Over at gundigest.com,
Step One – MOVE!
Self-defense situations are highly fluid. The bad guy is probably moving towards you. His pal or pals may be moving around you. You may be moving at the time of the attack, either towards your attacker(s), away or sideways. You may have someone with you, maybe multiple friends of family members, who may move God knows where. There may be moving bystanders, too. Cover or concealment could be . . . anywhere.
Whether or not you can successfully engage a lethal threat depends as much on geography as it does on the speed or quality of your draw. But one thing’s for sure: a moving target is harder to hit than a sitting duck. Or a deer caught in the headlights of a violent assault. Immediate movement is absolutely critical to your survival before, during and after an assault. The second you detect a lethal threat, MOVE! Unless you’re going to move forward to assault your assaulter, create as much distance between yourself and your attacker(s) as quickly as possible.
A foot can mean the difference between life and death. Before or AS you reach for your gun, get your skates on (as the Brits are won’t to say). Where you go depends entirely on your environment. But drawing and moving at the same time offers you a greater chance of doing something effective – finding cover or concealment, avoiding a knife thrust, getting your gun out – than simply standing still, drawing your gun and shooting at the bad guy (which, admittedly, can also be effective).
Common sense, right? Find me a YouTube video on drawing from concealment that shows the instructor moving. I can wait.
Step Two – Draw Your Gun
Notice the last recommendation on the list of possible defensive reactions: getting your gun out. If someone’s right on top of you – and that’s a highly likely scenario – drawing your concealed carry handgun is going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible. Bringing it to bear on the bad guy, equally so. That’s why Michalowski recommends a four-step draw: it gives armed self-defenders an opportunity to fire at a bad guy at close range as soon as practically possible.
That’s all well and good, but moving to create enough distance to draw your gun without interference to achieve a “proper” firing position is an even better idea. Anyway, neither approach is mutually exclusive and both techniques depend on the critical variable: removing your gun from concealment. Don’t kid yourself: it ain’t easy as it sounds. Wardrobe malfunctions don’t just happen to large-breasted entertainers; under the stress of a defensive gun use your clothing may suddenly decide to work against you.
Drawing your pistol quickly, without fumbling, depends on a practical carry system (i.e., the type and placement of your holster), which may depend on what you’re wearing at the time of the attack. For example, I carry my Wilson Combat 1911 or GLOCK 19 outside the waistband, concealed by a polo shirt over a Tommy John T-shirt. On the rare occasions I wear a suit or dress shirt, I carry a Kahr PM9 or Smith & Wesson 642 in my front pants’ pocket. I can draw and aim my gun in about a second, while moving. When open carry is legal in Texas, that’s the way I’ll roll.
Yeah, it’s that important. As most defensive gun uses end without a shot fired, getting your gun out of concealment quickly is likely to be more important than your marksmanship. Which is why you should practice drawing your gun from concealment as often as possible. Good news! You don’t have to go to a gun range to do it. Simply wear what you would normally wear, unload your everyday carry gun, safety check that bad boy, put it in your holster, pretend to be doing something innocuous and . . . draw!
[NB: Point the gun in a safe direction and do NOT pull the trigger. Given that a drawn gun may stop an attack without a shot fired, you don’t want to get into the habit of drawing and shooting automatically. Also, the situation can change between the moment you draw your gun and the moment you take aim.]
Step Three – Move And Shoot! Or Not.
I know: shooting isn’t drawing. Or is it? Is hitting a ball part of swinging a bat? You could practice swinging a bat without hitting a ball – but that would only take your bat swinging skills so far. Same goes for drawing your gun. To ensure a successful draw you need to link it to your shooting skills. Especially when you consider the fact that you should be moving as you shoot.
So move, draw, shoot. Actually, move while drawing and then shoot while moving. That’s how you get away from the bad guy to cover or concealment and provide a lead-tipped disincentive for further attack. Saying that, as I said before, sometimes it’s best to move towards the bad guy(s). There may be no cover or concealment, and accuracy is a function of distance (the closer you get the harder it is to miss.) But the bottom line remains: move, draw, shoot.
And there you have it: three steps for drawing your concealed carry pistol. There are plenty of skills you can add to the mix – from mastering a Michalowski draw to performing “combat reloads” on the fly. But if you don’t move (a.k.a., “get off the X”) and get your firearm into the fight quickly the fight may be over before you even touch your gun. You really don’t want to be that guy.