Monday, May 14, 2012

Evolution of a Draw Stroke

When I first started shooting I was taught what now I would call poor technique when it comes to the draw stroke. I won't get into the details of it, but it was bad, bottom line. The problem was, at the beginning of my shooting career as I call it, I only had instruction from essentially one person, so it went unchanged. Fast forward a year or so to the point where I started branching out to other instructors and one of the first things to change was my draw stroke.

You can kind of see in this picture how low and away from the torso my support hand would be on the draw.

Typically what would happen is my hands would come together somewhere out in space well in front of my body. Which caused all sorts of consistency issues. The first instructor to really start getting me to change it was Mike Seeklander, then the guys at Range USA in Memphis re-emphasized the need to change my technique, and a couple more instructors since then have reinforced the changes I have made.

You can see in the video below how my draw has changed.

The support hand comes up to the chest area and stays pretty tight until the gun is up and out of the holster. I had one instructor tell me that when he first starting using this type of technique a buddy told him to focus mostly on getting his support hand up as fast as possible and it would speed up the rest of his draw too. Supposedly he shaved right around a second off his draw by focusing more on the support hand. Seems to help me too.

Draw stroke is one of the things I see people who don't have a lot of experience struggle with, and even some people who do have a lot of experience. Deciding on a technique and getting in some dedicated dry-fire practice in from a video camera can make a big difference and allows the shooter to see things that otherwise they wouldn't be able to.

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