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Old 09-01-2012, 16:30   #1
Rex G
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Getting old; may "switch" hands.

Seeing as how it is kind of quiet in here, I thought I would mention that the effect of snappy .40 recoil, plus the high bore axis of SIG pistols, may change my carry practices, sooner or later, for orthopedic reasons. Even though a natural left-hander, some gross motor skills work better for me if I use my right arm/leg. Handgunning is one of those things that is in-between, to the extent that I shoot some handguns better rightie, and some better lefty. I have long carried "primary" on the right hip, but that may have to change. (Being left-eye-dominant, I do shoot long guns lefty.)

Why have I carried on the right hip, even though a left-hander? First, I started handgunning with a 1911, before ambi safeties were readily available. As I seemed equally able to shoot a 1911 lefty or rightie at the time, right-side carry made sense, to facilitate working the thumb safety.

Secondly, when I was in the police academy in 1983-1984, great emphasis was placed upon keeping one's gun side angled away from potential threats. As it felt more natural for me to lead with my left side when fighting, the right hip seemed the better place to wear the duty handgun. This arrangement also worked better when seated in the driver's seat of a patrol car, or any car, as the right arm has more room to work than the left. We mostly patrol alone, so the driver's seat is the normal place to be while inside the patrol car. It made sense to carry "primary" in the same spot, on or off the clock, so I effectively became a rightie.

Third, a long, heavy DA trigger pull is one of those gross motor skills that works well in rightie mode, and I had to use a DA revolver at the start of my police career.

Starting last year, my aging, aching right wrist started really bothering me when I fired my .40 SIG P229 duty pistol. I reckon all of those big-bore magnum rounds fired back in the day, plus some other minor injuries, are showing their cumulative effect. As if a miracle, I learned my chief was considering 9mm as an alternative duty pistol cartridge, in the 9mm counterparts of the presently-approved .40 duty pistols. (We went .40 in 1997.) I acquired a G17 in anticipation of this, hoping to switch to a gentler-recoiling cartridge, a lower bore axis, and the cushioning effect of a polymer, in one move. Plus, Glocks are one one of those guns I shoot better as a lefty than a rightie, as I mentioned earlier.

Well, the chief did not approve the 9mm alternative, in the latest revision to firearms policies. (These changes are usually announced each July.) I plan to make my voice heard in
the near future, trying to get the chief to re-consider. I think I have some more good years left in me, to serve and protect the
public. Meanwhile, I am going to do most of my training in lefty mode, firing very few centerfire shots with my right hand.

I did not mean this to "sound" like a rant. Life is good!
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Old 09-01-2012, 17:25   #2
Breadman03
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That didn't sound at all like a rant, just a well thought out monologue.

Has your chief studied the ballistic information and stop statistics for both rounds?

From another right side carrying Southpaw/Southeye.
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Old 09-10-2012, 13:58   #3
Rex G
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I really don't know if gunfight stats entered into the picture, but our firearms training unit may have included such information in their proposal. Some of us have been carrying 9mm since before we standardized on .40, but I know of no bad guys hit with 9mm by my colleagues. I will have a chance to speak personally to one of the assistant chiefs in October, at an Employee Rep meeting. (I was recently named one of the reps from my division.)
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Old 09-10-2012, 21:30   #4
JuneyBooney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex G View Post
I really don't know if gunfight stats entered into the picture, but our firearms training unit may have included such information in their proposal. Some of us have been carrying 9mm since before we standardized on .40, but I know of no bad guys hit with 9mm by my colleagues. I will have a chance to speak personally to one of the assistant chiefs in October, at an Employee Rep meeting. (I was recently named one of the reps from my division.)
Back in "the day" academy training was handgun and pr 24 too. Then the Glocks and Smith 39 etc changed things. There are videos from California where nine mm is shot at a window and the bullets bounce off. That may be why they won't want to change to 9mm. I would wear gloves if possible in the range time. Softens the recoil up a lot.

Last edited by JuneyBooney; 09-10-2012 at 21:31..
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:52   #5
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Thanks for the glove recommendation, though it might not really work so well for me, with double-column pistols, as the thickness of the glove is effectively added to the dimensions of the pistol's grip. My short thumbs and fingers are already stretched a bit to accommodate a P229 or Glock. I already bought a pair of PAST recoil-reducing gloves for shooting my smaller-gripped revolvers.
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:19   #6
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Well, the 9mm alternative duty cartridge proposal seems to be a dead issue for the forseeable future. I traded an ancient issued holster to suppy division, and now have a left-hand PD-issued duty holster for my P229R, though I still carry righty in the duty holster I bought to accomodate a mounted weapon-light. (The PD supply division does not issue holsters to accomodate mounted lights.) Now, for qual and in-service training, I can carry lefty, which will minimize the number of .40 rounds my ailing right hand will be required to
fire.

Over time, I may develop the confidence to carry lefty on patrol. It is not the marksmanship, but three decades of reflexively reaching for my
right hip, that is of concern. Off the clock, especially in the presently cooler weather, it is easy enough to carry one gun on each side.

I hope all Southpaws are having a good Christmas today!

Last edited by Rex G; 12-25-2012 at 12:21..
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Old 12-14-2013, 10:33   #7
Rex G
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It being nearly a year since the last post here, I thought I would post an update to this thread. At work, not much has changed. My chief recently decided to allow us to use specified .45 ACP pistols as alternate primary duty weapons. (G21, SIG P227, S&W M&P45) This has me considering a switch to a G21 as a duty pistol, but I am going to continue to send word up the chain that 9mm would be very helpful for those of us dealing with arthritis and other over-use injuries. There was a huge hiring push from about 1980 to 1986, which effectively doubled the number of sworn officers, and we are, predictably, experiencing the effects of age, wear, and tear.

I have been advised that a G21 has notably less-severe muzzle flip than a G22, and I remember from experience that a G22 is a bit gentler to shoot than my current duty P229R. Adding yet another weapon, however, is not something I do lightly, with the added factors of function-testing ammo, spare mags, duty holster, and mag pouches. (Our supply division issues Safariland duty holsters, and mag pouches, only for the G22, G23, P229, P226, and M&P45.)

An option to extend my career, and carry a gentler-recoiling duty pistol, would be to successfully transfer to a plain-clothes investigative assignment. This would allow me to "qual" with a G19 as a primary duty pistol. While the idea of driving a desk does not thrill me, I am considering this option.

During my personal time, I have started carrying the G17 in a Raven Concealment Phantom on my left hip, while also carrying a second gun on my right hip, as I am probably likely to reach for my right side in an emergency, until I put myself through a very intensive transition, with many thousands of draw-and-presentation repetitions.

I was about to buy a G26 to be the right-side gun, but became sidetracked by a 4th-Generation G19. Function-verification is now on my agenda; thus far, things look good. (I don't think a Glock needs a "break-in" period, just a few hundred rounds to verify everything was heat-treated and assembled properly.)

The G17 rides with me on patrol, as a "bag" gun, while the P229R DAK .40 continues to ride in the duty holster. My employer has quite open rules on back-up weapons, fortunately; we do have to qual with all weapns we carry, of course.

OK, I have typed enough! Y'all have a good Christmas, and be safe!

Last edited by Rex G; 12-14-2013 at 10:45..
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