"the draw"

"the draw"

This is a discussion on "the draw" within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm no neophyte, been doing this a very long time but I try not to be so arrogant as to assert that I can't learn ...

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Thread: "the draw"

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array ExSoldier's Avatar
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    Lightbulb "the draw"

    I'm no neophyte, been doing this a very long time but I try not to be so arrogant as to assert that I can't learn new things or RE-LEARN a better way to do old things. Because of my wife's illness last year (she is now victorious against breast cancer -- an especially virulent and lethal variety) I gave 100% attention to her and basically dumped most of my shooting activity, especially IDPA. Concurrently (almost) I was in the process of losing what has now totaled out to be about 140 pounds as a result of my gastric bypass surgery. Now I look like I did when I was a fresh college graduate and a newly "frocked" 2nd Lieutenant of Infantry. Back then, my very first carry piece was a S&W M19 .357 with a four inch barrel. Later, I carried a variety of guns from 1911s to a Colt Python and then a brace of H&K's: A USP 45 and finally a P30 9mm. As I began to balloon up in weight (right after I got MARRIED --- Hmmmmm) I segued into a DA 9mm, mostly because it was less likely to be a weight drag on my trousers.

    My draw technique has always been slow and methodical, even in IDPA where it cost me points. A wise old Sergeant Major once told me: "Kid (I was back then) yer either gonna have all the time in the world to get your weapon out or NO TIME AT ALL. So don't worry about a fast draw!" That made a lot of sense to me.

    Still, in the matches I began to notice a few things: Trying to clear the cover garment (vest or light jacket or even a very lightweight shirt of the tropical variety so often seen here in South Florida) I often changed my grip on the weapon leaving it necessary to readjust in order to both wipe the safety (where provided say on a 1911) and acquire the front sight and prep for the shot.

    Therein lies the conundrum: How do I clear the cover garment and still get a good functional grip ... one handed? Typically, that requires that I curl my fingers and slide the cover garment either UP or to the REAR as I try and then grasp the butt of the weapon and start the forward/upward draw motion. The "hitch" then seems to be that I get the garment either tangled in the draw (part gets caught in my hand between the grip) or something on the weapon (sights) gets snagged and I have to alter grip or draw direction to get it free.

    I discovered that if I use my non-firing hand to reach across (impossible when I was big) and lift the garment (a buttoned shirt or jacket) free, that works fine; OR reaching behind my back to grab the rear of the jacket and pull it clear (if it's unzipped and open) will also work, but is it too much to ask of muscle memory?

    So, enlighten me on draw techniques if you will! Pix will help if available or maybe a good link?
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    The Draw, something that has been of great interest to me over many years.

    First, I believe that there can be a great deal of difference between combat and civilian encounters, so in that sense I respectfully disagree with your Sergeant Major. Personally I have had a fast draw save my butt, more correctly head, in one instance and I believe a good many others, that did not come to fruition due to speed.

    Your draw intiation grip is one of the major influences on your draw.

    Draw Initiation Grip
    Which do you use and why?

    I am aware of three grip methods to initiate a draw; I would be interested in any others anyone knows of.

    1) Full Grip Initiation
    This is where the entire hand grips the weapon in a firing grip befor the draw is initiated. This is imo the slowest of the three, but probably is the most secure and eleminates any grip fumbling or misgrip.

    2) Thumb Initiation
    This is where the thumb slides on to the grip and initiates the draw in kind of a pinch with the web of the thumb, with the fingers coming on during the draw process. This method imo is slightly faster than the full grip method and slower than the finger initiated draw, but resolves the garment problem as the thumb moves the weapon away from the garment enough that the fingers do not pinch it.


    3) Finger initiation
    This is where the fingers initiate the draw and the thumb comes on and the full girp is acquired during the draw process, sometimes called a "scoop" or "hook" draw. I believe that this enables the quickest draw but with ccw use it may cause problems. With a loose garment underneath the weapon it is easy for the fingers when wrapping the grip to pinch the garment (shirt) b/t the fingers and the grip, slowing or fouling the draw. Attention to attire can reduce or eliminate this problem. What makes this draw faster than the others is that for the other two the hand must stop to acquire the grip used to initiate the draw then start again to complete the draw, whereas with the finger initiated draw the fingers hook the grip of the weapon as they go by with no stop. An additional factor is that the other two generally use two different directions to complete the draw. The hand comes down on the weapon, stops, then goes up to complete the draw. In the scoop draw, the hand goes in only one direction with no stops.

    One other grip is that used in the thumb cock draw of the single action revolver, but with the few that carry single action revolvers for ccw that was not included.

    The speed of the various methods is a hypothesis based on my personal experience. Indeed others may find the contrary to be true.

    Speed and perception of speed, imo, can be subjective, objective, or some of both. What may seem fast to one person might seem slow to another. In reality, speed can be measured, thereby putting it in the objective realm.

    To put things in context, the time differences involved are probably in tenths and sometimes even hundreths, depending on the individual and their proficiency.

    Most of the time, holster type, placement and clothing will affect, if not determine the method of draw that can be accomplished expediently.

    Few would question that consistent, long term practice is essential to proficiency and speed, whatever draw grip is used .

    I 've found generally that people fall into three areas. Those that do not consider speed important. Those that think speed is everything. Then those that realize the importance of speed and its mating with other factors, such as movement, combatives, etc. I fall into the third group.

    To relate to your problem, here is what I do specifically. The hand sweeps to the rear with the last three fingers curled to clear the garment. The level of the clearing is below the level of the gun and continues slightly rearward of the guns location (3 o'clock). Once past the gun, the hand in a continuing motion, begins to circle up and forward toward the grip of the gun. My holster is not verticle, but with a butt forward (FBI) cant. The hand is relatively flat with the last three fingers still curled. As the hand passes the grip the last three fingers "scoop" the grip, without stopping. The thumb is at the center rear of the grip (beaver tail, even if not a 1911). As the gun begins it rise out of the holster the thumb slides over to its proper position and the index finger comes on to the trigger and begins its squeeze. As the muzzle completes its rise to the target, the trigger squeeze is completed and the gun fires.

    Using this method, I virtually never encounter conflict between the overgarment and the grip of the gun.

    This method has allowed me to maintain draw/first shot times of .85 -.90 from concealment to an extended age.

    Hopefully, this will be of some assistance.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  3. #3
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    I've always employed the one hand sweep and draw with my cover garments (usually a jacket and I never zip up in front). Faster than any cross sweep from the weak side and I won't be sweeping myself on the draw. With a t-shirt and IWB conceal, it's different....I'll need the weak side assistance for clearing things out of the way, but it's all above my chest. The way you carry and how you carry pretty much dictates what you'll need to do for the best advantage. Any time the ergonomics or a timely presentation are in question, you re-assess things and make the changes necessary to circumvent any obstacles that may come between you and living. A quick draw has always been one of my favorites whether in competition or on the street. Time is always a factor whether you're on the clock or off. A quick draw is always an advantage. Get rid of anything and everything that comes between you and that. We'll never have all of the time in the world to do what we need to do.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    The Draw, something that has been of great interest to me over many years. First, I believe that there can be a great deal of difference between combat and civilian encounters, so in that sense I respectfully disagree with your Sergeant Major. Personally I have had a fast draw save my butt, more correctly head, in one instance and I believe a good many others, that did not come to fruition due to speed.
    Hopefully, this will be of some assistance.
    In deference to SGM, whom I believe may have passed away since (it has been almost 30 years after all) I'm not certain he was making reference to civilian encounters or encounters on the battlefield or a combination -- he was fiercely rumored to have been involved in all sorts of dark deeds with those entities of the alphabet soup variety. He used to be SF back in the day, ya know? Take your pick. I know he ALWAYS carried off post. So did I. So did lots of folks, then. There were even a few times when officers who worked for a general (yours truly for awhile) were actually directed to carry concealed on post -- when there was some sort of verifiable threat which we poor peons were never made privy to. If anything had happened in my presence then, I doubt very seriously if I'd have been able to make a decent presentation from under my BDUs. I'd have gotten into the game fairly quickly, I think, but certainly not to GUNSITE standards!
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array C9H13NO3's Avatar
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    Regardless of what holster I'm using (IWB/OWB), I use my left hand to lift my cover garment. I take my right hand and shove the web of my hand all the way up on the grip, wrap my fingers and thumb around, and draw. I'm already in my normal firing grip. I did end up having to buy smaller grips and a short trigger to get this right, but it made all the difference in the world, since now my hand fits the grip really only one way and I don't need to adjust.
    -Ryan

    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

  6. #6
    Member Array lprmcnit's Avatar
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    Comments

    Several years ago a read the biography of Wyatt Earp, by Stuart Lake. I can't quote him quoting Earp exactly, but he essentially said the same thing as the Sar' Major. In effect he is quoted as having said that his experience in the encounters that he had was that it wasn't necessary or even desirable to be the first to fire all 6 rounds, or even the quickest on the draw, he suggested taking just a moment, a "click", whatever you want to call it longer, and being sure of your shot. He(Earp) definitely did not have a high opinion of trick shooters, or shooters that went through 6 rounds in a flash. It's like Clint Smith says, 'don't shoot fast, shoot smooth, and shoot good'. I took a defensive conceal carry clasas from Clint (great experience) and one impression/recollection is the importance of choice of garments; also that one train seriously with whatever garment is chosen to wear in various situations. I mention garment choice, because as I worked on my strong side carry in class, I found that I liked, or at least could adapt to a single hand draw if I used my extended right hand thumb to lift or clear the garment just prior to seating my hand on the grip. It worked well with some garments, and not so well with others..so I plan to test various garment types and see how they work with the extended thumb. Just some thoughts...hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    If I was looking for an example or someone to emulate in abilities, this is who it would be.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/957612/posts
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    The proper holster has a great deal to do with this topic. It's got to give full access to the grip, whether IWB or OWB. Those that hide the gun grip under the belt/waistline are a liability. Stability and consistency are paramount. It's got to be automatic when reaching for the gun. On the range I've seen so many cheap holsters cost time and quite likely lives on the street.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array ctsketch's Avatar
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    when I'm doing one handed draw from my cover garment I use my fingers to initiate. when I am doing a full grip draw it when using the other hand to pull away the cover. never tried by thumb though....
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  10. #10
    Member Array chivvalry's Avatar
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    I finger and scoop.... (wait... that sounds wrong somehow) and full grip. It really depends on the gun/holster combination. With my minituck and p3at it is finger and scoop and with my G19 and Serpa it is full grip since you have to release the retention, with my Sigma .40 in a crappy paddle holster it was full grip. I havent ever used a thumb grip to draw. Never heard all three methods described like Guantes did and frankly never even thought about it. I just do what feels right and smooth depending on what I'm wearing.
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  11. #11
    VIP Member Array chiefjason's Avatar
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    I basically use one of two methods to draw. The depend on whether a shirt is covering or a jacket.

    With a shirt that completely covers the firearm I take my weak hand and yank the shirt as high as possible towards my armpit. At the same time that my weak hand goes to my shirt, my strong hand starts to the pistol. My hand comes in above the pistol. I drive my hand down onto the pistol to get a full grip. Occasionally I will catch myself scooping the pistol instead, my grip usually suffers for it. Draw the pistol up, just out of the holster. At this point I release my shirt with my weak hand. I rotate the pistol forward and drive the pistol forward while bringing my elbow down and bring my weak hand into a 2 hand grip. I generally fire 2 at this point. The pistol is near my belt buckle, so I am point shooting now. At this point I can continue to shoot from here, shoot as I bring the gun up, or bring the gun up and then shoot. Basically, it's the elbow up, elbow down. There used to be a great video on this, but I can't find it.

    If I am carrying OWB under a jacket or cover shirt I will tuck my t shirt in behind the pistol. I can then sweep the garment with my strong hand, my weak hand still comes in as well. From here it's the same as above.

    If I am fully OCing, there is just no garment sweep.

    The main problem with this draw is that you are using both hands. If I only have one hand to draw I would try to use my thumb to lift up the cover garment. Just stick your thumb against your leg and sweep it up above the firearm. It's not quite as clean. FWIW, the draw is much faster than it appears if you practice it.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    If I was looking for an example or someone to emulate in abilities, this is who it would be.

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/957612/posts
    Thanks for that link, G.

    On the topic of "the draw:" I practice quite a bit... Draw and dry fire once. During each practice session, I work very slowly to start... then incremetally pick up the pace to as fast as I can go. I guess I'm trying to train muscle memory. I do this in front of a mirror so that I can determine that the dry fired shot is close to on target.

    My practice method is based on the adage: "Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast." Whether it's really true or not, I can't with certainty say. But, I remember learning cursive in school... it certainly was slow in the beginning, wasn't it? And for many (including mysef) it got a lot faster... and messier... so maybe it's true, maybe it's not.

    As with many here, I have not yet found the ideal holster. Right now, I have one that can be worn IWB either tuckable or not. Practicing in tuckable mode is certainly time consuming (untuck, draw, point, fire) With a cover garment over the tucked shirt/holster even moreso. Because of this, when I am able to wear a cover garment, I will (if I intend to have the cover garment over everything for an extended period) "untuck" the weapon. Sometimes, I have to do that discretely after putting on the jacket, depending on the situation.
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