Fundamental 2: Drawing and Holstering of the Pistol

Now that we have gone over and hopefully practiced the properly indexed grip we will learn to draw and holster the pistol. As usual when practicing at home during dryfire you should unload your weapon fully. If you haven’t read the unloading post please do so here. We don’t want to accidentally shoot ourselves.

Just like the grip we need index points to critique our draw during practice.

The first step to the draw is to clear the concealing garment (shirt or jacket) with your support hand and obtain a grip on the pistol with your strong hand. If you have a retention device on your holster you would disable it at this time.

newdraw 1

The second step is to draw the pistol to a retention position. This is a position that you can fire your pistol into the lethal threat when that threat is within arms reach of you. i.e. if you finished the draw and stuck the pistol out all the way the lethal threat is close enough to just grab your pistol. Obviously we don’t want to do that. We will talk more about shooting from the retention position later. For now just know what it is and what it looks like.

*** safety note, don’t shoot from this position until you have been trained to do it. Just be patient, we’ll get to talking about it specifically. This is also something you should ask any prospective trainers to teach you. If they won’t then you need another trainer.


The third step is to obtain a two handed grip. Of course this means dropping the cover garment that you grabbed with your support hand and build the grip as we talked about in the grip post. Remember to check the indexes of the grip at the end of the draw. The retention position is close to your body and away from the lethal threat. If you don’t shoot and decide to bring the gun up to eye level (Step 4) then do step three close to the body. A slow support hand will be when you drive the pistol forward and up while placing the support hand on the pistol. The grip won’t be complete until you are almost at eye level. This will cause problems later on when shooting. If this is happening then speed up the support hand driving it under the trigger guard as soon as the pistol is parallel to the ground.

*** Remember to keep your finger off the trigger until the pistol is parallel and your support hand is on the pistol.


The fourth step is to drive the pistol up and forward to eye level. The fourth step will end when you have aligned the sights on the center of the lethal threat. How to do this quickly and efficiently is a whole other post that will be next on the list.


A note about the internet and training: Remember that there are quite a few variations on how to do the fundamentals. So there are different variations on the draw, grip, holster, sight alignment and so forth. I am just presenting you one way to do them that has worked together as a system for me and other instructors. Later we will talk about many of the variations along with their pros and cons. I asked that you just practice this way for a few weeks until you have got the fundamentals smooth and can perform them somewhat quickly. As you get better you may then run into unique situations for your lifestyle, body type or you just found a better way that works for you. You then might change slightly what you do. That is inevitable to some degree. I ask that you practice one way at first because changing multiple times during your early training does more harm than good. If anyone tells you there is only one way to learn a subject you should probably find another instructor.

Holstering is just the reverse. So go from step four to step one. Take your time and look at your hands and the pistol while holstering. There is no reason to point the pistol at yourself (including your support hand). See that you are not obstructing the trigger. There is usually not a good reason to holster the pistol quickly unless you have a particular job (Police, military, body guard) As the pistol is halfway into the holster but before the trigger and trigger guard go in, tilt the muzzle of the pistol away from your body and then finish holstering. If the gun goes off then the bullet hole will be in your pants and the floor, not in your body. Make sure you don’t tilt it so much that you are obstructing the trigger from the back side of the holster. Learn this with an empty gun.  (*** all dryfire can and should be done with an empty gun through out your life.) Still, tilt the muzzle away from your body, it’s good practice.






One comment

  1. Pingback: Mental Pictures of Your Gunfight | Just One Gun

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