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NRA Firearm Training Tip: Support Hand Only Shooting

NRA Firearm Training Tip: Support Hand Only Shooting

There may come a time when you have to shoot a pistol with your support hand only. This situation could arise due to being injured during a defensive encounter or it may be a requirement of a stage in a practical pistol competition. Either way the technique is the same. The method presented here requires you to draw the gun with your dominant hand before passing it off to the support hand. You must never allow either of your hands to pass in front of the pistol’s muzzle during this transition so it is critical to practice in a controlled manner with safe gun handling techniques and strict muzzle discipline. One method that will improve your odds of completing the hand-off safely and efficiently is to roll your dominant thumb off the back-strap as your support hand approaches from the rear of the pistol. This creates a space for your support hand to slide into position and acquire a firm grip on the gun. Once the support hand has assumed control of the pistol, bring your dominant hand straight into your chest. This is yet another step to ensure that you do not muzzle yourself and it also keeps the gun from swaying left to right during recoil.

Begin by practicing this skill in a dry-fire environment with special attention on the transition between hands. Once you feel comfortable with your technique, progress to live-fire training. Start slowly by firing one round per draw and advance to consecutive shots as your comfort and ability increases. Common challenges when shooting with your non-dominant hand are difficulty with trigger manipulation and recoil management. Trigger operation will improve with practice and canting the pistol inward will help control muzzle flip during recoil. The key to integrating a slight cant is learning just how far to tilt the gun. A general guideline is that you’ve gone too far if you detect an actual increase in muzzle flip or you start to resemble a character out of a Quentin Tarantino movie. If you notice either of these things happening, stop firing immediately and decrease the cant of your pistol.

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