Guides Self Defense

Draw Drill

Here is a little dry practice drill I've been doing lately to help me develop a good consistent pistol draw.

It’s a fact, my draw can use some work. While editing IDPA match videos lately, I’ve noticed the time between the start signal to my first on target shot is just under two seconds. By all accounts from instructors I trust and books I’ve read (written by other or the same instructors I trust), that’s a slow draw for defensive encounter. Take that time coupled with struggling to find the dot when presenting the new RMR outfitted VP9 is a pretty strong sign or indicator that I need to work on my draw.

Thankfully drawing a pistol is something that one can do from the comfort of one’s home with very little investment other than a few minutes of time. And that’s what this post covers, the dry practice drill I’ve been running for about ten minutes a day for about a week to improve my draw time and presentation consistency.

Before getting into the drill, let’s cover some dry practice safety. It’s crucial to be absolutely certain, before starting any dry practice, to make certain the firearm is unloaded and the chamber is cleared. Otherwise, one risks a negligent discharge. It’s also not a bad idea to keep live ammunition sufficiently far away from where dry practice will be conducted in order to avoid accidentally reloading while practicing.

With that out of the way, here is the drill:

  1. Starting with hands relaxed at the side and the pistol holstered,
  2. draw the pistol.

That’s it. Simple. Nothing to it. Right?

Actually, there is a little bit to it.

The goal of this drill is to build up good muscle memory habits when it comes to drawing the pistol. As such, I start warming up with several extremely slow draws. During these slow draws, I’m breaking down the draw into the four steps that make it up.

  1. Establish a good grip on the pistol,
  2. Bring the pistol to retention,
  3. Establish a good support grip at compressed ready,
  4. Present the firearm while establishing good sight alignment/picture.

After a several warm up draws (somewhere between 10 to 20), I begin to increase my pace with each subsequent draw. I keep increasing my pace until I’m consistently screwing up the draw. This means getting to the point to where I am either failing to get a good grip, failing to establish a good support hand grip, or have a hard time getting a good sight picture or finding the red dot. Once I reach this pace, I slow down the pace until I’m getting good consistent draws. At that point, I increase the pace until it’s difficult to get good consistent draws. If I find myself consistently screwing up the draws again, I dial it back down. The idea is to hold a pace where I’m challenging myself to draw well while seeking improvement. This helps me become familiar with how fast I can draw the pistol well.

Truth be told, I have no idea if this drill will help with my two second signal to first shot time. A good part of that could be my reaction time. However, I think that a building strong foundation of getting a good grip and presentation on which to then improve my reaction time is a good place to start.

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