3 places for a handgun


Another nice little gem from Clint Smith. While I agree with 99.9% of what he is saying here, I have found the “by the leg” location to be useful at times (with the finger OFF the trigger of course) while at work. He also apparently doesn’t prescribe to the various CQB methods like SUL, CAR or other close retention techniques. I don’t know if  his philosophy is geared towards civilian use, LE use or ALL use.


6 thoughts on “3 places for a handgun”

  1. “By the leg” is essentially drawn but not pointed.

    If it was ‘useful’ it would have to be a situation where you needed to draw, but didn’t need to shoot or even point. I would question the ‘usefulness’ of this technique: If I didn’t need to point my gun (let alone shoot it) why couldn’t I have left it in the holster (increasing my retention capabilities and allowing me to freely use other levels of force)?

    1. I’ve had a number of “hair standing up” car stops where there was no cause to prone people out at gunpoint, but the operators behavior and activity had me on edge and I wanted my gun in hand as I approached the vehicle. The “by the leg” worked just fine. Left hand free to deal with paperwork and the operator unaware of my weapon ready status.

  2. Tgace, absolutely right on. Those traffic stops in particular where you feel that you need to be prepared just in case but do not want to bring people out at gunpoint are one place where by the leg is a viable alternative.

    1. To be honest that situation is the top of a very short list where I could see myself using it. The only other time I can recall was approaching a location in plain-clothes where I wanted a “gun in hand” but wanted to appear “low key”. I recognize that its not an ideal position but IMO there is a place for a “.5” in those “3 positions”.

  3. Two points of contention with Mr. Smith. Like you, tgace, I have been in some situations where I felt the need to have the gun in my hand, but not necessarily pointed at anyone in particular. I use the by the leg position if I’m approaching an alarm in a residential neighborhood in broad daylight, and the spidey senses start tingling. There is not necessarily a target at which to aim, and I don’t want old blue haired granny to stroke out when she sees the storm trooper on the march. Besides, I don’t know who might be in the house.

    Second, when clearing a building I don’t want the weapon extended from my body as I round a corner. I tend to draw the weapon close to my chest with the muzzle pointed in the direction I am walking in case there is a bad guy waiting to ambush me. If he gets suprise, and my weapon is away from my body, there is no way I will be able to hold on to my weapon.

    Just my two cents, but what do I know. I just crack jokes.

    1. Hey..welcome back JumpOut. Yeah..we call that “close to the chest” position the “3rd eye position” and train to use it in situations exactly as you describe.

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