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Always Keep the Weapon Hand Free?

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics and Training' started by Crusader103, Apr 28, 2012.

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  1. YammyMonkey

    YammyMonkey Member

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    I'm of the same opinion as the OP. If an attack is in the ECQ range I'll need my support side hand in the fight before my gun side hand in order to work to a dominant position where I can then get the gun out. If an attack is well outside the ECQ range & warrants a straight to guns response, I'll want to use my support side hand to clear the cover garment before I can access the gun.

    In both general scenarios, the support side is doing the work first.
     
  2. SEE IT LIKE A NATIVE

    SEE IT LIKE A NATIVE Member

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    I used to be married to a woman who had the awful habit of grabbing my arm tightly whenever she was frightened ! The best I could come up with was to keep her on my weak side at all times , so that my dominant hand was free should i need it ! That system worked well for many years ,but I eventually lost hearing on the weak side ! The current future ex-wife usually carries her own gun , but sometimes if she is dressed so that it would be difficult to conceal she asks me to carry her snub 38 in a small of back holster which she can easily access if we are threatened . She is pretty crafty ,she steps behind me draws her weapon and uses me for cover and concealment ! Truly I am at no greater risk than I would be if she were not armed and I would imagine that any adversary would think she was just cowering in fear when she ducks behind me ,when in truth she is coiling for a strike ! Kevin
     
  3. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    I'm not sure I agree (that the advantage is greater if the reactionary hand is empty). Couldn't it be reasoned that one could just as easily/quickly drop something from his reactionary hand as from his primary?

    In other words, if a police officer is walking to his car with a doughnut in his primary hand, and a cup of joe in his reactionary hand, and he hears a gunshot come from behind him, would it be unreasonable to believe he could drop both items simultaneously?

    Looking past all this, consider weapon retention for a moment. Every single weapon retention maneuver I was taught by my department demands a greater effort from my primary hand/side than my reactionary, regardless of my would-be attacker's position in relation to my own body. The point is, even if there are benefits to keeping one's reactionary hand free in certain situations, when looking at the whole picture (which is what we all ought to be doing), there are multiple scenarios to consider before making up one's mind on this topic. Personally, I'll continue to keep my primary hand free if I'm forced to choose.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
  4. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Member

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    I would say that another good reason for keeping the weapon hand free would be for retention. You may carry concealed, but you never know who is watching and seeing.
     
  5. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    I don't see any advantage to keeping the reaction side free. If you can drop something, you can drop it with either hand.

    If I need to block with my reaction side arm, I can do so with the hand empty or with the hand holding something. I can't draw my gun with a full hand. These days, I am also often carrying something I would really prefer not to drop . . . my daughter. If need be I can hold her and draw and shoot, as long as she is on my support side.

    I also agree with the retention issue. If someone comes from behind and places a hand on my gun I want my gun hand free to clamp down without any hesitation to drop something.
     
  6. ChCx2744

    ChCx2744 Member

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    bigfatdave said:
    I agree. I also practice keeping my drawing hand free most of the time, but this can't always be the case. If anything were to happen where I would need to draw, I can simply drop whatever is in my draw hand. No object in the world is worth more than me being able to draw at the time. I'll be glad to drop a couple bags of groceries.

    If you're lazy, just carry the eggs, bread and glass containers in the left hand and carry all the other stuff that won't break in the right. I personally just carry a few stuff in my hand only and make multiple trips; that way I can use my draw hand to fumble with my keys and what not. I don't mind making 2 trips. Do you really park THAT far from your home? ;)
     
  7. Japle

    Japle Member

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    If you’re right handed and have spent any time in military service, keeping your strong hand empty is second nature. If you’re in uniform, you have to be ready to salute.

    I keep my right hand empty whenever possible. When I walk with my wife, she walks to my left.
     
  8. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    You can't always keep your weapon hand (or both hands for that matter) free. I have 2 small kids. One needs to be carried and the other needs his hand held when walking through the parking lot for example. When a person is distracted by their children they become an easier target for any unsavory characters in the area. You can bet I'm not going to drop my daughter on the asphalt to draw my pistol, nor am I going to find it acceptable to let go of my 3 year old son's hand to do the same in many cases.

    In order to combat that sort of two way bind situation, I've been working on teaching my son to hold onto my pocket or belt loop rather than my hand, but he's 3 ... he's more easily distracted than I am, so it's not as easy as all that.

    As far as the military training you to "keep your strong hand free" that's a new one on me and I spent several years in the military (U.S. Army; Ft. Jackson, Ft. Benning, Ft. Campbell). As far as needing your RIGHT hand free in order to salute at a moment's notice - maybe in training... There are SOPs for saluting, and "at the drop of a hat" isn't exactly one of them :scrutiny:

    Personally I carry more than one defensive tool - a gun, a couple knives, and keys with a stout steel keyring. Depending on the circumstances of the situation, a person might not have time to get a hand on a weapon even if their hands are both empty. Yeah, it really does happen that fast, even if the assailant is 20 feet away - If the attacker is any good at what he does, you likely won't even notice him/her until it's much too late.

    In other words - get training, practice the skills you learn, get more training, be aware of your surroundings, and live your life - don't over think the self defense aspects of life or you're liable to not only miss out on life itself, but you could be too busy LOOKING for threats that you miss the obvious one right in front of you.
     
  9. Japle

    Japle Member

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    When you come around a corner and find yourself face to face with a brand new 2nd Lt, you'd better be ready. If it's a General Officer, you'd better be really ready!
     
  10. FIVETWOSEVEN

    FIVETWOSEVEN Member

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    I open carry and when I do, I keep my right hand as free as possible. I want to be able to retain my weapon if someone tries to take my weapon.

    One advantage of my Girlfriend being a lefty, she thinks it's a fun idea that we could defend ourselves while still holding hands. :)
     
  11. dfsixstring

    dfsixstring Member

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    Since I wear a CC holster I need both hands to properly draw - 1 to pull the garment up and the strong hand to draw the weapon. That said, I do tend to keep my hand free.
     
  12. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Member

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    Being ready to salute a superior officer if needed is a little different than always keeping your right hand empty on the chance that you may need to. Dropping an item if possible or tucking it under your left arm in order to salute as required is sufficient - if you're engaged in some activity that requires the use of both hands you're not expected (in most cases) to simply drop everything and go to attention to salute, nowhere in any military regulation does it state that I MUST ALWAYS keep my right hand free for the purpose of saluting a senior officer - that's not part of the training, and it's my informed opinion from MY military experience that anyone that believes it is so, is wrong. In any case, dropping everything (and possibly damaging U.S. property - a big no-no) isn't always desirable or possible.

    Back to the topic at hand, I've been thinking about it more, and I can't come up with a satisfactory answer to the issue because I don't really feel that there is an issue. We have two hands and can't have more than that - many times we find ourselves in situations that dictate the use of both hands. Self defense situations can't always be predicted or avoided, but must be dealt with as they come - Sometimes how quickly you can get to your weapon, whatever that may be, is not what gets you out of a situation, it's how well you manage yourself and the threat at hand.

    Not all self defense situations call for drawing a gun or any weapon right away - appearing to comply until you're in a better situation to fight back if necessary, or escape is one possible method of dealing with the "hands full" problem. There are as many different ways of dealing with a situation as there are different situations (and EVERY situation will be different).

    You don't NEED both hands to properly draw - I practice my draw stroke as many different ways as I can think of so I'm ready for as many different situations as possible, but primarily when carrying in an IWB holster, I run my right thumb up the outside seam of my pants (or that area if there's no seam) lifting my cover garment with the thumb as part of the draw stroke - this leaves my left hand free to either fend off or distract the attacker.
     
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