Video: Getting A Grip On The Support-Hand-Only Draw

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The support-hand-only draw isn't an easy maneuver, but it can be a life saver.

The support hand is often neglected. We’re not talking about in typical shooting scenario, where it’s doing its main job of applying grip pressure and stanching the dominant hand. Most shooters do a good job with these fundamentals. It’s a little matter of actually drawing and shooting with the wrong paw that’s overlooked. Not good, given your support hand just might save your life in a lethal-force encounter.

Jamey Caldwell, Jamey Caldwell, an instructor at 1-Minute Out and former special operator, demystifies the particulars of a support-hand-only draw from concealment in the above video. Get ready, because it’s not the easiest maneuver known to man.


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The hang-up, aside from working with what is likely your weak hand, is the position of the grip, particularly if a holster is worn in the appendix to the hip. Generally speaking, at these points most folks find it difficult to turn their hand to reach the grip. In turn, there’s another element added to the draw sequence—a reversal of the gun. Caldwell demonstrates two of the most popular methods, using the thighs as a grip to maneuver the gun and using the holster to turn it around. Both work well but require an investment of sweat equity to hone.

Those who wear their holster closer to 6 o’clock have an easier time, as the arm more naturally turns behind the back for most. Though, this requires time and effort to master as well.

In either case, dryfire practice with an unloaded pistol is typically the best place to work on your support-hand-only draw. Given the trigger guard is exposed during some of the manipulations, the possibility is there that something on person could find its way in there. Best to diagnose this with an empty chamber. But above all, it should be part of your training regimen.

Since self-defense situations are defined by their unexpected variables, you never know if your off-hand is the one that will save your life.

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