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 »
“I’ve never seen a stop watch in a gunfight” ~ Clint Smith
I think the jist of this statement is that in a real life-or-death situation, victory is not decided by “points” or the reading of a stopwatch as in shooting games, but that should not make anyone think that timing and speed aren’t critical elements in determining who prevails in a violent encounter. The purpose of this note is to discuss what “fast” is, what makes someone “fast” and how to become “faster” with your firearm. In keeping with the cornerstones of our training doctrine, I will talk about “speed” as it relates to mindset, mechanics and marksmanship.
MINDSET: Speed in mindset isn’t necessarily how fast you can think… it’s more about how aware you are when bad things aren’t happening. When you actually “see” your environment rather than just “looking” at it, you … Read More »
“The only true wisdom is to know that you know nothing.” ~Socrates
I think anyone who has studied anything with any dedication or depth has probably stumbled across the feeling at one time or another, that you had just penetrated a new level of understanding, and with it came the discovery that your actual knowledge, (which you previously thought was fairly complete), was actually just the tip of the iceberg.
The more dedicated and studied you became in that subject, the more you discovered just how much you didn’t know.
I bring this up because recently, a friend of a friend cited something called the “Dunning – Kruger effect” and, not being familiar with the term, I decided to research it.
By definition, the Dunning-Kruger effect refers to: “a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much … Read More »