Handgun for a One-Handed Shooter?
Hello, all. I've had a bit of experience shooting revolvers in the past with my father, but I'm completely clueless when it come to semi-auto pistols. I had been planning to purchase my first pistol, but after an unfortunate injury I have found myself in a position where I have no choice but to amputate my left arm.
Thankfully I'm right handed, but I have found myself struggling to adapt to the news, and I have a feeling that this is going to make my hopes of owning a semi-automatic pistol impossible. Granted, I have no grudge against revolvers, I've fired them quite a few times before and know them to be reliable firearms. they're also something I can reasonably manage with the use of a single hand, but for a number of reasons I can't seem to let the idea of a semi-auto pistol go.. For example I planned to use the pistol for self defense, and as such I imagine there may be situations where I need to use the gun in the dark. I've yet to find a revolver I can modify with a tactical flashlight, and being that I will soon only have one hand, that makes carrying a flashlight (and using it safely) impossible. I suppose I could carry it in my mouth or on a headband, but then I can't control it without putting down my weapon, nor can I speak, and I feel wearing a light on your head is more dangerous than trying to manage in the dark.
For that and several other reasons such as ammo capacity I still find myself drawn toward purchasing a semi-automatic. Here, however, lies my question and problem.
I'm sure by now you've already thought to yourself "but how do you rack the slide" or "how do you clear a jam", and to both of these, I have no clue. I came here to ask if there's anyone who thinks (or better yet, knows) that it *IS* possible/reasonable to manage a semi-automatic pistol with the use of a single hand, and if so is there anything to look for that could make a difference in ease of use?
I've heard and seen that police and soldiers are taught one-handed drills in case they need to use their weapon when injured, however I understand these are SHTF tactics and I'm unsure as to if they're reliable or bad for your weapon (i.e. racking the slide with the rear sight)
I recently visited a local gun shop to try and ask a few questions on the matter, as well as asked permission to handle a pistol just to see if I could handle the weight and try to gauge how much force it takes to chamber a round, but their reaction to my inquiries were, unexpected. Not only did the salesman laugh in my face in response to my asking if a one-armed shooter can reasonably manage a semi-auto pistol, but he completely denied my request to even see a pistol, and walked away without even offering to suggest a more manageable option like a revolver.
For that reason I'm admittedly a bit reluctant to pursue the matter any further, and before visiting a different shop or asking any more questions in person I wanted to get some opinions online to see if his reaction was warranted.
Though I was crushed when I was given the news by my doctor (My first thought was actually "Does that means I can't handle guns properly") I found a decent amount of somewhat inspiring information when I did more research. It really didn't seem entirely outlandish to me to think that, though undoubtedly less masterfully than a two-handed shooter, I should at least be able to get by operating one. However given the response my questions got I can't help but feel I'm greatly mistaken.
Thanks in advance for whatever input you may be able to give, even if it's just to agree that a revolver is the clear choice. Furthermore, regardless of which type of weapon you think best, I hope someone may be able to give some suggestions as to specific guns they think might be the most appropriate choices for a beginner, as well as perhaps any modifications or features that may make the ability to shoot proficiently single-handed that much more within my reach. (Just as a point of reference for my single-hand limitations, I recently tried firing a Ruger SP101 with a 3" barrel and had no issues handling that level of weight (around 30 oz) nor caliber (It's .357, but I only loaded 38 specials at the time) though I don't think I could manage a higher caliber properly, and too much heavier would likely require me to do some exercises else I might fatigue too quickly and lose accuracy)