As promised, here’s another look at weak side work. This time we are talking about the drawstroke, how to get the pistol from a holster to the target in the most efficient manner possible weak sided.
Injured before the fight
The last blog on Weak Side Shooting got some good conversation going. The purpose behind these blogs is to be informative and challenge your thinking. The basic question we have to ask at this point is were you carrying the pistol to support weak side shooting. A fair amount of the comments centered around an injury to their strong side before the fight; which prevented them from shooting strong side. The follow up question here is did you still carry on your strong side even though you know you cannot draw as effectively or did you switch to carrying on your weak side.
Think your way through the problem
Let’s assume a good majority of folks who found themselves injured before the fight opt to carry on their weak side. The biggest piece of advise I have is to practice, practice and practice some more. While it may seem simple on the surface the moment you ramp up with speed you will see all sorts of weird stuff happening, the biggest being awkwardness. There are very few true “ambidextrous” people out there, there are a lot who do well bi-laterally though. Much like shooting on your weak side, you really have to think your way through the drawstroke weak side.
Let’s talk positioning; I would recommend you attempt to mirror the method you carry strong side. If you carry on your hip strong side then keep it simple and do the same on your weak side. The primary reason behind this notion is an attempt to milk any sympathetic movements we can while working a technique we seldom practice. While the ultimate goal is concealed carry, begin by drawing from open carry. When you feel you have reached a proficient level that is safe now move to concealed. As you make progress something to keep in mind is your draw stroke must done one handed to clear the cover garment. Add that to your practice when appropriate, but keep in the back of your mind from the beginning.
Injured in the fight
Next, we want to discuss the worse case; you are injured in the fight. You lost functionality of your strong side before you drew your pistol and now must perform the draw drawstroke from your weak side. Truthfully it will depend on your body type, mobility, the type of holster and location of the holster. You may find this motivation to start that fitness program if you cannot reach behind you to grab the pistol, but let’s assume you can for now. What you may discover is you have a crappy grip. You may have to acquire a “4 finger” grip initially as opposed to the “3 finger” you typically shoot with. If that is the case, press the slide against your hip in what we call the “hip check” to acquire the proper 3 finger firing grip and carry on. In our classes I discourage concealed carry with holsters that have additional forms of retention. If you select your holster correctly security should not be an issue and if you are carrying properly gun grabs should not occur because there is no indication you are carrying a gun to grab in the first place.
Another holster position
If you’re thinking that took a long time you are probably right. Coming across the front though may take slightly longer. If you carry strong side hip, you will have a bastard grip and about the only way to remedy that is by shoving the pistol into the holster backwards to acquire your proper firing grip. The alternative is to try to do so against your body which tends to produce some really suspect results. Once in the holster backwards acquire the proper firing grip and carry on. You can see a little reduction in time to target when the holster is at your appendix, but unless you have some crazy joints you are still left with acquiring the firing grip.
Now that you have practiced from open carry on your weak side, the next challenge is concealed.