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Hi guys,

I'm looking to buy my first rifle and am looking at bolt action. The one wrinkle is that I shoot left handed. I've used borrowed right-handed bolt guns in the past without issue. However, after doing some reading, I've seen that some people say shooting a right bolt gun left-handed can be dangerous. Their reasoning is that if the gun were to fail and blow-back, the gas/bolt could fly right into a lefty's face, where it would fly away from a righty.

I assume this is rare, but, in your opinion, is it something to be concerned about? I was looking at getting a Weatherby Vanguard, but if it's not safe, I will look at a left handed model instead.

Thanks.
 

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I wouldn't worry at all about it..
2 of my buds are left and shot right handers for years...

Id be more looking at stock fit (Some stocks are made for right handers, with palm swells n such that may feel off shooting left)..
If it fits well, fire away, I wouldn't give it a second thought..
 

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I've watched a few lefty Canadian Rangers shoot the Enfields up at the competition in Ottawa. They have no issues at all. One guy that for a few years was the best ranger shot over and over again was just amazing to watch operate that rifle. He would do as good and better than the guys using the C7 with optics. Even on rapid fire matches.

A lot of leftys will reach over with the left hand to operate the bolt, leaving the right to hold the forestock up.

Your biggest hazard will be the spent casing being ejected. It might come back towards your face. Not too hard to just change position ever slightly to make it go by though.
 

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I'm left handed and when i started shooting didn't even know about lefthanded bolts ....never had a problem probably just screw me up now. being a new shooter might be a good idea to start with a left handed bolt
 

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My father is left handed, only started shooting a left handed rifle last year because he bought a new rifle. Shot right handed for years with no issues. I'd say shoot what feels comfortable, if right feels fine then shoot right, if left is better, then shoot a lefty
 

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Yes they are safe, I have been shooting right handed rifles for 35 years and i am left handed.

Too late for me to change but you may want to buy left handed.
 

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I only own 2 bolt action rifles. A browning a-bolt left hand for big game and I also own a browning a-bolt right hand 22 mag. I shoot left but never had an issue with the right hand bolt. Maybe a slight inconvenience with the right hand bolt, but never a safety issue.
 

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I actually find my right hand .22 more comfortable than my left hand .270, probably because i grew up with it, but maybe also because its such a light gun. However, i do recommend buying a left hand bolt if youre left handed, definitely nice with those bigger casings going away from your face.
 

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I've always shot left-handed with right-handed rifles and never had any issues. Could be because I'm only "left-eyed" and actually right-handed. I think working the bolt with my left hand would be really awkward though.

Shotguns are another matter -- specifically, the safety. I bought a right-handed 20 gauge with a cross-bolt safety behind the trigger, and found it took me so long to disengage the safety that I was missing a lot of opportunities. Ended up selling it. We're only talking about a fraction of a second, but that's plenty with rabbits and birds in the woods. I found out that only Browning and Mossberg make shotguns with an ambidextrous thumb safety.
 

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GREYBEARD
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My shotgun is Browning and a tang safety is quicker and also safer as its more visible.A crossbolt safety is slower for sure.
 
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