Drawing a pistol from a holster may seem like a simple task, and for many, it is. However, it’s crucial to approach this action with caution to ensure safety and avoid any mishaps. In order to establish a solid foundation, we have broken down the process into five easy-to-follow steps.
Safety First: Considerations when Drawing a Pistol
When handling firearms, safety should always be the top priority. It’s important to remember that a firearm itself is neither safe nor unsafe; it’s the user who determines its safety. With this in mind, there are a few precautions to take to prevent any accidental discharges while drawing the firearm from the holster.
Maintain Proper Trigger Discipline: Keep your finger straight and away from the trigger when drawing the handgun until your muzzle is pointed towards the target, and you have made the conscious decision to shoot. Negligent discharges often occur when individuals fail to exercise proper trigger discipline.
Scan Your Environment: Before holstering your handgun, carefully assess your surroundings. Ensure that it is safe to return the pistol to the holster and that there are no other potential threats that require your attention.
Holster with Deliberation: Once you deem it safe to reholster your pistol, proceed deliberately. Clear any obstructions caused by your clothing, visually confirm that your garments are clear, and then carefully place the firearm back into the holster. This process takes only a second, but it’s crucial to exercise caution. The topic of looking at the holster can provoke debate among gun owners, which we explore in detail in our article titled “Should I Look at my Holster When Reholstering?”
Advanced Techniques for Holster Draw
In our Defensive Pistol Classes, we go beyond the basics and introduce advanced techniques to enhance your skills. We incorporate various scenarios, including shooting from retention, drawing while moving, shooting on the move, and executing pistol draws from unorthodox positions. Our goal is to prepare you for real-life situations, so you don’t have to figure it out in a life-or-death moment.
Shooting from Retention: This technique involves accurately firing shots at a target from the high compressed ready position, using either one or two hands. In defensive situations, these shots are often taken at a close range of approximately 9 feet or even closer. Consequently, fully extending the handgun may not always be feasible.
Drawing while Moving: Stepping off the X or stepping off the line of attack can momentarily disorient an attacker, giving you a critical fraction of a second to ensure your survival. Additionally, many shooters, including myself, find it more comfortable to draw the pistol while in motion rather than standing still. While there is no universal solution or technique when it comes to firearm training, we allow students to experience different methods of drawing the pistol while moving and encourage them to decide which approach works best for them.
Unorthodox Positions: Real-world scenarios can be chaotic and unpredictable. You may find yourself tripped or pushed to the ground. In our advanced Defensive Pistol classes, we teach students how to shoot from uncommon positions such as lying down or while seated. It’s essential to learn the subtle nuances of these holster draw techniques to maintain safety for oneself and others in the vicinity.
Get Practicing: Holster Draw Dry Fire
To build muscle memory and improve your proficiency, it’s crucial to practice drawing a pistol from a holster. The techniques discussed in this article, along with the accompanying video, can be practiced through dry-fire exercises within the confines of your home. Please remember to ensure that your pistol is unloaded and that there is no live ammunition in the vicinity. Alternatively, you can use a dummy gun, such as the ASP red pistol shown in the video and images accompanying this article. Always keep the firearm pointed in a generally safe direction and proceed smoothly, following the steps outlined. With repetition, speed will naturally come. Prioritize proper technique to avoid developing any undesirable habits or training scars during the pistol draw process.