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Right-Handed Left-Handed Guns

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Top - This trope in full effect.
Bottom - How guns are really designed.
A trope that has become very visible in videogames, in which a firearm is clearly not designed to be used in the hand it's being held in; since almost all FPS protagonists are right handed, this has them holding left-handed guns. Or when wielding Guns Akimbo, a left-handed gun in the right hand and right-handed gun in the left.

In a real right handed gun, the ejection port almost always ejects spent casings to the right, away from the shooter. There's a good reason for this; spent casings are typically extremely hot and can be ejected with significant force; although many conventional service weapons like the AR-15/M16 family are designed for ambidextrous operation without need of conversion, using some weapons in the "wrong" hand is potentially dangerous. This is especially true of bullpup weapons, since the ejection port is further back on the weapon than a traditional design, usually right in the face of a left-handed shooter. The Austrian Steyr AUG and French FAMAS require conversion for left-hand operation, while the British Army simply trains everyone to use the SA80/L85 and its derivatives right-handed, period. The FN F2000 uses a forward-ejection system, while the P90 SMG/PDW ejects downward.

Sometimes the gun won't simply be reversed; the controls present on the left (to allow the user to operate them with their thumb; safeties, fire selectors, etc) will still be present, as well as all the stuff from the right.

Several game companies have spoken out as to why this is reversed in videogames; mainly, it's for the Gun Porn effect. The left side of a right-handed gun is typically fairly flat and less visually interesting than the various moving parts, levers and controls found on the right; in addition, there's an opinion that ejecting brass across the screen rather than off to the side is more "dynamic." The only guns that tend to escape this treatment are belt-fed machine guns, since the belt is interesting to look at and makes for a nicely in-depth reload that would be harder to see with the weapon reversed (machine guns that feed from the right, as such, tend to be reversed even in games where this trope is otherwise not used), and revolvers, since a typical revolver's cylinder already swings out to the left for reloading and they don't have an ejection port for spent brass to fly out of. Any game using this trope is also likely to have a lot of superfluous yanking of the charging handle during reloads, because, well, it's right there after all.

Another explanation for this trope that has been offered by gamers and game makers is that, in cases where a gun in a game is based on a gun in real life but that the developer has not officially licensed, mirroring the gun gives enough distance from its real world counterpart to be able to dissuade possible legal action for copyright infringement, since making more extensive modifications to the model takes much more time and effort than recreating an existing design as-is and then using a tool to mirror it.


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    Anime And Manga 
  • In the final story adapted for the Golgo 13 anime, Golgo gets in a car accident and requires the assistance of a brilliant neurosurgeon to restore functionality to his right arm. Then he learns that the surgeon is the adopted son of his current target. While he doesn't give up the job, he makes a point of acquiring a left-handed M16 to complete the job. He later tracks down and kills the man who hired him with a right-handed M16.

  • This promotional poster shows Captain Jack Sparrow dual-wielding a pair of flintlock pistols, one left-handed and one right-handed. Similar to cartridge ejection, the side the mechanism is on ejects a plume of smoke and sparks. Bearing that in mind, closer inspection shows he is holding them in the wrong hands - i.e. the left-handed gun in his right hand and vice versa.
  • In Saving Private Ryan, the left-handed sniper Jackson uses a right-handed M1903A4 rifle — appropriate for the period, as left-handed weapons in 1944 were only made by custom gunsmiths, and government procurement didn't (and still doesn't) bother with such things. While most left-handed shooters (including those who are actually right-handed and shoot lefty due to eye dominance) would still cycle the bolt with their right hand (after moving their left thumb out of the way), Jackson awkwardly flips his weapon sideways to cycle the bolt with his left. Apparently Barry Pepper is just that much of a lefty, despite him using his sidearm right-handed at other points in the movie.
  • In Romancing the Stone, the right-handed Jack Colton uses a left-handed Remington 870 Wingmaster shotgun for some reason.
  • Star Wars:
    • In The Force Awakens, one of the changes from the old E-11 blaster rifle to the newer F-11D used by the First Order is that the power pack (magazine) is moved to the right-hand side. In-universe, this is actually an aversion of the trope, since it allows right-handed users (which, like in reality, the majority of people in Star Wars are) to holster the weapon on their right to be easily accessed by their firing hand, and it being a blaster rifle means there's no issue of ejecting cartridges. The only issue would be the necessity of removing the firing hand from the grip to reload in a manner that doesn't involve holding the blaster awkwardly, but power packs last so long that they may as well be infinite, so that issue is unlikely to ever even come up.
    • This was brought up earlier in the 2008 Order 66 novel. Clone commando Corr complains about the left-side placement of the power pack on the DC-17m, noting that it can't be holstered on the right and wondering which bright light thought that was a good idea; Niner assumes some sort of Armchair Military type who's never had to actually carry and fire one.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Professionals. Doyle has a habit of drawing his Walther P-38 with his left hand, even though it's worn in a shoulder holster on that side, meant for a right-handed crossdraw.
  • One of the real-world reasons Stargate SG-1 switched its main weapon from the MP5 to the P90 was because the latter weapon ejects spent cartridges straight down behind the shooter's arm, versus the former ejecting cartridges violently out to the right, making it safer to have the actors standing side-by-side while firing when one episode called for such a scene.
  • One episode of Spooks has Tom, while undercover with a British infantry unit, stop a private from firing his SA80 assault rifle left-handed because the bolt would have flown back and possibly broken the private's orbital bone. This leads the colonel Tom's investigating to go into an angry rant about the rifle's shortcomings and the government inefficiency that led to its development.
    • The SA80/L85 cannot be operated left-handed, therefore everybody in the British Army shoots right-handed, no matter what.note  This is a common complaint against this rifle, even if the L85A2 model fixed most of the many reliability problems.

    Tabletop Games 
  • This happens a lot when people customise their miniatures for games such as Warhammer 40,000 and do not pay attention. Sometimes the hand wielding the weapon is also wrong. Others do it intentionally for the Orks, because Orks genuinely don't care about such petty details like gun safety.

    Video Games 
  • Counter-Strike is the earliest well-known example, and may have started this trope. Minh Le, who did the majority of the work on the models, is left-handed and wanted to play the game like that, so he created realistically-modeled guns being used left-handed. However, since playing with a left-handed gun is confusing for most of the right-handed world, they added an option for a right-handed model. Of course, to save time and resources, the option simply mirrors the left-handed gun models to the right. Every other CS-like Game Mod for late-90's shooters has the same issue; either a bizarre and in-depth case of Follow the Leader, or proof that Minh Le somehow worked on every one of them as well.
    • The German-exclusive weapons in Left 4 Dead 2 also have this issue, the weapons being pretty much directly ported from Counter-Strike: Source.
    • Global Offensive actually inverts this trope - the weapons are now modeled correctly for right-handed use, and the series-standard ability to switch sides mirrors the right-side models to the left. Part of this can probably be thanked on the game reusing modified models of some L4D2 weapons, which were already correctly modeled for right-handed use.
  • Destiny (and its sequel) averts this, as all weapons that aren't Hand Cannons, Rocket Launchers, Fusion Rifles, and Linear Fusion Rifles always eject their spent rounds to the right.
  • All S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games do this, despite their otherwise sensible FPS realism. This includes using left-handed SA80's and OTs-14 "Grozas" without explaining how the player avoids breaking his jaw with the moving bolt handle. One older mod for one game attempts to marginally fix the issue by making the cartridges fly off to the right... except that, given that the weapons' worldmodels are reversed, there's no ejection port on the right side of most of the guns. Newer mods have addressed this via complete overhauls of guns' models and animations.
  • The PlayStation 2 and Xbox game Black also does this, mostly in the name of Gun Porn. The weapons are also embellished rather heavily to play up the gun porn angle even more (the Uzi, for example, has an RIS rail immobilizing the charging handle on top and another charging handle added to the side).
  • Duke Nukem 3D is one of the earliest offenders. In a USENET post, the developers admitted that a right-handed Duke wielding guns with left-side ejection ports wasn't very realistic. Gratuitous spent brass flying across the player's field-of-view was just that cool. Duke Nukem Forever avoids this for its new pistol, but keeps it for the returning shotgun.
  • Averted, interestingly, in the grand-daddy of all modern FPS games, Doom: the marine in that game is actually left handed, using that hand for punching and holding the pistol (two-handed guns he fires with his right, though he still reloads the Super Shotgun in Doom II with his left hand).
  • Far Cry 2 goes to a ridiculous extent with this, doing it even when it results in a horribly awkward animation (your right-handed character using a Springfield with a lefty bolt, despite his thumb being painfully in the way of the bolt's travel and never moving out of the way) or really wouldn't matter (the upward-ejecting Desert Eagle has the barrel lock swapped, the downward-ejecting Ithaca 37 has a left-sided ejection port added on). Even the PKM which already ejects to the left is mirrored, this time so the belt is more visible (as such the M249 is the only weapon that isn't reversed - other than the M32 Grenade Launcher, but it has its own problems). Far Cry 3 and 4 for the most part do away with this (in particular being some of the very few games to let the PKM feed from the right and eject to the left like in real life), but still has some holdouts like the returning Dragunov and SPAS-12 and the new M1A and PP-19.
  • Zigzagged in the Battlefield: Bad Company series. Some weapons are modeled properly, while some are modeled weirdly - such as an HK416 with the ejection port on the left side of the receiver, but the forward assist still firmly on the right.
    • Battlefield 1942 and Vietnam had every gun modeled as left-handed; this practice stopped from 2 and onwards, save for the Bad Company spinoffs.
  • Postal 2 has a rather strange example. When you find a shotgun or sniper rifle on the ground, they will have a right-handed ejection port and bolt, but then once you pick it up and use it, the port/bolt is suddenly reversed. The corollary about simply flipping the right-side model for Guns Akimbo also comes up with the Paradise Lost DLC (which also has another straight example with its "Beta Shotgun"), though that's actually a lesser concern than, say, how the Dude makes a second copy of his current gun appear out of nowhere for a minute just from drinking a can of soda.
  • Strangely inverted with the Modern Warfare games - some guns have NO ejection port at all on their models, usually because they're on the right side of the gun, and even when aiming down the sight you wouldn't see that side of the gun anyway. By Modern Warfare 3 they've gotten blatant enough about it that even guns that should have something clearly visible on both sides of the gun when aiming, like the Desert Eagle's obviously-projecting safety levers, will only be modeled on the left side.
    • The top-tier shotgun in Call of Duty: Black Ops is the High Standard Model 10 (HS-10). Its only attachment is Akimbo, ignoring the notice on the weapon that explicitly states "Do Not Fire From Left Shoulder."
    • Akimbo in Modern Warfare 2, at least for the USP, results in a combination of correct and incorrect models - the right-hand gun is modeled as it should be (or close enough, given the above), while the left-hand one is, to save on resources, just a reversed copy of the right one. Other dual-wieldable guns tend to avert this, however; submachine guns in general likely do because they have their stocks folded to one side when used akimbo, which would make it incredibly obvious if the model was reversed.
    • The PKP in Modern Warfare 3 is reversed, presumably to make the belt more visible like with the other machine guns. Similarly, the Saiga 12 in Call of Duty: Black Ops II and the AWM in Call of Duty: Ghosts have left-sided ejection ports (the latter combined with a right-handed bolt handle anyway, just to anger gun enthusiasts further).
  • Done terribly in the MMO Fallen Earth. The bolt handles are usually on the left, yet your character still uses their right hand to eject spent shells from rifles.
  • The Marathon trilogy contains examples of this trope played straight, and being intentionally averted: right-handed sidearms (like the standard issue magnum automatic) will have correctly displayed right-handed actions and ejection ports, but when you pick up a second from a fallen (right-handed) comrade, it will suddenly be left-handed. This effect is caused by the guns-in-hand graphics and animations being flipped on the X axis for dual wielding, instead of adding a memory-hogging second graphic set.
    • The Unreal Tournament 2004 mod Ballistic Weapons, which handles Guns Akimbo much the same as Marathon, does this as well - weapons are for the most part modeled correctly for right-handed use, but any dual-wield-capable gun will have its model mirrored when in the player's left hand.
    • Unreal Tournament III justifies this for its returning, dual-wieldable Enforcer pistol, which is clearly designed with the ability to load its magazines from either side. How your character actually switches someone else's Enforcer around for left-handed use just by picking it up while already having one of their own is another story.
  • Halo: Reach's DMR ejects spent cases to the right, but the charging handle is on the left and visibly slides back and forth with each shot, putting the user's face in danger if he should ever look down the sight when firing.
  • Perfect Dark does this like a combination of the earlier Marathon and the later Battlefield: Bad Company - some weapons are modeled correctly for right-handed use, while others would fit better for left-handed users. Grab a second one, and that one's model will merely be a flipped copy of the first one. Perfect Dark Zero avoids giving right-handed people left-handed guns for the most part (there's only one rifle which has a left-sided ejection port), but continues flipping the model for one-handed guns used akimbo.
  • The two Blood games generally mirror a gun's sprite/model for Guns Akimbo. The exception is the Sawed-Off Shotgun of Blood II, which has your character hold the second shotgun with a second right hand where their left hand should be. The Extra Crispy Game Mod fixes this.
  • Zig-zagged in PlanetSide 2. There is little rhythm or reason to the placement of mechanisms on guns. Almost every TR weapon ejects to the right or downward, but the placement of the charging handle is seemingly random - the Mini Chaingun fires caseless ammo and has the bolt on the left, the CARV LMG both ejects and bolts on the right, and the TRAP-M1 has a left side-loaded magazine, ejects right, has a charging handle on the bottom, and has a reciprocating firing hammer that recoils backwards, which would have a good chance of whacking the shooter in the chin when aiming down the sights. Every gun's fire selector is animated on the left even when the gun has no visible selector switch; the T4 AMP pistol has the user flick the featureless grip when switching from semi to fully automatic.
  • Inverted by Die Hard: Nakatomi Plaza. Probably the only Licensed Game that bothers to take into account that John McClane is left handed, the models of guns are flipped over to make them suitable for a lefty. Particularly notable with the Steyr AUG, which needs a conversion kit to be fired left handed, which would make them useless to all the right handed terrorists encountered in the game.
  • Fallout 4 does this with most of its weapons, but a particular standout is the bolt-action hunting rifle. Every single one of the hunting rifles in the Commonwealth is a left-handed model, with the bolt hanging over the left of the stock. Yet the player character holds the weapon right-handed, meaning they must hold onto the rifle by the pistol grip to awkwardly cycle the weapon after every shot. The direction Bethesda took here is very confusing, as the hunting rifle from their previous Fallout game was modeled correctly.
    • The Handmade Rifle introduced in the Nuka World add on is an interesting example. It’s based on the AKM, which in of itself is kind of backwards for western shooters anyway with all of the controls on the right hand side of the gun, but it still ejects out the right side. The Handmade Rifle swaps the safety lever and charging handle to the left side, making it seem more correct to those unfamiliar with the AK platform, but it brings with it the issue of the ejection port being on the left side as well. This is likely because of the new Power Armor mechanic, making the animation for charging a more correct AK awkward when the player is in a suit that straddles the line into Mini-Mecha territory.
  • The F.E.A.R. games almost completely avert this - even the dual pistols in the first game clearly have both guns ejecting to the right and left-side-only safety levers - except for one particularly odd standout in F.E.A.R. 2's SHO Series-3 shotgun: among the many embellishments added to its real-world base to make the in-game model are the bolt and case deflector of a C7/M16A2 - on the left-hand side, the opposite of where they would be on the rifle they came from. Why this is the case is unknown, since while you can clearly see that bolt opening and closing with the pump, the gun still properly ejects shells to the right like the previous game's VK-12.
  • Borderlands:
    • Every gun has its magazine either at the bottom or on the left side while every playable character is right-handed, no matter how little sense it makes to hold a gun by the stock to reload it (even when the magazine is at the bottom). Again, this series is all about looking cool as hell while shooting bad guys with otherwordly cool guns, then who cares?
    • Borderlands 3: Lampshaded. A fire in the hold of the ship requires several burning crates of supplies to be shot out into space. Ellie complains that this included all the left-handed guns.
  • Minor cases in GoldenEye (2010); one gun has a flipped ejection port (the Anova DP3), and a few others have the charging handles (Ivana Spec-R and Kallos TT-9) or the safety lever (AK-47) on the wrong side. It's downplayed in that they all still eject to the right, and the AK's model was fixed for the Reloaded Updated Re-release.
  • Project I.G.I. plays this straight with the AK-47, but otherwise goes out of its way to avert this, with even a second Uzi being properly modeled rather than just flipping the right-hand gun. The sequel delves more into this: returning guns, even the new model for the AK-47, are still modeled properly, while most of the new guns take this to an extreme, with the left-hand side being a mirror of the right while their right-hand sides are correctly modeled and textured.

    Web Video 
  • This comes up on occasion in Forgotten Weapons, given that Ian McCollum is lefthanded, so his chances to shoot some of the guns he discusses usually very quickly display how unfriendly they are for anything but right-handed operation. Interestingly, he actually fired one gun where his left-hand preference came in handy - due to the odd design of the USFA ZiP .22, he would have been burning his trigger finger with hot brass if he fired it from the right (and if the gun were consistently able to fire and cycle properly).

    Real Life 
  • The loading gate on a Colt Single Action Army revolver is on the right-hand side; a right-handed shooter has to transfer the gun to his/her left hand to reload in a non-awkward fashion. This is frequently rumored to have been because Samuel Colt was left-handed, but he had nothing to do with the SAA's design, and was in fact dead for a decade by the time it was released; this is more because of its intended use than anything else. Pistols were originally meant to be used by officers and mounted units as a secondary weapon to their swords. Revolvers were worn in a cross draw holster high on the right hip for easy access from a saddle; they were historically used by cavalry far more often than by infantry (even nowadays, plenty of soldiers will tell you that, ounce for ounce, a couple extra grenades beats a pistol any day of the week). The SAA was originally intended for use by cavalry, and the .45 Long Colt cartridge, much like the massive Colt Walker, was intended to be powerful enough to bring down either man or horse with one shot.
    • In 1914, French officers were still expected to use their sidearm in conjunction with a sword. As a result, their standard-issue pistol in World War One was a revolver whose cylinder swings out to the right, for use in the left hand; just like the case of the Colt Single Action Army, this means that the officer's right hand is doing all the complicated motions during a reloading cycle.
  • The German Walther P38/P1 9mm automatic pistol, the standard service sidearm of the German Army during World War II and the West German Bundeswehr from 1958 to about 2004, is unusual in having its extractor and ejector both on the left side of the breech; most semiautomatic pistols have the extractor on the right side (including every other pistol Walther has ever made). As a result, the P38/P1 invariably ejects its "empties" straight out to the left, or up and to the left, the opposite of pretty much every other pistol in the world. No one at Walther has ever been able to adequately explain why this one pistol was built this way.note 
  • There are some guns that, by extension, avert this trope due to their design.
    • Ease of changing parts:
      • The Steyr AUG requires a quick change of the bolt and moving the ejection port cover to the other side; the weapon is issued with a spare bolt with the extractor and ejector on the opposite side for this purpose (save for "AUG NATO" versions compatible with M16 magazines, which are only right-handed, or variants used by the Irish military, which require specifically-ordered leftie versions).
      • The FAMAS has cutouts on both sides of the bolt for the ejector and ejection ports on both sides of the stock, requiring nothing more than partial disassembly to flip the ejector and the cheek rest to the other side to convert.
      • The VHS-2 likewise requires little more than pulling out the bolt carrier to pull out the cam pin and rotate it and the bolt 90 degrees, then pulling back the cheek rest to move a pin from one side to the other, opening one ejection port and pinning a dust cover closed over the other. In the short term it can also be fired from the opposite shoulder, as the cheek rest includes an enlarged shelf that is in theory supposed to keep shells from hitting the user in the face, so long as they keep their face behind that shelf.
    • Direction neutral design:
      • The P90 feeds from the top and ejects rounds downward behind the firing arm, with the selector switch just below the trigger and charging handles (and side-mounted backup iron sights) on both sides.
      • Desert Tech's MDR combines this with ease of changing parts. It's a rifle of bullpup design (magazine behind the trigger), but the ejection system kicks the case to one side before the bolt chucks it forward and out. While the direction of which side the cases go to can be easily changed, the forward ejection allows it so you can still use the rifle with the other hand if you need to.
      • The Ithaca model 37 shotgun has a unique combined loading and ejection port, which ejects spent shells downwards.
      • The Browning M2 can be set up to load ammo belts from either side, including which side the charging handle goes on, though since you're invariably firing one from directly behind in a fixed mount rather than carrying it like a regular weapon, this is less about keeping ejected brass away from the user (it ejects downwards, anyway) and more to let it be used in several different mountings, including side-by-side and quad-mounts (like Charlie's sled from Water World), which require flexible feeding and ejecting mechanisms.
    • While usually not direction neutral, lever-action rifles and pump-action firearms tend to at least be control neutral, since the loading mechanism is usually located under the receiver rather than on either side, most are comfortable for both right and left-hand shooters. Some, like the more famous among Winchester's lever-action firearms, also eject upwards rather than to any one side, with the 1887 in particular also loading shells in the same way.
      • An almost direction-neutral design is the World War II Bren light machine gun. It feeds from the top and ejects rounds downwards, but the sights are necessarily offset to the left, as otherwise the magazine would block them. The forward grip, likewise, is also offset to the left.
      • The Desert Eagle is another example. The slide-lock lever and magazine release are, as typical, on the left, but it's otherwise as direction-neutral as possible, with safety levers on both sides of the slide and ejecting its spent cases upwards.
    • The German army G36 standard assault rifle is designed to be used by both right- and left-handed soldiers. The ejector is on the right side of the weapon, but a good distance away from the optics, so that a left-handed shooter won't be hit in the face by the casings. It also has a symmetric grip, the safety-selector switch on both sides of the grip, and a unique charging handle that can be quickly grabbed and pulled from either side, so that it can easily be operated from the left hand. It is, however, more difficult for a left-handed soldier to carry the rifle, as it misses a hole for the carrying belt on the right side of the weapon, but this is mainly to avoid interference of the belt with the ejector. The XM8 and MP7, both based on the G36's action, are much the same, also adding bolt releases that can be easily hit with the trigger finger, rather than the left-mounted bolt release on the M4 and M16 the former was attempting to replace.
    • In US Navy use, earlier models of the Heckler & Koch MP5 were often modified with a "Navy trigger group", which added a second selector switch to the right-hand side of the grip. Later MP5 models and the UMP have ambidextrous fire controls straight out of the factory.
      • The CZ Scorpion EVO 3 appears to take a lot of inspiration from the MP5, with strikingly similar controls. From the factory, the Scorpion features a selector lever on both sides, an ambidextrous magazine release directly behind the magazine, that straddles the frontmost part of the trigger guard, and the charging handle can be swapped to either side (or a second handle could be added to the “wrong” side, thanks to the insane aftermarket). The only things on the weapon that aren’t ambidextrous are the ejection port, which is far enough forward to not be an issue, and the bolt release, located on the left hand side of the lower receiver.
    • While most pistols eject empty casings to the right, some, like the H&K USP and Walther P99, are designed with ambidextrous magazine release levers and buttons which allow users to quickly remove the magazine with either hand, at the cost of being slightly awkward for first-time users; the USP in particular also comes in nine different variants with safety lever, decocking lever, both, or neither, with the eight that include them split evenly between left-side for right handed shooters and right-side for left handed (with conversion from right- to left-handed or vice-versa as simple as changing out the lever and moving the control plate underneath from one side to the other). Others, like the latest revisions of the Beretta 92 and the Glock series, have reversible release buttons for left-handed shooters. Still others use heel-mounted release levers, popular pretty much everywhere except America, which are also easy to use with either hand. Ambidextrous slide-release levers remain rare, but that's in part because the typical placement for one in the first place makes it about as easy for a left-handed shooter to hit with their trigger finger as it is for a right-handed shooter to hit with their thumb (that plus a growing number of shooters who prefer to manually rack the slide to release it after an empty reload, which can also be done regardless of which hand you hold the pistol with).
  • The Stoner 63 zig-zagged this trope, depending on its configuration. Eugene Stoner (who also designed the AR-15) envisioned a "system weapon," or in modern parlance, a modular weapon. The Stoner 63 rifle could be reconfigured into a carbine, squad automatic weapon, or light machine gun by swapping and or rearranging a few parts. The rifle fed from a detachable box magazine under the receiver and ejected to the right. The carbine was simply the rifle with a shorter barrel group and folding stock. For the SAW configuration, you installed a heavy barrel group with integral bipod and flipped the receiver upside-down, feeding the magazine from the top and ejecting to the left. The LMG setup took the SAW configuration and replaced the mag well with a belt-feed mechanism that fed from the right and ejected to the left. All of these conversions could be performed in the field without tools in a matter of minutes. The Stoner 63 was field-tested in Vietnam to great reviews - the SEALs especially liked it as an LMG, "forgetting" to turn in a few of them when testing concluded and holding onto them up to the invasion of Grenada in 1983 - but was not adopted because the M16 was cheaper and already in mass production.
  • Fire a flintlock musket on the left hand side and you'll find a quite large amount of gunpowder explode in the pan centimetres from your eyeball.
  • AK series weapons have an ejection port on the right side that is far enough away from the shooter so that you can shoot it lefty. Whilst all the controls are on the right, they are all simple enough to operate them with either the support hand or firing hand with ease from either side, no matter the handedness of the operator (actual Soviet doctrine called for right-handed operation, including the use of the right hand for everything else as well, from changing magazines to cocking the bolt handle and handling the safety switch, to eliminate the possibility of accidental discharges).
  • The Diemaco C7 rifle (a Canadian copy of the M16), among other improvements, added a brass deflector behind the ejection port, which (at least in theory) prevents casings from hitting the shooter if they fire the weapon left-handed, as well as an ambidextrous safety/selector switch. The brass deflector was later worked into the M16A2 and later variants.
  • For years, Remington has been making left-handed bolt-action guns, and Model 870 shotguns.
  • The M1 Garand and Short Magazine Lee-Enfield from World War II both had sniper mods featuring scopes that were mounted to the left of the receiver, rather than above like most other scoped weapons, so as not to block the insertion (or, in the case of the Garand, ejection) of their clips when the user needed to reload, with the obvious downside that the scopes couldn't be used left-handed (at least without holding it awkwardly); the Garand's sniper mods even included an additional leather cheek rest slip onto the stock, which was designed to push the user's head left to keep their eye lined up with the scope. The improved Lee-Enfield No.4's sniper mod, the No.4 (T), averted this, using a 90-degree bent mount that fits to the left side of the receiver but still places the optic on the weapon's centerline, which allowed lefties to aim with the scope at the cost of slower reloads (since the scope blocked off the space needed to insert a clip).
  • Truth In Video Games for at least a couple of shooters. The USMC, for instance, has noticed that snipers using bolt-action rifles with the "wrong" bolt for their handedness (e.g. right-handed shooter using a lefty bolt) can cycle and re-fire the weapon faster than a sniper using the "correct" bolt for their handedness. The biggest reason for this is that the shooter can use their support hand to work the bolt rather than their firing hand. This gives a big benefit - the shooter doesn't have to break their grip with their firing hand, meaning they don't have to waste time ensuring their rifle is still on-target after a shot (especially since with any kind of precision supported shooting, such as with a bipod or sandbag, you don't need to support the weapon with your off hand). This has actually become a part of modern tactical shooting, from using the left hand to charge an M4, to reversible or ambidextrous charging handles on rifles like the SCAR and the above-mentioned G36.
  • The Chinese QBB-95, a light machine gun variant of the QBZ-95, is designed to use 75-round drum magazines rather than belted ammo. Since using a drum mag on a bullpup would be incredibly awkward to hold and fire, the drums are a proprietary design where the open end of the magazine is offset to the right, so the actual drum is closer to the chest area and not in the way of the shooter's arm. Of course, this would mean it would be even more awkward than normal for a left-handed shooter to use (and it hasn't stopped the gun from appearing in Counter-Strike Online, either).
  • The vz. 61 Skorpion machine pistol, thanks to its compact size lacks a charging handle, and rather has two little “nubs” attached to the bolt that ride on either side of the receiver that the operator actuates with their thumb and forefinger, and the brass ejects out the top. The only part that isn’t ambidextrous is the selector.

Alternative Title(s): Left Handed Right Handed Guns