For police officers, there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop.
Pulling over a vehicle is one of the most dangerous things police officers do, yet they do it many times each day.
One day, New Mexico State Police Officer Sharon D. made a traffic stop for a simple violation.
She pulled over a pick-up truck that had been following a vehicle too closely.
As the officer approached the passenger side window, she was ambushed by the driver.
Without warning, the driver fired three rounds at the officer.
Sharon instantly put up her hands and stumbled backward.
She was shot in both hands and her bulletproof vest.
But she was still able to draw her firearm and return fire as the suspect sped away.
She stated, “I fell back because he hit me. I aimed at the headrest and started to fire my weapon.”
After returning fire, Sharon jumped in her vehicle and pursued the suspect.
She pursued the shooter for a few miles with bloodied hands on her steering wheel until he pulled over.
Keeping her distance, the officer ordered the shooter to exit the vehicle.
She told the suspect, “I want you to walk towards me with your hands up. You move, I will shoot.”
More police officers arrived to put the criminal in handcuffs.
Body camera footage showed the suspect saying, “I’ll wait for my lawyer.”
The investigation revealed the officer was shot in the chest but her bulletproof vest stopped the round.
And while she was also shot in both hands, she was still able to draw her firearm and return fire at the suspect.
Police officers are trained to “stay in the fight.”
They learn that just because you’re shot, doesn’t mean you are dead.
Officers also train to shoot one-handed with their weak hand.
This case is an example of why you should train to shoot with your weak hand.
We know that under stress we will react in the way we have trained.
While weak hand shooting may not be something you do all the time, it is a skill you should learn.
Because you never know when an attacker, injury, or something you’re carrying leaves you one handed.
So, here are a few drills to improve your weak hand shooting.
When you train to shoot with your weak hand you want to start with the fundamentals.
It’s like training a shooter who has never touched a gun before. So, start at 5 yards for this drill.
For your target use a two-inch circle, which can be drawn on a regular piece of copy paper.
With your gun already in your weak hand, bring the gun up and fire one round.
Next, lower the gun and do the drill again.
Repeat this five times to practice bringing your pistol up and on target.
The goal is to create a hole in the two-inch target.
You may think this sounds easy, but remember, you will be doing this with your weak hand.
You may find canting the gun inward about 45 degrees toward your dominant eye helps with sight alignment.
The bill drill builds upon the dot drill to improve accuracy when shooting with your weak hand.
You want to use a human silhouette target from 7 yards away.
To begin, draw your weapon from your holster and fire two rounds using two hands.
After firing two-handed, safely transition the pistol to your weak hand.
Next, if the gun is in your left hand, drive your left foot forward about 12 inches and push the pistol to the target.
This stance will help get the pistol on target faster.
Fire 5 more rounds at the center mass of the target.
You should repeat this drill to build muscle memory to transition to your weak hand.
Also, many people bring their non-shooting hand up to their chest which helps with better overall control.
Plus, if the hand is injured, you want to keep it out of the way.
Multiple threat drill:
Criminals often work in pairs.
This means you should be prepared to engage multiple threats.
The drills above focus on engaging a single target with your weak hand.
But, this drill will help you practice dealing with more than one bad guy.
First, start with three targets about 5 yards away from you.
Put about 3 feet between each target.
With your gun in the low-ready position, in your weak hand, bring the pistol up and fire two rounds at each target.
The goal of this drill is to practice moving from target to target and being able to acquire each target.
As you improve your weak hand shooting, you can move the targets to greater distances.
The point is to train your mind to move the pistol from each target accurately to engage more than one threat.
When shooting with your weak hand remember that speed is not your first priority.
It’s most important to focus on accuracy.
Muscle memory is one of the keys to accurate shooting.
Your speed will develop over time.
So, each time you go to the range, spend a little time shooting with your weak hand.
You never know when your training could keep you in the fight and save your life.