Support Hand Draw, training
(Photo by B. Rackley)

A self-defense situation is usually fluid and chaotic. Anything can happen when shots starting firing. So, it’s important to train for a multitude of possibilities, including having to conduct a support hand draw.

There are many reasons why someone might have to draw with his or her support hand. First and foremost, the strong hand could become disabled right at the beginning of an incident. Or the strong hand might be defending against raining blows. Both are possibilities, as attackers usually try to surprise their victims. Regardless of the reason, shooters need to know how to draw and fire using their support hand.

Practicing a Support Hand Draw

As important as it is to learn to draw with the support hand, it is equally important to begin practicing with an unloaded gun. In fact, just like when cleaning or dry firing, remove all ammunition from both the gun and the room.

Then, depending on where the gun sits, determine whether it is better to reach around the front or the rear. This is particularly important if the gun rides on the strong side, which happens to be a preferred method. Most experts consider reaching from behind to be better, as it provides somewhat of a shooting grip. In any case, be sure to cant the gun to prevent sweeping the body. Here is where a lack of manual safety can be beneficial, but if the gun has one, disengage it via the index finger. This is also why some folks don’t use holsters with snaps or other retention for concealed carry; it is one thing less to do if necessary.

It’s a little easier to obtain a gun with the support hand when riding on the ankle or in a shoulder holster. However, with a shoulder holster it is almost impossible to not sweep the body. The best method, though, is to situate a back-up gun in a position for the support hand. This can be in a pocket, on the ankle or even small of the back. Just be sure that the support hand can easily obtain a shooting grip. A BUG also provides additional rounds if any situation gets intense.

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