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Pistol Holster Presention

Updated on September 5, 2012

4-Step Draw

Holster Presentation

Most people assume that they have no experience drawing and shooting a firearm. Truth is, most boys at some point of their life have owned a toy gun and holster rig, often at a very young age. Drawing a firearm is as American as a pair of jeans. As children we play cowboys and Indians, or cops vs. robbers and pick up habits, mostly bad ones. There is something inherently fun in drawing a firearm and sending rounds on targets down range. I guess the inner child in all of us lays dormant for a while waiting for us to take a holster presentation class, at which point we are reminded of how fun drawing a firearm safely and effectively can be.

It’s been 10 years almost to the week since I have practiced drawing and shooting from a holster with live ammunition. The last time I practiced holster presentation was at the Arizona Law Enforcement Academy where I was taught the 4 - step draw.

The four steps being: 1. Grasping the pistol firmly with strong hand, weak hand on abdomen. 2. Drawing pistol up and out pointing toward target. (Straight trigger finger) 3. Push the pistol out in front of you. 4. Acquire your sight picture, focus on front sight and press the trigger.

For my class I chose to use my Smith and Wesson 9mm M&P standard, with a Bladetech composite holster and magazine carriers. The Blade Tech is very similar to composite Blackhawk holsters which I recommend. I chose this rig because it’s the only one I have for this type of shooting, I guess I could have Dirty Harry’d it and used my .44 mag and leather holster and speed loaders. That would have truly been epic. But seeing that I was unable to perfect my Clint Eastwood impersonation in due time I went with the M&P. However, I will be practicing with my .44 mag in the very near future. Why? You ask? Because my .44 mag is my rural carry pistol. If I have to defend myself from a bear attack I want to be able to ethically and effectively take out the threat. I say ethically because I don’t want to be the guy who sprays a bear with 17 9mm rounds and injures an innocent animal who then has to spend the next 2 weeks dying from an infection or getting eaten by wolves.

I Feel so Old

So there I was, sitting in yet, another training; this time 10 years older than I was when I was a police recruit and 18 years older than when I was in Security Forces in the Marines. Four surgeries and 18 years later I still had the same enthusiasm to learn. A side note, I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older that it is important to go into every training scenario with an open mind, trust me, everyone has bad habits no matter how small. I sometimes wish I could take the open-minded attitude I have now and combine it with the body I had at 19. Youth is truly wasted on the young.


Some people think that going over the safety rules before every training class is redundant and unnecessary, the former is a fact, and the latter is completely false. Redundancy is the mother of habit. You can never be too safe.

I remember my instructor at the police academy yelling “Slow is smooth and smooth is fast!” I believe this philosophy is true in just about every form of sport and fighting. Most proficient shooters have a Kata. When boxer’s shadow box it is a Kata, when shooter’s dry fire it is a form of Kata. Most of us picture Daniel LaRusso from the Karate Kid standing on a pole practicing the Crain technique. Simply put, improvement of technique is crucial to minimizing the amount of effort and time to accomplish the same or better results.

After some dry fire drills we hit the range. The targets were set up approximately 10 yards from us. We were standing almost shoulder to shoulder. Most of us were carrying “Tupperware guns.” Glocks, M&P’s and XD’s, with a few Sigs sprinkled in for some added panache to the bourgeois Tupper- club. After we drew and shot our first two-shot drill I was completely caught off guard at how naturally everything came back to me. It was like riding a bike, the human brain is a truly amazing tool. Movements that I hadn’t done for 10 years were still programmed in my biological computer. I was told to speed up by the instructor because my groups were so tight. I sped up and didn’t lose my group, I surprised myself. Ok, enough bragging, after almost 150 rounds our class ended. I am now qualified to draw from a holster at my local range and this is the only way I will be shooting/training from now on. Next step, IDPA.


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