February 2, 2018

Every police show or western movie makes it look so easy to draw your gun from your holster. In reality, there is a lot involved in the draw process and if it is not done correctly, the results can be bad. In a self-defense situation, how you draw your gun could mean the difference between life and death. Many accidents or negligent discharges happen while drawing and re-holstering a gun. Your aim is to quickly access your gun and draw it smoothly, safely and efficiently from the holster.

Depending on what article you read, there are between 5 to 9 steps involved in drawing your gun from a concealed holster. Most of them agree on the following steps.

Two things will affect your draw: (1) The type of clothing you are wearing and (2) the type of holster you have.

The proper clothing for concealed carry can make a big difference in how you draw your concealed carry gun. Wearing a jacket means you will need to sweep the jacket away as well as your shirt to access your gun. The colder months might also mean you’re wearing gloves. Thick gloves might not let your finger fit into the trigger guard to pull the trigger. Practice with different types of clothing from all seasons.

How you draw from your holster will depend a lot on the type of holster you have because there are different steps and methods involved for each type of holster. The steps outlined above are for an outside-the-waistband or inside-the-waistband holster. Drawing from other types of holsters on your person like a pocket, shoulder, small of the back, or ankle holster require different steps and techniques.

Pocket holster
Once your hand is on the gun’s grip, lift the gun out of the pocket, immediately turn it 90 degrees so it is pointing at the threat, raise it up the side of your body to meet your support hand at your chest, and then extend toward the target.

Shoulder holster
To draw from a shoulder holster, reach across your body with your primary hand while at the same time lifting your support arm up so it is parallel with the ground and acquire a strong firing grip. Once the weapon has been removed from the holster and is pointing toward the intended target, lower your support arm and obtain a two-handed grip.

Small of the back holster
The hand goes behind the back and rather than scooping the pistol up and out, the wrist must bend to access the pistol. Once the weapon has been removed from the holster and is pointing toward the intended target, extend your support arm and obtain a two-handed grip.

Ankle holster
When drawing from an ankle holster on the inside of the left leg, your first movement will be to take a step forward with your left leg and place your right knee on the ground. Next you have to clear the pant leg that is covering the handgun. A common method used to clear the pant leg is to grab the lower part of the pant leg on either side with both hands and lift it. This will expose the weapon. Once you have exposed the handgun, you can establish a good firing grip with your primary hand, which allows for an effective draw.

In order to draw your loaded firearm under pressure when your life is on the line, you will need to have developed great muscle memory so that you can do it as an instinctive reaction without any thought or awareness. In order to build that muscle memory you need to repeat the motions the same way every time and do it repeatedly. Start by practicing slowly and work on accuracy. Once you have the accuracy down and can pretty much do it without thinking, start adding some speed.

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