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Old September 10, 2020, 10:16 AM   #1
dyl
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When switching hands, switch eye?

Some folks advocate switching hands with pistol when "pieing" off a corner or doorway to your left.

For the longest time, I'd resisted practicing switching to a left hand dominant 2 handed grip. I thought: it's another chance to drop a firearm, and much faster to just keep my right handed dominant 2 hand grip.

A friend of mine said it's still part of the normal training for police officers.

So I tried it, and switching grips when approaching a corner on my left doesn't feel so strange anymore. (Don't worry, I know 1 man clearing is hazardous, and I'm not pretending to be Rambo)

My question is, when switching hands with pistol, is one supposed to look down the sights with the non-dominant eye now?
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Old September 10, 2020, 10:44 AM   #2
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As someone that has been a professional Weapons and Tactics instructor for longer then i care to admit, i advise against switching PISTOLS to the support side when clearing strong side corners. You can gain some advantage with a long gun, but with a pistol, you gain nothing.

The ability to push the pistol over centerline negates any geometry gain around corners. A long gun (being shoulder mounted) cannot be moved center as easily.

Use the doorway into your bathroom and the mirror in that room to see what is gained by switching. You will see its little to nothing.

Now, tactics change RADICALLY in Team vs. Solo scenarios. But, the current Team techniques dont have you transitioning shoulders with the rifle either.

Lets think through the Solo building clearing. Do you really want to have to engage in a gunfight holding the gun in your no -dominant hand? I practically live on the range and shoot a lot. Im STILL not as good with my support hand as my firing side hand, and NEVER will be.

Should i have to fight with my handgun...i want it in the hand i shoot best with

You mention Police training. Off side shooting IS taught, but its as a result of injury not tactical geometry.
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Old September 10, 2020, 11:49 AM   #3
TunnelRat
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When switching hands, switch eye?

When I was taught Doorways and Corners by Scott Ballard at SIG Sauer Academy, I was taught both switching hands and not switching hands. I find if I’m rolling my shoulder out from my body I can still get a noticeable improvement in the amount of area I can cover while looking down my sights if I switch hands. If not switching hands and clearing a corner on your support side, you can cant the pistol in your hand slightly (rotate the top of the slide towards the support side ) to help expose more of the space you’re looking into (you’re not going full “gangster style”).

Obviously shooting from your support hand, even two handed, doesn’t give you the same level of accuracy as your dominant hand, especially depending on how much you practice support hand shooting. Most of the students in the class found that if they canted the pistol in their dominant hand they got nearly as much sightline as using their support hand and still had the luxury of using their dominant hand.

To the last question, no I don’t switch which eye I use when I do switch hands with a pistol. The geometry of the pistol in my hands versus a rifle on my shoulder allows me to use either eye. I’ll admit though that I’m a cross eye dominant shooter, and switching hands actually puts the pistol in front of my dominant eye. However, shooting normally I still use my dominant eye. I just bring the pistol up a bit more to that side than a non cross eye dominant shooter would.


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Last edited by TunnelRat; September 10, 2020 at 11:57 AM.
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Old September 10, 2020, 11:52 PM   #4
JohnKSa
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Try it all 4 ways and see what works best for you.

Strong hand, normal eye.
Strong hand, switch eyes.
Switch hand, normal eye.
Switch hand, switch eyes.

For me, switching hands and eyes works best when going around a corner to my strong side. It feels much less awkward and it reduces the amount of me that is exposed around the corner by a lot.

If you do switch hands, you need to practice a LOT. That's not the time to fumble a gun, and any kind of manipulation that will be done with a loaded gun needs to be done enough so that it is very smooth and intuitive. Go slow and do everything exactly right.

Same deal if you decide to switch eyes--you need to practice it a lot.
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Old September 11, 2020, 09:16 AM   #5
dyl
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Thanks for the replies, it's difficult to be able to discuss this stuff locally as most folks don't go down the rabbit hole this deep (as you know) and I'm not part of law enforcement.

Quote:
You mention Police training. Off side shooting IS taught, but its as a result of injury not tactical geometry.
I see, maybe that explains why I've seen more 1 handed rather than 2 handed non-dominant drills. Right hand/arm disabled. I haven't done much IDPA but I noticed they only run 1 handed non-dominant scenarios. So a two handed non-dominant hold as a result of injury might be if your strong hand fingers were buggered up but you decide you still had enough clamping power for a second hand on the gun to be a benefit rather than a hindrance. It would take a good bit of practice for to feel like 2 hand non-dominant is better than 1 handed, as all non-dominant live fire still feels strange

Quote:
If not switching hands and clearing a corner on your support side, you can cant the pistol in your hand slightly (rotate the top of the slide towards the support side ) to help expose more of the space you’re looking into
Great tip, I'll have try that one too. Hadn't thought of that one.

Quote:
I’ll admit though that I’m a cross eye dominant shooter, and switching hands actually puts the pistol in front of my dominant eye. However, shooting normally I still use my dominant eye.
Haha! Well, I write left handed, but all strength requiring activities and tools/instruments I do with my right side dominant. I figured it would be less expensive way back when. So I could have decent trigger control with my left, but that's about it.

Quote:
For me, switching hands and eyes works best when going around a corner to my strong side.
I think we are in agreement, in my mind I was picturing the layout of the downstairs of my house, where there's a shared wall between the living room, kitchen, and dining room. So if I walk laps around in a clockwise pattern, I'm choosing to take the path on my left, but the actual corner and direction to clear is to the right.

I'll tell you now, trying make myself go to the non-dominant eye after switching hands was difficult (but that's only after trying it once). I was only able to do it by closing my right eye, and I'm not sure I'd want to do that in close quarters. I'll try them all though.

Quote:
It feels much less awkward and it reduces the amount of me that is exposed around the corner by a lot.
I can think of one situation where the advantage in switching hands would be apparent. Checking a very small corner fed space like a closet with no room to pie off angles.

Quote:
If you do switch hands, you need to practice a LOT. That's not the time to fumble a gun
JohnKSa, since you're on board with switching hands, are you used it enough your training that now you switch at nearly every right sided corner? Or special circumstances only? Like you said, it seems like a lot of chance to fumble and I'm just picturing myself shuffling that pistol every few seconds and dropping it. Perhaps I should avoid my P320 for a while (drop safety joke)
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Old September 11, 2020, 10:06 AM   #6
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Watch this video. He shows some of the problems with switching hands.

https://youtu.be/uIkm8hQTgvI

The hand switch advice starts at about the 2:50 mark
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Old September 11, 2020, 10:21 AM   #7
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I’ve seen it before. As much as I respect John Lovell I don’t completely agree with him on this and I’ve had instructors that have argued differently. There are some aspects of shooting where I don’t know if there is an absolute right or wrong answer. To me this is one of them.


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Old September 11, 2020, 04:55 PM   #8
dyl
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIz_DhJH7egStarting at 10:25

Here is a former Green Beret who says a little bit of the opposite of what I've been hearing at 10:25. He doesn't advocate switching firing hands with a carbine (but he does switch shoulders... sort of ) and he does advocate switching hands with a pistol.
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Old September 11, 2020, 08:32 PM   #9
shafter
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I've trained with some very good SWAT members as well as some military special operations members and they all support switching to a non dominant hand with rifle and pistol under certain circumstances. My experience tends to support this as well.

For newer shooters or those who don't train enough to become proficient I recommend sticking with strong hand, but for those at a higher level I think there is some advantage to be had. Probably not enough to turn it into a huge deal though.
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Old September 11, 2020, 09:29 PM   #10
JERRYS.
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I switch hands and eyes when slicing the pie. I found this works best for me when doing force on force with simunitions and qualifications.
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Old September 11, 2020, 09:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
JohnKSa, since you're on board with switching hands, are you used it enough your training that now you switch at nearly every right sided corner? Or special circumstances only? Like you said, it seems like a lot of chance to fumble and I'm just picturing myself shuffling that pistol every few seconds and dropping it. Perhaps I should avoid my P320 for a while (drop safety joke)
To be fair, I'm not telling anyone to switch, I'm saying that they should try it and see what works best for them.

As far as practice goes, I'm talking about getting the technique down so it feels natural and is done safely. Then when you need to switch you just do it without thinking about it. Like when you need to stop your car--you don't think, "Take your foot off the gas, move it to the left, and press down on the brake". It just happens when it needs to happen.

The same kind of philosophy applies to this. You need to do a lot of practicing to get good and then more practicing on a regular basis to stay good. Then when you need to do it, it just happens. If you're not willing to do the practice, then just stick with strong side only and take the disadvantages that come with it. Those disadvantages are better than dropping a gun, discharging it unintentionally, or screwing it up some other way.
Quote:
He shows some of the problems with switching hands.
1. He does say that shooting one-handed weak-side is ok, he just doesn't like the idea of shooting two-handed weak-side.

2. In his demonstration, he doesn't switch eyes, which is a major factor in reducing exposure. So of course he doesn't reduce his exposure much by switching hands.

3. He's doing his demonstration in a situation where he can get full extension of his arms. If that kind of room isn't available (e.g. narrow area where you need to clear to the strong-hand side but can't get your arms fully extended) then turning the gun to your strong side is, at best, very awkward but may be, depending on how much room you have, nearly impossible without switching hands.
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Old September 11, 2020, 11:57 PM   #12
dyl
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Quote:
I switch hands and eyes when slicing the pie.
JerryS. , do you find you have to close your dominant eye to make that happen? I'm trying it now and my dominant eye still takes over unless I do something like squint.

Quote:
To be fair, I'm not telling anyone to switch, I'm saying that they should try it and see what works best for them.
JohnKSa , didn't mean to single you out, I was just curious about your experience with switching hands as someone who has chosen to add the skill already. Don't worry about unduly influencing anyone, I was asking for the info and I appreciate what you've shared.

Thanks all for the input.
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Old September 12, 2020, 12:32 AM   #13
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I never switch hands. I know full well from being in so many fights that you get fumbly fingered, dexterity gone. One I get a grip weld I keep it. I know from one use of force recently I could not grasp my cuffs. Right on my left side at 8 o'clock and I could not get my fingers to pull them from the case. That one time, and I have pulled them hundreds of times. had I not had a serious and painful arm lock on the guy he might have slipped away. Compounded by the fact that my OC failed AGAIN! Saber worthless chit.

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Old September 12, 2020, 12:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dyl View Post
JerryS. , do you find you have to close your dominant eye to make that happen? I'm trying it now and my dominant eye still takes over unless I do something like squint.

JohnKSa , didn't mean to single you out, I was just curious about your experience with switching hands as someone who has chosen to add the skill already. Don't worry about unduly influencing anyone, I was asking for the info and I appreciate what you've shared.

Thanks all for the input.
I'm right handed/right eye dominant, but my left eye is fairly good too. When long range shooting from a barricade or for room clearing/cornering etc. I just raise the gun in my left hand and it aligns with my left eye (if on the left side of the barricade). I might squint my right eye but I don't have a problem switching eyes and hands. My doing so is to minimize exposure from cover. I've done this for years so I don't know if I trained myself to make the transition or if it just came easy to me, it feels natural so I don't know. generally I shoot right hand/right eye. the switch to the left is situational when you have the luxury of time really.
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Old September 12, 2020, 06:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
...are you used it enough your training that now you switch at nearly every right sided corner?
Not every strong side corner needs it. If you have room to stand back from the corner and slice the pie with arms extended, it doesn't make that much difference which side you use.

If you are jammed into a tight space and can't extend your arms, you won't be able to get your gun pointed in the right direction without switching unless you're willing to lean way out around the corner and live with the exposure that action will bring.
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Old September 12, 2020, 06:43 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dyl View Post
JerryS. , do you find you have to close your dominant eye to make that happen? I'm trying it now and my dominant eye still takes over unless I do something like squint.
I am not JerryS, but I personally had a lot of trouble for some time “overcoming” my dominant eye. Specifically it was when switching shoulders with a rifle. I could not get my non dominant eye to take over and when I tried to partially close my dominant eye both eyes would start closing. I talked with someone more experienced and they recommended just sitting and doing presentations to that non dominant eye repeatedly. I found that this actually worked and switching eyes became a lot easier over time. I’ve talked with some people that ended up switching their eye dominance by a lot of support side shooting (maybe a weaker dominance to start).


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Old September 12, 2020, 04:35 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TunnelRat View Post
I am not JerryS, but I personally had a lot of trouble for some time “overcoming” my dominant eye. Specifically it was when switching shoulders with a rifle. I could not get my non dominant eye to take over and when I tried to partially close my dominant eye both eyes would start closing. I talked with someone more experienced and they recommended just sitting and doing presentations to that non dominant eye repeatedly. I found that this actually worked and switching eyes became a lot easier over time. I’ve talked with some people that ended up switching their eye dominance by a lot of support side shooting (maybe a weaker dominance to start).


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what TunnelRat said.

way back yon when I was shooting from barricade position at 25 yards I was right handed right eyed from left side of barricade.... I was only so so with COM hit and found I was exposing more of my body than needed when time was counting against me. one of the department firearms instructors suggested I try left hand left eye from left side when distance was in my favor and the course of fire was known ahead of time. all of a sudden I was shooting perfect scores.

with rifle this was not the case. I found that left shoulder left eye switch was not so easy. I couldn't cock my head correctly for left eye shooting with the rifle while wearing a helmet while in the prone position. it took some practice but but I found it easier when standing to switch shoulders but not hand position for rifle shooting..... all this said it take practice.
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