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Monday Morning Gomez: Drawing from a Closed Front Cover Garment

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With the release of our recent special Concealment issue I thought today's Monday Morning Gomez to be particularly apropos.

RECOIL Concealment SIP

Today we will briefly discuss drawing the pistol from under a cover garment. Obviously a closed cover garment must be lifted to allow access to the holstered gun; I'll address open front cover garments such as vests and jackets and the like in a future installment.

There are two schools of thought to clearing the cover garment – one includes proponents of using two hands to do so. The other is those who favor doing so with the firing hand only. I am in the latter group. There are a number of people that will teach using two hands to clear the cover garment because it is more efficient, and there's no doubt that using 2 hands to do so is a faster method. To use that method, both hands will come back (on a strong side hip carry) and rip the cover garment up, allowing the shooter to go for the pistol. This is going to be faster than using the gun hand only. However, you might need to have one hand up depending on the situation (defending yourself, fending off an attacker, holding a child) and thus may have only one hand available to clear the cover garment. Thus I like to practice almost exclusively with my gun hand clearing the cover garment prior to establishing a grip on the holstered guns.

Below I will discuss two methods of doing that. Note that in both methods the cover garment is brought straight up above the holstered weapon by the gun hand, which is then rotated so at least the tip and base of the thumb are in contact with the torso. The hand is then driven down to the holstered pistol. The only difference is how the garment is lifted. Subsequent reholstering will be accomplished the same regardless of which method is employed.

In ‘Option One' the shooter will use all four fingers of the gun hand at the bottom hem of the garment to lift the cover garment up. The gun hand will come back directly to where the gun is positioned so it is lifting straight up over where the gun is being carried; the cover garment will come up with the gun hand. The hand will make rotate to contact with the body, the thumb making contact with the torso, then the shooter will push his hand straight down and established a full grip on the holstered gun and then draw as normal.

Monday Morning Gomez - draw from closed cover garment - index thumb along torso and drive down

Reholstering from extension will be done from either at count 3 or back at count 2; the support hand comes back underneath the pistol (therefore never crossing the muzzle), raises the cover garment to allow the shooter to push the weapon muzzle down and put the gun back into the holster. If the shooter is going to thumb cap the back of the slide, it should occur at count 2 prior to the muzzle going down. At count 2 I depress the muzzle I can thumb cap the back of the slide and seat the gun in the holster.

[Note: “thumb capping” is a practice wherein a thumb is placed behind the slide to ensure the gun is in battery as the gun goes into the holster.]

Monday Morning Gomez - draw from closed cover garment - slide capping

There a couple of reasons for this. A number of people will, when they're done shooting (or believe they are done shooting) and are beginning to put the gun away will immediately thumb cap the slide before it is appropriate (or wise) to do so. Alternately they will come back close to the body (between count 3 and count, or directly at count 2) and thumb cap before going muzzle down. In either case, now what they have is, functionally, a single shot gun and a very poor grip on the pistol – this would problematic at best if they were need to suddenly put the weapon back into use.  If the shooter intends to thumb cap the back of the slide as the weapon is reholstered it needs to occur once the muzzle is depressed and the gun is going back into the holster.

‘Option Two' of clearing a closed front cover garment using only the gun hand is to use the gun hand's flagged thumb. To utilize this method you will push the thumb of the shooting hand up under the hem of the cover garment to clear the weapon. When I acquire a full firing grip on the pistol my firing hand thumb is flagged and fully extended (I do this for a number of reasons, some of which are explained here in a past installment). My hand is deep in the tang of the pistol. I use that same flagged thumb to clear the hem of the garment – it comes up the body, my thumb in contact with the torso, drives straight down and acquire a full grip on the pistol and draw the holstered gun moving forward with the drawstroke from there.

Monday Morning Gomez - draw from closed cover garment - flagged thumb2These are 2 options for clearing a closed front cover garment and drawing the holstered pistol; the four finger lift or the shooting hand flagged thumb lift. Either way the shooter will lift the cover garment directly over the pistol, driving it straight up. Once the weapon is clear the shooter will rotate the firing hand to establish and maintain contact between the tip and base of the thumb against the torso so there is physical contact to index the gun hand, which is then driven straight down to the holstered pistol to establish a full firing grip. The weapon is then drawn normally from there.

Monday Morning Gomez - draw from closed cover garment -  proceed with drawstroke



Photo credits unknown – used here with respect.

Any inaccuracies or awkwardness in “translating” the raw video to “article-like” format are mine alone. DR

The late Paul Gomez 2

Though the GTI YouTube channel has not been updated in years it is well worth reviewing (there's a reason it's called Gun Training for Thinkers). You can do that here. To continue in the tradition of thinking and learning the late Paul Gomez espoused (and to help support his children) you should consider checking out Paul-E-Palooza. 2015's event will the 3rd iteration of the memorial training benefit; it will be held near Garrettsville, OH August 15th and 16th. You can rest assured any money spent to get there and participate will be well worth the expense – instructors and attendees alike will be a wish list of industry professionals. You can read an AAR of last year's Paul-E-Palooza right here. You can keep any on this year's Paul-e-Palooze here:

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