It’s not always easy being a southpaw in a world where approximately 90 percent of the population is right-handed. Being left-handed can be especially challenging if you regularly use handguns or other firearms. Luckily, there are some ways left-handed gun users can safely and effectively use guns. Below, the firearms experts from Gun Safety Training Pros go over challenges you’ll likely face and options to consider that could make gun use easier.
Basic Gun Controls
In general, most firearms are designed with right-handed shooters in mind, since there’s more of a market for guns of this nature. For example, controls on firearms are typically on the left side of the gun to allow for convenient thumb manipulation. But if you use your other hand instead, your thumb will be where the controls aren’t located. To use a gun designed this way, you would have to drop your preferred stance and switch hands.
Older Gun Shapes
Some older rifles and shotguns were specially designed with shapes that clearly favor right-handed users. At a minimum, this could make it uncomfortable to use firearms designed this way.
Shooting with Friends
It may be difficult to shoot with friends if you normally like to swap guns to try different models. But if you’ve already taken the time to find a gun that’s comfortable for you to use, your right-handed friends may have trouble using it. Conversely, you may find it difficult to use their firearms. Of course, you can still shoot with friends or other individuals as long as you’re prepared.
Hot Spent Casings
This is something to be aware of so you’re not caught off guard. Spent casings are normally discharged on the same side as the controls. This is done so hot casings are discharged away from the shooter’s face. However, if you use your gun the other way, the hot spent casings will be closer to your face.
One option if you’re left-handed is to consider guns that tend to work well for left-handed users. For instance, the Beretta APX Centurion is a compact striker-fired pistol that can be adjusted for southpaw use. Swap the magazine release, and you should be all set, thanks to this gun’s ambi slide. Other guns considered left-hand-friendly include:
• Glock 17/19—most Glocks can be used with either hand
• Smith & Wesson M&P Series Pistols – most have ambidextrous safeties
• Walther PPQ—has a left-hand slide release
• Remington Model 700 CDL—a hunting rifle available in a left-handed design
On a related note, you may have to do some searching to buy related accessories like field shooting jackets that are convenient for you to use. Also, it may be difficult to sell or trade equipment, since there’s a smaller market for left-handed firearms and related accessories.
There’s a bright spot here in that it’s no longer all that difficult to find firearms with ambidextrous controls accessible from either side. Some guns also give you the option to change the side where the spent casings exit.
No matter which hand you use when you’re shooting a firearm, you should make sure you have the proper training to handle and shoot your gun safely. You can count on the firearm education experts at Gun Safety Training Pros when you’re looking for the finest gun safety class online. If you want to learn more about the crucial aspects of safe firearms ownership and gun handling, contact us today at [email protected].