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Looking the gun into the holster?


Crusty Knees

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I'm relatively new at this, and had a question about "looking" the gun into the holster.

I've watched a lot of videos of top shooters on Utube and it seems split, some do, some don't.  I know that the holsters are going to be where you left them.  But, during dryfire practice I managed to drop one on the carpet.   So, it go me thinking.

 

If I wanted to get faster.  :D:lol:  (I normally take 30 seconds a stage!  But, I'm only really getting started).  Should I just trust to muscle memory?  Or, is the 2 seconds it takes to watch the guns back into the holsters, (I'm figuring a second per gun), much better than a potential SDQ and ruining the day?!

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You don't drop the gun where the holster "should" be. You feel it into the holster so you don't drop it unless it is in the holster. Not sayin I can do it, just that is the technique to keep from having to look it in and take your eyes off the target. I can do it with the right holster, left, not so much.

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If it takes you 2 seconds to look the gun into the holster, then I don't think you are ready to do it blind yet. :)

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I look them into the holster.  Dropping a revolver for the first time started me on looking them into the holster and renewed my interest in leather work.  You must have holsters that stay open once you draw a gun.

 

As a gunfighter, whenever possible, I shoot pistols last so I can re-holster off the clock.

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IMO, since you are new, more time in the game at live and dry firing should be given before the "no look move".  There will be a time later when you will feel a comfort zone to NOT look.  Of course even then, it can happen.  I am speaking from a view/experience of double duelist, but I feel same should probably be true to the two-handed shooter.  I usually do not look the right in but if holstering left on a move to right then I am glancing left gun in as I move.

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A peak is all it takes.   As you get the muzzle close a quick peak will help with alignment.   Don't let go until you feel it hit bottom.  It doesn't slow you down once you get the muscle memory.  

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I agree with Billy & Null.

 

Especially starting, it is a good idea to look them in the holster.  It actually doesn't take any noticeable time once you get in the habit.

You can be grabbing your second pistol by feel while holstering the first.  And you must have a holster rig that you can trust where the holster is and that it is solid and consistent - even when you look them in.

 

That being said many experienced and top shooters do not look unless they have to move a lot.

 

I generally mean to look them in, but at a match, I almost never do.  But I've been shooting pistols since about 1980 and had LOTS SASS matches in the last 24.

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6 hours ago, Crusty Knees said:

Should I just trust to muscle memory?  Or, is the 2 seconds it takes to watch the guns back into the holsters, (I'm figuring a second per gun), much better than a potential SDQ and ruining the day?!

 

I too spent many hours struggling with this decision.  I also spent many hours practicing reholstering without looking.  I've since made the firm decision I'm going to look the guns back into the holsters from now one.  

 

#1 I believe your estimation of time spent is way over blown.  Realistically it takes one or two tenths of a second to glance down and see the mouths of your holsters.  Giving up those fractions of seconds is more than worth avoiding the penalty of a dropped gun.

 

#2  When I look down to holster my first pistol I can easily pick up the sights on my second pistol and thus bring it on target faster.  Same with holstering the second pistol and looking at the long gun I need to pick up next. When taking that into consideration I believe it's a wash.  What fractions of seconds I may lose by looking the pistols into the holsters I make up for by picking up the next gun faster.

 

#3 If you're moving to a new shooting location after firing the pistols it's incredibly easy to glance down at your holster to ensure your pistol arrives where it belongs while taking that first step.  I'm not the worlds best at it but here's a video of my trying to do it. 

 

Looking pistols into holsters

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As a newer shooter, Watch the gun you just shot go in tot he holster.

But make sure your other hand is already doing it's job.

 

You must have both hands doing something.

Holstering, picking up, grabbing ammo from the belt, bring second hand gun up.

 

If you use one hand and not both at the same time, you are behind.

 

In time, you will learn to holster without looking.

Before the timer goes off, you will make sure your holsters are where they need to be.

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I come from a Law Enforcement background, 26+ years of being taught NOT to look at your holster. So now, looking at the holster is taking some re-learning. But, it does help, especially with longer barreled guns.

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I shoot “Double Duelist” and this is what works for me.  As the gun hand is moving into the proximity of the empty holster the non gun hand serves as a guide to make certain that gun finds its home.  It might be a tad slower but dropping a gun is a very bad thing.    My eyes never leave the target.  The worst drop I have ever witnessed, involved a mounted shooter who missed her holster completely and the nickle SAA fell to the arena dirt and the horse stepped on the gun while wearing metal shoes. She cried......actually we all wanted to cry given the damages sustained to the Colt. 

 

Coming from a LE background, we were taught to not take your eyes off of the target and re holster without looking.  Practice as you play, it is all about repetition and muscle memory.

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1 hour ago, Hashknife Cowboy said:

I shoot “Double Duelist” and this is what works for me.  As the gun hand is moving into the proximity of the empty holster the non gun hand serves as a guide to make certain that gun finds its home.  It might be a tad slower but dropping a gun is a very bad thing.    My eyes never leave the target.  The worst drop I have ever witnessed, involved a mounted shooter who missed her holster completely and the nickle SAA fell to the arena dirt and the horse stepped on the gun while wearing metal shoes. She cried......actually we all wanted to cry given the damages sustained to the Colt. 

 

Coming from a LE background, we were taught to not take your eyes off of the target and re holster without looking.  Practice as you play, it is all about repetition and muscle memory.

If it works for you, that's great.

 

However, that "method" is a LOT slower than the alternatives.

 

Phantom

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I am right handed.  I don’t look to re-holster.  I have been doing that since I was a child.  

 

Car Brules

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I no longer look a gun into the holster, but feel it in. Before, I have been known to shoot the last shot while looking at the holster and it didn't end well. :o The worst was having a clean match over 12 stages spread over  three days until the last stage, last gun and of course, last shot. Ouch. 

I have seen many others do the same thing! OTOH, I have seen others drop guns by not looking, so it comes down to picking your poison.

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Marauder, SB, and others have good points and I agree the QUICK  glance with peripheral vision takes little time and is certainly needed even more so when holstering on the turn (ex. left gun to holster as one turns to right).  To be efficient at "the glances" to make them positive and fast as possible does take much practice.  The negative in looking gun in is in those who actually are watching, almost in slow motion, the revolver hit hard in holster before moving or drawing other revolver.  This can cost in time.  Of course seeing this is often in the new shooter who will eventually progress in that action (we all had our rookie period).  For OP at this stage, yes, look it in with big glance then progress to a speed that is comfortable and safe.

Realistically, there are times when one is just not comfortable with stage (be it props, movement, not good mindset, etc) and just feels better to give more look.  I catch myself in that zone sometimes on those "bad days".

I found similar question as OP in "looking gun in" a couple years ago when I realized that to often  I was  looking my shotgun shells out of loops rather than keeping eyes more straight forward on target and/or on holes in chamber.   It took lots of practice to get muscle memory to make the action smooth.  I still give a glance perhaps at first two if setting down rifle with left or holstering left revolver but next two usually flow without a glance.  Taking a hint from one of Deadeye Dillard's excellent U-tubes, I now try to give more focus to shells as they hit top of chambers.

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1 hour ago, Go West said:

I no longer look a gun into the holster, but feel it in. Before, I have been known to shoot the last shot while looking at the holster and it didn't end well. :o The worst was having a clean match over 12 stages spread over  three days until the last stage, last gun and of course, last shot. Ouch. 

I have seen many others do the same thing! OTOH, I have seen others drop guns by not looking, so it comes down to picking your poison.

GW, you are sure right about importance of "last shot focus".  Right in there with making turn before revolver is in leather.  I could add, if shotgun was last,  to be sure shotgun is clear of hulls before setting it down at unloading table to work lever of rifle.  BTDT more than once, and once on last stage for clean EOT.  

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I agree with a good many of the post above.

And I totally agree with Shooting Bull's assessment of the time it takes to 'peak'.

 

If you are reholstering your revolver, Why does it take longer to reholster if you take

a peak down at it?   You're talking about the difference between a blink of an eye and

a twinkling of an eye.

 

P.S. - As a GF, I find myself sometimes 'peaking' and sometimes not.   I've yet (15 years) to drop

a pistol..... but I also don't drop them in the holsters either.   I 'place' them in the holsters with

knowledge that my hands have pushed them down securely.

 

..........Widder

 

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33 minutes ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

I agree with a good many of the post above.

And I totally agree with Shooting Bull's assessment of the time it takes to 'peak'.

 

If you are reholstering your revolver, Why does it take longer to reholster if you take

a peak down at it?   You're talking about the difference between a blink of an eye and

a twinkling of an eye.

 

P.S. - As a GF, I find myself sometimes 'peaking' and sometimes not.   I've yet (15 years) to drop

a pistol..... but I also don't drop them in the holsters either.   I 'place' them in the holsters with

knowledge that my hands have pushed them down securely.

 

..........Widder

 

For me, I'm pulling my second revolver and getting it on target as my first revolver is being holsters... Doubled Duelist...

 

When I was shooting two-handed I peaked since there's a fraction of a second needed to bring the holstering hand up to the live revolver.

 

Style Flexing baby!

 

Phantom

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41 minutes ago, Widder, SASS #59054 said:

I agree with a good many of the post above.

And I totally agree with Shooting Bull's assessment of the time it takes to 'peak'.

 

If you are reholstering your revolver, Why does it take longer to reholster if you take

a peak down at it?   You're talking about the difference between a blink of an eye and

a twinkling of an eye.

 

P.S. - As a GF, I find myself sometimes 'peaking' and sometimes not.   I've yet (15 years) to drop

a pistol..... but I also don't drop them in the holsters either.   I 'place' them in the holsters with

knowledge that my hands have pushed them down securely.

 

..........Widder

 

Excellent point in knowing pistol is dropped securely in holster.  I, too, have been fortunate in not dropping revolver in match...UNTIL a few months ago when it happened TWICE.  Both times I was quickly turning to right into door/window with shotgun when the "kerplunk to floor"  took place.  Cause could have easily been that revolver had not been set firm before I advanced thus the quick turn gave momentum for it to fall.  Lesson for another reason to see that revolvers are not to loose "in the bucket".  These particular holsters did not have liners (kydex or metal) so thru use got loose to revolver and my negligence to keep them firm to revolver came back to haunt me.  I have since "tightened" these and more often use my lined holster rigs. { BTW, I even check my lined rigs that in storage they have not gotten pressed where they are to loose on revolver cylinder (great thing about lined rigs that they are normally easy to correct grip to cylinder)}.

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On 5/18/2021 at 12:40 PM, Marshal TKD, Sass # 36984L said:

Doesn’t add any time to look at where you holstering. 
The flip side of that is that costs a bunch to drop a gun.

Don't ask me how I know that, LOL.

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Since I shoot a variety of different guns and holster setups, looking it in is even more important.  But I still managed an MDQ a few years ago by missing my holster at the loading table on the first stage of a monthly.  To add injury to insult, it landed muzzle first on my left big toe that has nerve damage.  Yow!  

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I shoot 7 1/2 in Ruger's. Yep, I look them in.

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Sneak a peek- when I see the front sight in the holster I let her  go and gravity does the rest. Second Pistol is  Holstered on the move and looked in, don't need to look where I'm going I just know. 

Hells Comin 

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1 hour ago, Hells Comin said:

Sneak a peek- when I see the front sight in the holster I let her  go and gravity does the rest. Second Pistol is  Holstered on the move and looked in, don't need to look where I'm going I just know. 

Hells Comin 

 

Sure seems like there's a wise ass comment in there somewhere, but where? I'm gonna have to think on this one a while. :ph34r:

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Cobra Cat told us in a class once that is takes less time to look it into the holster while drawing the second gun. than is does to re stab it a second time after you missed it the first. Further more when you miss and have to restab it brakes your consentration.  So this is what I do. I figure if I take a class from the likes of a guy like this and not take

his advise I have wasted his and my time.

 

JMHO

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47 minutes ago, Your Nemesis said:

Cobra Cat told us in a class once that is takes less time to look it into the holster while drawing the second gun. than is does to re stab it a second time after you missed it the first. Further more when you miss and have to restab it brakes your consentration.  So this is what I do. I figure if I take a class from the likes of a guy like this and not take

his advise I have wasted his and my time.

 

JMHO

No doubt good advice from one or the best and nicest guys in the game.

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