Weekend Drill: Draw

Over half of you have draw from a holster on your training bucket list when we talked about it here: Your Training Bucket List (You can still vote on your bucket list items on that post).

Here’s a drill you can do at home:

What’s stopping you from doing draw from a holster drills more often?


Have been doing/teaching that drill (with different names) for 20 years.

The biggest point to remember with any movement training is to break it down to small manageable repeatable steps. Practice EACH small step, SLOWLY until you get it right each time. Only advance to the next step when you can positively make the same move each and every time. It takes HOURS to teach your body to make a proper “Grip”.

In my vernacular that is three steps (if carrying concealed)
Sweep (your garment)
Thrust (your hand to the gun, breaking the thumb snap)
Grip (the pistol with thumb and two fingers, your index and middle finger are straight)

Lift and Rotate:
Lift the gun clear of the holster
Left Hand: Palm flat to the belly
Rotate the pistol to LEVEL (this is very unnatural and people will try to short cut it to end up center during the rotate part, you should be able to take a shot from this position of retention if you need to)

Bring you shooting hand to the center of your body
Left hand Grip: (Remember your TWO finger are still straight when your left hand slides into place)
Finish: Curl your middle finger around the grip, you have now isolated your trigger finger which you can now put on the trigger.

Keep the gun on a horizontal plane and PUSH it forward
At just about full extension with LOTS of practice the hammer will fall

Obviously if you have to take a shot from the retention position your middle and trigger finger will get into the game at the rotate stage.

When rotating, you are going from elbow up to driving it down and keeping it back. So that your pistol is flat and level. This is the hardest thing not to cheat on but it is important if you need to shoot from a retention position.

The day I learned this draw I spent about 10 hours in a hotel room in a suit jacket stepping through it bit by bit and pretty much got to “Center” as we were told that we would have to perform and be able shoot from any position from Rotate on. The next day after class I spent 10 more hours in a suit jacket practicing getting it through “Push” it’s hard to keep that thing straight, flat, plumb and level as you move it forward.

The end result was a stupid solid draw that I still practice “dry” to this day. I have surprised some pretty fast IDPA gunslingers with my times when it went off after Rotate and rang steel.

Amateurs practice till they get it right. Professionals practice until they can’t get it wrong.

Practice CORRECTLY to be professional not just proficient.




I combine practicing my draw, with point shooting. Like @Craig6 said, I practice clearly my varmint, getting a good master grip on the firearm, and getting the gun pointed where I want it. Remember, another 1/4 to 1/2 a second, although it feels like and eternity, is a small sacrifice in time to get that first round on target. It may be the only shot you get. Sometimes, slow is faster.


Slow is Slow
Fast is Slow

Smooth only comes from well worn practice




The biggest issue is many ranges do not allow drawing from a holster. I can practice and dry fire or go to special range days where you shoot from in front of the line.


My military RSO


Slow is smooth
Smooth is Fast
at least every 30 seconds of an 4 hour shoot and God help you if you, accidentally shot him during a shoot house clear. Dude could pick himself up by the back of his own neck and throw himself out. But he was about the only one who could.


This and another topic reminds me of the “new” (Ok mebby 20 year old) requirement to draw from a holster. I am hear to tell you that the vast majority of folks that have to qualify are given only a cursory amount of training in “draw”. I saw wayyyy too many ND’s from kids and senior military folks who had never handled a firearm, EVER, being required to draw and shoot.