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View Full Version : Top 3 holster-draw precautions!


rauke
April 24, 2009, 12:37 PM
Now that a newbie has asked me to teach him how to draw from a holster, I am reviewing and diarizing the best advice for doing a safe, quick draw.

If I recall correctly, 80% of all handgun mishaps occur when drawing from concealment, so undertaking to teach this procedure is no trifling matter.

Basically I’ve boiled what I know down to three caveats:

1) Make a conscious effort to keep your trigger finger out of the trigger guard until your sights are on target and you are ready to fire. This will keep you from shooting yourself in the foot, or in the leg, during the draw stroke.

2) If you are shooting two-handed, wait until your support hand is positioned correctly before allowing your trigger finger to enter the trigger guard. This will prevent you from blowing any fingers off your support hand.

When firing one-handed (especially from the hip) be conscious of where your other hand is. If your other hand has a tendency to wander, hold a bag in the unused support hand to weigh it down, or use it to hug a package to your chest to keep that hand from going anywhere dangerous.

3) If the gun slips from your grip at any point during the draw stroke, let it fall to the ground! Grabbing a falling weapon is one of the surest ways of precipitating an accidental discharge. You have no way of knowing where the gun’s muzzle will be pointing, or where your fingers will go, in the time that it takes you to grab it.

If you’re lucky, the gun will be pointed in a safe direction and none of your fingers will contact the trigger. If you’re unlucky, the gun will have spun 180 degrees in mid-air and your grab will put a finger (usually the thumb) on the trigger, shooting you through the head or torso (and possibly also injuring the person standing behind you---who would likely be me, the instructor). So don't even think of trying it!

Those of us who know how to do it, take the act of drawing a gun from a holster for granted. New shooters who have to learn the drill, are well advised to do a lot of unloaded, dry practice before attempting to fire their first shots on the range.

Did I miss any thing?

GuyMontag
April 24, 2009, 01:15 PM
I would say you have the general concept down, but need to be more firm about your rules.

For instance,
1) Make a conscious effort to keep your trigger finger out of the trigger guard until your sights are on target and you are ready to fire. This will keep you from shooting yourself in the foot, or in the leg, during the draw stroke.

Your finger should NEVER touch the trigger until the sights are on target and you have made the decision to fire. There's no conscious effort. It's a rule and one of the four primary. The ramifications are not significant. By introducing ramifications, it introduces doubt to new shooters that there are exceptions. "Well, if my foot and leg are ok, then that's all I have to worry about..." I like the word NEVER.


2) If you are shooting two-handed, wait until your support hand is positioned correctly before allowing your trigger finger to enter the trigger guard. This will prevent you from blowing any fingers off your support hand.

The procedure for a two handed firing position from a draw includes joining both hands and obtaining a proper purchase BEFORE even punching out toward the target. The support hand should be waiting on your body's center line for the strong hand to bring the gun to it. They meet, you secure your grip, and punch toward the target. Also, your support hand position isn't the key for when to allow your trigger finger to enter the trigger guard.

I would also encourage a new shooter to focus on form and never speed. Like they say, smooth is fast. Fast is not necessarily smooth. Fast is what happens when you practice being smooth.

I don't mean to sound militant, but I'd hate to see either of you get hurt. Be very specific about the draw and presentation.

rauke
April 24, 2009, 01:43 PM
Thanks for that!

Am taking your advice on board.

pax
April 24, 2009, 01:43 PM
http://www.corneredcat.com/Holster/belt.aspx

Hope it helps.

pax

rauke
April 24, 2009, 01:47 PM
That's a good illustrated reference that I can certainly use.

I especially like the section on re-holstering, and will put down additional notes for that.

rauke
April 25, 2009, 01:32 PM
At today's range session, gave newbie all the advice I possibly could and showed him the instructional photos provided by pax before we began. (Had to bring my laptop, of course, which was another first.)

Newbie was equipped with a Taurus PT140 riding in a De Santis Pro Stealth IWB holster, and readily took to the admonition that "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast."

Started facing a standard IDPA silhouette at 7 meters, with instructions to draw and fire 2 shots COM. In all, did 50 live-fire draws and consumed 100 rounds. (Also did a lot of dry-fire draws in between.) Newbie is fairly proficient with his handgun and regularly achieved required COM hits.

By the end of the session, newbie was doing under 2 seconds from start of draw stroke to first contact shot. Not bad for a first session!

The most important thing was that there were no dramas or mishaps, thanks to the advice from pax and GuyMontag.

Archie
April 25, 2009, 08:46 PM
But I'm going to say it too, anyway.

Always START SLOW. (Don't think of that as yelling, just speaking forcefully.)

In fact, new shooters should be instructed to draw by the numbers.

Step 1: Sweep jacket or cover and grasp grip, keeping finger out of trigger guard.

Step 2: Release retainer (usually concurrent with 1.) keeping finger out of trigger guard.

Step 3: ... and so on.

Then after the student has done this enough times to want to choke the instructor, move on to one continuous motion, but slowly, emphasizing the correct movements - much like a martial arts kata. Which is EXACTLY what this is. (If handguns aren't a martial [from the root word for miltary, implying armed] arts form, nothing is.) Slow movements, emphasizing correct release of retaining mechanisms, movements of hand and weapon to avoid pointing it at self or partner, keeping fingers away from the wrong places, and coordination of both hands.

Speed picks up later. In fact, raw, blinding, astounding speed may not be all so important in most instances.

MrCleanOK
April 25, 2009, 11:32 PM
I will share my draw sequence with you. I do a mental 4-count as I do it, and practice frequently to commit to muscle memory.

NOTE: This draw is for typical strong side carry, and works with Weaver or Isosceles stance and "two thumbs forward" grip.

1: Grip.

Strong hand goes to grip. Trigger finger pointing straight down the frame on the outside of the holster so that as the gun clears, it is right where it needs to be, outside the trigger guard. Support hand is held with the palm flat against the stomach, just below the pectoral sternum. This keeps the support hand in a safe place so you don't shoot it on accident.

2: Draw.

Pull the gun straight up from the holster, along the side of your body to the height of the support hand. Finger outside the trigger guard. Support hand stays put.

3: Rotate.

Rotate strong hand to point the muzzle towards the target. Support hand stays put. If neccessary, the gun can be fired from this position. Otherwise, finger stays out of the trigger guard.

4: Extend.

Push the strong hand straight out towards the target, support hand meets the strong hand and completes the combat grip in one smooth motion as the gun is pushed out. During this step, your eyes should be finding the front sight post while the gun is in motion so that they will have a fix on it when you reach full arm extension.


Holstering the gun, I perform the same procedure in reverse. Draw the gun straight back to my side, keeping the muzzle pointed at the target and "dropping off" my support hand as the gun gets to my side. Rotate muzzle down, then insert straight down into holster.


With enough practice, this draw becomes a very fluid and natural motion. It's safe, and acquiring the front sight quickly is very repeatable.