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September 14, 2007

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A Sympathetic Place For Us Southpaws

Very seldom does this blog bother itself with such vulgar matters as commerce, but I feel obliged to, as it might ease the burden of suffering of my fellow left-hand shooters, we who are rebuked, scorned, ignored, and tossed only occasional crumbs by the gun biz.

Safari Outfitters Ltd. Is a high-end gun store in Salt Point, NY, that is owned by Niles Wheeler. Niles is one of the finest human beings in the world, shoots left-handed, and has a soft spot for the directionally challenged. There are almost always a couple of nifty left-handed rifles (and sometimes even shotguns) in the racks, and since he knows a lot of sinistral shooters, he can often get hold of something left-handed when others can't.
Even as you read this, he has one of the most unusual dangerous-game rifles I've ever seen. It's a .416 Taylor, built on a left-hand Remington 700 action, and converted to controlled feed. The rifle is what's known as a "project" gun--it passed through the hands of 15 top gunsmiths (the list reads like a who's who of the greats) each of whom did something nifty to it. If there is a refinement that could be added, I don't know what it might be.
It ain't cheap, but for what it is, the price is very reasonable ($6,495). You can see the rifle, and find out more about the store by going to safarioutfittersltd.com.

There are also two Winchester Custom Shop left-hand Model 70s that  were made for one of Niles' customers; one is a .30/06, the other a .300 Win Mag. Both have full-fancy walnut stocks, stainless actions, and half-octagon, half-round stainless barrels. Both are NIB with all the tags and papers. I doubt that there are any other rifles in the world like these, and Winchester collectors as well as southpaws ought to pounce on them.


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Chris H.

Ah! Something for us lefties. If only I had any money.

Ralph the Rifleman

Nice wood on it..

Chad Love

Oh man, if only I had the money...
Oh man, if only I had ANY money...

Right now I'm trying to scrounge a cheap leftie 700 action for a project gun. Not hardly any out there locally. So if we're 10 percent of the population shouldn't it stand to reason that 10 percent of the guns should be made for us...

Steve C

Nice to see a custom rifle that hasn't been tarted up


You guys are breakin' my heart. If you'd gone to Catholic grade school back in the 50's like I did, those nuns would have converted you to "righties" in relatively short order. And I have the scars to prove it. Sister Atilla the Hun had no problem what-so-ever converting those of us directionally challenged. Remember, it's a choice, not chance. Hell, we weren't even allowed to bat left handed on the playground!!!


The owner of my favorite gun store is a leftie. I'd never seen so many southpaw pea shooters in my life. In fact, that's one of the reasons he opened the store.
An absolutely beautiful firearm, I don't care what it cost! It's just beautiful.
My nephew is a leftie, right eye dominant.
My daughter, bless her little pea-picking heart, is a rightie, LEFT eye dominant!! Try qualifying on the police range with that obstacle. Don't know how, but she did!!



Signs of Devils. They have all the bad girls.

Clay Cooper

Man it’s hell being on the shooting line next to a southpaw in a NRA service rifle match! Get occasional hot casing down the neck!


Don't get me started on lefties. When I went through sniper school they gave me a choice of a right hand bolt or an M-14. I still don't own a lefty bolt action. Everything I own is a single shot, lever action, semi-auto or a pump in rifle. I did go out and spend an insane amount of money 6 yrs ago for a lefty super black eagle. Unfortunatly I've had problems using it because I'm so used to my other 5 shotguns that are all right handed. You know what they say,,, practice practice


Mr. Petzal,

I am a college kid on a budjet, could you recommend a accurate reasonably price .22-250? This question is of course open to everyone.

Dennis Crabtrey II

to TJB- Savage model 12. Accurate, inexpensive, and just a great gun.


Myself being a Southpaw, and the sign of the Devil (from previous post) articles like this make me want to open a store like Safari Outfitters Ltd in my area; San Francisco/ Bay Area.
That's a beautiful weapon though and thanks for the post.



Clay Cooper

TJB, college kid on a budget and need an accurate reasonably price .22-250? I strongly recommend Remington’s Model 700. Accuracy right out of the box, with a warranty, the best on the market. Biggest bang for the buck! I’ve sighted in hundreds of rifles and Remington I must say is the best.

Clay Cooper

I believe that Congress should give those Southpaws a tax credit when they buy a firearm!

Doug Hyde

To Steve C.:

Right on, bro!! The nuns had a crack at me during the late '40s-early '50s. However, they weren't 100% successful. I shoot a firearm and write right-handed, use most tools with either hand and play most sports such as golf and baseball right-handed. I eat left-handed and shoot a bow left-handed--no way can I hold a bow righty. (also shoot pool lefty). I'm also left eye dominant.


you catholic school kids don't feel bad, i was completely ambidexterous (eating, writing, shooting, fishing, sports, etc.) when i was young and a teacher in grade school put a stop to it forcing me to go right handed. after a while i couldn't use my left for anything anymore


I think I was supposed to be a lefty but something or other got crossed up. Even the nuns in grade school couldn't get it out of me. I shoot a rifle and pistol right-handed(left eye dominant), a bow left-handed, throw and bat left, hockey stick right, eat & write left(with the paper set up for right). Go figure.


I hope you haven't quit reading by now.
Try a New England Firearms Handi-rifle.
Very inexpensive and practical.
The first one I ever owned, I was not impressed with. With the addition of an old Weaver K-4 I had stuck back, the little .22 Hornet proved to be a tack driver.
At this point, I have yet to find a more affordable firearm and in the case of the Hornet, worth even more than I paid!!! (best I remember at time of purchase, $189.95. Last new one I saw on a shelf was about $250.00)
Take heart America, most of us can afford a new rifle!!!!

Blue Ox

Ahhh, the joys of being ambidexterous!

Tom Obuhanych

.416 Taylor?! Ha! I have a .416 Newton which has the same ballistics as a .416 Taylor in a beltless case! My custom rifle isn't eye candy like the one pictured, but will shoot as well, and slightly better ballistics, although you can use .416 Taylor reloading data. The .416 Newton can use .375 Ruger cases, .35 newton cases, .338 WinMag cases,
and .358 Norma Mag cases. When the belted cases are used as parent cases, the belts go in the chamber & are flattened out some after firing. When Marc Jamison finally comes out with his new Newton brass, I can use .35 Newton brass necked up with 1 pass through the .416 Newton die.
.416 Taylor is a great efficient cartridge, but the beltless .416 Newton is one better!
Aloha, Dude

Dr. Ralph

TJB needs a new rifle? Clay you didn't try to talk him into the 25-06? Remington doesn't make the SPS, BDL or CDL in .22-250 so he's looking at about $900 for a 700. And don't forget the price of a scope...

TJB what exactly is "reasonably priced" to you? Don't buy a Handi-rifle unless $250 is your budget. It's a single shot and I just know you want a bolt action. But for $250 it's a heck of a deal. For $400 you can buy a Weatherby that is guaranteed to shoot a 1.5" three shot group from 100 yards. It's called a Vanguard and I'll go ahead and tell you it's made in Japan because if I don't everyone else on this blog will. If you don't need "Made in America" stamped on the side of your barrel it's the very best value in a center fire rifle today.

Dr. Ralph

TJB Savage makes a Model 12 VF in .22-.250 with a 26" heavy barrel and it lists for $594. Imagine you could buy it for under 5. Possibly your best choice if this is for blasting varmints and not carrying around all day.


If i could scape together that much cash i would seroiusly consider that rifle. Its a real pain trying to find lefthanded rifles and if you do they cost a lot more then a right handed rifle. Only two gun shops with in fifty miles of my place have lefthanded guns. The only lefthand rifles i have are a 700 BDL Custom Deluxe(7mm Ultra Mag) and a custum made 300 Win Mag. If i have to i can work the bolt over top of the action and scope. The nice thing is one of my buddies owns a gun shop a keeps any lefthnaded guns he thinks i will like. Great post Dave

Mike Strehlow

Ten years ago, an injury to my right eye forced me to shoot long guns left-handed.
What I'd like to know is, which lever, semi-auto, and pump right-handed long guns work best for lefties? Single shots aside, David, which right-handed long guns have you, in your long and varied shooting career, found to be friendliest to lefties?

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