Drawing with your offhand in a defensive confrontation

We were having this conversation briefly in another topic last year in regards to appendix carry but I couldn’t find the topic so figured I’d start a new one here and leave it open to all positions.

I have been doing some more martial arts work revolving around stopping someone from using a firearm against me as well as getting to a firearm when someone is grappling with me or in a position to get their hands on me before I can cleanly draw.

Based on the practice I have done I found it is almost always best to use both my hands against the attacker to create time and space to get a clean draw instead of using one hand to try and fend off the attacker while using the other to try and draw. but I can still imagine some scenarios where I need to draw while my strong hand is preoccupied or injured.

Being lefty I used to carry at the 8 o’clock position and could actually get a shooting grip and draw with my week hand by reaching around my back. But lately I have been carrying at the 11 o’clock appendix position due to the better concealment, retention and quicker draws it provides. But I cannot get a solid shooting grip with my offhand in this position.

I can draw with a partial grip then shift my fingers into a shooting grip but this leaves a moment where my grip is not very secure and has my fingers moving by an uncovered trigger. Both not good things when you might be in an active tussle with someone. Another thing I can do is get a secure none shooting grip on the pistol then press the rear sight into my gut or leg with the barrel pointing away from me then shift my grip. This gives me more control in a struggle but still has my fingers shifting around a none covered trigger.

Has anyone else practiced weak hand drawing? What techniques have worked best for you?


I don’t have a viable method for drawing weak hand only from my belt in a contested situation. Just not in the card.

A decent option here is a knife, perhaps a shorter concealed fixed blade, easy to draw with the off hand…


Under most close in struggle situations using my hands, elbows, head, knees, feet and head are plan A since that is the training and practice I have. Going for my pocket knife should probably be plan B. But I really need some more serious knife training and practice as well as looking into a fixed blade carry option as a better alternative to my assisted opener.


Though I still would like to figure out the most efficient and secure offhand draw possible. I could imagine a situation where I successfully fought off the initial attack and gained a little bit of time and space to draw before the attacker can get to me again. But if my strong hand or arm was seriously injured my weak hand would have to get to my pistol pretty quickly.

I’ve been trained that, as basically a two step, from strong side waist, reach across the front and simply grab the grip to pull the gun out of the holster, set it down/on something, pick it up with a firing grip.

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That certainly seems to be the safest route by far. But not the most efficient if you have someone about to start coming back at you after you knocked them down or push them away.

Given human anatomy and kinesiology, not to mention thae age of the average practiced concealed carrier…I don’t think there is a carry method that lends itself towards quick and easy one handed draw and presentation/use with either hand. Not that I would ever recommend it, but it seems 6 o’clock carry might be the best? Or ankle. But, not good options generally, IMO, bad options that have an unlikely-to-matter “there’s always that one little outlier benefit” going on.

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I guess cross draw would be the best option for both hand access. But like you allude to I wouldn’t want to disadvantage the strong hand options that would work best in 99.9%+ of situations to create a better option for a situation that is 0.1% or less likely to happen.

Still would like to have the best option possible practiced a little bit in case that low percentage scenario does arise.

Carrying a backup firearm easily accessible by your off hand would also work. But I’m not willing to put up with the extra bulk and weight. I’d rather work on the knife training.


I’m lefty, carrying appendix at 11:30.
I hope I will never need to draw with my off hand… but of course I’m practicing it.
The fastest and most reliable method I found is:

  1. have a good grip on the pistol, even it’s reversed
  2. pull it straight up
  3. roll it over the belly, keeping muzzle down
  4. finally get a good and positive grip on the pistol

My average standard draw time is 1.6 sec.
Draw with off hand takes between 3 and 4 sec.

Because I carry 2011, i feel comfortable with this method. Probably I would never use it while carrying pistol without thumb safety.


Thanks for that description. It sounds pretty similar to the second method I was practicing. But my pistol doesn’t have a manual safety so I was feeling a little uncomfortable with it. I think even if I had a manual safety I would be a little concerned about it getting accidentally switched off during the belly roll though the likelihood of that happening might vary depending on the safety design and stiffness.

I did find that after a little practice I could keep my fingers consistently away from the trigger and the barrel pointed away from my body. But not sure I would trust that under stress. Think I would only try that if I had no other choice. If possible I would probably prefer using those 3 or 4 seconds to run away or get to cover where I could maybe use @Nathan57 ’s place down method.


That was my problem with CZ P01 Omega… :grimacing: Plastic safety lever didn’t have positive click and I couldn’t trust it.

I treat my left hand as the most important part of the body. I actually behave like right handed in everyday life so my left hand doesn’t arouse suspicion and sometime becomes not nice surprise for other person. :kissing:
So again… I hope I will never see my off hand drawing in action… :upside_down_face:


I wouldn’t do that method with or without a manual safety. I don’t want to rely on a mechanical external do-dad being in the right position to keep my femoral artery intact. I don’t want to rely on a mechanical safety to protect me from a negligent trigger pull ND, while the guns is pointed down there

It was brought up in training as an option some do use, but…that’s a lot of fingers moving around by the gun, not just the trigger but the safety as well, and in a life or deth stress situation, with it pointing all up in your business…heebie jeebies

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This might be an option for yhou
Concealed Carry: Mastering the Art of the Weak Hand Draw - YouTube

I know I saw a Massad Ayoob video about it, but he is on so many different channels I couldn’t quickly find it.


AIWB sacrifices 2nd safety rule by design. If somebody wants follow all 4 rules during carrying… appendix is not for him.
Even looking at the video, posted by @Gary_H

A 2023-08-23 07-12-45

there is no way we can achieve the goal without pointing the muzzle at the thing we would never want to destroy…
Practice makes everything fluent, proficient and effective. Adding safety features (manual safety) makes is secure, even it’s against safety rules.


I am ambidextrous and if I think about which hand, I have to use I can get confused. “Is that the hand I am supposed to use?” Since the stomach has got swollen over the years appendix is not an option anymore. Saying all of this I want to say that appendix carry is the best scenario for weak hand draws. If you carry at 9 or 4 o’clock it is too much movement to reach with the other hand to retrieve the gun for self-defense scenario, but it is possible in most cases if you can reach it with your other hand,
As for appendix carry, it is important to remember finger safety as drawing the same as for any drawing with a gun. The hip position while drawing or holstering should be adjusted as doing so to prevent pointing tour gun at your groin or leg anyway. As @Jerzy said," Practice makes everything fluent!" Stay fluent my friends! Stay safe and practice and train. :steam_locomotive:


That diagram exactly explains why I won’t appendix carry. If I’m in a fight, I’d rather not be the one shooting myself in one of the most important arteries in my body, causing near certain death.

I’ve not solved the problem of how to offhand draw, except to have a separate gun for both hands. You could do this with two pocket pistols, or the classic New York Reload small of the back double holster.

I often carry my pocket revolver along with an OWB semiauto at 3:00. I habitually carry both on my strong side, but there’s no good reason not to switch the revolver to weak side when the OWB main weapon is carried strong side. A BUG makes good sense in more ways than just off hand drawing.


I am in the same condition, I have done lapped disease myself. plus on occasion I’m getting around with an extra 200 pounds (power wheelchair) so what I have started using is either waist pack or a holster that is designed to not look like a holster, its like a hidden in plain sight. sorry I can’t remember the name. but, they work out good for me when I’m in my power chair.


While that would definitely work for the offhand draw it seems a little more awkward and slower for the strong hand.

It also seems to point the barrel right at the femoral artery. Where I place the holster avoids the artery and the most important part of my private parts. I may loose a testicle if something went really wrong but I’ve got a spare;)

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In certain age we don’t need testicles anymore… :wink: be safe…


lucky you I can’t spare to loose my other one :crazy_face: :man_in_motorized_wheelchair:

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