Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

The Support Hand

Whenever possible we fight with two hands on the pistol, using the support hand to control the weapon, recover more efficiently from recoil, and as an aid for accuracy. The support hand assists in reloading and clearing malfunctions. The support hand is also responsible for performing a variety of other actions, and as with all other fighting techniques we need to know use our support hand properly.

Keep the support hand on your pistol as much as possible. Unless it’s doing something else it should be on the weapon, with a proper grip, ready to fire if necessary. You never remove your firing hand from the weapon unless absolutely necessary. Whenever you need to open something, pick up an object, or any one of the other tasks required during a confrontation use your support hand.

Rule number one when performing tasks with your support hand is actually rule number Two; never point the muzzle at anything you’re not willing to put a bullet into. Shooters generally apply this rule with regard to other people; yet constantly sweep parts of their body with their muzzle. As you reach out to pick up something off the ground you must be aware of what direction your muzzle is pointing. You may need to index the weapon in another safe direction or angle for safety.

The same thing applies when using the support hand during tactical applications. The pistol is in your strong hand. You extend the left hand out to the doorknob. At the same time you pull the pistol in towards your body – if someone does come out of the door you don’t want it blocking the weapon – and point the muzzle slightly outboard so you don’t cover the support hand and arm with your barrel.

You’re working you way up off the pavement. Luckily you held onto your pistol as you fell, and after seeing your weapon and shoving you backward the threat decided retreating was their best option. Like most of us you need a hand to get up to standing. Use your support hand. The tendency to perform actions with our dominant hand is so strong you’ll see people place their weapon in the support hand, and normally not in a proper grip, to use their strong hand to assist in going to a standing position. Keep your weapon in your strong hand and pointing in a safe direction at all times. (Obviously if you’re injured in the strong hand/arm then you’ll have to use the support hand/arm.)

When fighting both the dominant and support hand have specific tasks to perform. This is true of boxing and firearms. Sometimes due to the unexpected these roles must switch, but under normal combative conditions a strict script is followed. This consistency produces predictable results at a time when lives depend on our performance. Even though it’s called the weak/support/secondary or whatever hand it does play an important part in the fight. Train and think accordingly.

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September 19, 2010 - Posted by | Auto Pistol

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