Drawing from Concealment: An Important Skill to Master
Concealed Carry permit applications are turned in by the millions each year and show no signs of slowing down, but getting the permit to carry a concealed weapon should only be the first step in an ongoing process that should last as long as you own a firearm. Training is the key to being able to react effectively when confronted with a potentially violent situation.
Most shooters associate training with spending time at the range to improve accuracy, doing dry-fire practice at home, or learning self-defense techniques.
While all of these activities are necessary, one critical training area is often overlooked: the ability to draw quickly and effectively from concealment. Concealed Carry Magazine editor Kevin Michalowski explains the importance of the draw in his article “Tips for Clearing Cover Garments” at USConcealedCarry.com:
“It may sound easy enough, but when time is of the essence and your nerves are trying to take control, you could find yourself fumbling about and getting tangled up in your shirt, coat, or other cover garment.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
There are several tips that make drawing from concealment more effective. One of the simplest yet most important is to wear your typical concealed carry attire while practicing at the range. If your usual garb is loose-fitting, untucked shirts with an IWB holster, the process is fairly straightforward. Use your non-firing hand to reach across and lift the hem of your shirt while drawing and aiming at the attacker with your shooting hand at the same time.
The situation becomes more complicated if your daily carry apparel includes clothing with buttons, zippers, snaps, or other accoutrements. Button-down sweaters and similar items are best left unbuttoned, allowing for quick access to the concealed firearm.
For zippers, add a split-ring key holder to the zipper, giving you a firm finger handle to pull. Lift the jacket with the non-firing hand while unzipping and then drawing with the opposite hand. Snaps require a decisive motion where the left hand lifts the jacket near the snaps and the right hand pulls the jacket open, making sure the hands are positioned so that the bottom snaps open.
These techniques can be practiced anywhere and are fairly easy to master. Naturally, practicing at the range with live fire and targets is better than standing in front of a mirror. If you have access to a range with pop-up targets, it will provide the most realistic scenario to practice your concealed carry drawing techniques.