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Which hand to shoot with?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by joelh, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. joelh

    joelh New Member

    Mar 10, 2010
    I am a lefty and left eye dominate. I shoot a rifle left handed, but do many things (golf, throw a ball) right handed.

    I am new to pistol shooting and seem to shoot equally will with both hands, although shooting left handed feels a bit more natural.

    I just bought a sig p226 and it is much more right hand friendly where my xd is pretty much ambidextrous. With the new gun, should I make the switch and become a right handed shooter?
  2. Mad Chemist

    Mad Chemist Participating Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    Switch guns.
  3. harmon rabb

    harmon rabb Senior Member

    Mar 14, 2009
    i'm weird. i'm a lefty but right eye dominant, so i shoot right handed.
  4. Ops Officer

    Ops Officer New Member

    May 18, 2006
    You can try it, but you may discover a loss of accuracy. I am right-handed, but left-eye dominant. When growing up, I shot a rifle left-handed and a handgun right-handed. I got through an Army career and a lively combat tour shooting that way. I qualified expert consistently with a .38 Special snubnose, a .45 ACP 1911, M-14, and M-16. Nobody ever mentioned eye dominance or questioned the way I shot a rifle. That continued until I went through a tactical course after I retired from the Army and joined a Defense Department agency. The first item of business for the instructor was to determine eye dominance of the students. After we discovered I was left-eye dominant, he insisted I switch primary hand from right to left. I protested, but he offered to let me go back to using my right hand as my "strong" or primary hand if I didn't see an improvement in accuracy and little or no loss of speed in drawing my handgun or follow-up shots. Let me tell you, I was terrified at the thought of going through drills where I had to clear my clothing, draw, fire, clear a malfunction with my left left hand only and my left heel or fire between my legs while on my back. We took each drill very slowly until some muscle memory set in. At the end of the day, I was noticeably more accurate and my speed was acceptable. I practiced red gun drills a lot! That was years ago. I shoot a handgun left-handed now. All my leather is for a lefty. I didn't lose anything with my right hand. When I purchased a SIG GSR 1911, I added a Wilson ambi thumb safety. Now...reloading a revolver is a bit tricky. I have to switch hands when I reload, but I still shoot primarily with my left hand.

    So, that's my story. Funny, I also own a P226 in 357 SIG. I shoot it with my left hand without a problem. Is it the expended brass that bothers you?
  5. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

    Apr 10, 2010
    Kodiak, AK
    Most firearms are designed with the controls, etc, more accessible for the right handed shooter. since you have a choice, I think I'd go that way.
  6. JoeShmoe

    JoeShmoe Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    New York
    So am I. Shooting is about the only thing I do right handed.
  7. Gozer

    Gozer New Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Definitely go with your eye dominance. Both personal experience and my time instructing others says that's the best answer every time, if you can do it. The fact that your natural handedness matches your dominance makes it a no-brainer.

    You will find some platforms more left-friendly than others, but there are a lot of good choices out there and some others that can be modified by a gunsmith. Just try to test shoot an example of anything you are considering before you commit funds to it (a good idea in any case).
  8. DannyZRC

    DannyZRC New Member

    Jan 24, 2010
    I'm the same way, left handed (but fairly ambi) but right eye dominant (though not strongly dominant). I shoot better righty.
  9. EddieNFL

    EddieNFL member

    Nov 9, 2009
    My goal would be to achieve competence with both hands.
  10. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Elder

    Jul 30, 2006
    Johnson City, TN
    You are actually ambidextrous, but if shooting left handed is more natural, that is the hand you should use.
  11. rbohm

    rbohm New Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    i am a closet lefty, i shoot right handed, but i am left eye dominant. however i have worked to eliminate the eye dominance, and learn to shoot equally well with both hands. at first it was difficult dealing with the eye dominance issue, but as i worked at it, it got a lot easier. now while i am still left eye dominant, it is not the issue it once was. in fact i am almost to the point where i automatically switch eyes when i switch hands.

    the first thing to do however is get comfortable shooting with the same hand and eye, then work the dominance issue out.
  12. 76shuvlinoff

    76shuvlinoff Senior Member

    Jul 6, 2007
    My daughter is right handed but has real issues with her right eye. We started out with an air rifle, she couldn't hit anything and quickly became frustrated and angry. With me being left-handed it was easy for me to help her switch over. Suddenly she went from my clumsy student to my competition, and I do mean suddenly.
  13. 1SOW

    1SOW Senior Member

    Oct 28, 2007
    South Texas
    Go with your eye and 'natural' left hand dominance.

    While being able to shoot with 'either' hand is good; having a dominant hand with lots of built in muscle memory is real good.

    When the adrenilin flows, you don't want to be deciding what hand to use. Have a dominant shooting hand and eye that is instinctive and practiced in a crisis.
  14. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    I have similar issues. I'm left handed but right eye dominant, for me I can shoot left nearly as well as right handed. With auto's and rifles I'm a little slower on my follow up's shooting left handed. Weird thing is I'm able to manipulate a double action trigger faster and more smoothly, therefore faster and more accurate shooting lefthanded with my revolvers (those damn reloads are still weird thou).

    I would bet with a little training you'll find your best shooting is done righthanded. It is generally faster to get your sight picture initally and during follow up shots with the firearm inline with your dominant eye. Just keep at it and don't forget to do some drills with your left hand as that is an important skill to be able to shoot weak hand.

    I CC with a S&W 637 and or a NAA mini on my left side. My reasoning for this is simple, my natural reaction to an attack is to put my right arm up to protect my self or out to push my attacker away. Leaving my lefthand clear to pull and possibly use the revolver that I have. Simple muscle memory for me as I'm more comforable using a revo lefthanded.

    You'll find what works for you. Good luck and remember "happieness is a warm gun"!!! :D
  15. Colton White

    Colton White New Member

    May 6, 2009
    Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Make up your mind...dang.

    I say shoot right handed, cause its how Jesus would shoot. Just dont turn it sideways lol
  16. Nasty

    Nasty Active Member

    Mar 28, 2004
    Always use both hands if one isn't incapacitated.

    A two handed grip is always better than one hand.

    Oh yeah...in your case, I'd have the left hand on the grip itself.
  17. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Senior Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Yakutsk, Sakha Republic
    I shoot left handed with rifles, but can transition to right as covers requires. I shoot righty with pistols.

    My right hand can draw from my holster quicker and reholster safer than my left. Also since I'm usually lefty with rifles, I have an advantage transitioning to my secondary when needed.

    I use an Isoceles combat stance like a CQB rifle stance. And just move the pistol right a little and maybe turn my head a little right. I prefere Glocks and Kahrs.
  18. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Participating Member

    Mar 10, 2010
    It’s a right hand world but being left handed has become more acceptable and or tolerated.

    If one attended as an example Catholic grade schools the nuns tried to discourage the use of the left hand by suggestion or physical means. Even at Parris Island in the mid-nineteen-sixties left hand usage was discouraged.

    Ambidextrous is learned. Most persons are right handed thus so are instructors and their instruction biased to that hand dominance. One emulates their instructor where as the left handed person consciously or subconsciously has to mirror (image) the process. The more one can do with both hands the better.

    That said I love it when a right hand dominate person offers instruction by telling a left hand dominate person that over coming placement of firing controls can be done this way or that way. If its so easy lets make every thing left handed and let the right hander’s conform to the new reality.

    If you’re left handed and left eye dominate stay with it. There are more and more firearms that are being designed for ambidextrous usage.

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