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Old 11-16-2019, 08:30 AM
JDB149 JDB149 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Marble Hill, Ga.
Posts: 198
Default Shooting the M1 Left Handed

Good Morning, Hope this is the correct place to ask this question. I miss shooting my M1. Three (3) years ago the VA hospital here in Atlanta blinded me in my right eye during Cataract surgery. My question is, shooting my M1 left handed, What issues will I have. I have an idea that loading and working the oprod will be an issue. Slow fire should be ok but the rapid fire is of concern. Any feed back would be appreciated. Thank you, Jeff
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Old 11-16-2019, 08:52 AM
AzMedic AzMedic is offline
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Arizona
Posts: 781

I'm a southpaw M1 shooter, speaking for myself I load the clip with my left hand/thumb, butt stock on right hip and operating rod pulled back with right hand around grip and thumb holding back op rod - but i am recreational shooting with out being slung up. The rifle comes up and points naturally, but i've alway been a left hand shooter. Maybe a piece of moleskin on the stock where your cheek weld should be and adjust as necessary to find the right spot.
Also, make up a few clips of practice dummy rounds (2,5,8) and see how you do with cycling/loading. It may cost a bit of time in the beginning but the human mind can be retrained with repetitive practice/muscle memory.
A old friend of mine once did a "Mad Minute" against another shooter and he (normally right hand/eye dominant) was just as fast cycling his springfield 'southpaw' as the other shooter whom shot off the right shoulder.
It can be done!

as a safety issue, seriously check the tab on your op rod - an accidental dismount for us lefty's causes the op rod to come back right at your nose/sinuses vs a right shooter dismount hitting the right cheek/cheekbone area.

Last edited by AzMedic; 11-16-2019 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 11-16-2019, 09:02 AM
Ronwall Ronwall is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Ky
Posts: 1,132

Other than the occasional ping to the head from a clip hitting you or the odd spent cartridge case whacking into your forehead there shouldn't be any issues. Like always be sure to wear eye protection, hearing protection and a hat.

As far as loading goes if you load with your left thumb pushing down the rounds while your right hand blocks any ideas the op rod might have about allowing the bolt to close on your thumb you should be fine.
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Old 11-16-2019, 11:50 AM
Det. Jason 714 Det. Jason 714 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Northern MN
Posts: 6,681

Also a lefty, never had an issue. Always wear eyes and ears, but have never had brass or enblocs bounce off my skull.
"Let Freedom PING!"
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Old 11-16-2019, 12:10 PM
Bml Bml is offline
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Oregon
Posts: 91

I am a righty but interested in the thread. My daughter is cross dominant and shoots left. I have had to learn methods of shooting left for training her on an AR service rifle and 30 carbine for shooting local matches. In a few years she will be big enough to use a M1 at vintage matches and she will have to decide left or right.

Here is a video a guy posted on the subject. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xAKLXeFsBXo
I wish he demonstrated in the prone or sitting position slung up. Looking at his method it will be difficult with small hands and take more strength to load than a right hand shooter. I also suspect a lefty will have to break position more to ensure the muzzle is pointed at the berm when chambering the round. When loading a clip right handed, I rarely position my hand to hold the charging handle from coming forward and position my thumb similar to the video. I would not be worried about my thumb loading left handed. When single loading, I use my fingers similar to the video, just the opposite hand using my pinky to hook the charging handle.
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:24 PM
LGreene2 LGreene2 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: New Port Richey, FL
Posts: 383

After a macular hole in my right eye (dominate eye) developed I had to learn to shoot a rifle left handed. It is a challenge learning the new muscle memory after a lifetime of shooting right handed.

I started with 22s to avoid the recoil and reteach myself and gradually worked my way back to my 1903s and M1s. Shooting with a scoped rifle can also help as it makes the target much easier to see. Unfortunately my scoped M1Ds are no longer viable.

Good luck
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:53 PM
JDB149 JDB149 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Marble Hill, Ga.
Posts: 198

I wish to thank all for this feed back. I will take a few days to digest this information. I am sure I will get back in the game. I have already started with the 22's and carbines. Will try the AR soon and will start with the M1 slow fire in time. Thank you all. Jeff
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Old 11-16-2019, 02:55 PM
Gewehr43 Gewehr43 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 2,622

You will have no issues.
Get back to shooting! and enjoy!
Service Rifle.... RIP .... 1884-2015
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Old 11-16-2019, 03:50 PM
BobJ50 BobJ50 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Georgia
Posts: 389

As one of those odd shooters who does rifle and shotgun left and pistol right, I have never had any problems with the M1. Even in the early 60's, when in the army, there was never any screaming at the ranges, by training Sgts. We loaded rifles by methods that worked best for us-and didn't have any more "M1 Thumbs" than right hand shooters.
Rapid fire may be great at matches but as far as shooting Nazis I doubt there were any problems [unless you were a lousy shot].
I'd worry more about earth quakes, climate change and forest fires than loading my M1.
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Old 11-16-2019, 03:55 PM
bruce bruce is online now
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,075

I am right-handed. I am just about blind in my right eye, a condition since birth. I shoot left-handed. When shooting a M-1 Garand, load the clip w/ my left-hand using the back of my thumb to make sure the op rod stays put till I've got the clip loaded. It is not a bid deal. JMHO. Sincerely. bruce.
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