Tag Archives: concealed draw

SKILLS: 3 Quick and Compact Drills For Your Sub-Compact Carry Gun

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Do not neglect range time with your small carry gun! Here are some fun and valuable drills to hone your skills. KEEP READING

XD-S Mod.2
XD-S Mod.2

SOURCE:  Team Springfieldby Ivan Gelo

One of the old mantras many of us continue to see and hear is that the sub-compact firearm is, “Carried often, but shot little.”

Let me just go on the record right now stating that I TOTALLY DISGREE with this old adage. Like many of you, my every-day carry (EDC) companion is a sub-compact handgun (the dark-earth framed 9mm Springfield Armory® XD-S® ), and I shoot it on a regular basis.

It seems this adage is often repeated by instructors because, in their experience, many of the subcompacts of the past were difficult to manage and the recoil was harsh. These “cons” resulted in little practice time with the firearm.

With the smaller versions of the Springfield XD® series though, I do not find this to be the case at all. I actually enjoy practice sessions with these small pistols.

SPECIAL CONCEALMENT ASSIGNMENT
Quite often I get requests from friends in the security business requiring assistance with multi-day protection details. A few days prior to receiving the Springfield XD-S® Mod.2® for evaluation, I answered one of these calls. After obtaining some of the specifics related to this executive detail, it was clear that a suit and tie were the “uniform” of the day. Knowing that 1) dress belts are not the best rig when carrying full-sized firearms and 2) blending in and concealment were the high priority, I opted to carry my sub-compact 9mm Springfield Armory® XD-S® as my primary firearm. My Springfield Armory® SAINT® was relegated to the trunk of my transport vehicle as the “back-up” weapon. Good choice, I know…

RANGE TIME REQUIRED
With the protection detail a short week out, I focused my range training specifically to the XD-S® 9mm and the .45 caliber XD-S® Mod.2® that I had not yet shot.

I decided to drill / practice three techniques:

One: Movement while drawing, with a concealment garment.
Two: Multiple round engagements, more than the traditional 2 shots per target
Three: “Failure drills”; multiple rounds to the body, followed up by rounds fired to the head.

ccw draw

DETAILS
ONE: Drawing from Concealment with Movement

Practicing the draw, and specifically drawing from concealment if this is your EDC mode, is a MUST. Incorporating movement during a draw is an additional skill set that should be practiced and perfected. Movement makes you a more difficult-to-track target and is therefore worth the investment.

As with all new shooting skills, If you haven’t previously practiced concealment draws or concealment draws with movement, dry draws are HIGHLY recommended first.

When dry drawing / dry firing, the gun is UNLOADED and condition VERIFIED. NO ammo should be allowed in the practice area. And, find a SAFE backstop (that’s able to stop a potential negligent discharge). Dry practice can also be done at the range if your facility permits.

Back to my drill…

There are several methods of drawing from concealment. Some of the more popular are:

Sweeping the cover garment with your strong hand.
Pulling back on the garment with your support hand.
Pulling up on the garment with your support hand.

I personally prefer the “sweep” method. This approach allows my support hand greater freedom to perform any of the numerous defensive empty hand responses, such as a palm heel strike, shielding technique, or deflection.

The Sweep Draw
Sweeping the concealment or cover garment involves only your holster-side (strong) hand:

The hand starts with an open palm, similar to your normal draw, however, the fingers are spread apart more than normal and the pinky and ring fingers curve in slightly.

Use those two fingers to hook the front of the garment and sweep it to the rear and behind / past the holster and firearm. Some instructors teach that during this process the cover garment is also “flung” back (which might clear the gun and draw better). Try both approaches and see which is best you, your carry rig, and the concealment garment you most often use.

With the holster area clear of the garment, draw the firearm as you have trained.

Appendix note: If you prefer appendix carry, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to first practice just the draw portion of this with an unloaded gun! Get that down before you live fire and/or add concealment and movement.

ccw training

TWO: Multiple Round Engagement
This drill does not have to be complex. One target is all that’s needed. I most often use cardboard USPSA or IDPA targets, as I like the zone markings.

Start close — 3 yards — just beyond contact distance. Move the targets out 3 yards at a time as your training progresses, and you master each distance.

The goal is to draw and fire 4 rounds in quick succession. Keeping all hits in the “0” zone or top half of the A zone is what I expect.

At this close range, even a shooter with a moderate skill level, should be able to accomplish this with some practice.

Use a shot timer and start with 1 second splits (time between shots). Decrease your split times by .25 seconds when you can repeatedly put all shots in the “center zone” on demand.

Remember, at this close distance perfect sight alignment is not required. The sight index, “flash sight picture,” or whatever term you use, should deliver good hits on target as long as you do your job keeping the gun aligned with minimal grip pressure increase or hand/wrist movement.

When you make it to the .25 second split time speed, you will have to move the trigger FAST. To do this, you will most likely be “banging the trigger,” but that’s okay. Learn to work the gun at this speed in training; especially when the threat is CLOSE.

THREE: “Failure Drill”
If you are justified in using deadly force on another human being and body shots are not stopping the lethal threat, then face or head shots could be one of the best ways to end the confrontation.

Using the previous drills as a base, after firing 4 rounds in the body at 3 yards, move the shot placement to the face or head area and fire 2 more rounds.

Given the limited rounds in the magazines in your carry sub-compact gun, shot placement is even more critical. Work at speed, but have the discipline to hit the center of the head zone area; the A zone on a USPSA target and the “0” zone on the new IDPA target are a good go / no-go standard.

Again, once you have made improvements at 3 yards, move the target distance out 3 more yards.

multiple round drill

DETAIL DRILLS COMPLETED
In my several training sessions through the noted week, I fired over 300 rounds of .230 grain ball and 50 rounds of duty / self defense .230 grain jacketed hollow point .45 ACP ammunition. As I expected, the Springfield XD-S® Mod.2® was enjoyable to shoot and had zero malfunctions!

So, ”Don’t be that guy…” The one who carries regularly but practices irregularly, especially if your EDC is a sub-compact firearm. Practicing with a sub-compact firearm might even assist with your focus on the fundamentals of shooting.

Once practiced up and proficient with your sub-compact pistol, check your local ranges and their match schedules for International Defense Pistol Association (IDPA) matches. The events are set up with defense-minded scenarios and drawing from concealment is required on most stages. Additionally, there has been an increase in the popularity of back-up gun (BUG) matches, directly designed for your carry gun. Either event, IDPA or BUG, is great for confirming your ability to shoot your sub-compact carry gun under a little pressure.

And what could be more perfect? Take advantage of someone else setting up a match, so you can practice your pistol skills, all while enjoying a variety of challenges and courses of fire.

As a matter of fact, I’m one of those “someone elses” (match directors). If you ever visit the Phoenix area, I’d be honored to have you attend one of my events — 2nd Wednesday night of every month at Rio Salado Sportsman’s Club. DETAILS HERE 

See you and your sub-compact carry gun there!

SKILLS: How To Practice Drawing a Pistol From Concealment

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

If you’re going to carry, you need to learn how to get your handgun out of its holster and into play. Here are some tips on how to practice this all-important skill.

by Tamara Keel
NRA Family

CCW draw

One of the unfortunate realities of carrying a concealed firearm for self-defense is that the one thing you will absolutely have to do in any real-life defensive gun use is also the one thing that is the most difficult to practice: Drawing the concealed firearm.

The majority of indoor ranges…and no small percentage of outdoor ones…get the vapors at the idea of patrons drawing loaded guns for practice on their premises, and for good reason. It is a probably-statistically-provable fact that drawing a loaded firearm from a concealed holster is the second most dangerous thing most folks do with their CCW handgun. And I say “second” because the only more dangerous thing is putting it into the holster in the first place.

Did this make you a little nervous? I hope so, because when people stop treating this process like they’re milking a live rattlesnake is when complacency sets in and the ambulance rides start.

The thing is, being under stress makes it difficult to learn new skills, and the middle of a holdup attempt is a heck of a time to try and figure out how to draw your pistol from concealment in a hurry.

One thing I would recommend for practicing drawing from a concealed holster is a “blue gun,” an inert plastic copy of your actual carry gun that will fit in your actual carry holster. Eventually you’ll incorporate your carry gun and the draw into your dry-fire routine (you do have a dry-fire routine, right?) but it’s easiest to start with a completely inert copy.

blue gun
Author recommends investing in a “blue” gun, which is a reproduction, for ultimate security and safety in learning the concealed draw.

One thing that this will allow you to do is work out how practical various carry methods are for rapidly and safely accessing the gun in the first place, as well as working out safe ways to draw without muzzling yourself or others. This will also help you screen your cover garments for safety and ease of draw and holstering. Heavier fabrics tend to be better for cover garments because lighter materials want to bunch up around the hand, gun and holster, which can become a safety issue.

Oh, and drawstrings and dangling zipper pulls on cover garments are a big no-no. Those find their way into trigger guards as though drawn by a magnet.

You’ll also find out if you can access the gun at least somewhat surreptitiously. One phrase I’ve heard from many trainers is “sooner is better than faster.” What this means is that paying attention to your surroundings and perhaps prepping your draw by getting your hand on your concealed firearm without drawing removes one of the most time-consuming portions of the draw sequence.

My friends John Johnston and Melody Lauer at Citizens Defense Research like to illustrate this in their training classes by showing students the “magic secret to the sub-1-second draw from concealment” and letting students see the difference in draw times between a standard draw and starting prepped with hand on the gun.

This, incidentally, is one of the downsides to deep concealment methods like SmartCarry or the Flash Bang bra holster. One would look a little funny accessing a gun in one of those positions as a precaution in a parking lot.

All these initial steps to selecting and testing a carry position are great uses for the blue gun, and it will be handy down the road for retention training and a host of other things, but you are going to want to be able to do it with your actual carry gun eventually.

The actual skill of drawing a loaded firearm on the clock is probably best initially learned under the watchful eye of an actual qualified trainer, but once you’ve learned it, how and where do you safely practice it?

If you’re lucky, your local range allows it. I mean, it can’t hurt to ask. The most recent range at which I worked did not allow customers to draw from the holster but the previous one did if they passed a simple qualifier. We’d just have one of our range safety officers go out and watch the customer draw from the holster and re-holster five to 10 times and if they did it safely, we’d make a notation in their customer file that they were cool for drawing from the holster.

If the regular commercial range doesn’t allow it, you can seek out various private clubs in your area and see if they do. This is a lot more common and definitely worth looking into, since the club may open another good venue for practicing drawing from concealment: competition.

Of the two major run-n-gun handgun sports, USPSA and IDPA, the latter actually mandates drawing from concealment while the former doesn’t prohibit it. Going the competition route will not only let you get practice drawing from concealment but will add some time pressure and stress, too, and the chance to perform this skill while getting a little stress inoculation to go with it is definitely worthwhile.

Click here to visit NRA Family 

3 Easy Dry-Fire Drills for Handgunners

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestyoutube

Don’t let bad weather stop you from improving handgun skills: it’s fast, safe, and easy using these tips from Team Springfield. Learn about them…

Courtesy Team Springfield

Team SpringfieldDo harsh winter conditions or a full schedule keep you from getting to the shooting range as often as you’d prefer? For us too, but that shouldn’t mean you can’t get in a little practicing. Dry fire practice can be an important (and better yet, inexpensive) part of your training. And it’s convenient because you can do it in the comfort of your own home.

As always, unload the firearm (check and double check to ensure it’s unloaded) and remove all ammo and distractions from the room. Close your curtains, and get to work! It’s easy and useful to log some practice reps by dry firing.

Here are a few drills to get you started.

DRAWING FROM CONCEALMENT
Dry fire drawing from concealment is particularly valuable obviously for people who carry concealed. Quickly and safely drawing your pistol from underneath a shirt, coat or other layers can be more difficult than you might think. Unpracticed, there’s significant potential for snags and fumbling.

Dry fire practicing can help you from coming up short like Fredo in The Godfather.

TRIGGER CONTROL
Don’t move the gun when you pull the trigger! Regardless of the speed you are moving your trigger finger, you need to avoid dipping/moving the muzzle.

How can you tell if you’re falling victim to this bad habit? Set the trigger on your unloaded pistol by racking the slide. Next, place an empty casing on its base on the top of the slide, just behind the front sight. Now, press the trigger without causing the case to fall off.

The speed in which you can do this will be a limiting factor in how quickly you can shoot accurately.

If the case doesn’t fall off, congrats! You’ve pulled the trigger correctly.

Rob Leatham
“The trick is one of visual focus. Try to see a full sight picture (front AND rear sights AND target) before you pull the trigger. Not just the target or the front sight. It’s hard to do quickly and one of the skills all great speed shooters have mastered.” — Rob Leatham, Team Springfield

TARGET TRANSITIONS
Another tricky skill is rapidly and precisely transitioning from one target to the next – especially when dealing with recoil during live fire. Since this is dry firing, though, we’ll have to do without the effect of recoil. Pick out three objects or other visual cues (targets), and practice transitioning the gun from one target to the next.

PUT IT ALL TOGETHER
Once you’ve practiced the above three techniques individually and have seen some improvement, practice them together. Again, with an unloaded gun, set the trigger, safe the gun (if applicable) and holster.

Start by drawing from a concealed position, acquire a target, align the sights and THEN perform a smooth trigger pull on each target (yeah, we know the hammer/striker only moves the first time, but go through the motion anyway). Gradually build speed on the gun movements and the trigger pull. Hopefully, the next time you’re able to get to the range for live fire, you will be able to shoot multiple targets faster and more accurately.