Learning to Draw From the Holster

Learning to draw from the holster is a very important skill. This is an area where you want to seek out competent instruction in order to learn to do it the right and safe way. There are a number of factors that need to be considered when learning to draw. They are holster type, wardrobe preferences, muzzle awareness, trigger finger discipline, and the actual motions of holstering/unholstering your sidearm.

Holster Type

There are many types of holsters from pocket, purse, Inside the Waistband (IWB), Outside the Waistband (OWB), appendix, corset, belly band, enigma, etc. There are a LOT of choices when deciding on a holster. Before you decide on the holster type you want, purchase a good OWB holster for training. Here at Southern Charm Firearms Academy, we require all new to holster students to train with an OWB holster placed at their strong side hip. The skills you learn with this holster translate to other types and this type of holster is what most training facilities require to take classes. Once you learn the proper and safe way to unholster and holster your pistol correctly, you can then decide what type of carry holster will work for everyday. An OWB holster will allow you to get proper training anywhere. Crystal has an OWB for nearly every pistol specifically to train on the range.

Wardrobe Preferences

When learning to draw your holster, some classes will require you to wear a cover garment of some sort that you have to defeat while drawing your holster. This is a more advanced skill you will progress to after a holster drawing class or clinic. You are encouraged to wear your normal clothes such as a t-shirt over your pants, a vest, button down shirt or other garments to conceal the gun. If you like to wear exercise clothes, there are some really good options such as the Pfilster Enigma. Whatever your wardrobe preferences are, there is a holster out there for you.

Muzzle Awareness

Drawing from any holster requires acute muzzle awareness so you aren’t sweeping your own body parts or other people in the area when drawing your pistol. This is an important area where seeking out competent instruction can really help you! Having someone’s eyes on you while you are practicing your presentation from the holster can quickly spot errors being made. If you don’t know what you’re doing or are unsure, get a private lesson from an instructor in your area. Something like purse carry that seems really simple and straightforward actually is neither! Purse carry has a LOT of extra factors to consider. So, don’t just put your pistol in your purse and let it bang about in there. It needs it’s own secured holster, a secure section and a lot more you have to be aware of. Did you know that there is a special instructor certification for Off Body Carry that takes 3 days? It’s intense and there are a lot of factors to consider. Purse carry and muzzle awareness are extremely important to get right.

Trigger Finger Discipline

Developing perfect trigger finger discipline is critical when drawing from your holster. Why do we practice this essential safety skill? The body has a sympathetic grasp reflex when startled or falling. When one had flinches or grasps, the other one does as well. So, by keeping our trigger finger high above the trigger guard we keep that finger out of the danger zone and drastically reduce the chances of a negligent discharge. Most people don’t even realize they have their finger in the trigger guard until it’s repeatedly pointed out to them. One of the universal safety rules is keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target and you’ve made the conscious decision to shoot. It’s so important it’s in a universal safety rule! You can imagine why its a good idea to keep your finger off the trigger as you are drawing from a holster attached to your body.

The physical motions of holstering and unholstering your sidearm

It’s very easy to sweep your muzzle over your feet, arms, hands, and other body parts while unholstering and holstering. There are certain places to place your support hand during both of these operations. People also often develop little extra idiosyncratic movements that make their draw stroke inefficient or unsafe. Again, seek out competent instruction on learning to draw from your holster.

Getting the right training

Any competent instructor will be able to help you and likely offers classes that work on this very skill. Here at Southern Charm Firearms Academy we offer holster clinics, defensive shooting classes, and advanced classes where you learn to draw from a seated position, on the ground, and more.

Our classes can be found right here:


Photo credit: phlsterholsters.com

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