Concealed Carry for Women

Drawing From Concealment Part I – Clearing Clothing

In this article, I will provide you with information, a breakdown of the technique and practice tips to help cement different drawing from concealment skills. I hope you enjoy and really gain something from this series This article will focus on clearing clothing.

It is important to remember that we are all at different stages of concealed carry. If you are a seasoned pro, this may help you fine-tune your technique. If you are brand new, these topics will help you form a foundation based on proper technique. I will also include any supplemental information from The Well Armed Woman website relating to this topic.

Ok, let’s get to it! I hope you enjoy If you have any friends who may benefit from this information please don’t hesitate to pass this article along and encourage them to join our email list by clicking HERE.

Drawing From Concealment

The basic techniques and steps for drawing a gun remain the same, regardless of what holster you are drawing from and area on the body, but all these steps must take place.

However, when drawing from concealment, there is an additional step that must take place. This is the clearing of any clothing away and off of the gun so you can get a solid grip on your gun to draw it. It may be a shirt that must be lifted, a jacket or cover shirt that must be swept away, or a dress or skirt hem lifted.

Technique For Clearing Clothing

Most often, you will use your non-dominant hand to clear clothing and keep it out of the way of gripping and drawing your gun. As you draw your gun with your dominant hand from a holster buried under your clothing, your non-dominant hand or “clearing hand” must do its job, to get the clothing out of the way, and be in a safe position to be ready to join your shooting hand on the grip of the gun.

Keep in mind there are some cases which may require you to use your dominant hand to clear the clothing such as when carrying a holster and concealing with a vest or jacket. It is vital that when clearing your clothing with your dominant hand that it sweep and “throw” the garment well out of the way to allow your dominant hand the time necessary to immediately get a grip on the gun with no clothing or fabric in the way. Your non-dominant hand is placed out of the way on the chest or high on your belly. It should be ready to join up with your dominant hand in a solid two handed grip. It’s important to remember that regardless of which hand you use to clear, that you keep both hands and arms away from the front of the muzzle of your gun.

An example of a dominant hand clear:

Wearing an OWB holster on your hip with a cardigan, vest or jacket. In this situation, it doesn’t make sense for you to cross your body to clear the clothing and it puts your non-dominant hand at risk. Your dominant hand must sweep the clothing back to create enough room for your dominant hand to go back and accurately grip the gun while your non-dominant hand is placed on your chest to stay out of the way for the draw.

An example of non-dominant hand clearing:

When clearing a shirt or sweater to gain access to a gun holstered in the waistband, in a belly band/wrap or bra holster the non-dominant hand lifts and HOLDS the clothing up out of the way to allow you to draw your gun from the holster and is in a position to join your dominant hand for a 2 handed firing grip.

When your adrenaline is rushing, it will be your draw practice and training that will keep you from injury and allow you to draw and get your gun on target quickly and safely. The muzzle of your gun must NEVER point at or “sweep” your clearing hand or any part of your body.

Practice Tip- Clearing Clothing

With UNLOADED HOLSTERED GUN: (check and double-check your gun including looking into the chamber through the top of the slide, verifying there is no ammunition in the barrel, no ammunition in the magazine and none in the room before doing any practice)

Please see more information on safely practicing with your firearm in this article: Dry-fire Practice For The Woman Shooter

Practice sweeping your clothing every day as you are getting dressed for the day. It’s important to practice the different sweeping and clearing motions for all of your clothing styles and different holster options you use.

Stand in front of a mirror to perform this practice.

First determine which hand will have to do the clearing. Without drawing the gun, watch yourself clear the clothing. Which hand makes sense for today’s clothing? Remember, this is dependent upon what works best for you an that days outfit/holster combination.

Practice the movement of sweeping and clearing your clothing and shifting your clearing hand to a safe place out of the muzzles drawing path. Confirm this is being done while watching yourself in a mirror.
If sweeping a long shirt or vest with your dominant hand, for strong side on-the-waist or in-the-waist carry,  how does the clothing move? Does it fall back quickly or does it stay put to give you time to grip your holstered gun? You may need to use your dominant arm elbow to help keep the clothing from falling back over the grip. Now, practice moving your dominant hand over the grip of your firearm after you moved the clothing. This is where you will have to practice the amount of throw of your garment is necessary to get enough time to get back to your grip without any clothing in the way.

Practice Tip - Gripping Your Gun

If your holster has a retention system, such as a strap or snap, you will need to release it “during” the draw. The motion of releasing the strap or snap must become part of your draw and happen in a smooth, quick motion as your hand moves to grab the grip. This motion must be practiced or you will likely fumble with this when your life depends on you protecting yourself with your gun.

DRIVE your hand downward into the beavertail of the grip while keeping your trigger finger extended OUTSIDE of the holster. This should be done strongly and firmly. The goal of this step is to get a solid firing grip on the gun quickly with your hand as high as possible on the grip. The grip you draw with IS the grip you will fire with so it must be good!

Your non-dominant hand should be placed out of the way, on your stomach or chest. This may vary depending on the holster and its location. The key is that your non-dominant hand is out of the way to avoid it being in front of the muzzle of the gun at any time AND is in a good position to quickly “join” your firing hand during the extension of your gun into firing position.

Do this clearing and grip exercise over and over again, every day as you dress.

Additional Resources

There are so many things you need to know about concealed carry and I am here to help! The Well Armed Woman Concealed Carry For Women – Online Course will help you start your journey with a great base of knowledge along with some proven tips and tricks you will need to be a confident concealed carrying woman!

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Concealed Carry for Women Online Course

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2 thoughts on “Drawing From Concealment Part I – Clearing Clothing

  1. Tammy says:

    Yes I would like to be on the email list!

    1. Carrie Lightfoot says:

      Hi Tammy,
      Here is the link to subscribe CLICK HERE – the next email of this series goes out 1/18/2022 🙂

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