Best semi auto for a lefty?


February 1, 2013, 06:34 AM
My uncle is looking to buy a handgun. He is familiar with the beretta 92 from military service, but is open to any ideas. The only problem, is that he has that odd ball problem of using his left hand for everything! :p He has looked to me to help him decide on a gun, but seeing as I am right handed and most semi autos are catered toward a righty, I have never paid much attention the the ambi features. What would be your choice for a lefty semi auto? I would like the slide and mag release to be ambi. Thanks in advance for the help!

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February 1, 2013, 06:43 AM
I'm a lefty and prefer to shoot the 1911. I do not have any issues manipulating the slide release, mag release, or safety with my index finger or thumb, even without an ambi safety, slide release, or mag release.

The Beretta 92FS, of course, has an ambi safety and the mag release can be swapped to the opposite side.

February 1, 2013, 06:45 AM
Canik Stingray C. Ambi, double stack, chrome plated, and affordable.

February 1, 2013, 08:21 AM
S&W m&p is ambi.

February 1, 2013, 08:33 AM
I have a father and friends who are left handed. They like the ambi safety, slide lock and reversible mag release on M&P pistols, not to mention the removable grip backstraps so they can customize the pistol grip for their hands (especially for smaller handed female shooters who are also left handed) :D

FYI, many like the fact that by using a 9mm conversion barrel for 40S&W M&P, they can practice with cheaper 9mm rounds while carrying 40S&W -

February 1, 2013, 08:42 AM
The Bersa Thunder Pro line is thoroughly ambi and gets really good reviews. I've handled but not shot them, and would recommend trying one to anyone who requires ambi controls.

February 1, 2013, 10:02 AM
this is most likely too late, but I am Normal/Normal, that is to say, left handed/left eyed. I have used the Beretta M9A1 for a while and the only problem I have had is getting a casing down my shirt or in my shirt pocket every once in a while.

February 1, 2013, 10:07 AM
Any Bersa Thunder Pro. Excellent weapons.

February 1, 2013, 10:52 AM
I am a lefty myself, and its hard to find something that has ambi controls that actually work. Here's what I can tell you...

A right-handed gun will still work. You can operate the magazine release with your middle finger or with the knuckle of your trigger finger pretty easy. Ambi slide stops aren't always that well engineered; I bought a M&P because it has ambi slide stop, but I use the slingshot method because it is easier than hitting the M&P slide stop. The only thing I could think of that you would definitely want ambi is the safety, if applicable, so I'd recommend you definitely get an ambi safety or a gun with no manual safety.

Probably the most ambidextrous guns I've looked at are the FN FNP/FNS series and the HK/Walther types (HK and Walther have a paddle release, some like it, I don't).

February 1, 2013, 10:55 AM
H&K P30 (I'm a lefty. I have one.)
H&K HK45 (I'm working on getting one.)

February 1, 2013, 10:55 AM
Southpaw here as well, some that I have found to be just fine for us lefties are:

1911A1's, even without an ambi' safety lever.
3rd gen smith's
Ruger SR series

February 1, 2013, 11:25 AM
HK USP are ambi.... Mag release is already dual side and decocker/safety lever can be changed with minor smithing.... Pricey but a heck of a handgun....

February 1, 2013, 12:37 PM
As a lefty I'm currently shooting an M&P. I transitioned away from a Glock due 95% to the lack of ambi controls.

I've got Gorilla hands and hit the right side slide catch with my left thumb with no problem. I used to think the left side/right hander mag release on the Glock was fine until I got the M&P and swapped it over to the right side. It is a huge difference for me and I'd never go back.

Basically, if it isn't full ambi, don't bother.. you might as well get a RH gun as you are going to be slowed by any RH control as a lefty shooter.

I recently handled the standard FNS, and wasn't all that impressed, but the one I held had a safety and especially terrible trigger even by plastic gun standards. I'm going to revisit it when the 5" competition models hit the streets. The M&P is nice, and as far as I know the best thing going for lefties right now, but it is still not the holy grail for me personally for a couple reasons.

February 1, 2013, 12:48 PM
FN FNX is ambi. The triggers are very nice and smooth. The FNS I dry fired seemed to have an okay trigger.

February 1, 2013, 12:54 PM

completely ambidextrous

February 1, 2013, 01:09 PM
CountZero is right about the HK P7M8. But in your uncle's case, if he's already familiar with the M9, then I'd say a Beretta 92; Centurion or compact. If he want's polymer, then the Beretta PX4 fits the same bill.

February 1, 2013, 01:22 PM
S&W m&p is ambi.

Yes, they have an ambi slide stop, but don't be misled into thinking it will solve your problems. I had two; a fullsize .45 and a .40 Pro Series. On both of them, I could not operate the slide stop with my left thumb. The design is flawed in my opinion. The slide stop is too small on both sides and when you try to release the slide with it as a lefty, it flexes on you and is very hard to operate. I guess it is only attached to the frame on the left side for right side use. Another problem, and this was a big one for me, is the mag release is advertised as an ambi-release, but it is really not. Anything that is advertised as ambidexterous should have the ability to be operated both right AND left; not right OR left. The M&P requires you to choose which way you want to operate the mag release by flipping the button around. The XD is truly ambidexterous in that it has a button on both sides. This was something I did not think about being a problem until I bought my M&P, switched the mag release to the right side and then let a right-handed friend shoot it after me. To me and him, that was really a huge hassle. Also, I am convinced that XDs have the best factory trigger of any polymer pistol. The XDm triggers are even better than the XDs. And the slide stop on the XD, although not ambi, is much larger and easier to operate than the M&P.

I sold both of my M&Ps and went back to the XD platform. I have a XD9 4", XD40 4" and a XD9SC. They all shoot lights out and have great triggers out of the box.

Back to the OP's question about the best semi-auto for a lefty. I have not shot or seen one in person, but the CZ 85 has ambi safety and slide stop although the mag release has to be flipped around for left-handed operation. It is an all-steel version of the CZ75. The CZ85 Combat is a sharp looking pistol and they can be found for around $600 new I believe.

February 1, 2013, 08:36 PM
Another vote for the HK p7

Mine is the PSP and as a LH shooter it is the MOST ambidextrous of any pistol ever made

February 1, 2013, 08:55 PM

February 2, 2013, 03:19 AM
Walther P5? Sorry, couldn't resist.

I'm 100% happy with any gun, left-handed, that has an ambi safety and/or no safety. The mag release and slide release are just as well to be used with index finger, IMO.

February 2, 2013, 03:26 AM
The S&W M&P line deserves at least some consideration. That would be my first stop. Excellent reputation.

My brother is left-handed, training with the M&P40 in his LE academy. He says he's quickly fallen in love with it, after using the M9 in the Marine Corps Infantry, and a Springfield 1911 Loaded for EDC the past couple years.

February 2, 2013, 04:35 AM
My dad carries an XDM.

I shoot and operate mine left handed as well as right with no issues. Ami mag release and a better trigger than the Smiths or the original XD's.

In God and Glock we Trust

February 2, 2013, 09:03 AM
I'm a lefty and use the Ruger SR9c. It has ambi mag release and safety. The slide lock isn't ambi, but it hasn't been a problem. If find it easy to lock it up with my right thumb as I pull the slide back.

February 2, 2013, 11:06 AM
1911, Glock, Kahr, all work for this lefty. Anything with an external safety that is ambi, or anything without one. Mag release is no problem using the trigger finger.

February 3, 2013, 12:18 AM
The safety is the only real concern. Everything else can be worked around. Look for guns ith an ambi safety, or no safety, or a decocker only.

February 3, 2013, 12:19 PM
+1 for FN, both my FNP45 Tactical and FNS9 are fully ambidextrous.

February 3, 2013, 01:23 PM
I'm left handed. I wear large gloves. I have no problems operating my G-31 controls. You learn what you train with. I switched the mag release on my M&P 9c to the right side. I think I will change it back and use my trigger finger...

February 3, 2013, 01:34 PM
If you are looking for a service sized pistol look at everyone who competed with the Beretta for the Army contract. Written into the requirements were that it must have:
Ambidextrous safety
Ambidextrous magazine release
NO magazine safety interlock (Must be able to fire without a magazine.)
The ability to easily load a single round manually

The Ruger P85 was Ruger's submission. The P85 Mark II is an improved P85 that addressed some of the reasons that the Army did NOT select it for their service pistol.


February 3, 2013, 01:50 PM
Another southpaw here. Acknowledging that everyone has their personal taste I have found that the following work very well for me.

SIG (226 & 229)
CZ (with a preference for decocker models)
Walther PPS
Beretta 92 (though it's huge by current standards)

Ultimately though, the thing is that us lefties (and really every pistol shooter) need to learn to handle pistols and shoot on either side. If someone wants to call "all hands" practice a "waste of time and ammo" that's their choice but I'll borrow a quote from the "Book of Five Rings".

Quote:“Even beginners in my school practice with a long sword in one hand and (short) sword in the other and then reversed. When in a fight to the death one wants to employ all of one's weapons to the utmost. I must say that to die with one's sword still sheathed is most regrettable.”
-The Book of Five Rings (English Translation), Miyamoto Musashi

That in mind I practice the “big four”…
1) Strong hand, one handed
2) Strong hand, two handed
3) Weak hand, one handed
4) Weak hand, two handed

Just my $0.02 worth :D

February 3, 2013, 01:57 PM
I would suggest a Gen 4 Glock. Reversible mag release, and no other necessary controls. The slide stop is on the left side, but it's generally advisable to just slingshot the slide.

February 3, 2013, 01:59 PM
I'll second what ZeSpectre said. Learn to shoot with either hand. I do this regularly with my 1911, Beretta, and revolvers. I'm not equally good with the left side, but I've found that I have my best left-handed luck with a 1911. I can manipulate the safety, slide, and magazine releases almost as easily as I can right-handed.

February 3, 2013, 04:11 PM
HK P30, HK P2000, Walther PPQ, Zastava CZ999, CZ 85, S&W M&P, SIG-Sauer P250. Some are fully ambi, others have the reversible magazine release.

February 3, 2013, 04:47 PM
I am a lefty.

The Walther PPQ is the first gun I have shot that feels like it was made for a lefty. Plus it is super accurate and has the best trigger pull ever. Check out the reviews on utube.

February 4, 2013, 07:07 PM
GP K100 aka STI GP6.
Source: I am lefty..

February 5, 2013, 01:58 PM
Another Lefty here. Here are some guns I have personal experience with:

Walther P88 was designed to be completely ambidextrous (I have 2). They are made for big hands. The Bersa Thunders copied the design. They are supposed to be very good too, but I have no personal experience with them.

I have an H&K USP45 set up with a left handed safety/decocker that works great.

Walther P99 is pretty good too.

Most 3rd Gen S&Ws with ambi safeties work good enough for me (I use my index finger for the mag release)

CZ85 is ambe except mag release, but my index finger works on this one too.

Most single action autos (1911, Hi-Powers) are OK if they have an ambi safety. I can finagle the slide release with a finger.

February 5, 2013, 02:05 PM
I shoot with both hands but perfer to shoot left as I am left eye dominent.
Never did see what caliber the original requester wanted. That can expand or limit choices.

I personnaly have both the M&P and the FNH FNS.
The FNS is fully ambi. After a few round the trigger smoothes out and it eats anything I have tried to fire though it.
The M&P also have the adjustabel grips which can be a great factor in choosing if you are still working on your best grip.
Either way lots of good choices out there.

February 5, 2013, 07:24 PM

I too am left/left. But back when I made this decision, there were far fewer choices to be had. I went with the H&K USPc version II. Then, when H&K offered the ambi retro-kit, I sent it in & had them do it to the gun. They were both fast and reasonable for cost. Consequently, I haven't gone looking for a new carry gun. I'm a happy camper with H&K goin' on 18 years now.


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