If you’re looking to speed up your pistol draw speed, there are a few things you can do that will help give you a quicker draw. While practice is really the only way to get faster, how you practice matters. Here are a few ideas to help you improve your pistol shooting/draw speed.
Do fast, what you can do fast- This may seem obvious, but a lot of shooters fail to reach their maximum draw speed because they slow down key elements of the draw for no reason. A great example is when you see someone try to shoot a target from a long distance like the 25-yard line. Often, they will draw the pistol slower in a subconscious effort to be more stable. However, because they are drawing the pistol slower, they are losing valuable time in getting the weapon on target. Your draw speed should be the same whether you’re shooting from the 3-yard line or the 25-yard line. What this means is, the time it takes you to get the gun on target should be approximately the same. What changes is that at the 3-yard line you can get your shot off quickly when you get a simple sight picture- while at the 25-yard line you will need to ensure you have a good sight picture and steady trigger pull to ensure proper shot placement. However, in both cases, you should be getting the gun out of the holster as quickly as possible and onto the target.
Draw your gun out in a straight line- Now, I know I might be pooh-poohing on some super-high-speed pistol instructor’s 10 count draw sequence- and if you do something cool like that, then keep doing you boo-boo. But, if you want to speed up your draw, you need to get the pistol out of the holster and leveled up with the target as quickly as possible. Many instructors teach the shooter a multi-count draw sequence where the gun comes out of the holster, then the shooter rotates the weapon while it’s still next to their hip, then they bring their hands together in front of their chest, then the shooter pushes the pistol out to the target and finally, the shooter engages the target. In the end, all of these small unnecessary movements take valuable time away from your draw. Now, I realize that there are some tactical arguments to this idea and I will let you guys battle it out on the internet if you like. But this article is how to speed up your draw and to get the pistol out in one smooth motion is a lot faster than doing a 10 count draw…. period.
Place your pistol in the same place every time- Muscle memory is a massive part of speeding up your draw. If every time you go to the range, you place your pistol in a different spot, you will end up having to rework your muscle memory- which wastes valuable range time. Your pistol should be placed on the exact same spot on your hip over and over again. I like to mark on my belt exactly where I put mine so when I go back to the range, I know where it needs to go. This means that your hand will get used to going to the exact same position over and over again and you will have a much smoother draw.
Dry Fire- This one probably helped out my own draw speed the most. Dry firing is huge if you’re looking to get a lightning-fast draw. If you want to get into pistol shooting, set up an hour or two a day where you practice drawing your pistol over and over.
Use a shot timer- A great way to speed up your draw speed is to use a shot timer. I like to set a par time on the timer and try and get the pistol out before the par time. You can either purchase a shot timer for around $100 or download a free app from the app store.
For a variety of drills, check out our shooting drills page.