Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Surveyor, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. Surveyor

    Surveyor Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2006
    I am looking into a long range build and one question that I cannot get resolved in the old noodle is left hand versus right hand action.

    I'm a righty that shoots left (that whole eye dominance thing) and was considering getting a right hand action for the chassis. I expect that it will only be shot from a rest or prone, so the right hand can cycle while the left maintains grip.

    Anybody have some insight into this arrangement?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I have the same shooting deal and have made the switch and find that I can shoot as well as when I shot right handed.I have a bench gun with left bolt right port,and a Browning SS Stalker in 300 WinMag.Also shoot a left hand Browning 525 shotgun and have made that switch as well.My problem started with eye problems that led to a cornea transplant. I started shooting #1 Rugers for the left side.You can do it if yuo put your mind to it. Good luck!!!
    Old Bear

  3. Steve Shelp

    Steve Shelp Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2001
    I'm a natural lefty, but for years all of my hunting guns an early competions guns were true right handed actions due to cost. I bought used equipment ot get into the LR competition game. Custom actions were few and far between back then, let alone the choice of RR, RL, LR, or LL custom actions we have today.
    And until 2 yrs ago, all of the hunting rifles (bolt action) were right handed also.

    From an operating perspective: shooting a right bolt in your left shoulder isn't a big issue. I've done it hundreds of times hunting and competition. You just have to adjust. Welcome to a righthanded world.

    The only thing I would add is the follow safety consideration:

    When firing a right ported action from the left shoulder if you have any type of case failure, primer leak and/or peircing, or in the worst case.. a blowup, the port is pointing toward your face and eyes.
    I have had 2 Federal primers fail on me in the last couple of years. These were not peircings but the edge of the primer cup failed and blew gases and bits or brass and metal through the extractor groove and out the ejection port. I was wearing glasses, so my eyes are fine. But if I could show you the lenses in those glasses it would raise your eyebrows. Also if you are shooting a right port action with a Sako extractor conversion be a little more careful. Some don't agree with me on this setup, but that is fine. Chances of a complete extractor coming out of that port are slim, but I'm not a gambler. There is a really good chance of smaller peices coming out though. That cut in a remington bolt to install a sako extractor is a big cut. So answer that question for yourself before pulling the trigger.

    Just keep that in mind and load accordingly. I still have several RH actions (current competition guns are Left bolt, right port) but I don't shoot without glasses.

    be safe and have fun!

  4. Surveyor

    Surveyor Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2006

    I've been shooting left hand sporters for a while, left handed. Shot m16's left handed and got a real earful from the drill sergeants.

    But I've been shooting some single shots, and varmint contours from the rest lately and I found myself loading with the right when I was loading by hand, just started thinking that the right bolt would probably be the way to go.

    Right Bolt, left port would probably be best under the circumstances?


  5. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    I'm in the same boat - left eyed & right handed. I much prefer right handed bolt actions for shooting from the bench and shooting varmints from the prone position.

    However, I prefer left handed actions for all of my long guns that will be shot from the standing or kneeling position, regardless of action type.

    As for safety, I have fired many thousands of heavy handloads without a single incident (dangerous failure of any sort) so I really don't worry about it but I guess it is something to be considered.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  6. Surveyor

    Surveyor Well-Known Member

    Dec 1, 2006
    To be honest, all my offhand or field rifles are lever actions.
    Right bolt - left port kind of hard to find in a long action, so I will probably just stick with R-R.

    Thanks for your help, gentlemen.
  7. btm_54

    btm_54 Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    Would a right hand action be cheaper than a left hand action?
    The only rifle I am aware of that you can change from left to right hand in the field without changing the point of impact is the Blaser rifle.
  8. old_heli_logger

    old_heli_logger Well-Known Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    I think I'm the most screwed-up here...I shoot rifles and shotguns left-handed and pistols/revolvers right-handed...
    I'm cornfused
  9. Chopaka81

    Chopaka81 Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2007
    I have shot Southpaw all of my hunting life (which began in 1970). My dad started me out with a Win M88 Lever action in 243, I was oldest - but I had two brothers behind me that were righties (like dad).
    I got busy mowing lawns and saving every cent I earned, and eventually found a Left handed Mauser M3000LH barreled action in 7mm Rem Mag. I ordered a stock for it and had it inletted. I still have that rifle and I would never part with it.
    If you are left eye dominate but right handed in your sports, eating, hand writing and etc, I think with most big game hunting situations you can get by sticking to a right handed bolt action and suffer no ill effects. I find that I can get by shooting from the right side, but I do have to mentally think about it when I mount the rifle and prepare for the shot. It is not natural for me to shoot right handed. If you find yourself in the same boat - stick with a left handed rifle. If you do not like the limited calibers available, get used to having to pay an extra $1000 to have a donar rifle rebarreled to a caliber of your liking.
    However, if you get into clay targets and shotguns, or competitive pistol (or law enforcement) and find you are cross dominate you will struggle becoming proficient in these activities. You will need to overcome the left eyed dominance vs. right hand physical dominance issue. The technique I have used when teaching trap shooting to cross dominance shooters most of the time involved a small 1/4" dot of Scotch Tape positioned on the "off" eye piece of the shooting glasses so it would only obstruct the bead at the end of the barrel, but not restrict peripheral vision.
    If you play the pistol game get some professional coaching. Or else you will go out and learn a bunch of bad habits, wasting 1000's of rounds, and then have to hire a coach to un-do the bad habits and teach you the proper techniques.
  10. britz

    britz Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    I am the same way!! I cross over when I shoot a pistol and just hold the pistol over to the left so I use my left eye. I am right handed in every other aspect-- just left eyed dominent.

    I If the rifle is strictly a bench gun then it isn't going to be a big issue except for the exaust port (lefty's have been shooting right hand rigs for years however). But I do preferr a left handed action for me.

    In the field, you should be cautious to use your trigger hand to run the bolt. You may have a habit of keeping a finger on the trigger when runing the bolt and firing the weapon as soon as the bolt is closed. I've seen this happen when someone was using my (left handed rifle) when they were right handed. after that incident, I always instruct people to use their trigger hand to opperate the bolt!
  11. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2004
  12. silvertip-co

    silvertip-co Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    I am born left handed and buck toothed, but am not a red headed stepchild. I've had a least dozen left hand bolt action rifles and still have a LH Savage .223, but I shoot just as well with my Mod 70 which is RH(but I shoot it off the left shoulder). When hunting if I shoot then need a second shot I just tip it and work the bolt RH. Maybe not the best system but it works for me as I cant find rifles I like in LH usually. Good luck. Whats goofy is when I play(ed) baseball I only ever batted RH.
  13. MachV

    MachV Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2001
    Was born right handed and left eye dominent just like most of Dads side of the family as well as all the grandchildren. We taught all the grandkids to shoot left handed. I pickt up a left handed Savage a few years ago and get along with it great off the bench or prone. I use to shoot pistols right handed but sight with left eye but since a nasty fall that left me with ½ the use of my right arm have had to lern to shoot pistols left handed too. Try as I might I could never retrain myself to shoot standing left handed and now could not hold the forend up with my right hand anyway. The right shoulder will not take the recoil of a 12ga slug anymore and I cant shoot the dang thing left handed and work the pump so I had to hunt deer with the pistol in S Minnesota this year= It workt http://photos.imageevent.com/cjnmn/deer/websize/cjy.jpg

    Long story short a right handed action sounds like it will work great for your needs or you could put a stock on it like this one???????

  14. rdsii64

    rdsii64 Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    I too am a right handed person who shoots left handed. If the reason you shoot left handed is because you are left eye dominant you would be better served to keep shooting off your left shoulder. As far as whether to choose a left handed action vs. a right handed action, I choose to stay with a right handed action. when laying in the prone I find that working the bold with my "other" hand was actually easier for me.

    If you know anyone with a left handed action maybe they could let you squeeze off a few rounds to see how it feels. in the end if you do what feels natural you will be a better shooter for it.