The importance of off-hand shooting for survival

Tactical firearms training requires more than just going to a standard shooting range and pointing, with proper form, at a target. It’s a lot messier than that, involving things like crouching, kneeling, and firing while in motion – all things that are typically prohibited at your average shooting range.

The next best thing, a highly useful skill that you can practice at pretty much all shooting ranges, is known as off-hand shooting. In a recent piece he wrote for Off The Grid News, writer Adam C. explains how off-hand shooting, or shooting with your non-dominant hand, is a great way to switch things up while greatly improving your shooting skills.

Similar to how it might feel for a right-handed person to suddenly start writing with his left hand, off-hand shooting really tests the limits of one’s ability to handle a firearm in a non-ideal way. Everything that even the most seasoned shooter sees as covering basic handgun use quickly goes out the window with off-hand shooting – and that’s the whole point.

“Trigger squeeze … often presents a problem since your dominant hand trigger finger may have learned to gently but firmly squeeze the trigger over the course of thousands of trigger pulls, whereas your non-dominant or off-hand has no such experience,” writes Adam about one aspect of off-hand shooting that really throws people off who are trying to learn how to do it.

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Off-hand shooting will help to hone your skills for a real-life firefight

Knowing how to use a firearm with both hands, says Adam, is a critical skill that will help shooters to bring their range skills into real life. In an actual firefight, he suggests, circumstances can change in an instant, and could very likely require a person to use his opposite hand for firing a weapon.

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“Your dominant hand may become injured or unusable prior to or during a firefight,” writes Adam.

“You may be forced to shoot from behind a barricade or obstacle that favors your weak hand. For example, if you are right-handed and lean up against a corner, and want to shoot towards your right side, around the corner. To expose yourself to the target the least, you will have to shoot with your left hand.”

Learning off-hand shooting for rifles, shotguns especially valuable

Off-handing shooting with handguns may actually be easier for some shooters, as their dominant hand will suddenly be the “guiding” hand that lines the non-dominant hand up for a shot. Off-handing shooting with a rifle, on the other hand, is a whole different animal.

With a rifle or shotgun, off-hand shooting can feel like you’re learning how to shoot all over again. The butt of the weapon is suddenly on the opposite side of your body, and the whole handling setup is now a mirror image of what you skillfully developed when first learning to shoot. But learning how to do it right can be an invaluable skill during a real-life firefight that involves moving targets and questionable circumstances.

“Off-hand rifle shooting is a particularly useful skill for shooting around barricades that face the ‘wrong’ angle and thus prevent you from using your dominant hand,” Adam explains.

“If you’ve never practiced off-hand shooting, consider picking up that handgun with the other hand. Or placing the butt of that rifle on the other shoulder. In doing so, you’ll pick up a new skill plus add a measure of versatility to your shooting.”

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