Smooth Out & Speed Up Your Drawstroke

Ox here again with a video and article on an incredibly high octane drill that will do more to speed up your drawstroke in less time than any other drill I know of.

This is part of a series of articles on integrating a metronome into dry fire and live fire training.
The first article on matching dry fire and live fire cadences is >HERE<
and you can find 2 other metronome drills by going >HERE<

One of the most important things that you can do as a pistol shooter, whether it’s for concealed carry, open carry, or competition, is to get an incredibly accurate and precise shot on target as quickly as possible. Ironically, the best way to get fast and smooth is to start by getting S L O W and choppy. 

There’s a scene in “Forest Gump” where he’s got his leg braces on and is trying to run away from some bullies on bikes. He’s slow, clunky, and awkward, but his braces start to fall off and his stride smooths out and speeds up until he’s running faster than the bullies on the bikes.

It’s similar to martial arts Katas or forms. Students learn how to smoothly and quickly execute complex movements by starting out slow and choppy and focusing on the individual component parts. As they master the component chunks, they begin to blend the chunks together and speed up.

This is a proven learning technique, but for some reason it’s not used in firearms training. We’re going to change that today by breaking down the drawstroke into it’s component parts and practicing them in time with a metronome.

Specifically, I want you to practice an 8 count drawstroke in time to a metronome set to 60 (or fewer beats per minute).  I’ll demonstrate what I’m asking you to do in a sec, but here are the 8 steps.

Set the metronome to 60 (one beep every second) and progress through each of the following steps each time you hear a beep:

0. hands to your side
1. grab the grip of your gun
2. Clear the holster
3. Rock the gun towards the target
4. Grab your gun with your support hand
5. Raise your gun so it’s 8-12″ from your face with the sights lined up on your target and your finger on the trigger
6. With your sights aligned on target, press the trigger
7. Extend the pistol half way to full extension and, with your sights aligned on target, press the trigger again.
8. Extend the pistol to full extension and, with your sights aligned on target, press the trigger again.

Here’s a video demonstrating the process with both dry fire and live fire:

Optional steps:
9.    Bring your gun back to 8-12″ in front of your face with your trigger finger straight, stiff, and rigid along the frame and your sights still aligned on the target
10.   Hold in this position for a 5-10 count to scan and assess
11.    Drop your gun down to belly level, still pointed at the target and put your support hand flat against your belly
12.    Rock your gun back down over the holster
13.    Reholster
14.    Hands to your side

You can get the core/majority of this, as well as 50+ other dry fire drills from Dry Fire Training Cards by going >HERE<

If you’ve gone through the Deadly Accuracy course, you’ll recognize the “straight, stiff, and rigid” verbiage.  If you’ve gone through Chris Graham’s Force Recon 30-10 Pistol Course, you’ll  immediately recognize the ability to put aimed rounds on target early and often in the drawstroke.  And if you’re a Concealed Carry Masters Course student, you’ll also want to add in your outside 90 flinch response, multiple shots, clearing your cover garment, and your 360 degree scan.

Here’s the big takeaway:

Using the metronome for these drills will break them up into discrete parts so that your mind will be able to work on small discrete chunks of the drawstroke instead of the entire drawstroke at one time.

Using the metronome at a S L O W cadence will force you to focus on the individual components of the drawstroke and allow you time to self-correct.  The time spent doing this drill slowly will have a LOT more leverage than the time that you spend doing it quickly, so don’t be in a hurry to speed up.

At first, this drill will make you choppy but if you are disciplined, it will help you develop incredibly precise neural pathways that you can execute subconsciously. Once you can do it perfectly at a given cadence EFFORTLESSLY 20 times in a row, speed it up.

As you speed up, you’ll be forced/encouraged to eliminate wasted movement. When you use a metronome in this manner, efficiency is rewarded and waste is punished.

As you speed up a little more, the choppiness will go away and the entire drawstroke will become as smooth as silk.  Your 8 (or 14) step drawstroke will transform into a 1, 2, or 3 step drawstroke that is fluid, precise, and effortless.

As famed instructor, John Farnam says, “Round off the edges, and eliminate the seams.”

That’s exactly what we’re doing here.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Share them by commenting below.

And, if you’re on Facebook, I’d love it if you could click the “Like” button below…the video’s the same as the one above:

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  1. JJM
    2 years ago

    Like it. Will also employ similar training in long gun use.


    • Ox
      2 years ago

      Thanks, JJM. Let me know what you come up with.


  2. Mark Mccall
    2 years ago

    Looks like a good way to practice. I will start working on that. Thanks.


  3. Bill Gioia
    2 years ago

    Excellent Thanks so much going to incorporate this training now.


  4. Dr. Mark Brinkley
    2 years ago

    Just like playing a guitar. Slow and precise practice turns into fast and precise music.


  5. Richard Nations
    2 years ago

    Love the training. I am a total novice but have a desire to become a trained shooter.


  6. sean a. maney
    2 years ago

    great training resources…freedom today freedom tmorrow freedom forever!!!!!!

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