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Self defense handgun techniques for CCW holders

concealed carry shooting techniques

There are no secrets of combat hand gunnery that cannot be deduced by experience. However, the point of combat handgun drills is to acclimate a shooter in a simulated environment whereby he or she can learn these principles without having to worry about survival. This is why we're including several techniques that are extremely effective with concealed carry pistols to increase your chances of accurately responding to threats in tense environments. For all of these, it's good practice to get into the habit of using the pistol and concealed carry holster that you normally carry on your person. This will enable you to develop good muscle memory habits that will serve you well in an emergency.

Pistol Technique # 1: Movement with Guarded Posture

Hesitation is the biggest threat in an emergency situation. The hardest thing for a person to accept is that danger is imminent whether he wants it to be or not. We spent a lot of time in our own thoughts and arguably our own world. When you believe the possibility for an active conflict is on the horizon, don't hesitate. The Guarded Posture just a name for bringing your pistol out of concealment and bringing it to the ready. However, it's the perfect posture for not knowing where or when the attack will be coming from. Pistol out, arms canted, keep the barrel outboard but close to the chest. Triangulate your hand placement so that you can snap your arm out fluidly to line up the pistol sights with your direct 12 o'clock.

If you're having trouble visualizing this, not a problem. Here's a video that specifically goes over stance, grip work, and F.A.S.T. drills.

Advantage: Greater reaction speed to multiple or unknown targets. Especially for a concealed carry permit holder, this is decidedly fantastic close quarters technique.

Associated Pistol Drills: If this is your first time using this technique, carry out practice drills with your preferred concealed carry holster. Start off unloaded and build your confidence to have the speed and fluidity you need to confidently bring that pistol into a protected stance. Evolve this technique to moving through corridors, around entrance ways and through “jam spots” such as staircases, hatches and attics.

Pistol Technique #2: Compromised Stance

We don't always get as much time as we'd like to react to an active combat environment. Practicing the fundamentals of good marksmanship is an excellent start to ensuring you have a decent muscle memory for when you need to bring your concealed weapon into use in the real world. However, it's good to become acquainted with your pistol's accuracy and your reaction when drawing on a close, moving target. Basically, from a tactical posture – center of mass balanced and slightly forward with feet shoulder width apart – take your pistol from your outside the waistband holster or inside the waistband holster using a high grip. Keep the pistol within the protection of both of your arms. With a target that is 10 yards away, engage with an introductory series of shots before you are able to bring up the pistol sights into proper alignment with your eyes. These introductory shots will demonstrate that you are capable of placing lethal rounds into your opponent without waiting for him or her to be atop of your position. In the situation where you have an attacker charging you – this is an invaluable skill to master.

For a video that illustrates this series of techniques – check out this instructional video on close range pistol techniques that are perfect for the concealed carrier.

Advantage: You will be able to see how you can react before you can put your sights onto the target. This is a skill you can either hone or simply retain for further understanding. This is an emergency drill which anticipates you will be able to do serious, lethal damage to an attacker before having the full reaction time necessary to place a good, tight shot grouping. Shots will be a little low (abdomen) but more than sufficient.

Associated Pistol Drill: From your preferred style of concealed carry holster, position your body in a forward tactical position and withdraw the pistol to the point where the barrel is facing down range. From a stable grip – but not yet brought into alignment with your eyes – discharge your pistol as you bring it up to your preferred forward attack position.

James   England

About The Author

James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.