When going to the range to practice for carrying concealed, I’ve talked about the importance of practicing skills. Whether it’s drawing from your holster and firing or making your hits in a short amount of time, these skills will be invaluable if you’re ever caught in a situation where you need to defend yourself. What’s not always talked about though is the importance of one hand manipulations and the ability to shoot with your support hand if your dominant hand becomes incapacitated. There have been a number of cases where certain individuals have had to shoot one-handed or use their support hand in self-defense situations. Let’s dive into the importance of being well rounded with your firearm.
One Hand Shooting And Manipulations
Probably the most common skill that isn’t practiced is being able to fire and manipulate the handgun with one hand. I know some of you are looking at the computer screen saying that’ll never happen, but it’s not uncommon to have something in your support hand when you’re trying to get away from a threat. If you have children, this is probably even more relevant because you’ll have to grab your kid and move out of danger rather quickly.
Being able to accurately return fire with your support hand full should be a baseline skill you can do in case of an emergency. Shooting one-handed and being able to perform manipulations can easily make you a more well-balanced shooter with a bit of practice. I think it’s important to have a wide variety of skills to use when things go south. I’m not saying it should be practiced more than other drills, but adding in a set or two every range session could add variety to your training schedule and give you another tool to use in an emergency.
One-handed manipulations can be done quickly if you practice, but it’s not one of those things that will be used a ton. I will occasionally practice one-handed reloads and clearing malfunctions but it’s not a huge priority to me. Honestly, I think it’s important to at least consider it so you’re not doing it the first time in a real-world emergency. Having even a tiny amount of background knowledge can make the difference between staying calm or panicking under pressure.
Shooting With Your Support Hand
Probably the most uncomfortable skills to practice would be doing support hand only drills. The first few times I attempted this, it felt completely unnatural and avoided training weak hand all together for a few years. There’s been more than one instance whether it’s a police involved shooting or a self-defense where guys had to use their weak hand only. This is usually down to being injured and switching hands because their dominant hand was disabled and shooting with their support hand was the only alternative.
Shooting with your support hand is definitely something to consider practicing occasionally so it’s not completely foreign if you need to use it some day. Not only is it a useful skill to have, but it sometimes can be pretty impressive if you are capable of hitting targets fairly easy with your support hand as well. If you haven’t tried before, I would encourage all of you to at least give it a shot once to see how it feels.
Useful Drills For Practicing New Skills
There are a few shooting drills I really enjoy practicing with to become more comfortable with one hand shooting or shooting with my support hand. The best drill for me would be the Baer Solutions Standard Drill but I usually limit the round count to 5. Limiting the round count means 2 shots in each square with a reload and 1 shot in the center circle. This can be timed like the regular Standard Drill but it’s not necessary. It’s a great way to become comfortable shooting one-handed or support hand without blowing a ton of ammo. If you want something a bit harder, the dot torture drills is a great alternative but it can get frustrating. I have gotten very frustrated trying to make hits left handed but with a bit of practice, it can actually be done fairly easy.
With ammo being tough to find, it’s hard enough to get out and train but it’s always important to push your boundaries and work outside your comfort zone. It doesn’t need to be a ton of ammo devoted to these skills because they probably won’t be needed in the majority of cases but it’s important to consider and at least become comfortable with new skills. It can be a fun party trick but more importantly, it can save your life in certain situations. Let me know what you guys think of training occasionally with one hand or your support hand to become familiar with the feeling. Do you train ever with your support hand or just one-handed? Let me know in the comments below because I’m really curious about your personal training. If you have questions, feel free to contact me on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there.