2020 Dry Fire Challenge Part 2:  One-Hand AIWB Draw


This dry fire challenge is the second installment of my ‘dry fire training series,’ where I am highlighting ways to stay sharp with your firearm while gun ranges and other facilities remain closed during the coronavirus outbreak. Appendix inside-waistband (AIWB) carry is more popular than ever, and for good reason. It keeps the handgun under the user’s complete control, protected from theft, while remaining instantly accessible. Of course, people with poor trigger discipline should not carry AIWB! But for many others who have developed and maintained consistent gun safety habits, AIWB is ideal.

This article describes one way to draw from AIWB position using only the primary hand—with the expectation that you’ll practice on your own until it feels natural. Why? A look at any number of videos in which a sudden attack, often an armed robbery, is caught on camera, is proof positive of the importance of knowing how to draw and fire with just one hand. Usually it’s the speed of the perp’s actions that make this necessary. Or it could be the presence of an infant or toddler in your support side arm that makes one-handed gun manipulation necessary. Needless to say, it’s a good idea to keep your “gun hand” free to as much as possible.

Alright, safety first. Two points: 1) Start this this with an UNLOADED GUN—magazine removed, chamber cleared and double-checked as clear. Revolver users, double check that each and every chamber is empty. Loaded gun practice comes after mastering the technique. 2) DO NOT MUZZLE YOUR SUPPORT HAND OR OTHER BODY PARTS. It would seem to be common sense, but reholstering is usually when people violate the muzzle rule. And for Pete’s sake, don’t stand there and casually wave the muzzle over your own feet between reps. Yeah, I shouldn’t have to say this, but I see it all the time. The owners/operators of this blog and I bear no responsibility for injury or damage caused by your violation of gun safety rules.

With the safety review out of the way, let’s begin.

Get ready

Dry Fire Challenge
Make a V with thumb leading the way to clear the cover garment

Wearing your unloaded gun in an AIWB holster with a covering garment, make a “V” with your gun hand. The thumb forms one branch; your four fingers are the other. Don’t splay the fingers; keep them together. Orient your hand below the covering garment with the palm facing your body; thumb up and angled slightly toward your center.

For both safety and practical application, grab your shirt at chest level with the support hand.

Get set

With the thumb angled a bit inward so that it pushes the cover garment out of the way, move the hand in the shape of an upside-down “U.” The web of your hand will thus come from above and behind to land as high as possible on the backstrap. When the center of the V is in place, firmly close the middle, ring, and pinky fingers around the grip. This sets up a perfect grip and maximum control.

Dry Fire Challenge
Close fingers tightly. Web of hand as high as it will go on gun.

Pro tip: a good holster not only protects the trigger guard from penetration and keeps the gun from falling out, it also allows for a full firing grip while the gun is still holstered. Look for cut away material that allows your middle finger to get right up under the barrel and in front of the trigger guard while the finger is wrapped around the grip.


With a quick motion, snatch, don’t pull, the gun straight up from the holster. From there, proceed with your one-handed presentation on target—that last bit is a drill in itself that we may get to as this quarantine wears on.

2020 Dry Fire Challenge
Snatch the gun from the holster

Pro tip:  If you happened to get a bit of shirt caught between your hand and gun, the combination of tightly closed fingers around the grip as well as an assertive, fast draw will self-correct that problem.

Keep at it! We’re going to emerge from COVID-19 confinement as better – or at the very least not rusty – gun handlers!

Author’s notes

I appreciate the neatness of a straight gig line—the line from zipper, to belt buckle, to shirt button placket. However, as a right-handed shooter and when wearing a concealing garment, I set my buckle a bit left of center. This helps break up any printing the gun might make under my shirt.

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