Single-Hand Versus Two-Handed Draw and Shooting

Much ado is made about how important single-hand shooting is, and many articles and instructors urge concealed carriers to practice more with only the single hand on the gun.  The need to practice single-hand shooting should be self-evident; there are many reasons why you may need to employ the gun with only one hand.  However, not much focus is given to the actual performance differences between single-hand compared to both hands on the gun. 

It really is quite simple; a single hand on the gun will never be as effective as having both hands on the gun.  The modern technique of employing both hands facilitates faster transitions from target to target and offers much greater recoil control.  However, the gap can be significantly decreased if you actually practice regularly with only a single hand.  Shooters who rarely practice the skill will see an enormous difference in performance, whereas shooters who practice this skill regularly will still see a significant difference, but it will be far more comparable. 

I practice single-hand shooting more frequently than most shooters do.  To analyze the difference that actually exists I ran several runs of draw to three rounds fired at the A zone of a USPSA target at seven yards.  Below is a video clip of a run of each: three rounds with both hands, and three rounds with dominant-hand-only.  The two points of greatest disadvantage, especially if you clear your cover garment with the support hand, is the draw will be slower when shooting one handed, and the split times between shots will be slower since you lose the valuable recoil mitigation of the support hand. 

I think practicing single-hand shooting while still clearing the garment with the support hand is counter-intuitive for obvious reasons.  When drawing to shoot single-hand only, perform the draw process with only the single hand.  At seven yards I find that, roughly, my draw to first shot is about .30 of a second slower, and my spit times are about .05 slower.  An individual who does not practice much with single hand may find greater variance than that, but I think a draw that is well under the benchmark 1.5 seconds, and split times of about .25 seconds, with the dominant hand only, is hardly giving up much for real world practicality.  If you apply yourself to practicing single-hand shooting you will find that you can be quite confident in your ability to use the pistol effectively that way, should you face the circumstance. 

View a demo of single-hand shooting at seven yards:

View a demo of both hands at seven yards for a comparison:

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