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The Injured Hand Drill

The Drill:
In this week’s edition of Tactical Tuesday, Beth Alcazar presents Kelly with another one of her great “Worst-Case Scenario” drills. What do you do if you’re involved in a fight and you lose the ability to use your dominant shooting hand? What if your trigger finger is no longer able to properly operate the trigger? Beth gives us two great drills that address both possible injuries and keep you in the fight.

The Setup:
You will need your defensive firearm, training ammunition and a couple standard silhouette targets. This drill does not require drawing or movement during the course of fire; therefore, it can be completed at almost any indoor or outdoor range. Lastly, as with any live-fire drill, hearing and eye protection are a must.

The Skills:
Alternative shooting scenarios are important to practice from time to time. They’re not necessary every time you head to the range but can help you learn your body’s limitations. The goal here is to give you confidence in knowing that you can safely and effectively use your firearm while exploring alternative shooting mechanics. If you are a seasoned shooter with years of practice and training shooting with a standard two-hand/strong-hand grip, this may be challenging.

Skill-Building Tips:

  • Double-check your grip to ensure the firearm will still safely operate/cycle
  • When shooting with just your off hand, cant the gun slightly so the sights line up with your dominant side eye
  • Allow your dominant arm to hang loose at your side to better simulate an injury

The Details:
This drill consists of two different shooting sequences and each is broken out below. Try each one first with an empty firearm and perform all actions dry fire before moving on to live fire.

Non-Dominant-Hand-Only Fire:
Load your firearm with six rounds and make ready to fire. With the pistol in your non-dominant hand, face the target from around the 3-yard line. Starting position is the low-ready position (arm angled down at approximately 45-degree angle to the target) from around the 3-yard line. Trigger finger is on the seam between the slide and frame until ready to fire. Hold your dominant arm in tight to your body or down at your side to simulate that it is out of the fight. Raise the firearm up on target and fire three rounds at a slow and controlled pace. Check your grip to ensure the firearm is still secure in your hand. Reset your grip if needed. When ready, fire three more rounds on target.

Two-Handed Grip, Alternative Trigger Finger:
Load your firearm with six rounds and make ready to fire. Face the target and assume a normal, two-handed shooting grip with your arms at approximately a 45-degree angle. Raise your firearm and acquire sights on target. With your index finger on the frame, below the ejection port, place the middle finger of your strong hand on the trigger and fire three rounds. Check your grip to ensure the firearm is still secure and fire the remaining three rounds.

Safety Considerations:
Perform each sequence of fire dry fire first before loading your firearm and going live. This drill must be done at a slow and controlled pace. Grip and trigger-finger placement are extremely important. Do not allow any part of your hand to prevent the firearm from properly cycling. When firing single-handed, your free or off-hand must be tight to your chest or down at your side. At no time should any part of your hand or body be in front of the muzzle. If any of these safety considerations are not followed, significant injury will occur. As for all live-fire drills, eye and ear protection must be worn.

Closing Thoughts:
The Injured Hand Drill is a worthy course of fire to practice from time to time. In the event of a hand injury during a violent encounter, it is important that you know how to operate your firearm in a non-traditional manner. Try this drill and let us know your thoughts. If there are drills you would like to see us demonstrate on Tactical Tuesday, please send us your ideas.

Vary your training.  Keep it fun. Keep it safe. And keep practicing.

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