Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart was a one-eyed, one-handed, British war hero.
He fought for the British in major conflicts spanning six decades, including World War I and II.
Adrian was originally from Brussels, but at the start of World War I, he became a naturalized British subject.
During the war, he was shot in the arm and the face, losing his left eye. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his bravery.
After recovering, Adrian returned to the Western Front.
During the Second Battle of Ypres, his left hand was shattered.
When a field doctor refused to amputate his fingers, Adrian tore them off himself. Later, his hand was removed by a surgeon.
A fellow soldier said, “For him to have endured all those injuries and gone through so much rehabilitation in so many conflicts and to never give up is really inspirational.”
After having his hand removed, he was once again able to convince a medical board that he was fit to return to battle.
In 1916, he took command of the 8th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment.
During fighting in the village of La Boiselle, Adrian took charge and led his men from the front.
He was seen by his men pulling the pins of grenades with his teeth and then throwing the grenade with his one good arm.
He received the Victoria Cross for his bravery.
He took part in several other battles during the war and sustained even more injuries.
One time he was shot in the back of the head, but miraculously survived.
When World War II broke out, he led his men in battles in Norway and Northern Ireland.
In 1941, a plane he was aboard was shot down over the Mediterranean.
Adrian swam to shore where he was captured and held in a POW camp. He suffered in the camp for two years before he was released.
While he had plenty of physical challenges, they did not prevent him from serving his country and leading his men in battle.
After retiring, Adrian spent his time fishing, and finally passed away at the age of 83.
Now, while most people have not had a hand amputated, many people do suffer from arthritis and other difficulties with their hands.
And the need to shoot one-handed is more common than we think.
So, here are a few tips, whether you need to shoot one-handed because of arthritis, because you’re in cramped quarters (more on this later), or because you prefer it.
Stick to handguns:
There are plenty of people who can effectively manipulate an AR-15 or a shotgun with one hand.
But handguns are always going to be easier because they are smaller and lighter weight.
Also, racking the slide on a pistol is going to be smoother than pulling a charging handle on a rifle or pumping a shotgun.
In addition, handgun rounds have a large diameter with a relatively light recoil, making them easier to hold with one hand compared to the recoil from a rifle.
Many pistols have ambidextrous controls. So, whether your good hand is your left or right, it won’t matter as much with a pistol.
Another thing is, I would stay away from pistols with a safety.
Even though safeties are designed for one-handed use they can be problematic. So, I would avoid them altogether if you are going to shoot one-handed
One of the best options is a striker-fired handgun such as a Glock or Sig P320 that doesn’t have an external safety.
In a case where you know you are going to be shooting one-handed, I would stick with a 9mm caliber pistol.
The difference in recoil between a 9mm and a .45 cal. is significant.
And the majority of one-handed shooters will have better shot placement with a 9mm compared to a .45 or larger caliber.
Plus, if your first shot misses it will be harder to get an accurate follow-up shot if you are dealing with more recoil.
When it comes to shooting one-handed, you need to use the gun you feel most comfortable with.
These tips can help you choose a gun that is going to give you the best chance of hitting your target.
But it’s not just in open space, or at the range, that you need to practice your one-handed shooting.
When you’re in cramped quarters where you have to draw and fire in unorthodox positions, especially one-handed, you need to have confidence you can hit the target.