Drawing from concealment is not difficult, however, if you have never done it before it helps to have some guidance. If you have practiced or learned the basics you may be able to see some improvements or benefit from following this approach. We do not want to end up having an incident that could be avoided.
Now before we get into the how it is important to understand that this article is meant as an informative piece, it is not meant to replace hands-on instruction from trained individuals. Safety is essential in everything when it comes to firearms.
First its necessary to review the safety rules. These rules will prevent accidental injury or death.
- All guns are always loaded, (for those I work with, including my children, this applies to all firearms and firearm like objects regardless of purpose.)
- Loaded or not, keep your finger OFF the trigger until you are ready to engage the target
- Loaded or not, always ensure the muzzle is pointed in a safe direction.
If you forget one of these rules following the others will ensure safety. They are simple, and seriously should be your mantra for life as a firearm using individual. These are not NRA rules or other approaches, they are something myself and others came up with after working with several juveniles/new shooters. The desire was to have something simple and effective. These are simple and extremely effective.
We also need to look at some terms first and understand them. Dominate or gun hand, this is the hand you work best and most comfortable with. It is the hand you first grip the firearm with, another word for it is strong hand. Support hand, this is the hand that supports the dominant hand it is also known as the weak hand.
Holster, this is the cloth, plastic or leather holder for the handgun. Pistol, generic term for a handgun it sometimes is used to refer to semi-automatic handguns versus revolvers. Backstrap, the rearward facing part of the grip of the handgun. Concealed Carry, when you keep your firearm on the body but under your clothing.
Drawing, within the firearm world this is the act of removing the firearm from the holster. Beavertail, the part of the handgun, only found on semi-automatic handguns that is directly on the back of the frame under the slide.
Crushed grip, when you maintain a solid strong grip with your dominant hand and wrap your support hand around the dominant hand with the palm of the support hand in the empty space between your fingertips and palm on the opposite side from the dominant hand hold and do so with enough force that your fingertips become just a little white.
If I missed any terms that you might have questions about please comment and ask. It is my intent to share as much real practical knowledge as I can. However, I cannot always remember every item involved though I have attempted to include the most important definitions and phrases above.
Drawing from concealed carry with the weapon on the body, regardless location, has an easy approach that takes practice to master. Here is the basic approach which easily applies to any on body concealed carry.
- Place dominate hand firmly over the backstrap of the handgun firmly up into the beaver tail.
- Support hand reaches across your body and grasps the bottom of clothing hanging over a firearm and pulls up in one smooth motion.*
- Dominate hand grips the butt of the handgun with a strong, firmly seated grip. Ensuring that the web of the hand is firmly wedged at the top of the grip and under the curve where the slide rests.
- Ensure that your trigger finger is OUTSIDE and above the trigger guard alongside the frame, either straight or slightly crooked will work.
- Draw straight out of the holster, this means that if the holster is canted forward you will draw straight out at a forward angle and so on.
- Rotate the barrel up and out pointing towards the target with your hand and firearm close to your body.
- Remove your support hand from the clothing and come up to meet your dominant hand and firearm. This step can be before you rotate or during, however, it is in this place because it is easiest to remember.
- Meet the dominant hand with the support hand and complete a crushed grip on the handgun as you extend the firearm out towards the target.
- Press the trigger with the first segment of your trigger finger smoothly until the firearm discharges.
- Do this while unloaded and clear to better understand the approaches. Ensure that your actions are safe and the handgun is unloaded.
- Once you have discharged the firearm at a threat, target or while dry firing carefully remove your support hand while maintaining the safe direction with the firearm close to the body and aimed forward.
- With your support hand ensure the covering clothing is clear of the holster and carefully with your finger along the rail re-holster the firearm. It is essential to do this AFTER making sure the covering clothing is clear of the holster.
Using these basics for drawing you can with a small amount of practice learn to draw and fire and through use of stable basics easily be on target regardless sight picture. The result is better combat accuracy and ability under duress. Remembering that fine motor skills and endless lists of approaches can cause confusion, keep it simple stupid!
*Depending on what you are wearing it is possible to change the clothing movement step slightly. This can be everything from flipping the clothing out of the way if it is open or if it is closed over the firearm getting a relatively secure grip of the clothing and stripping it up and out of the way.
This step is one of the most important steps in a concealed carry draw. It is necessary to understand that you will need to practice for whichever approach you use to concealment.
Another area that is necessary to have additional information on is the draw itself. This step requires you to draw the firearm straight from the holster keeping your arm close to your side and not “chicken winging it”.
This simply means that you do not bring your arms or elbows away from your body when drawing. Be smooth, be steady and be absolutely controlled in every move you make. Until you become comfortable doing it, practice without ammunition in the firearm. Again, modern firearms should be able to dry fire almost endlessly, if you cannot do so, seek a better firearm.
By doing this without ammunition you can learn the muscle memory, repetition that is necessary to ensure smooth regular and safe approaches while carrying.
Always practice with a safe firearm, make sure all ammunition has been removed from the room and have a second person check it for you. Maintain a safe direction for drawing and aiming regardless.
This approach can make things far easier for you and when practiced will help you become more adapt with the function of drawing. I have witnessed people who do not practice drawing get hung up in their clothing and have seen more than one individual, including seasoned law enforcement and military individuals, shoot themselves or others because they did not draw correctly.
It should be noted that if you do get hung up in your clothing if you maintain muzzle awareness and present the firearm by following the steps above even with the covering clothing over the muzzle you can in fact engage a target or threat. Some instructors will tell you to “punch through” the clothing others will coach simply shooting through it.
I suggest practicing the full steps of a good draw from concealment regularly and repeatedly until it is second nature. Do so enough that you do not have to be concerned with punching through or shooting through the clothing.
As with all article written I am not the pinnacle of understanding or instruction. I learn every day in some way and plan to do so until I die. This means that it is likely I missed a small step or possibly mixed one up with another.
If you find something I may have missed add it in the comments and I will adjust if needed. If you need something better explained by all means let me know in the comments and I will gladly explain the best I can. Obviously, the approach used may not work for everyone.
We are all very much our own person. I can say that it has worked with females, males, fat people (me) and skinny people, old and young alike. It works and works quite well. More to the point by following a similar approach as others it becomes easier when taking more advanced classes.
Free the mind and the body will follow
Thank you, Jesse, for reminding me to practice this.
Now that the fire-ban has lifted up here, I can get back to the range.
Practice makes skill…
Shirlgirl, agreed! Always always !