Best Unarmed Defense Against a Gun Grabber?

I seek wisdom…

I’ve seen enough YouTube videos of criminals attempting to steal pistols by grabbing them out of people’s holsters to feel the need to prepare for such an attack. I’ve got a few ideas on how to protect my gun in such a scenario (clamp it into my holster with my dominant hand while defending with a knife in my non-dominant hand), but what are your thoughts on this? Is there a better way?


I have always been told to always do what we all been taught from the beginning of training. Using
our Situational Awareness to know our surroundings and what to do next is amazing. I can not tell you every detail, because I was not there. There are people that have been and are still in the military,
They were taught in Basic Training, Trainining Classes for their duties, and etc. Police Training at
their training and beyond that helps do the most dangerous work in stopping crime or saving someone’s

You take your job and do it to the best you can and also help others makes things work very well on their job. The concealment and carrying a firearm is used to protect you and family and there are some areas to protect other people too. But most of us have to walk, run, or seek safety from the bad people and we
can only call for help to EMS or the Police and help comfort and be a force to help the injured at their time and needs. You are the hero too and it does count, the injured person lives on.

Here is the catch! You are trained with the full details how to conceal and carry your firearm and you continue the walk, day after day; responsibly. Situational awareness of your daily walk and you are having a great day, but you (The Master) sense a problem and your awareness grows every monement until you have made eye contact with that someone, that may be that problem. YOU STOP and MAKE THINGS COME to a COMPLETE STOP, the end. A firearm is your last resort and you have made things come to a halt and saved others from harm. You called Security or the Police and gave the details.

You are the hero that stopped that threat. Please train everywhere you go. Family and friends needs you


I can’t offer wisdom, just some common sense. It’s good to think about, mentally prepare, and train for just such a situation. The prepared mind and all that as the saying goes. If it concerns you more than just something to think, prepare, and train for, then you might want to get a level 3 style holster and train, train, train, with that so that you can quickly access the level 3 holster when needed. It adds a level of retention if anyone were to go for your weapon.

While you hear about the bad folks getting a good person’s gun and hurting them with it regularly, I would say that happens mostly when the good person isn’t as well trained or prepared as they could be. I know criminals train specifically to get police and security officers guns from their holsters. Those are usually open carry, uniformed officers. Keeping your weapon concealed unless you are actually deploying it for a situation will go a long way in keeping the situation from happening as no one would even know you had a gun.

If you are carrying at your waist, we were taught in the academy to grab the weapon with both hands, lower our center of gravity and twist back and forth hard a couple of times, yelling loudly “let go of the weapon,” and move away from the person. Lowering your center of gravity and twisting puts them at a disadvantage, hopefully enabling you to move away from them and keep your weapon.

If you could not get away, then use the weak hand to go for their eyes or throat. It is hard to fight for a weapon while someone is poking your eyes out or punching you in the throat. We were also taught to stomp on the top of the bad guy’s foot, it is a pain center that usually can disrupt an aggressors actions. Your idea to use a knife might interrupt their thought process and have them disengage. Getting a knife out, opening it, and getting it into play are fine motor skills that will take a lot of training to bring to bear in a adrenaline filled situation. For me, the pain center in the foot first, then the eyes and throat method would be easier to accomplish. That will vary though, I have a couple of friends trained in knife fighting that can use it to their advantage in adrenaline filled situations.

Along with you, I hope to hear other’s thoughts on this and maybe find some updates to the methods I described, it has been a long time since I was taught the technique and it may have been modified or improved upon.


And you said you had no wisdom to offer… LOL!!! You just taught me a new technique!!! Thank you for your input!!!


I leave being Yoda to those that can actually impart wisdom, something I will never ascribe to myself! :grinning: Glad I could share something I have been trained on.


Quick question for you, @Michael, are those people open carrying? If so, are they using the correct holster? How is their situational awareness? Should they be open carrying if they’re not paying 100% attention to their surroundings?

If you are going to open carry PLEASE use a holster designed for open carrying, at least a level 2 - with some sort of active retention device. Here’s a bit about holster levels.

Keeping my firearm covered is another way I can help keep it secure and make myself less of a target.

If you’re referring to how to keep hold of your firearm in a self-defense situation - train, practice, train some more! Here’s a video that will give you some ideas.


I suggest everyone in the world attend Dave Young’s weapon protection class. I’m pretty sure it is already full at the 2019 Expo in Pittsburgh, but if you can find his class nearby sign up today. His techniques for retaining a firearm are simple, direct and without equal. I always say weapon protection starts with keeping your gun hidden… so please start there.


Good stuff but I clicked on this discussion thinking of Illinois politicians…


Here is why I wouldn’t open carry, even if I could in Illinois. How would they target my carry gun, if they don’t know I’m carrying a gun?


That is also why I don’t go telling a lot of people (either in person or on social media) that I have my CCW.


Good point, @MichaelManning. When I travel, I do let my travel companions know that I’m carrying just incase of a car accident. I’d rather have a friend be able to notify the first responders than them getting a surprise that might be taken wrong.


Hi Dawn!

In the one video that REALLY got my attention, a guy had an IWB-carried pistol, and was at a McDonald’s checkout counter when a guy shoves him forward onto the counter and makes a grab for his gun while he’s pinned down.

I live in Arizona (Thank God!!!), where we have Constitutional Carry, and teach my students to avoid OWB carry unless they are at a range that requires it.


That sounds very similar to the one @KevinM talks about in this Into the Fray:

That’s the one I was thinking about when I saw your original post. The carrier wasn’t situationally aware enough to know the guy was behind him and couldn’t react fast enough to secure his firearm.

Using a level 2 or 3 holster would have slowed the gun thief down, but not necessarily have stopped him. Having the gun concealed would have prevented the thief from knowing the gun was there in the first place.


That’s some good information and definitely something that needs to be thought about for mental training.


An excellent suggestion - I’ll look him up! Thank you!!!


You asked a question, “Best Unarmed defense Against a Gun Grabber?” Use one of those
steal target plates that we use in practice to part the grabber’s hair with. You were violated
and you defended yourself. Better than a frying pan.

Safety and Peace to everyone. I enjoy reading your opinions.

William H Smith Jr


I use the Shoulder or pancake holsters that I train with and I carry safely.
They work well. I have to conceal all the time

William Smith

how to keep hold of your firearm in a self-defense situation


Fanny Pack - Don’t Laugh:) Yet.
Some are going to think I am nuts - whatever - it works for me.
For a long time now - several yrs. Works well summer or winter.
But I shoot IDPA, +,+, & practice a lot - Combat Shooting.
And I am creative and handy.
I carry in a Fanny Pack at 3 O’clock, w/Double mag pouch at 9 oclock.
Cant see my gun at all.

Mag pouch has fold-over retainers. So not noticeable.
AND no one ever thinks I actually have a gun in there.
A full size Compact with 12+1 9mm.
Carrying total of 47rds - and no one ever notices.
12 in gun, 2x17 reloads (Full Size mags fit the Compact gun).
In case of a mass shooter - I want a lot of ammo.

It is specially modified, by me(foam fillers), so the holster and
gun will stand upright and holster not come-out on the draw.
Zipper with handle. Zipper costs me about 1sec time - draw.
So Draw = 2.3 sec. - Learned to live with it and be more aware.

  • if fight goes to ground, it is not coming out.

But I am old as dirt so that helps - no one “sees” “us” anyway.
So I take advantage of that.

If it takes more than 2.3 sec, I also have serious hand-to-hand training.


Hi Michael,

We’re in the process of moving to Arizona. I will still carry concealed and will apply for a permit as soon as possible. I’ve looked into joining the Arizona Ranger’s and will also apply after 6 months residency. So looking forward to the move.


That’s awesome, @DEFENDER! And I’m glad you have multiple ways to defend yourself as you never know what the situation may require.

Stay safe out there!