View Full Version : Draw practice question

May 16, 2011, 10:33 PM
I'm new to training with my handgun. I shoot it well at the range, but have never drawn from a holster and shot. Now that I'm interested in CCing, I want and need that training. To that end, I've spoken with an NRA instructor (but have not taken a class) about draw and dry-fire practice. He suggested I do some research into 1) good draw technique and 2) good dry-fire practice.

In some searches here on TFL, I came across this (http://thefiringline.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4304119&postcount=3) post which had some great step-by-step directions as to how to draw a pistol from a holster. My question is whether or not there are any other techniques or if this is considered the best technique? Are there some good dry-fire practice tips you would recommend with this sort of drawing practice? Is draw practice, (safe) target acquisition, then dry-fire with solid trigger control a good place to start? All of this, of course, would be unloaded, with ammunition in a different room.

As you could imagine, while I've gotten good at bringing my pistol up from the ready position, acquiring my target downrange, then pressing the trigger, I've never done that from a holster, hence the need for draw, acquire, press.

Thanks for your help.


May 16, 2011, 10:55 PM
People are unique, so no technique is going to work perfectly for everyone.

That said there are some basic things to keep in mind in order to insure that your draw works effectively and that you practice safely.

1. Keep your finger out of the trigger guard until the muzzle is coming up on target. Take your finger out of the trigger guard as soon as the muzzle comes off the target. This is absolutely critical. It's best to lay your trigger finger alongside the gun above the trigger guard.

2. Keep your support hand out of the way of the muzzle while drawing. Put it on your stomach, against your chest, grab your belt buckle, or do something else that absolutely prevents your sweeping your support hand as the muzzle comes upward and forward. You want the muzzle pointed forward and out in front of you before you bring your support hand. It should come to the gun from behind and beneath.

3. Get a good grip before you do anything else. It's pointless to try to draw a gun until you have a good grip on it. If it takes you awhile to get a good grip then take the time required to do it right. A slow draw that works is better than a fast draw that results in dropping the gun or that puts you in the situation of having to make major adjustments to your grip on the gun during the draw.

4. Practice SLOWLY and make sure you are consistent and safe. A large mirror is a good practice tool because it will help you see your mistakes. GO SLOWLY!!! Get the technique RIGHT and speed will eventually come automatically with practice. Trying to go fast will lead to sloppiness and bad habits. Practice is about doing things properly/learning to do things properly.

May 16, 2011, 11:00 PM
Those steps are very good and that is the way I was taught. The thing that he mentions at the end that I would like to stress is "smooth". Do not try to be fast, try to be smooth. Start out going a step at a time, stopping at each position, then smooth it out until it is one motion. Do not worry about speed, that will come on its own eventually.

When you practice a technique it takes 10,000 to 15,000 CORRECT repititions before enough muscle memory is built for it to be a reflexive action. Incorrect reps don't count. Concentrate on form.

May 16, 2011, 11:43 PM
Good advise above and I would like to add.
As said above there are slightly different styles and what may work for one may not work for another. When you are taught how to draw by an instructor they will teach you "by the numbers".
I will tell you what I do from what I was taught

(I use the modified weaver stance) for me it's a more natural combat stance. but there are excellent shooters that use the isosolise so you'll have to see what you like best.

For me..
From a relaxed standing position.
Number 1. - Acheive a combat stance and get your combat grip.
I step back with my strong foot place my week hand on my chest and get a high grip on my pistol. (pistol is still in the holster.) Get use to where that pistol is.
as said in previous post you can't practice enough. You can do this step over and over before you try to add step 2.

Step 2.
Clear the holster -
I Draw my weapon straight up high out of the holster (with a straight trigger finger) and rotate my pistol on target. (my weak hand is still on my chest) At this point I can shoot if the threat is at extremely close range. This is called shooting from retension. otherwise..

Step 3.
I push my pistol at the target bringing my sights on target. (in step 2 i said I do a high draw this brings my weapon right up under my armpit. when I push my weapon out in step 3 it aligns on target faster. If you practice a lot you can see you sights align before your arms are extended.

Step 4.
Front sight focus and squeez the trigger or press or pull or whatever your instructor wants to call it.

In my eyes probably the most important thing is straight trigger finger until you are ready to shoot. Like said in previous post practice haveing your trigger finger straight and against the frame of the weapon just above the trigger guard.

The second most important might be front sight focus. Make sure your front sight is crystal clear then pull the trigger.

Do these steps slowly over and over. At first you'll feel like a robot.
Step 1...Step 2...Step 3... Step 4

Do this slowly and practice proper form. As they say in the military "Slow is smooth and smooth is fast."

After you practice this many, many, many times the steps will start to smooth out. Don't rush this though.

Then continue your training. One thing I've learned about combat is that it is very fluid and very fast. If your stationary and you shooting a stationary target your not really getting the best training for a defensive situation. When the SHTF for you - You Will Move! If you have not practiced shooting while moving your not do your best to prepare yourself in my eyes.

Practice, practice, practice, and stay safe.

May 16, 2011, 11:45 PM
Completely agree with the above comments...having recently acquired my "Permit To Carry" I'm in about the same situation as you are Fish..I went to the local range with a local NRA instructor last weekend where we were shooting some qualifying shots for a future class. When we got that out of the way he was going through some drills to practice for an upcoming IDPA meet and he was also giving me some "lessons" on drawing from the holster...started of with and empty magazine/chamber of course and ran through the process slowly/methodically for awhile pretty much as was stated above by John and glock...then we moved on to 'going hot' mode...kept it slow for the first few magazines and then turned up the pace little by little. I knew I was pushing it too much when my shots started hitting low...I was getting to "aggressive" on the trigger, trying to match his level I guess. Once I slowed down to a pace I was comfortable with the hits were better....he pretty much had the same advice...keep it smooth and the speed will come.
I went out and ran some more rounds through the gun this evening...it's going to take some more practice.
Follow John and glocks advice above..it's the same as I was told...go slow at first and concentrate on doing it correctly...as we become more comfortable with the process the speed will come around. Get some of those 'snap-caps' and dryfire practice as much as you can...just concentrate on the fundamentals of doing it right and don't worry so much on the speed for now.

May 17, 2011, 12:44 AM
Since all of the advice above has been excellent, I'll add some input from a different perspective. I'm fairly new to this type of training as well and I try to make it a point to practice as often as I can, by aiming at light switches, stuff on the mantle etc...

Being able to watch yourself in a mirror helps. It helped me notice a tendency to "bowl" the gun up instead of punching out from chest level. Doing that makes me push the gun up above the target instead of the proper straight line to target.

Other than what;s already said, just practice a lot and you will improve. I know my grip, draw and trigger control have improved dramatically.

May 17, 2011, 04:24 PM
Some holsters need a special movement to unholster the gun. You need to practise, a lot. Then practise some more.

May 17, 2011, 04:39 PM
when you practice a technique it takes 10,000 to 15,000 correct repititions before enough muscle memory is built for it to be a reflexive action.

NO.....it does not......

May 17, 2011, 05:50 PM
I would start in slow motion and do it step by step until you feel comfortable and get some fluidity. Its pretty basic and simple, and once you have the basics down, its just repetition and doesnt take any set number.

Once youre comfortable with drawing the gun, I would add your cover garment if you plan on carrying concealed, and figure out what works best for you in clearing it to access the gun. Once you get to this point, you should pretty much always include it. Drawing the gun without it is different than drawing it with the extra steps needed to clear it. It all has to be smooth and fluid. Keep in mind, you'll need to do this again later as the seasons change and your clothing changes with it. Bear in mind too, this is a life long process, and doesnt end once you think you have it down.

I would also suggest that you dont just draw and reholster (and reset the action if thats needed) over and over. You can end up ingraining bad habits into the mix. After each presentation, I would incorporate your assess and then your favorite ready position into it, and then "carefully" reholster. Just dont casually jamb the gun back in, get in the habit of making sure things are clear and make the reholster a drill in itself. You also have to be able to do it one handed and without looking.

May 17, 2011, 09:22 PM
Perfect. These are great responses. I appreciate them all. Exactly what I was hoping for.

I particularly like the "dont just draw and reholster (and reset the action if thats needed) over and over. You can end up ingraining bad habits into the mix. After each presentation, I would incorporate your assess and then your favorite ready position into it, and then "carefully" reholster" comment. I wouldn't have considered that at all.

Thanks again. Now to find some good dryfire practice drills.


May 18, 2011, 12:01 AM
shootiniron- I didn't just make up those numbers. Keep in mind I said "reflexive", you can get very proficient or very fast at something and still not be to the point where it is a true reflex.