One hand or two?

One hand or two?

This is a discussion on One hand or two? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Here is a question for those who have actually pulled a gun in self defense. When you presented your handgun, did you use one hand ...

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  1. #1
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    One hand or two?

    Here is a question for those who have actually pulled a gun in self defense.

    When you presented your handgun, did you use one hand or two?

    Recently I was involved in a “conversation” with a know-it-all at the range. This fellow is a regular and is a fair shot and usually isn’t too obnoxious to me. This day though, he got on my case (and my nerves) insisting that I was “foolish” to spend so much of my time practicing one-handed shooting drills.

    For the record I DO spend quite a bit of my time on one-handed skills. Two-handed is easy, one is much less “natural” for most of us. Also for the record, and not to toot my own horn, I shoot as well one-handed as this guy does two-handed.

    His argument was that in the “real” world you just “stand and present” (his words, not mine). I suppose if my range allowed moving fire, he would get on me about shooting on the move too.

    My thinking on this need for one-handed proficiency is this. How often am I just walking around with empty hands? We are usually carrying something i.e. water bottle, shopping bag, child etc. Now a shopping bag or water bottle can be dropped, but what about the child? What if you need one hand to control/guide your loved ones out of the way? There are so many things that come to mind it seems crazy that we EVER practice a two-handed presentation. I’m not saying we shouldn’t, just that it seems less likely that we will actually be able to use both hands.

    Thoughts? Comments?
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Both hands while moving backwards. IMO the situation will dictate what needs to be done. I also practice one hand drills a lot...
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    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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  3. #3
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    Two hands while moving out of the funnel to cover.
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    VIP Member Array tdave's Avatar
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    If I had something in my hands throw it as a distraction and draw.
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  5. #5
    Member Array rick21's Avatar
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    I haven't ever pulled a gun in self defense.

    From watching videos of gun fights I've noticed people tend to use one hand more often than two. The police seem to use two when stactic but once movement comes into play we see some shift to one hand. People use one hand to shoot with and the other keep balance. I've noticed a number of people seem to loose their balance whan bullets start coming back in their direction.

    The one hand or two hand issue seems to be dictated by the situation.

    I have no personal knowledge so my opinions are based on what I have seen.
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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array 357and40's Avatar
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    I train for anything I can think of. One hand, two hands, weak hand, etc.

    Inevitably the thing you neglect to train will be what you encounter.

    Don't entertain the range idiot who knows everything. Only thing he is good for is to be the one the bad guy goes after while you get to cover.

    Train everything you can in every way and position you are able.

    -from my phone... excuse spelling
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner71 View Post
    Here is a question for those who have actually pulled a gun in self defense.

    When you presented your handgun, did you use one hand or two?
    Haven drawn leather once, in self-defense. Grabbed it with one hand, but presented it with two. Depends on the situation, but given the proximity and level of urgency in mine that was the correct method.
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    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array LimaCharlie's Avatar
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    In fifty years of owning and carrying guns, I have only drawn once as a civilian. I was taking a shortcut through a bad section of the city around 3:00 am in 1967. My car was the only one on the street. Another car came up very fast and started trying to run me off the street. I am left handed. I reached for my gun under the seat with my right hand and placed it out the window while driving with my left hand. The guy in the passenger seat apologized and said they thought I was someone else. They left and I put the gun back under the seat. I drove on back to the military base and went to bed.

    Not only should you train one-handed, you should train one-handed with your weak hand.
    I carry a gun, because a Cop is too heavy.

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  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array TSiWRX's Avatar
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    I have thankfully never yet had to draw my handgun in self-defense.

    That might have been due to circumstance, though, as I have gone for my knife...it's a folder, and yes, I needed to clear cover clothing - it was one-handed mainly as I'd been employing the screen at the time. I luckily did not have to deploy the knife, the threat ended as soon as he noticed that my response wasn't the usual prey response he and his partner had been expecting, and the situation de-escalated even faster after he noticed that I was accessing a tool.

    My firm belief is the presentation cannot be scripted.

    Have that gentleman, RoadRunner71, try some force-on-force, and I think he'll come to understand very quickly.

    Two-handed, single-handed - it's really whatever suits the moment, and there's a whole lot of reasons I can think of for needing to use just one hand, for as many as I can also think that a two-handed presentation would be advantageous. Practice everything.

    Whatever suits the moment and gets the job done.
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Practice what you're LEAST SKILLED at. And use the scenarios that test Murphy's Law. Loud noise(s), bad footing, awkward positions, poor lighting, in combination with a topless car wash. The more distractions & high-speed informational processing that are required the better. Defensive handgun situations are NOT gonna' occur at your convenience. It's MUCH MORE likely to be a surprising, confusing, adrenalin-dumping, on the move, surreal experience. Load random dummy rounds to simulate malfunction. Have a shooting partner call-the-drill while your back is to the target line. Regardless of our preconceived notions about how a gunfight might erupt, or how we will react, reality will NOT be that way.
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  11. #11
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    Having used a 1911 in combat I learned to shoot with one hand and on the move. I also used to practice shooting moving targets. Even the best range shooters tend to miss moving targets because they aim where the target is and not where it will be by the time they press the trigger. Trap, skeet and sporting clays will quickly teach you about leading a moving target.

    When all of a sudden it becomes real, your instincts are to grab your gun as fast as you can and point and shoot with one hand unless you have had a lot more training than a class or two. Most ccw permit holders do not practice the skills needed in a fight. They practice target shooting. Out of every concealed carrier I personally know here, none has ever practiced drawing and firing. They may practice drawing a half dozen times at home with an unloaded gun, but none have ever drawn a gun and shot it at a target of some sort.

    Back, in another lifetime, when I was involved in training new shooters, I learned that it is easy to train someone if they know what to expect. You tell them that you will pull a knife while talking to them and they are to draw their dummy gun and defend themselves. They all pass that test. However, we next ask them to move one of the cars on the range to another spot to continue the training and when they approach the car, two guys jump out and the reaction in 90% of the cases was to be startled and scream like a girl. Not one went for their dummy gun even though they were told at the very beginning of the training that they were to be prepared at all times during the training session to defend themselves. This is what real life is for most gun owners. Someone jumps out at you and you get startled and if you have never drawn you gun in defense for ten years, the odds are that that you will not even think of doing that until later, if you live that is.

    The myth that I am told by some who carry guns is that they will know when they will need their gun and be able to get it out in time to use it. In other words, they think they can spot trouble. Big city boys like me do not think that way because in the Big Apple, the first sign of trouble was often a tire iron to the back of your head and my LEO friends tell me this all the time. Two of them refuse to carry guns after retirement except for rare occasions because they have seen too many people shot with their own gun. They have seen people attacked suddenly with no chance to draw a weapon. Criminals are not as dumb as you think. Only the dumb ones make the 5 o'clock news. in the end, it is your life and you do whatever makes you feel safe.

    Often, someone buy guns to feel safe and do nothing to be safe. A gun is bought and put away in its original box at the top of a closet, never to be used. I buy a lot of those guns when the guys die and their wives sell them still in the box. I also know people who carry guns that they never even shot once. Also know guys who carry pocket guns without a holster in pants pockets so tight that they can only get two fingers into their pockets. Many feel safe just having any gun on them like wearing garlic to ward off vampires.

    I tell people to watch the videos of shootings on YouTube to see how real people react. Most will not be aiming using their sights and will be shooting with one hand. So what you are doing is correct. I practice shooting with one hand and two PLUS my off hand. You cannot assume that your dominant hand will not be injured in a fight. Also learn to point shoot. Very important to learn to point shoot. It takes too much time to bring that gun up to your eyes and line up the sights. It has been proven that an AVERAGE man can get off 5 shots from a semi auto and 4 shots from a DA revolver, in one second. I am not talking about carefully aimed shots but just pointing the gun at you and pulling the trigger fast as possible. With those kind of numbers, do you really want to take the time to get a good two handed grip, proper stance and align up those sights? Until I started competing a long time ago, I had no concept of how long a second can be and how many targets I could hit from the draw in under 2 seconds.
    Last edited by Old_Dog; September 17th, 2013 at 06:07 PM.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Snub44's Avatar
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    ...always, only, one hand is the rule...other free for flashlight or handcuffs in the old days...flashlight now...
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  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    If everything needs to be just so so to make the draw then when you need it your ---- out of luck. Because you will not have everything perfect. Learn to do it every which way then let the situation dictate getting it done when you need it most.

    This quote says it best for me "Situations dictate strategies, strategies dictate tactics, and tactics dictate techniques." If you only have one technique then you are using a hammer and everything better be a nail, because that's how you will look at it.

    Remember the fight will be what the fight will be, you just need the skill to master it. What ever that skill happens to be.
    It's gotta be who you are, not a hobby. reinman45

    "Is this persons bad behavior worth me having to kill them over?" Guantes

  14. #14
    Member Array fredg53's Avatar
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    I practice it all Two hand, Two hand weak, one handed strong, one handed weak you just never know Heck if it was safe I might try it with a blindfold
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Easy8's Avatar
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    Practice one hand especially weak hand. Try weak hand lying on your side for a humbling experience. We did that shooting under a car at targets than trying to skip it at targets on other side. We did this as MP's for training following semis's with warheads.
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