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Draw Stroke Accuracy

It takes about 2 seconds to draw your gun from concealment and accurately fire it on target, that is if you have a good draw stroke and practiced it sufficiently. In that time, a perp could have also accurately shot you 3-5 times. Bad guys always have the upper hand.

One of the most common mistakes people make about Concealed Carry is they underestimate the complexity and discipline required to effectively draw a gun, aim, and hit the target where you intend. I‘ve seen a lot of shooters who have a great draw stroke, but their first shot takes a second or more to accurately line-up, which means they need to practice more. If you speed-up this process, their aim is atrocious.

I was there myself years ago when I started training. I had a terrible holster, no idea what a good draw stroke looked like, and even worse, my shot placement was abhorrent. It was all bad. But I was also not overconfident of my skill level. I sought-out training and practiced dry fire hundreds of times before I even started wasting ammo.


To many people, standing in front of a mirror drawing a gun from holster and pretending to shoot yourself sounds embarrassing or just boring. And it is unless you have the right mindset. When I practice, I place myself in a live fire, defensive scenario. My heart starts to

race and I become angry, focused. Hell, sometimes I even make a Clint Eastwood face! This is a good start, mindset is critical to concentration and cementing your practice.

Before I go to the range to practice a new

technique, and spend a lot of money on ammo, I always practice dry fire. I employ an empty mag in my pistol and practice drawing it in front of a mirror. I watch myself the whole time as if I were a bad guy, completing my draw with aim and “dry” fire. After the shot, reset your gun, holster it, and do it again.

Once you get pretty confident at your dry fire draw, have someone video you or time you. Chances are your draw takes longer than you perceived if you are doing it correctly. And that’s OK. Dry fire until you have a smooth draw stroke, every time. If your draw is too fast, your shot placement will suffer, and you will soon prove it at the range.

The point here is dry fire allows you to cement a lot of your draw skill without shooting a single bullet. An effective draw stroke takes under 2 seconds to execute, including your first shot. And it should be your worst aimed shot. After your first shot, each round you fire does not require a draw. So once you have recovered from recoil and reset your trigger, you are ready again.


There is an old saying: “slow is smooth, smooth is fast”. If you practice your draw, aim, fire, and reset cycle starting very slow, almost painfully slow, you will be able to notice all the nuances of your draw, especially if you have an instructor or observer critiquing you. Think of it like a golf swing, there are a lot of things that can go wrong, and only one thing that needs to go right.

Pat McNamara has a quick video that I really enjoy. In it, he tries to slow down his draw stroke and demonstrates how difficult it can be. Once you get beyond the language, Pat is an unfiltered dude, you can see that even a highly trained shooter struggles slowing down. This video gives you insight into what he is doing at full speed, without slow motion video. Each draw is perfect. If you can do it like this every time at half speed, when you go to full speed, you will have eliminated a lot of the things that can go wrong with your stroke.


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