Enhancing the draw, Part II: presentation: this is the easiest part of the draw, but not as simple as it may seem.

Author:Ayoob, Massad

Last month we addressed the first step of drawing a handgun. Getting the hand onto .the concealed handgun, releasing any securing devices, and making ready to rip it out of the holster is the tough part. It's a complex psychomotor skill, a chain of dexterity-intensive events each of which must be accomplished properly, because a weakness in any link will compromise the whole chain.

The second stage, presentation, is easier. It's pretty much a simple, gross motor skill. But doing it with maximum speed and efficiency is not as simple as it might seem. It involves multiple elements.

Rock And Lock

With most handguns from most holsters, it is generally agreed the presentation should begin with a motion called "rock and lock." The elbow was pointed to the rear at the beginning of the draw stroke, to align the skeleto-muscular structure of the arm in the direction we'll be exerting force. As the gun comes up, the elbow comes rearward, snapping the muzzle upward as soon as it clears the holster and rocking that muzzle forward toward the target or threat.

At this point, we reach a fork in the road of conditional branching. If the target is very close--within arm's reach--the muzzle comes up at waist level allowing for a "speed rock" or "from the hip" point-shooting technique. Any farther from the target, the shooter will probably be better served by pulling the gun up higher until the base of the gun hand's thumb is level with the bottom of the pectoral muscle of the chest. This brings the gun's muzzle more in line with a standing opponent's upper torso. The pistol can be fired from here if necessary in what is called "the protected gun position," or it can be thrust forward toward the target. Because the muzzle is now in line with the target, the pistol can be fired with good effect as it is being pushed forward, before the arms reach full extension.

Support Hand

As the gun hand went for the pistol, the support hand brought itself to the mid-line of the body. Some instructors teach placing it flat against the torso. That's OK for a match, but if you're training for a possible close-quarters fight, a hand flat against the body can be trapped there by an opponent's hand. If he continues to push, he'll take you off balance and compromise your draw.

I prefer to keep...

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