Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Single Hand Manipulations

One thing about being a firearms instructor is that when you hit on a subject that everyone complains about you’re probably doing something right. Single-hand manipulations are a prime example of this. In my advanced classes we cover one-handed operation of the pistol and carbine. It’s not much fun, you have to go slow to learn the techniques, and it’s difficult, especially in the beginning. I know the majority of people won’t practice these techniques after they leave my class, so we perform a lot of repetitions. When we’re done they may be sick of it, but at least they’ve got a good idea of how to do it.

Hand and arm injuries are common in fights. Somebody swings a baseball bat at you. You attempt to block it. A threat slashes at you with a knife. Your hands fly up in an instinctual response. You’re attempting to shoot the threat. He’s doing the same, aiming at the center of your body. Guess where your hands and arms are? All of these examples can lead to injury, so single hand manipulations are an essential skill. Being injured doesn’t mean you get to quit the fight.

The actions to manipulate your pistol are the same whether you’re using one hand or two. We modify the techniques so we can reload or clear malfunctions using only one hand. For example, my pistol runs empty. I need to dump the empty magazine. If it doesn’t drop free I hook the lip of the mag’s base on my belt or holster and strip it out. Stripping mag 3 Now I secure weapon by slipping it in the holster. (The pistol should go in there enough to hold it whether it’s forward or backwards.) I acquire a fresh mag, seat it in the pistol, then cycle the slide by hooking the rear sight on my holster or belt and shoving down or forward, depending on how the weapon is oriented. I don’t point the muzzle at my legs or feet, and I keep my eyes up, maintaining visual contact with the threat environment.

These same actions are used to clear malfunctions. If the pistol doesn’t fire I “load” it by tapping the mag to insure it’s seated and cycling the slide. If this doesn’t work I unload the pistol – you’ll have to strip the mag because it won’t drop free – cycle the slide to clear the trash, and then reload as discussed above. For the carbine or shotgun the process is the same, you just modifying the techniques to fit the weapon.

There is a tendency when practicing to only do the fun stuff. It makes us feel good, and allows us to impress others. In reality what we should practice are the difficult techniques, the things we don’t enjoy or do very well. That way we’re better prepared for the chaos of combat.


September 19, 2010 - Posted by | Auto Pistol

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