Carrying a handgun every day involves a laundry list of considerations. Which holster should I use? Which concealing garment? Can you see the handgun if I bend this way? What about when I’m sitting down? As you carry more consistently, these concerns tend to diminish. However, when working out all of these details, it is easy to overlook seemingly obvious considerations, such as your draw from concealment. It appears simple, but without a methodical technique that produces consistent results, you could easily get hung up during your draw—literally.

If you plan to carry concealed, it is critical that you incorporate drawing from concealment into your training routine, including varying the types of concealing garments you practice in and doing your best to simulate your actual daily wear. It is all too common for shooters to go to the range and spend all of their time practicing with a full-sized gun and an open-top range holster, but actually carry a micro-pistol in a pocket holster every day. Training the fundamentals is key, but you need to put in the time with the gear that you intend to fight with. Here I’ll cover three of the most common carry positions and offer some tips on how to avoid problems when drawing from them.

IWB—Kidney Carry

Strong-side kidney carry is probably one of the most common modes of concealed carry. This position is at 4 or 5 o’clock, behind the strong-side hip. In addition, carrying a holster that rides inside the waistband (IWB) is preferred because, with the gun’s length inside your pants, it is easier to conceal it.

With this mode of carry, the primary issue is getting the concealing garment clear of the handgun so it does not impede the draw. When wearing a concealing garment that opens at the front, the key is to sweep the garment from front to back, past the handgun, to create a clear path for the draw. Sounds simple, right? In essence it is, but it’s amazing how simple things can become a goat rope when you add in stress and adrenaline.

There are a few important points that can help you make this draw smooth and consistent.

1. When sweeping the garment, use a wide-open hand with your fingers spread out.
2. Simultaneously move your off hand to your solar plexus and engage the zipper line of the garment with the back edge of the pinky finger on your gun hand.
3. Use your belt line as your guide, moving from front to back.
4. Sweep your garment past your handgun.
5. Drive your thumb between your body and the handgun.
6. Draw and drive your sights on target. When reholstering, first remove your finger from the trigger then repeat the same process, only use the butt of the handgun to engage the zipper line of the concealing garment.

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