Issue 30

Weak-Side Shooting

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What is weak-side shooting?  It is firing your weapon using your non-dominant hand to pull the trigger.  Throughout this article, I will assume that the right hand is the strong-side, or dominant hand.  If you're a lefty, just do everything in reverse.

First, a bit about your stance:  The ease with which you use your weak-side will be heavily influenced by your stance.  In general, there are two widely used stances - the Weaver and the Isosceles stance. 

Weaver StanceIsosceles Stance

The Weaver stance generally places the left leg slightly forward of center, and the right leg slightly back of center.  This causes the strong-arm to be fully straightened, and the weak-arm to be bent at the elbow.  Typically, you will push with the strong arm, and pull with the weak arm to help steady the shot.

The isosceles stance places both feet in the same line along your center, and both arms are straight in front of you.  Your arms and grip are symmetrical.

In our First Steps Pistol Orientation class, as well as in our Advanced Pistol classes, we teach the isosceles stance.  This is the same technique adopted by the FBI and many police academy and training centers. 

Since you present the gun straight out in front of you, your aiming technique is virtually the same, regardless of whether you're shooting strong- or weak-sided.  At most, you may have a slight tilt of your head to your left side.

That means it comes down to grip and trigger control.

The grip is easy - you simply reverse your grip!  Weak-hand on the pistol grips and the strong-hand wrapped over the weak-hand.

Trigger control is the most difficult skill most shooters work to enhance (strong- or weak-side).  The key is to "baby" the trigger.  Squeeze it, don't slap or jerk it.  Because of the lack of practice, many shooters will also over-grip with the non-trigger fingers of the trigger-hand.  When they squeeze the trigger, the other fingers squeeze as well. 

From the weak-side, this will cause the bullet to travel off-target - either right-center (3 o'clock) or right-low (5 o'clock).  We have a number of drills that will correct this.

The most important thing with weak-side shooting is to practice.  You need to be as comfortable shooting with your weak-hand as you are with your strong-hand.  

You never know when you may be forced to shoot from your weak-side (an injured strong-hand, using your strong-hand to keep back a family member, or using it to fend off another attacker).  You just don't know.

Next Issue:  Owning A Handgun In California


Bison Risk Management Associates is a Northern California-based company providing Personal Safety and Emergency Preparedness training, workshops and consulting for individuals, businesses and organizations.

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