Pistol Shooting – The Necessity of One-Handed Techniques.
It amazes how many people attend supposed tactical firearms training classes and come away having never been shown or understand the importance of shooting one handed.
Yes, shooting a pistol with a two-handed grip is for most people more accurate and is better for competition shooting or passing range qualifications. But, in the real-world when your reactions need to be quick and you need to respond to attacks in all environments you may not have the space or time to get into your range perfect position.
Think about it, how many times a-day are your hands busy or you’re in situations where you could not get into a range perfect stance or shooting position? Let’s start from the morning, walking to you car carrying a brief case or equipment for work, driving, sat at your desk, eating lunch, driving home, sat in a restaurant, using the toilet etc…
The same applies if your protecting a client, the close protection book rule of always keep you hands free might make sense in a classroom but in reality, is a guideline to think about. And the “Bodyguard Stance” of two hands cupping each other at the waist or solar plexus is nothing more than a clear give away they you have done a Micky Mouse EP course… Your body language telling people you’re a security goon and also giving the bad guys access to your hands which they can cut or control while they steal your firearm…
If your providing protection to clients, you also have to consider that if there is a hostile situation you will be clearing the client out of any lines of fire and guiding them to cover which, will take at least one hand unless your kicking them in the ass…
You also need to be able to access and use your handgun with both hands, say, for example, you fall and break your wrist or fingers of your gun hand or your dominate hand gets slashed by a blade a in a hostile situation, what are you going to do then, give up and die or use your weak hand? It surprises me the numbers of experienced shooters who never practice shooting one handed or weak handed and have never even thought about drawing from a holster weak handed. These are basic skills if you are serious about carrying a handgun for defensive or close protection purposes.
Base Level Relevance
When putting together a training program you need to clearly understand what you want the students to be able to achieve by the end of the class or course. Over the years I have trained many clients who needed to be trained quickly to be able to use a pistol for self-defense. My emphasis was always on close quarter one-handed instinctive shooting.
Most defensive shootings happen up close, conversational range, so there is no need for using the sights on the pistol as long as the shooter can point shoot, which again is easy, if taught properly. At conversational range there is also no need for two handed grips, the pistol can be shot from the hip or with one armed extended, multiple rounds can then be fired into the torso of the target as long as the shooter has a good grip, can pull the trigger fairly well and is not flinching too badly. Simple, the shooter to pick up a pistol and fire multiple rounds into an assailant at conversational range, which is what’s required in the vast majority of hostile situations. Drop the opposition as quickly and efficiently as possible… It’s about killing, not certificates, pats on the back and group hugs…
Here’s one of many stories I have to emphasis the importance of training one handed with a pistol at a basic. Years ago, I had a lady come to me that was going through one of the police academies in South Florida and was apparently having a problem passing a low light shooting qualification. Even though she had been shown various tacticool how to hold a flashlight and pistol techniques, which she had difficulty mastering, she had never been shown how to point shoot one handed. Once she had the confidence and ability to shoot one handed it did not matter how or where she held the flashlight. Problem solved… She was not a bad shooter she had just been very poorly trained…
More Advanced Applications
Shooting is not difficult but, people complicate it with overly technical techniques that have no relevance is reality. Once you understand and have master the basics its just a mater of repeat, repeat, repeat and practice, practice, practice.
As I said earlier from a close protection perspective there will be many times when working with a client that two handed pistol techniques and fixed range stances will not be possible. If your training for close protection scenarios you must practice clearing the client from lines of fire, guiding them to cover, shooting 360 degrees, shooting while driving etc. You need to be as flexible as possible with you pistol techniques!
Having the confidence and knowledge to be able to use a pistol with strong and weak hands, with one- and two-handed grips with greatly enhance your operations effectiveness. From crossing obstacles to clearing building one-handed pistol techniques can make movement easier and enable you to make the maximum use of cover.
Basic Pistol Transition Drill
I was shown this drill in Eastern Europe in the 1990’s and still train people with it today, it’s simple and relevant! There are only four ways to hold a handgun; strong hand supported, strong hand unsupported, weak hand supported, and weak hand unsupported. You should practice this drill dry fire (no live rounds in the weapon) before you go to the range; when at the range, fire one shot from each stance to start with and work up to double taps. With practice, you should be able to change from stance to stance very smoothly and quickly. You need to be as fluid and flexible with your weapon as possible.
Pistol Shooting – The Necessity of One-Handed Techniques
By: Orlando Wilson
Orlando Wilson has worked in the security industry internationally for over 25 years. He has become accustomed to the types of complications that can occur when dealing with international law enforcement agencies, organized crime, and Mafia groups. He is the chief consultant for Risks Inc. and based in Miami but spends much of his time traveling and providing a wide range of kidnapping prevention and tactical training services to private and government clients.