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Thread: Presentation from the Holster

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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Default Presentation from the Holster

    Presentation from a holster is one of those skills that I've noticed only a small percentage of shooters work on. However it is one of the most important elements of fast, accurate tactical shooting. One of the currently taught methods in LE is based on the Dept of Energy (DOE) 6 Point Presentation with a modified Weaver stance. And here's how it looks using a belt-mounted holster (duty gear configuration). Some adjustments must be made for atypical holsters and CCW carry.

    1- Your strong hand goes to the gun and defeats any retention devices on the holster while taking a solid shooting grip. It is important that you have this shooting grip prior to any movement of the gun as you don't want to be adjusting your hand at all after you draw the gun. Simultaneously, your support hand moves up to your chest, thumb up and palm flat against your breastbone. At the same time, you will also move your body into a tactical shooting stance, leaning forward from the waist with the knees slightly bent; feet shoulder width apart with the support foot slightly forward and toes pointing toward the target.

    2- Pull the gun from the holster. The motion will vary depending on the type of holster and level of retention. Some pull straight up; some must be rocked forward, backward, or twisted to clear the retention. At the end of this step, the muzzle should have just cleared the top of the holster with the gun still in a vertical position.

    3- Rotate the gun to a muzzle forward position with the top canted out (away from the body) slightly and the bottom of the strong hand touching the side of your body. This is done right above the holster. At the end of this step, the muzzle should be pointed at the target. You have a solid shooting grip, your support hand is still on your chest, and your body is in a shooting stance. If the target is at extremely close range, you could start shooting from right here and even be using your support hand for offensive strikes to the face or high defensive counters. The important point to that is to keep the support hand high and out of the line of fire. Canting the gun keeps the slide from hitting you or getting bound up in your shirt. Practice some live fire from this position at 2-3 yards to find where the bullets strike when shooting "from the hip". You should be able to get accurate center mass hits from here with some practice.

    4- Start to push the gun forward while your support hand slides over to take up a support grip. Be sure that you are not putting your support hand fingers in front of the muzzle. The palm should stay in contact with the chest while the front of the grip essentially "peels" the fingers off the body and your support hand wraps around to complete the two-handed grip. Both thumbs should be pointing forward along the support side of the gun and not touching the slide. The support hand should be pulling back against the forward motion of the strong hand. Once you get where everything is working smoothly, your trigger finger needs to be transitioning to the trigger at this point (note that your sights are on target and you have decided to fire, so it is OK to touch the trigger here).

    5- You're still looking at the spot where you want the bullets to go and you continue to push the gun forward like it is riding up a ramp toward your line of sight. With a lot of practice, you should have the front sight of the gun intercept your line of sight to the target at the moment your strong arm is fully extended. The support arm should remain bent at the elbow and be rotated so it is under the gun, not sticking out in the air to the side. Think of your support arm as a bench rest holding the gun up. And if you haven't done so already, you should have your finger on the trigger here and be taking any slack out (e.g. Glocks need to have a lot of slack taken out to disengage the safeties before you can start the trigger squeeze).

    6- When the front sight enters your line of sight to the target, you shift your focus fully to the gun's front sight, allowing the back sight (blurry) to line up and the target (blurry) to remain behind that front sight. You squeeze the trigger smoothly and straight to the rear. When the shot breaks, you continue to pull the trigger to the rear and force the front sight to stay on the target following the recoil. The trigger finger smoothly moves forward until it "resets", then you immediately and smoothly repeat the trigger pull and fire a second shot. All of this is happening very quickly, and is called Minimum Standard Response with a Compressed Surprise Break and a Flash Sight Picture.

    These steps should be mastered through lots of dry practice. Using an empty gun and a safe back stop, one should practice the steps slowly and piece by piece. Very gradually speed up and eliminate any hesitation between steps until the draw is very smooth. Remember that smooth is fast and focus on execution of all steps in one single motion.

  2. #2

    Default Sounds familar

    I think the extra step, or the "smack" with the support hand as the pistol is pointed in was added due to the close proximity of the person wearing the badge they are checking at some of their facilities. I was taught the same thing years ago when I sometimes carried a pistol as part of my duties. I think it was called the Six Step Weapon Retention Presentation System or something like that. It is a secure way to draw a pistol from a holster. I do not think it is as fast as some other presentations. Once learned and part of your muscle memory it is plenty fast though. Might take the average pistol packer abought 3,000 correct repatitions to get that muscle memory. I wish I would have went to GunSight when Col. Cooper was still around.

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    I'd forget all that stuff if I were you. I think it'll take too long.
    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I'd forget all that stuff if I were you. I think it'll take too long.
    Smitty of the North
    Smitty,

    Forget it!?

    What do you plan to do when the time comes, stand there and piss your pants? That doesn't usually impress the bad guys much.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Quote Originally Posted by .338 mag. View Post
    I wish I would have went to GunSight when Col. Cooper was still around.

    Back when it was the old Orange school, 1976. An unparalleled honor to meet the man and have him correct your bonehead mistakes.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    JOAT,

    That's good thanks for posting that and the Tactical Reloads, also.

    It seems to be tailored to the Glock with no mention of the thumb safety to ride as we make the presentation.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Quote Originally Posted by Murphy View Post
    Smitty,

    Forget it!?

    What do you plan to do when the time comes, stand there and piss your pants? That doesn't usually impress the bad guys much.
    I dunno for certain Murphy:

    Whatever I did, as a practical matter, I think I'd be in too big of a hurry to wade through all that stuff.

    I'm sorry, but that was/is my honest reaction. I doubt if it impresses all the good guys either, but you would know better than I.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I'd forget all that stuff if I were you. I think it'll take too long.
    Smitty of the North
    It's all muscle memory. It becomes one fluid motion which doesn't take long at all. After hundreds / thousands of presentations it happens without thinking about the steps. That's the point! Practice it, don't forget it. Oh, wear lots of hearing protection if shooting from the "rock and lock."

    Grip
    Clear
    Rock and Lock
    Smack
    Look
    Guard

  9. #9

    Default Thanks

    Ok guys. All this talk is making me want to grab the old 1911 and Hi Power and hit the range. I need to take my son-in-law out any way and show him how to shoot in low light with a flash light. Years ago when he asked to marry my daughter I said, yes, as soon as you get a 1911 and learn to shoot it. He now understands why.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akav8r View Post
    It's all muscle memory. It becomes one fluid motion which doesn't take long at all. After hundreds / thousands of presentations it happens without thinking about the steps. That's the point! Practice it, don't forget it. Oh, wear lots of hearing protection if shooting from the "rock and lock."

    Grip
    Clear
    Rock and Lock
    Smack
    Look
    Guard
    akav8r:
    That sounds easier.
    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty of the North View Post
    I dunno for certain Murphy:

    Whatever I did, as a practical matter, I think I'd be in too big of a hurry to wade through all that stuff.

    I'm sorry, but that was/is my honest reaction. I doubt if it impresses all the good guys either, but you would know better than I.

    Smitty of the North

    Smitty,

    That is the steps for the repetitive practice to bring about that instinctive draw and after a few hundred times it will become pretty quick generally less than a half second. I've put my first two on target in less than one second many times including reaction time and and both shots.

    He's just giving a technique to start the practice. It takes much less time to do it than read about it.
    Is there nothing so sacred on this earth that you aren't willing to kill or die for?



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    Thanks Murphy:

    My attempt at humor wasn’t aimed at the need for training. Training is what enables Soldiers, Police Officers, Firemen, Doctors, Nurses, Emergency Workers, and others to function, when the untrained wouldn’t know which way to jump.

    It was just the verbiage. Such phrases as,,,,

    “Presentation from the holster”,
    “defeats any retention devices on the holster”,
    “muzzle forward position”
    “transitioning to the trigger”

    just struck me as funny and with great emphasis on “Expertism”, designed to impress the trainee, rather than teach him.

    I really must remember to “defeat any retention devices on the holster”. I can see where that could be a real problem.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    Smitty-

    It is more difficult to put all the steps into a text format than it is to teach this stuff in a face-to-face setting. So, in an effort to ensure that the reader could take this list and follow it like an instruction manual without actually seeing the process demonstrated, it needs to have lots of descriptions. On the range, after talking through and demonstrating everything, one replaces the "wordiness" with the grip, rip, rock & lock, smack, push/pull, and squeeze version while training with it.

    You'd be surprised how important it is to work through the proper method for defeating any retention devices on the holster. There are fancy level 3 holsters that make it very difficult to get the gun out. You have to undo some kind of backstrap, push some kind of button, push or cant the gun a specific way, and all while holding your tongue just right. It takes literally thousands of repetitions to get past this single step. I've watched guys on the range go over time on qualification courses and lose race competions simply because they fumble some aspect of getting the holster to let go of the gun. It truely is a step that requires special emphasis.

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    JOAT:
    Thanks for your indulgence. I'm sure you're right.

    I signed up for a class a while back, but I guess they haven't got enough people together for a class yet.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

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    First off, your post states "presentation from the holster", not "shooting".

    So your 6 step method is to teach shooting, not drawing.

    Second, the method I favor is the 5 step method.

    Grab, clear, click, smack, point (front sight).

    Pulling the trigger needs to be a completely different step from the drawing process and not practiced each time someone draws, or it becomes a habit with potentially life-changing consequences.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by KRS View Post
    First off, your post states "presentation from the holster", not "shooting".

    So your 6 step method is to teach shooting, not drawing.

    Second, the method I favor is the 5 step method.

    Grab, clear, click, smack, point (front sight).

    Pulling the trigger needs to be a completely different step from the drawing process and not practiced each time someone draws, or it becomes a habit with potentially life-changing consequences.
    The 6-step weapon presentation which is a modification of the 5-step method. The modification is the addition of the "rock and lock" which allows for engaging assailants at close range where there is not room for the arms to be extended. Like it or not, it is an effective method used by law enforcement across the nation.

    Also, I believe JOAT was explaining the presentation to the fullest extent by including the firing of the weapon. Obviously, there will be times when you will only be drawing to "guard." You wouldn't want to practice just going to guard all the time either. Obviously, the target needs to be assessed and a shoot/no shoot decision made. The presentation to include the firing of the weapon is the worst-case scenario. We train harder for the worst because that is when stress is at its highest and things need to happen as we were trained.

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    Quote Originally Posted by akav8r View Post
    The 6-step weapon presentation which is a modification of the 5-step method. The modification is the addition of the "rock and lock" which allows for engaging assailants at close range where there is not room for the arms to be extended. Like it or not, it is an effective method used by law enforcement across the nation.
    First: The difference (modification) between the two forms isn't the addition of rock and lock as you stated, it's the addition of guard. Click, in it's instructed form, is the same as rock and lock.

    Second: As for shooting at close range, it can be and should be practiced after step 3, click.

    Third: And, "like it or not"??? I'm not sure why you say to me "like it or not". I'm happy for you that it's effective. I wasn't responding to your post, I was responding to Joat's and his inclusion of shooting in the draw presentation. What you think he was trying to do matters very little. His post was his post. I then quoted my Gunsite training, which I feel is the right way. Do what you're trained but don't be brash out it on the forum.

    KRS

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    Quote Originally Posted by akav8r View Post
    It's all muscle memory. It becomes one fluid motion which doesn't take long at all. After hundreds / thousands of presentations it happens without thinking about the steps. That's the point! Practice it, don't forget it. Oh, wear lots of hearing protection if shooting from the "rock and lock."

    Grip
    Clear
    Rock and Lock
    Smack
    Look
    Guard
    Looks as if we may have received training from the same Jedi Master.
    Now what ?

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    There are many methods of drawing from the holster. None are necessarily better than another as long as it consistently works for the shooter. No need to get into a debate over method A vs. method B. And let's try to get past different terminology. The title "presentation from the holster" is the phrase used by the Alaska State Troopers weapons instructor trainers that taught me.

    What I presented in this thread is the method taught to countless LE and government agencies (and as noted, it is specifically from a Glock point of view). I'm sure that the method taught at Gunsite works just as well. It's just different instructors with different points of view and objectives. In the method presented, trigger acquisition is part of the draw sequence, as is aiming and shooting (if required).

    As for the drawing to guard method, I personally reserve this for advanced students and those in LE who may in fact be using the guard position. From the civilian point of view and as a general rule, the gun doesn't come out unless there is something that needs to be shot. I don't want a guy practicing to draw to guard without acquiring the trigger when he doesn't spend nearly as much training time as LE folks do. Then he has separated the steps and when faced with a real-life shooting, he will take longer to go through the separate steps of aiming and trigger acquisition before he can place a shot. This means that under the stress of a defensive shooting, the first round off will be into the dirt 10' in front of him rather than aimed and placed center mass to stop the threat.

    The method as I presented it assumes you have already identified the target and made the decision to shoot prior to the start of the draw. It is one of the most expedient methods for getting the gun out and on target with an accurate first shot. Once this process is mastered, one can make the modification of consciously keeping the finger out of the trigger guard and drawing to a close guard.

    Remember that drawing to guard is more of an administrative function done under a lower stress level while drawing to shoot is a high stress reactive function that must be done without any conscious thought. If you are taught to draw to guard, then to acquire the trigger, then to aim and shoot, you have 3 separate procedures to try and work your way through under that high stress reaction situation when the other guy already has lead in the air.

    As for guard, I also teach that guard is the position right after step 4 with a two-handed grip, finger off the trigger, muzzle depressed to about 45°, and the arms still bent with the gun only about 6" in front of you. Then, if you need to shoot, you continue with the same push/pull motion of sliding the gun up a ramp to a flash sight picture and compressed surprise break. You'll acquire the sights faster this way than holding the arms straight out and bringing the gun up in a vertical motion. Unfortunately, most who have been shooting for years have great difficulty in changing to this method, so you do have to use what works for you.

    I would be glad to hear about the specifics of the 5-step method from Gunsite. Could you post a description of the steps as they presented them so we can see where it differs from the method I posted? I welcome a variety of techniques and think they should be held up side-by-side so the user can make a decision as to what method will work better for him. Just as there is no single "right" gun, there is no single right way to do things.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by KRS View Post
    First: The difference (modification) between the two forms isn't the addition of rock and lock as you stated, it's the addition of guard. Click, in it's instructed form, is the same as rock and lock.

    Second: As for shooting at close range, it can be and should be practiced after step 3, click.

    Third: And, "like it or not"??? I'm not sure why you say to me "like it or not". I'm happy for you that it's effective. I wasn't responding to your post, I was responding to Joat's and his inclusion of shooting in the draw presentation. What you think he was trying to do matters very little. His post was his post. I then quoted my Gunsite training, which I feel is the right way. Do what you're trained but don't be brash out it on the forum.

    KRS
    I said "like it or not" because you said you preferred another method, implying that you didn't like the one presented. I don't necessarily think "my" method is "the right way" or that yours is. Mine is a modification of the Gunsite 5-step method. The information I have tells me that the difference is the addition of "rock and lock." If you have additional insight, I'm glad to hear it.

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