i have a friend who is looking to purchase his first firearm this weekend at the gun show. he's a lefty, and is looking for a semi-auto that has an ambidextrous slide release. he said he could live with the mag release on the left, but prefers to have a slide release on the right if possible. he's shot my m&p and liked it, but wants to know if he actually has options.
anyone have any suggestions? (other than telling him to switch hands)
i got a ruger p95 at one of the chantilly gun shows. the slide release is only on the left side, but it does have the mag release on both sides. the decock lever is on both sides as well.
he should shop for a holster while he's there. leftie holsters for certain guns are hard to come by, if avaliable at all. i got a galco cop series holster for mine. check out uncle jerry's and rabbit ridge. they're usually at all the decent sized gun shows and have very comparable prices. if one doesn't have it, the other probably does.
Does he prefer a certain caliber? The only person who can pick a pistol for someone is themselves. Everyone has different taste and "fit and feel" for different pistols. I suggest that your freind look around the gun show and pick up a few pistols no matter what the manufacturer may be and he will find one suitable for him. I am a lefty as well and just turned 21 recently as your freind has but before I was 21 i did a lot of research as to what handgun i liked best, later on I handled it and fell in love with it. Thats how i ended up with a Sig 229 in .40 which fits me perfectly, although i might have to invest in a short trigger setup. Themag release is ambidextrious but i believe you have to get a gunsmith to do the swap. I find its easier with a lefty to use your left trigger finger to release the mag as opposed to your thumb as with a right hander shooter but thats just me.
There is a large selection of left handed holsters in a variety of styles for a left handed shooter available for sigs. Personally I use the Blackhawk CQC holster for its great method of retention. Its also styled very nicely. Hope this helps
I am left handed and have lots of experience with handguns and carry rigs.
Almost all semi-automatic handguns have an ambidextrous slide release*: the slide itself. If you intend to use this gun for self-defense (or suspect that may happen), then you should use the slide to load the action. One does this by inserting a loaded magazine and pulling back briskly on the slide. Once the slide has moved back slightly, let it go with full force forward. Failure to allow the slide to move forward under its own power may result in a jam. The reason for this is that under stress, the manual slide release becomes VERY difficult to press. The slide is one of the largest pieces on your gun; use it to best advantage.
As for magazine release buttons, the standard location on the left side is perfect for left handed shooters. Simply reach back with your trigger finger and press it. The decocking lever on SIG handguns is also reachable by the trigger finger. Don't waste time or money on moving it.
I have found the following guns to be very reliable and suitable for left handed use:
SIGs (except P230, P232, P226, P229) (Decocker on P232 gets in the way of the trigger finger. The 226 and 229 have a bump on the left grip panel).
Beretta (DAO, no safety on slide)
H&K USP, USP Compact, P2000 (left handed versions available)
Springfield XD series
CZ-75B and related
I have no experience with the S&W M&P, but it felt good when I dry fired it. I also have no experience with regular S&W semi-automatics.
* The Ruger Mark 3 22/45 requires the user to use the slide release to drop the slide.