Velocity Systems

Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara

Because I’ve heard it said that ‘Holstering’ a pistol is an ‘Administrative’ move, I would argue that there is true merit in holstering a pistol the same way we draw a pistol on two different fronts.

One is that in the tactical world, we must sometimes have to deescalate and go ‘Hands On’. We must do this without taking our eyes off of the threat.

Two, when practicing a draw stroke, the best draw stroke is nothing more than holstering in reverse. This was said to me by Rob Leatham some decades ago. So, when practicing a draw stroke, why not double the amount of meaningful repetitions by holstering the same way we drew?

…Only one is in reverse.

Patrick McNamara
SGM, US Army (Ret)

Pat McNamara

Patrick McNamara spent twenty-two years in the United States Army in a myriad of special operations units. When he worked in the premier Special Missions Unit, he became an impeccable marksman, shooting with accurate, lethal results and tactical effectiveness. McNamara has trained tactical applications of shooting to people of all levels of marksmanship, from varsity level soldiers, and police officers who work the streets to civilians with little to no time behind the trigger.

His military experience quickly taught him that there is more to tactical marksmanship than merely squeezing the trigger. Utilizing his years of experience, McNamara developed a training methodology that is safe, effective and combat relevant and encourages a continuous thought process. This methodology teaches how to maintain safety at all times and choose targets that force accountability, as well as provides courses covering several categories, including individual, collective, on line and standards.

While serving as his Unit’s Marksmanship NCO, he developed his own marksmanship club with NRA, CMP, and USPSA affiliations. Mac ran monthly IPSC matches and ran semi annual military marksmanship championships to encourage marksmanship fundamentals and competitiveness throughout the Army.He retired from the Army’s premier hostage rescue unit as a Sergeant Major and is the author of T.A.P.S. (Tactical Application of Practical Shooting). He also served as the Principle of TMACS Inc.

Gunfighter Moment is a weekly feature brought to you by Bravo Company USA. Bravo Company is home of the Gunfighters, and each week they bring us a different trainer to offer some words of wisdom.

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20 Responses to “Gunfighter Moment – Pat McNamara”

  1. Chris K. says:

    Thank you for saying this. LE have known this for a long time, and it just makes sense, like when you find yourself reholstering in the dark.

  2. Doc says:

    Just finished 2 days of his Sentinel class last weekend…he is the real deal….and alot of fun. He trains right alongside everyone, all 2 days.

  3. Dellis says:

    As a conceal carry, meaning there will usually be clothing in some form concealong your weapon, is it not best to make sure your holster is clear of any fabric before reholstering?

    For those on duty where its mainly clear of clothing I see it different

    • Mike says:

      The same rules apply whether you are carrying concealed or not. With a quality holster, you don’t need to look to reholster.

      • Casey says:

        I would argue that the quality of the holster has nothing to do with whether or not you need to look to holster. Clothing, Cordlocs, etc. can get inside any holster.

        Whether carrying concealed or on a duty rig, I look before holstering. That does not mean I lack the ability to holster without looking in the unlikely event (for a civilian like me) that I would need to rapidly holster my pistol. It just means I acknowledge that the chances of some foreign object getting in the holster are greater than the likelihood that I will need to holster without taking my eyes of something, and carrying a striker-fired pistol with a short, light pull gives me precious little room for error.

        If I were carrying in an LE application, I might feel differently, as there is without a doubt a much greater potential to need to rapidly transition from lethal to non-lethal force. But, as a civilian, I’m unlikely to need to draw my gun, period, let alone draw and then holster quickly.

        • Che Guevara's Open Chest Wound says:

          “…as a civilian, I’m unlikely to need to draw my gun, period, let alone draw and then holster quickly.”

          I hear this theme of excuses quite often at my gun club. People cut corners on their firearms training, since they believe they won’t have to use said firearm. But remember, it isn’t enough to merely exercise our 2nd Amendment right, we have the civic duty as citizens to be proficient with our firearms. And that means all aspects of firearms of use, maintenance, carriage, etc., not just the split-second when we squeeze the trigger ‘for real.’

          • Casey says:

            Let’s not jump to conclusions over how much someone does or does not train based on a statement of fact. But thanks for the lesson on civic duty!

        • Chris K. says:

          Casey, it’s not the quickly part that you should focus on. It’s the ability to do it smoothly, like in the dark or when you cannot see the holster. Again, it pays to be able to do this, no matter who you are.

          • Casey says:

            As I said, that does not mean I lack the ability to holster without looking. I just choose not to, based on my assessment of the risk of negligent discharge when compared to the likelihood of me needing to be able to holster without putting eyes on said holster to ensure it is clear of obstructions. If your application is different, rock on.

    • Chris K. says:

      Dellis, so what do you do in low light or when you cannot see the holster? It pays to know how to re-holster without looking. If you need to based on the situation, then so be it. But it does not need to be the go-to. This is a matter of training, like anything else.

      • Reseremb says:

        Some guys here use a GITD sticker applied inside his duty holster (old Safariland model), before patrol they “load” the sticker with the torch while checking the batteries, and in the dark they have a quick reference point inside the holster to see it before re-holstering.

        Obviously the sticker is applied inside the holster in a position where it doesn’t revels his position to possible threats

    • PNWTO says:

      If you can establish a “touch point” come down and then up into the holster while clearing garments you can eliminate a lot of unease. Hard to explain via text.

      Not optimal and a “visual” reholster is always best, but that may not always be on the menu.

  4. Destry Tompkins says:

    I’ve seen most of Pat’s youtube videos and he’s the best in my book.

  5. Don says:

    I draw from concealment/ dry fire often, I then re-holster. I can do it with my eyes closed. If you are not doing at least something like this you’re just lazy. . . . If you can’t reholster your equipment is most likely junk

  6. Ranger Rick says:

    I would like to know who coined this phrase: “Holstering’ a pistol is an ‘Administrative’ move.”

    To me an “Administrative Move” is scoring a target or policing up the range.

  7. Disco says:

    In my day we no joke had to draw and reholster 200 times. The exact same way each time and could not look at our holster.

    I thought it was stupid until I realised it wasn’t

  8. Paul_M says:

    Where can I get one of those combat shirts?!
    Any idea which brand it is?

  9. JKifer says:

    all good points.. in my shitty opinion, one must be able to holster without looking due to the fact that many deadly force (or presumed deadly) threats go from being that kind of threat to a lesser level of threat and therefore dictate a now hands on approach, one must be able to reholster without taking your eyes off of the subject/threat so as to not give them a minute advantage over oneself.