Chris Sajnog teaches how to shoot a pistol with one hand

Shooting With One Hand – One Hand Pistol Shooting Techniques

Hey guys, I’m retired Navy SEAL, Chris Sajnog, founder of The New Rules of Marksmanship training system. In this post, I’m gonna give you a few tips on shooting with one hand. Now let’s go ahead and get started.

Reasons To Shoot With One Hand

Now as a retired Navy SEAL sniper what are some reasons that you might shoot a pistol with one hand? Well, there are actually a lot of them. In law enforcement and the military, you mostly hear people talk about, if you have an injured hand, you might need to shoot with one hand. But there are a lot of other reasons that could come into play.

For instance, if you are holding on to a relative, maybe you have kids, and you need to hold on to them and protect them and keep them back. Maybe you need to hold on to a railing or a stairwell or something. There are lots of things that may only allow one of your hands to come to the party when it’s time for a gunfight.

One-Hand Pistol Shooting Techniques

One-hand pistol shooting techniques are definitely something that you need to practice and learn. It’s not as hard as many people think. With these tips, hopefully, you find that it’s easy as well. 

#1 Keep Shooting Position The Same

Alright, so tip number one is to keep as much of your shooting platform and your shooting position the same. So if I am in my standing shooting position with my pistol, all I want to do is just remove that support from the system

Chris Sajnog demonstrates how to shoot with one hand.

Now I can do whatever I need to do with this other hand. Unfortunately, what you’ll see a lot of people do and some firearms instructors will actually teach this, is that you want to cant the gun. This is not good because your body is used to the mechanical system you already have set up. 

People will teach you to push your shoulder out and shoot sideways. What you’re doing there is you’re giving up your strong chest muscles and back muscles in favor of supporting the gun with your smaller deltoid muscles. You still want to keep everything packed in and tight the same way you shoot. 

#2 Inner Limb Response

Now the other thing is you have what’s called an inner limb response. This basically means you cannot reach full grip strength in one hand if you also do not squeeze the other hand. This also comes into play with exercise. 

For instance, people who break an arm can exercise with a good arm, and they’ll build muscle in the other arm. That’s called an inner limb response. So we want to make sure that we have a good grip on the gun with the one hand that we’re using. 

If you feel it’s just a lot more comfortable to cant the gun, go ahead and do it. It’s usually only going to be a few degrees, it’s not going to be gangster-style. You still want to be able to use your sights and everything else to be able to hit your target. 

#3 Thumb Direction

Now the next piece of advice I have for you is rather than keeping your thumb straight, some people find it better to turn their thumb up

What that’s going to do is it’s going to give you a little bit of extra pressure on that side of the firearm that you’ve taken away when you take that hand away.

#4 Torque Your Wrists

Because we are taking away some of the support for the gun by removing that hand, we want to make sure that we are really torqued in with our wrists. What I mean by that is that you want to make sure that your wrist is turned forward. 

When the gun goes off, it’s going to come up. Here’s our hinge point right here. You want to get your hand up as high as possible on there. You also want to put as much support down on the bottom of the grip as possible. 

So do both of those things, and that’s going to help give you a mechanical advantage when you’re shooting with one hand.

#5 Switch Your Feet

Alright, so the last thing that I want to show you is something that you need to think about if you are switching hands and shooting with the other hand. You want to do everything the same on the other side

A lot of people forget to switch their feet. For instance, If I shoot my right hand, and I want to switch to my left hand, all the power that’s going to come back is not set properly. But it will be set properly if I shift my feet

You want to mirror everything from your upper body down to your lower body. Either way, make sure you’re practicing these things at home. Then when you’ve got it down and you feel comfortable, of course, go to the range and practice it there.

I hope you’ll be able to use these techniques when you’re shooting with one hand. And until next time, keep paving your path to perfection. 

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