthanded. Working on that one.

February 25, 2008, 08:35 PM
I've been spending a lot more time shooting with my left hand, and shooting one handed in general. As I read more and more about violent encounters, it seems a large percentage of them are dynamic, i.e. shooter(s) in motion.

So, I spend about 25% of my time actually working on typical 2 handed shooting, 25% strong hand, and fully 1/2 of the ammo goes out left-hand only. I, too, shoot high and right when doing it. But find if I can really concentrate and keep the crush grip on the gun Ayoob taught me, I notice very little degradation in accuracy.

Shane Tuttle
February 25, 2008, 09:02 PM
Just about every time I go to the range. I spend about 20% of my time doing it. At first, I shoot more accurately because my body isn't performing all the bad habits that my strong side likes to do when complacent.

Speed of target/sight acquisition is much slower on my weak side. Something that I shamefully admit I don't practice enough of...

February 26, 2008, 05:50 AM
I don't shoot with weak / support side often, but it's a point well made. It's probably something we should all do a little more of.


February 26, 2008, 06:07 AM
In any martial arts, there should never be a 'weak side' and a 'strong side.' Same goes for fighting with a pistol. We should have a left side and a right side and it should be our goal to be as proficient as we can be with both. I shoot a lot with both hands / both eyes. Its difficult for a while to learn to use both eyes and keep them both open but practice allows you to use either eye to aim the pistol.

For certain types of movements, it would be very advantageous to be able to shoot with either hand. Also, in force on force training, most hits are made to the hands and arms. If we're proficient with both hands, then we can fight more effectively, even if injured.

February 26, 2008, 06:26 AM
In a perfect world no one would ever get in a fight. The reality is that everyone has a dominant side/dominant eye. Even someone that is completely ambidextrious will have the side that his pistol is on, by default, as a strong side.

February 26, 2008, 06:36 AM
That is true, I doubt anyone can become perfectly ambedextrius anyway, but we should try to get as close as we can.

I would be very content never having to get into a fight with someone. Unfortunately, if it happens, it won't be my choice.

February 26, 2008, 10:40 AM
I've found that aikido practice has helped a lot with regard to use of both hands, since we usually train all techniques (except bokken) equally from both sides. This is true for both open hand and weapon takeaway techniques and drills.

Oh, I also fly from either side of the cockpit equally well, with stick or yoke, doesn't matter much.

As a result, I find that I can do most things equally well (or nearly equally well) with my left hand. However, I can't throw well with my left, or write all that quickly or legibly.

I'm working on left handed pistol shooting. Haven't thought much about left handed rifle, but I suppose I should try that every so often, too.

February 26, 2008, 10:53 AM
I practice weak side shooting every time out, but strong side gets the majority of work. I was surprised that the accuracy doesn't lack much as compared to strong side, but I am not terrible accurate with either, only average. But then again I don't practice with accuracy as my main focus, of course I want all x rings, but my focus is getting quicker while maintaining a acceptable level of accuracy.

February 26, 2008, 10:59 AM
"How often do you shoot weakside and how much does it effect your accuracy?"

Not enough, it seems. The last few months I have dedicated the majority of my dry fire routine to improving my support hand performance with the hoped for improvement showing at the range.

February 26, 2008, 12:33 PM
I felt it had been neglected to the point that I devoted 5 months shooting only with my non-dominant hand at all range sessions, including qualification. Interesting experience. Now I slip it in either every session or every other session.

February 26, 2008, 12:45 PM
I have the benefit of two weird things. First I'm pretty much ambidextrous, and second I don't seem to actually have a dominant eye. That, combined with practice, means I can draw and shoot with either hand and consistently get these sorts of results.

(Single handed, pretty small (5") target, rapid "Self Defense" shooting speed)
8 shots
15 ft
Tiny little Bersa Thunder 380 Concealed Carry model drawn from pocket holster and fired.


To me it makes no sense at all to neglect one hand in favor of totally training the other.

Or taking my time and shooting slower (with a longer barreled CZ-75)
5 shots each from a ready stance.
25 ft


February 26, 2008, 01:31 PM
Not nearly enough and it affects speed before accuracy and then degrades fast.

February 26, 2008, 01:34 PM
I am so weak with my left hand and arm that it is almost like having a disability.

February 26, 2008, 02:35 PM
How often do you shoot weakside

I shoot with each hand one handed almost every time I shoot.

and how much does it effect your accuracy?

Of course practice improves accuracy. How much? I don't know. Its enough to know that I can be reasonably effective with both or either hand/hands. I just like to hone the skills.

February 26, 2008, 08:50 PM
I must confess that I don't shoot weak-hand as much as I should. Sometimes not even in a range session, because I forget about it. When I do, I'm generally more accurate but slower. Being a coffee drinker, I'm told, this is quite normal. The shakes and general effects of caffeine will manifest themselves more in your strong hand and this is one cause of the lower accuracy. But certainly, I tire easier shooting weak-handed. I definitely need to do it more, and thank you for reminding me.

February 27, 2008, 12:47 AM

February 27, 2008, 09:46 AM
I'm going to bookmark that video. I've tried to describe "heel cocking" many times and have always wound up needing to actually-show- folks what I'm talking about.

March 10, 2008, 07:33 PM
I shot 50/50 using the C>A>R> system by Paul Castle Sabre Tactical everyone should atleast go to his site and look into this www.sabretactical.com

March 10, 2008, 07:41 PM
I find that I can do most things equally well (or nearly equally well) with my left hand

I cant even pick my nose with my left hand.......

March 10, 2008, 07:53 PM
I try to shoot weakside every time I go out shooting. It affects my accuracy in a negative way but not by much; definitely accurate enough for a tactical situation. I find the recoil much harder to manage which really slows down consecutive shots (my primary carry gun is a 5" Kimber Custom II).

March 10, 2008, 08:30 PM

I can, but that's the only lefthanded thing I can do as well as with the right hand.

Deaf Smith
March 11, 2008, 07:09 PM
My weak side is better than alot of peoples strong side. But then I have several hoslters for my left as well as right and I use'em.

March 17, 2008, 09:32 PM
Staying in the fight in case of a strong side injury is important, but I think the bigger factor for being proficient at shooting weak side is because if you are engaging a target from behind cover you may need to shoot on the left or right side of it. If you are right handed and shoot on the left side of a wall then more of your body is exposed to fire than if you shot from your weak side.

That 6 inches or so of exposure is about 1/2 of your total exposed profile, making you 1/2 as likely to be hit.

March 18, 2008, 01:15 PM
Wasnt Wild Bill a guy could hit 2 targets at the same time using both hands?
Training gets it......

March 22, 2008, 04:01 AM
It's hard to over-emphasize the need to practice weak-handed (or one-handed) shooting. Don't forget tactics to reload, clear jams, and unholster one-handed. During my various simunition training sessions, it was reinforced quite well that, if you are hit during a gunfight, you will often take hits in the hands and forearms.

March 22, 2008, 07:23 AM
I guess I am one of the lucky few who can shoot equally as well with both hands. Sure, it takes some practice for me to stay as sharp with my off hand as I am with my strong hand, but I spend a full 1/2 of each session shooting lefty to make sure there are no issues.

As a lad I was truly ambidextrous but went through a plate glass window and sliced through all the tendons on the inside of my left wrist. Took months of exercises and therapy before my left hand was really working well again, and I haven't been able to write or do really fine motor skills as well with that hand since. These days I write right handed, am left eye dominant and can kick as well with either foot.

March 22, 2008, 10:09 AM
A couple years ago, one friend of mine had surgery on her wrist and another friend was in a rollover ATV accident and shattered his wrist. Both of these folks carry regularly.

The ATV guy had practiced regularly with one handed shooting. He also regularly practiced "as if" he was a lefty, using two hands. So once the initial fog from the injury and drugs cleared up, we went up to the range. He quickly ran through the basic manipulations, smiled, and was good to go on carrying as always.

The wrist surgery gal wasn't prepared. She'd never done one-handed manipulations before, although she had at least shot one-handed a few times. She'd also never practiced "as if" she was a lefty. She spent several very long and tiring sessions on the range trying to get up to speed with one-handed work. It was frustrating and very difficult for her. Eventually she was good to go, but it was a really steep learning curve. Later, as she healed up, there came a day when her injured wrist was healed enough that she could have been shooting two-handed as a lefty -- but she'd never really practiced as a lefty, and knew none of the basic manipulations from mirror image. So she had even more work to do and more to learn.

It's just a LOT easier to learn these things in advance of needing them, when you are not rushed for time or hazy from pain.


April 3, 2008, 09:50 PM
I try to give equal practice to left, right, and both hands. I am not quite as accurate with my left, but it will get the job done.