Close Quarters Gunfighting: Tips For One-Handed Shooting!

Jeff Anderson
Jeff Anderson, Editor

Are you training for a real-life, violent encounter with your handgun?

Are are you basically plinking away at paper targets, planted firmly in your comfort zone?

The way you’re training now, and the realities of a violent confrontation with a handgun, are too often very different from each other.

Firing at static paper targets, which is how most shooters train, does NOT prepare you for a real gunfight!

Square-range shooting at 7-10 yards does NOT represent how you will actually engage an attacker.

To fight realistically, you’ve got to be able to shoot with one hand.

Tips For One-Handed Shooting!

There are multiple reasons why you MUST train to shoot 1-handed for real-life encounters:

  • You could be injured and unable to use both hands.
  • You might need to use your support hand for navigating obstacles, opening doors, fighting with an assailant at close quarters, etc.
  • You might need to hold a spouse’s hand to guide them, carry a small child, or use that free hand to otherwise care for a dependent
  • Actual picture-perfect two-handed shooting is extremely rare in real-life gunfights. No matter how much you train, your natural reaction in a gunfight will be to fight with one hand.

So when you DO train to shoot with one hand, what should you be focusing on?

Tip #1: Get Distance FIRST

A gunfight will probably be either the result of an escalated argument, or it will be an ambush attack.

It will probably happen without much warning.

Somebody’s in your face and, suddenly, there’s a weapon in play.

The result is that you need to get distance.

You’re going to be in the “bad breath zone” and it will be very easy for him to strike you, often with something you can’t even see.

A lot of instructors teach a variation on the “push draw,” where you are striking your attacker at the same time you are drawing your weapon.

Most of the time, this isn’t going to happen.

If your attacker has their hands free, or they’re busy attacking you — punching you, stabbing you, shooting you, whatever — you’re not going to have the mental wherewithal to fight with just one hand while shooting with the other.

You won’t have the physical strength, either.

Your body will be in survival mode and you’ll naturally use both hands.

Forget, therefore, any idea that you’re going to hold off a bigger, stronger attacker with your support hand while you draw your weapon.

What that means, then, is that the first thing you’ve got to do is GET DISTANCE.

Forget about the weapon.

Forget about doing anything else first.

Take both of your hands and take that person’s head off their shoulders.

You’re just trying to put them on the defense and get them thinking about balance.

You can push their face, or push up underneath the chin.

No matter how big they are, that’s going to give you a little distance so you can draw your weapon.

Tip #2: Learn To Point Shoot

Now we’re going to say that you have your weapon drawn.

It’s preferable to use two hands, but if you really need to get off a shot, chances are good you’re going to have just one hand, possibly with the attacker on top of you.

It may be a contact shot that you fire off.

The muzzle blast might do as much damage as the bullet going into them, making that contact shot really powerful.

Keep in mind that if you put your slide out of battery, you might not be able to fire a shot at all, and you might not get a second one after firing that first one.

Either way, you’re not going to be using your sights.

That means you’ve got to learn how to point shoot, at least at close range, to blast them off you.

Tip #3: Go For The Pelvic Girdle

This raises the question of where you’ll shoot.

With your gun indexed against your body at close range, you’ll naturally shoot down and at an angle.

What that means is that you’re not shooting for center mass; you’re shooting for the pelvic girdle.

What this does is blow their structure out from under them.

It neutralizes them and makes it so they cannot fight you because they cannot move around.

There is also psychological damage that this does, because the shock and trauma of bleeding out down there may help get them focused on the injury done to them, rather than on fighting you.

There’s plenty of arteries and other stuff down there that nobody wants to get shot in.

They might bleed out, and they’ll definitely be less able to aggress on you.

All of this gives you some time to react, to get distance, and to fire more accurate, more aimed shots as you get the room you need to do so.

Are You Stuck On The “Square Range?” How Do You Train To Shoot?

Please Share Your Thoughts And Tips Below Now…

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