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Posted: 3/11/2012 4:28:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/11/2012 4:28:48 PM EST by Zhukov]
School me - What sort of scenarios should you switch to shooting the rifle weak side, aside from injury?

Someone with more experience can correct me, but
- I don't think I'd want to transition to weak side entering a room or shooting from cover on my strong side, as you may have to switch it right back and im not as effective weak side shooting
- At the same time, shooting strong side with strong side cover means I have to be more exposed (less cover)

Help me sort this out - when do you transition?
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Posted: 3/11/2012 12:39:28 PM EST
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Posted: 3/11/2012 1:00:11 PM EST
The idea is to BE as effective as possible with both sides.

There is no such thing as weak side. There is a primary side and reaction side.

It is used more in CQB environments than it is in open area shooting like in Afghanistan.
Probably typing from my iPad, therefore everything above this line is spelt wrong. I know.
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Posted: 3/11/2012 1:47:03 PM EST
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Posted: 3/11/2012 1:47:30 PM EST
I would use it to shoot around the left side (my support side) of a barricade. Now wether I could hit anything is a whole nother matter.
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Posted: 3/11/2012 1:51:58 PM EST
I shoot from my weak side a fair amount since my eyes are cross dominate.
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Posted: 3/11/2012 1:54:25 PM EST
Mostly related to shooting from cover so to minimize your exposure. Gives you the ability to pie corners with the least of your body exposed while still keeping your plates forward. It's good to be proficient with both sides.
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Posted: 3/11/2012 1:58:05 PM EST
In fluid environments I am more of a fan of leaning out vs transitioning sides. Cover is a game of angles, and which hand you are using doesn't mean nearly as much as most folks think. If I'm gonna set up for a while in a good covered positions I would transition.
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Posted: 3/11/2012 2:13:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By Currahee:
In fluid environments I am more of a fan of leaning out vs transitioning sides. Cover is a game of angles, and which hand you are using doesn't mean nearly as much as most folks think. If I'm gonna set up for a while in a good covered positions I would transition.


yes and no, current SOF doctrine still favors switching sides when shooting from cover. You have to be equipped properly to do it (slings can make shooting off hand difficult). I always ran a center-fed single point on my shorty and it served me well. I agree with you though, it'd have to be a pretty nasty fire fight to warrant switching sides to maximize cover. I did find myself doing it without thinking about it though. When its ugly though, any additional safety measure you can take is a worthwhile one. Situation dictates everything though.
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Posted: 3/11/2012 2:54:30 PM EST
Shooting out of a vehicle.
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Posted: 3/11/2012 3:00:38 PM EST
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Bench shooting is fun but I highly doubt I'll ever defend my life from the bench.
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Posted: 3/11/2012 3:36:30 PM EST
Originally Posted By Wonker:
Shooting out of a vehicle.


This. When I'm on the passenger side.
Its not the guy that walks in with a gun and says he is going to start shooting that you have to worry about.
Its the guy that just walks in and just starts shooting.
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Posted: 3/11/2012 4:55:13 PM EST
Originally Posted By Mattyvac:
The idea is to BE as effective as possible with both sides.

There is no such thing as weak side. There is a primary side and reaction side.

It is used more in CQB environments than it is in open area shooting like in Afghanistan.


This.
When shooting around cover.
Had pistol quals at work Tues. Guys were busting my ass because I only shot and 89.8 when I'm normally a mid to high 90's shooter. Then I told them I did it reaction side and they STFU.
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Posted: 3/11/2012 6:02:25 PM EST
I switch to weak side to maximize use of cover with both handguns and long guns. The first rule of fighting is to not get shot. This dictates using cover.

It is not hard to do if you practice it. Most folks like to practice what they are best at doing because they get easy positive feedback for doing it. In reality, they should be practicing what they are worst at doing in order to improve. For me that is weak side barricade with a long gun.

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Posted: 3/13/2012 5:54:04 PM EST
I use the term "support side". I train to shoot from my support side when shooing from behind cover.
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Posted: 3/13/2012 6:54:24 PM EST
Thanks guys. I watched a vid of VTAC doing some "high smith" drills and you can see the technique they used very well. Trying it out and it makes sense and is simple enough.

Had to alter my sling a bit but it's definitely do-able. Need to practice it at the range now.
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Posted: 3/14/2012 1:38:28 AM EST
I remember years ago going through a shooting package given by I MEF SOTG on the topic of weak side shooting, the instructors said they tend to discount weak side shooting because under stress most forgot to transistion sides
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Posted: 3/14/2012 2:57:23 AM EST
Originally Posted By R0N:
I remember years ago going through a shooting package given by I MEF SOTG on the topic of weak side shooting, the instructors said they tend to discount weak side shooting because under stress most forgot to transistion sides


In the past year or 2 I have seen more instructors advising this also. Sure, you still want to practice it in case of injury but you can still effectively use cover without transitioning and I would rather shoot from my dominant side uner stress.
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Posted: 3/14/2012 3:35:45 AM EST
Originally Posted By R0N:
I remember years ago going through a shooting package given by I MEF SOTG on the topic of weak side shooting, the instructors said they tend to discount weak side shooting because under stress most forgot to transistion sides


You will only forget to transition under stress if you do not train to transition. For those who do, it feels just as natural as shooting from the dominant side. If I try to stay on just one side crossing the opposite barricade, it feels wrong to me. Remember the goal is to not get shot. Cover improves those odds.
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Posted: 3/14/2012 4:59:33 AM EST
Originally Posted By TDunn:
Originally Posted By R0N:
I remember years ago going through a shooting package given by I MEF SOTG on the topic of weak side shooting, the instructors said they tend to discount weak side shooting because under stress most forgot to transistion sides


You will only forget to transition under stress if you do not train to transition. For those who do, it feels just as natural as shooting from the dominant side. If I try to stay on just one side crossing the opposite barricade, it feels wrong to me. Remember the goal is to not get shot. Cover improves those odds.


True, but the statement really needs clarification and some caveats.

The accepted standard for someone to establish "muscle memory" and do something automatically under stress is 3000-5000 repetitions. That is hell of a lot of repetitions just to get someone to transition to weak side. Most people who say this will never train enough to get to the point that happens, but they will recite this cudgel time and again. And as the I MEF SOTG guys, who at the time recently had left Det 1 as it disbanded post OIF, who by the way went through an extremely thorough pre-deployment that had them shoots tens of thousands of rounds per man. In their role as instructors they have a finite amount of time and ammunition to train people to apply it real world in the GWOT, so it may not be all that wise an investment to do as many reps in just transitioning to weak side as they are during their whole shooting package.
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Posted: 3/14/2012 10:03:01 AM EST
Assuming Left is one's weak side... switching the gun to the left side would be "handy" when approaching a closed door whose door knob is on the left; especially so if the door is hard to open.

If the switch to the left side isn't done, you'll need more care to avoid sweeping your left hand/arm with the muzzle, and initially, you'll only be able to muzzle point either above or below the door knob.

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Posted: 3/14/2012 10:14:22 AM EST
I posed the same question to a blackwater instructor a couple years ago. He basically said it wasn't a technique he used or ever saw used. IIRC his background was NSW.

That said, I'm seeing more shooters going to weak side (spare me the terminology hate) in our local competitions when shooting around cover (we have a use of cover rule).

One thing to consider: 1-x variable optics are not as forgiving shooting weak side as RDS optics IMHO.
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Posted: 3/14/2012 11:27:45 AM EST
Originally Posted By R0N:

True, but the statement really needs clarification and some caveats.

The accepted standard for someone to establish "muscle memory" and do something automatically under stress is 3000-5000 repetitions. That is hell of a lot of repetitions just to get someone to transition to weak side. Most people who say this will never train enough to get to the point that happens, but they will recite this cudgel time and again. And as the I MEF SOTG guys, who at the time recently had left Det 1 as it disbanded post OIF, who by the way went through an extremely thorough pre-deployment that had them shoots tens of thousands of rounds per man. In their role as instructors they have a finite amount of time and ammunition to train people to apply it real world in the GWOT, so it may not be all that wise an investment to do as many reps in just transitioning to weak side as they are during their whole shooting package.


No disagreement from me at all, if folks are not willing to put in the reps to make it reflexive. For me it depends on how bad I don't want to get shot. I also agree with the muscle memory standard you stated. I would point out that many of those reps can be done DRY fire with live fire to back it up upon visits to the range so it doesn't have to chew up all of your ammo. 5000 reps can be acheived relatively quickly if you break it into relatively frequent but short training sessions. When I was building memory I did 3-5 sessions dry per week about 30 mins per session (just like cardio exercise) and got in draws, reloads, strong/weak barricade, and sight alignment/trigger press all at the same time. I was live firing about twice a month 150 rounds a visit. I am now down to maintenance at 1 session per week dry with 1 session per month live. I try to shoot 50% of my live fire from the support side and 50% for my dominant side to reinforce the behavior.

I didn't mean to imply that it could be done without effort. As with all things training, you get out what you put in.
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Posted: 3/15/2012 3:27:04 AM EST
When shooting under something while laying on the reaction side or shooting over something (like a curb) when laying on the action side.
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