View Poll Results: Retrain to shoot RIGHT handed or continue shooting LEFT handed (handguns only)

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  • Retrain to Shoot RIGHT Handed

    1 14.29%
  • Continue Shooting LEFT handed, But Practice Weak Hand Only Shooting (Like We All Are Supposed to)

    6 85.71%
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Thread: Handguns - LEFT Eye Dominant, Should I Retrain to Shoot RIGHT Handed?

  1. #1
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    Handguns - LEFT Eye Dominant, Should I Retrain to Shoot RIGHT Handed?

    Hey all. First off, this question only relates to handguns, I'm not ready to completely retrain with rifles.

    TL,DR: I'm proficient drawing and shooting handguns left handed, is it worth the effort to retrain to draw and shoot right handed so I can use various handguns with right handed only features and use the more common and available right handed holsters?

    Here's the long version. I have known ever since I started shooting when I was a kid that I was left eye dominant, so I always shot left handed (thanks, boy scouts) even though I do everything else right handed. Now after years of practice I feel comfortable and am competent drawing and shooting and handgun left handed. I have practiced weak hand only shooting very little, and I have never tried drawing or shooting with a two handed grip right handed.

    I am fine with shooting left handed, the problem is I always had to consider it when i was purchasing a handgun or a holster. For example, I have NEVER been able to use the slide release, I always just racked the slide after a reload. Also, when it came to manual safeties, I had to either choose a gun that had an ambi safety, or one with no safety because I was worried, what if the safety accidentally got engaged and I couldn't reach it with my left hand. For a while I had a Ruger SR9, and liked it well enough. I wanted a paddle holster with retention, but couldn't find a left handed one. I ended up cutting up a blackhawk serpa for an HK USP, and that worked alright for the SR9. I lived with it for a few years, but ultimately traded up for a Glock 19 (Gen 4 because of the reversible mag release). Also, I have to buy 2 holsters for everything, because my wife is right handed.

    The other day, I was just surfing the web, looking at guns and potential holsters for those guns and I Thought, "Geez, it would be really nice if I could just shoot right handed. Then I wouldn't have to worry about this stuff." Then it hit me, "What if I retrained myself to shoot right handed? But, would that be worth it?"

    I get that I can use any gun, not just those with ambidextrous features. I also get that there ARE holsters for southpaws like me, but there are more holsters with different features available for right handed shooters.

    So I ask you, the community, WOULD IT BE WORTH IT?

  2. #2
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    I don't see why you couldn't or shouldn't. Eye dominance with handguns is not a big issue, shoot right handed using the left eye. I am right eye dominant and right handed but still use my right eye when shooting with my left hand. To me the biggest issue will be with making the right hand draw an unconscious act. That will only come from repetition, maybe a little or maybe a lot will be required to get to that point. People lose hands and arms and have to relearn tasks they normally did with the missing hand. Even if you never succeed it is still good practice.

  3. #3
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    Here's an idea to consider...

    "One-Hand Shooting

    The turning of the head on the axis of the neck to bring left eye in line with extended right hand, or vice versa, is awkward. The first to recognize this and correct it was Bill McMillan, shooting for the US Marine Corps team in the late 1950s. McMillan figured out if he simply canted the pistol somewhere from 15 to 45 degrees inboard, adjusting the sights to compensate where necessary, the iron sights of the pistol in his right hand aligned perfectly with his left eye. In 1960 he went Gold for his country and his team in international competition, and the technique was proven.

    One of his contemporaries, on the practical pistol side, was Ray Chapman, who would become the first world champion of the combat handgun. Ray wasn't cross-dominant, but he found a 15 to 45 degree cant of the pistol put the skeleto-muscular support structure of the human arm into a more propitious alignment and strengthened the hand. He recommended it even for same eye/hand dominant shooters, and it is taught today as technique of choice for one-handed self-defense shooting at the Chapman Academy Ray founded and at Thunder Ranch.

    It is less popular today with cross-dominant bull's-eye shooters, because the game has gone to red dot sights for the most part, which are higher over the bore axis than iron sights and require significantly more adjustment to compensate for the changed angle between line of sight and line of bore.

    Two-Hand Shooting

    The Nichols Technique is simply applying the 15 to 45 degree inboard tilt of the handgun toward the opposite eye, while holding the firearm in both hands. It was popularized by Larry Nichols, the famously practical and innovative rangemaster of the Burbank, California, PD.

    In cross-dominant use of the classic Weaver Stance, drop your head sideways toward your gun arm's shoulder. Jack Weaver's stance, with the body bladed somewhat and both elbows bent, brings the gun strongly toward the dominant eye side, and you need this much head movement to correct. It will bring your left eye in line with gun in right hand or vice versa, but the dropping of the head buries the danger scan more than I like. The non-dominant eye has a great view of your own gun arm but a poor view of the danger scene.

    The Chapman Stance, the most popular and probably the most efficient of the many "modified Weaver stances," is much easier to correct for cross-dominance. In Ray's stance, the gun arm is locked straight out, and the bent forward arm pulls in tight. This squares the chest a little more, and the gun isn't so much over on the strong side. Indexing the chin to the bicep of the shooting arm perfectly aligns the opposite eye with the gun arm in the Chapman stance, and keeps the head erect. You don't lose any danger scan, you just move the field of vision a few degrees to one side.

    The Isosceles Stance squares the front of the torso to the target or threat, and both arms are locked straight out, forming an Isosceles triangle vis-a-vis the trunk of the body. This is the most adaptable stance for the cross-dominant shooter, in my experience. The gun and its sights end up at body center anyway, and it's no harder for the left eye to find the sights than the right eye."
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  4. #4
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    I am left handed and left eye dominate, but I grew up shooting handguns right handed because there weren't any ambi-1911s back in the day and that was the hand dad put the pistol in. Fast forward years later after figuring out how to layout my support gear, I ask myself, "Why the hell don't you shoot left handed? It would simplify matters." So I bought left handed holsters start training. I have taken classes and then repeated them with the opposite hand. It has come in handy when I'm injured, which is not the time to learn to do stuff backwards. While I make no claim to be a great pistolero I can shoot, load and manipulate my pistols with either hand with pretty much equal competence. The rifle was more challenging but I'm getting there.
    The simple fact of the matter is this, America has never not been great.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for everyone’s input.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondback View Post
    That was the technique I was planning on trying if I decided to retrain for right handed shooting. Just sitting in my living room doing some dry fire practice I can see that holding the gun in my right hand and tilting it a few degrees lines it up with my left eye while keeping my wrist straight.

    If anyone else has any more ideas, let me know. Again, thanks for everyone’s opinions so far!

  6. #6
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    Back in the day, my usual practice was to shoot each drill four times:
    1. Strongside with support from offside hand, "normal"
    2. Strongside one-hand
    3. Offside 2-hand, tilted
    3. Offside 1-hand, tilted

    I actually CAN shoot with either eye and either hand, just that my accuracy does degrade the more offside there is in the mix. There's a big gap between "doing something" and "doing it well"... just because a quirk of my eyes and brain lets me do some of that John Woo "two guns two targets almost same time" shit as a parlor-magic trick on the range does NOT make it a good idea to try in reality.
    You really have to ask why Conservatives have guns? Because Liberals block freeways, burn cities, throw Molotov cocktails, loot, turn over cop cars, and think this behavior is Socially Acceptable.
    --unknown, memed by user "KeepnitReel" at Northwest Firearms
    Joe Biden is not, nor will he EVER be, my President. #SauceForGooseSauceForGander #AllDemsArePedos

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  7. #7
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    Shooting is the easy part, stuff like making a flawless draw, mag reload and malfuction clearance on the fly, that's where the work is.
    The simple fact of the matter is this, America has never not been great.
    - Mark Robinson

  8. #8
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    How often do you sling a rifle?

    I personally think you can adapt to whatever works best for you. There are of course advantages to going with the "standard" for ease of training and not reinventing the wheel. Although Bruce Lee taught right side forward guard for his martial art, later on he instructed his students to train left side forward to better learn other styles.


    Try it on day 1 both ways with a timer, digital calipers, and a buddy. Evaluate your accuracy, speed, and take notes on how you feel with each on one day. Train all the above for 3 range trips, then bring your buddy back the fifth day and do the tests again and compare the data with the first day.

    Honestly, regardless of data, you'll "feel" a specific way and that'll likely make your decision for you.

    I did the above with a new shooter to determine which handgun would work best for her. 5 pistols, did multiple drills on 2 days with all guns. Compared data with first day.

    She HATED the Glock and did mid pack with it day 1. Final day, it was the fastest and most accurate for her. Her favorite gun was ranked 4 of 5. She went with #4 (it felt the best in her hand and looked the best to her... priorities.)

    Make sure if running a rifle you take into account how to move the muzzle out of the way when transitioning to pistol and other concerns being holstered on the left you might not otherwise consider.

    Make sure you can run a rifle without "special controls" specific to being lefty.

    In the end, personally I'd stick with left/left if it was me. for pistol only, there is no applicable issue. with a rifle, it's about adaptability and making it work for you.

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