Opinion: One Handed Weapon Disassembly Beneficial?

    Coming across this video of female Indian Army soldiers making excellent time with disassembling their INSAS rifles better with one hand than I could with two was very exciting to watch. I’m not a stranger to seeing or attempting a one-handed weapon disassembly, probably the most impressive demonstration I’ve seen was with a Marine Machine Gun Instructor who took apart a Browning M2 single-handedly to show that it could be done with some practice. Looking up on Youtube you’ll find a number of videos of the practice, many of which I’ll share below.

    However, it brings me to a central point in that is single-handedly disassembling a weapon, especially a primary weapon system such as a rifle or machine gun simply a party trick or can we use it to our advantage in a worst case scenario? Maybe we’re hunting or in a terrible jam, have lost control of an arm for whatever reason and need to fully field strip our rifle to fix a malfunction beyond fixing at the disassembled level.To illustrate this point, I’ll share a video of a British volunteer with the Kurds who suffered a broken case rim malfunction, so he couldn’t extract the fired round from the chamber. He had to field strip his rifle in an active firefight, get the case out with a Gerber, and get his weapon back into action, and himself back into the fight.

    Of course one could argue that maybe he had a lower quality Kalashnikov variant, maybe he didn’t clean his weapon because he might have never served in the first place, or even if you have an injury, you should probably be attending that injury before manipulating your weapon system. Either way, I would argue that much more than being a simple party trick, having the capability to field strip a weapon system single-handedly could possibly pay dividends in the future, similar to learning how to fire a weapon from one’s non-dominant hand in order to make maximum use of cover.

    So this is essentially the same demonstration I saw with an instructor in person, this one also with a Marine and a .50 BMG M2.

    Mark 19

    Glock 17

    Instructor Zero with a Glock 19, of course. But notice the use of his legs by squeezing the handgun underneath his knee, then using his shoe heel to cock it.

    This guy must spend an unhealthy amount of time with his Makarov in order to achieve this…


    Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at [email protected]