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Pistols for Lefties

Eeyore

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My wife is getting into shooting, so I'm thinking about taking her shopping. :) The trick is that she's a lefty, so I'd like to focus on models that haveall ambidextrous controls (mag release, slide release, and safety (if applicable), at least at first. The 9mm autos I'm aware of are:

  • Smith & Wesson M&P9
  • H & K P2000
  • H & K P30? (if I could find one)
I'm mildly interested in the Taurus 809 (if I could find one)--not sure if that's ambi or not. I doubt she's ready/interested in a .45, but the FNP 45 is full-ambi--not so the FNP 9 or 40. :?

Can anybodypoint out any I've missed?
 

DreQo

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The person I was aiding in handgun selection is left-handed as well, and she's going with a 1911. She'll buy one with an ambi-safety, and probably just buy a lefty mag release for it. She's not worried about the slide release, since all she has to do is pull the slide back and release. So that might be another option for you.
 

Euromutt

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I'm a southpaw as well, and I ended up going with the M&P myself.

You might consider compromising on the slide stop, if other features make a particular weapon attractive. You can always get back into battery from a slide lock by racking the slide rather than releasing the slide stop, and it's probably a good habit to develop to always rack the slide. And working the slide stop right-handed isn't that much of a problem in non-critical situations.

If so, you might also consider the Springfield XD series, Walther P99, and Beretta/Stoeger Cougar.
 

TechnoWeenie

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Taurus PT-92/PT-99

mag release defaults for righties, but can be changed very easily (Ie. by yourself). It was designed that way.
 

Eeyore

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Euromutt wrote:
I'm a southpaw as well, and I ended up going with the M&P myself.

You might consider compromising on the slide stop, if other features make a particular weapon attractive. You can always get back into battery from a slide lock by racking the slide rather than releasing the slide stop, and it's probably a good habit to develop to always rack the slide. And working the slide stop right-handed isn't that much of a problem in non-critical situations.

If so, you might also consider the Springfield XD series, Walther P99, and Beretta/Stoeger Cougar.

Compromising on the slide stop might be inevitable, but I wanted to start with true ambis and compromise from there, rather than compromise and later find out there were other options. Of course the biggies are the safety and mag release. As is, she's "slingshotting" the slide on my Taurus, but I wanted her to have the option if she wanted.

She wasn't too impressed with the XD, I'm not too impressed by the P99AS; haven't found a Cougar yet.

Kodiak, last time I checked, the AR wasn't a pistol. :p

Nova, thanks for the CZ tip--I hadn't thought of them.
 

Fallschirjmäger

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With every pistol I've handled so far....reaching the slide stop with my forefinger has been easier than reaching it with my thumb. It also gets my triggerfinger out of the triggerguard.

I've found that by resting my finger lightly on the release, inserting the magazine gives more than enough resistance for me to drop the slide smartly.
 

DreQo

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ODA 226 wrote:
DreQo wrote:
ODA 226 wrote:
The Springfield EMP is the ticket. It is the smallest 1911A1 model in the world and holds 9 rds of 9mm. It is also available in .40 S&W. http://www.springfield-armory.com/armory.php?version=110
What does any of that have to do with ambidextrous controls?
It has ambidexterous controls.
The one pictured doesn't have a left handed slide release or mag release. Are these options available? (I'm honestly curious.)
 

ODA 226

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Both are options that could be "dropped-in" for less than $50.00. IMO, the only real change that would need to be done is to "drop-in" an ambidexterous mag release. It takes about 5 minutes to accomplish with only a small, flat head screwdriver.

On a historical note, John Browning positioned the slidestop (on the 1911) on the left side of the slide with the contention that it should be operated with thethumb of the left hand and NOT the thumb of the right.

I personally find it faster to rack the slide with my left hand after making a mag change. (I'm right handed and that's what they taught us at Mott Lake.)

So slide stop position isn't really a major consideration for shooters with either hand from a purely tactical stance. But the location of the mag release is and as I said can be corrected with minimal time and expense.

This Springfield is a SWEET gun and I LOVE IT!
 

DreQo

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Ok, so the ambi-mag release isn't an option, but can be purchase and dropped in. That's what I thought (I'm asking for the lefty 1911 shooter I know). That doesn't surprise me that the slide release wasn't intended for the right hand thumb. I had noticed that I couldn't comfortably hit the slide release w/o adjusting my grip...I thought it was just me :D.

Eeyore, I had forgot to originally mention the P99/SW99 line, but I see someone else has. What didn't you like about the P99AS?
 

Euromutt

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ODA 226 wrote:
On a historical note, John Browning positioned the slidestop (on the 1911) on the left side of the slide with the contention that it should be operated with thethumb of the left hand and NOT the thumb of the right.
Which says more about the state of combat handgunning circa 1907 than anything else. Envisioning the slide stop on the 1911 being operated with the left thumb by definition requires the weapon to be held in the right hand, so you're not exactly scoring points with the left-handers here.

And while I'm probably committing heresy here, I don't entirely see what makes the 1911 supposedly the greatest design of handgun ever made. Just on the "Best 1911..." thread, I read descriptions of endless FTFs and TFEs unless the feed ramp was polished just so, the weapon readjusted after breaking in, only one particular brand of magazines was used, etc. etc. Strikes me that a design that's that finicky, and needs so much work merely to function reliably, cannot be called perfect by any means. I'm sure a well tuned 1911 is an utter joy to shoot, easy to point, crisp, accurate, etc., but the same could be said for a Luger. From what I understand, the old P08 was essentially a target pistol masquerading as a combat handgun; wonderful to shoot if kept meticulously clean, but so much as put it in the same zip code as a speck of dirt, and it would malfunction.

It sounds a bit like a Ferrari; great fun to drive, I'm sure, wonderful performance, but it takes a ton of maintenance to keep running. A Honda Civic might not be anywhere near as impressive, or fun to drive, but it'll pretty much start and get you where you need to go when you need to almost all the time (oh, and it's so much more affordable).

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

On the topic of AR pistols, by the way, check out Olympic Arms' offerings.
 

Euromutt

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Eeyore wrote:
Compromising on the slide stop might be inevitable, but I wanted to start with true ambis and compromise from there, rather than compromise and later find out there were other options.
Oh, I'm with you there. Only I would advise you not to get so hung up on the left-handed controls that you overlook other factors in weapon selection (for example, availability of suitable holsters, or Crimson Trace lasergrips, if you wanted to explore that avenue).

Oh, you might want to look at the new SIG P250; reversible mag release, ambi slide stop, no external safety. It might be a while before SIG Sauer comes out with all the add-ons to make it truly modular, though, so there's that consideration.


Then there's thre Wilson Combat ADP, which is ambidextrous in the sense that it doesn't have a slide stop, period. That's not what you'd call a range pistol, though; definitely designed as a CCW/BUG weapon. Also, I've been reading some stories about some ADPs working some pins loose and the slide flying off forward as a result (and Wilson being really obstreperous about not giving refunds, but insisting on replacing the weapon over and over).
 

DreQo

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Euromutt wrote:
ODA 226 wrote:
On a historical note, John Browning positioned the slidestop (on the 1911) on the left side of the slide with the contention that it should be operated with thethumb of the left hand and NOT the thumb of the right.
Which says more about the state of combat handgunning circa 1907 than anything else. Envisioning the slide stop on the 1911 being operated with the left thumb by definition requires the weapon to be held in the right hand, so you're not exactly scoring points with the left-handers here.

And while I'm probably committing heresy here, I don't entirely see what makes the 1911 supposedly the greatest design of handgun ever made. Just on the "Best 1911..." thread, I read descriptions of endless FTFs and TFEs unless the feed ramp was polished just so, the weapon readjusted after breaking in, only one particular brand of magazines was used, etc. etc. Strikes me that a design that's that finicky, and needs so much work merely to function reliably, cannot be called perfect by any means. I'm sure a well tuned 1911 is an utter joy to shoot, easy to point, crisp, accurate, etc., but the same could be said for a Luger. From what I understand, the old P08 was essentially a target pistol masquerading as a combat handgun; wonderful to shoot if kept meticulously clean, but so much as put it in the same zip code as a speck of dirt, and it would malfunction.

It sounds a bit like a Ferrari; great fun to drive, I'm sure, wonderful performance, but it takes a ton of maintenance to keep running. A Honda Civic might not be anywhere near as impressive, or fun to drive, but it'll pretty much start and get you where you need to go when you need to almost all the time (oh, and it's so much more affordable).

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

On the topic of AR pistols, by the way, check out Olympic Arms' offerings.

It really depends on the make and model. The original 1911's didn't make 1 inch groups at 50 yds, but they were and still are some of the most reliable handguns ever made. Some present day 1911 manufacturers building their handguns to much tighter specs, making them more accurate at distance, but sacrificing reliability in most cases. This is why I will be getting a Rock Island 1911. They started with the original specsand have only made minor changes. At 10-25 yds they're still more accurate than most people shooting them, and they're as reliable, if not more, than the originals.

I can't find the page right now, but I read a review on a variety of 1911's that were put through torture tests, and passed with flying colors. Buried in mud, dirt, sand, left under water, and even fired under water. I'll keep digging for the link, or if anyone else knows what I'm talking about, please post.
 
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