Should I Practice Drawing My Concealed Carry Gun?

When you are little and just learning how to write letters and words, do you practice first? Or are you just magically able to write a 1200 word paper by hand? You probably practice first, and learn how to form the letters that make up the words, right? Well, when you first purchase a gun are you magically going to be able to shoot on target every time? No, probably not.

So to answer the question at hand, should you practice drawing your concealed carry gun? Yes, practice is going to help you be prepared if a life or death situation were to occur and you needed to use your gun.

Shooting a gun seems simple, but in the event that you need to draw your concealed carry weapon you are probably going to be quite nervous and without training it won’t be as simple as it seems.

Let’s dive into this further, why should you practice drawing your concealed carry gun?

Why Should I Practice Drawing My Concealed Carry Gun?

If you grew up shooting guns, whether for hunting or out in your backyard, you can probably stop reading this. Just kidding! Feel free to continue reading and potentially learn something you didn’t already know. But for those of us who have never held or shot a gun before, we need to get comfortable with our gun.

Target practice at the range isn’t enough. Developing the reflexes and muscle memory needed to move your outer garments so you can get perfect hand placement (master grip), all the movements necessary to safely get the muzzle of your pistol pointed in the direction of the threat, with proper sight alignment, and in the shortest time possible takes practice, to say the least.

Each gun is going to have a different weight, recoil, trigger pull, etc. You have to train to get acclimated with those things so that if you are in a situation where you need to use your weapon you are able to. It is said that when you are in a life or death situation you are going to resort to your lowest level of training. So it’s important to practice the whole process of drawing, shooting and reholstering your gun to build your muscle memory.

Even those who grew up shooting guns still need to continue to practice and keep their skills sharp, this isn’t a one and done type of thing. We’ve now established why you need to practice drawing your concealed carry weapon, but how do you practice?

What Are Safe Ways to Practice With My Concealed Carry Gun?

There are a few ways to practice, dry fire and live fire. Dry fire is going to be done without any live ammo and as the name implies live fire is done with live ammo.

Let’s start with dry fire, this can be done in your home or backyard. First and foremost remove all the ammo from your gun, and then safely check to make sure all the ammo is out of the gun. And guess what you should do next? Check again! It is good to triple check that you have removed all the ammo, better safe than sorry. Now, put the ammo in a different room.

Make sure you are not around anyone else when you are practicing at home or if you are, make sure they know what you are doing so no one is frightened. If you want to use dummy rounds you can, otherwise leave your pistol empty. Practice all the steps you would take to draw and aim your weapon. It may be beneficial to do this in front of a mirror or to video yourself so you can make adjustments as needed.

Live fire, as the name implies, is done with live rounds. This can be done at a range or on your property if your state allows it. Depending on the range you may not be allowed to practice the whole process of unholstering, shooting, and reholstering your gun. Typically indoor ranges will not allow drawing from a holster but some outdoor ranges will.

Live fire training can also be done in a training course with a certified individual. For example, Carry Trainer (one of our favorite people) conducts courses across the U.S. Find out more information about their courses and find out when they will be in your area here.

To recap this section, dry fire and live fire training are two safe ways to practice drawing your concealed carry gun. Keep in mind these are not the only ways and you may find one works better for you over another.

Are There Tools To Help Me Practice With My Concealed Carry Gun?

Absolutely! Tools are a great thing to help create muscle memory when practicing with your concealed carry weapon. We’ve listed out a few below but there are other options as well.

  • Laser Cartridge - This is in the same shape as a round that would normally contain a bullet, but instead these cartridges contain a laser that is activated when struck by the firing pin. These are helpful in seeing where your bullet would have hit without any live fire occurring. A few specific brands would be iDryfire and Pink Rino.
  • Laser - This type of laser is typically attached to the outside of your pistol and many of them have instinctive activation. They project a red or green laser on your target to help with aim and accuracy. Common laser brands are LaserMax and Crimson Trace. For more information on how lasers can help with concealed carry visit our blog “Do I need a light or laser for concealed carry?”
  • Sights - Red dot optics can also help with aim and accuracy during training and in the event you need to use your concealed carry pistol. For more information on red dot optics check out our blog “Do I need a light or laser for concealed carry?”
  • Airsoft Guns - Many pistols have an airsoft counterpart that could be utilized in your backyard, with proper safety precautions. These will oftentimes fit in the same holster as your pistol making it easy to practice your whole drawing and firing process.

These are just a few options of tools you can use to help you practice drawing your concealed carry weapon. Be sure to check with your manufacturer too, sometimes they will provide information on dryfire with your specific pistol.

To review, practicing drawing and shooting your concealed carry weapon will help create muscle memory and improve your skills if you were in a situation where you needed to use your concealed carry gun. Dry fire and live fire are both ways in which you can safely practice with your concealed carry gun and there are many tools that can help you do just that.

But remember ultimately, it comes down to what you find works best for you and meets your needs. We recommend visiting our Holsters by Gun Model page if you are looking for holsters that are custom made for your weapon of choice. For all of our belt and holster options and for more information to help you choose the carry system that works best for you, visit our Vedder Holsters website.


Looking for items beyond holsters and belts, check out our Resources Page for popular product links like lights, laser, first aid, maintenance, and more.