Firearms For Lefties
Article first appeared at American Rifleman.
It isn’t always easy being a lefty in a right-handed world, and the realm of firearms is no exception. When it comes time to purchase a new gun there are many factors to consider—cost, reliability, weight, fit and finish, ergonomics, size, etc. And for those, like myself, who are lucky enough to be members of the sacred fraternity of left-handedness, gun buying also requires a few additional considerations.
For example: Are the controls located in such a way that I will be able to operate this gun without contorting my hand into some tendon-straining position?
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Are the controls located in such a way that I won’t be able to use some of them at all? Can I run this gun without having to lower it from my shoulder after every shot? And in the case of many bull pups—Will firing this thing introduce an unhealthy amount of brass into my diet?
When 90 percent of the world does things one way, it is only logical for manufacturers to cater their goods toward facilitating that majority. And sure, with a little practice, an enterprising southpaw can learn to shoot most any right-handed gun, but why should he have to? Today there are more gun manufacturers producing designs that are either fully ambidextrous or specifically tailored toward left-handed shooters than ever before—with new models being introduced each year.
Here is a baker’s dozen of options for the proud left-handed gun buyer who is tired of adapting himself to a gun instead of the other way around.
Beretta ARX100—Chambered in 5.56×45 mm NATO, Beretta’s answer to the AR-15 platform features an ambidextrous case ejection selector, safety, bolt release, magazine release and charging handle. Beretta’s ARX160, offered in .22 Long Rifle, also shares the same ambidextrous features. Both models also come with a telescoping and folding stock and flip-up backup iron sights.
Browning 725 Citori Trap—Browning is one of the more southpaw-friendly manufacturers on the market today, offering left-handedversions of its BAR, T-Bolt and X-Bolt rifles, and its 725 Citori shotguns. Pictured here is the 725 Citori Trap, chambered in 12 gauge, with either a 30” or 32” barrel. What makes this shotgun left-hand-friendly is a top lever that has been reversed so that pushing it to the left breaks the action.
Bushmaster ACR A-TACS—Bushmaster offers its ACR (Adaptive Combat Rifle) in two chamberings and several different configurations and finishes, but all sport fully-ambidextrous controls. A magazine release, bolt release and safety selector switch are located on both sides of the rifle, and the non-reciprocating charging handle is reversible for use on either side.
Charter Arms Southpaw—The only revolver on this list, because it is also the only left-handed revolver on the market today, the Southpaw is identical to Charter Arms’ Undercover Lite model—just laterally reversed so that the cylinder opens to the right side. The Southpaw is a five-shot .38 Spl. with a 2” barrel, and weighs only 12 ozs. Charter offers the gun in aluminum and pink finishes.
Escort Supreme Magnum—Imported into the U.S. by Legacy Sports International, Escort makes both right- and left-handed models of their Extreme and Supreme Magnum shotguns. The gun included here is a Supreme Magnum in 12 gauge, with a 26” barrel and a weight of 7.4 lbs. Escort also offers a Supreme Magnum in 20 gauge, and Extreme Magnum 12 gauges in a variety of different finishes.
Fabrique Nationale FNX-45 Tactical—Another manufacturer who takes ambidexterity very seriously, lefties will find themselves at home with many of FN’s products. Featured here is the FNX-45 Tactical, a double-stack .45 ACP handgun with raised sights and an extended and threaded barrel for use with suppressors and compensators. Other left-hand-friendly FN models include the rest of the FNX line, the FNS line and the PS90.
Heckler & Koch P30LS—H&K offers numerous handguns that come in numerous configurations—many of which are ambidextrous, but a few of which are not—left-handed buyers are encouraged to double-check whether the specific model they are considering buying will suit their needs. The P30LS bears a slide stop and frame-mounted safety on each side of the firearm, as well as, a paddle magazine release in the trigger guard that can be actuated with either hand.
Ruger Gunsite Scout—Ruger designed four models of its Gunsite Scout to accommodate left-handed shooters, two in each of the firearm’s two available
chamberings—pictured is a .308 Win. rifle with a 16.10” matte black barrel. Ruger also offers lefty versions of its American Rifle line in seven different cartridges, and its Hawkeye African in .375 Ruger.
Savage Arms 220 Slug Gun—A bolt-action shotgun chambered in 20 gauge, the 220 Slug Gun is one of several firearms offered by Savage for southpaws. The 7.5 lb. gun features a 22” barrel and is drilled and tapped for a scope mount. Other left-handed
offerings include the 11 Trophy Hunter XP – Youth, 11/111 International Trophy Hunter XP and 110 BA.
Smith & Wesson M&P22 — S&W’s M&P22, as well as its entire line of double-stack M&P semi-automatic handguns, is fully ambidextrous. The guns all include slide stops on both sides of theframe and a reversible magazine release button, and those models of M&P that do feature manual safeties sport ambidextrous ones. The M&P22 comes in two sizes —full-sized and compact.
Stag Arms Model 3TL-M—Founded by a lefty for the purpose of giving lefties an option in the world of AR-15s, Stag Arms offers 15 models of left-handed AR in a number of chamberings and barrel lengths. Featured here is the Model 3TL-M, with a free-floating 13.5” Diamondhead VRS-T handguard and Magpul ACS buttstock. The gun is designed to be equally at home in tactical and competitive scenarios.
Thompson/Center Dimension — The Thompson/Center Dimension is available in 10 chamberings, all of which can be had in either a left- or right-handed rifle. The gun’s modular design allows all 10 calibers to be fired through the same receiver; it just requires the swapping out of interchangeable barrels, bolts and magazines. The rifles weigh 7 lbs. and have adjustable triggers. Barrel and overall length depend on the particular barrel installed.
Walther PPQ M2—Walther has produced two iterations of its PPQ striker-fired semi-automatic pistol—the M1 with a paddle magazine release, and the M2 with a more traditional push-button release—both of which are equally southpaw-friendly. The handguns are offered by Walther in three chamberings and multiple barrel lengths. Pictured is an M2 model, in 9 mm Luger, with a 4” barrel.