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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a CCW noob (about 1 month :smile: ) and I'm not sure how to practice drawing my pistol...
I have an IWB worn at the 3 o'clock position, and covered with either an untucked long sleeve shirt or square cut Hawaiian style shirt. To begin the draw, should I reach across my body with my left hand and pull the shirt up to access the pistol, or do I hook the back of my right thumb under the edge of the shirt and pull it up until I can get a proper grip?
Any input from experienced CCW'ers would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Rick
 

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1952 - 2006
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CCW Practice Question

You should always use your off hand to clear the cover garmet by lifting it well above the grip of your gun, meaning pull it up to your armpit so that you don't cross it with the muzzle. As you draw, your support hand should then go to your standard two hand grip.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, acparmed....that makes perfect sense. I guess the thumb thing would only be used if the off hand were "otherwise occupied" in a SHTF situation :eek:
 

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1952 - 2006
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You're welcome Rick and one other "trick" for you to consider. When you are wearing an open jacket or coat for your cover garment, put some loose change or something with a little mass to it in the pocket so that when you sweep away the coat to access your gun the weight carries it away from you so that it doesn't get caught up in your draw. With a little practice this works very well.
 

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for me it depends on the type of carry. Sometimes I use the weak hand cause I care deep concealed. Othertimes I hook the garment with my thumb. The reason is I carry a knife for defense as well and may need it for weapons retention / or do a block sweep to dispupt and attack or draw.
 

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Do not..I repeat DO NOT depend on the off( weak) hand to clear garment. This hand may be busy warding off attack, damaged by attack, etc.

Practice clearing gun with strong hand only!!!!

If you don't , Mr. Murphy will bite you when you cannot afford to be bitten.
 

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KC135 said:
Do not..I repeat DO NOT depend on the off( weak) hand to clear garment. This hand may be busy warding off attack, damaged by attack, etc.

Practice clearing gun with strong hand only!!!!

If you don't , Mr. Murphy will bite you when you cannot afford to be bitten.
While this is certainly true, you have to have a primary way of obtaining your firearm in a critical situation. One you should practice regularly. I think my method is the best way to draw in an expedient manner. Using your strong hand only while trying to draw under stress is a good way to get your gun tied up in your clothing, or your hand might have some shirt and some gun causing you to possibly lose your grip on it.
You should however also practice alternative methods of drawing in case of injury or the need to fend off an attack.
 

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Suggestion: Some Hard Learned Street Smarts

Here are a few worthwhile tips that I learned from working at night in some of the WORST & most dangerous scumbag filled rat holes in Pittsburgh.
They would be East Liberty - Wilkensburg - & Da Nor' Side - & one or two other human ammonia holes.

I was actually flamed for making this same suggestion on another forum (which shall remain unmentioned) but, I'll post it here anyway.

I think the main argument that I got was:
"Well, if you're used to drawing one certain way & you reach over to pull your shirt up & your shirt is not there then you're gonna get confused & your "ingrained practiced draw routine" will get all mixed up!"
My answer to that would be...."Yes, that would be VERY true if you are a total "bionic moron" and not a thinking human being." - I would much rather have my non-gun hand/arm more available to fend off an attacker jumping out from behind a parked car & on my precious A$$ in 1.5 seconds than to have that same hand/arm reaching for my Hawaiian shirt while I'm in the process of catching a possible switchblade in the kidney.


Of course "Concealed Carry" means concealed carry.

BUT, Always use your common sense brain that God gave you.
For instance: should you find yourself in a situation where you are say...about to enter an isolated, dark, parking garage & you are in a known bad area...unzip your coat or jacket & casually pre-clear your doggone shirt out of the way ahead of time. Lock your car keys in your teeth & free your gun hand.
Do whatever is necessary to be able to gain a quicker useful access to your firearm if you are about to enter into a situation where an attack could be likely & mere seconds could spell "life or death" for you.
Also: SWITCH packages, shopping bags, or your briefcase to your non gun hand!
If you are about to enter a potentially dangerous & unavoidable situation & you are packing at the waist & you are "hands occupied" - "bundled up" & your shirt is over firearm & you still have your little winter mittens on...Guess What? - You're fully "armed" but you're still dead as a doorknob if the S.H.T.F. in a big hurry.

In winter I carry at the shoulder & my right glove is always loose enough that one flick of my gun hand & it's flying off into the snow.
My coat is always open enough for direct and lightning fast access to my personal protection firearm. Better temporarily cold than permanently cold.

If you are walking down a dark street at night & you are alone then put your yourself and your firearm slightly at the "more ready" ~ you hope nobody is around anyway ~ & the nobody (that isn't there) will not notice that your shirt is tucked behind your firearm.
If a tree falls in the woods & nobody is around Does It make a sound? Your firearm IS concealed if there is nobody around to see it. Duh!
In my opinion it is much better to calmly, quietly & discreetly "cover back up" than to bobble your lifesaving draw in a total (seconds only) panic situation.

If you are driving/walking at night & the area is not great or you are on lonely roads then uncover and/or at least have your driving coat open & your weapon more at the ready.
A firearm that you cannot get access to in FAST TIME is EXACTLY as useful as the one that you left at home in the gun safe.
Just my extremely humble opinion.
The bottom line...let common sense always rule your day.
 

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Also , I like to practice draws, shooting and block/strike and shoot drills with a airsoft gun. Much safer for practice and can be done inside with some trigger time.
 

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I've heard different experts espousing the value of each of these methods. I expect that it is one that either/both are correct. Personally, I can raise the shirt with my weak hand easier than I can do it with my strong side thumb. I still practice both methods, but expect that I would use my weak hand. Actually moving your weak hand to your strong side would be a good position to strike out (after the shirt move) and hit or distract the BG prior to shooting. If the situation were that I could not use my weak hand, I might not be as smooth, but I believe I could get the job done one handed.

The change in the pocket would be very helpful in the case of a sport coat. No matter how cold it was I would not wear a glove on my gun hand. That's what coat pockets are for. :wink:
 

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I have a simple one handed solution - the cover garment sweeps immediately as I reach for the Sig because I bought one the right length and had it tailored properly.

When I've had to pull it, my cover garment never got in the way nor was it even a thought. I wanted Sig, Sig was there. Presto, chango, solution found. :)

If I can't use that hand, the .44 special in my front left pocket will do wonders.

If I need to use a hand to stop something incoming, my right hand wins in that regard since I'm left handed and I've eaten a knife in the right hand three times now.
 

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Bumper said:
I still practice both methods, but expect that I would use my weak hand. Actually moving your weak hand to your strong side would be a good position to strike out (after the shirt move) and hit or distract the BG prior to shooting.
That's a very valid point.
 

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I guess it really boils down to the "situation" you get yourself in. I've read comments on both techniques and quite frankly, I would suggest practicing both and get proficient at it. If you are lucky enough to encounter a BG that is at some distance away, then certainly one might be able to use the weak hand clear method, but if the BG is too darn close, then, like some of the comments, you probably are going to need to use that weak hand to distract, fend off, or otherwise protect that "close encounter" til you're able to pull old faithful outta the pants and send that bozo to the promised land.
 

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I practice both. Strong-hand only most of the time. Sometimes I practice weak-hand draws. Not easy with the pistol at 4 o clock, but doable.
 

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Are you going to drop the baby carried with the left hand/arm???

Just the act of dropping something carried in the weak hand, requires decision. Decisions take time.

Thinking is fine....except that your reaction needs to be automatic.

If you are going to practice clearing with off hand, spend at least as much time practicing without off hand. Now all you will have to do is make the decision.
 

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I actually practice with gloves on ocasionally. I use the same gloves that I use to search a subject that I do to shoot with when Im playing Cop. Ya never can tell when you might need to do that. The gloves that I use are shooters glove and they are amazing warm. When its cold out Ill have them on. If you ever need to draw, you wont have time to peel the gloves off.
 

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Concealed Draw

First of all try to maintain distance so that you are not fending off an attack at close range. Remember to "Maximize" your distance to "Minimize" the threat (M&M). A technique that works very well is called the "Hackathorn Snatch". You grab the bottom of the garment with the support side hand pulling the tail of the garment as close to your chin as you can and use the firing side thumb to assist in moving the garment to attain your grip. The closer fitting the garment the more important the thumb assist becomes. You must make sure the garment clears the butt of the firearm or you will get tangled up. Of course nothing is ever a perfect situation if it was, you wouldn't be there. Practice with different garments. Try to keep your firearm in the same position all the time. Good luck keep practicing and stay safe.
 

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The great thing about a bellyband holster is the fact that I can "peel" my handgun out instead of having to raise it straight up out of the holster.

I use my strong hand and wipe it straight up the back of my jeans, which rides the shirt up with it, leaving my fingers wrapping around the butt of my gun. I "peel" out from there. I might have to do a video clip to best show it.
 

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Like Hotguns, I practice drawing and shooting with gloves on as I live in a cold climate. It does make for a slower draw with layers on. I like the Hatch thinsulate spectra shield gloves as they are cut resistant and still not bulky for shooting. Best to practice your draw as you will be carrying .
 

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OH PLEASE Betty show us a video of you "peel." I am breathless with anticipation.
My heart is all aflutter :whacko:
 
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