Lesson 2: One-Handed Shooting

My first experience with the Dot Torture drill revealed definite weaknesses in my one-handed shooting. Which is no surprise because I never shoot one-handed and have no idea how to do so correctly.

Thankfully, Session Two of Mike Seeklander’s American Competitive Shooting Society IDPA Mastery Series One program focuses on one-handed shooting.

Screen cap of membership area of train.shooting-performance.com

As before, I watched the training and dry fire practice videos provided and then dry-fire practiced (3 times for 5 minutes each) the techniques using my SIRT pistol.

I have often observed instructors advocate canting the gun inward while shooting one handed. Not full gangster one-handed style, but a little over in order to manage recoil better and help with sight alignment.

Rather than canting the gun, Seeklander advocates holding the gun perpendicular as usual, “flagging” the thumb on grip hand (to bring pressure on the back of the gun), bringing the elbow down more in line with the hand and forearm (to get more stability behind the gun), putting more weight on the foot of the gun side (for greater support), and holding the off-hand against the chest and clench that fist (to activate sympathetic response in the gun hand).

The combination of this technique and some dry-fire practice definitely helped my one-handed shooting technique.

Using a Dot Torture target from 3 yards, I alternated between shooting 5 rounds strong hand (targets #1-5 in that order) and 5 rounds weak hand (targets #8, 9, 10, 7, then 6).

The target tells a few stories that I can see. It took me a couple of targets to get comfortable with the Seeklander technique strong handed, but after I did I shot 3 targets (#3-5) clean. Weak hand, I started off as bad as I did the first time I shot Dot Torture, hitting on 1 of 5 tries. From there it was up and down as I tried to get comfortable with the Seeklander technique. One of the lessons learned is that the mental focus and discipline necessary to make a perfect shot every time is extremely difficult. After I shot target #7 clean with my weak hand and target #5 clean with my strong hand, I just bombed on target #6.

Final lesson leaned during this range session: trigger control. is. important.


  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    Start training for one hand shooting, by doing pushups. Palms flat, then do five pushups. Can’t do five pushups, then do three pushups. Next, pick up your hands forming fists, and again do five (or three) pushups. Next, pick up your fists and on your fingertips, like a tiger’s claws, do five (or three) pushups but make sure your nails are properly trimmed. Next, pick up your fingertips and place your thumb and index finger on the floor and do five (or three) pushups. After a while, your hands are strong. Variations are, while on palms of hands, push upwards and clap your hands together, continuing in fluid motion, completing the set. You may also place your toes on a step of the stairway and do the pushups, eventually working your way to placing your toes on a wooden chair. That shifts your body weight into the upper torso. The body also needs core strength. The whole body. Make yourself “strong as a farmer”. On hand shooting becomes no problem at all. Revolver shooting, the cylinder rotation compensated with hand muscles. Pistol shooting needs wrist and hand strength as the slide cycles rearward. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but the workers, worked from sunrise, to sunset. Meaning, stick with it. Train.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I learned single hand shooting as a kid, shooting the classic bullseye target. Admittedly that’s not self defense shooting. Plus, I am weirdly ambidextrous in some ways. I used to alternate hands when playing ping pong but my strong side was a power game and my weak side a spin and finess game (to be sure, I was never a rock star in ping pong).

    We were encouraged to learn to shoot strong hand/weak hand in my New Mexico CHL class. As the instructor said, you might get shot in your strong side arm.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I was taught the “punch the gun to target” method for one-hand shooting. That ends up with a bit of a natural cant. As with all my shooting lately, don’t do enough of it, especially weak-hand. As Khal notes, the tunnel focus on the threat seems to end up with a lot of hits to the strong hand. As with everything in defensive shooting, you want the skillset dialed in so you don’t have to improvise in the fight.


  4. I was left handed until the nuns got hold of me. Now I’m ambidextrous. During one of the beatings, I was told to kneel while being beaten in church, and look up at the ceiling and figure things out. I looked. I figured it out. Jesus held His right hand to the almighty and performed the miracle with his left hand. Jesus was left handed, as some historians found something to substantiate it. I shoot, write, throw a ball, catch, shoot pool, shave with a straight razor, with both hands. Work to develop muscles to function with right and left hands.


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