Friendly and Certified Firearms Training for Women Since 2011

Shooting With Your Support Hand

There are times, both in competition and self-defense, that you may need to shoot with your support hand. In competition, the course of fire may call for it or in a self-defense situation, you may not have use of your strong hand. Practicing shooting with your support hand is an important skill to develop.

If you’re choosing to shoot with your support hand in a competition, your gun should have an ambidextrous safety. You want to transition your gun to your support hand and have your sights on target before you release the safety. When transitioning your gun from your strong hand to your support hand, slightly turn the gun in your strong hand so that you create an open platform for your support hand to get a firm, high grip on the gun.

Face the target squarely and extend the gun in your support hand towards the target, with your gun-arm elbow locked to full arm extension. Place your support-side foot ahead of your other foot by 8 to 15 inches. From that position, flex your knees and shift at least 60 percent of your body weight to your leading foot. This creates a solid, weight-forward power position that minimizes the effects of recoil, and still allows you to have full mobility with your firearm.

When you bring your gun to align your sights, cant the gun slightly inward to stabilize your arm and have a better sight picture. Clinch your nonshooting hand in an upwards fist against your upper chest.

Place your finger with the pad of the finger on the trigger. Since your support hand will not have the same amount of strength as your strong hand, your fine motor skills will also be a little weaker. Focus on a smooth trigger press that does not slap the trigger when your sights are on target.

Recoil management may be awkward on your support side. Concentrate on your pinkies and squeeze very hard. Most people have a tendency to under grip, so white-knuckle it. Malfunctions are common when you first begin shooting support handed. If your grip is not firm enough and your wrist is not held firm/straight enough to keep the frame of the firearm from traveling rearward while the bolt or slide of the pistol cycles, the gun will fail to complete the operating cycle. Be sure to follow through and get your sights back on target for your next shot.

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