Not long ago, a friend pointed out a video shared on a training site the instructor seemed proud of.
A trainee wearing a range holster was tensely waiting for the whistle.
The trainee had his hand on the pistol, adjusting his grip, and his hand never left the pistol.
When the whistle blew, the trainee drew the pistol and emptied his pistol into the target. I fail to see any useful skill this drill taught.
Open-carry holsters are fine for beginners, but at some point we must master the concealed-carry draw stroke.
The concealed-carry handgun draw is an important part of personal defense training. It is a critical skill and a perishable skill.
It isn’t like riding a bike, constant practice is required. If you do not execute the draw correctly there are high levels of danger.
You may have an accident and shoot yourself or someone else.
If attempting to draw to face a threat and you fumble the draw, then you may be at a severe disadvantage when the shooting starts.
Only practice the draw with a fake gun or a triple-checked unloaded firearm.
Only after a great deal of practice will you proceed to live-fire drills.
At all times, keep the finger out of the trigger guard and firmly alongside the pistol’s frame. Keep the finger out of the way until you fire.
Not when you think you will fire, but when you fire.
It is most profitable to address each step of the concealed-carry draw. While the draw will become a single smooth motion, there are different steps.
On the range, it is wise to avoid turning the draw into several steps, but this is the draw stroke itself. Confusing? Not really.
The actual act of drawing the handgun is simple. Drawing from concealed carry is more complicated.
Pushing aside or clearing the covering garments is the first essential step. The presentation always leads to the firing stance.
The presentation begins with moving the weak-side hand out of the way of the shot. Holding the arm up or on the chest works well.
Before the actual presentation, you clear the covering garments.
An efficient way to do so is to clear the garments with the weak hand and move the covering shirt up and out of the way.
If you use an open front garment, then sweeping the gun hand back works.
Do NOT move the gun hand to the gun, get a grip and then draw. That is slow. Move the gun hand from under the gun and scoop the gun up.
As soon as you touch the gun, get the proper firing grip.
You CANNOT adjust the grip on the way out of the holster, get a firm grip on the first moment you touch the holstered handgun.
The handgun must be lifted straight up and out of the holster.
If you bend the handgun at an angle, it may drag or the sights may snag on the holster. (I like a built-in sight track.)
The gun is scooped up and out, not dragged out. At this point you lever the elbow into the firing position.
The weak-side hand will meet the handgun in front of the buckle as you push the gun toward the target.
If you are firing with one hand at very close range, modify this technique.
The Covering Garment
If you clear away the covering garment, it may fall across the handgun again if you make a mistake.
Move quickly and tear and rip the gun out of the garment — but get it right the first time to avoid this type of fight with your clothing.
You should also practice re-holstering. There is no need for speed at this point.
Bring the gun to the rear, slightly tilt the handgun into the holster and press it into the scabbard. This requires clearing the covering garment as well.
When clearing away covering garments, be certain to use the thumb and a bladed hand.
The opposable thumb we are gifted with works wonders in many day-to-day pursuits. The hooked thumb will move clothing as you draw.
If you use the weak hand to pull the garment up — like when drawing from under a sweater — it is important that you do not grab the body of the sweater, but grab the hem and pull up.
Don’t release the garment until the pistol is drawn.
Conclusion: How to Do the Draw Stroke Properly
Getting the gun into action is vitally important, but simple enough. Shoot the elbow the rear and the hand scoops the handgun out of the holster.
The handgun is moved toward the threat and the sights are aligned on the target. The trigger is pressed and you have a hit.
Don’t fire every time during practice, mix up firing and not firing after you draw. The key is practice. 500 repetitions is a good standard.
How do you practice your draw stroke? Let us know in the comments section below!
For more information about training with a handgun, take a look at these other articles: