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.
One of the ways we recommend fixing this, and to start building up the muscle memory to 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.
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.
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 bad muscle memory. In other words, you don't want to practice your draw incorrectly over and over because you'll then do it wrong when the time to defend yourself comes.
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.
Learn more about micro drills in our podcast, here:
Once you get the motions of drawing from a concealed position down it's now time to practice drawing and presenting to 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 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 because 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.
Being able to track your front sight can mean the difference between hitting your target, or not.
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 miss your grip because you don't practice it enough, the outcome can be devastating.
If you haven't done this yet, you need to start today. Leave your thoughts on this in the comments below.