Weak Side Aim Off Target

This is a discussion on Weak Side Aim Off Target within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The answer to this may be so fundamental that I'm overlooking it so if this turns out to be a stupid question, tell me so. ...

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Thread: Weak Side Aim Off Target

  1. #1
    Member Array danwdooley's Avatar
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    Weak Side Aim Off Target

    The answer to this may be so fundamental that I'm overlooking it so if this turns out to be a stupid question, tell me so.

    I am relatively ambidextrous. Not to the point of being able to write well with my left hand but for most day to day operations, either one will do equally well. Normally I shoot right handed. That will be the normal practice but I recognize the desirability to be able to handle shooting situations with my weak hand. Doing some dry fire aim practice, raising from the hip to a two hand hold position on the target naturally the alignment on the target is correct when I use my right hand. When I do this with my left hand, even though my left hand grip on the gun is straight, I see that the actual aim is somewhat to the right of the target. I can get it on target easily enough but the natural swing into position does not initially put it there.

    I tried to vary my stance to try to duplicate from that side what it is, but mirror image, so to speak, with the right hand. Is it just a matter of programming the brain to "point" the hand on the target? Is it just a matter of practice, practice, and more practice? If so, fine. Just wondering if this is a common expectation using the weak side.
    Dan,

    CZ82 nut

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array hogdaddy's Avatar
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    My thought on this is if your using weak hand in a fight it's cause your strong hand is hurt, So One hand weak shooting is what I practice YMMV ; )
    H/D
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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    point shooting may help you. from 5 yards at a large cardboard target, from the waist, point shoot....walk your shots to the 'center'
    and than take a mental snapshot of yourself...POA, posture and reload. do a few magazines to imprint this physical information

    bring the gun up to eye level and continue. you have 'seen' the sight of the gun and where the bullets go many ( thousands) of times
    so your sub-conscious knows when the gun is aimed to put the bullets where you want them.
    trust your self.....of course after you are on target.
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    A part of it is eye dominance. For support hand shooting, I cant the gun slightly toward my centerline. This allows a faster sight picture and gives me more consistent accuracy.

    The rest of it is just muscle memory. Practice, practice, practice.....
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    Ex Member Array RayBar's Avatar
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    Are you cross dominate. Check to see which eye is your dominate eye.

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I want to agree with hogdaddy's reply....this is the way I do it. Weak hand shooting is single handed shooting for me as well. What you should figure out is your eye dominance and the way you twist your weak hand to compensate or align with your dominant eye. Ambidextrous is good in ways.....I am to a certain extent, but only when I'm doing things that require that adaptability especially at work or a mechanical project at home. You also should realize that we as humans are not built perfectly in symmetrically. That means sometimes (most often) our left side appendages are larger or smaller than right side and vice verse. Your weak side trigger finger may very well be crossing the trigger at a different point than your strong hand. Not only this, but if you even think of your weak hand as your "weak hand", then you're not truly ambidextrous. Any time you think of your weak hand, there is usually some form of compensating subconsciously for that. Your muscles on weak side just simply don't get used as much as well. I'll tell you straight up......if you want to become as proficient with your weak side as you are with your strong side, I'd say you need to give it 3 to 1 practice and never stop. You may realize your skills with weak hand getting close to or on par with your strong hand, but all of that is easily lost over time without practice. My weak side shooting isn't that great, but I can hit the target. Matter of fact, I'm required weak hand qualifications for my state permit. I personally like to keep up my weak side abilities, and that does take extra effort and work. Mine are basic at best....but operational to the point I can depend on them. Many won't even attempt weak side training because it messes with your mind at first. Being adaptable is a high priority. Just like packing a pistol....some will, and some won't even though they got a permit.
    You mentioned a mirror. A mirror is a very good training tool especially for draw I think. You can learn a lot at home without expending any ammo. When you get to the range, you'll be more prepared for what you want to do and learn with holes in target and recoil in hand. Keep things simple and work on one aspect at a time. Consider yourself above the average carrier from the start. Thing is........it's really no contest among others in the field........it's you saving your own skin with your own abilities when you need to. There's always something to work on...that keeps us busy. When you're not busy, you're loosing abilities. Physical or mental......continue to work on your personal program with or without insight from others. Your enemy doesn't have any weaknesses as far as you know. Make yourself a promise to come out on top and alive at the end of the transaction.
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    Member Array danwdooley's Avatar
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    Outstanding points, guys. I too agree that the only reason I would be shooting with my left hand would be because my right hand/arm was incapacitated. I am right eye dominant so that would probably account for the difference as well. I have found that if I am doing normal range style practice, that is just standing as I would at the range and doing a normal two hand stance, my aim (ok, best I can make a judgement with my eyes while even doing DA dry firing) looks to be the same as when doing it right hand. The proof would be groupings at the range, but I think I can get a good sense that the results with both hands is going to be the same, or at least close.

    What I was attempting to do today was to practice bringing the gun up quickly from an arm down position and when the arm is extended bring the support hand up to the gun. Just the opposite to what I would do with right hand shooting. Doing this quickly with the right hand, with or without pulling the trigger, puts the gun right on the target (in this case a small lamp about 20 feet away). With the left hand shooting, the aim was consistently to the right. Far enough to the right that I would have missed it by several inches with actual firing. Guess that just proves that though I do many day to day functions with my left hand without conscious effort, that side is not as connected or coordinated as I thought.

    I am of the firm belief, as others have affirmed, that having effective use of the weak hand is crucial and will continue to practice.

    BTW, just to clarify a point. my dry firing is all done with a small o-ring in the firing pin recess to eliminate putting pressure on the firing pin.
    Dan,

    CZ82 nut

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    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    Like the others have said, check your eye dominance with respect to sight alignment and picture. You could very well be "right there" on-target, but due to your reaction/support-side now being your weapon hand, the now forced cross-dominance creating a visual phenomenon for you.

    For those of us who are cross-dominant when shooting with our dominant hand, we typically will adjust either our head/eyes or, more preferably, the alignment of the sights with our eyes (and the target) to compensate: some accomplish the latter by canting the pistol/weapon (getting the sight to shift over to the dominant eye), others by bringing the entire pistol into alignment between the dominant eye and the target.

    Don't worry if your reaction/support hand/side techniques are not a mirror-image of your dominant hand's (after all, unless you also arm yourself in a symmetric manner, the off-side techniques will differ). Do what you need to do to compensate for it, but make sure that it is consistent with your overall techniques so that you are efficient. Do plenty of dry runs before you head to the range for live fire, and when you start live fire, start slow - it'll feel weird at first, and that off side will tire much more quickly, but you'll build it up in no-time.

    Practice as much with one side as you do the other, and you'll be fine.
    danwdooley likes this.

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