Skills Check: Strength Through Strong Hand Only

Training for the worst-case scenario.

posted on March 12, 2023
shooting with arm outstretched

For us, “Drill Practice” is isolating an individual part of a skill and focusing intently on improving or mastering it. The goal with good drill practice is to maximize overall improvement while minimizing overall effort. Success equals consistency over time. 

Shooting strong-hand only or one-handed shooting is challenging. Still, there are many reasons why we want to be efficacious shooting with one hand. Try not to focus on a single reason, such as injury, but instead, consider the bigger picture and adapting to any situation where it makes sense or is required to shoot one handed. Recoil control is the biggest challenge. You cannot fight physics, but you can get better at dealing with physics through better technique. 

Improving your firing grip while shooting one handed will always be your best chance at doing well. You want to concentrate on gripping with full force, which should be the most you can bring to bear. This needs to be a constant force, and is where most people struggle. The focus of our drill practice will be on a strong and consistent one-handed grip. First, apply intense pressure with your pinky. Think of it crushing the frame inward. Don’t worry, the rest of your fingers will do their job, just focus on the pinky. Second, tighten the muscles in your shoulders. You want good connection between the hand, arm and shoulders.

Start scaled, but if you are scoring 80 percent (200 points) or better, move to prescribed. Your time standard will be 5 seconds at each stage. Every shot fired over par counts as 10 points each. Distance will be the 5-yard line for scaled and 7-yard line for prescribed. Use an NRA B8 replacement or similar target. Maximum score is 250 points. Load two magazines—one with three rounds and one with five—for stages one and two, seven rounds for stage three and 10 rounds for stage four. Total is 25 rounds.

Here’s the drill:
The task will use one hand to fire three rounds, then five, then seven and finish with 10 rounds. Start at the 5-yard line with the pistol aimed on target. The standard will be to score 80 percent overall or better within the 5-second par time for all stages. 

Load the magazine of three rounds and aim on target.

On the signal, fire three rounds within 5 seconds while maintaining a strong and consistent grip.

Repeat the process firing five rounds, then seven and finish with 10 rounds.

The objective is to maintain a strong and consistent grip while firing. Pay attention to your pinky finger. If it relaxes, your whole grip will weaken, resulting in poor recoil control, increased time and missed shots. If you are scoring higher than 200 points, move to the prescribed distance of 7 yards and repeat. Good luck.


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