A question for you lefties...


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hammerklavier
November 30, 2009, 05:35 PM
It looks like my son is definately going to be left handed. I hope to buy some additional guns for myself soon and have been wondering whether I should get ambidextrous controls on the models that offer that. But on the other hand, he'll encounter plenty of right handed models in his life and maybe that's what he should learn on first. Any advice?

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CoRoMo
November 30, 2009, 05:38 PM
My 2yr old boy also looks to be a southpaw, but the DW and I are both right-wingers. I bought a H&R Handi-Rifle (.270 / .30-30) and have an NEF Pardner 12ga too. I figure beyond these, he can find whatever he likes, but this should get him started. The release is still on the RH side, but these guns are otherwise ambi.

zombienerd
November 30, 2009, 05:52 PM
I'm a lefty.. Never found a gun I couldn't shoot as well or as fast as a right handed person could...

Just gotta do it your own way, and find out what's comfortable.


There have been a few autoloading rifles that eject a bit too close for comfort to the nose though :) But you get over that...

kingpin008
November 30, 2009, 06:33 PM
Yeah, I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sinister (left-handed, to the great unwashed) and I can shoot pretty much any right-handed gun out there. Some might take a little getting used to, but no problems so far.

In fact, I contemplated buying a lefty AR when I was in the market for one, but decided against it for a few reasons, chief among them the fact that if I ever shot anyone else's guns than my own, I'd constantly have to re-familairize myself with the right-handed types. Too much hassle for little gain, IMHO.

lukepriebe
November 30, 2009, 06:40 PM
Never been a problem for me.

Zundfolge
November 30, 2009, 07:09 PM
You should also check him for eye dominance (http://vision.about.com/od/contactlenses/ht/Eye_Dominance.htm) ... if he's right eyed but left handed many instructors will recommend he learn to shoot right handed.

kingdomassassin
November 30, 2009, 07:31 PM
From a marksmanship training perspective, I'd keep him with the righty pieces. As you said, he'll likely encounter many many more righty guns in his lifetime so better to learn with what he may have to pickup and shoot in a pinch rather than a customized deal that may be initially more comfortable. My two cents: teach him with conventionally configured firearms, then as he gets on in life and wants to own a piece that's designed for him, that'll be his decision.

taliv
November 30, 2009, 07:36 PM
what zundfolge said.

as a lefty (eye and hand), i find quality guns (e.g. ARs and bolt guns) more ergonomic for me than for right-handers. but many lesser guns (e.g. AK and m14-pattern) are a PITA to shoot left-handed.

Texas Gun Person
November 30, 2009, 07:41 PM
I am a lefty... but the only thing I do with my left hand is write. :)

SavageManAntonio
November 30, 2009, 07:50 PM
I am left-handed. I take the approach of going with what works for the leftie. I recommend that you start teaching with something simple such as a single-shot rifle for example. Your child should try left and right-handed shooting. This is not about what works for everyone else but what works for your child.

I am ambidextrous. I can shoot with either hand with pistols. I can not do the same with rifles. It really may not matter which eye is dominant because everyone learns and adapts differently. Some can be trained to overcome eye dominance, some can not.

I am a fan of learning your weapon no matter what it is. I personally have left and right-handed weapons but practice and train mostly with the left-handed. In other words, I train left-handed with left-handed weapons for life-threatening situations such as my carry gun where muscle memory means everything but that IS MY WAY. Everyone is different.

I personally find it offensive that more weapons are not available for lefties because we generally adapt to right-handed since that is what manufacturers make. I feel that we lefties should push for more weapons made for us. My nickname in the forum illustrates the company that I support because they make left-handed weapons, even semi-custom, many times without additional fees. All of my bolt-action rifles are Savage made.

That said, I do feel that many right-handed weapons can be operated properly by lefties such as a 1911-style .45. With some extended controls and practice the operation can be smooth. However, some pistols, such as a SIG P226 are awkward and generally unfit for lefties.

Your choice but I say let your child's abilities and desires help to determine the correct path to follow.

MichaelK
November 30, 2009, 07:56 PM
Must be why I like Ruger pistols. They are all designed to work equally well for both left and right handed shooters. I'll also partial to Savage rifles because they made left handed rifles long before anyone else cared for.

Lever actions work well, and autoloaders almost as well. Don't notice the ejection on my .30 carbine or Mini-14.

allank
November 30, 2009, 08:46 PM
I'm slightly right handed (almost ambidextrous) and left eye dominant so shoot on the left. I have no problem with right handed long guns, but prefer ambi handguns or handguns that can be converted for left hand operation. It makes reloads much easier.

SheepNutz
November 30, 2009, 08:51 PM
Am I the only one who thought this was a political thread before I clicked on it? :D

Damon555
November 30, 2009, 08:54 PM
I'm a lefty that is right eye dominant....but I can shoot with my left eye just fine also. I shoot a pistol left handed and mostly use my right eye. I was taught to shoot a rifle right handed. I think if you teach him to shoot right handed he won't have any problems. It's so much easier to find right handed rifles....

Trust me....he'll learn to do a lot of things right handed because most others do. I've noticed that lefties do much more with their right hands than a right hander does with his left hand.....We truly do live in a right handed world.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y234/edlafond/Glock.jpg

MyRoad
November 30, 2009, 09:23 PM
You should also check him for eye dominance ... if he's right eyed but left handed many instructors will recommend he learn to shoot right handed.
+1
I'm left handed and right eye dominant. I shoot handguns left handed, but rifles right handed. Once you learn something one way, it soon feels natural.

thunder173
November 30, 2009, 09:38 PM
Am right handed, but left eye dominant. Have shot right handed long guns left side all my life. Wouldn't even WANT a left hander though. Handguns I shoot either or both hands,..moreso right than left admittedly,....but with auto's,..I do buy with ambi controls if it's an option. I agree with the point that more companies SHOULD make left handed guns,..but the fact is,..they ain't gonna....so get over it and move on. I also agree with whoever made the point the lad should learn to shoot whatever needs to be picked up,...and unfortunately,..that's gonna mean mostly right handed actions. Just my .02

gotmine
November 30, 2009, 09:42 PM
I've been a lefty for 56yrs. and never handled a firearm made for leftys. I don't think that I'd know what to do with one.

xtarheel
November 30, 2009, 09:42 PM
A lefty here as well. I have a few left handed pieces, a Remington, 1100, a Benilli SBE, and a custom Remington 700 in .340 Weatherby. I also had built a custom Mauser with a left handed stock.

All in all the only piece that gives me any problem is the bolt action. As far as the ejection out of the right side of the rifle, that has never been of any concern. .22 autos, my AR, my other semi autos and pumps never bother me.

I do like lever actions since they work very well for a port sider.

If your son is very young, I would check for eye dominance. If he is right eye dominate, I would encourage him to learn to shoot off his right shoulder, if not being a lefty is not really a handicap.

grampster
November 30, 2009, 09:51 PM
Most of us lefties are a bit ambidextrous. We have to be. My shotguns have always been right handed and I learned how to control the safety my own way. My old double has a slide safety behind the receiver so no problem. As for handguns, Berettas in the larger calibers are ambidextrous and my Walther P99 doesn't need a safety. Same with revolvers except for rapid reloading. I'm more comfortable using my left hand for reloading rather than my right hand which a lefty revolver requires. I think it is pretty safe bet that your son will wind up able to shoot handguns right or left equally well if he trains a bit.

WNC Seabee
November 30, 2009, 10:18 PM
The only trouble I've ever had is finding quality left handed holsters off-the-shelf. I have many custom ordered holsters gathering dust because I can't try before I buy.

I prefer left hand bolts, but can deal with a right handed one.

oneounceload
November 30, 2009, 10:27 PM
The best handgun that is ambidextrous is the HK P7. As another LH, my first main rifle was, and still is, a 700 BDL in 7 mag; but I also have a model 7 which is RH as is my Swede Mauser. Most of my shotguns are ambi as they are O/U's. The only real gun with a disadvantage is a revolver.

With kids that are that young, realize that dominance might change back and forth for a few years. Don't try to change the dominance, just work with it.

MedWheeler
November 30, 2009, 10:34 PM
LH-ed here, but right-eye dominant. I shoot long guns RH-ed, and handguns LH-ed, but with my right eye (or both, a skill I'm trying to develop.)
I don't own any guns with either LH or ambi features. In LE basic training, I did have to use a privately-learned rapid-reload technique for the service revolver, and was later called on to teach it to other LH-ed officers.

btg3
November 30, 2009, 10:38 PM
My dad shot lefty with a semi-auto shotgun that ejected across his face and managed to win a worlds skeet championship, as well as regularly bag the limit on dove shoots.

wishin
December 1, 2009, 09:57 AM
Am I the only one who thought this was a political thread before I clicked on it?
:) No, you're not alone. There are even people calling themselves right wingers!

BCCL
December 1, 2009, 11:00 AM
Born southpaw that is right eye dominant also.

Never had any real problems, other than some "bullpup" stocked rifles and shotguns, that ejected to close to my face.

I just this year at 42 bought my first left-hand bolt action Savage .22.

android
December 1, 2009, 11:08 AM
Right eyed Lefty here. I own mostly HK pistols which are ambidextrous. I can shoot with both hands, but better left handed. I'm OK for close range self defense shooting right handed. I usually keep both eyes open and sight with the right eye.

For rifles, I can go totally right handed since I'm right eye dominant anyway.

I wouldn't try to force any left handed person into a specific right handed behavior, it can mess with your brain. Just let him try some different things and see what works best. We can train ourselves to do right handed things, but it's better to be given a choice.

KarenTOC
December 1, 2009, 11:30 AM
If I were you, I'd hold off on getting the young'un a pile of lefty guns. It's possible that, even as a lefty, he'll naturally shoot right-handed. A lot of lefties do some things with their right hands. My left-handed husband shot, bowled, and batted with his right hand, but did everything else with his left. My LH son shoots with his right but bats and throws lefty. I have one left-handed friend who does everything except write with her left hand. (that was new to me: never saw a lefty who writes with their right hand - i mean naturally, not forced).

(I figured out my son was a lefty when he was 3 months old because he sucked his right thumb. All the thumb-suckers I ever knew kept their dominant hand free. Wonder if that theory has ever been scientifically tested... time to google.)

hammerklavier
December 1, 2009, 12:28 PM
Thanks for all the great responses. I'll look for a pistol that can be converted, and not worry too much about the long guns.

I saw one response praising lever actions, do the other left handers agree?

mlaustin
December 1, 2009, 04:35 PM
I'm right handed and left eyed and I've never had a problem shooting right handed guns - after a while, you begin to feel like they're just as good, especially with pistols. Your trigger finger or middle finger can easily hit the magazine catch on most auto pistols and you can either slide your thumb over or use your trigger finger (which shouldn't be on the trigger at this point anyways) to release the slide catch. I can even operate the decocking lever on a Sig with no problems without removing my hand from too many controls. I'm just as fast as my right handed friends, and after a few months of practice, it wont even feel like you're at a disadvantage.

I also learned to shoot left handed on right handed bolt guns and even that's not too bad. You'll almost never find left handed guns used, so I learned, continue to learn, and own right handed bolt guns. My other concern was always that I would estimate that probably 95% of rifles are right-handed, and I would rather spend time adjusting on the range than miss a deer because I had to borrow my buddy's rifle and everything was in the wrong place. If you have to take quick shots with a bolt action gun, you probably did something wrong with your first shot :-P.

(Pb)
December 1, 2009, 04:46 PM
The only guns that have presented a major annoyance for me as a left hander are AR15s. Mine is a Stag Arms lefty version and it works good for me. Nothing else really is an issue, although learning to hit the mag release on some pistols took longer.

stonecutter2
December 1, 2009, 05:45 PM
I'm left handed, left eye dominant.

I shoot right-handed...because I always have. It just feels right to me. And I can be pretty darn accurate with a rifle :)

I also play guitar right-handed, again, because it just feels right to me and I learned that way.

I'd suggest getting something ambidextrous, and just see what your son is most comfortable with. Then go from there.

And it's wonderful of you to take his left-handedness into consideration...that's really cool!

Patrick R
December 1, 2009, 06:46 PM
I'm left hand, left eye. Shoot left. So far no problems with right hand guns.

I write with my right hand.

Bullit13
December 3, 2009, 02:51 AM
I am also left handed and I have always shot right handed, I served 3 yrs in the Army and qualified with the M-16 many times as an expert marksman, my father was right handed but shot left handed, my daughter is right handed and from the time she was small shooting a BB gun... would shoot left handed so far it has'nt kept her from doing well in her quest for shooting in different scenarios.

Guy de Loimbard
December 3, 2009, 02:57 AM
I'm a lefty and about the only firearms I've encountered that I don't particularly get along well with because of that, are bolt actions with bent bolts. Straight bolts are ok though. There are enough left handed models out there nowadays that I don't think it is much of a problem.

Zip7
December 3, 2009, 03:14 AM
My son is left eye dominant, shoots and writes left handed but plays baseball right handed all the way.

It gave me a good excuse to buy a Ruger #1

Hold My Own
December 3, 2009, 04:53 AM
Just like most of these guys are saying, he'll adapt once he works at it. If you're willing to drop the coin, Stag Arms makes lefty AR's.

My CETME feels like it's built for leftys, but I've pretty much adapted.

Autolycus
December 3, 2009, 07:25 AM
Originally posted by SavageManAntonio:

I am left-handed. I take the approach of going with what works for the leftie. I recommend that you start teaching with something simple such as a single-shot rifle for example. Your child should try left and right-handed shooting. This is not about what works for everyone else but what works for your child.

I am ambidextrous. I can shoot with either hand with pistols. I can not do the same with rifles. It really may not matter which eye is dominant because everyone learns and adapts differently. Some can be trained to overcome eye dominance, some can not.

I am a fan of learning your weapon no matter what it is. I personally have left and right-handed weapons but practice and train mostly with the left-handed. In other words, I train left-handed with left-handed weapons for life-threatening situations such as my carry gun where muscle memory means everything but that IS MY WAY. Everyone is different.

I personally find it offensive that more weapons are not available for lefties because we generally adapt to right-handed since that is what manufacturers make. I feel that we lefties should push for more weapons made for us. My nickname in the forum illustrates the company that I support because they make left-handed weapons, even semi-custom, many times without additional fees. All of my bolt-action rifles are Savage made.

That said, I do feel that many right-handed weapons can be operated properly by lefties such as a 1911-style .45. With some extended controls and practice the operation can be smooth. However, some pistols, such as a SIG P226 are awkward and generally unfit for lefties.

Your choice but I say let your child's abilities and desires help to determine the correct path to follow.

Why not start your own company that caters to us lefties? We are a small part of the market so it is probably not feasible for them. Why is it so offensive? Could you not capitalize on this obvious opening in the market?

Oh and I can shoot my Sigs fine. I like the Decock lever and slide release right where they are.

The original poster should let his son find what suits him, just make sure he is safe with it.

Zach S
December 3, 2009, 12:19 PM
+1
I'm left handed and right eye dominant. I shoot handguns left handed, but rifles right handed. Once you learn something one way, it soon feels natural.
+1 more, kinda.

I'm right handed, left eyed... So I shoot handguns right handed and long arms left handed. I switched to the wrong shoulder several years ago after a buddy's dad suggested it. I asked if he really thought it would help, he simply replied "It cant hurt..." Went from patterns to groups like turning on a light.

I actually see it as a strength rather than a weakness - I'm right handed, and my right hand controls where the muzzle goes.

I've looked at a few left handed guns (a bolt action or two, Remington 870, Stag AR), but they're weird. I've found that most long arms aren't too bad when fired from the wrong shoulder.

Bullpups are a problem, but they balance so weird that I dont like them anyway.

peyton
December 3, 2009, 12:32 PM
I bought my son a left hand 700 and a browning bps. He commented that the shell ejection with the right handed guns distracted him so much he did not like shooting long guns. Now he has his battery and his shotgun is way more nicer than my mossberg 500!!!

DNS
December 3, 2009, 01:21 PM
Savage makes a great line of lefty bolt rifles and the accu-trigger is great.

My daughter and I are both lefty so we shoot a lot of revolvers along with pump and lever rifles too.

Semi auto pistols - not so much.

Mike

.455_Hunter
December 3, 2009, 01:48 PM
I am also a lefty and shoot a lot of revolvers. It seems to me that the typical swing out cylinder revolver is more lefty friendly than righty friendly because you reload using your "good" hand- the "dumb" just holds the gun.

The main issue I have with semi-auto pistols is when the safety is non-ambidextrous, and/or the mag release button is positioned directly under my trigger finger and vulnerable to inadvertent activation.

Other than my Stag AR-15, I don't own any lefty specific long guns.

allank
December 3, 2009, 10:29 PM
OP...I posted earlier, and am a lefty shooter...My hunting rifle is a lever action with a RH safety which is easy to operate over the top of the hammer. It is a Marlin 336XLR. I want to start my son off on a non-auto rifle because I fell he will focus more on the target than shooting fast!

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