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Thread: Are you capable with your off hand?

  1. #1
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    If you've ever taken any serious firearms training, you were taught to prepare and practice with your off hand. Why? Your gun hand might become unusable in a fight.

    Well, I've given this advice some serious consideration over the years. I'm somewhat ambidextrous, but shoot left-handed. At the range, I'd send some right-handed rounds downrange. As I've grown older, the onset of arthritis in some fingers gave me concern and reason to prepare for impairment beyond that which might be sustained in a fight. So I've collected some right-handed holsters and accessories just in case I ever needed them. And I thought about and mentally prepared for I would do if I ever had to stop shooting left-handed.

    Well, that day came, in a most sudden and unexpected manner. Two weeks ago, I tripped and fell in my backyard, shattering the proximal joint of my left pinkie finger. The surgeon said there were more bone fragments than he could count. Ouch.

    The most common treatment for this is to insert a pin through the length of the broken finger and leave it here until the bones mend. Unfortunately, this immobilizes the joints and they generally don't work anymore, often leading to total joint replacements (artificial knuckles). Yuk.

    I got lucky. The surgeon on duty didn't respond so the emergency room doctor put me in touch with her husband. He's a surgeon trained in the apparently rarely used, but nonetheless state-of-the-art repair. Instead of a single, immobilizing pin, I have three pins in my finger arranged and secured with rubber bands so as to allow my joints to move while the bones mend, hopefully saving said joints from what would otherwise be a permanent, crippling end. So far, so good. (I'll send pictures if you want, but didn't want to gross everybody out by posting them).

    I don't know if I'll ever be able to hold a gun in the left hand again, let alone shoot left-handed. Holding a fork is pretty painful and darn near impossible. But sometimes preparation really does pay off. At this moment, I'm sitting in a restaurant, writing this in my Palm Pilot, open carrying on the *right* side.

    Oh, and thankfully my wife can shoot well, too. Life is good.



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    I'm sorry for your injuries. Not much more can be said besides that's gotta suck! I was quickly reminded of the skill (or lack there of) of my weak hand when last week's USPSA match included weak-hand only firing. It's not fun shooting weak hand at the range. It makes you feel like a novice, lol. It's definitely something everyone needs to practice, though.

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    I make payments by shooting my way back to my feet, from supine or kneeling, using my weakhand, only.

    As a result of the above drills, along with others, I can keep a fist-sized group the same as I can strong-hand only.
    Quote Originally Posted by Open Carry.org Member View Post
    I really disgree with this one! That means that we can have any yahoo running around with a gun with out the proper training. This really scares the hell out of me. Just my two-cents!
    Quote Originally Posted by KansasMustang View Post
    Joe Schmedlap out there with a loaded weapon thinking he's going to deter crime and he's not even trained to fire his weapon safely just kinda makes my hair on the back of my neck stand up.

  4. #4
    Campaign Veteran Bookman's Avatar
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    catass wrote:
    I make payments ...
    Huh?:shock::shock::shock::shock::shock::shock::sho ck:
    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke


    "I like people who stand on the Constitution... unless they're using it to wipe their feet." - Jon E Hutcherson

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    In the ' 70s I suffered a similar injury to my dominant right hand, details are unimportant, but the finger was almost severed with the final joint completely crushed. I got the pin, but also a stretching contraption to keep the joint from fusing (which sounds a little like your apparatus). This worked on the middle joint, but not so well on the tip, the final 1/3 of the finger skeleton had to be rebuilt from bone fragments.

    You will be surprised at how well hands heal. They are, apparently, the second most able-to-recover-from-serious-injury part of the body. My little finger tip joint is fused, but the rest of the finger is fully functional and doesn't make my atrocious aim and grip any worse than it would be otherwise.

    If you stick with your PT, I suspect you'll be fine. Expect at least ten years of sensitivity to cold and residual pain, but you'll get your finger back.

    Best of luck, and thanks for reminding us to practice those off-hand drills.



  6. #6
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    I have to practice my off-hand grip when I am showing newbies how to hold a weapon, so I am comfortable with either hand.

    Wrong-handed my arse. :P
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    I can shoot the samewith both hands.

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    The time to find out you shoot poorly with your non dominate hand is not during a SHTF situation.

    The same should goes for long guns and reloading.

    Mark, if you want someone to go shooting with drop me a PM.

    Marco



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    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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    I've practiced with my offhand and found that I'm actually almost as accurate as my strong hand. I guess I take extra time squeezing the trigger and thinking about what I'm doing since it's my offhand.

    Also I find that slightly angling the slide inward helps stabilize your shooting hand. Try it, make a fist and put both your arms in front of you. Do you hold them vertically or is the top of your hand slightly angled inward? On mine they are angled inward so it feels natural for me to hold a firearm one handed that way.

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    I can be accurate with my off hand... Just at a slower rate... When I speed it up to what my right hand is doing... Well those double taps become one to the chest, one I don't know where... SO I will be sticking with the one shot at a time for a little longer with my idiot left hand.

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    It was suggested to me that one must pay attention to theposition of theirnon-shooting hand when shooting with one-handed, and that this is especially important when shooting with the weak hand. Leaving yournon-shootingarmhanging loosely relaxes the shoulders, reducing the stability of your shooting position. One should bring their non-shooting hand up close to the chest in order to tighten the shoulders. Has anyone else heard this?



  12. #12
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    More than likely if your using the NDH the DH/sideis disabled.
    During practice drills one should insure the DH isn't covered by the muzzle during presentation.

    NDH shooting at least with a handgun should be practiced one handed as well as what ever type of platform you generally use.


    Try shooting match or a qualification coursewith your NDH.
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


    ~Alan Korwin

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    Regular Member Sonora Rebel's Avatar
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    'Hope that never happens to me... 'Got some nerve damage in my left forearm from shrapnelthat makes it 'shake' when extended 'n my left index fingertip is smashed... Well, was smashed... it just looks funny now.'Not as bad as it used to be. I can't shoot for squat with my left hand tho.

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    Thunder Ranch used to do a lot of "wounded shooter" drills, including charging the weapon off a shoe or belt, reloading one-handed, etc.

    Always a good idea to practiceweak handed shooting, if nothing else.





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    markand wrote:
    If you've ever taken any serious firearms training, you were taught to prepare and practice with your off hand. Why? Your gun hand might become unusable in a fight.

    Well, I've given this advice some serious consideration over the years. I'm somewhat ambidextrous, but shoot left-handed. At the range, I'd send some right-handed rounds downrange. As I've grown older, the onset of arthritis in some fingers gave me concern and reason to prepare for impairment beyond that which might be sustained in a fight. So I've collected some right-handed holsters and accessories just in case I ever needed them. And I thought about and mentally prepared for I would do if I ever had to stop shooting left-handed.

    Well, that day came, in a most sudden and unexpected manner. Two weeks ago, I tripped and fell in my backyard, shattering the proximal joint of my left pinkie finger. The surgeon said there were more bone fragments than he could count. Ouch.

    The most common treatment for this is to insert a pin through the length of the broken finger and leave it here until the bones mend. Unfortunately, this immobilizes the joints and they generally don't work anymore, often leading to total joint replacements (artificial knuckles). Yuk.

    I got lucky. The surgeon on duty didn't respond so the emergency room doctor put me in touch with her husband. He's a surgeon trained in the apparently rarely used, but nonetheless state-of-the-art repair. Instead of a single, immobilizing pin, I have three pins in my finger arranged and secured with rubber bands so as to allow my joints to move while the bones mend, hopefully saving said joints from what would otherwise be a permanent, crippling end. So far, so good. (I'll send pictures if you want, but didn't want to gross everybody out by posting them).

    I don't know if I'll ever be able to hold a gun in the left hand again, let alone shoot left-handed. Holding a fork is pretty painful and darn near impossible. But sometimes preparation really does pay off. At this moment, I'm sitting in a restaurant, writing this in my Palm Pilot, open carrying on the *right* side.

    Oh, and thankfully my wife can shoot well, too. Life is good.

    I may be looking at it the wrong way, but if the finger stands a good chance of being not only useless but and actual hinderance, why not just have it amputated?

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    Its not quite time yet to clip the darn thing off. Fortunately, there is a pretty good chance of retaining much of the function, strength and range of movement for that finger. I am told that the lowly pinkie is pretty critical to grip strength. My surgeon is cautiously optimistic of a very good result. It will take time, however, months, perhaps years. During some or most of that time, I'm going to be a right-handed shooter, hence my exhortation to other shooters to think about and prepare for the possibility of losing the strong hand for a great length of time.

    I can't readily even drive myself to a gun store to buy a right-handed holster. But I have several here on the shelf, so I'm good to go.

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    Damn you guys. You just gave me another reason to go shooting.

    I have never tried shooting with my off (left) hand . I tried shooting with only my right hand holding the pistol and seemed to do about the same as if I had both hands on the grip. I always seem to hit the target no matter how I shoot so I'm confident that I can hit the target shooting with the left. I'll run through some drills though and see if bullets hit the paper.

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    A relatively "newbie" question here, but is shooting "well" with you non-dominant hand just an issue of practice or are there ways to speed up the process? I find that NDH shooting for me to be very hit and miss, no pun intended! I'm OK with it sometimes but other times it's a "how the heck did I miss that badly? That's not where I (thought) I was aiming!" thing.

    I'm at a bit of a loss and it's kind of discouraging.

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    I'm taking as few chances as possible: I'm carrying a SIG P-220 with Crimson Trace laser grips. Put the dot where you want the bullet to go and shoot.

    Whether shooting with the dominant or non-dominant hand, I've become a fan of laser sights. I took my church's youth group to the range a couple of years ago. One gun of several were shooting had laser sights. EVERYBODY who shot that gun hit dead center nearly every time, no matter what prior shooting experience they had.

  20. #20
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    I'm a handgun and self defense instructor. I especially teach a lot of women, often novices, to shoot.

    Most of them are not very strong in either hand. They must have a grip and stance that will provide the best and most stable platform for accurate shooting. Since self defense is not about target shooting, they mostly learn "point and shoot" at close range.

    Most handgun instruction - usually by and for men - teaches an inherently unstable grip and stance which puts the gun at the full length of the arms.

    Many of the men initially INSIST on holding the gun out at full arm's length. That's the way they were first taught, and they are shocked to find how much better control they have if they don't do that!

    It is especially important when shooting one handed, no matter if it is the strong or weak side.

    Take a look at www.TacticalShootingAcademy.com if you are willing to rethink pretty much everything you ever learned about grip and stance.

    Also look at the book, "Fist-Fire" Defensive Speed Shooting, techniques for self defense, executive protection and concealed carry

    Might see some things that interest you!
    I will not knowingly initiate force. I am a self owner.

    Let the record show that I did not consent to be governed. I did not consent to any constitution. I did not consent to any president. I did not consent to any law except the natural law of "mala en se." I did not consent to the police. Nor any tax. Nor any prohibition of anything. Nor any regulation or licensing of any kind.

  21. #21
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    MamaLiberty wrote:
    Take a look at http://www.TacticalShootingAcademy.com if you are willing to rethink pretty much everything you ever learned about grip and stance.
    Do you mean http://www.tacticalshooting.com

    The other one brings up a wood carving site.

  22. #22
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    I just read the OP. Now I feel real bad about teasing you this weekend. But I do hope you recover soon.

    As for weak or offhand carry, I'm kind of a revolver fan. A simple, ultra reliable gun, not subject to limp wristing induced failures seems ideal if my dominate hand goes down.

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    longwatch wrote:
    Now I feel real bad about teasing you this weekend. But I do hope you recover soon.
    Not to worry. Surgeon took the pins out this morning. I can almost make a fist. Said it was the best possible result. May yet be months of physical therapy, but so far very good!

  24. #24
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    MamaLiberty wrote:
    I'm a handgun and self defense instructor. I especially teach a lot of women, often novices, to shoot.

    Most of them are not very strong in either hand. They must have a grip and stance that will provide the best and most stable platform for accurate shooting. Since self defense is not about target shooting, they mostly learn "point and shoot" at close range.

    Most handgun instruction - usually by and for men - teaches an inherently unstable grip and stance which puts the gun at the full length of the arms.

    Many of the men initially INSIST on holding the gun out at full arm's length. That's the way they were first taught, and they are shocked to find how much better control they have if they don't do that!

    It is especially important when shooting one handed, no matter if it is the strong or weak side.

    Take a look at http://www.TacticalShootingAcademy.com if you are willing to rethink pretty much everything you ever learned about grip and stance.

    Also look at the book, "Fist-Fire" Defensive Speed Shooting, techniques for self defense, executive protection and concealed carry

    Might see some things that interest you!
    what does stance have to do with self-defence shooting?
    Quote Originally Posted by Open Carry.org Member View Post
    I really disgree with this one! That means that we can have any yahoo running around with a gun with out the proper training. This really scares the hell out of me. Just my two-cents!
    Quote Originally Posted by KansasMustang View Post
    Joe Schmedlap out there with a loaded weapon thinking he's going to deter crime and he's not even trained to fire his weapon safely just kinda makes my hair on the back of my neck stand up.

  25. #25
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    markand wrote:
    MamaLiberty wrote:
    Take a look at http://www.TacticalShootingAcademy.com if you are willing to rethink pretty much everything you ever learned about grip and stance.
    Do you mean http://www.tacticalshooting.com

    The other one brings up a wood carving site.
    I checked their site, they like crowding cover, huh? - example in the pics @ http://www.tacticalshooting.com/testimonials.html
    Quote Originally Posted by Open Carry.org Member View Post
    I really disgree with this one! That means that we can have any yahoo running around with a gun with out the proper training. This really scares the hell out of me. Just my two-cents!
    Quote Originally Posted by KansasMustang View Post
    Joe Schmedlap out there with a loaded weapon thinking he's going to deter crime and he's not even trained to fire his weapon safely just kinda makes my hair on the back of my neck stand up.

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