Moms and Gun Training: One-Handed Shooting

A few months ago, Concealed Carry Magazine Executive Editor Kevin Michalowski posted several articles and videos on his Into the Fray column that discussed using one hand (and “the other strong hand”) for firearms training. And it got me thinking: This is something every mom should embrace!

Of course, Kevin’s “excuse” for focusing on one-handed operation of a firearm was an injury he sustained at the USCCA Concealed Carry Expo. But my reason, as a mom, is that mothers have to do pretty much everything one-handed, anyway. Think about it: We often have one hand busy helping (or holding) a child or a baby, while tidying up a handbag, signing field-trip forms, putting on lip gloss, whipping up a chocolate mousse, or whatever the case may be. It seems that many of us moms have kind of perfected the one-handed everything. For instance, we’ve mastered the popular driving-while-handing-fries-to-your-toddler-in-the-backseat method as well as the old holding-your-iPhone-in-one-hand-while-cutting-bubblegum-out-of-your-son’s-hair trick. See? There are no “free” hands when it comes to motherhood! There are also no “weak” hands with moms. So, learning how to use one hand or the other—dominant and non-dominant—for firearms training shouldn’t be that much of a surprise or that much of a difficulty. Moms are always trying to accomplish something with one hand or the other. So why not one-handed shooting?

Here’s a quick overview for practicing one-handed shooting. When it comes to methods and techniques, most people like to take the non-shooting hand, make a fist, and put it firmly by their side or across their chest (and out of the way of the firearm). Then they bring the shooting hand up to eye level and line up the sights, as usual. You may also feel more comfortable and more stable by changing your stance a bit and putting one foot farther back when you shoot with one hand. I often put my hand on my hip (very mom-ish), and I also tend to lean into the shot a bit more (since I’m missing out on that extra hand and arm to help with the recoil). Of course, these options may not even be possible in “real life,” depending on the situation. But practice what you are most comfortable doing, what works for you, and what feels best. And work on a firm grip and accuracy with each hand.

Since we’re focused on one-hand-only training, don’t forget about drawing from a holster one handed, as well. If you can practice this safely (even at home, with an unloaded firearm), it’s a very important skill to develop. Again, I can’t help but think about how many times I’m holding a baby on one hip. It could very well be a necessity that I am able to draw one handed! Of course, I’m not planning to tote my 20-month-old around at the shooting range, but I can train with a bag or another object in my arm.

And what about re-holstering or even loading the gun with one hand? It’s important that you don’t attempt anything unsafe, but you should at least think about your typical day. How free are your hands? What are you typically carrying? What would you do in a defensive situation? What could you potentially move or drop in order to get to your gun safely, quickly, and efficiently?

For me, as a mom juggling the typical variety of “mom things,” it may not ever be an injury or a wound that prevents me from using both hands in a defensive situation. But either way, it’s important to work on one-handed firearm manipulation. And don’t just train for the best of circumstances or the most common situations; train for the worst and for the unexpected, as well.

Will one-handed training feel awkward? Yes. Can you do it? Of course! And the more you work on it, the better you will become…kind of like finally being able to decently paint the fingernails on BOTH hands.


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