The “Israeli” Draw

I’ve been seeing a resurgence of interest in the so-called “Israeli” draw; that is, in carrying one’s defensive pistol with an empty chamber, and cocking it during the drawstroke.

Please do not do this. There is no good reason to carry a pistol with an empty chamber, and many good reasons to carry your pistol loaded. If you’re afraid that your gun will go off in the holster, get a different gun, a different holster, or get educated about how your gun works. If you’re afraid of accidental discharges, get some professional instruction. If you think the Israelis are all cool and badass and you want to carry like the Sayeret Matkal do, get a life.

That is all.


One thought on “The “Israeli” Draw

  1. Actually, there are some very good reasons to carry a CCW pistol with the chamber empty. Carrying with an empty chamber substantially reduces the chance of an AD/ND (accidental discharge/negligent discharge), considering the thousands of administrative gun handlings one does in a lifetime. True, there is a slight chance of being caught less prepared in a sudden and unexpected outbreak of extreme violence with an empty chamber, especially in case of close combat. Weigh this against the reduced lifetime chance of AD/ND, and it seems like a good bet to me.

    One other factor, in my case, is that I’m an expert martial artist – 20 years training in a combative style that emphasizes winning in close combat. Any foe NEAR me is, therefore, at a big disadvantage. My pistol will only come out when facing weapon-carrying foes at a distance.

    Incidentally, my concern regarding AD/ND comes from a good understanding of statistics: I have good holsters, safe guns, and good training. Still, accidents can happen. In my case, choosing to carry in condition 3 (no round in the chamber) is just common sense. If I ever feel I’m in imminent danger of being in a gun battle, you can bet I’ll rack the slide at the first opportunity, but FLIGHT and AVOIDANCE will still be my preferred tactics.

    One final thing to consider: for some defensive situations, simply having fairly quick access to a gun is sufficient. This is the case any time when you have some reason to think a threat might be near, or where you are no incapacitated in the first few seconds of combat. There is a small but substantial tactical difference between a gun that is 1 second from use versus one that is 2 seconds from use. There is a BIG tactical difference between a gun that is 2 seconds from use versus no gun. In my case, I’ve chosen to minimize my lifetime risk of AD/ND in exchange for slightly decreased armed tactical response time to surprise attack. This is a legitimate and reasonable choice, and I find it a wee bit silly to say otherwise.

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