DRAWING AND CONCEALED CARRY 16hr CLASSES

 

I want to talk about a subject some instructors don’t agree on, and in the process give you my perspective.

 

First we set the priorities of the class:

 

  • Priority One: Safety. DO NOT LET A STUDENT HURT THEMSELVES

 

 

Priority One: Safety. DO NOT LET A STUDENT HURT THEMSELVES

 

 

 

  • Priority Two: Completion. To get every student through the class so they can successfully apply for and be granted their concealed carry permit.

 

  • Priority Three: Material. To teach not only mandated subjects, but to teach as much material related to concealed carry that I can possibly teach and have the students retain while always holding Priority One as our prime objective.

 

  • Priority One will always come before Priority Two, Three, Four, Five, etc.. Students do not come to my class to get shot, nor do they come to learn habits or techniques that will get them hurt/shot subsequent to the class, nor do they come to learn habits or techniques half-way which have the potential to get them hurt/shot if they don’t learn and understand the full topic. For the rest of this short article we will refer to the Priority One Safety tenant as “The Prime Directive.” Star Trek fans might chuckle at the name.

 

 

 

Priority One will always come before Priority Two, Three, Four, Five, etc.. Students do not come to my class to get shot, nor do they come to learn habits or techniques that will get them hurt/shot subsequent to the class, nor do they come to learn habits or techniques half-way which have the potential to get them hurt/shot if they don’t learn and understand the full topic. For the rest of this short article we will refer to the Priority One Safety tenant as “The Prime Directive.” Star Trek fans might chuckle at the name.

 

 

 

With all the above said, drawing from concealment and re-holstering are skills that must be taught properly in at least a 4-6 hour class or longer. They must be taught in a certain order, practiced in a certain order, and each transition from the beginning of this skill set, to the next, must be done at the proper time when the student demonstrates proficiency . Any deviation from this usually and often results in someone shooting someone, usually themselves. There’s a very good reason most every range I know restricts drawing from a holster, or any device. Remember the Andy Griffith Show where Barney time after time has an accidental discharge while drawing or re-holstering? They didn’t get that out of thin air. They got it because it was the most common type of accidental discharge in law enforcement academies everywhere.

 

This is a topic also known to my range owner and my insurance company. It’s not easy to get a range owner to allow you to teach classes in the first place, it can be impossible to teach a class where you learn how to draw. I feel very fortunately my range understands my penchant for safety and my unwillingness to skip even a small step in the process. It is with a strict understanding of the safety and teaching principals that we’re allowed to teach these skills at all.

 

 

 

This is a topic also known to my range owner and my insurance company. It’s not easy to get a range owner to allow you to teach classes in the first place, it can be impossible to teach a class where you learn how to draw. I feel very fortunately my range understands my penchant for safety and my unwillingness to skip even a small step in the process. It is with a strict understanding of the safety and teaching principals that we’re allowed to teach these skills at all.

 

 

 

 

To teach this skill set properly I designed my entire Step-Up 1 class around this. I bit the bullet and purchased thousands of dollars worth or weapons, holsters, magazines, and training for my assistant instructor Matthew. We both keep up on our own skills through constant (and expensive) practice and self-evaluation learning things we can transfer to our Step-Up Modules.

 

In the Step-Up 1 module you will be issued either a compact or full size Glock (model 19 or 17), a Safariland ALS retention holster, three magazines, and a double mag pouch. Basically this is the same pistol and holster used in law enforcement academies nation wide. We feel it’s important to learn on a compact/full size pistol with a quality strong side holster first.

 

 

 

 

In the Step-Up 1 module you will be issued either a compact or full size Glock (model 19 or 17), a Safariland ALS retention holster, three magazines, and a double mag pouch. Basically this is the same pistol and holster used in law enforcement academies nation wide. We feel it’s important to learn on a compact/full size pistol with a quality strong side holster first.

 

 

 

 

During Step-Up 1 we will learn how to wear the equipment, and how it works. We’ll perform many multiples of “dry” drawing and re-holstering before going live with live ammunition. And even then, we start with downloaded magazines and work our way through learning skills before moving on. After drawing you’ll want to shoot the pistol so we’ll engage targets from 5-10 yards. We’ll engage single and multiple targets and just start to learn the concept of cover and concealment. We will learn how to measure our draw and first and subsequent shot speeds for the purpose of gauging our progress during the class and later during our own private practice sessions.

 

When you finish this class you’ll be able to draw and re-holster by feel only, draw and put your first shot on target in approximately 2 seconds. Some will be faster, some will be slower, but everyone will be safe and understand how to practice and increase their draw times during private practice. You will be able to read a scene, draw and engage a single or multiple threats, perform tactical magazine changes, scan for more threats, and safely re-holster. You will learn several drills and be able to practice them during private practice.

 

 

 

In the Step-Up 1 module you will be issued either a compact or full size Glock (model 19 or 17), a Safariland ALS retention holster, three magazines, and a double mag pouch. Basically this is the same pistol and holster used in law enforcement academies nation wide. We feel it’s important to learn on a compact/full size pistol with a quality strong side holster first.

 

 

 

 

Now, when you go to a range and pay their high hourly fee and ammo prices, you’ll know how to practice efficiently and safely and get the most out of your practice session. You will know what gun and h olster types work well together and which firearm and holster meets your needs. Towards the end of the class you’ll be able to choose and draw from a variety of concealment style holsters with both a compact and full size pistol.

 

Okay, now the touchy subject of why some instructors teach drawing and re-holstering in the limited time frame of their concealed carry classes and some don’t. The truth is different instructors have different levels of experience, have personally seen certain things, some have studied safety records going back many years and identified the blame for holstering and re-holstering accidents and came up with their own standards for avoiding such accidents. And they have different priorities.

 

 

 

 

Okay, now the touchy subject of why some instructors teach drawing and re-holstering in the limited time frame of their concealed carry classes and some don’t. The truth is different instructors have different levels of experience, have personally seen certain things, some have studied safety records going back many years and identified the blame for holstering and re-holstering accidents and came up with their own standards for avoiding such accidents. And they have different priorities.

 

 

 

 

My priority is and always has been and always will be your safety as my primary consideration. I won’t turn a new driver loose in a 707 horsepower Challenger Hellcat without first teaching you to drive and spending enough time with you on both the street and track to safely handle the car. My priority is your safety and to teach you the skills properly that will serve you safely and forever. We will not teach drawing and re-holstering in the context of concealed carry classes, but we do teach it during our Step-Up 1 classes and we teach it well and we teach is safely.  You will love the results.

 

Thank you for reading this and stay safe.

 

Until next time…

Steve

 

 

 

My priority is and always has been and always will be your safety as my primary consideration. I won’t turn a new driver loose in a 707 horsepower Challenger Hellcat without first teaching you to drive and spending enough time with you on both the street and track to safely handle the car. My priority is your safety and to teach you the skills properly that will serve you safely and forever.