If you run an AR style weapon then you should be intimately familiar with the “tap, rack, bang” method of immediate action. When a stoppage occurs, both civilian and military shooters are taught to come off the forearm of the rifle with the non-firing hand and “tap” the magazine, then “rack” the slide, and then sight back in and attempt to fire. This method works great “if” you are right handed. However, if you happen to shoot left handed, not only is this method awkward and slow, but the shooter often fails to completely rack the charging handle to the rear and almost always wastes precious time trying to get back on the sites after completing immediate action. For left handers, there is a better way to conduct immediate action that is lightning fast and far more effective. I call it the Owen Left-handed Immediate Action Method© or Owen LIA Method© for short.
To conduct the Owen LIA Method© when a stoppage occurs, the left-handed shooter will remove the firing hand (left hand) from the pistol grip while maintaining his cheek/stock weld and site picture with the forward non-firing hand (right hand). Using the now free firing hand, tap the magazine as you would during normal immediate action. Then, with the firing hand, come up the left side of the rifle and rip the charging handle fully to the rear as you tilt the rifle’s ejection port slightly downward so as to not disrupt your site picture. There is no need to grasp both sides of the charging handle. Simply rip rearward along the side of the receiver with your hand and engage the charging handle as you continue the rearward motion. Once the charging handle has been completely racked to the rear, immediately return your firing hand to a proper shooting position on the pistol grip and trigger. Once your grip is re-established, you should be ready to re-engage your target.
This method is not only as quick as the right-handed method for right-handers, but can be performed actually faster. The much more favorable biomechanics of the Owen LIA Method© allows the left handed shooter to manipulate the weapon easier and much more reliably. This is in part due to the fact you don’t have to move your hand as far and you are now not bending in unnatural directions. This is especially important for left-handed shooters that are smaller in stature, weaker, or not as well trained, which will have significant problems with the standard immediate action procedures. Finally, when rapid engagement is critical, such as in combat or in competition, the method prevents the left-handed shooter from ever having to come off of their sites/target unlike the standard immediate action method. By allowing the entire drill to be completed without removing the stock from your shoulder or having to move your head, the shooter, even using magnified optics, never has to take their eyes off their sites. These are huge advantages and for this reason, I now teach any of my students this method to use as their primary immediate action method.
Submitted December 15, 2015