David's Performance and Training Corner
With David Salthouse from APC, Inc.
Associate Director of Training & Program Development
Get It Out, Get It Up, Stop the Threat

In a gunfight, speed is often directly related to your ability to go home at the end of the day. The question is where should we be quick, and where should we take our time. The answer is your draw. The faster you can get your gun up to your target, the more time you can take lining up your sights and creating your site picture.  Like any other shooting skill, a proper draw takes practice, and it important to practice the right way.

I am sure there are many different draws that are being instructed around the world. In my opinion, the most basic an easy to learn is the 4 step draw. Establish a grip on the firearm, draw the firearm out of your holster, bring your support hand to the weapon, finally, and lock your arms out to your target.

The Grip

As we have already covered, a good holster is critical to a proper draw. Your holster should keep your firearm stable and in the same position on your belt. Your holster should also allow you to establish a firing grip while the firearm is still in it. For the first step, grab your firearm with your firing grip. At this time you will disengage any retention features your holster has. Your support hand should be up at your center axis ready for any close encounter.

The Draw

The draw is simple. Pulling the firearm out of the holster. Once the firearm clears the holster the step stops. At close distances, you can fire from this position. In this step you support hand remains up at your center.

Two Hands

During this step, the firearm is raised to your center joining your support hand. Your firearm should be at chest level. Like the draw, you are able to engage targets at this step, but with greater accuracy.

If your weapon is being draw for any other reason then engaging a direct threat, this step is adapted to the ready position, with the muzzle point towards the ground or a Sul Position.

The Lock

The lock position is when you “punch” your firearms out to your target. Remember to bring your sights up to your eyes. Do not bring you eyes down to your sights. From this position you have the greatest accuracy when engaging targets.

The key to developing a solid draw is building each step as its own skill. Work on perfecting each step first. Once you have mastered each one, out them together at a slow pace and develop one smooth movement. Then build speed as you become more comfortable. Experts say you may need as many as two thousand repetitions before you develop muscle memory.

Other considerations

As you work on your draw, take time to consider the positions you may be in when you encounter a threat. That may include wearing a heavy winter coat, or being seated in a car with your safety belt on. Both can throw a monkey wrench into your plan. It is better to try them in a controlled environment first, find out where you are going to have problems and work on solutions. I recommend using a blue gun for this type of training as it reduces the chance and a negligent discharge. To find blue guns the best thing to do is google “blue training guns”

Unlike marksmanship training, practicing your draw can be done almost anywhere and at almost any time. It is an easy skill to learn, but not easy to master. Whether you are training for defense or competition, you will see that a solid fast draw will speed up your first shot. In conclusion I would like to quote rule # 20 of Rules for a Gun Fight, “The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you will get.”

Be safe and remember, Failing to Train is Training to Fail!
Email David at with comments, questions, or topics you would like him to cover in a future article.