The vast majority of those who legally carry a handgun use concealed carry. However, we rarely see them at the shooting range practicing making their pistol presentation from under a concealing garment. The fact is that drawing from under the concealing garment takes more time than an open draw. It can take even more time if it is a move that is not regularly practiced. Fumbling the draw stroke from under a concealing garment in an actual gunfight can be more than just time consuming; it can also be quite costly.
The smart thing to do is to make drawing from under the concealing clothing a regular part of defensive practice. If the local range doesn’t allow that sort of thing, then it should be a part of a person’s dry practice at home.
When the decision is made to draw the handgun, the clearing move should not be a hesitant, or tentative one. The garment should be forcefully brushed aside as an integral part of the pistol presentation.
However, in reality, we often wear different kinds of covering garments, often on consecutive days. Some will have buttons. Others will have zippers. And some are of the pull-over variety that have to be lifted up in order to clear the handgun. In that moment when things get real, one might forget just exactly what is need to clear that particular piece of clothing. There may be a better way.
The armed citizen rarely has to deal with an actual threat (Condition Red) but he is often presented with a potential threat (Condition Orange). Once we recognize that we are in the presence of a potential threat, it’s a really good idea to make sure that our shooting hand is free. And it is also an excellent time to get the covering garment unfastened in preparation for the draw stroke, should that become necessary.
We can do these things without looking like we are in full gunfighter mode and even still have a smile on a face during the process. But clearing the garment becomes part of the getting ready process and we will have more time to remember to deal with buttons, zippers, or whatever. Once the potential threat dissolves into nothing, as they generally do, we can fasten back up with no one the wiser.
Give some thought as to how to clear that covering garment. And then be sure to practice it. It saves time and very well could save your life.