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Shooting after hand injury.

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by Phycha, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Phycha

    Phycha Milwaukie New Member

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    Back in October I was involved in a work accident that left my right hand in bad shape. I have a hard time turning a wrench anymore let alone shooting a handgun. I'm normally right handed, so I see my choice is to move to a minor caliber or to completely focus on my off hand. My two carry guns are a Ruger SP101 and a HK p7m8. Neither are options for my right handed as I can't cock the P7 and cant manage the Sp101's recoil. I'm passable with my left hand but only to a point. What would you do?
     
  2. WAYNO

    WAYNO Oregon City Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Well, what would I do? I'd stick to a DA revolver, and shoot it only DA with your off hand. Speaking for myself and many others who are extremely strong side dominant, there's not much I can do with my off hand that requires fine motor control. But DA shooting requires mostly gross motor control. Although I would fumble with a safety or other controls on a handgun with my left hand, I can still point and shoot DA left handed, without any concerns. I'm not preaching to you any more than I'm preaching to myself, but causing yourself to get competent with your off hand is a positive side to your predicament.

    And as far as switching to a minor caliber is concerned, there's not much more minor than shooting .38 Specials out of your SP101.

    WAYNO.
     
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  3. WAYNO

    WAYNO Oregon City Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    whoops...double post.:confused:
     
  4. rick

    rick Close to Corvallis, Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    That's what I'd do if the hand could take it.
     
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  5. simon99

    simon99 Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Not that we need all of the details, but is your hand going to recover? What's the prognosis?

    I ask for two reasons. One is that if you are trying to get it to heal, shooting a weapon in any caliber might cause more injury and a longer recovery time. Secondly, shooting with your off hand goes beyond your motor skills, it also challenges your visual skills as well. Depending on what eye you're dominant with could be a lot more difficult that you think.

    Here's to a speedy recovery....
     
  6. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I'd carry and shoot a 5-6 shot DA revolver for/with my off hand.. I'd also focus upon physical therapy regarding that right hand. I've had at least two right side injuries such that I'm surprised (happily) that I was able to regain gun handling on that side.
    Check out Elmer Keith and his injury to his right hand.. quite the miracle but then again, life is full of those.. given a dose of will.
    Good luck.
     
  7. Phycha

    Phycha Milwaukie New Member

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    Thanks for the replys.

    I've just compleated 10 weekly physical therapy sessions. And have moved to bi-weekly for the foreseeable future.

    The injury started as a cut tendon on my right middle finger but scar tissue from the reconstruction surgery is now limiting flexor tendon movment of the middle through pinky finger. Hold your middle finger straight in your left hand and try to make a fist with the right, don't work so well.

    Prognosis is I will regain strenght and maybe limited movment of middle finger.

    Eye dominancy is not a problem as I'm left eye dominant, and shoot long guns lefty. I can write almost as well left handed too. Switching to a left strong hand will just take time and money (ammo and holsters).

    Thanks again for your input.
     
  8. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    I lost a bit of movement when I had my extensor muscles in my right arm severed by glass, many years ago. It took time and I have never regained full use, but I adapted. My grip is still quite good, and even though I cannot fully extend 3 fingers thankfully my thumb was not affected and my index finger is pretty good.
    I thought I was done with shooting for a while too, but I now go on a regular basis. Give it time.
     
  9. oknow

    oknow amboy wa. Well-Known Member

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    Look at the bright side. You will become proficient with your left-hand. I had shoulder surgery and I was able to become more ambidextrous.
     
  10. NCW Ray

    NCW Ray Sunny Eastern Washington Active Member

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    The P7's are a dream to shoot (shot a P7M10 for years) so I'd go with the P7M8. With it having a ambi mag release and the slide release being part of the cocking mechanism it should be easy to operate off-hand. And if your right hand isn't up to the task for those times you need to rack the slide manually learn how to do so by using your belt or heel of your shoe, everyone should know how to do this.

    Get a left hand holster and start practicing. I bet within a short time you'll be punching ten's!
     
  11. RicInOR

    RicInOR Washington County Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Couple of things come to mind - for major caliber get a heavier gun, like a GI 1911.
    You can have some devices added to make cocking the gun easier
    Many models can be ambidextrous, or you can have controls switched to the other side.
    There are training facilities which offer this kind of training, watch out for the tacti-cool guys tho.
    In the For Sale section - offer to trade your right side holster for a left side - all of us have holsters in a box.
    And or trade your pistols.


    For everyone else, this serves as a reminder - ensure you can run your gun off hand. If you had a need to deploy the weapon situation and had to dial the phone, open a lock, drive your car - could you do that weak handed?
    Practice - draw, load, reload, reholster - one handed.
     
  12. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    My dad got his hand pulled into a 31/2" drill bit, tearing out the ring finger of his right (strong) hand and breaking each of the fingers and the thumb three times. He was a fair shot but was never to make much progress with his off hand. His solution was a .22 revolver and a Webley in .38/200. He liked the pistols heavy weight and anemic cartridge. This was long ago folks didn't carry much, it was a plinker and night stand gun.
    I hope that you recover ASAP, good luck!

    PS: Dad had to work his way thru squeezing the softest sponge we could find, to harder sponges to tennis balls. It took about two years before he could hold a handgun.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2014
  13. I am right handed and I have been thinking about starting to practice shooting with me left. For the past couple of weeks my right shoulder has been killing me where it hurts just to reach behind myself to tuck a shirt in. I think I may have a torn rotator cuff and if I had to have surgery for it my arm would be out of commission for a while.

    This makes me worry as I conceal carry every day and I would not be able to draw my weapon let alone shoot it. So I think I am going to start training myself to shoot and draw with my left hand just in case I have an injury to my right arm or hand.

    I think this is something a lot of us overlook.
     
  14. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    And realize that all you really need to do is send/get them/it into a gallon jug at one yard or so.. well, that was probably cavalier so let's say a one quart size cylinder.
    It's amazing and fun to see what the off hand can do doing bullseye type shooting but the bottom line is really pretty easy (it's about touching distance).. knock on wood for us all.
     
  15. Rick4070

    Rick4070 Central Oregon coast Active Member

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    Sorry to be picking nits,but Elmer had his LEFT hand injured when he was burned as a child, it was bent over backwards onto his wrist, it healed that way, and after a while,and after getting quite drunk, had his father break it, and straighten it out, wrapping it onto a straight board.

    So, he still had his dominant hand to shoot with, and he had some buckskin gloves made up, which his mother would fill with deer tallow, to keep things lubricated, I guess, and while riding bucking horses, he would use his left hand on the rope.

    He said this action did a great deal to strenghten his hand.

    And considering the other horrible burns he suffered, he was very lucky to live.

    Elmer was one tough cookie, and his book: "Hell, I Was There!" is quite a read, in fact, I'm re-reading it for the umteenth time right now.

    I agree, I'd find a double action revolver, and shooting left handed, or try shooting .38's in the one you have Psycha, heck, even .38 target wadcutters might be something your right hand might take.

    Hopefully, physical therapy, and working the hand will bring it around.
     
  16. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    A teenage friend of mine was carrying a large glass display case when the guy holding up the other end slipped and dropped the case.
    The glass broke and my friend was severely cut across all of his right hand fingers.
    The emergency room doctor did his best, but he told him that he would never regain complete control of his fingers because of the scar tissue.
    My friends father bought a milk cow and made him milk it twice a day.
    This was 40 years ago and back then, they didn't have physical therapy like they do now.
    He hated that cow, especially having to get up at 4:30 am, but after milking it for over a year, twice a day, he did get back 95% normal function in his hand.
     
  17. Rick4070

    Rick4070 Central Oregon coast Active Member

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    Elmer also said milking cows greatly improved his hands strength and function.
    They had a bunch of Jersey cows to milk, and Elmer probably hated them, too!!
     
  18. Phycha

    Phycha Milwaukie New Member

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    As my place is too small for a cow I guess its a milking goat in my future.

    The sp101 is a DAO model, it is heavy and makes 38sp a light load. The p7 is also ambidextrous and is very heavy for a 9mm. Both will be well suited for both left hand training and getting my right hand back in the game once I'm cleared by thr dr.
     
  19. hm1ing

    hm1ing 97051 Member

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    Your situation is one that all gun owners should think about and practice for. While in the Navy I had to qual with our service weapons of Beretta 92F in 9mm, both strong and weak hand timed.
    That said: I have always kept a 92F as a favorite to shoot weak handed, loading, mag changes and even chambering a round via your body or another body part.
    In an active fire or self defense situation, these tools is truly life saving. You have a great opportunity to do what most haven’t yet and making it count.
    One of my Favorite hunting partners was a double, below the knee amputee, and Left Arm at the Shoulder amputee. He taught me things I hadn't yet thought of.
     
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  20. kmk1012

    kmk1012 Mid Valley Member

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    Phycha, I had a very similar injury to my rt hand as well, after the tendons recovered from being tied back together and the stitches were removed I got back on the horse with my 44mag. It hurt like a son of a gun but freed up the sticky scar tissue better than the physical terrorist could do. In fact after shooting that weekend she immediately noticed a wider range of movement and asked what I had done. I told her and she said to do it as much as I could tolerate, my wife couldn't believe that I "had" to go shooting twice a week for my health after that. I'm not familiar with your injury but it just sounds very similar to mine. My middle finger wouldn't fold down when I was telling it to, when I made a fist I was actually flipping the bird!
     
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