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So How do YOU draw your Weapon?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by rjk2475, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. rjk2475

    rjk2475 Well-Known Member

    I once read "Wyatt Earp wasn't fast , but he was deadly accurate." Legend aside, i've thought about this along with recent posts. i would really like to know- How do you guys pull your piece(no pun)?
  2. Serpico

    Serpico Well-Known Member

    First I squint....then I try and come up with a clever line like, "drop the knife or use it to dig out the bullet" ...then I stare the bad guy down some more...by this time the boss usually taps me on the shoulder and tells me to stop day dreaming and get back to work.
  3. stevelyn

    stevelyn Well-Known Member

    I normally couldn't draw flies on a hot day, but when I do draw, I just use a purple crayon.:neener:
  4. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus



    Ron has asked a valid question, hoping for some input. It's a question that's as old as handguns. He is a seeker of knowledge.

    I heard an old gunman make a statement....not sure who it was
    at this point. Mighta been Charles Askins. Maybe Fuff can clarify. To wit:

    "A pistol is like an ambulance. You don't need one often, but when you do...you need it badly and you need it immediately."

    Hence the mystery and myth surrounding the "Quick Draw" presentation.
    You want to bring the gun to bear as expediently as you can manage without shooting yourself or dropping the gun. The best way to accomplish
    that is to make the draw as smooth as possible, regardless of your technique. Evaluate your stroke in front of a mirror, and eliminate as much waste motion as you can. Once you've trimmed the fat...practice the move
    with an empty gun until your hand hits the gun at exactly the same place
    and in exactly the same way every time. Practice in slow motion until you've trained your muslces and nerves to make the move the same way...every time. Move to half-speed...still empty..until you can do it every time. Go hot and slow back down...Gradually increase your speed, striving
    for smoothness over speed, with a minimum of waste motion.

    The fast draw is potentially dangerous. It takes discipline and dedication to
    master it and maintain the skill level. Daily practice is the key. Do these things, and you'll be fast. Do them not, and you'll be a danger to yourself
    and everybody else when you slap leather.


  5. El Tejon

    El Tejon Well-Known Member

    Don't be fast, be smooth.:)

    By the numbers, 1 to 5, smooth it out by means of repitition. Seek an instructor and practice hard, you'll do great.:)
  6. Black Snowman

    Black Snowman Well-Known Member

    With a had of course :) Seriously though, 'Tuner, as always, has good advice.

    I find formal instruction to be EXTREMELY useful. Someone who knows what the process should look like can spot flaws that you can't spot yourself, even if you're experianced, if you only have a mirror. Another helpful tool is if you have access to a camcorder set it up to record your draw so you can see it from another perspective.

    Work out your draw and make sure you do it under differant conditions so that you know that the same muscle memory will work under multiple conditions. Try drawing while crouched behind cover, with differant clothes and overcoats on, etc . . .

    Practice every possible way you think you might use.

    So far my only draw practice had been for informal competitions but I learned a LOT in a hurry. Once I get my new holsters I'll be practicing a lot in hopes of CCW passing next year here in KS.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2004
  7. Joshua M. Smith

    Joshua M. Smith Well-Known Member


    I sweep my cover garment back with my draw hand and my hand lands on the pistol butt. My thumb sweeps down, disengaging the thumb strap and simutaniously lands on the safety which I ride when I shoot. I clear the holster and stab the first shot, a double action, toward the target (pretty accurate in this) while bringing my support hand up for follow up shots in SA mode. The pistol is a pre-decock Taurus PT92.

    These are the actions and I've been doing them for years. When/if I need the pistol (which I have used against attacking animals) it is so second nature now that it simply leaps into my hand, ie, no consious thought other than the assessment.

  8. Zach S

    Zach S Well-Known Member

    First, my shirt gets lifted with my weak hand, exposing my sidearm. When grasping my sidearm with my strong hand my thumb rests on the body sheild and then on the safety (I shoot high thumb) and as my strong hand comes forward my weak hand joins it. I'm a little faster with an unbuttoned shirt than I am with a Tshirt, since I can sweep it out of the way with my strong hand.

    As tuner said, practice is the key. Play quick-draw with the guy in the mirror, its helped me.
  9. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Concealment Tip

    When wearing an open, free-hanging jacket, drop a 2-ounce
    wheelweight in the pocket. Do a sligght sideways bend to the left at the waist. The weight will make your coattail stand still, and the slight bend will open a wider window for your hand to go. The slight side bend will also
    hold the pistol butt a little farther from your body with a snug concealment rig, offering more of the butt to your hand.

    The heavier the coat, the more weight you need.

    For open shirts, I learned a little trick from the longest-standing Forsyth
    County Sheriff, Ernie Shore. Use a safety pin to attach a one-half ounce fishing sinker to the inside of your shirttail...one on each side to keep you from looking unbalanced and giving away the fact that you're armed.
    Stick-on wheelweights work pretty good too, but they tend to get expensive.
  10. Darkside

    Darkside Well-Known Member

    I usually dress in flannel shirts durring the cooler months(Yes...Norm style) I cut a slot on the inside of the bottom seam, where the material is doubled and creates a tube, about 6 inches back from the button holes. I can slide a 3-4 inch length of 1/4" lead rod in the tubes to keep the shirt from being blown around by the wind and exposing my "pacifier":D

    I have practiced my draw from concealed to the point that after going into what Mas Ayoob calls a "Power Stance" the weights make my shirt pull away from my body and my stong hand naturaly sweeps it out and back. Kinda hard to describe.:(

    What ever you do, PERFECT practice is the key. Perfect practice slowly at first, speed will come.

  11. SKN

    SKN Well-Known Member

    Whenever possible both hands move simultaneously, the support hand thumb up with palm down flat against the the upper abdomen and toward the master hand side. The bladed master hand with fingers pointed down moves across the abdomen to clear the open front garment (jacket). For a closed front garment (buttoned front shirt, sweatshirt, t-shirt, etc.) the support hand would reach across the front of the body to grab and lift the garment ahead of and above the holster. You could also use both hands, support hand ahead of and master hand just behind the holster. While wearing a closed front garment where the support hand is occupied, ie. holding your 18 month old infant, run the straightened master hand thumb pointing in and along the outer seam of your pants, under the garment to lift it out of the way. You could also curl your master hand fingers, nails against the seam, to lift the garment.

    Presentations from the holster have been taught as 3, 4 or 5 counts. Variations will also occur depending on the particular style of holster. I prefer the 4 count but, as was mentioned above, speed is a function of smooth and efficient motion. For the strong side belt secured holster:

    Count 1, GRIP: master hand drops straight down onto the weapon, disengages any security devices and established the firing grip. Firing side elbow should stay as far back behind the rib cage as possible.

    Count 2, LIFT: with the wrist as straight as possible, the master hand lifts the pistol straight up and out of the holster clearing the muzzle. Certain holster types may require a slight rearward rocking motion to remove the weapon, others may require that the weapon be pushed forward slightly.

    Count 3, LEVEL: pivot the master hand toward the target to level the muzzle, this will drop the firing side elbow so that the weapon and forearm are now parallel to the ground. The wrist will be at the rib cage. If the pistol has a manual safety disengage it at this point if you can reach it. If necessary the weapon can now be fired from this position.

    Count 4, PUSH: the muzzle straight toward the target or the appropriate extended ready position. As your master hand passes the rib cage the support hand secures its position in your 2-handed grip, use its thumb if you must to disengage the manual safety. The sights should rise into and intersect your line of sight to your point of aim. Avoid scooping or flycasting the muzzle toward the target, it's wasted motion.

    Other examples of wasted motion: deep crouching, dropping or throwing either shoulder forward or backward. The only movement required to present the pistol from the holster is that of the arms and hands. Depending on your particular platform (stance) a slight shift of weight forward, by leaning the shoulders ahead of the hips, might also take place.

    Practice the counts one at a time progressing from 1, to 1 & 2, then 1, 2 & 3, then 1, 2, 3, & 4. Then combine 1 & 2 and 3 & 4. Finally, put them all together with the goal being a single motion. Par time for an A zone hit on an IPSC target at 7 yards from concealment is 1.5 secs or less. With practice you should easily be able to achieve and be happy with under 1.75 secs.
  12. Iggy

    Iggy Well-Known Member

    Bill Jordan told a bunch of us one day... "Smooth first, Speed second"

    If it is smooth and second nature, the speed will be there when you need it.

    Lawdy, that Dude was fast!!!
  13. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus


    Iggy said:

    Bill Jordan told a bunch of us one day... "Smooth first, Speed second"


    If it is smooth and second nature, the speed will be there when you need


    Lawdy, that Dude was fast!!!

    What amazed me was that a man that big could move that fast! His
    right hand was like a Rattlesnake's strike.

    Darkside and SKN have pretty much hit the nail on the hittin' spot.

    The "Power Stance"...To the casual observer, it looks like you're...casually observing. My personal method is to lean slightly toward the strong side to get the shirt or jacket away from the gun, with my hands in front
    at waist level doing a slow "Hand Washing" motion. It appears to be a
    nervous reaction to a tense situation, but gets the hands in position to
    move quickly from a fixed position...instead of moving for the gun from
    wherever they happen to be. Less waste motion that doesn't give away your intent, except to the trained eye. Some cops use it as part of their interview stance. It's non-threatening, but gets the first part of their draw out of the way... and it's much more efficient than the "Surrender Position" that begins an IDPA draw and fire stage, mainly because your hands are
    both closer to the gun, and in position to make the draw more fluid.

    Excellent thread! Let's hear more.
  14. wildehond

    wildehond Well-Known Member

    If you ever need to draw to stay alive. All the movements involved has to be instinct. You do not have time to think 'now this and now the other thing'. Your body/mind goes in survival mode. The only way to get that smooth effortless draw is to make it an instinctive movement. How do you make something an instictive movement? You have to do that movement a couple of times a day. When was the last time you had to think how to tie your shoe laces?

    I hope this is of some help.

  15. CZ52GUY

    CZ52GUY Well-Known Member

    re: SKN

    Well described.

    I was taught a similar variant (assumes semi-auto).

    1) Acquire shooting grip, trigger finger on side of slide (will be outside holster prior to lift)
    2) Clear weapon from holster while positioning support hand mid-chest (trigger finger is now along the slide)
    3) Lift weapon to meet support hand
    4) Push out while taking up some trigger slack. Sights should be on target...you are actively engaging target at this point.
    5) Break shot

    Operational controls (e.g. manual safety) influence the draw also (I disengage a MS during steps 2 & 3 once cleared weapon is pointing downrange)

    The points on wasted motion are well taken. Many shooters (especially those who are learning rapid draw as part of competition practice) tend to stand upright, then crouch as they draw moving their center of gravity and influencing their ability to achieve a good sight picture because they are moving vertically.

    I would also add that not all equipment is created equal. A "grabby" holster can slow down your draw, and potentially cause you to contort your body unnaturally to clear the weapon. If competition is the motivation for rapid draw, some of the retention tradeoffs need to be weighed carefully. Similarly with self-defense, you need to weigh the "passive retention" features of the holster vs. the potential that you may need to deploy it quickly with less than ideal physical space available. Different folks have different carry environments, so you'll need to consider feedback from multiple viewpoints and draw your own conclusions based on your circumstances.

    The key to success is to put it all together smoothly. Safety can't be overemphasized. The PAR times described are consistent with my research. I recommend LOTS OF DRY-FIRE prior to first live fire attempt at rapid draw. This helped me immensely.

    Safe shooting (and drawing),

  16. Serpico

    Serpico Well-Known Member

    Wasn't it wyattt Earp who said, "take your time in a hurry"?
  17. rjk2475

    rjk2475 Well-Known Member

    great info and much appreciated. can any of you be more specfic as to the ccw holsters you are using?
  18. Darkside

    Darkside Well-Known Member

    Not to step on any toes but I believe, The "Power Stance" is more of an almost square to target, slightly crouching position, with both shoulders slightly rolled forward. The interview stance is more bladed/angled stance, more like the Weaver stance. The only time I ever felt threatened enough to return deadly force my body naturaly went into this "power stance" position. After reading several of Mas Ayoobs' books I better understand how the human body reacts if threatened. Reading his books has really helped me understand the dynamics involved in gunfights and I highly recomend them to everyone. After my incident I went through his book and it was like a check list of events that happened.

  19. Iggy

    Iggy Well-Known Member

    Watching Bill Jordan

    Visualize the paddle wheel on a stern wheeler steamboat. Set the boat on it's stern.

    Watch that big old arm that turns the wheel as it rotates that wheel in a huge circular motion.

    That was like watching Bill Jordan's hand and arm in action.. and he was dang near that big!! There is about half a tree in a pair of Jordan "Trooper" grips.

    He made a smooth circular motion with his hand at waist height in front of his hip and the hand would move slowly and smoothly down and around and pick up the gun as it came full circle and the gun would fire just about the same place the hand had started and he would continue the circle and return the gun to the holster and do it again.

    It was like watching a huge cam shaft and piston and it was just as steady and smooth..

    It was one smooth circle and he would do it again and again and again and the circle got smaller and smaller and faster and faster until you couldn't see it happen.

    He did two tricks that I still can't get over.. He would take a communion wafer and put it on the back of his hand and extend his hand out full length at shoulder height.
    He would then start his draw and leave that wafer in mid air out in front of him as his hand went for his gun. He would draw and fire that big ol 357 and break that wafer at about mid thigh height out in front of him.
    This sounds really impressive until you realize how far that wafer had to travel between his shoulders and knees.. *G*

    Then he would put a wafer on the back of his hand above his holstered gun. He would draw and fire and then he would pull that wafer out of his empty holster..

    This seems impossible until you see the proper configuration and positioning of a Border Patrol holster. You sure can't do it with a IWB or a class III retention holster!!
  20. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Jordan's Circle


    It was like watching a huge cam shaft and piston and it was just as steady and smooth..

    That pretty much sums it up. It's a simple move, but a dangerous one
    when you consider that the trigger was being pulled before the gun had
    cleared the holster. The timing had to be perfect, which is why the move
    requires hours of S-L-O-W practice before going hot.

    You'll have to modify it a little to make it work with a single-action autopistol... and a high, closely tucked concealment holster is naturally
    going to slow you down a little...but it can still be very fast if you work at it
    diligently. A slight bend at the waist will get the pistol butt away from your body and allow better access to the grip. Try it standing straight up, and you're likely to grab a handful of shirt along with the gun.

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