So you have been out on the range regularly, working on fundamentals, trying different drills becoming proficient and drawing, getting shots on multiple targets. But what happens when you’re injured? More to the point, what happens if the injury happens to your strong side arm? Are you prepared to use your non-dominant hand?
A few months ago, I had to face this rather inconvenient scenario when I had surgery on my shoulder and bicep. My dominant arm was in a sling for six-weeks and on restriction for another six before I could get back to firing two-handed. I was fortunate because I had ample time to prepare myself, but you may not if you are in a critical situation.
It’s really important that you learn to become proficient shooting one-handed, but it’s also just as important that you learn to draw, fire, and reload with one-hand as well. With practice, it gets a little easier, but it’s something well worth learning. Manipulating your pistol with one hand can be difficult, and impossible if you’re first time trying it is during an adrenaline rush. There are some great methods of racking a firearm with one hand that requires a little time with an unloaded pistol. Try this at the range. First, take out your mag, and make sure the chamber is empty. Then, try racking the gun off your belt. Simply put the rear sight on your belt and slam the gun downward away from your leg. Having a good gun belt that is designed for concealed carry is a must. Please, make sure not to sweep any body parts in the process with the muzzle of the gun. Try the same process off the heel of your shoe or simply by using the friction of your pants, depending on the type of rear sight you have.
Once you’ve practiced this to where you feel comfortable, you’ll need to try it for real. Make very sure that your finger is indexing and out of the trigger guard. And again, if you’re going to do this you MUST remember to keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction!! I know, it may seem that I’m being overly dramatic by using the exclamation points, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to get distracted and forget when you’re trying something new.
Also, try changing magazines with one hand. For me, having my arm in a sling, I was able to transfer the gun to my injured hand, place in a fresh mag, put it back in the good hand, rack off my belt and continue firing.
Training for different scenarios is vital to becoming a proficient concealed carrier. It also is simply more fun when you’re out at the range to push yourself out of your comfort zone. For me, plinking can get pretty boring, pretty quickly. Working on training techniques, even rudimentary ones can only make you better and more confident as a permit holder. You never know when you’ll need to use these techniques in real life, and being able to react to adverse conditions can possibly save your life.