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Old April 27th, 2010, 08:18 PM   #1
mercop
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Dependency on two hand shooting

Another pitfall of only doing traditional marksmanship training, no matter how fast and accurate you are, is the dependency on having two hands on the gun. It is a handgun and not a handsgun. For those who think you will just be able to effectively shoot one handed without doing so, try hitting a baseball with one hand as someone pitches to you. Sure, it can be done but it takes work because you have wired yourself to use two hands on the bat.

We can see in the picture below that what we have is essentially an arrow pointing at the threat. On many square ranges we don't need to move, but it is not even allowed. There is nothing else we do besides shooting a pistol in which we hold weight extended out in front of us...nothing. It is totally unnatural for us. This not only encourages task fixation and tunnel vision, but it is also not conducive with any controlled movement except for moving forward. And even then the extended weight at the end of our arms is going to be bouncing.



Science also tells us that muscles contract under stress. What we have found is that during force on force training when the shooting is in the traditional two handed shooting position and they are aggressively attacked with edged or impact weapons, instead of moving to their flanks and using their weak hand to defend against the attack, they just hold onto the gun and get slashed or hit.

The reaction side hand is both your rutter and control hand. It may be for judging your distance from cover, opening doors, holding a light, or taking physical control of your loved one. and open hand combatives.

Try walking around your house with a cleared pistol in the two handed shooting position and see how comfortable it is. When you work one handed, you are also likely to find out that transitioning between hands depending on the need is much easier as well. Whenever something is in the middle, it creates mental confusion as to which side is in control. That is why so many balls get dropped in center field. You point equally well with both hands.

This is where owning a Blue Gun that fits your carry holster is worth it's weight in gold.


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Old April 27th, 2010, 08:31 PM   #2
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Old May 10th, 2010, 03:34 PM   #3
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I read this article by Massad Ayoob where he explained you should hold the gun as tight as you can. This was contrary to what I'd been told before; I previously told not to hold it too tightly as "You can't stop recoil." Ayoob's logic was tighten your grip until you hand shakes because in the real world your hand is going to be shaking so you might as well get used to it now.

What's your opinion on this?
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Old May 10th, 2010, 03:57 PM   #4
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ANOTHER excellent point. Thanks.
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Old May 10th, 2010, 05:13 PM   #5
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Very informative as always. I read these posts as often as I can, since this is practical information that I can use once I get a handgun.


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Old May 10th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #6
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Sounds reasonable to me


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Old May 10th, 2010, 09:48 PM   #7
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Always happy to read such an informative and detailed post. Thanks mercop!
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Old May 10th, 2010, 10:30 PM   #8
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Ooh, this is interesting!

A thought that occurred to me while I was reading this is that a loaded 1911 (only handgun I've got) is not a particularly light gun, and walking around my house with outstretched arms would get tiring (although with adrenaline who knows?). Is there a generally accepted approach to this, or does it just consist of 'point it at the ground until you don't have to?'


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Old May 11th, 2010, 12:43 AM   #9
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The part about two handed grip causing confusion I'll have to take w/ a grain of salt.
But more decades ago than care to admit, at the tender age I set out to master DA revolver control I started out delibertly doing equal practice with rt and left hands. While over the decades have gotten lazy with doing more strong hand, still make a point to keep left only "plenty good enough" , and always do some weak only each shooting session, and do remedial work if not up to snuff.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 06:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fodder4Thought View Post
Ooh, this is interesting!

A thought that occurred to me while I was reading this is that a loaded 1911 (only handgun I've got) is not a particularly light gun, and walking around my house with outstretched arms would get tiring (although with adrenaline who knows?). Is there a generally accepted approach to this, or does it just consist of 'point it at the ground until you don't have to?'
You would never clear an area with the gun outstretched, you would hold it at high ready, which is in close with wrists touching your chest. The reason for this hold is that when you turn a corner and the perp surprises you that you would still have the ability to shoot and it would be very difficult for them to grab your weapon and gain control. There are a couple of other reasons for this hold but it would be hard to demonstrate them from a keyboard.

Doing a single hand hold is something that needs to be practiced extensively as this can lead to one shooting themselves very easily, especially if you are clearing your house.
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Old May 11th, 2010, 06:39 AM   #11
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it would be hard to demonstrate them from a keyboard.
I love the honesty


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Old May 11th, 2010, 07:00 AM   #12
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I read this article by Massad Ayoob where he explained you should hold the gun as tight as you can. This was contrary to what I'd been told before; I previously told not to hold it too tightly as "You can't stop recoil." Ayoob's logic was tighten your grip until you hand shakes because in the real world your hand is going to be shaking so you might as well get used to it now.
Too tight a grip will affect accuracy negatively, as will shaking. So, I will not do either. Under stress, we should default to our level of training.


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Old May 11th, 2010, 07:14 AM   #13
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Good points to remember, as always.

In the little bit of formal training I've done, I found that even more problematic for me was not so much the shooting one handed as it was the operation/and manipulation of the firearms with regards to magazine changes, slide racking, holstering from the off side, etc.

We did a lot of drills where you could not move your strong side arm at all and had to do everything from the weak side. I'm left handed, but shoot right handed, so I have a little bit of an advantage with regards to the off hand, but it's still tough for me.

I'm not the most coordinated guy in the world and changing all of the ingrained muscle memory was/is pretty difficult.


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Old May 11th, 2010, 07:33 AM   #14
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As usual, Thanks for the thought provoking post!


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Old May 11th, 2010, 01:35 PM   #15
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Under combat stress you won't be registering how tight you are holding the gun. Your hand will not be the tightest muscle on your body. When using one hand shooting I use the back of my knee to hold the gun for things like mag changes. You can rack the slide on the back of your gun belt or a barricade. Yep, it may be dangerous, yep, it may damage your gun. Yep, you need to practice it. - George


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Old May 11th, 2010, 01:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mercop View Post
Your hand will not be the tightest muscle on your body.


I practice shooting my Glock one handed for a few purposes. One, it's easy to limp wrist the recoil and I need to avoid that. Two, I want to make sure that my other hand isn't in the way, needed to build in a more useful reaction than reaching out with my left while firing with my right. Finally, if I'm taken by surprise, it may well be that I'm defending myself with my left while attempting to fire with my right, that's a lot different than Weaver at the range.


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Old May 11th, 2010, 02:01 PM   #17
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great points
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Old May 11th, 2010, 02:56 PM   #18
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There are many kinds of handgun shooting and training for shooting. Put 5 “experts” in a room and you likely to 6 or more detailed dissertations on what is “right” and why.

I think each person should clearly state at least to themselves what they want to get from their pistol training. Is it improved bulls eye marksmanship, defensive (defend your position) / offensive (clear your house) combat, action pistol sports (IDPA, USPSA, Steel Challenge, etc.), or something else? There are some overlaps but there is a lot of unique training as well.

There is also a difference between training and practice. Practice pulls together all the little bits of training you do and IMHO, ideally it should add some stress. Many times I’ve seen “trained by (pick your school of defensive shooting) experts” go to an IDPA match and walk away with an appreciation of how bad even a little situational stress can mess you up.

Personally, I’m into action pistol sports (IDPA and USPSA) and even there cross training is important as some of the rules are VERY different. I dry fire train with quick draw exercise (with and without a concealment garment), target transitions (pretty similar in both), use of cover (IDPA only), reloading with retention and emergency reloads (IDPA only), speed reloads on the move (USPSA only), etc. I practice in club level matches under the stress of a timer and an audience.

Some of these skills are useful in a true combat situation and others not useful at all and some could get you hurt. Bottom line, know you goals, train appropriately, and PRATICE UNDER STRESS. Competitive shooting may not touch all of the training you think is important but it will let you test some of it under stress.

Rob
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Old May 11th, 2010, 03:26 PM   #19
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I want to survive real world situations and I want the same for my students.

Put your hand strong hand making a fist in front of you. Put the palm side square to the ground, then put the palm side square to the inside. These are both unnatural and awkward positions. Now put rotate your fist into 45 degrees, this the most harmonious position for your bones, muscles, and tendons. The same position you use to throw a punch or just point at something. Using this natural position will prevent limp wristing and enhance muzzle control.- George


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Old May 11th, 2010, 04:03 PM   #20
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I want to survive real world situations and I want the same for my students.

Put your hand strong hand making a fist in front of you. Put the palm side square to the ground, then put the palm side square to the inside. These are both unnatural and awkward positions. Now put rotate your fist into 45 degrees, this the most harmonious position for your bones, muscles, and tendons. The same position you use to throw a punch or just point at something. Using this natural position will prevent limp wristing and enhance muzzle control.- George
....sorry just made me laugh!

But I understand what you're saying.


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