Gun drawing as an art?


September 22, 2008, 07:13 PM
Today I found more cougar tracks than I have in the past year. While walking around in this hot spot, I began to wonder about trying to quickly draw my gun from it's holster...

In Japan, sword drawing is considered an art and some practice it with the determination of an Olympic athlete. This tells me that shooting practice is just half of the equation. Personally, I have negelected the other half.

Do you practice drawing your weapon?

This photo is of a track I found today. The GPS unit next to it is 2.4" wide.

If you enjoyed reading about "Gun drawing as an art?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
September 22, 2008, 07:20 PM
Gun drawing as an art?Oh it can be, no doubt.


September 22, 2008, 07:23 PM
any good? wanna draw a gun related design for me tattoo? pm me if ya want to.

wait, oops. i thought you meant art art, not art of quickdraw. :p:o

September 22, 2008, 07:40 PM
I would see at as a necessary skill and yes I do practice. As far as art I dont know but if you are a competitive shooter I would say getting it down is a art form. Clearing the holster and presenting on your target is very important. You might not be a quick draw expert but it is a very good idea to be able to get your weapon out and free for use without a lot of thought. Muscle memory comes from practice and if you should every have to draw, present and fire is no time to find out you have issues.

September 22, 2008, 08:35 PM
I'd have to agree and say ART. Clearing the holster and acquiring your target in one swift motion is not an easy thing to do everytime, unless you constantly practice. I attended a class for Law Enforcement a couple of months ago, and one of the tests was drawing and shooting at multiple targets. Then reholstering and repeating, except they would change which targets to engage and how many shots were to be fired at which targets. You wouldn't think that being only 10yds. from the targets that it could be hard. But when you only have 3 seconds to draw and fire three shot at two targets, it becomes real hard quickly. I did really well as did a few of my friends.
As for it becoming an art form like the Japanese sword drawing technique; alot of the art for this is in the aesthitics and graceful movements of the person drawing the sword. If you develope a style suitable for drawing a gun I'd love to see it.:D

September 22, 2008, 09:58 PM
That film was based on Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai," so your analogy between slapping leather and the "art" of samurai swordsmanship has support in film.

There are some problems, though. Neither the samurai nor the gunman were well respected by society at large--while samurai in the service of lords were due a certain respect--their caste was clearly above that of peasants, farmers, and house-servants--independent, masterless samurai (ronin) were generally depicted as drunken trouble-makers.

In each film, one fighter (Kyūzō or Lee, depending on the movie) is seen as the real artist, a master's master. Neither character survives to the credits.

Last attempt in this genre was probably The Shootist with John Wayne, shootist obviously suppose to suggest "artist." Books does not survive, either.

Ainsi decedent les artistes? Maybe skip the art, and just get fast.

Frank Ettin
September 22, 2008, 10:39 PM
Drawing a gun is an art. I believe that one should get proper training in presenting the gun from the holster and practice it regularly. I try to do live fire presentation drills at least once a month (together with weekly live fire practice and dry practice several times a week). I was, in fact, at the range earlier today and burned up 200 rounds drawing my gun, shooting 2, 3, 4 and 5 shot strings at 7, 10 and 15 yards, doing failure drills (Mozambique), all together with speed reloads as needed.

I'm also an NRA certified instructor for, among other things, Personal Protection Outside the Home; and we teach drawing the gun as part of that class. The more-or-less standard presentation from a strong side belt holster, as taught most places these days, goes roughly like this:

[1] You want to achieve a full firing grip before withdrawing the pistol from the holster.You should not have to shift your grip. Throughout the draw stroke, until you are actually going to fire the gun, the trigger finger stays off the trigger, outside the trigger guard and indexed along the frame.

[2] While the strong hand is moving to grip the pistol, the weak hand is placed flat on the abdomen near the same level as the grip of the pistol. This helps assure that the weak hand isn't swept by the muzzle and also puts the weak hand in position to take its grip of the pistol over the strong hand.

[3] The pistol is withdrawn straight upwards from the holster, and the muzzle is rotated toward the target after it clears the holster. If using a 1911, Browning High Power, or some other gun with a safety engaged, the safety may be disengaged here, but the trigger finger remains off the trigger, outside the trigger guard and indexed along the frame.

[4] When the muzzle is rotated toward the target the strong hand is at about the level of the strong side pectoral muscle and the strong hand is held against the side with the muzzle pointed to the threat. If the threat is very close, 1-2 yards, the gun may be fired from this position. This is called the retention position.

[5] At the retention position, the weak hand comes up to assume its part of the grip. The two hands then together extend the gun either fully up to shooting position or partially at a downward angle to the low ready position, depending on the circumstances.

[6] The gun is holstered by following those steps in reverse. I have been taught to follow these steps whenever removing my gun from, or placing my gun in, the holster.

[7] I've also been taught to begin moving my strong hand to the gun from about my belt buckle. The thing is that if I'm carrying my gun concealed I will need to displace my covering garment to gain access to the gun. If I sweep my strong hand from approximately mid line I automatically sweep aside my covering garment.

Two key words here: smooth and control. The goal is to do this smoothly. If one concentrates on being smooth and practice over and over again, he will get fast. Speed comes from smoothness and no wasted motion. And one must be in control at all times. At lot is going on, and a misstep on the presentation can be devastating. But by being smooth you retain control, and by being smooth you become fast. And by being smooth and in control you will be accurate.

Fast is fine, but accuracy is final.

September 22, 2008, 10:59 PM
As the poster above said, it is an art to be sure. A popular art, maybe, maybe not but an art none the less. You know the SD move where you see the BG going for a gun and you trap his hand and draw your own and end the fight? I knew I saw that move before, it came from this book (and quite a few other sources I'm sure:neener:)...

September 22, 2008, 11:10 PM
I get that it's a SKILL--still don't see that it's an art--that's a separate word for me. I'll also accept discipline or field of study--but ART?

There's nothing I like in sport better than a good open-field tackle (man, they are PRETTY) but I'm going to count that a skill.

Skills, like piano playing or dancing, do become art when they rise from the level of competence into the level of personal expression.

Now I know all competent gun-drawers are "expressing themselves" when they draw--"Stop what you're doing to threaten me or I'll shoot"--but drawing in self-defense is not art. I understand to the connaisseur Jerry Miculek may be an artist--but most of us are trying to master a reasonable waltz at our weddings, not stun the critics with our Giselle.

Josh Aston
September 22, 2008, 11:16 PM
I understand to the connaisseur Jerry Miculek may be an artist--but most of us are trying to master a reasonable waltz at our weddings, not stun the critics with our Giselle.

And that is why only a relative few can be called masters.

September 22, 2008, 11:20 PM
Why not an ART? Self defense has been taught for centuries, and we call them martial arts. So why can't drawing a gun also be considered an art?:confused:

September 23, 2008, 12:21 AM
Great post Fiddletown. Good read.. I'm going to go practice this art!

Frank Ettin
September 23, 2008, 03:17 AM
Thanks, Summerled.

September 23, 2008, 10:04 AM
From what I've seen, there are more efficient and less efficient ways to draw a handgun. The more efficient methods are faster, provide mechanics that support accuracy, and tend to integrate with skillsets like reloads and weapon retention.

The best way I've found to get efficient is to have an expert watch me and tell me all the things I'm doing wrong. And then practice :)

September 23, 2008, 11:07 AM
Drawing a gun IS an art! Here's one I drew back in the '60s. :D

Best regards from "The Gunshine State" ~ ~ ~ 45Broomhandle

September 23, 2008, 11:30 AM
Self-defense is an art, drawing is a skill.

Ballet is an art, doing a plie is a skill.

That said, drawing is a dang useful skill and we should all practice--but not all of us will make it our life's work. So to speak.

September 23, 2008, 01:12 PM
Fast drawing is a great skill to have. In terms of protecting you from a cougar...well...
If a cougar is really stalking you, chances are you won't see or hear him until he's on top of you. :uhoh:

Old Grump
September 23, 2008, 03:59 PM
fiddletown made a good post but I would and do call it a science, a skill set, not an art. I know its just semantics but I worked hard to learn tactical drawing from various carry positions and various holsters and there was no art to it. Boot, back, hip, boot, strong hand, weak hand, from prone, sitting and standing all have their own unique challenges and a right way to accomplish it. The old fast draw and spinning the gun skills do not apply, that was an art. Not condemning the use of the word art but its so much more than an art that it pushes one of my buttons, just a little one though.

September 23, 2008, 04:13 PM
Forest "Ghost Dog" Whitaker would disagree.... :p

It's an art.

September 23, 2008, 04:44 PM
It is indeed part of a martial art. Foot-fighting, hand-fighting, grappling, bow-shooting, pistol shooting... all MARTIAL ARTS... I would say that drawing the weapon into the fight is part of using the weapon within that paradox. I would have to say that it is, then, part of the martial art. Just like an arm-bar is part of the grappling arts... just my 2 cents :D

September 23, 2008, 04:47 PM
Just remember to practice drawing from the position you actually carry it in.

September 23, 2008, 05:14 PM
Do you practice drawing your weapon?
with my carry guns/holsters: yes
With the Redhawk I have carried hunting the few times I have gone in the last few years: no, but you are right that it is also a good idea, and I too have neglected that one gun/holster.

September 23, 2008, 05:26 PM
Do you practice drawing your weapon?

Every day, since I got my CHL.

September 23, 2008, 05:35 PM

Rambo Drawing his 1911 check it out!

September 23, 2008, 05:53 PM
This is an interesting topic to me in particular. About six months ago I had a conversation with a training officer on something similar. I have done Tai Chi, the slow-motion Chinese exercise regimen. I got up to the 60+ movement version of the exercise (you do several reps). Tai Chi, and outgrowth of the martial arts, is particularly valuable in developing balance and smoothness of movement.

Tai Chi spends a lot of time working to flow from one position to another based upon the direction of threat.

I proposed trying to develop a pistol-based version of Tai Chi, done with a holster and a dummy pistol (mine are all M1911s, so a dummy is easy to come by; you could do it with a real, carefully unloaded pistol too). The idea would be to develop a smooth reaction to a threat from various diections. You would have to take your sidearm smoothly, then pivot in the corrrect direction, moving smoothly into a firing stance. Go from that smoothly into confronting a threat from some other direction. Reholster, move right into a new threat direction, and so on.

Sloth and indolence being what they are, I never got very far with this, but I keep thinking it might have some useful training value. If you get smoother and smoother, it becomes much easier to get faster and faster.

Anybody have any ideas here?

September 23, 2008, 06:29 PM
It has been my experience that during real life situations the draw just happens, all of a sudden the gun is between you and the threat. To build neuropathways you should practice drawing and reholstering. I have heard guns hit the deck before when people try to reholster after a situation.

Drawing in response to visual and not audio cues (competition) should be stressed.

Frank Ettin
September 23, 2008, 07:39 PM
I don't know if it's really worth debating whether drawing is an art, a skill, a science or whatever else you might be tempted to call it. I do think it's safe to say that it can be an important art or science or skill. I think it's also safe to say that there are safe, efficient and proper ways to do it; and there are unsafe, awkward, clumsy and improper ways to do it.

I think it's a good thing for people who plan to carry a gun to learn one of the proper ways of drawing it and to practice that way so that it becomes, and remains, a conditioned reflex.

...I have heard guns hit the deck before when people try to reholster...
Which is why we teach and practice reholstering as exactly the steps of the presentation done in reverse.

September 23, 2008, 07:59 PM
This is beauty in motion.

Would be poetry but doesn't last long enough.

Old Grump
September 24, 2008, 01:01 AM
Starting slow motion is how I was taught, speed comes with repetition, not forcing it. The only time I ever drew because I had to I don't remember doing it.

Frank Ettin
September 24, 2008, 01:29 AM
Starting slow motion is how I was taught, speed comes with repetition, not forcing it. The only time I ever drew because I had to I don't remember doing it.
I agree completely. What's important is being smooth. You become smooth by starting slow, paying attention to each step, doing each step just right and doing it all correctly over and over again. And you wil then naturally get faster. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.

If you enjoyed reading about "Gun drawing as an art?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!