The Off-Hand Dilemma

This is a discussion on The Off-Hand Dilemma within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So early next week I'm having surgery on my strong hand. For at least a couple of weeks I won't be able to do much ...

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Thread: The Off-Hand Dilemma

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    Member Array zen1300's Avatar
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    The Off-Hand Dilemma

    So early next week I'm having surgery on my strong hand. For at least a couple of weeks I won't be able to do much with my right hand (yes, I know what you're thinking...).

    I've been practicing off-hand shooting, and am not too bad at it, but it is definitely a mind switch. I'm lucky that my DeSantis Super Fly is an ambidextrous holster for my P938. Drawing is not as intuitive. The overall comfort level is just not there, though.

    Who here has had to do off-hand carry for a period of time?

    What was your experience?

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    Distinguished Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    I have not! If I was in your situation I guess I'd try to turn those lemons into lemonade. Guess I should be practicing before I need to do it...
    robhic likes this.
    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

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    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    I train with both hands. Never know when you may lose one... Just look at the dog-bite story ProTek posted:
    Attacked by two dogs... Reflections and lessons learned

    I am definitely a poor shot with my off-hand, but I am able to function with it.
    "I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain."
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    Member Array zen1300's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    I have not! If I was in your situation I guess I'd try to turn those lemons into lemonade. Guess I should be practicing before I need to do it...
    I have been. I can get shots center mass, but not groupings as I do with strong side.

    It's really more about the carrying. It's on my strong side daily, has been for so long, but switching to weak draw is tough. Adding that if I need it there will be the adrenaline rush and I don't yet have muscle memory, it's a little disconcerting.

    It's that "something out of place" feeling.

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    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    I have for about forty-five years. I am left handed and right eye dominant. I had a hard time qualifying in the military until I found out I was cross eye dominant. After I switched to shooting right handed, I qualified expert every time. Now it just feels normal to carry and shoot right handed.
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    I carry two guns pocketed daily, and I do train with my off hand. The CT laser helps a lot in that regard.

    One concern I would have with your Sig is the thumb safety. Can you get that safety off with your left hand? AFAIK the thumb safety on that gun is not ambidextrous, correct? Just one of many concerns I have with thumb safeties, and why I do not have any on any of my guns.

    As with everything else, practice. You will probably never be as good as you are with your right hand (especially with ammo being scarce) but you should be able to get good enough to do the job.

    Get better soon!
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    Member Array G26Raven's Avatar
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    My wife and I train weak hand every month for a bit. Not from the perspective of having to carry that way, but with an eye towards the possibility that you may be injured during a fight and need to draw, rack the slide, shoot, and reholster, all with your weak hand only. For me, the toughest thing to do is to draw with the weak hand from a holster on the strong side (I am right handed).

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    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    Had rotator cuff surgery an found a 642 was easier for me to manipulate an shoot accurately

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    Senior Member Array Haywood's Avatar
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    I carry my back up in the off hand pocket daily. I practice when I go to the range a little each time. While not as good Left handed, I do OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    I have not! If I was in your situation I guess I'd try to turn those lemons into lemonade. Guess I should be practicing before I need to do it...
    I think this is a great answer! It's one of those things that forces you to do something new. It will cause you to improve with your off-hand so you will be much better prepared than a lot (MOST?) of us in a situation where off-handed shooting is critical.

    I say I am gonna practice but I rarely do. You, my friend, have been handed a blessing in disguise! You'll be forced to practice if you want to shoot at all for a while. In a couple of weeks you'll be a pro with off-hand shooting.
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    Member Array Ramen's Avatar
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    I remember hearing that it takes 1000 repetitions of an action to create muscle memory and that muscle memory built on one side of the body doesn't translate directly to the other side. So I've always tried to dedicate some of my ammunition every range trip to practicing offhand. But I should probably dedicate a bit more time to it since I'm not nearly as good with my weak hand.

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    Member Array DaGunny's Avatar
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    As a young man, I had my strong (right) hand in a cast for 6 months. I had to learn how to do everything left-handed while in the cast & for a while afterwards while in therapy to rebuild strength & dexterity in the right hand. The Corps has a policy of not requiring requalification (rifle or pistol) id your dominant hand is temporarily incapacitated. However, I had to have a current pistol requalification in order to get promoted. So I went to a private range & practiced up left-handed. I ended up firing Expert firing offhand, with my left hand. Since then, I have made it a point to practice left handed at every range session. I usually carry left-handed while riding my motorcycle.

    It takes a lot of practice & determination, but I'm sure that you'll get there.
    Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong..

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    Member Array zen1300's Avatar
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    Plenty of good advice...

    I do practice off-hand shooting, but that's almost always been at an indoor range and is simply target shooting. There is an outdoor range about an hour away that I can practice drawing, shooting under cover, etc. In the past I have practiced one hand racking of the slide, etc - there is no safety officer to yell at you.

    Thanks to the comments here, I went to the local LGS today. I rented a S&W 642 Airweight and shot off-hand. This was one piece missing from my options, and as one person pointed out that if there is an issue with the P938, it would be awfully difficult to resolve one-handed. After shooting it, I purchased one with a set of CTC Laser Grips to go with it. I have a pocket holster, though, I notice this revolver does not fit as nicely into my cargo pocket as my P938. It also does not sit well under my shirt. But I will adjust, at least as long as I need to.

    So thanks, everyone!

    My bank account is a little poorer, but my options are much better.

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