This week, Donna Anthony, owner of Point Blank Firearms and Self Defense Training, takes us through a five-step presentation from the holster and a full 360-degree scan and assessment of your surroundings. This is a great dry-fire drill you can do at home and only takes a few minutes.
You will need your defensive firearm or training pistol/SIRT, a holster, a safe place to dry fire and a training partner. Be sure to remove all live ammunition from the room in which you are training. As with other dry-fire training drills, select a target that is roughly the size of a human torso. For this drill, if you don’t have a training partner, you can hang a silhouette target on the wall directly behind you to ensure a full 360-degree scan.
The 5-Point Draw Drill will help you follow a specific sequence of events while drawing your firearm and will also reiterate the importance of scanning your surroundings following a violent encounter.
Start with your cleared firearm or training pistol in the holster and your arms in a relaxed state. Get into a good stance that favors balance of movement, with your feet approximately shoulder-width apart and your strong-side foot slightly back.
The five-step presentation:
Step 1: Grip the firearm in the holster; this is your master grip and should not change throughout the shooting process.
Step 2: Clear; pull the firearm straight up out of the holster (high enough that the muzzle is free of the holster).
Step 3: Rock and lock; orient the pistol toward the target (shots on target can be made from this position). The firearm should be slightly canted away from the body so the slide is free to move.
Step 4: Smack; your support hand comes across and meets up with your firing hand, smacking tight up under the trigger guard. Make sure your thumbs are up in the flagged position.
Step 5: Extend your arms toward the target, acquire the sights and fire.
Next is the 360-degree scan and assess. After stepping either left or right to get out of the possible line of fire or attack, slightly lower the muzzle from your line of sight to give you a clear view of your attacker, ensuring he is no longer a threat. Now begin your scan to the left and the right, following the muzzle with your eyes. The scan should be slow and deliberate. To scan behind you and get a full 360-degree view of your surroundings, pull the firearm back in to your chest and come to the “Sul” position. “Sul” (which is “South” in Portuguese) is a non-firing position in which to hold your firearm while scanning without pointing it at non-threats. As you pull your firearm in, your trigger finger goes straight onto the frame, your thumbs join together, your support hand goes flat against your body (palm side in) and the slide is over the top with the muzzle at about a 15-degree angle so you don’t muzzle your feet. In this position, rotate your body to one side, checking behind you, and then to the other side, completing a full 360-degree scan.
Be sure to follow the four universal safety rules at all times. Dry-fire drills help build muscle memory in shooting but also in how you manipulate and handle your firearm in regard to safety. Before starting, visually and physically check to make sure your firearm is clear and unloaded. All live ammunition must be removed from the area in which you are training.
Unlike shooting on a static range at paper targets, bad guys can attack from any direction. It is important to assess your entire surroundings for potential threats or people who may need assistance. If it’s new to you, try the Sul stance; it’s useful when scanning an area that has innocent bystanders. Remember, you only want to point your firearm at objects which you want to destroy.
Vary your training. Keep it fun. Keep it safe. And keep practicing.