The Draw Stroke

The Draw Stroke

This is a discussion on The Draw Stroke within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I know this has come up from time to time, but how do you folks practice the draw stroke? And how often? Somewhere on a ...

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  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    The Draw Stroke

    I know this has come up from time to time, but how do you folks practice the draw stroke? And how often? Somewhere on a forum I recall someone complaining that practice at home doesn't replace proper professional training. Point taken. But I don't think there's any substitute for putting in some reps.

    Most of the time I carry a sidearm in Condition One (ie 'cocked-and-locked'). It goes without saying that anyone who carries that way has to be sure to train themselves to sweep the safety upon drawing the gun! My routine, which I try to perform two or three times a week, is to practice my draw and presentation from the holster at least 100 times, and preferably a couple hundred. I always start out going very, very slowly, focusing on very clean and solid mechanics. Hand on the gun, firmly draw just far enough to clear leather...drag the gun forward and out...safety off!...weak hand on chest, gun in hand rising to meet the weak hand...smooth extension. Making sure my finger isn't on the trigger.

    I will sometimes do a few reps in front of the mirror to see my draw stroke. Always slowly at first; practice doesn't make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect.

    Just as importantly you need to remember to engage the safety before re-holstering the gun. So I always practice this step as well. No one ever won a gunfight by getting the gun back in the holster in .5 seconds, so I'm never in a hurry there.

    Most of the time I begin practice with no cover garment. This is to focus on mechanics. But I always make sure to practice the draw from concealment, which in my case is normally IWB with a loose shirt over it.

    Is this close to how everyone here practices? If not what do you do differently?
    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

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    Distinguished Member Array BadgerJ's Avatar
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    I would say that needing to draw quickly is going to be a very rare event. Of course you should be able to smoothly deploy and not fumble. Nothing wrong with practicing drawing. But more important might be drawing and shooting a moving target on the ground.

    An instructor once told me he doesn't just practice drawing, but he goes to an outdoor range where you can have a target dragged toward you, like a towel on a rope, and you put one round in the firearm. At the start the target is deployed (like a big rat coming at you), and you draw and fire that one round. He said that in a short while he became very good at that 'snap shot' and hit this small moving target almost at will.

    HOWEVER, there is a downside to being too grooved in and that is if the target is too close to you. To deploy and shoot you need to have a minimum space. When you reach for your gun, REMEMBER, the guy coming at you is now using two hands and you have one hand (the other is going for your belt area). He can overwhelm you because instead of making space, you are so grooved in to the draw stroke you go to a one-handed defense too soon. You GOTTA make space to have time to draw and get front sight on target and in a panic mode someone who does a lot of 'going for the gun' drills is going to be trapped in that reaction.

    Just a thought. Not sure how to be flexible when you're being ambushed.
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    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    OP sounds like you are doing it about right. Make sure you have the action right then make it your own. So when it's needed it just happens


    HOWEVER, there is a downside to being too grooved in and that is if the target is too close to you. To deploy and shoot you need to have a minimum space. When you reach for your gun, REMEMBER, the guy coming at you is now using two hands and you have one hand (the other is going for your belt area). He can overwhelm you because instead of making space, you are so grooved in to the draw stroke you go to a one-handed defense too soon. You GOTTA make space to have time to draw and get front sight on target and in a panic mode someone who does a lot of 'going for the gun' drills is going to be trapped in that reaction.
    BadgerJ, I don't think the draw stroke has anything to do with the fight process, it's only a skill. The fight is the game you do whatever skill needed to win. Just like in the game of basketball the drill and the shooting of the ball are different skills, hard to do both at the same time.

    In the game of a fight for your life know your skills so they happen without thought to win. Knowing when to do what is a different skill than know how to do the skill needed. (draw, go H2H, use knife or just run) Best I've found to learning the what to do when is FOF situations and a lot of them, just like learning any other skill.
    It's gotta be who you are, not a hobby. reinman45

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    Member Array Shrike6's Avatar
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    I think your ideas are sound. I would only add movement to obtain space and to make a more difficult target.
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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    This is the way I draw my handgun. I think this short video sums it up well...

    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

    Never be ashamed of a scar. It simply means, that you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you......

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    VIP Member Array Bad Bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    This is the way I draw my handgun. I think this short video sums it up well...


    Also notice Travis does nothing "specific" with his off hand other than have it near the belt line.
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    Member Array cookfromAZ's Avatar
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    At Gunsite, they suggest no more than 15-20 minutes a week to practice presentations. Empty firearm, no ammo in room, find a wall or space that would present harm if it did go off. If you're interrupted for ANY reason, stop the practice and resume later.

    Dave
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    Front sight also emphasized do it in a room with NO AMMO present. Pick your target and dry fire away for 15 - 20 minutes 2 or 3 times a week. Just get it into serious muscle memory. My wife took a combat course where she was taught to step to the side as she draws moving her our of the BG line of fire. At Front sight they had us move to the side and check for other threats after shooting. Just get the idea of some movement to avoid getting shot and checking your surroundings after you shoot, which helps overcome the normal tunnel vision problem.

    Some instructors say that learning to shoot on the move is a critical skill. I find very few places I can practice that. Certainly not at any local gun ranges. For that reason I have been thinking about getting a SIRT laser handgun. The only thing holding me back is that I have not found a target I like. I would like it if the SIRT folks would create on that would mark where the shooting laser records. It is green and most targets seem to be designed for the red laser.
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    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    I wish they made a SIRT pistol in some other pattern besides a Glock.
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    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

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    Member Array B_2keys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    I wish they made a SIRT pistol in some other pattern besides a Glock.
    You would think there would be an M&P one out by now at least, and possibly an XD model.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phaedrus View Post
    I wish they made a SIRT pistol in some other pattern besides a Glock.
    Why? GLOCK is the only REAL gun for the serious Gun-Fu practitioner.



    Sorry, couldn't resist!
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Phaedrus's Avatar
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    Hahaha! It would be better than nothing but since I don't own a Glock I'd rather have a SIRT that more closely resembles something I carry. The problem with the SIRT for me is that it wouldn't allow me to reinforce the habit of sweeping the safety on the draw. Aside from that I would like to have one. Just wish they made one patterned on a 1911, BHP or an HK USP or P30S (hey, I can dream, right?).

    To clarify, I'm not trying to train to outdraw someone with the drop on me. I just recall watching a video of a FoF training scenario where an inexperienced person was put in a simunition training scenario; when she went to draw her gun it was a disaster! She flailed around trying to find it, then couldn't get a good grip on the gun (not well positioned in a cheap holster). Finally she tugged at it for awhile and couldn't get it out. End result was four rounds of simuntion COM on her. Then there's also the cautionary tale of the shop owner that tried to defend himself with a handgun and forgetting the safety was on. Under stress he couldn't figure out why it wouldn't fire and wound up being shot several times. He went down and the robber left, only to return shortly after. Realizing the good guy's gun didn't work he came back to finish him off with a headshot but ran his own gun was out of ammo! If not for that the shop owner would have died.

    I feel you really have to have weapon manipulation down to muscle memory. It has to be second nature, and so ingrained that you can't screw it up.
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    "When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

    “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” - Naguib Mahfouz

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    VIP Member Array Kennydale's Avatar
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    I used to spend about 15-20 minutes a day in front of a mirror. Now i spend about 30 minutes once a week.
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  14. #14
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    Seems like excellent practice drills. I need to do more of this. BadgerJ also made some valid points. Thanks to Harryball for the vid, this also the way my instructor taught me. Thanks to all who contributed.
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    Member Array chasbo00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farsidefan1 View Post
    Some instructors say that learning to shoot on the move is a critical skill. I find very few places I can practice that. Certainly not at any local gun ranges. For that reason I have been thinking about getting a SIRT laser handgun. The only thing holding me back is that I have not found a target I like. I would like it if the SIRT folks would create on that would mark where the shooting laser records. It is green and most targets seem to be designed for the red laser.
    The red and green are easily reversed on the SIRT as they should be for an expensive laser training pistol. The pistol's default is that red shows trigger slack take-up and green the fired shot. I've found the SIRT pistol and laser targets to be excellent training tools. I often turn off the trigger take-up light and set the pistol to use a red firing light when using Laserlyte's electronic recording and flashing targets which only work with a red laser. The SIRT is a very flexible training tool with endless uses limited only by your imagination. Its relatively high cost is the only downside in my book.

    Laserlyte has some new targets out - tin cans that fall over when hit. Great Idea! I may have to get some: http://www.laserlyte.com/

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