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Right handed semi auto good for a left-hander?

1102 Views 14 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  UneverGno
I have a Remington 48 Sportsman that I have used occasionally for the last 10 years. Now that I have been bitten by the Sporting Clays bug, I have started to shoot more often. Someone at the club mentioned to me that I should be using a left handed specific gun or a gun that is ambidextrious, like an over-under or pump like the Ithaca 37 or the Browning BPS, because powder could burn my face if I used a slower burning powder or when it's cold outside.

I haven't had any problems, but I haven't started to shoot as much as I plan to either. Does anyone have an opinion on this? I like the gun, but will sell it and go for something else if this is a problem.
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Keep shooting, don't forget eye protection and if it becomes a problem for YOU then look into something else. I know a bunch of lefties that shoot right handed shotguns with no problems.
Brett RN,

That's the problem with a lot of advice that people receive about guns. Most of it is well intended, but unfortunately much of it is based on very limited experience or even worse... heresay evidence (what their equally uninformed buddy told them). :lol:

I attend sporting clays tournaments regularly and see many experienced lefty shooters shooting right handed automatics. I can only conclude that if it was a problem for them, they wouldn't do it. These are shooters who shoot 1,000 or more rounds per MONTH.

Continue to shoot your right handed gun and don't worry about what others may tell you. If it becomes a problem, then switch, but I'm betting it won't be a problem. Of course, you and ALL shooters should wear safety glasses when shooting.
I didn't think it was as issue either simply because the shell ejects out at an angle toward the barrel, not the stock. Also, the opening of the shell is facing away from the shooter, not towards. Being an ER and ICU nurse, I definintely practice safe shooting.

Thanks for the posts!!
I shoot a right handed Remington 1100 left handed all the time for trap. I've never had a problem. Thanks for asking the question though, I was wondering the same thing. I'm fairly new to trap shooting and was also wondering if I was doing something I shouldn't.
Good shootin"

I'm a lefty too. And every right-handed auto I've tried has at some point hit me in the face. I suspect it has more to do with my shooting style than anything else.

Just wear those shooting glasses!!

I've shot about 3200 shells through my right-handed Beretta 391 from the left side with no problems.

To me, ejection is not the issue, but rather cast and safety. The 391 sets up fine for lefties in that regard.

I too am a lefty. I've shot everything from a single shot, O/U, right side semi, Win 1300, and Rem 870 as far as shotguns go. I've also shot a lefty 1100 a while back. I actually prefer a right handed gun except for bolt actions and percussion/flintlock muzzle loaders. Flashback on a flintlock is killer.

Just used to a right handed world I guess.

Shoot what's comfortable to you.
I'm a lefty and shoot a right hand 1187 and an Xtrema as my field guns. I use o/u's for all of my clay games. While duck hunting last year with the 1187, I fired off a shell that had wet powder - the primer went off but the powder didn't. This was enough to partially cycle the action. The wad got stuck near the muzzle and the shell was partially ejected. As the shell was being ejected, it flung all of the unburnt powder directly into my eyes. I used to wear safety glasses while shooting clays, but not in the field. Now, I wear them whenever I'm shooting.

I think a left handed autoloader may have prevented the powder from getting into my eyes, or at the very least, reduced amount. Something even more scary, though, is that when I pulled the trigger I heard a hissing sound and then the gun cycling. I was so focused on the bird that as the shell was being ejected, I pulled the trigger again. Had the gun fully cycled, I would have blown the end off the barrel for sure since the wad was stuck up there. A left hand gun, would not have made a difference at all if that had happened.

I think that if you are a lefty and you have the opportunity to find an autoloader that you like in left hand, you should get it. Afterall, it can't hurt.

BTW, I was shooting Kent Faststeels...they advertise waterproof primers, but the rest of the shell isn't all that waterproof.


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I'm a lefty too, never had a problem. Like everyone else said, wear shooting glasses at all times. In the field or at the range, safety first. Kevin
Also a Lefty. I prefer shooting a right handed auto as it is easier for a lefty to load. To me loading a left-handed auto would be awkward as you have to load w/ the left hand, which is normally gripping the stock.
I am also a lefty. Shoot both a Browning Auto5 & a Beretta 391 without any problems. (sometimes have trouble hitting the clay bird but no mechanical or physical interference issues :lol: )

Left hand shooter, looking at an A391 which fits me very well. The only question I can't get answered locally is, how do you get the safety switched over?

In my post on the left vs. right poll, I related the left cheek burn/ scab I acquired in US Army basic training, firing a worn original M-16. For six long weeks, all my ejected casings whacked me on the cheek. That experience alone has kept me an over/under or side by side guy all my adult life (except when hunting in my youth using my grandfather's Model 12).

Take home message: eye protection at all times!
Alpine_71_2003 said:
Left hand shooter, looking at an A391 which fits me very well. The only question I can't get answered locally is, how do you get the safety switched over?
I will tell you how to switch the safety, but a word of caution is in order. Someone on the forum attempted the conversion and lost the spring, and it is a very small spring! Therefore, choose a place where you will be able locate a tiny object on the floor, which definitely leaves out carpeting, in the event the $%^&* thing flies off into parts unknown.

Start humming the tune, "Fools Rush In." If time permits, take a crash course in EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal for you non-military types.)

You should stabilize the receiver in a vise, Workmate or some-such. Be sure to have a hand towel handy to wipe away the beads of sweat that are sure to appear on your furrowed brow during the procedure.

You will need a tool that depresses the little "plunger" that locks the crossbolt in the safe and off-safe position. While the Beretta 391 manual, aka Manuale di Istruzione, calls for the use of a "drift punch" to accomplish the switch, I used a dental pick, flattened on one end, filed square and thin to allow for wedging the tip of the tool between and plunger and the crossbolt. With the button pushed down and flush with the receiver, remove the cross-bolt. This is the tricky part. Ideally, at this point you remove the bolt, turn it around, replace it in the gun, and release the button, at which point a reassuring click is heard, and the deed is done. My spring got away from me, but not far, and I was able to replace it and the plunger to finish the job.

If you lack patience, a steady hand, belief in a Supreme Being, crystal-clear near sightedness or one of those head-mounted magnifying gizmos, or the ability to fervently recite the Hail Mary, then you should consider taking your treasure to a most useful of God's creatures, the competantus gunsmithius and pay him to do it. I can't imagine that it would be very expensive.

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Lefty wife shoots a righty 11-87 with no problems.
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