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Old April 7, 2006, 12:27 PM   #1
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South Paw in need of help

I am looking for a left handed handgun but don't know of any. I have heard Beretta is both, but I don't want that. I just bought a Sig P229 with the new DAK trigger. I am new to all of this, trying to get my department equipped with sidearms after a near fatal pit bull attack involving my partner and me. I can shoot either or, but I really need to go left handed since I am a lefty and my stance is lefty. Any advice would be helpful.
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Old April 7, 2006, 12:43 PM   #2
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Sig P229


I am left-handed, as are several of my friends from work. We were issued SIG P229's, and didn't have any problems.

With practice, you can learn to manipulate the magazine release, slide release, and decocking lever with your trigger finger.
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Old April 7, 2006, 12:56 PM   #3
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I'm a lefty and have had no trouble with the any of the major manufacturors handguns. Most all of them produce an ambidextrious model and if they don't the controls are still easy to manipulate left handed. I shoot Sigs, Glocks and 1911's primarily and the only mods I do are night sight and an ambi safety on the 1911's. The Sigs and Glocks are "right handed" but the controls are easily used with the index finger.
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Old April 7, 2006, 12:58 PM   #4
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Hello there Katie, and welcome to the forum. I have to echo Retired's sentiment. I'm also a lefty, and have just had to make adjustments while carrying/firing "righty"-designed handguns. It's not at all hard to do. I think I saw a post by your husband that asked basically the same question, and if I remember correctly, your major issue was with the mag release. HK (USP) and Springfield Armory (XD) make handguns with ambi releases. There are some that even have ambi slide releases. However, your Sig should be just fine. It's my primary carry gun, and I've had no problems with the firing controls. With a little practice, I think you'll find that hitting the mag release with either your left index or middle finger is easy to get used to. I even do it with my SA XD that has an ambi mag release. It's just habit for me now. Good luck.
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Old April 7, 2006, 04:54 PM   #5
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another lefty ISO good semi-auto

Katie, I too have been scouring the earth for a semi-auto that works well for a lefty. My first advice would be to go into the biggest gun store in your area and just play with all the semi- autos, fingering the slide releases. My major hang-up is the slide release, I absolutely want to be able to release the slide with my left hand, switching hands or using my right hand to release the slide is too much of a hassle. I've been to a lot of gun stores, shows, pawn shops, etc. and I feel the best option is the Heckler and Koch USP, although the slide release is on the left side of the gun, it is far enough toward the grip so that you can easily depress the lever with your left index finger, also the slide release on the USP moves more freely than most slide releases, (Glock, Sig, 1911), so that little pressure is needed to operate it with your index finger. Another plus of the USP is that the magazine release is truly ambidextrous, and easy to manipulate with your left hand. Other guns that have been recommended to me are the Springfield 1911, and the H&K p2000. The 1911 is a great gun but the slide release requires a lot of pressure to release, and you need 2 hands to de-cock (the USP is double action only). The H&K p2000 is a good gun with almost the same slide release as the USP, but you'll find that even with the ambidextrous slide release you still won't be able to manipulate the lever with your left thumb, you'll still want to use your left index finger to release the slide, as with the USP the mag release is ambidextrous and easy to use for a lefty. The only down side (for me at least) of the p2000 is that it is too small for my hands. The last semi-auto you should look at is the Walther P99 Double Action Only, which supposedly has an ambidextrous slide release, although I haven't been able to get my hands on one of these to try it out; maybe you can. Personally I'd go for the H&K USP-9.
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Old April 7, 2006, 05:00 PM   #6
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Katie ~

I am ambidextrous, and although I first learned to shoot right-handed I fire nearly as often, and nearly as well, with my left.

It is very possible to shoot most guns with either hand, but some are more left-hand friendly than others. And many can be modified to suit your needs.

If you go with a 1911 patterned pistol, for example, you can modify it by adding an ambidextrous safety (which is a good idea for a carry gun whether or not you are left-handed). You can very easily learn to manipulate the magazine release with your left forefinger rather than your right thumb as a right handed shooter would. To drop the slide, you would use the overhand or slingshot method rather than the slide release. To lock the slide back, you would learn to retract the slide with your right hand thumb aligned along the slide so that it can easily reach and lift up on the slide release.

For specific guns to look at, the HKP2000 series is very left-hand friendly. Glocks and XDs are good because you don't have the thumb safety issue to worry about. I think double-action Sigs might be among the least left-hand friendly guns out there, because that decocker really requires right hand manipulation -- however, you never need to decock in a hurry, so it's not as big an issue as it might be.

Oh, re the slide release issue Phalloblaster talked about. If it really bothers you, consider getting one of the smaller Glocks, and dropping in an extended slide release. It might make it possible to drop the slide with your left forefinger.

Good luck in your search.


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Old April 7, 2006, 05:09 PM   #7
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I think the slide release placement on the Sigs are VERY unfriendly to left handers. Getting your index finger or thumb that far back risks loosing the pistol.

The more common forward placement of the slide release is pretty easy to use your index finger on, as is the mag release on most guns (sometimes easier for you lefties than the rest of us). But any control that is located over the centerline of the grip or behind it needs to be located on the same side as the thumb. If not, find a gun that is.

HKs, in general, are (or can be) very well set up for lefties, and the 2000 adds dual slide releases. The new S&W M&P also has that feature and flippable mag release as well. HK and Walther use a mag release which is a dual sided paddle that can be thumb or index finger driven by righties or lefties.

Guns that offer challenges to left hand use are actually few, but I think Sig is a big offender.
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Old April 7, 2006, 05:46 PM   #8
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Bersa Thunder 45
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Old April 7, 2006, 07:19 PM   #9
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First of all, living in CA, the choices are a lot smaler.
The next question is of cause is; do you want this gun as a CCW, home defense or just to go on the range and have fun?
What is your duty gun and how do you feel about it?
Good "lefty" guns are HK P2000, Glock or XD, while the P2000 is the only true right/left hand gun.
While I am right handed, I carry a P2000 in .357 and I have for the deep CCW a P2000sk in .357.
I am very happy with both.
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Old April 8, 2006, 02:47 PM   #10
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thanks for all the replies. I am a newbie when it comes to handguns, but learning a lot. My partner is a POST certified firearms instructor so he has a lot of advice for me and training. The Sig I bought is a P229 with the new DAK trigger, and I think I can get comfortable enough to use it successfully left-handed. I just wish there were guns for us cool lefties. Another gun I just found that I liked the feel of was the para ordnance wart hog. There are no retailers that let you shoot before you buy, so I will have to just ask around about that one.
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Old April 8, 2006, 03:37 PM   #11
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H&K is the only manufacturer that I know of that offers true left-handed pistols, not ambi models. That was the last time I checked. When it comes to slide stops Sigs and Glocks have the stops too far to ne manipulated with the left index finger. If you didnt already have a Sig I would have recommended the Springfield Milspec 1911-A1 and ambi-safety.
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Old April 9, 2006, 10:07 PM   #12
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I would suggest you think Berettas.....

Hi Katie....

I would seriusly reccomend you start looking at Berettas.... Both the magazine release and the Safety/Decocker are no problem for a south paw... Leaving only the slide release on the left side...If you find it difficult to release the slide with your trigger finger, you can always use the slide "pull" to release it... It is basically a practice thing...

Try going to a range that rents Berettas and see if they fit you...I am preety sure they will!

Stay safe!

Juan Carlos
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Old April 10, 2006, 12:39 PM   #13
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Have you considered a CZ-85? Those have ambi safety/decocker & slide release, and IIRC the mag release is reversable. I have a Bersa Thunder 9 (full size) that also has ambi controls like the CZ-85, it works well for me.

FWIW, I am also a southpaw, but I practice ambi and have gradually become right hand dominant but am still left eye dominant.
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Old April 13, 2006, 11:16 PM   #14
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Left Handed Mag Release

In addition to the ambidextrous controls available for 1911 pattern pistols, Brownells catalog carries left handed magazine releases. Thus making the 1911 fully left hand compatible. Hope this helps.
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Old April 14, 2006, 08:33 AM   #15
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Give a look to the S&W MP series, ambi pistols.
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Old April 14, 2006, 08:47 AM   #16
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I'm a lefty and somewhat of a gun snob. I've always preferred my Sig P239 and it's the yardstick I measure other pistols I considering buying with....

About a year ago I kept reading great things about the Bersa line of firearms. Bersa's are "under the radar" for most American gun buyers, but on various firearm forums I kept seeing positive threads about them. Basically the threads were about the Bersa Thunder 380 model and how easy they were to shoot, how accurate and reliable they were.

I'm not a 380 cal kinda guy, so I ordered a Bersa Thunder 9 (Ultra Compact). It was only $305 +tax.. I have found the Bersa to be 100% reliable and as accurate as my all time favorite Sig P239, AND it has ambidextrious controls and a 13+1 capacity. Lifetime warranty too...

I later purchased a CAT (model specific) Laser for it ($129), but it really doesn't need it, and it only makes it difficult to CC. I got a free Avenger holster with the laser, and for belt carry it is a super little package.

Just wanted to give you another option.

Best Wishes,

"Laus Deo"
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Old April 14, 2006, 03:32 PM   #17
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A student introduced me to a Bersa .45 last week and the controls were very LH friendly. I am given to understand that there is a totally ambidextrous CZ, I do not know the model off the top of my head. The S&W M&P, and H&K P2000 are ambidextrous in their control layouts. Among the remaining handguns I know of ... Beretta 92; controls are positioned for a RH shooter, but lend themselves nicely to left hand use. Ditto the H&K USP. CZ & clones also aren't too bad.

If you train yourself to release the slide via 'slingshot' then you shouldn't have too much trouble with any semi auto, subject to fit.

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Old April 15, 2006, 10:41 AM   #18
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HANDY is right on regarding the SIG for lefties. The slide release and decocker are too far back to manipulate safely and effectively. You have to tilt the gun so far forward to manipulate the controls you are at risk in dropping it. Yes, you can use your weak hand to manipulate the controls, but why make compromises when you don't have to. The Sig is an excellent pistol, but there are far better pistols available for lefties.
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Old April 15, 2006, 12:18 PM   #19
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You will find that maniulating the mag release with your trigger finger is advantagous. It allows you to maintain your shooting grip. I believe that "lefties" have a certain advantage over the "righties" in this respect.
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Old April 15, 2006, 12:45 PM   #20
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Mag release

Agreed, the mag release is no problem using your trigger finger, as is the slide stop in certain models where it is placed in a more forward position, ex. S&W semi auto, 1911's and HK USP.
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Old April 15, 2006, 12:51 PM   #21
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Editing again ...

The Sig P229 is not made for lefties, this even if you get used to it under a good instructor advices.
Under stress, your left hand and mind WILL rule !

The H&K P2000 series is fully ambidextrious ! And the perfect match to the P229 you've got.

I'm righty but use both thumb and index for slide and mag release (with my P2000) ... big advantage, your "trigger finger" is away from the trigger ... one of the 4 basic rules.

Can't imagine use my P226 being lefty !
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Old April 15, 2006, 01:36 PM   #22
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.45 Auto converted to Lefty

My CHL pistol is a Springfield Ultra Compact. It was built for Rightys but the addition of extended ambi safety, extended slide release, and last but not least, a true ambi mag release, with a button on either side, the latter cost me $95 bucks and required some slight alternation to the frame. (But the old mag release can be reinstalled if wanted). The same mods could be applied to any 1911 I would say.
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