By Roger Phillips, Operator and Owner of Fight Focused Concepts
The “hand on the gun” concept is the concept of having a gun in one of your front pockets with a firing grip already on the gun. This concept is one of the many things that I teach inside of my “Fighting at Night” courses and one of the most deadly dirty tricks that there are.
In this discussion I would like to concentrate on the gun in the front pocket of your pants, not on the gun in the jacket pocket.
When the hand is already on the gun you can reduce your draw stroke time 50%. So if I have a .75 draw stroke (and I do) I can achieve around a .37 -.38 draw stroke. Not bad considering that Jelly Bryce had a .43 draw stroke and Bill Jordan had a .22 draw stroke.
When things do not look right, having the ability to put the hand in the pocket and acquire a firing grip, without anyone being the wiser that you just completed 50% of your draw stroke is a huge advantage. When you work this with the “flashlight in the hand” concept it makes for some devastatingly dirty night fighting tricks. A .38 draw stoke combined with a blinding white light borders on being as easy as shooting fish in a barrel (if you don’t believe me come on out to my Low Light FOF courses and you will be made a believer.)
The point of this thread is to nail down the optimal hardware to go along with this optimal tactic. I would like to hear what others are doing, using, tried, found to have worked well, or found to have not worked well…….and why.
We all know that a J-frame is not an optimal weapon. But when it is used inside of its proper context it can be pretty close to being optimal. As it stands my “go to” “hand on the gun” weapon is my J-frame. The gun already has its niche as my non-permissive environment (NPE) deep concealment gun, so I do get a very significant amount of training with it. Since I do like consistency across categories it also doubles as my “go to” “hand on the gun” weapon.
I carry my J-frame in a Garrity leather right-handed pocket holster. The gun disappears in NPE’s and is smoking fast out of the pocket, as long as it is already in my hand. It is not that quick in a reactive draw stroke, but then again, the vast majority of times that I carry my J-Frame it is as a secondary to my G19 (all except NPE’s)
My “gun in the hand” training is predominately about getting the J-frame into action, emptying it into the adversary, then tossing it on the deck and transition to my G19.
I know there are some fine pocket semis out there such as the Rohrbaugh, but the number you can depend on or are actually small enough to draw well from the front pocket seems to be quite low. I own a G26 and would love to find a way to have this work well from my pocket, but have yet to see a solution that allows that huge Block to not print horribly or be drawn well…… unless I am wearing an appropriate pair of cargo shorts. They often have huge pockets.
As it stands here is my current setup. I carry my full size Glock appendix at the 1:00. My pocketed J-frame is in my right front pocket. There is plenty of room for both guns.
My J-frame may become the secondary gun, but the draw stroke from a pocket really sucks unless you have put your “hand on the gun” before the gunfight even starts.
The “hand on the gun” concept is one where the J-frame is actually my primary and my full size Glock becomes the secondary, when there is a possibility of proactive gun fight. The hand goes to the gun as I try to make the ID or stop the encroachment. The plan is to dump five rounds into the bad guy, dump it on the ground, and go to the full size Glock. By having the hand on the gun, I cut my draw stroke in half and can be legally “off-sides” without any risk of brandishing charges.
If you break away from thinking about the pocket gun as your secondary in a reactive gunfight and look at it as a way to be “off-sides” during a proactive gun fight many of the problems with the draw stroke become no issue.
I am about 95% ambidextrous, it would be 100% if it were not due to actual physical damage to the left hand. But even then, I tend to start fighting on the right side just due to the realities of the loss of fine motor skills when you are in a reactive gunfight. I can access my appendix Glock with either hand quite easily.
The “hand on the gun” is a concept and there are varying levels of readiness.
1) Hand on the gun with gun in holster
2) Hand on gun with gun partially out of holster
3) Hand on gun with gun nearly all the way out of the holster
4) Hand on gun with gun completely out of the holster yet still in the pocket
5) Gun in hand and out of the pocket, hidden by palming, behind the leg, in the Secret Service stance, with folded arms, and out of the Jack Benny.
6) Gun in hand and in the action!
Being off sides is a very good place to be, especially when nobody knows that you are not just off sides………you are WAY off sides!
Let’s discuss this and build the ideal solution……a solution that will allow the “gun in the hand” to be the most ruthless of the dirtiest of tricks.