The hardest part of the drawstroke

I had an interesting philosophical discussion during the Contextual Handgun, The Armed Parent/Guardian class this past weekend. The instructor, John Johnston, is very good about attributing his sources. One of his points was a comment by the late Paul Gomez.

The hardest part of the drawstroke is establishing grip.

I told John that I disagree with that. In my opinion, the hardest part of the drawstroke is gaining an adequate sight picture. Establishing grip is the most time-consuming part of the drawstroke.

A good instructor can usually get students to consistently establish grip in a relatively short period of training time. However, getting them to consistently get an adequate sight picture usually takes quite a while longer.

cw at rogers crop

Something to keep in mind during your live and dry practice.

5 responses

  1. Reblogged this on .

  2. Agreed… Especially with new shooters, having them find that front sight through the rear notch is more difficult.

  3. It depends on a few factors. I think we are assuming that we are going to full press to target on your post. But if the threat is close enough, a shooter doesn’t have to see his sights to know that they are on target and that they can shoot. I find with that with my students, both civilian and LE, that the most difficult thing about the draw stroke is developing consistent draw speed to the shot. That’s regardless of the holster type and various retention, or drawing from a duty belt or from concealed. In terms of LE, I teach that establishing grip is part of releasing the retention devices on the holster, so I agree it’s not establishing grip.

    When drawing from concealment, well, you can’t shoot until the clothing is cleared, the gun is out of the holster and the sights are on target, so speed is important.

    I think it just really depends on the situation and off range considerations. Great post and a great topic. Thanks.

  4. Completely agree, Claude. What I’ve seen and experienced first hand too.

  5. Claude, I absolutely agree that establishing the sight picture from the draw is the most difficult task to consistently do well. I am preaching to the Claude choir here as I attend Bill Rogers School at least twice a year (Claude was the Chief Instructor several years of my attendance “never waste an opportunity for a correct repetition”) and Bill suggests that getting to the gun and establishing a index grip position is the quickest part of the draw stroke. When engaging targets in less than 1.5 sec from the holster, its the component of the draw stroke that one can “save time” so you have more time to establish the sight picture while “working the trigger”.
    In fact, at the Roger’s School, in great part what makes the course of fire difficult is quickly establishing a proper sight picture, strong hand, support hand or free-style the clock doesn’t care !

    Here’s Bill’s explanation:

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