drawing gun techniques

How To Draw A Gun If You Have to

A person should know how to draw a gun if they have to. Ideally, the concealed carrier/open carrier or person otherwise concerned with personal protection will be drilling their draw as part of regular practice with their firearm, among other shooting drills.


The draw is almost as important, if not more so, than marksmanship when it comes to concealed carrying, as a person will have to get their gun out and on target as soon as possible.


The Basic Gun Drawing Technique


gun drawing

The basic gun drawing technique isn't complicated, but has to be practiced often to gain proficiency, efficiency and finally speed. The novice should start slow, repeating as much as possible until they become increasingly efficient and gain speed. Just as in motor racing, slow is smooth and smooth is fast.


The basic technique involved a fairly simple algorithmic approach. Start at step one, go through every other step until the action has ended, either with a gun drawn or a shot fired.


  1. Clear the cover garment
  2. Get a solid purchase on the grip with the thumb and at least three fingers
  3. Lift straight up
  4. Push the gun toward the threat and in toward one's chest
  5. Extend the arm(s) while bringing the sights onto the target
  6. Acquire a sight picture
  7. Fire, if necessary

That's the most simplified version of all the steps. However, there are additional gun drawing techniques that assist in the process.


Clearing Cover Garments As Part Of Gun Drawing Techniques


weapon drawing

The first part of gun drawing techniques for the concealed carrier is clearing cover garments. This could mean a t-shirt, business dress such as a suit jacket, a pullover or sweater, or other coat or jacket. Essentially, they break down into two categories: open-front and closed-front.


A common practice among concealed carriers is to wear jackets or other outerwear open as often as possible, for precisely this reason. Many concealed carriers favor a vest for easy concealment, though some feel that this becomes a dead giveaway as it has become so prevalent.


Closed-front garments, such as a T-shirt, button-up, sweater or pullover, need to be lifted out of the way. This can be done with the weak side hand, or by hooking the bottom of the garment with the strong-side hand. Pull up and hold while acquiring good purchase on the grip. Once the gun is clear of the holster, continue as normal.


If drawing with only the strong-side hand, hook the cover garment with the thumb, as near to the holster as possible, and dig in while drawing the garment up. Get purchase on the grip while pressing the cover garment into your body, clearing it from the pistol. Then draw as normal.


If drawing from a tucked-in shirt, the strong-side hand can be used to lift, grip the pistol then draw, or the weak-side hand can be brought across the body to lift while the strong-side hand grips and draws.


Open-front garments are somewhat easier. The best method is to bring the strong-side hand to the front of the jacket or coat, and sweep it back with the bottom ridge of the hand, so immediate purchase on the grip can be gained. Draw as normal.


There is a technique that's been making the rounds on the internet called the "Dracula draw." This technique, which is supposed to have come from plainclothes policemen, uses the weak side hand to clear the garment. Grasp the bottom hem and yank it out and upward - this clear the strong side and ultimately the holster allowing for the draw hand to get a grip without needing to clear a garment. Drop the jacket once the draw has commenced and resume presentation as normal.




Incorporate The Draw Into Shooting Practice


Whichever method a person uses, drill as often as possible and include draw strokes into shooting practice, as should defensive marksmanship including flash sight and point shooting. Start slow and smooth until efficiency and speed are attained.


Every element of the draw should be practiced including clearing, drawing, presenting and aiming. Eventually it should become a swift, fluid motion with no motion wasted. Eventually, one also may wish to time one's self.


Once a person has become proficient, shooting drills such as the simple draw-and-shoot, draw and double-tap, or draw and Mozambique drill should be practiced at the range. Defensive shooting is a martial art unto itself, and just like how one Krav Maga or jiu jitsu class doesn't make you ready to defend yourself, neither will one session of bullseye shooting. Practice as regularly as possible, and you'll be ready for what comes.




Sam Hoober 

About The Author


Born in southeastern Washington State, Sam Hoober graduated in 2011 from Eastern Washington University. He resides in the great Inland Northwest, with his wife and child. His varied interests and hobbies include camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time at the gun range as often as possible.

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