You’ll need to be quick on the play/pause button to see all this, but hows88 makes ten mission critical mistakes. The key takeaway: in the heat of battle, your best draw will become your worst draw. If your best draw is flawless, your worst draw will be adequate. If your best draw sucks, it will be horrible when push comes to shove. And if you blow your draw, your shot placement will be just as bad. So you need to get the draw—including the shooting sequence and re-holstering—exactly right. Although I’m a neophyte, I reckon this is not an example of what I’d call exactly right. Here are my bullet points . . .

* Posture!

As discussed in my demo draw, crouching low assures a more confident grip, improves accuracy, reduces your profile (i.e. you as target) and makes it easier to move and shoot. Now how much would you play?

* Move!

As not discussed or demonstrated in my video, standing still while you draw a gun could well be a fatal flaw. Think of it this way: if a knife-wielding attacker was lunging towards you, which would you do first: move or shoot? Well exactly. Lucky for hows88, he’s practicing at a range where he can move. Even a small step sideways is better than this foot plant.

* Point the gun in the direction of the target immediately upon unholstering

That way you can fire at once (from the hip), bring the gun up towards your chest, fire again, get a two-handed grip, fire again, push the gun out and fire again. That’s four shots, if needs be. But wait! Problem!

* Keep your non-gun hand on your chest

If your non-gun hand is not on your body during all this pre-Weaver stance firing, you stand a pretty good chance of shooting it, or at least burning it to hell with hot gasses. This can also happen in a “normal” draw under abnormal circumstances. Freeze this video at :09. Check the muzzle’s proximity to hows88’s left hand. Remember: everything will go to shit in a gun fight.

* Keep your finger OFF the trigger

Even before hows88 gets his sight picture, his finger is on the trigger. That’s bad. He has effectively removed the option NOT to fire. I repeat: given that the stress of combat will make hows88’s trigger finger really twitchy, if he raises his weapon with his finger on the trigger, he has little to no chance of NOT firing. Studies show it’s just as fast to put the finger on the trigger and fire as it is to simply pull the trigger. Really.

* Don’t draw and fire

Following on from above, hows88’s busy training himself to draw and fire, draw and fire. What do you think he’d do in a real-life combat situation? Draw and fire. He should practice drawing and NOT firing, as well as drawing his gun to a medium ready position and issuing verbal commands (DROP YOUR WEAPON!). Shooting an attacker should be AN option; not THE option.

* Plan!

hows88’s string:

Two shots
Short pause
One shot
Longer pause (gun not lowered)
Two shots
Short pause
Two shots
Short pause
One, two, three

No way no how did hows88 plan that string. When practicing drawing to firing, tell yourself what you’re going to do. Draw. (FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER) Two shots. (FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER) Lower. Raise. One shot. (FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER) Lower. Raise. Two shots. (FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER). Low ready. Scan. Replace gun.

Better yet: have someone else call it out for you.

* Don’t empty the magazine every time

Notice that the sequence above only requires five shots. And? Maybe that’s all you would have needed in a real gun fight..

If you empty your magazine every time your draw and fire, what do you think you’ll do in a real-life combat situation? Legally, you can only fire as many shots as you need to stop a threat. If two shots does it and you keep firing, well, that’s not going to look good. And it increases the odds of collateral damage.

* Let the magazine drop

I know we’ve moved beyond the draw, but it’s all part of the process. Let the magazine hit the deck. Not to sound like a broken record (anyone remember them?), but if you practice catching the empty magazine with your left hand, guess what? You really don’t need to be carrying an empty magazine in the heat of battle.

* It ain’t over ’til it’s over

Freeze :18. hows88’s eyes are off the target. Why? In real-life, you shouldn’t re-holster your gun until the threat is over and you’ve scanned for other threats. There’s no reason to practice it any other way.

Practicing your draw should not be seen in isolation. It should be practice for a gun fight. Even if it isn’t, it still is. Own the entire process or it will own you.

4 Responses to How Not to Draw A Gun From A Holster

  1. You make some valid points here. However, it seems to me to a small flaw in your thinking. I shoot 9MM out of an M9 and .45 ACP out of a 1911 remake. I have put well over 10,000 rounds down range with each firearm. I am right handed. I have NEVER burned my left hand on extracted brass. Also As far as I can tell most (if not all) sem auto’s send the brass up and to the right. In this video the guy was sooting right handed. So it would have been virtually impossible for him to get burned by brass. Also 1 handed shooting is a lot less accurate then using both hands on the pistol. Sorry man. You other points were great though.

  2. Thanks for the comment. I’m not talking about him getting burned by brass. I’m talking about him shooting his left hand with his right hand with a bullet.

  3. Its all a bunch of sh_t spend more time training and you wont shoot your hand. If you forget and shoot your hand you’ll only do it once. Training should never be so ridged as in by the numbers. Men have been killing each other with hand guns a lot longer then the hand on the chest “Cha Cha style” shooting form has been around. Every new generation thinks it has a better mouse trap.

  4. Old post but I should mention due to liability issues in more restrictive states you can’t even draw from a holster. At my range they do not allow you to draw or move from a holster unless there is a special event, too much liability. There is a place that allows it one county over from me but they were shut down when someone ND’d themselves and the state went to test the air quality of the indoor range and it was found to be off the charts bad. The county north of me has some cowboy action shooting and ranges that allow movement but it costs a lot more money. I should mention the guy is using a Glock 17A which is a Glock 17 with a slightly longer barrel for compliance in Australia (I would just get a G34 but that’s me). They aren’t even allowed to use firearms for self-defense there much less carry them and what not. I get the feeling this guy is more target shooting orientated but it couldn’t help to practice “American style”.

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