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4/11/12

Drawing from the HPG Kit Bag

Last week I reviewed the Hill People Gear Kit Bag - you can read the full write up here. In the review, I mentioned the high potential for sweeping your arm/elbow during the draw--unless good technique is followed. While we all train and know our handguns, accidental discharges happen to all kinds of shooters, including experts and professionals. Avoiding sweeping a body part during the draw is a general best practice.

Here are two different ways to draw from the HPG kit bag and avoid sweeping your body parts.

First up is the method that I've found myself preferring--it's most like the standard drawstroke and requires only small modification to technique.


I run the zipper to the Kit Bag's handgun compartment open slightly, around an inch and a half open. This allows me to insert my strong hand, pictured here, to begin the draw. You can have the bag fully zipped--there's just an added step of unzipping.

Note the position of my support hand--resting on the abdomen--which matches my standard drawstroke. This keeps the hand clear and out of the way, but ready to meet the strong hand and complete the draw during extension. My support side elbow is kept tucked in close to the body to avoid crossing in the line of the barrel during draw.

Another thing to note is the location of the zipper pulls for the main compartment--they are on the support side, to avoid any confusion during the draw. The handgun compartment zipper pulls (and gap) are on the strong side.




Here, I've pushed my hand through the zipper opening and into the compartment, establishing a firm grip.


Here, the handgun is drawn from the kit bag and begins rotation outward, towards the target. Complete the draw--move to retention and extend as usual from here.

There's no sweeping--these pictures don't do the greatest job, but the muzzle is kept horizontal, then rotated towards the target.

I like prefer this draw because it's quick, one-handed and similar to the normal drawstroke that I practice. Muscle memory takes over in critical situations, so I want something that integrates with that well. Also, being one handed means that I do have that support hand ready to engage a threat if I'm unable to complete the initial draw. It's easier to mentally switch gears to defense if your hand is unoccupied.

Next up is similar to the draw shown on the HPG website, just a bit exaggerated in order to make sure we avoid sweeping.


This draw is two handed. Same gap in the handgun compartment's zippers to facilitate the draw. Support hand reaches up, grabs the bag and yanks it open.


Here the bag has been yanked open and I've established a grip. The in this picture, the muzzle is oriented under my support arm, pointing at an angle. I'll need to be careful to keep the muzzle pointed downwards as I draw.


And here I've cleared the bag, with the muzzle oriented downwards, avoiding sweeping my hand. At this point, I would move to rotate into retention and then extend towards target as normal.

Anyways, certainly something to think about and practice if you're a Kit Bag owner. Make sure to follow all the usual precautions for safe practice. You probably won't be able to practice with the Kit Bag on a square range--you would regularly sweep the guy on the bench next to you--so dry practice and safe back country practice will probably be your best bet.

The Hill People Gear Kit Bag is available in a variety of colors and styles from the good guys at HPG. Check 'em out!

6 comments :

  1. Interesting set up. I for one prefer a small shoulder-bag for my gun--more discrete and easier to grab and go I would think. This might be more stable though--less bouncing around and stuff. Good article--convinces me I need to have more practice drawing from my gun bag.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're for different purposes--the HPG bag is for on-body carry in the outdoors--backpacking, hiking, rafting, riding an ATV, etc. A tactical man purse is off-body (you will take it off when you get to your destination) and generally lousy for incorporating into the above activities. The HPG kit bag is a heck of a lot more stable than a shoulder bag, on body, easily accessible and can be worn with a pack, PFD, etc.

      On a related note, I wouldn't recommend concealed carrying a primary weapon in any kind of shoulder bag unless there's no other option. I've been generally dissatisfied with the stability of most shoulder bags for any kind of active movement or providing a rapid/consistent draw. And don't think they're particularly discrete--Maxpedition and similar shoulder bags almost shout "there's probably a gun in here! shoot me first!"

      Delete
  2. UGLY ROOSTER

    Great tips and how to, A Wolf!

    Unless one only carries with this chest rig, the shooter must stay in line with similar muscle memory. It is very difficult to efficiently manipulate two drastically draws (ex... Ankle carry AND Shoulder rig).

    My solution is this:
    My department requires Black hawk SERPA for duty. So my off duty carry is a scaled down version of a similar SERPA. I have zero draw adjustments to account for. The holsters dont ride exactly at the same height or distance from body, but my hand doesn't know the difference.

    Moral of the story, if you strong side carry and use the HPG Rig, them the one handed draw is a great idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rooster -

      Hey, I'd try to get the department to look at another option than the SERPA. While is has become a very common holster, there's a host of problems with the design--a quick google/youtube search will come up with plenty.

      Delete
    2. UGLY ROOSTER

      Yes. You are right. I do NOT endorse the SERPA. The following is my review-pros, cons of the SERPA (armorer-combat firearms instructor):
      PRO'S-
      Very fast
      Quite instinctive
      Mag release is well protected for LH shooter
      Highly adjustable
      Quite secure-if no parts are broken

      CON'S
      The bolts WILL loosen and will fall out (MUST put blue Lock-Tite on threads)
      The retention mechanisms WILL eventually catastrophically fail (not avoidable)
      THE ONLY GOOD THING ABOUT THAT FAIL IS THAT IT WILL FAIL OPEN, NOT SHUT

      Overall, get a different holster. I must use it. But I have total access to parts and new holsters. Given the choice; get something else.

      Delete
  3. I have this item on my Must Buy list for this month. I walk two large dogs daily and the concealed hip carry is awfully hot in southern summers. As noted, the Max-bags and other such are yet another item to sling about and control. (I have a few of them; one is a front-sling bag that is so cumbersome I rarely use it - utterly awkward angle.)

    As a gal that carries a .45 daily, everywhere, this is the perfect set-up and especially for summer sans cover shirt. I really appreciate the draw review - definitely something to practice over and over!

    ReplyDelete