How to Draw a Pistol From a Holster – Must-Read Guide

How to Draw A Pistol From A Holster
Alfred Mendoza

Drawing a pistol from a holster is one of the most under-trained skills in concealed carry training. If you plan to carry a gun every day, you need to master proper drawing from a holster.

Here are the basic steps on how to draw a pistol from a holster.

1. Set Up for a Proper Draw

The first step that needs to be done when planning to draw is to build up your body in a shooting stance. Set up yourself by placing your feet fifteen inches apart and your one foot behind the other. Remember that a good stance is your foundation for good marksmanship. 

Changing your practiced stance every target session may affect your target acquisition and accuracy. It can affect the balance, maneuverability, and ability of gun recoil. In addition to this, a good setup allows the shooter for good follow-through. 

2. Perform A Surrender Stance

You will be curious about this next step, maybe because this is different from the way the military teaches. Since this lesson is for civilians, the stance will be more natural. After setting yourself up, put your hands in front of your face. It may look like you are surrendering. 

Most likely, if you have an attacker, this proper position will help with your self-defense and can be your basis for the next steps in the draw. However, you can skip this step if there is no attacker near you.

3. Use A Support Hand During the Draw

As you reach for the gun you carry in the holster, place your non-dominant hand on your upper chest. This step is crucial because it allows your instinct to remember that your other free hand is at your chest. 

Place your support hand and arm on the chest in a stronger position to push the attacker if need be. With this, you are aware that your other hand moves safely in case you draw and fire too quickly.

In addition to this, since you have one hand in a combat position, it is available for offensive purposes. Practice this motion until it registers into your muscle memory.

Use A Support Hand During the Draw

4. Master The Draw Touchpoints

Establishing your touchpoints is vital so that you can manipulate your body without looking. The grip of the gun in its holster is a vital touchpoint you should master. In drawing your gun from a holster, it is unnecessary to look at the gun you carry to correctly draw it. 

In reaching back for your holstered gun inside the waistband of your body, use your two middle fingers. Try to locate your gun while looking at the target. 

Repeatedly practice reaching for your weapon while your focus is on the target. You can do this even with a cover garment until you master the touchpoint.

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5. Drive Down and Establish Grip

Now that you master your touchpoint and you can locate the firearm you carry on the holster. You can now drive down and establish a good grip in preparation for the threat. Curl your fingers around the grip to establish a firm and proper grip on the gun. 

Ideally, there is no need for grip movement when you establish your grip. It is essential to develop a firm grip during the draw to avoid any accidents. 

Furthermore, the grip will sustain the accuracy of your shot and will help control gun recoil. Training to hold your gun firmly will help you identify a new technique to grasp your weapon from a holster quickly. 

6. Keep Your Firing Thumb High

After establishing a firm grip, pull straight your gun and place your thumb high on the side of the gun. It is essential to keep your firing thumb high because your support hand will also hold the gun. Make sure to bring your pistol straight up to shoulder level and not too low or too high. 

After you place your support hand from the chest to the gun, it can establish a ready-to-fire grip. As you spot on your target, complete your hitting stance. 

In a two-handed grip, it is essential to keep your thumb high. Gun owners usually push the gun out once it has been drawn, then let the support arms follow.

firing thumb

7. Bring the Gun Up High

As mentioned earlier, it is essential to bring the gun straight at shoulder level only. In such a way, it allows the shooter to align the eyesight at the sight picture. 

Once you’ve established the sights and the firing grip, you can now place your trigger finger and get ready to fire. Please do not bring the gun up very high because it can be lethal [1]

8. Master a Safe Draw

You may think it is safe and practical to place your firing hand on the trigger, but it is a hazardous habit. Major firearm accidents occur when holstering with the finger placed on the trigger.

There’s a bigger chance that you may pull the lever early when you draw that can cause severe accidents. Master a safe draw by placing your finger on the lever only when you are ready. 

9. Holster Your Pistol 

Often accidents happen when holstering guns. After firing, remove your finger on the trigger, then bring the gun forward. We’ll show you how to wear a paddle holster here. After checking the environment while in self-defense mode, you can re-holster your gun hand if no threat is posted. 

Place your firing hand in the direction back into the holster. Make sure you lock the trigger guard for a safe holstering. We also recommend keeping your weapons in a fireproof gun safe

Safety Precautions When Practicing

Safety Precautions When Practicing

Always treat the gun loaded

When training, always assume that the gun is loaded, even when using snap caps. 

Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction

When drawing for concealed carry, make sure to point the gun safe to avoid any accidents. You should not point the muzzle at something if not yet ready to shoot.

Also Read: IDPA vs USPSA

Keep your finger off the trigger

Most accidents when training for concealed carry happens because of early trigger pull, so keep it off unless ready to shoot. 

Know how to operate the gun

It is vital to be familiar with the gun you are training with. Know its mechanical characteristics as well as its loading mechanism before, so you know what to do. Learn how to stipple your gun here


It is important to practice drawing your gun because it allows your brain to process and be conscious even in high-stress situations. In dangerous situations where you have to use your gun in a concealed carry holster, the training will help you survive the situation.

In addition to this, it is good to maintain consistent practice because it will help you develop the accuracy of your shot. 

You can practice concealment drawing at home or in a firing range. The most convenient place and cheapest location where you can practice is at home. 

You can facilitate dry firing at home with the tools you need. However, if you prefer practicing at a firing range, ask if it’s allowed before starting.

Training guns, holsters, belts, and snap caps are the tools needed to train drawing a gun. If on the range, you can practice with fake ammo or dummy rounds for your safety. In addition to this, you can dry fire even without ammo, so it is acceptable to work with those tools.

Parting Shots on Drawing Pistols

One of the most important aspects when you concealed carry a gun is the capability to draw a pistol safely. As much as possible, we do not want to pull out a gun but in high stressed situations, it is best that we know how.

Popular posts on using guns are all over the internet, but few discuss the correct and safe way to pull out a gun from a P365’s pocket holster, for example. It would take consistency and continuous practice to develop your technique for a safe draw.



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