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Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:51 am
by AmirMortal
So I am a freak, but I know I'm not alone. I am whats called cross dominant. This means that I am right-handed for tasks such as writing and throwing, but I ride a skateboard and shoot wrong-handed. Sometimes this is handy (I could sign my name perfectly without releasing my firing grip), but sometimes it's annoying. Like when I want to try a bullpup...most likely I'm SOL. Or when a friend says "Try out my new Sig, this decocker is awesome!". Most rifles are no problem, but there are quite a few exceptions.

So I'm trying to compile a list of ambidextrous or Lefty Friendly Weapons. Please feel free to contribute anything useful.

Pistols: (I actually prefer the RH mag release, use index finger. Slide releases usually suck though)

Smith & Wesson M&P
Taurus (most models)
Beretta 92 +variants
Some 1911
Walther p22
Glock
Springfield XD
Charter Arms Southpaw .38Special(only :( )
CZ 85 (Ambi version of the CZ 75)
Zastava EZ (Sig reminiscent, but Ambidextrous)
Sig Sauer (Normally not Lefty friendly, but there is a gunsmith conversion available)
Bersa Thunder series

Rifles: (I also prefer the RH action on bolt guns)

Ak platform [Demonstration] (arguably easier for a lefty, due to charging handle and safety lever locations)
AR-15 with optional ambidextrous controls
FN F-2000 series (forward/downward ejection)
FN P-90 (downward ejection)
Beretta Cx4 carbine (reversible ejection port, ambi controls)
Keltec sub2000 (Ambi charging handle)
Kel-tec RFB (forward ejection)
MSAR STG-556 (reversible ejection)
Stag Arms LH AR15

Shotguns:
Mossberg 500/590 (Slide release is more accessible with LH grip for me, safety is ambi. (awkward with a pistolgrip though))
Winchester 1300?
Remington 870 Left-handed model

Bring em on!

EDIT for typo's and glaring mistake. Also to update the list.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:08 am
by TheDrifter
its the FN P-90 and there are lefty AR uppers and you can get ambi. controls.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 5:50 am
by Trebor
The Sigs are pretty much the most "lefty unfriendly" because of that left side only decocker. But, you can learn to decock with your right thumb reaching over the top if you like the Sigs.

Do you require ambi controls for the slide stop? If so, that narrows your choices even more. The CZ 85 has an ambi slide stop, but still has only the left side slide mag release.

If you practice releasing the slide by grabbing it with your right hand and slingshoting it, instead of using the slide release, that makes more pistols "lefty friendly." The Glock comes to mind since there is no manual safety or decocker, but the slide release is only on the left.

The Walther pistols have an ambi mag release. So do some of the HK's.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 6:00 am
by colinz
Stagarms AR15's.
Steyr AUG.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:08 am
by GoSlash27
Beretta 92/96

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:28 am
by XtraBright
AUG is available in left hand configuration, casings are thrown out at the left side of the gun (normal version, right side)

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:32 am
by Civilian Scout
As a lefty and a SIG owner, I trained myself to work the decocker with my trigger finger, just as I do the mag release. Now I only really shoot Glocks, so I'm certainly out of practice with my P220, but the technique worked. I don't use the slide stop (AKA slide release) on any pistols and prefer to "slingshot" the slide, so that's a non-issue for me. I think the most difficult handguns for most lefties to operate well are DA revolvers like S&Ws and Colts. As much as I love my S&Ws, it can take a while for some lefties to find a reloading technique that works for them. With a classic SA revolver like a Colt SAA, we lefties are at no disadvantage when it comes time to reload.

All AR-15s are very lefty friendly, with the possible exception of early models that lack shell deflectors. Even those work fine once you've upgraded the extractors: then they will usually eject at about 1 or 2 o'clock and the shell deflector is more or less superfluous. It's slowly becoming a matter of some contention for me, but lefties who feel they need a "left-handed" AR are beginning to grate my nerves a little. :) If you want one because it makes you feel better, then by all means buy what whatever you like; but no one will ever convince me they're necessary. I've been shooting standard-configuration ARs for about 20 years, and find them to be one of the most lefty-friendly platforms around. The only possible addition would be an ambi safety selector, but even that I can live without.

I absolutely HATE shooting righthanded bolt-actions, but have had to learn to deal with it, mostly from my love of surplus rifles. If I were investing in a newer bolt-action sporting rifle or target rifle, I would never in a million years buy a righthanded action.

Off the top of my head, I would add to your list:

M1 Carbine and M1 Garand.

Most lever actions, but especially the Savage 99 and the Winchester 92. Some other designs do chuck the brass out the right side and it may whack you from time to time, but that's not really a big deal. Most reload via the right side, which works well for us lefties.

Ithaca 37 shotgun - bottom feed and eject, great for a lefty. Most pump-actions work okay for me, though; but I do like the Mossberg's safety the best.

Most (if not all) single-shot, falling-block rifles. I haven't fired many of these but they all worked fine for a lefty.

I'm sure there are more, but I just got up. I'll probably add more when my brain is working a bit better. :D

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:52 am
by Paladin1
The S&W M&P has ambi-slide release and a reversible mag release. Decent gun from what I've read. I shot it and it felt good and shot well.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:53 am
by Loquinho
The Colt Single Action Army revolver is thought by many (myself included) to be better for a left handed person to operate than a right handed person. If you're fairly dexterous with your left hand, you can become quite adept at loading and unloading as a lefty. There are a couple thoughts about why this is - one is that Samuel Colt was left handed, another is that it was designed as a cavalry pistol, so you held the reins and gun in the left hand and reloaded with the right. I don't know. I'm left handed and I feel like the pistol was designed for a left-hander.

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Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 9:00 am
by Loquinho
I also have a Stag lefty AR-15. I bought it not because I need it, but because I'm tired of living in a right handed world, and I wanted to feel a rifle that was designed for me. I wanted to feel what everyone else gets to feel when they pick up an AR.

I also want to show right handed people what it's like to have a rifle made for someone who uses the opposite hand. I suppose a lefty bolt action rifle would do that better.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:13 am
by mk_ultra
Like the Ithica 37 , the Browning BPS is also a bottom ejector thus being lefty friendly .

I would also add break action singe and double barrel shotguns to the list.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 10:46 am
by AmirMortal
There, you see? I knew I could count on everyone here to come up with a comprehensive list. This is great so far, keep them coming.

I'm thinking there maybe should be a "Not Recommended" or "Informed Choice Only" category as well, to accommodate things like the da revolvers, and Sigs. I have my father's S&W model 10 2"Bbl, and I love it but it wouldn't top my list of recommendations. Essentially I have to switch hands for the reload, then switch back. Workable, but slow.

Yes, I know you can make a Glock (or any semi-auto pistol) work by racking the slide, but that's not really a one handed option. I used to own a G23 and I miss it sorely, but it was still a little less than ideal for that reason. With a little practice, I can get my trigger finger up there on most pistols but the ergonomics at that point are crappy.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:21 am
by DFWMTX
The Walther P-38/P1 pistol ejects the spent 9mm casing to the left, great for lefty pistol shooters, and it has a mag release on the heel. However the safety is on the left-hand side of the gun.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:35 am
by congochris
The new-ish HK45 (and the compact version) has a slide release on both sides, and can be ordered with a lefty safety. My sister in law has a P2000SK with the LEM trigger (she's a lefty) since it also has the slide release on both sides. The LEM trigger, in case you're wondering, is a modified DAO that eliminates the safety. Bit odd to shoot with the longer trigger pull, it takes some getting used to and only comes in 9mm, .357sig and .40. This goes for the full sized P2000 as well.

I think Bersa's 9mm and larger models are ambidextrous. Sadly, I can't pull the manuals off their importer's website and get a 404 when I select "english" as a language on their main site.

Beretta PX4's are kind of ambidextrous. You can move the mag release to the proper side for a lefty, and the safety is on both sides. Slide release is not, or so it looks from pics and the manual I read real quick.

Also, there are parts out there if you look hard enough, to convert (or build) a lefty/ambidextrous 1911. Slide stop, mag release, and safety, that is.

Single shot shotguns and rifles are by their nature pretty easy to use for both lefty's and righty's.

Another note: some pistols can be used effectively by a lefty despite being for right handed folks. My mother is quite happy with her Bersa .380 and she's a lefty. Even with MS she can operate every control on the pistol left handed.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:45 am
by tireiron
cz82/83 has ambidextrous mag release and safety....

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 8:55 pm
by ironraven
AmirMortal wrote:So I am a freak, but I know I'm not alone. I am whats called cross dominant.
You are not a freak- you've got a tactical uniqueness that is the firearms equivalent of being a left handed fencer. Oh, and I'm cross dominant- left eyed, so left handed for shoulder arms, and pretty much ambidextrous with pistols. I practice to hit magazine releases with my index finger on my left hand and ambi slide releases and safties are great, but I mostly do pistols right handed. A revovler reload, I get the release with my left thumb, and slap the ejector. Bolt actions, I keep my left hand on the stock and holding the weight of the rifle, while I work the bolt with my right hand. The only things I've ever have trouble with are bullpups- using a right handed rifle lefty is just a mater of practice and maybe a note on your rifle case promising death and destruction to anyone who messes with your sights.

If I was wearing full tactical fashion, I'd have my pistol in a slight drop and rifle magazines or shot shells over it so my reload and transition are nearly identical. And transitions from a longarm to a pistol in a shoulder or chest holster is much faster than it is for a right eyed person. But what I really like about it is, when I transition, I'm not "letting it hang", I've still got a hand controlling my shoulder arm as I draw my sidearm.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:25 pm
by Trebor
For shotguns, the Mossberg 500 has a tang mounted safety that is good for either left or right handed shooters.

For revolvers try this:

Hold revolver in left hand as normal. When you need to reload, keep the gun in your LEFT hand and remove your RIGHT hand from the grip. Keep your left hand in the normal firing grip. Reach over the top of the gun with your RIGHT hand and use your right thumb to push the cylinder release forward. At the same time use your pinkie and the finger next to the pinkie (on your right hand) to push the cylinder out to "pop it open."

Once the cylinder is open keep the gun in your left hand. Point the gun at the sky and use your RIGHT hand to firmly press on the ejector rod to eject the empties. Use your whole palm on the ejector rod, not your index finger. The palm is faster and less fumble prone.

Now here you have a couple of choices as to what to do next, depending on what type of speedloader you are using.

If you have a Safariland speedloader that is "push to eject" grab the speedloader with your RIGHT hand, point the gun down, and push the speedloader and rounds right into the chambers. Then use your right hand to close the cylinder. Your left hand will be on the grip the whole time. This works because the with a Safariland speedloader you don't have to worry about keeping the cylinder from rotating when you load. The straight in push is less likely to make the cylinder rotate and mess up your reload. This does make you use your non-dominant right hand to do the reload though, so it will depend on how much dexterity you have with your off hand.

If you use a HKS speedloader, after you hit the ejector rod with your right hand, reach around under the gun with your right hand and grip the gun so you are "cradling" it in your right hand with the cylinder open. Your right hand should hold the gun so the cylinder will not rotate as you reload. Point the gun down. Now reach down with your left hand, grab the speedloader, and load the cylinder. Drop the speedloader, put your left hand on the grip, and get ready to shoot. This method will also work with the Safariland speedloaders if you prefer using your dominant left hand to manipulate the speedloaders.

Get a set of .38 Special dummy rounds and a HKS and Safariland speedloader and practice. The written description will make more sense once you've tried it yourself. You'll find that you can reload a revolver as fast as a right hander if you practice.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:07 am
by AmirMortal
Trebor wrote: This does make you use your non-dominant right hand to do the reload though, so it will depend on how much dexterity you have with your off hand.
:wink: Yeah, that's part of the "Freak factor", I'm actually right-hand dominant for most activities, but I shoot on the left side. So using a speed loader in the way you describe would actually be (is) strong-side for both hands. I make up for this by having two left feet. Good technique tips, thanks.

One issue I always had with speed-loaders and this particular revolver was how far up the (I don't know the proper term) cut-out extended up behind the trigger guard, and a small grip, which caused me to "choke up" on the grip further than was comfortable or controllable. My knuckles would get in the way of the reload. My father bought it in the '60s and apparently we as a community have come far enough that we can fix poor ergonomics with the twist of a screw (and $20) by installing aftermarket grips (hogue square butt to rounded butt conv) because this issue is greatly diminished, but still present.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:05 am
by GoSlash27
Better way to reload a revolver for lefties:

Transfer your revolver to your right hand, perform the revolver tac reload, and transfer back to lefty.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOVWwOahGf8" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
From 2:20 to 3:00

I do it a little differently by engaging the extractor with my left thumb instead of my right palm, which allows me to go for my speedloader sooner in the cycle.

I consider all revolvers except for Colt Troopers to be lefty-friendly. I'll also throw in the KelTec P3AT as it has no slide lock.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:08 am
by Erik
The Ruger P-series is 100% ambidextrious.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:11 am
by GoSlash27
Oh yeah, and the H&K USP series pistols.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:44 am
by Civilian Scout
Trebor wrote:For revolvers try this:

Hold revolver in left hand as normal. When you need to reload, keep the gun in your LEFT hand and remove your RIGHT hand from the grip. Keep your left hand in the normal firing grip. Reach over the top of the gun with your RIGHT hand and use your right thumb to push the cylinder release forward. At the same time use your pinkie and the finger next to the pinkie (on your right hand) to push the cylinder out to "pop it open."

Once the cylinder is open keep the gun in your left hand. Point the gun at the sky and use your RIGHT hand to firmly press on the ejector rod to eject the empties. Use your whole palm on the ejector rod, not your index finger. The palm is faster and less fumble prone.
That sounds pretty much like how I reload a S&W revolver. There may be some subtle differences but basically this is the technique I use.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 3:21 pm
by Organdonor
I'm right-handed, but left eye dominant. So I'm a righty, except when it comes to shooting rifles, bows, etc. Handguns are not an issue for me, as I can shoot equally as well with either hand.

I have three AR's and all are standard righties. As someone else pointed out, the shell deflecter takes care of errant brass, and the controls are easy enough to control with my left hand. I upgraded all of them to ambi-safeties, which take's $30 for each one, and about 2 minutes to install. All of my side-mounted sling mounts are set up for lefty use. I purposefully did NOT get a left Stag, even though I easily could have... reasoning was availability of parts in the PAW. If my bolt breaks I can grab one off of any other same-caliber AR. But if you have a lefty one, You're screwed... you need to make sure you have a spare bolt on hand, since the lefty ones are different.

I also have Mossies, which are fine with their tang mounted safety, and an Ithaca 37. Even though the Ithaca ejects downwards, it's more of a pain that the Mossies, due to it's Reminton-like trigger guard mounted safety.

My wife has a Walther G-22, which is a .22LR bullpup. I can swap it around to shoot lefty, but it's a real pain in the ass, so I don't. She likes that I can't shoot it.

I also have two Mini's...a 14 and a 30. Safety is ambi, and the shells all eject foward, away from my face, so it's a non-issue.

The only lefty guns I'll ever invest in will be bolt-actions. After having shot .22's competitively for several years, I can tell you there's absolutely nothing worse than working a standard bolt-action as a lefty.

Well, bullpups are worse, but you get my drift.

Re: Lefty Friendly Weaponry?

Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 8:50 pm
by GoSlash27
I dunno... I'm pretty handy with a standard boltie. :twisted: