View Full Version : shooting with weak hand

the rifleer
August 6, 2009, 01:56 PM
I don't know if this has been posted here or not and i wasn't sure where to put it.

How many of you practice shooting with your weak hand/side? it recently occurred to me that this is a valuable skill.

August 6, 2009, 02:09 PM
I haven't, but I know I should. I'm actually a bit nervous as I half expect to hit myself in the head upon recoil. :D

August 6, 2009, 02:11 PM
Yes, I practice weak hand shooting. One- and two-handed.

Some time ago, I posted a Fun Shoot which involved weak hand shooting. It received little interest, so I figured fun matches may not do well here as a rule, or maybe I need to improve its format, or that maybe people just don't shoot weak handed much, even if they agree it's an important skill to develop.


August 6, 2009, 02:24 PM
I go to great lengths to be sure both my primary and backup guns can be accessed with either hand, so practicing with both hands is a must if such access is going to do me any good.

I practice one-handed more than two-handed with my off hand because that is the most likely way I see things going down.

August 6, 2009, 05:27 PM
If you were suddenly attacked, your instinct and reflexes would cause you to put out your dominant hand to protect yourself. So, if you were to grab someone, or get grabbed, then it would most likely cause your dominant hand to become temporarily unusable and leave you with only your non-dominant hand to draw your weapon and fire.
So yes, it is very important to be able to fire your weapon reliably with your non-dominant hand.

August 6, 2009, 05:43 PM
I am right handed and I shoot left handed. I am left eye dominant and shoot rifles and shotguns left handed also. I do practice with my righ hand every time I shoot. With handguns I stoot almost as well right handed as I do left handed.

Old Grump
August 6, 2009, 05:49 PM
I practice but mostly with 45 ACP and 22 pistols. Now that I know about your little fun match I will try to post on it in a couple of days with the only DA revolver I have.

August 6, 2009, 06:04 PM
I do. I have a BIL who is a former B Patrol and he was wounded in the forearm of his dominant hand and was able to shoot back with his other hand.

August 6, 2009, 06:22 PM
Yes I do. Out to about ten yards. There's a learning curve, since the torque is different. Sooner you start learning it, the better.

August 6, 2009, 08:01 PM
I shoot with both hands all the time. No "weak side" just a left and right. :D

Deaf Smith
August 6, 2009, 10:31 PM
Same here Evan.

Since I punch and kick with both left and right sides, I see no reason to not be able to shoot with either hand.

For those who wish to become a good shot with your weak hand here is how:

a) get a weak side holster and mag pouch
b) every night practice with an EMPTY gun drawing and dry firing with your weak side. Practice reloads, transitions, trigger squeeze with a suprise break, and sight alighment.
c) on range day get a .22 and use it! Shoot hundreds of rounds weak side.
d) repeat till you can get decent groups and handle the gun well.
e) then go to a larger size gun to shoot and repeat all the steps.

This will take time. If practiced twice a week, expect to see improvement in 2 weeks, and major improvement in 2 months. Within half a year, you will be a fine shot with the weak side. Maybe not as good as your strong side but in time it might actually surpass the strong side!!

August 7, 2009, 01:55 PM
Hi All,
DeafSmith and Evan are 100% right.
Practise enough and your hands can be just as good.

In fact, most experienced shooters that start training their "weak hand" end up shooting very well. a reason for this is that because it is your "weak hand" and you have not shot with it yet, it does not have the bad-habits that creep onto our "experienced hand" you focus more, and shoot the way you are meant to do it.

being able to shoot with both hands also means that you will be able to shoot from either side of cover without exposing yourself as much as you would have to if you had to use both hands.



August 7, 2009, 02:21 PM
I practice with my 45 when I am at the range. not an all day event. maybe 20-30 shots to make sure I have an alignment memorized in my brain. I shoot right handed i write left handed. :D

Deaf Smith
August 7, 2009, 06:42 PM
Be as John Herod when he said, "I can fight with either hand".

And that's pretty good!

August 7, 2009, 09:29 PM
I'm a bit of an oddball. I'm right-handed, *but* my strongest hand is actually my left hand. My right hand is somewhat more coordinated, and I can write better with it than with my left hand. (My father was genuinely ambidextrous and I seem to have inherited that to some extent.) I practice single-handed shooting with both hands, and double-handed as well, but it would never have occurred to me that I couldn't shoot with my left hand.

August 7, 2009, 11:07 PM
I can miss equally well at high speed, with either hand, thank you very much!

August 8, 2009, 03:02 AM

Off hand, 38 ultralite snub, 7 yards, figure that's acceptable for now. Will keep working on it. :)

deputy tom
August 8, 2009, 12:10 PM
Yes.You never know when your strong hand might become injured,etc.tom.:cool:

August 8, 2009, 11:15 PM
i practice with both my left and right hands, when i am at the firing range and at home, dry firing.

with the S&W model 64 snub nose ........single handed, DAO

with the S&W model 686PP.................two handed, DAO

i am right eye dominant.............so when i am using my left hand, i cant the gun slighty (35 - 40 degrees) to the right. this lines up my line of vision and i find that most times i am more accurate with my left hand.

August 9, 2009, 12:47 AM
My agency has changed up our firearms qualifying course. We now have to shoot over half of the 60 round course with our weak hand. It's dropped most of our scores quite a bit, but it is definetly something you need to be familar with if your weapon hand is injured. The fights not over just because your weapon hand is injured.

August 9, 2009, 01:13 AM
I'm going to make an observation. I am not much of a shooter. I did steel shoots last summer and fall. I've been doing IPSC this summer. I've had half-a-dozen firearms classes (three of which were Defensive Pistol Tactics I, II, and III). I've also been a member of a gun range for about 10 years (three different ranges over the course of a decade). I'm at the range about 6-8 times a month practicing handgun skills. The focus on handguns is only a couple years old... I used to shoot mostly rifles and shotties, but when I got the permit to carry, my interest in handgun skills changed dramatically. The range I've been at for the last three years is outdoors and private. that means we can do holster work.

The ONLY time I ever see someone shooting off-hand is when the course of fire calls for it in a competition. I'm not calling the poll-answerers liars. I'm just saying that it's amazing how I can be on the firing line (the real one - not here) next to several hundred shooters over the course of a year and never see anyone practice off-hand. Then when there's a poll, it's a huge majority.

I ain't sayin' - I'm just sayin'.

August 9, 2009, 01:18 AM
I think that's cause the members on here (or any other firearm's forum) are not your average shooters. We tend to take more interest in it and therefore take it to a higher level....ie. better, more training than the average shooter.

August 9, 2009, 01:28 AM
That's a really good point. I hadn't thought of it that way.

Anybody else learn how to DRAW from 3 o'clock with off-hand? It's so awkward I get depressed when I practice it. Also, if you're going to learn to shoot off-hand, you might as well learn to do mag changes and slide-racks one-handed and off-hand.

August 9, 2009, 03:19 AM
I do practice drawing from offside from my BUG rig, a crossdraw rig carried at 7 O'clock. Also practice drawing off handed from pocket rig. Not as much as I practice with my primary, but I do get it done every so often.:cool:

August 9, 2009, 03:30 AM
I do. I have a BIL who is a former B Patrol and he was wounded in the forearm of his dominant hand and was able to shoot back with his other hand.

It's not uncommon to be shot in the gunhand or arm.

That alone should be enough incentive to practice with either hand. My agencies Qual Course has limited support hand shooting required, but when we get back to the 25 Yard Barricade I shoot left handed on the left side barricade and right handed on the right side barricade.

I've also been known to qualify with the left hand one year, and right hand the next. Granted, I'm not the "norm", I even carry off duty, let alone carry a BUG off duty too. :)


August 9, 2009, 05:39 AM
Same same, qualification waaay weak on weak hand shooting, I do it on my own. And carry plus a BUG off duty, too. I am very weird according to my co-workers.

August 9, 2009, 10:12 AM
I do, and I also practice (with snap caps) reloading with my weak hand ONLY.
Also clearing a failure with one hand.
From a friend that has been in harms way I learned one important fact. When you get into a situation where instincts take over and time is limited, your training will take over, so practice with what you carry, how you carry and practice every possible way.

August 9, 2009, 12:23 PM
Just had carpal tunnel surgery on the right last Friday. I have shot with my left before, but for the next few weeks the left is all I got. My son and shooting partner is looking forward to out scoring ol dad, we will see about that.

August 10, 2009, 09:40 AM
i shot left handed once. it was really award but i actually shot better left handed. very weird shooting lefty. i'll have to try it a few more times i may have just got lucky.