My left hand

You know what sucks?  Gout.  Gout sucks.  I’ve been dealing with it for years and years in my legs.  But a week ago, it hit me in my left hand.  I woke up to a hand that was swollen and felt like it was crushed with a sledge hammer.
I can not articulate just how much it hurt.  This was truly the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life.  I’ve had gunshots, stabs, and broken bones that did not hurt nearly this bad.
Here I am a week later, and with proper meds, the hand is no longer swollen.  Well, it’s almost back to normal.  But the movement in the index finger has not fully returned.  I have some movement, but it’s still very restricted.  Typing is is a 9 fingered affair right now.  The pain is mostly gone too… Unless I move my finger or bump it or look at it wrong.  The main joint in the hand that works that index finger, it’s still a bit swollen and painful… it feels like there is some serious damage in there.

Anyone giving me Gout Advice – I’ll bitchslap you next time I see you.  Just sayin.

So why am I bringing this up?

Manipulating guns one handed has taught me a lot.  Even just “Strong Hand Only”.  Sounds easy… It’s not.  Not without some practice.  Not without some serious practice.  Handguns.  AR-15’s.  Lever Actions.  Surprisingly, what I had the most problems with… my 870’s.  I need more practice with this.
Say you catch a bullet in your hand.  Or some other injury that renders your off hand useless… a burn or something.  If you don’t know what to do before… hand… sorry… You are going to be stumbling.  You need to know what to do before it happens.
So this weekend, your Training Assignment.   All weekend long.  One Hand Manipulations Handling.  If you have to, tape all your fingers together to remind you.  No cheating.  For me, cheating felt like someone hit my hand with a baseball bat.  Easy for me to remember not to cheat.  For you guys – Honor Code.
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22 thoughts on “My left hand”

  1. There is a movie called “Extreme Predjudice” staring Nick Nolte, in the opening he does a one hand load of a 1911.
    I’ve read some lately about one handed twirl cocking of lever actions. It seems there can be safety problems. Hitting yourself in the head with the barrel, hitting the ground with the barrel. It helps if you have long arms and are taller than normal. John Wayne had to have the barrel shortened by two inches to keep from hitting himself in the head. Chuck Conners could twirl cock a standard but I think he was really tall and had long arms.
    As for gout, it seems like there is a lot of variation in individuals in what works as far as diet and drugs go. One “theory” has sugar consumption as a partial culprit but for some people it makes no difference. I suspect the docs are just shotgunning it half the time???

    1. Chuck’s rifle was modified. The gun was upside down when the bolt went fully open, ejecting the empty and bringing the next round out of the tube. In a non-modified gun, gravity would cause that next round to simply fall out. Don’t recall the specifics and can’t find the article right now, but somehow they kept it from falling as it was fed into the chamber.

      1. But, to keep it on topic with George’s request:

        re-holstering? With only one hand – can’t. Both my holsters collapse upon drawing.
        Revolver – have to lay the gun down to load/reload the cylinder. Not good.
        DA/SA Semi-auto – Upside down on the table to load the initial mag, can hook the rear sight to rack the slide, then run the decocker with my thumb.
        Reload – heel release for the mag, so it’s back to the initial mag load procedure. Not good.
        For handguns currently in use, New York Reload is the best option.

  2. I can sympathize. I don’t have the gout problem ( yet, thankfully ) but I do have some degenerative arthritis and that same joint is one of the affected. And yes, it does suck when you lose mobility, strength and dexterity over time.

  3. Actually there are a fair number of people who due to accidents, war injuries, and disease, who are now one handed or have lost the strength required to rack a slide and/or pretty much down to one hand to use for self defense. Gadjets to help maybe? A knob or projection on a shotgun slide so you could hook it in your belt and rack it??

  4. The late Paul Gomez has some really good videos on youtube about one handed pistol manipulation. An AR equipped with a sling isn’t too hard to run single handed, but a pump gun may pose some problems. I’ve tried tucking the butt-stock under my shooting arm, which works well enough for loading from the side saddle. It’s running the action that is difficult to do SAFELY with one hand.

  5. that is one reason I keep a tactical 1100 in reserve ,I have a 28 inch vent rib w/high vis sights and a nine shot extension also a 18 or 20 inch rifled bbl. with rifle sights with a seven shot extension.Do have a favorite replacment stock and forearm for the 1100? Gault

  6. As another who suffers from gout I can empathize. I won’t bore you with a litany of things to do and thing to avoid. I’m sure your doctor and more than a few well meaning friends have already told you all that. I hope it clears up soon.

  7. I’ve not had a recent gout attack (feet mostly), but I have (relatively) recently been diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It affects my hands and feet, so I understand some of what you’re dealing with. My problem … I haven’t nearly the experience base or training, so dealing with the issues is something that I’m slowly coming to grips with in my shooting.

    Any suggestions? I’m looking for tips/tricks/advice with running subcompact pistols and full size pistols. Rifles and shotgun tips are also welcome, but I currently don’t own either.

    I’m right handed (left eye dominant, so I’ve been experimenting shooting left handed), but the RA affects both hands, almost equally, if that helps any.

  8. I learned this lesson when I fractured my left elbow (my wife told me that’s what I get for violating rule 17 from Zombieland). Luckily, I had just replaced my standard transmission vehicle with an automatic. You quickly learn how dependent you are on your off hand if you suddenly lose the use of it.

  9. What did I learn?

    I hope I’m never in a gunfight.
    I hope and pray I don’t lose a hand/arm if I am.

    I need a LOT of practice.
    One argument for a full-size 1911 instead of my Ultra-Compact with the crazy-strong spring.

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