This past week, I spent some time working on my concealed draw at the range. As I mentioned in a recent AAR, lately I’ve been practicing the draw as taught by Mike Seeklander. He teaches a one handed draw that can basically be described as drawing a large circle around the gun. The strong hand hooks and sweeps the garment up and away from the grip of the holstered gun, the thumb then swaps with the fingers to contact the chest and ribcage, and the hand continues down in a circular motion to index on the tang of the gun and form the master grip. If the support hand is available, it traps the cleared garment and waits to join the strong hand and finish building the grip. I’ve decided to adopt this methodology for a few reasons that I’ll discuss below.
The specific drill I practiced at the range is one that was designed by Lucky Gunner’s Chris Baker. He describes it in the video that I’ve linked to here. Do go watch it, as it is a useful drill and is key to the following discussion. The drill uses three index cards on a backer as the target. Although he specifically designed the drill to be ideal for compact pistols with limited capacity, I found it to be good practice with my larger EDC gun as well. On the particular range visit in question, I was wearing a hoodie as well as an outer fleece jacket due to the cold.
One of the things that Baker mentioned in the video was how he missed a shot due to a poor grip on the gun. With the traditional two handed rip and grip that he uses in the video, it is indeed easy to flub the draw with two garments covering the gun. However, with the one handed sweep, two garments aren’t as much of a problem. The sweeping motion of the hand pulls the closed front inner garment up and then strikes the outer open front garment hem, sweeping it back and away from the grip of the gun. Indeed, this is very similar to the open front garment draw that Mike Pannone teaches. The only problem I encountered was holstering the gun. The hem and zipper pull of my outer jacket wound up hanging down near the mouth of the holster. As always, deliberate due diligence is required when holstering a loaded gun. I also tried the draw with the outer jacket zipped up, in effect making two closed front covering garments, and it continued to work well for me.
There are a few other key points and observations that I need to discuss. First of all, I didn’t make the par times. Partly, this is because of lack of practice. The other big reason is that I was wearing a hoodie and a heavy fleece jacket in windy 37 degree weather. Reality dictates that it is more difficult and more time consuming to clear such garments than say, a t-shirt or single layer. I had some concerns about whether the one handed draw would be reliable with heavy winter clothing, so I was gratified that I was able to make it work.
There are instructors out there that have some very fast AIWB draws that are dependent on both hands being available, and most of the time, these draws are demonstrated with only lightweight single layers covering the gun. My experience carrying in a variety of weather conditions with a variety of concealing garments dictates something a little more robust, even if it is perhaps slower. Remember Mike Pannone’s advice to do ten practice draws before walking out of the house every time you change something about your concealment garment(s). Make sure everything works together. I like the method taught by Seeklander because it works no matter what I’m wearing over my gun, and whether my support hand is available or not.
Also of note, I didn’t quite do the drill the way Chris Baker outlined it. There were two minor things that I did differently. He begins the drill by starting from what he identifies as count three of the drawstroke, with the grip fully formed. Instead, I started as if I were doing Seeklander’s “Extend, Prep, and Press” drill, starting from the “reverse judo chop” index point and building my grip on extension. Also, Baker shoots his index cards top to bottom. I did the reverse, shooting from the bottom card to the top card. It’s a minor point, but I want to myelinate a concealed draw that results in a high thoracic aim. I don’t bring up either of these points as criticism of the original drill. Indeed, I think it’s an excellent skill building drill whether you’re practicing with a pocket pistol or full size gun. Especially if you are just starting out with concealed carry or perhaps adopting a new gun or new holster, this is a really good drill to practice your drawstroke, whether you do it my way or Chris Baker’s way. Figure out what works for you!
That’s about all I have for now. As always, thanks for reading, and feel free to share this content if you found it useful. If you’re not already, please follow our blog or our social media. Should you wish to support us at no extra cost to you, we have an Amazon Affiliate link. We appreciate your support.