Ambidexterity Revisited

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posted on December 2, 2014
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In this forum, I recently broached the subject of ambidextrous pistols. Many readers wrote with their comments, but some missed the point. A pistol that is configured for primarily right-handed shooters is not ambidextrous if the maker includes a magazine catch that can be reversed. That essentially makes a left-handed gun. All considerations of cleverly worked-out drills that permit a shooter to run a wrong-sided gun are extremely interesting, but don't have much to do with the major point. Service and personal-defense autos need to be arranged with identical tactical controls on each side. If the pistol has a DAO trigger system, there is no decocker, so all it needs are a slide lock and a magazine catch-on each side. Some pistols also have a manual safety on the left side and that would also be needed on the right.

The Rangemasters at Gunsite always start the first shooting session with a new class by identifying any left-handers in the group. These shooters are grouped together on the firing line, so the left-handed handling drills that are to be taught are concentrated in one location. If all guns were ambidextrous, this might not be so necessary. Also, it's important to understand that the ambidextrous pistol is not there to please left-handed shooters. Rather, it is to offer a gun for all shooters that is more efficient for a greater variety of situations. I have done reviews on a several new autos recently and more often those guns are ambidextrous.

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