Support-Hand Shooting: Setup & Skill-Building Tips

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posted on October 11, 2019
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Just about any defensive-shooting school that a person attends will have students devote some time to shooting with the support hand. This is important for a several reasons. Armed citizens may receive an injury to their strong hand or arm during an attack that leaves it useless. Attackers may also have grabbed an armed citizen by that arm as they press their attack. People may be forced to hold onto something or someone with their strong hand. Regardless of the cause, the main concern is to stay in the fight and not give up.

With this in mind, it is important to consider the choice of defensive handguns. Does the chosen gun have controls that can be operated with either hand? Can the gun be reloaded with the use of just one hand? How about clearing malfunctions? These are all concerns that should be addressed and are concerns that might ultimately effect a person’s final selection in a carry gun.

It is also important to actually practice these various functions with the chosen carry gun. Obviously, this is best done while the gun is empty. A certain amount of fumbling can be expected while these techniques are worked out and an empty gun–checked and double checked–is the smart way to go.

In addition, it is very important to perfect a technique of drawing the gun with the support hand. Some folks find that they can reach behind their back to access the gun, while others prefer to reach across the front of their body. Practice will determine which is best for the individual. And, again, this should be worked out during dry practice with an empty gun.

Such practice will also determine which kind of holster best suits the support-hand draw. The shooter may find that a particular holster is positioned properly for the draw, but the type of retention device used isn’t suited for the draw with the support hand. 

Being able to deploy the defensive firearm with either hand is important in dealing with real-world attacks. We simply don’t know what the nature of the attack will be or if we will be injured or not.  What we do know is that the best way to survive a criminal attack is to keep fighting. Perfecting and practicing the support hand draw will increase your survival odds considerably.

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