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Having recently sustained a minor sports injury to an arm, I got to thinking: what if I broke my "strong" arm, or had surgery or something that precluded use of my dominant arm or hand? Would I feel comfortable carrying on the opposite side, using the non-dominant or "support" hand?

What do you guys and gals think? Would you carry with the non-dominant side assuming your strong side were out of order temporarily, say, for six weeks? If not, why not, and what alternative self-defense methods would you depend on?

SSKC
 

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I would immediately start practicing with my weak side and see how much I could improve. At close range I could probably do okay but would have to rethink what type of gun I carried during that time. I don't have an ambi safety on my 1911.
 

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I try to spend at least one range session per month on 'non dom' hand training. What I really need to do is to purchase at least one decent left hand holster. Right now, I just draw non dom from the right hand rig. I'm hoping I never gotta, but I could eek by left handed. Of course, my confidence level is not nearly as high as with my dominant hand. but, if forced to, reckon I'd make do.

Dan
 

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Over the past few years, I have broken both my left hand and my left wrist. These are on my non-dominant side.

Laugh if you will, but my first thought was, "Well, at least I can wipe myself."

This time wasn't as bad. I could work (my therapist made a splint that fits my Edge-Pro), I didn't miss any time at the gym (I could do upper body routines that used my forearms, elbows and deltoids) and I could take the splint off once I was home for the evening.

The idea of defense did come up. But I knew I had a good 'cross hand' routine, my right side was unaffected, and nobody is stupid enough to attack me when I'm not feeling good.

(When I have the flu, my wife screens my calls. "Don't poke the bear.")

My point is this. After an injury, you have to evaluate your strengths for movement and work during rehab. It's a prudent idea to include safety and security during that evaluation. Can you make it down/up stairs in your condition for avoidance? Can you cycle an automatic with the hand strength you have remaining? Will Betty be able to "drop you like you're hot" since you are now holding back the herd?

We all get sick, injured or ill during your lifetime, but security is an ongoing issue. Seriously, don't let your pride keep you from making good, yet ego-deflating, personal decisions.

And for Pete's sake, when I'm constipated, stay off of my fracken telephone!
 

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Most of us don't practice enough with our support side hand. I just finished a POST instructor's cert class and one of my instructor's carried 2 guns, one on each side. He has been shaving, brushing his teeth, eating and wiping all with his support hand to become more at ease utilizing his non-firing side hand. It does take practice. Good Luck and work with it.
 

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I frequently carry on both sides. So I have carry rigs for both sides. I shoot about the same with either hand and practice about 50/50 depending. I too have suffered sports injuries to both hands, arms and legs. So I have adjusted many times.

So if I injure my dominant side hand/arm I would just stop carrying on that side and rely on my non-dominant side only.

-Scott-
 

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SSKC said:
Having recently sustained a minor sports injury to an arm, I got to thinking: what if I broke my "strong" arm, or had surgery or something that precluded use of my dominant arm or hand? Would I feel comfortable carrying on the opposite side, using the non-dominant or "support" hand?

What do you guys and gals think? Would you carry with the non-dominant side assuming your strong side were out of order temporarily, say, for six weeks? If not, why not, and what alternative self-defense methods would you depend on?

SSKC
i think that if youcarry a ccw you should be atleast able to be adequate with it with both hands... i know with the instructors that i deal with and work with, i have been told to drill on shooting , reloading and even some cross drawing with both hands... not as easy as you might think. also one handed reloading, that along with weak side reloading does not feel naural... give it a try and tell me what u think.
 

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Weak side carry

This was a good reminder. I have not practiced enough with my weak hand, but now maybe this will jog me into it. I have never incapitated my left hand, arm, or shoulder so maybe thought it would never happen, but that's wrong.
As I get older I find things injure easier and heal slower so I'd darn well better start getting prepared. Thanks for the reminder. (I typed this all with my left hand, what do you think?) (If you think I'm bullshitting, you're right. I can barely type a sentence using both hands.) P.S. Just a thought, what does an Arab do when he breaks his wiping arm?
 

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I find this issue much easier to address than not. I have several support side holsters. Practice with them and carry with them.

In the beginning take it easy and very slow. Transfer skills to your support hand both physically and mentally. As you make slow, methodical and SMOOTH steps of operation, things will come together and speed up for you. Once you feel even more comfortable, enroll in a class and use your support side equipment. This is not only benificial when you are injured. One may need these skills a defense situation.

Bumper, you will be surprised how well you can use your support side trigger finger to swipe or engage your safety. Try it with your finger extended and slightly crooked. Contact the safety with the middle knuckle.
 

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Strange how this came up. Currently, my left shoulder is completely jacked up (I think from fall down stairs, the same one in which I hurt my tailbone).
It's not my dominant arm, but I have been thinking lately, what if?
The shoulder is slowly getting better, and I plan to work on stuff when it heals.
 

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I carry my 'primary' gun on my non-dominant side, and my 'backup' on the primary.

Lefties seem to have things a little easier sometimes when it comes to shooting either way as we're already used to dealing with guns and other items that aren't designed for our regular use.

I do 90% of my shooting with my right hand, the remainder just enough to keep in practice with the left as those skills seem to stay ok with just a refresher. It does make some shooting entertaining, though - I can "Princess Bride" my way through a match if I want and only the regulars know I'm actually left handed. ;)
 

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Last time at range, I was practicing some single hand shooting with the SIG. Right hand (strong) was pretty much Ok but oh my - weak hand was diabolical - enough to worry me.

The reason is twofold ... first is my elbow on left - got bust 5 years ago and it cannot straighten or bend fully. I had tho pretty much managed to adapt to that.

Now I have a second and much more irksome factor in play. Last october for no obvious reason I developed a shoulder problem on left side. Chiro' treatment helped over the painful worst but - I now have what seems a permanent palsy in a couple of muscles. My anatomy is getting rusty but one affected muscle is supraspinatus - a muscle which is important for initiating an arm raise - after which deltoid eventually takes over.

End result is - a shooting position on left arm is not only awkward but weak too - hard to keep gun from canting or even, holding the darned thing up there! I guess will have to just practice and adapt - probably only way. IDPA is gonna be interesting this year!
 

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Dry fire is always done with multiple guns, and at least one is weak side only. Some practice is weak hand supported. Often carry two P7s, one weak, one strong.

Range practice also uses both hands, multiple guns, NY reloads.
 

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I'm right handed and if i broke my right arm,wrist,etc.etc. would i quit carrying until i healed up, absolutely and positively not!!! I shoot with my left hand quite frequently. Am i as good as with my right, no not even close,but good enough.
 

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I usually carry a small pistol (currently a KelTec P32) in my weak (left)-side pocket as a backup gun. So when I go to the range I shoot this gun left-handed almost exclusively, as well as occasionally shooting my other guns left-handed, for variety, challenge, or just to keep shooting while I give my right arm a rest.

I actually recently traded my several-year-old P32 with the matte black slide, for a factory fresh one with a hard chrome slide. Saturday I took the new one out to the range for the first time, and after going through about 50 rds in a conventional strong-side position to establish the new gun's functioning and accuracy, I fired about 50 rds left-handed, in the classic one-handed stance, facing sideways with my right arm down at my side, using "second-degree" point-shooting, i.e. gun raised not quite to eye level, looking over the barrel, but focusing on the target and not really using the sights.

A small-caliber BUG like this will mostly likely be used in a close-up point-shooting situation, rather than aimed fire, so it makes sense to practice it. I must say this was the most fun exercise of the day. Three quick DAO shots resulted in a 1.5" group, the three holes about an inch below the center of the target and slightly to the left, arranged next to each other in a pattern that looked like a smiley face. That's much better accuracy than my old P32. The only other gun I've been able to point-shoot that well was a .25 Beretta. (Crappy cartridge, great-shooting gun.)

Oh and of course the Kel-Tec did not malfunction in any way. I feel quite comfortable with the little .32 KT residing in my weak-side pocket loaded with Cor-bons backed by FMJ's at the bottom of the mag.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the good input, everyone. It is apparent that a lot of people have put some thought into this issue. A while back I bought a left hand version of the holster I use the most and have been working with it. I have done crossword puzzles left-handed for a while and can print fairly neatly. I'm doing other stuff left-handed as well (eating, drinking, brushing teeth, etc.). It's all awkward at first, but it's surprising how quickly things start to improve.

I hope I never need to shoot at all, let alone left handed. Best to be prepared, though, which is pretty much the general philosophy around here.

SSKC
 
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