You may be fortunate, like me, to have a range that allows you to draw from concealment. As they’ve gotten to know me and my gun handling discipline, they’ll even put me on an end lane and let me use an ankle holster or shoulder holster.
Most people aren’t so fortunate, and even if you are, dry fire practice will make your draw much more efficient, smooth, and fast.
This is a very important skill to practice with dry fire because of the likelihood that you’ll end up with a cover garment pulling your trigger as you reholster. It’s also extremely likely that you may point the firearm at yourself at some point during your presentation.
I practice dry fire from concealment at my office 3-5 times a week with whatever I happen to be wearing at the time. It’s important that you practice this with as much of your wardrobe as possible so you can see which techniques will work best with all of your clothes. As an example, my shirts clear differently based on how heavy they are, how long they are, and how tight they are. I’ve developed a one handed stroke to clear my cover garment, clear my holster, and present my firearm with the clothing that I wear on a daily basis. Most importantly, I test and confirm that it works hundreds of times a month.
Personally, I carry on my strong side hip, inside the waistband. What I do is draw my hand back along my body, clearing any cover garments, if I’m wearing one. Next, I hook my thumb up under my shirt(s) behind the butt of my firearm, move my hand forward over my firearm, and push my hand down as I grip the firearm and then pull it clear of the holster. The downward “push” helps me get a consistent grip on the firearm, and the muscle memory is transferrable when I’m carrying in a Serpa holster, which requires a downward push to release the retention.
Sometimes my shirt tail or coat gets stuck between my hand and the grip on my sidearm and I’ve found that I can push the firearm forward to remove the shirt. As a note, if there’s any chance that your shirt could get inside your trigger guard as you re-holster with your method of carry, you need to figure out another technique for re-holstering. All of my holsters cover my trigger and thousands of dry fire repetitions have proven to me that this is a safe and effective option for me. It may not be for you.
Your draw stroke is going to be somewhat different depending on how you carry. In waist band (un-tucked), in waist band (tucked), 3:00 carry, appendix carry, crotch carry, cross draw, compression shirt, belly band, ankle holster, shoulder rig, purse carry, and in the pocket all require slightly different techniques, but here are the common elements:
- CLEAR YOUR COVER GARMENT.
- ACQUIRE YOUR GRIP.
- CLEAR YOUR HOLSTER AND CONTINUE WITH THE 3 PART DRAW STROKE.
If you intend to carry concealed, go through the following sequence 10 times:
Clear your cover garment, Grip, Position 2, Safety off, Position 3, Trigger press, Rack the slide, Position 2, Safety on, Holster (This simply adds clearing your garment to the sequence.)