When you’re ready to carry concealed, getting shots on target isn’t the only aspect of defensive firearms training you should consider. Practicing to clear your firearm from a holster is an important part of responsible gun ownership. Taking the time to master your draw will improve your muscle memory, which can lead to a quicker response time in high-stress situations.

When you practice drawing your pistol, work as if you’re actually carrying your gun. Don’t practice with an outside-the-waistband holster like you’re in a quick-draw competition when you actually carrywith an inside-the-waistband every day.

How to Draw Your Firearm

There are four steps to a proper pistol draw. But before those four steps, there’s an additional action. Don’t forget to clear your cover garment.

Step 1: Cover Garment

Use your off hand to reach down and pull your shirt high and up out of the way.

Step 2: Establish Grip

Secure your master grip, keeping your index finger along the frame and away from the trigger.

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Step 3: Pull Your Gun Out

When removing your gun from its holster, be sure to pull it straight up.

Step 4: Rotate

Once your firearm is clear of the holster, rotate your muzzle toward the target.

Step 5: Come Together

Bring your hands together to establish your two-handed grip.

You are now out on target and ready to fire once you find your sights. The key to mastering your pistol draw is repetition. Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong. This is an excellent drill for dry-fire days when you can’t make it to the range.


Mastering your pistol draw just comes from repetition. It’s basically a four-step series. We’ll run through that in a minute.

Now let’s talk about that four-step pistol draw. Actually, we’re kind of adding another step in there because we want you to clear your cover garment. Don’t do this with an outside-the-waistband holster like you’re pretending quick draw or something like that. Work as if you’re really carrying your gun for self-defense.

So first step is removing or clearing that cover garment. Get down there with your off hand and pull the shirt up high and out of the way. Then establish your master grip on that gun immediately.

Once you’ve got a full, solid master grip — notice my index finger; my trigger finger is indexed away from the trigger as the gun comes out — pull the gun straight up. Rotate. Then come together. And now you’re out on target. Now you can fire. You find your sights; You fire.

That’s all there is to it. Do that thousands of times. Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.