Firearms training: Why you need to practice offhand shooting before disaster strikes
02/08/2020 / By Darnel Fernandez / Comments
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Firearms training: Why you need to practice offhand shooting before disaster strikes

In SHTF situations, having a trusty gun at your side can be a significant advantage when it comes to defending yourself against any threat. But before you even begin using one, you need to go through a lot of paperwork and do quite a bit of training before you’re ready to be a responsible gun owner. However, these training sessions often take place in a firing range — a controlled environment that focuses more on safety while using the gun rather than developing skills needed for survival. It’s common knowledge that proper gun handling involves using both hands while lining up a shot against your target. But, in disaster situations, anything can happen. What will you do when one of your hands gets injured? To make matters worse, what if it was your dominant hand that gets injured during an incident? Before you even get to that point, it’s important to practice one particular skill not a lot of people apply in their survival plan — offhand shooting. (H/t

 Practice makes perfect

Off-hand shooting, often referred to as weak-hand shooting, is simply described as shooting with your non-dominant hand; when you’re right-handed, you shoot with your left hand, and vice versa. For some people, switching to the non-dominant hand can make something as familiar as your own firearm into an entirely new beast. However, the fundamentals of marksmanship still remain the same, the only thing that changes is the hand. Because of this, a consistent practice schedule can help you get used to the foreignness of using the non-dominant hand. why should you even practice off-hand shooting in the first place? You can find a few reasons below.

  1. You have two hands. In a survival situation, knowing how to use both hands to your advantage can really make a difference. Having the slightest edge over an opponent can help you keep yourself alive, especially when in a firefight.
  2. There are no guarantees. As previously mentioned, anything can happen in times of disasters. You might find yourself in situations where you literally cannot use your dominant hand at that very moment. If that’s the case, circumstances will determine which hand you should use to reach for your gun.
  3. Risk of injury. If your dominant hand gets injured and you don’t know how to use your other hand, then you should cut your losses and flee at the earliest possible opportunity because you’ll be lacking the means to defend yourself.
  4. Location and situation. There might be times when you need to shoot from a position that favors your weak hand over your strong hand. Off-hand shooting can help you expose yourself the least when behind cover while also pressing your advantage against your opponent.

With all that said, this skill is definitely something one should master in order to really enjoy its perks — and all it takes is a bit of practice. While most of these situations are highly unlikely to happen, gun owners and preppers alike need to train for these types of situations. This allows you to be prepared for absolutely anything thrown at you when SHTF.

As for off-hand shooting techniques, many shooters would narrow down their choices to two main techniques. Neither of them is right or wrong, of course; all that matters is how comfortable you are with your grip and handling. The first of the two is often called the “straight arm stance.” The shooter extends their arm until the elbow locks, holding the pistol straight up and down. In most situations, you would be holding your pistol straight up.

The second technique might be better for those who prefer canting the pistol when doing weak-hand shooting. This stance also involves locking your elbow out, but the gun is canted to the inside about 10 to 30 degrees. This provides the shooter with better access to their strong eye, which takes over regardless of which hand you use when shooting, to improve both aim and situational awareness. (Related: Your survival depends on how aware you are of your surroundings: How good is your situational awareness?)

Being prepared for the unexpected is a lifestyle that requires constant practice and effort. But the benefits of being prepared can keep yourself alive in SHTF scenarios. Learn more about survival gun techniques at

Sources include:

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