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  1. #1

    Your not so good hand

    So it's not your "weak hand"- I highly doubt your opposite side is truly "weaker" than your primary use hand (right hand for most so I will use that notation, backwards lefties will have to conform LOL)

    So let's start with that, it's not "weak", it's just kind of...... well.... well... it's usually kind of "retarded" when it comes to weapons handling.

    But that's o.k., it doesn't need special treatment, it just needs some work put in from you.

    I'm speaking primarily to weapons handling here, but normal injuries, etc. could also limit your use of your dominant hand, making it nice to be able to be ambidextrous.

    Your non dominant hand will be for lack of a better term, a little "retarded" when you begin to work with that on weapons manipulations. Just go slow, think through your manipulations.DRY WORK first on these skills will be much safer than going right to the firing line if you've never shot left handed.

    When your rifle is in your right hand (hand on the pistol grip), all your manipulations should be done with your left hand. Magazine release, charging the weapon, etc.

    When your rifle is in your left hand (left hand on the pistol grip), all your manipulations should be done with your right hand. Magazine release, charging the weapon, etc.

    Now, the BOLT HOLD OPEN device on an AR is on the left side of the gun, and that presents a slight problem. But hey it's an AR so we EXPECT problems right? Or we should.... That system was designed specifically for right hand shooters. Lefties add all kinds of gadgetry to simplify their manipulations but I don't think I've seen a way to release the bolt hold open from the opposite side.

    This is a big reason you see some AR centric trainers poo poo'ing left handed shooting- they realize it causes a cluster in class and it involves a lot of training and practice to fix that cluster.

    Depending on your hand size, the index finger on the left hand can be used to trip the bolt hold open when shooting an AR left handed. You may need to tilt the weapon slightly depending on size of hand, etc. Hitting the bolt release with your finger is a bit of a fine motor skill manipulation (might be tough under stress) so make sure you practice that thoroughly.

    Safety manipulation AR left handed-

    I use the fat part near where my left hand index finger connects to the hand itself and kind of roll the safety with that.

    Note- I've shown this before working with folks with ARs and I noticed quite a few of them when working left handed not get a full grip on the pistol grip. They got what we call a "monkey grip"- i.e, they did not get the thumb involved. No good reason for that that I saw except a lack of familiarity with left handed shooting. Get a full grip, don't "game it" and cut corners just to finish a drill.

    Magazine removal AR left handed is easy, you just use the right hand. Thumb punches the mag release and right hand inserts mag. Nothing special there.

    AK centric left handed work-

    Misha (Kalashnikov) thought things through a little better for both lefties and righties. With the exception of the magazine release, all of the manipulations necessary on an AK involve larger objects and more gross motor skills.

    The AK is easier to operate left handed for most shooters. Left hand on pistol grip, the magazine release is tripped with the right thumb or via the front leading edge of a new magazine, then the magazine rocked in at an angle, just like an M1A, M14, G3, etc.

    Charging handle manipulation when weapon is operated left handed is done by simply bringing the right hand up fingers facing up and stroking the charging handle. You do not need to get a thumb and forefinger grip on the charging handle. This is not a delicate weapon. I've smashed the charging handle against trees before and the only damage was to the pine tree.

    The only caveat when shooting an AK left handed is your support grip. Most people flag their right thumb then and grip too close to the receiver. The result is that the charging handle gigs the thumb pretty hard. It's not a fight ender but if your a cry baby it will be a problem. We used to say "everyone does that just one time" until I watched a guy do it TWICE within the same magazine.... Some learn harder than others On some models of the AK there should be a couple rivets up near the barrel end of the receiver. I try to rest my right thumb between those rivets, facing parallel to the barrel. You won't get gigged doing it that way. Or go magazine hold for the support hand while left shooting. A lot of this depends on body type, how your standing, gear, etc. It's important to find what works for YOU. Everyone is different (but special in their own way! LOL)

    Common issues when first shooting a lot left handed-

    *Biggest thing I've seen is absolutely atrocious trigger control via the left hand. It normally looks like JerkFest 2017 when people first start shooting left handed. Remember at the start I said that the left side is kind of "retarded?" It's just a function of training but you can- and should- get proper follow through, trigger reset, etc. when working left same as you do right. It's not going to happen in 50 rounds of practice though. Or doing it one time at a class.

    The craziest thing related to this I've seen was a guy shot the mag dry left handed and went to sling the rifle over so he could transition to pistol and with the weapon half way down his back I realized he literally still had his bogger hooker on the bang switch (finger on the trigger)! That's why you do drills like that were the weapon is run dry BEFORE the transition.... This was not a new shooter and he was one of the types of guys that dry fires all the time, goes to 3 gun matches, etc. etc. It convinced me that few actually work opposite side manipulations enough.

    Sling issues-

    OK so this is something you need to try to work out ahead of time. And it will become greatly apparent immediately when you attempt the left sided manipulations.

    Depending on the type of sling you use you will find that you may not even be able to move the weapon to your left side. That's a problem.

    Remember, most people get really "stiff" in their body when they handle a weapon. It's not going to go bang without INPUT FROM YOU. That doesn't mean it's a flipping play toy however, it means don't be afraid to move it around (within safety for yourself and others nearby of course). You can move your body around the gun, move your gun around the body or a combination of both. Everyone's body type is different, injuries can change things, etc. what works for the 6 foot tall guy might not work for the 5 foot 4 inches woman. Find what works for YOU. Your sling may also have a quick release detach on it also. It would be good to know how to manipulate this easily.

    20-25% of your shooting time and ammo should probably be put towards shooting and manipulations via the "other" arm. It's not just useful for a backup if your right arm gets shot, it's for cornering properly, using cover with the better efficiency, etc.

    If anyone has any ideas relating to using your non dominant hand better, please post them.

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  2. #2
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    Not much to add other than when you work your weak side, try doing it slowly and VERY methodically...look for errors and work to correct your form. You may not end up being quite as good weak side, but there is no reason (barring physical issues) that you cannot get your performance close to your strong side shooting...safely!
    This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave. ~Elmer Davis

  3. #3
    Whenever I go to the range for pistol, I have a drill for left hand, right hand, one hand strong, one hand weak. I include a weak hand dry gun reload. You must have your strong hand in your rear pocket or hooked in your belt. A throwback from my IPSC days. When I practice rifle, I never shoot weak hand. Dooh! Thanks for the kick in the pants.

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