Look Ma, One Hand

My latest edition of Guns & Ammo arrived in the mail today; and to my everlasting surprise there was an article that I was quite fascinated by. A short summary of the article would go as follows: “It’s probably better to learn to shoot one handed for defensive purposes than two handed”. Oddly enough, I completely agree with the author.

Unfortunately, the article itself isn’t on Guns & Ammo’s website, at least where I could find it, so you’re left to listen to me babble about why I agree with the general premise and application of the practice.

First off, shooting with two hands is good. It allows more stability on the gun during aiming, and more control for rapid follow-up shots. This is a good thing, and if you have the time to get both paws on the gun, you probably should. That being said, in a defensive situation, you might not have the time to get two hands on the gun.

However, in a defensive situation, most people are much more likely to exhibit the standard human reaction when confronted, which is to crouch down and literally thrust the firearm towards the target with whatever hand happens to be holding the shooting iron.

While some shooting schools address the issue of shooting defensively with one hand, it is rarely (if ever) the primary focus of the class. Every class I’ve been to has emphasized the two handed grip, so that you can place more hits on target faster. Again, that’s not a bad thing, but I think that it’s turning a blind eye to reality of a lot of self defense engagements.

Now, before you start beating me abouts the head and neck for this, I’m not saying that shooting schools should abandon isosceles or weaver and go back to teaching one handed shooting. However, I do think that training courses should offer equal time to two handed shooting and single handed combat shooting.

The importance of the ability to operate a handgun with one hand is even more important to the armed citizen. Let’s face it, if you or I run into trouble while we’re carrying concealed, the odds of us running into that trouble with our heater drawn and in a firm two handed low ready grip is pretty slim. However, the odds of you having your iron in the holster and needing to get it out RIGHT NOW and place some lead on target are pretty good.

Being able to shoot fast and accurately in a stress situation with one hand requires practice, and training. I want to continue to look at the pros and cons of training to shoot defensively with a single hand on the pistol through the next few weeks.

In the meantime, the next time you go to the range, try a basic double-tap drill with a one handed grip. Unless you’ve been practicing a lot, you should find this pretty challenging.