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The mustachioed Patrick Smith at Handgun offers his many adoring fans an excellent article on the importance of being able to shoot one-handed. You know; should you get your arm blown off in a gun battle or some such inconvenience. I’m one with The Power Of One—right until this bit: “Some shooters advocate an upright hold, others an angled hold. If you hold a handgun out in front of you and rotate your arm slightly inward, you’ll find a point where your hand and arm are much stronger. We aren’t talking of the “gangsta” sideways hold but a tilt of 10 degrees or so. Stronger is stronger, but as with all things, strength comes at a price. Your brain can process the image of a pair of sights upright and level a lot faster and more precisely than it can the same picture tilted slightly.”

I realize Mr. Smith specifically excluded the gangsta grip (quote marks optional). And he adds this caveat. “So the stronger hold costs you sight alignment time and precision. Is it worth it? Only you can tell.” But I’m still thinking . . . no.

One handed or two, in what situation is proper sight technique unimportant? And if I don’t have the presence of mind (i.e. I’m bleeding to death) or time (as before) to try to take aim at what I need to drill with a ballistic hole, I’m not going to worry about arm strength. At that point, it’s point and shoot. You?

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  1. I'm much more accurate (now that's not saying much as I really can't shoot that well anyway), with a slight inward angle, even two handed. Aiming is generally a cylindrically symmetric operation, so there's no extra conversion that your brain has to do.

  2. I've ben to the range with a woman (my ex) who was wearing a button-down collar shirt, with the first two buttons from the top undone. The first time she shot, a couple of cartridges ricocheted off the dividing wall between the lanes, and fell into her cleavage. She quickly decided wearing her shirt buttoned up would be a good thing. Wouldn't shooting sideways (å la gangsta) make it all the more likely that you'd end up getting pelted in the face – or eye – with spent brass? Just sayin'…

    • The only firearm related injury I've ever had was hot brass, from a Ruger 10/22 no less, that came from the aisle next to me and landed in my crossed arms. Left a nice little .22 LR cartridge burn for a week.

    • The first shot I ever fired from my .40 S&W resulted in a brass casing that ricocheted off the lane partition and lodged itself in the gap between my eye protection and the side of my face (just beyond my right eye). It burned like hell, and I was worried that it might be a recurring deal with the gun, but fortunately, it's never happened again.


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