Dry Fire and Drawing Your Gun

Learning How to Draw Your Handgun Quickly is Important.

The importance of a correct draw during a defensive encounter cannot be overstated. It is at this point in the scenario when you're supposed to establish your all-important combat grip.

And as we all hopefully know by now, having this proper grip means the difference between accurate follow up shots and managing your gun, or not.

And while we always recommend you find a gun range where you can practice coming out of your holster and shooting, you have to get to the point where you can actually do that.

This is sadly something that not a lot of gun carriers practice for. I remember the first time I did it I was kind of embarrassed at my performance. The important thing to remember is it doesn't matter if your skills are embarrassing to an attacker.

All that matters is being able to get on target to defend yourself, properly. If you've never done that before, and if you don't know how to do it when it's time to actually draw your firearm, you might not be able to do it properly.

How can you learn to draw faster?

One of the ways we recommend fixing this and get to the point where you can draw your weapon out of your holster with speed and efficiency is by doing it in the comfort of your own home with an empty gun. This should absolutely be part of your dry fire practice routine. I also highly recommend this video course called Draw Like A Pro. After watching it, I am confident your draw will be more efficient and faster.

When we say empty we mean no ammunition of any kind inside the gun's chamber or magazine. It should be completely empty.

Here are some tips to help you out on this journey you're about to embark on.

Micro Drills:

Hopefully, we all know what a drill is. A drill is something that you practice to help build muscle memory and/or proficiency in that thing you're practicing. So, shooting something repetitively like 2 to the chest 1 to the head is a drill. It's something that you practice consistently until you get to the point where you can proficiently and accurately make your shots.

A micro drill is that same thing but broken down to be done in different steps. The thing you want to avoid with something like drawing your weapon is building poor technique. In other words, you don't want to practice your draw incorrectly over and over. Many well-intentioned people think they will just keep practicing over and over until they get it right. The bad technique won't magically turn into a good technique through repetition. What you could be doing is teaching yourself a sub-standard method that you will have to ‘unlearn' in order to become more efficient, faster, or more consistent. Many use the word ‘training scar' to describe this process.

Instead, breaking the task of drawing your gun down into smaller steps, like clearing your garment and gripping your gun over and over until you can get it right is key.

If you break it down into these steps you'll have a better feel for how it's supposed to be.

I won't go much more into detail here, but suffice it to say that if you break down the steps into micro drills before you ever even practice the full motion of drawing your gun you'll be much better off.

You can read the steps to this in this article, here.

Learn more about micro drills in our podcast, here:

On Target:

Once you get the motions of drawing from a concealed position down it's now time to practice drawing and presenting to the target. This is another area where a lot of gun carriers fall short simply because their gun range doesn't allow people to train properly.

Doing this with dry fire training is of extreme importance.

One of the keys here is to track your front sight post. After acquiring your combat grip and getting the gun out of the holster properly, this is the next most important, and tricky, part. At least, it is in my opinion.

On the plus side, this is something you can practice with micro drills as discussed above, but this time it's a bit different because you're actually going to be pressing the trigger.

Remember this is dry-fire, so the gun is empty

It's helpful if you have some sort of visual indicator showing where your shots will land. If you are using your own gun instead of a SIRT Pistol (which is a highly recommended thing to have if you can afford it), having a cartridge insert like one of these can help you see where your shots land. The reason why this is helpful is that it gives you instant feedback.

You can assume you know where you're hitting your target, but you won't know exactly where it is until you get some more experience. And since you won't know for sure, you won't know if what you're doing is right.

Having the ability to track your front sight while the gun recoils and see it when it comes back over the target allows you to shoot faster and more accurately.


One of the most important skills to have if it's your goal to be able to save your own life with your gun if needed is to be able to draw your gun. If you cannot do this properly, or if you mess up your grip because you don't practice it enough, the outcome can be devastating.

When you start using dryfire practice you will begin to see why every top-level shooter does it. Take a peek at this article and the 3 Dry Fire Drills You Need.

If you haven't done this yet, you need to start today. Leave your thoughts on this in the comments below.

About Joshua Gillem

Josh is a lifelong practitioner and student of the gun. He grew up shooting/hunting with his dad, and was given his first gun, a 12 gauge shotgun, when just a small boy. After high school, he joined the Marines where his love for firearms blossomed as he qualified with an M16A2, an M9, and a 240G. Josh has been writing about firearms and tactics for several years, owns the blog Gunners Den, is a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and believes that each individual person has the right to self-defense by any means necessary. Currently residing in gun-friendly NC, he carries a concealed gun on a daily basis, even in his own house.


  1. Boyd Martin on November 19, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    great comments, i have been drawing from a new IWB 50 times a day in slow motion for the last month just to get used to a different feel. hoping to build correct muscle memory

  2. Rob on November 19, 2020 at 7:07 pm

    A person for wiser than I said this about your goal to obtain through practice; {“Don’t practice until you get it right , practice until you can’t do it wrong!”

  3. Gary Boley on November 20, 2020 at 7:31 pm

    Great advise , recent hand gun owner , I will start practicing my draw , thank you

  4. Stan Senter on January 20, 2021 at 11:34 am

    Any other training device for follow-up shots without racking the slide? Not a Glock owner.

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