While it might not seem so, a shirt or jacket is a huge boundary in defending yourself. If you can't clear clothing on the draw, you might find yourself empty-handed in a lethal-force situation.
Drawing from holster isn’t as simple as it looks. Add a layer of clothing for concealment, the fundamental skill becomes that much more challenging. Executed improperly, a handgun can prove inaccessible or hang up when drawn—neither case ideal in a life-or-death situation.
Jamey Caldwell, an instructor at 1-Minute Out and former special operator, covers the basics of ensuring an outer garment doesn’t become a deadly barrier to a concealed carry handgun. One of the keys to executing clearing clothing from the holster is over-exaggeration in sweeping a garment out of the way. Doing so might seem a bit dramatic at first, however, given the lightness of most clothing is required to get it well out of the path of your draw. As Caldwell points out, there are some ways around this, such as specialized concealment clothing that have weighting in the hem (something you can do yourself).
Useful as this breakdown is, Caldwell’s instruction centers around a light button-up shirt, in this case, worn unbuttoned. This is a popular method of concealment and a good base outfit to begin sharpening this fundamental skill. But it’s an extremely narrow base to work from. Folks in colder climates or those who are hemmed in by particular dress codes oftentimes don’t have the luxury of a garment easily swept to the side. Despite this, the fundaments Caldwell demonstrates still hold water, they only need to be tinkered with to an armed citizen’s particular profile.
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