About Me

I am also the author of 4 books, available on Amazon, and at many major outlets. I have been contributing writer for Combat Handgun Magazine and Women and Guns Magazine.

I was an instructor for many years, Recently retired.

Thank you for following along with me as this journey continues.

Safe Shooting!

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Thoughts, comments and insights for women who shoot and the men who love us!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Practicing your Draw

I carry my Glock 19 almost every day.  I can’t carry on my commute because I use public transportation, cross through DC and into Maryland, and work in a Government Building.  That is four strikes.  But, in Virginia, I carry everywhere I can legally, and I have a small safe stashed in my car if I need to run into a post office of court house.  But carrying isn’t enough.  I need to be able to get to my gun quickly in an emergency.  I’ve adopted a practice regimen that works for me and I’m outlining it here for your consideration.

First, I practice with a blue gun.  I encourage you to use your designated dry fire area.  It takes discipline not to practice drawing with your carry gun until you have confirmed that it is unloaded, twice, and you are in your dry fire area, but it is better than a negligent discharge.  Most major models are available as blue guns, they are inert models that have no moving parts but a similar weight and feel as the real thing.  I also use them to break in, or get used to a new holster or carry method. 

At the end of the day when I remove my carry gun, I grab the blue gun spend a few minutes practicing my draw.  I draw and re-holster at least five times, then I pick a spot on the wall, close my eyes, draw and come up into my point of aim, then open my eyes.  With practice I have been able to draw on my intended target, acquire my point of aim, to within a fraction of an inch, with my eyes closed.  By doing this 10 or 15 times a night, I’ve developed confidence and speed.  I practice drawing with my shirt tucked in (I carry inside the waistband) and I practice brushing aside whatever I’m wearing to draw from full concealment. 

A bad guy can cross 25 feet in just over two seconds.  I need to be able to allow time for awareness and draw.  Can I do it?  I hope so.  Can I do it if I don’t practice…not a chance.  When I first started practicing, I was so slow, it was scary.  Now, I can draw and be on target in 1-1.5 seconds.  I practice with my husband telling me “go”, I practice with my hand hovering, I practice walking, spinning and drawing.

The only guarantee in an emergency is if you do not practice, you will not be able to draw under stress.  You are practicing to build muscle memory, skill, and speed.  But the key is to practice safely.  I mostly practice drawing my real gun at the range.  Draw, fire 3-5 shots quickly and go to low ready.  Sometimes I draw and empty the entire magazine on target.  I try to vary it, and I practice reloading and coming back on target and firing.  A habit I had to break, and it was hard, DO NOT catch your magazines.  Let them fall where you stand as you are indexing the fresh one into the mag well.  If you catch them in practice, you will catch them in an emergency. 

Like so many things in live you must Practice, Practice, Practice.  But, practice right so you can build good muscle memory and habits.  If there is any doubt in your mind, practice in your dry fire area, even with a blue gun. 


  1. What I don't like about blue guns is they don't let you practice the controls of your firearm. I prefer plastic barrel inserts. This way you can practice magazine reloads, etc... and even practice with a loaded magazine to get the sense of the loaded weight of the firearm.

  2. Andy, I understand your point. I practice with a loaded magazine, reloading, etc., at the range for safety. I live in a townhome, even with my dry fire area (a concrete block wall in a below ground basement and a kevlar vest in front of it) I don't like to practice with a loaded magazine for safety reasons.

    thanks for the comment and for reading!

  3. Range time is precious for me, and I imagine most people. That's why I suggest the insert. You might want to check it out: Train Safe. Invented by a firearms instructor.