If you have a CCW permit, you probably already know what we’re going to say. The difference between theory and reality is huge. Carrying your weapon on a daily basis offers you more safety. In a crisis, though, you have to know how to draw your gun properly. While your CCW training probably included shooting drills, how much time have you spent learning how to draw your weapon from your holster, pocket, or waistband? Probably not enough. Since many gun ranges don’t allow you to practice drawing your weapon, here are some tips to help you train effectively in your own surroundings.
#1 Invest in a Blue Gun – If that term is new to you, blue guns are simply plastic or rubber models that are designed to feel exactly like your weapon of choice. You can’t fire them; you can’t hurt yourself or anyone else, and they’re made just so you can practice drawing without using your own weapon.
#2 Always Practice Ammo-Free – When you’re ready to practice with your own gun (or if you opt not to buy a blue gun), it’s essential not to use a loaded weapon. Be sure to empty the chamber and the magazine. Don’t just look at it. Physically examine it completely to make sure it’s empty, and then check and double-check it. Never take shortcuts when it comes to safety. Triple checking beforehand becomes natural with extra practice and will ensure you never harm anyone, including yourself or your family.
#3 Get Familiar with Your Clothing and Holster Choices – Practicing in the same clothes you’ll normally wear when carrying makes good sense. It means your weapon will always be in the right place when you need it. Follow these additional steps when practicing:
- Remember to clear your clothing. In a crisis, you won’t have time to unbutton your pocket, so don’t build this into your practice. You have to be able to draw on instinct without thinking about it.
- Practice acquiring your gun properly, pointing it toward your target, and getting your sight placed properly. If you have trouble retrieving your weapon, it’s time to rethink your choice of clothing. A custom concealed carry jacket or blazer can give you better control and access when drawing your gun.
#4 Eliminate Mistakes in Advance – You’ve heard us say this before, but it’s worth repeating. Practice makes perfect … or as close to perfect as is possible. You’ll never know if your clothing or holster interferes with your ability to access your weapon unless you practice. Learning those downsides in advance is vital.
- Frequent practice will help you spot weaknesses that may make it harder to draw your weapon correctly. If you’re using a holster, make sure you’re able to keep your trigger finger aligned with the frame of the weapon. Anything that gets in the way or forces you to grip your gun improperly can lead to disastrous results.
- Make sure you can bring the muzzle out without brushing it against your body. Adrenaline runs high in a crisis, and you don’t want to make a mistake.
Once you’ve mastered these techniques, increase your skills by setting your smartphone’s alarm to randomly go off during your practice session. This will force you to think on the fly while using the best form possible. Ultimately, precision and preparedness will give you the advantage in a crisis.