Ambidextrous SD handguns?

This is a discussion on Ambidextrous SD handguns? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; How important is ambidextrous controls on a SD handgun to you? I have wondered that for a long time. I am left-handed and look for ...

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Thread: Ambidextrous SD handguns?

  1. #1
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    Ambidextrous SD handguns?

    How important is ambidextrous controls on a SD handgun to you?

    I have wondered that for a long time. I am left-handed and look for ambidextrous controls all the time. A friend asked me once if it would be nice for a change to find a purely LEFT-HANDED gun? I said absolutely not. I want to be able to run a SD/combat handgun with EITHER hand.

    I was just wondering if any one else feels this way. And, if so, do you specifically pass on ones that are not ambidextrous? Do you not really care? Do you think it is an impediment to safe handling? Any other thoughts?

    Let the debate begin!
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    Distinguished Member Array TerriLi's Avatar
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    That sounds like one big can of worms.
    Personally Im an oddity, I shoot pistols right or left, but prefer right.
    Honestly alot of firearms can be used either hand with training, so not really. Although I do like a lot of the ambi firearms.
    I know not what this "overkill" means.

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    Senior Member Array cz75luver's Avatar
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    I'm a righty so it's not an issue in selecting a firearm, but I would think the most important thing as far as controls are concerned would be ambi or switchable mag releases. I don't release the slide via the slide release/lock so I don't worry where it's located.

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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    As an old retired LEO my weapons are for SD, therefore, if I get involved in an issue where my weapon is needed and my right hand gets knocked out of the game I want my left to be able to pick up the argument.

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    Being a rightie, no, I could care less about ambi controls.

    Having said that, I just received a surplus CZ-82 that has everything ambi except the slide release, which is easily operated by the LH forefinger.

    What I found I did like was the ambi mag release. I always have trouble reaching any mag release with my thumb, and using the RH forefinger to push the button seems so much easier, and no repositioning of the grip required.

    All this from a $189 Commie-made pistol. Whodda thunk?
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    Member Array Blownsvt's Avatar
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    Guess i never really though about it. Both my HK's are pretty ambi though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiram25 View Post
    As an old retired LEO my weapons are for SD, therefore, if I get involved in an issue where my weapon is needed and my right hand gets knocked out of the game I want my left to be able to pick up the argument.
    x2
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    OK, please allow me to refocus the discussion.

    I am mainly interested in thoughts regarding thumb safeties, decockers, & mag releases. (I leave out slide stops as they are generally a two-handed control.)

    I was recently looking at an H&K 45c variant 1 (safety/decocker on the left side of the frame). This is the type of thing that keeps me from buying a gun. Yes you can get a variant change for between $200-$300, but hey, we're not all made of money, right? Also, most 1911 manufacturers only build the standard left side thumb safety.

    For righties this is not a problem when shooting at the range, and for lefties it is irritating but can be worked around. My thoughts here go beyond the range.

    What if:

    You injure your strong side hand/arm and can not shoot with it for a period of a few weeks?

    You are pinned and can not use your strong side hand/arm, but manage to draw with your support hand?

    I feel that a SD weapon should be just as easily utilized by your right hand AND your left hand.
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    IMO its a moot argument but I hate ambi guns. There are to many more things that are not needed, in the way and to break down. Does anyone really think that if you have a FUBAR strong hand you will "kick in" and reload a revolver or M9 with a full mag doing it one handed and bleeding in pain/shock. MAYBE. Oh, and under fire.

    Carry a freakin BUG or even two where it counts. I do it just for the NY reload. Its much faster and you can bet your ass if you are wounded/disabled that "goofy" ambi crap switch/button whatever aint gonna cut it. You got one hand in the fight. Grab the BUG and go to work. Your primary might take a dump on you and without a BUG. WELL? go figure. Look mom "I got two hands now". But son you have no gun, sorry.

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    Member Array BAGMAN's Avatar
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    I'm a lefty who bought a 1911 a month or two ago that doesn't have an ambi-safety. I've done a lot of practicing on having my left thumb flick off the safety once I've cleared the holster. Practice ,practice, practice. I used to carry a Beretta 92 FS that had an ambi so I was used to using it. With my 1911 carried cocked and locked, I am concerned about the possibility of a ambi-safety being disengaged somehow by my holster. Maybe my concern is unfounded but, being new to 1911's, don't feel comfortable enough taking the chance. I'll just keep practicing to ensure I build enough muscle memory so it's second nature.
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    Member Array Teufle's Avatar
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    The P220 SAO is a "1911 Variant" with an ambidextrous safety. I do believe the mag release is reversible between right and left. But being a righty, I'll leave it the way I got it. I've practiced left handed (drop the magazine with my middle finger, then return to trigger with the my left index). While I don't -like- shooting left handed, I can do it. And I'm confident I can manipulate the weapon with either hand.

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    I've trained to shoot with both hands. It seems like a good idea not only for those times when your strong hand might be compromised, but it also opens up more carry options in different situations.

    My .45 (FNP-45) has fully ambi controls and it's so easy to wear it on either side and shoot with either hand. I'll never buy a single handed gun again.
    Az

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    Senior Member Array Jackle1886's Avatar
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    As a true left, this stuff is VERY important to me. I need to be able to manipulate and work any of my guns with either hand. With that being said, my M&P is great. I can switch the mag release around, and there are ambi slide releases. With my PM9, I can drop the mag with my left middle finger, and slingshot the slide. Both of my guns work in either hand. If I had a gun requiring an external safety, it would for sure be ambi, for all the reasons stated above.
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    "What if:

    You injure your strong side hand/arm and can not shoot with it for a period of a few weeks?

    You are pinned and can not use your strong side hand/arm, but manage to draw with your support hand?

    I feel that a SD weapon should be just as easily utilized by your right hand AND your left hand."

    By your concerns, it sounds like you want ambi-controls.
    I don't buy into this "wounded strong hand" argument so much, as you'd probably have your weapon drawn at that point and safety off, regardless of being L-or R/H. Again, a little one-handed practice with either hand will prepare you for this remote possibility. In a pinch, I'm gonna make it work either way.

    But if this is such a concern, I'd say you'd be much more comfortable with the ambi comtrols.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    "What if:

    You injure your strong side hand/arm and can not shoot with it for a period of a few weeks?

    You are pinned and can not use your strong side hand/arm, but manage to draw with your support hand?

    I feel that a SD weapon should be just as easily utilized by your right hand AND your left hand."

    By your concerns, it sounds like you want ambi-controls.
    I don't buy into this "wounded strong hand" argument so much, as you'd probably have your weapon drawn at that point and safety off, regardless of being L-or R/H. Again, a little one-handed practice with either hand will prepare you for this remote possibility. In a pinch, I'm gonna make it work either way.

    But if this is such a concern, I'd say you'd be much more comfortable with the ambi comtrols.
    I agree that this "what if" is a little less than likely.

    How about this instead.

    -- Long term injury to your stong side hand/wrist/arm preventing you from shooting with it.

    With the purchase of a cheap (gets you through in a pinch) holster, a gun with ambi controls can be used - support side - until you recover.



    My way of thinking about this is that this is not a right-handed/left-handed issue. Rather, it is a matter of full functionality in as many circumstances as possible. Why do so many manufacturers not see this? I believe this is at least part of the popularity of guns such as Glock's and XD's and a few others with few external controls.

    Or, am I missing something obvious?
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