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J. Mark Flint #31954 LIFE

Question for left handed shooters

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My youngest son is 19 and up til now he has never shown in any interest in shooting.  He now would like to learn and I want to do a good job teaching.  He is left handed, but does many things right handed like throwing a football etc.  While SASS guns are mostly lefty friendly, he is more interested in newer stuff.  I am looking for advice on helping him decide whether to try and shoot long guns right handed or to get a few true lefty guns for him to learn on. 

 

You folks always have opinions and advice, so I am hereby asking for the same.  TYIA

 

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I am in the same situation as your son.  I must shoot left handed because of the severe arthritis in my right shoulder. 

 

When Uno and I first started, we had one set of guns and shared them.  I started shooting left handed and kept using the right handed guns.  I have never had an issue.  I would take him out with your right handed long guns and see how he adapts to them.  If you have a friend with left handed guns, bring the friend along to give your son the left handed perspective.  It will ultimately be what he is more comfortable with and what he can adapt to.

 

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Figure out his dominant eye and go from there. It's most likely his left if he is left handed.

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My inclination is to take him to a range and let him start with a double action revolver and let him try it both ways and see which he finds most comfortable.  I wouldn't mind converting one of my 45's to ambidextrous controls IF he prefers left handed, but teaching with a 45 isn't the best manner to start someone off IMHO.  In his favor is the fact that he is big and strong (6'3 and 225) so he should be able to work up to it quickly.  I have some .22 caliber pistols that are adequate for teaching and a semi auto browning .22 that is bottom eject, that other than the safety being designed for a right handed person, I think it will be fine.  SA's would be easy to learn on, but the poor sight picture may be.challenging for a new shooter.  He is not interested in competing, but would like to eventually be able to have a defensive weapon and the skill to use it.

 

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If he throws right handed, but lives mostly as a south paw, he shows some great inclination to being ambidextrous.  I would show him proper technique and let him try it both LH and RH.  He may find he can do both equally well.

 

When I was just a kid (maybe 20) I was taking a hunter safety course.  Part of that was time on a range with a revolver (wouldn't a hunting rifle had made more sense?).  Anyway, the instructor watched me shoot it right handed using my left eye.  He asked why I didn't shoot left handed if I am left eye dominant.  I said I had never tried it.  He had me try it lefty and I was surprised to find how well I did and how natural it felt.  You never know until you try.  I now tend to practice all of my handguns both LH and RH, and prefer double duelist when playing cowboy.

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I shoot all long guns lefty, even though I'm right handed at everything else.  Nerve damage to left eye socket as a child keeps me from squinting the left eye to align sights with the right eye.  There are no disadvantages to shooting a regular pump or semi-auto shotgun for a left hander.  In fact, with the shotgun at the left shoulder, there is actually an advantage in my opinion as the loading port is directly in front of your face for quicker reloads.  For hunting rifles, the lever action, semi-auto, or pump will work just fine in either hand.  The only long guns I've ever had difficulty with as a left hander were bolt action rifles.  Bolt actions will require the lefty shooter to either work the bolt with their support (right) hand, breaking the grip on the rifle, or reach over the top with the left hand to work the bolt.  Both of these options seemed very awkward to me, so my .270 hunting rifle is a Remington pump.

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30 minutes ago, Marshal Hangtree said:

I shoot all long guns lefty, even though I'm right handed at everything else.  Nerve damage to left eye socket as a child keeps me from squinting the left eye to align sights with the right eye.  There are no disadvantages to shooting a regular pump or semi-auto shotgun for a left hander.  In fact, with the shotgun at the left shoulder, there is actually an advantage in my opinion as the loading port is directly in front of your face for quicker reloads.  For hunting rifles, the lever action, semi-auto, or pump will work just fine in either hand.  The only long guns I've ever had difficulty with as a left hander were bolt action rifles.  Bolt actions will require the lefty shooter to either work the bolt with their support (right) hand, breaking the grip on the rifle, or reach over the top with the left hand to work the bolt.  Both of these options seemed very awkward to me, so my .270 hunting rifle is a Remington pump.

 

What Marshal said, however, I have for 50 years used righty bolts with no problems.  Lately, I did discover the pleasantries of left hand bolts and have added  30/06 and 270 wsm  Winchester 70's to my collection.  I'm so used to it either way it doesn't bother me that much unless second shots like on a bunch of hogs is desired.   The only gun that has bothered me are right handed Remington 1100's....the gas port or something makes it incredibly loud and I get a screaming headache in short order.

 

Awkward.....thats the Shiloh Sharps....

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J. Mark!!  Establish which eye is dominant and go from there!! I’m a southpaw with tendencies toward ambidextrous.  Schoolmarm is TOTALLY right handed, but is extremely left eye dominant.  The eye dominance will somewhat dictate how he shoots long guns, comfort being the biggest factor.

 

 

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I agree, Sam.  It's the second and follow-up shots that throw me for a loop shooting a right handed bolt gun.  That is, unless I'm shooting prone with a bi-pod.  Then working the bolt with my right hand just seems natural.

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My concerns with any right handed rifle being used left handed is in the event of a failure like a ruptured case, the design will throw all the pressure at the center of the face.  Semi autos throw brass and some do throw it backwards which can turn off a new shooter.  As to eye dominance, he says it is left, but I am not so sure.  Need some range time!

 

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I am a dominant left hander, and have always had right handed guns.  Early AR's used to ping the brass off my forehead, but other than that they always throw clear.  I do equip any 1911's with ambidextrous safeties, and have put left handed safeties on my Remington 870 and 11-87's.  I got so used to using my support hand to run the bolt on rifles that as long as I'm not in a sling, it's nearly automatic.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, J. Mark Flint #31954 LIFE said:

My youngest son is 19 and up til now he has never shown in any interest in shooting.  He now would like to learn and I want to do a good job teaching.  He is left handed, but does many things right handed like throwing a football etc.  While SASS guns are mostly lefty friendly, he is more interested in newer stuff.  I am looking for advice on helping him decide whether to try and shoot long guns right handed or to get a few true lefty guns for him to learn on. 

 

You folks always have opinions and advice, so I am hereby asking for the same.  TYIA

 

 

First determine his eye dominance.  Being cross dominant is not uncommon.  My recommendation if he is left eye dominant is have him use his left eye to aim with and either buy left hand guns or learn how to fire "right handed" guns.

 

I am right handed but have a dominant left eye.  For pistol I hold in it my right hand, use the left hand to support the other hand and tilt my head slightly to the right so I can aim with my left eye.   For rifle I put the rifle on my left shoulder and use my right hand to support the rifle.   I've been doing this probably since I was about 10.  It is very rare for me to find a gun where this is an issue and I often find it an advantage.  For example, using a 97 I can load it with my dominant hand as well as see what I am doing.  I can manipulate all the buttons and switches on an AR-15 without a problem.

 

It is rare for me to find a firearm I can't shoot (and probably shoot fairly well) based on the above, I've even fired the M-60 off my left shoulder using the right hand to support the ammo belt.  An AR-15 isn't an issue, neither are any of the handguns or shotguns I have handled.  I will gladly address specific firearms if you have any in mind.

Edited by Chantry

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I agree with everyone saying to start by determining eye-dominance. I am as natural a lefty as you'd want to meet. Writing right-handed produces an unintelligible scrawl. Throwing any sort of object right-handed will produce laughter, even from myself. I am, however, right eye dominant. The only thing in this world I do passably well right handed is shoot. While I can and do shoot pistols left-handed (which is why I shoot Duelist), shooting a long gun left-handed actually feels a little odd to me. Not quite unnatural, but different enough that I stick to right handed.

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All good info.

It starts with determining eye dominance.

I always thought that a Ruger #1 is the perfect ambi rifle.

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2 hours ago, Jonathan Slim Chance said:

I am a dominant left hander, and have always had right handed guns.  Early AR's used to ping the brass off my forehead, but other than that they always throw clear.  I do equip any 1911's with ambidextrous safeties, and have put left handed safeties on my Remington 870 and 11-87's.  I got so used to using my support hand to run the bolt on rifles that as long as I'm not in a sling, it's nearly automatic.

 

If you look at some AR receivers you'll see a protrusion just aft of the ejection port. This was added for lefties so that the brass is diverted away from their face. 

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I'm left handed and right eye dominant. I always have and always will shoot left handed. Squint the right eye and the left is now dominant. 

I have a lefty bow, a lefty 1187 12 gauge and a lefty bolt action rifle. All cost about $50.00 extra. 

I use all types of semiautos pretty regular. My favorite is a Colt Match Target AR-15. No problem being a lefty with it. 

If he's a dedicated lefty don't fight it. 

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Having a left handed son that shoots anything left handed with no problem.  He got good enough that he became a Marine Corps Sniper. 

 

Sawmil Mary handed off the timer to Missouri Lefty at our last match,  telling he probably couldn't use it as it was a right handed timer.  He never missed a beat and replied.  "That's all right, I'm amphibious."  :P

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Tyrel Cody said:

Figure out his dominant eye and go from there. It's most likely his left if he is left handed.

Plus 1 to that. I am right handed and left eye dominant. I shoot long guns left handed so I can keep both eyes open.

Edited by Dusty Boots
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I'm left handed but also throw a ball with my right hand ... AND ... I shoot all guns right handed.

The stance use to throw a ball would be the exact stance used to fire a gun (for right hand that would be a leading left foot). 

IMHO ... trying to reverse the "natural" stance he already uses to throw a ball .... would be a mistake. 

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I Mam a southpaw , been runnung right hannded bolt guns most of my life , with a couple of mods , I can run at close to simi auto speed

 

  biggest change is to fit a LH thumbhole stock  , some what close to ambi , 

 

 hardest rifle for me to run is the M1 Gerand , enbloc charging does not come natural to me 

 

 Chickasaw

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Posted (edited)

If he's a south paw, he's already learned to adapt.  It's a right handed world and left handers learn to make do quick.

 

DA Wheelguns are fairly easy to run left handed- and we have the advantage of loading with our dominant hand.

 

With bottom feeders, the best we can hope for are ambi controls.  Unless you wanna pay Cabot for a mirror image 1911, he's gonna just have to live with brass flashing across his face and occasionally tagging him on the head.

Edited by Smuteye John SASS#24774

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Posted (edited)

Tyrel Cody is correct.  He should shoot with the hand based on which eye is dominant.  If he is left-Eye dominant, it might be easier to shoot with his left and vice versa.

 

My brother is right-handed, but he shoots better with his left hand because he’s left-eye dominant.  I’m left-handed and am left-eyed, too.

Edited by South-Eye Ned

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Take him to the range and let him shoot which ever way he feels comfortable. I'm a lefty and my dad's boss told him "don't try to change him" (as the boss was born a lefty and back then he was forced to learn to do everything right handed anyway, said it messed him up) so my dad bought me a baseball glove for left handers and thus I learned to throw a ball with my left which was natural. Also learned to bat left handed. Bolt guns though I  learned to use a regular right hand bolt probably from starting out on old toy rifles growing up. 

Most guns aren't a problem at all, except 1911's I have to have an ambi safety on them, so all mine do. My dad was right handed and an excellent shot with a rifle, his rifle instructor in the Army told him - you don't shoot using the form the army says you should but don't let anybody try to change you cause it will mess you up in combat. Least that was dad's story. He saw plenty of combat in Korea and was wounded, decorated, and promoted - so I guess he felt it worked for him.

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I had to cut this left handed kid some slack.

 

 

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As stated go with the dominant eye side.

I would love to be a left handed shooter, they just look so cool to me, a bit like a left kicker of a football.

Myself I'm all over the place, write with the left, throw & shoot with the right, no worries kicking a footy with either foot, bat with the left, use either hand for tennis..the list goes on using a different side for different things.

I .am right eye dominant.

The boy is a lump of a lad at 6' 3' & 225 lb..best of luck & have fun.

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Youngest son is left eye dominant.  bought guns accordingly when he was young.  Never really took an interest in shooting/hunting.  Now says he can shoot right handed.  Still not interested in shooting.  Youngest daughter is left handed/eye dominant.  Gave her the guns I got for her brother.  Left handed 870 (are those rare?) put youth model furniture on it.  Left handed Savage rifle in 308 that I had the barrel and stock shortened to use as a "youth model" for her brother when he was young.  Fits her great as she is tiny.  She has a few semi-auto pistols. One has an ambidextrous safety, the others she works around.  She does fine with wheel guns and lever guns.

 

Break open shotguns are options for leftys.  A Ruger no. 1 would be an option but is a single shot.  Other rifles can be had with a break open action but again, single shot.  I've heard where some can have the lever converted so the action is fitted for a lefty.  I want to say I have seen a left handed AR but I could be dreaming.

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My left handed son shoots right handed bolt action leaf handed.  Said it's more natural to keep grip with left hand and operate the bolt with his right. 

 

Sam Colt was left handed. It's speculated that is why the loading gate is on the right side. He died well before the the 1873 came out but all his percussion guns were capped on the right side.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Warden Callaway said:

It's speculated that is why the loading gate is on the right side. He died well before the the 1873 came out but all his percussion guns were capped on the right side.

The loading gate is on the right side because it was a military arm and the manual of arms for reloading on horseback was to transfer the gun to the left or reins hand and do the fine work of unloading or loading with the right hand.

 

If it was designed to be left handed friendly,  then why is the trigger offset in the wrong direction?

Edited by Smuteye John SASS#24774

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1 hour ago, Finagler 6853 Life said:

Youngest son is left eye dominant.  bought guns accordingly when he was young.  Never really took an interest in shooting/hunting.  Now says he can shoot right handed.  Still not interested in shooting.  Youngest daughter is left handed/eye dominant.  Gave her the guns I got for her brother.  Left handed 870 (are those rare?) put youth model furniture on it.  Left handed Savage rifle in 308 that I had the barrel and stock shortened to use as a "youth model" for her brother when he was young.  Fits her great as she is tiny.  She has a few semi-auto pistols. One has an ambidextrous safety, the others she works around.  She does fine with wheel guns and lever guns.

 

Break open shotguns are options for leftys.  A Ruger no. 1 would be an option but is a single shot.  Other rifles can be had with a break open action but again, single shot.  I've heard where some can have the lever converted so the action is fitted for a lefty.  I want to say I have seen a left handed AR but I could be dreaming.

Stag Arms makes left hand AR's.

I am left handed & have no problem operating AR's with version A2 & later lower receivers.  As far as pistols with manual safeties I find non ambi or left hand configuration guns awkward.  That is why my pistols with manual safeties are: H&K USP40 variant 2, CZ85 & Kimber Ultra CDPII.  The H&K variant 2 is for left handed shooters.  The CZ & Kimber have ambi controls.  Pistols without manual safeties that have non lever slide releases (Glocks) require switching the gun to my right hand to change mags. 

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On 7/7/2020 at 12:05 PM, J. Mark Flint #31954 LIFE said:

My concerns with any right handed rifle being used left handed is in the event of a failure like a ruptured case, the design will throw all the pressure at the center of the face.  Semi autos throw brass and some do throw it backwards which can turn off a new shooter.  As to eye dominance, he says it is left, but I am not so sure.  Need some range time!

 

 

Is that a specific rifle you're talking about?  My face is never touching metal when I shoot a rifle.  So the pressure would have to be thrown straight back to be a danger.  That doesn't sound good for a lefty or a righty.  

 

I'm amphibious and my dad was a lefty.  We always shot right handed rifles with no problem.  My dad's only complaint was the M14 throwing brass across his face but he got used to it.  Well that and Angle Eject win94's.  But those had plenty of other problems.  Working a bolt as a lefty can be cumbersome, but unless you're a WW1 soldier trying to fire your bolt action full auto, that aint such a big deal.  

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2 hours ago, Ramblin Gambler said:

 

Is that a specific rifle you're talking about?  My face is never touching metal when I shoot a rifle.  So the pressure would have to be thrown straight back to be a danger.  That doesn't sound good for a lefty or a righty.  

 

I'm amphibious and my dad was a lefty.  We always shot right handed rifles with no problem.  My dad's only complaint was the M14 throwing brass across his face but he got used to it.  Well that and Angle Eject win94's.  But those had plenty of other problems.  Working a bolt as a lefty can be cumbersome, but unless you're a WW1 soldier trying to fire your bolt action full auto, that aint such a big deal.  

 

Really???

 

 

frog.gif

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I'm one of those all messed up folks. I'm right eye dominant, but left handed, sort of. I eat, write and handle most hand tools left handed, but throw, shoot, bat right handed. Not ambidextrous as I can't right a lick right handed. So I ended up shooting long guns right handed but pistols and revolvers left handed.  Which is a pain because I wanted to get a grip laser for my 1911 but they didn't make a left handed version.

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3 hours ago, Clay Mosby said:

Which is a pain because I wanted to get a grip laser for my 1911 but they didn't make a left handed version.

 

I have a crimson trace laser on my 1911 that, while I'm sure it's considered a right handed laser, it works better in my left hand.  When holding the gun right handed with my finger off the trigger, the laser is blocked.  I have to adjust where I hold that finger if I wanna see the laser.  The activation pad is on the front of the grip.  When holding it lefty, the on off switch is covered up, but I don't see that as a problem. 

 

Can't find the model number, looks like either an LG301 or LG401. 

 

 

 

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