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Speed Up with the Draw Shoot Drill

Everyone should know how to properly draw their pistol from a holster, whether IWB or OWB and concealed or not. Drawing from a holster should be so ingrained in your brain that you don’t have to think about it under pressure. In this week’s drill, I break down how to improve your pistol draw time from draw to first shot on target.

Drawing From a Holster Drill – Tools Needed:

(Photo by Kelly Zachary)

The Drill

The drill may seem straightforward. However, it’s one of the fundamental exercises that a shooter should be able to execute flawlessly, ten times out of ten, in the exact same manner.

All you need is a shot timer set to a delayed start between 0.5 seconds and 2.0-4.0 seconds. Upon the beep, your objective is to draw your pistol and hit your target, set up at about seven yards.

All you need is a shot timer set to a delayed start between 0.5 seconds and 2.0-4.0 seconds.
(Photo by Kelly Zachary)

We aren’t worrying too much about accuracy. But you should strive for somewhere in the center of your target or vital zone. I personally put a white paster or tape a paster backward on my target for a goal zone to hit.

Goal Setting

The point of this drill is to improve your draw to first shot fired time. Likewise, it will help set an achievable goal of a time you want to reach. First, you need to know your baseline for a consistent, repeatable draw-to-shoot time. It should be one that you can perform at least eight out of ten times.

Go ahead and try this drill a few times at a speed you are consistent with. Track each time from the shot timer how long it takes to draw your pistol and successfully hit your target.

Let’s say your average time is around two seconds from the draw to the first shot fired. In this case, I’d set a goal of shaving two to three-tenths of a second off this time next time. This might not seem like a lot, but it’s a lot of time in the world of competitive shooting.

The author running the drill.
(Photo by Kelly Zachary)

Most competitive shooters have a sub-one second draw to first shot fired time. That didn’t happen overnight but took thousands of hours of live fire and dry fire time to achieve.

Your goal needs to be realistic for your skillset. Likewise, it can depend on what holster you’re using, whether you’re drawing from concealment, and even down to the sight(s) on your gun. That’s why establishing a baseline is helpful to start before setting a goal for yourself.

Dry Fire & Par Times

If possible, this drill should be done in dry fire every day. Especially if you’re working on drawing your concealed carry pistol faster.

Make sure your pistol is completely unloaded before dry firing at home. Set up a target on your wall, and using your shot timer, work on this drill just as you would at the range. For dry fire, I like to set a par time on my shot timer since I can’t track the first shot fired time.

A par time is the maximum amount of time you give yourself from the start beep to perform this drill. If my goal is to draw and shoot in under 1.5 seconds, that’s the par time I set. Eventually, you can work yourself up to keeping this par time set in your live-fire practice.

Track Your Progress

Remember to track your progress. You cannot know if you’re improving consistently without tracking where you started and where you’re at today.

When drawing from a holster, the author produced a tight group.
(Photo by Kelly Zachary)

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