Performing a quick draw on your handgun is one of the best skills you can have, especially when it comes to self-defense. In life or death situations, every second count. So let’s go over a brief tutorial showing how you can learn to quickly draw your handgun.
5 Tips to Quick Draw Handguns
1. Hand Placement
First off, both of your hands should move at the same time. Your gun or firing hand needs to be above your pistol grip and moved down to get a good firing grip on the weapon before it even leaves the holster.
- Place your hand high on the grip.
- Your index finger should point straight and rest on the side of the holster.
- The web of your thumb and index finger should be as high as possible on the pistol’s tang.
Never place your index finger on the trigger until after you are ready to take a shot. Doing this grip motion will ensure that you are as stable and as fast as possible once the weapon clears its holster.
2. Keep Your Wrist Straight
Next, hold the weapon upwards and completely straight while keeping your wrist straight at the same time.
You can rotate your arm at the shoulder up and back if you need more elevation in order to clear the pistol from the holster (say, if it’s a large weapon rather than a backup pistol).
This motion should clear the pistol of the holster entirely, and some holsters may even require you to jerk it roughly to complete the clearing motion.
By this point, your pistol should be clear of any obstructions from the holster itself, but it should still be very close to the holster.
The tip is likely still inside, but far enough up that, if you were to turn the pistol horizontally, it would just clear the holster top.
3. Rotate Your Arm
While keeping your wrist straight as an arrow, rotate your arm so that the barrel of your pistol points down the range or at your target. The benefit of this motion is that you can disengage your external safety simultaneously as your arm rotates.
By this point, only one or two seconds should have passed, and your pistol should be cleared of its holster and already pointed at your target.
This will allow you to shoot a target at very close range without looking down the sight and without spending any more time preparing.
We’d recommend not trying to shoot a target further than 5 feet away at this point, but it could be good enough for any self-defense situation! Remember to keep your wrist and forearm as straight as possible.
4. Line Up Sights
If you do need to hit a target that’s further away, keep your gun barrel pointed toward the threat or target and move the gun toward your left (or right, if you’re a leftie) hand at the upper part of your chest and stop the gun right underneath your dominant or shooting eye.
If done correctly, your non-dominant hand should now be in a position to support your main hand and stabilize the firearm as you take a shot at greater distances.
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Above all else, remember that you need to practice your quick draw technique if you wanted to actually become a regular part of your skillset. It’s not uncommon even for skilled marksmen to have to practice their quick draw motions upwards of 1000 times just to get things down to muscle memory.
All in all, it will take some time before you master any quick draw technique. But with patience and persistence, you’ll be able to give the cowboys of the Old West a run for their money.
- Concealed Carry Quick Draw Gun Sleeve
- Can’t Draw From Your Holster at the Range? Range Drills: Part 1
- Can’t Draw From Your Holster at the Range? Range Drills: Part 2
You are right-on about Wild West shootouts. I grew up and still live in Southeast Texas and am 83 yrs old so I have a better understanding of what really went on during the short time of the Wild West. My great grandfather got here in the early 1820s and help set up the Republic of Texas. A thinking man would not walk out into the street and yell draw. The only face to face shootout that I could find was at the OK Corral. If a cowboy was mad at someone he would catch him walking away from him, draw his pistol, call his name as he shot him in the back. Even Pat Garrett stood in the late afternoon shadows on a porch and let Billy the Kid walk past him. He then shot him in the back.