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Thread: Shooting Hand Question.

  1. #1
    Regular Member Wolfebane's Avatar
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    Question Shooting Hand Question.

    I guess this is the appropriate place to pose this question.

    I am right handed.

    My question is this; I shoot a pistol with my right hand (and right eye when working on precision), but when I shoot a rifle I use my left hand and my left eye.

    When I was young, before I got into pistols, my father told me that being right handed and shooting with my left side was "different."

    What I'm wondering is what might cause this difference in hand/eye choice?
    Is it really that "different/unique/strange"?
    And any other insights/tidbits that might be had related to this topic.

    -Wolfebane

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfebane View Post
    I guess this is the appropriate place to pose this question.

    I am right handed.

    My question is this; I shoot a pistol with my right hand (and right eye when working on precision), but when I shoot a rifle I use my left hand and my left eye.

    When I was young, before I got into pistols, my father told me that being right handed and shooting with my left side was "different."

    What I'm wondering is what might cause this difference in hand/eye choice?
    Is it really that "different/unique/strange"?
    And any other insights/tidbits that might be had related to this topic.

    -Wolfebane
    It is uncommon. However, it isn't detrimental. In fact, on some rifles, it may give you an advantage due to it's design. For example, not having to take your finger off the trigger or reach under/over the gun to turn the safety off on an AK.
    Being that you already have the skill partially developed, you should practice both handguns and rifles with both hands. Being ambidextrous is a great skill.

    As far as cause goes, its a nature v. nurture argument. Realistically, you have a natural affinity for ambidextrous skills, you practiced some of them and ignored others.
    Last edited by Darkshadow62988; 12-15-2010 at 04:56 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Good points. I think I'll incorporate off-handed shooting the next time I'm at the range.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    Regular Member OldCurlyWolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolfebane View Post
    I guess this is the appropriate place to pose this question.

    I am right handed.

    My question is this; I shoot a pistol with my right hand (and right eye when working on precision), but when I shoot a rifle I use my left hand and my left eye.

    When I was young, before I got into pistols, my father told me that being right handed and shooting with my left side was "different."

    What I'm wondering is what might cause this difference in hand/eye choice?
    Is it really that "different/unique/strange"?
    And any other insights/tidbits that might be had related to this topic.

    -Wolfebane
    I was taught that for shotgun and pistol you should go with your dominant eye and most should also do so with a rifle. However it has been my experience that with optical sights you should probably go with the dominant hand instead.

    I am a somewhat odd duck in this situation. I am left hand/right eye dominant who was raised from a very early age as right handed. I am therefore about 90% ambidextrous.

    I can shoot as well with either hand using a rifle or a pistol, though I am slower with my left hand.

    I better not use my left hand with a shotgun, unless I am practicing or it is an outright fullbore emergency.

    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    Odd to say the least. Terry Puhl was an outfielder with the Astros. He was completely right handed, but batted left handed. He could not bat from the right side of the plate.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    Regular Member SFCRetired's Avatar
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    I am right-handed and shoot both pistol and rifle right handed. However, I also practice shooting pistol left-handed. It takes some concentration and I'm not quite as accurate, but I can still put lead on target.

    My reasoning is that if the only cover available to me is cover I must fire from left-handed or expose more of myself, I had best be able to shoot left-handed. When I was still AD (back in the Dark Ages), I always tried to talk the range NCO into giving me an extra magazine to practice left-handed with. Most of them did so gladly.

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    I shoot handgun mostly left handed but do well in either hand. i have to shoot rifle in my left. I'd be good in the old west having 2 guns on my belt. lol

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    No matter left or right, you NEED to train with both. You never know what hand will need to have that training to make that all important shot.
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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zack991 View Post
    No matter left or right, you NEED to train with both. You never know what hand will need to have that training to make that all important shot.
    You bring up a good point, as we almost all of us exclusively carry with one hand or the other.

    Perhaps we should all start training so that we can both grab and fire with either hand, either firearm?

    Hey! Is this the sort of thing that our Founding Fathers meant by a "well-trained militia??"

    I'd argue that most of us are well beyond their original intent. Just trying to pass it on to others.
    The First protects the Second, and the Second protects the First. Together, they protect the rest of our Bill of Rights and our United States Constitution, and help We the People protect ourselves in the spirit of our Declaration of Independence.

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    zack991 brings in a great point...,

    let me add that it's also a good thing to learn how to drop a magazine from your semi-auto/open the cylinder and eject empty shells from your revolver, insert a loaded magazine/reload rounds into your cylinder, close the action on either, chamber or "rack" a round in your semi-auto if somehow your slide didn't stay back at "slide lock" after the last round or somehow for any reason needs to be "racked", or "cock" the hammer on a single action revolver, and pull the trigger, all of that..., using only one hand, and that being your weak hand.

    Of course you should never practice this with live ammo. This is a drill to for a last resort, "Murphy's Law" gone wild, situation..., but it could happen, and it's a heck of a lot easier to accomplish if you have chosen your firearm well, learned a little more than the basics, take to heart the improvise, adapt, and overcome mindset, and focus. It's a lot easier if someone shows you how to do it first, too, lol.

    I was fortunate enough to have a great instructor, and I'm not usually the kind that likes to jump into the lake before I learn how to swim. Experience is a tough teacher, she gives the test first, and the lesson comes after.

    After learning these skills, I challenged myself to learn how to field strip my firearm and then put it back together..., again, only using one hand, and that being my weak hand. I thought I was pretty cool until I saw a guy on the 'net the other day shooting a .45 semi-auto using only his feet! Not only that, he was loading his magazines with his feet too! That's because he doesn't have any hands or arms. He was just amazing!

    I guess there's no telling what you can accomplish when you make your mind up to do it, and don't give up!

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    we are not equal, we will never be equal, but we must be relentless.

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