Hey boys and girls, you’ve had a few months to practice all of those techniques we talked about in Sinister Studies 1 through 6, and hopefully you’ve squared away your eye dominance as well like we discussed in Sinister Studies 7. This next installment isn’t going to address technique as much as it will be an equipment review.
My introduction to shooting was competitive riflery and despite my interest in other shooting disciplines, throughout the years I have always had a special connection with shooting at distance. Most of my competitive shooting was done with match-tuned M14’s and M1A’s, which can be excellent performers. When it comes to precision shooting however, there’s just no substitute for a scoped bolt gun. So in this installment, I would like to explore some options available for the left-handed rifle marksman.
A few years ago I signed up for some precision … Read More »
We left off on part IV with basic left-handed AR manipulations, but it doesn’t end there, like any semi-automatic firearm, AR’s can sputter, cough or puke occasionally. The military teaches a malfunction clearance drill called “SPORTS” which is an acronym for:
“Slap” the magazine,
“Pull” the charging handle,
“Observe” the chamber,
“Release” the charging handle,
“Tap” the forward assist and
“Shoot,” …assuming you have a target that is still a threat.
Many credible instructors consider this flawed, primarily due to the third step; “observe.” First of all, “observe” only works when you have enough light to see the chamber. Second, and more importantly, the eyes and visual cortex are tied to the frontal, logical, “thinking” portion of the brain. The muscles performing the pull and release action, however, perform it by a programmed algorithm that originates in the central, primitive “action” portion of the brain. We usually … Read More »
In 1954 Eugene Stoner and ArmaLite brought forth on this continent a new rifle, conceived in aluminum alloy, but not totally dedicated to the proposition that all were created equal, in particular: lefties. The original design, the AR-10, featured a charging handle on top of the upper receiver in the “suitcase handle.” This design, while bilateral in nature, didn’t make it to the final AR-15. Skip ahead 60 years: several factors have made AR-15 pattern firearms the most popular rifles in America.
On AR-15’s, efficient manipulations are particularly important. What is the use of all that firepower and inherent accuracy if we waste time fumbling with it? What’s more, the type of manipulations can change depending on the shooting activity. If your weak arm is tied up in a sling because you’re at Camp Perry, you need a different set of … Read More »
By now, you’re probably thinking “boy, it seems like there’s an awful lot of difficult manipulations involved with semi-autos that aren’t very easy for lefties,” and maybe you’re considering that switching to a wheel-gun may simplify your world somewhat. Because after all, if you have spent any time in gun stores, you have heard the sacred mantra: “Ohm myree volva neva jammmm” …sorry, bad Yoga joke. I appreciate your thought process, but the fact is that nothing really gets easier with the wheel gun, especially for southpaws. While it is true you won’t wind up with a stovepipe or double-feed in your revolver, I won’t go so far as to say they never jam, which is the common misconception. There are a few ways revolvers can and do malfunction, the majority being ammunition induced, which can be all but eliminated by using … Read More »
In the previous article, we addressed basic 2-handed manipulations of common semi-automatic handguns for left-hand dominant shooters. Now let’s talk about one-handed manipulations specific to the left hand. As a left or right-handed shooter, who knows which hand you will have to use for this? For the sake of argument, let’s say that it is the left hand, as right-handed manipulations have been covered more than adequately by other sources. Keep in mind that this is increasing the level of difficulty, so a corresponding increase of good sense is needed while practicing or executing these moves to prevent injury to yourself or someone else, maybe someone you don’t intend to injure, so…be careful.
Gripping a hand-gun with one hand typically encourages a slight cant (left or right tilt) inward while shooting with the arm extended. As a lefty, this slight cant … Read More »
For the left-handed shooter, aligning the sights and pressing the trigger may look like a mirror-image activity of a right-handed shooter, and physically it may be, but psychologically… well, we’ll get into that later. The physical firearms manipulations preceding and following the actual act of shooting, however, can be significantly different for the southpaw marksman depending on the type of firearm used. At the time of this writing, I have been a firearms instructor for about 7 years, but I have been a recreational and competitive shooter for over 30 years. For almost 20 years I have worked as a full-time industrial safety professional, which has afforded me a great deal of experience with ergonomics and particularly the ergonomics of hand tools. More appropriate to this article, I have spent almost 4 decades experiencing the full benefits and challenges of … Read More »