How To: Properly Draw a Pistol in Practical Shooting

Properly Draw a Pistol in Practical Shooting

How to Properly Draw a Pistol in Practical Shooting

Practical Shooting is a sport which challenges an individual's ability to shoot rapidly and accurately with a handgun. To do this, shooters take on obstacles or shooting courses called stages which are categorized by the amount of shots needed to complete the stage. Scores or Fire Factor are computed by hits divided by time (Hits / Time = Fire Factor)

I am a practical shooter from the Philippines and I have been competing for 10 years. I want to share with other shooters, mostly beginners in how to properly draw a pistol.

You might think that drawing a gun is easy and does not require much attention, but believe me when I say this: "Drawing a gun is one of the most crucial parts in every stage." Why? Because it is the first part in every stage. Draw it incorrectly, and you'll have a negative or weak grip, and bad control of the gun. This will affect all stages.

So let's get started. Let's wear our gear and holster our gun.


  • How to Properly Draw a Pistol in Practical ShootingBefore doing this tutorial please unload your handgun. You can practice with live bullets after this tutorial in your local firing range.
  • Please observe safety and do not point your handgun to anyone even if it is unloaded.
  • Safety and Discipline is highly observed in practical shooting.


Step 1 Simultaneously grip the gun and move weak hand near the gun.

How to Properly Draw a Pistol in Practical ShootingWhile the gun is still holstered, grip it in a way that it is well-grasped by your hands, as if it is fastened by your fingers and palm. Grip your gun firmly and not tight. Move your weak hand near the gun but not totally in front of it. Take time adjusting your fingers and palm until you have the firmest grip.

Step 2 Lift the gun from the holster.

How to Properly Draw a Pistol in Practical ShootingLift the gun until it is clear from the holster, and not until it reaches your armpit.

Step 3 Lift the gun to eyesight in a diagonal motion.

How to Properly Draw a Pistol in Practical ShootingLift the gun to eyesight in a diagonal motion. In this step, join both of your hands together. While lifting the gun, simultaneously adjust your weak hand until it firmly grips your strong hand's fingers and knuckles.

Step 4 Aim.

How to Properly Draw a Pistol in Practical ShootingWhen the gun is now at your eyesight, aim. You should immediately align the front and the rear sight or if you are using optics, you should see the red dot in your scope. If you can't see the red dot, do not look for it in a circular manner. Rather, do it in a vertical way (up and down).


  • Do it slow at first and gradually increase the speed but make sure both of your hands are firmly holding the gun.
  • Try doing it with your eyes closed and when you're at Step 4, open your eyes. If both front and rear sight is aligned or you can see the red dot, then your muscles are well-tuned. If not, then practice more.
  • Practice and patience is key in perfecting any skill you want to learn and develop.


Nice GM Luigi..........................

Great photos.

thanks =) had hard time editing it, I'm not good in using Photoshop

you really have the gift cousin... nice article

Really good article, Luigi. How well do you do in your competitions?

Pretty good but I'm getting a bit rusty because I priorities more on my studies.

I would have to argue these techniques. 1. Weak hand to sternum on step #1 to ensure that you don't cover yourself with the muzzle. 2. Draw straight up, clear the holster, then drop your strong side elbow, bringing the gun to retention position. Hand remains at sternum. 3. Push straight out while joining your hands, until you have proper sight alignment. Bringing the gun up at an angle creates a pendulum effect and take longer to acquire a sight picture.

Bringing your weak hand to your sternum and straightening it again takes longer. Why? Upon straightening your weak hand to hold your gun, your hand will still adjust to its tight and comfortable manner.

My technique gives ample time to adjust because the weak hand already is holding the gun.

Your hand will not cross/ cover the muzzle because it is not directly above the gun.

My technique is for practical shooting, fast and accurate gives more points than being slow but sure.

My average time in drawing my gun is 0.89 sec.

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