Looking for one-handed pistol shooting tips? It can really be a big challenge, but with proper know-how and practice, you can effectively shoot your gun with one hand.
Pistol Shooting Tips: The Basics Of One-Handed Shooting
There can be circumstances where you might not be able to shoot your gun with both hands. It is probably due to an injury you incur before or during a gun fight or you may need to fire your weapon using your support hand in a pinch. Whatever the reason may be, it is imperative you know how to shoot using one hand, especially in a dangerous situation. In this article, we'll discuss the importance and the basics of one-handed shooting. Below are pistol shooting tips to help you develop your abilities which will help you in critical situations.
Why Should You Learn to Use the “Weak” or “Support” Hand for Shooting
If you're used to aiming and firing from your strong hand (the majority are also), then you must know that learning the same thing on your support hand is just as beneficial. It makes you a well-rounded shooter and one that is ready to defend himself in any situation.
1. It’s a natural response
It’s not uncommon for someone to shoot using only the “gun hand” when met with an unexpected attack. There’s something quite natural about simply raising the gun and shooting when a sudden, close threat appears.
In scenario training, the free hand is usually occupied with a flashlight or doing tasks like opening doors. In real life, hands are often busy too so it just makes sense to train one-handed shooting.
2. When the other hand is holding a flashlight
Shooting with a flashlight is a skill people should learn particularly if it's for personal and home defense. Even if you’re using a two-handed shooting technique with the light, there are plenty of instances when the aim of the light and that of the muzzle shouldn’t be the same—that’s a whole other topic. But suffice to say, one-handed shooting skills can make nighttime navigation safer and easier for people on both sides of the gun.
3. It is a tactical advantage
Is your hand injured? Keep fighting with the other one. If your firing hand is injured, then you have to fire with your support hand.
Use of cover or concealment when possible can be a lifesaver. Using one hand to shoot from behind cover can better shield the rest of your body. Sometimes, it means using the support hand to shoot from behind a barricade which is only open on that side.
4. It builds confidence
When people realize that they can employ marksmanship fundamentals just fine using only one hand, it helps their confidence as gun carriers. Also, it can increase the likelihood that they’ll stay safe when employing one-handed techniques.
How to Train for One-Handed Shooting
This is an overview of basic techniques for defensive purposes. This is not the one-handed technique used by bullseye shooters in a competition. It’s not inclusive of many other in-depth considerations for one-handed shooting. What’s presented here is for the fairly competent shooter who has demonstrated some mastery of the fundamentals of marksmanship using two hands. If you don’t fit that description, please work on the fundamentals of marksmanship first.
1. The proper stance
Face the target. Place your feet at least shoulder width apart. You may feel more comfortable advancing one foot in front of the other. If so, do that.
You’ll want to lean forward in the direction of the target. It makes your body serve you for recoil management. You’re removing one arm from service as part of that system, so let your stance compensate for it.
2. The right grip
Hold the handgun securely in your usual shooting hand. “Securely” means having the V of flesh between your trigger finger and thumb as high as reasonably possible on the backstrap, and your trigger finger resting on the frame NOT the trigger until you’re ready to shoot.
Place your support hand as a fist on your chest or you can grab a handful of your own shirt. Placing your fist on the chest helps balance, gives your vital organs a bit of protection in a real assault.
Grabbing a shirt keeps your hand from inadvertently being covered by the muzzle as you practice a new skill. It is just a good tactile confirmation that your support hand is where it belongs—out of the way.
3. Putting stance and grip together
Raise the gun toward your intended target with the feeling that you’re trying to put the gun in front of your body, not on the side. Lean in the direction of the target from the hip as if a magnet were pulling the front sight toward the bullseye.
Press the gun toward the target making sure your wrist is rigidly tight and not all wobbly. Your locked wrist helps to ensure a semi-auto doesn’t malfunction because you failed to provide a stable platform for the slide to perform its gas-driven cycle.
Now, keep the front sight stable on the bullseye and your support hand’s fist on your chest as you press the trigger. Try some sequences of two, three, and four shots.
4. Repeat the exercise with your support hand
If your gun has an external safety, you may need to disengage it before transferring it to the unfamiliar hand. Remember that the support hand trigger finger’s job is to rest straight and on the frame until your sights are on target and you’re ready to shoot.
5. Evaluate results
Most people will find they unintentionally pushed some shots to the opposite side of the target in relation to the hand they were using to shoot. If so, pay attention to stiffening your wrist and staying focused on keeping the front sight right over the bullseye all the way until the shot breaks. If you’re jerking the trigger in anticipation or excitement, then go back to trigger control fundamentals and practice using two hands until you’ve overcome that problem.
— Michael Connick (@meconnick) July 18, 2017
Want to know more on how to properly shoot using your “strong hand”? Watch this video from Tactical Rifleman for awesome pistol shooting tips!
There are factors that force us to shoot using one hand. And in most cases, you won't be able to choose which hand you can use. Thus, it is only smart to learn how to manipulate our pistols with both hands and defend yourself whenever the situation calls for it. It may take a good deal of strength and knowledge to do it, but it is crucial in surviving any deadly situation. I hope that these pistol shooting tips gave you an idea on why and how to get started.
Do you have other one-handed pistol shooting tips? Tell us in the comments below!
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