Handgun Presentation and Recovery Instructional steps for Presentation to the shot(s)



  • Both hands move simultaneously.
  • The support hand moves to the centerline of the body in the area of the diaphragm with the open palm towards the torso.
    • This places it in the ideal position to join with the dominant hand (step #3) for a two-handed grip.
  • The dominant hand moves to the weapon, defeating all retention devices, and obtains the proper grip in the holster.
    • Taking the time to obtain the proper grip on the weapon in the holster so that it, the sights, and the body are aligned, is much more efficient than a hurried, sloppy grip resulting in misalignment, which then results in inaccuracy and poor recoil control.


  • The support hand remains in the same position.
  • The dominant hand draws the weapon from the holster. As soon as the handgun clears the holster opening, briskly elevate the muzzle to a horizontal position pointed at the threat, with the shooter’s elbow anchored to their side, so that if it must be fired at this point the movement of the slide will not impact the clothing or body of the student. If the student obtained the proper grip of the weapon initially, the front sight, rear sight, wrist and elbow will now be aligned.
  • For agencies using pistols so equipped, a reflexive sweep of the thumb to ensure that the dual function decocking lever (Sec. 2) is in the up (fire) position should be added to this step of the presentation.
  • Thumb safeties on single-action semi-automatic pistols must not be disengaged until after this step is completed. Agency policy may address any further restrictions regarding when the safety may be disengaged.
  • After the muzzle of the handgun is pointed at the threat and all conditions of the General Safety Rules #2, 3, & 4 (Sec. 1) have been met, the trigger finger should make contact with the trigger and begin taking up any slack (“prepping the trigger”)



  • The dominant hand starts moving the weapon in a straight line, pushing the muzzle, directly towards the threat. Simultaneously, the previously positioned support hand moves outboard so that its extended fingers cross over and wrap around the fingers of the dominant hand to obtain the proper two-handed grip. Joining the two hands close to the body allows the proper two-handed grip of the weapon to be established by the time the arms are extended to the firing position. Care must be taken so that the support hand does not pass in front of the muzzle of the weapon at any time.
  • The handgun continues in a straight line to where the front sight intersects the line of sight between the student and the threat as the support hand continues to refine the two-handed grip.
  • While the weapon is moving forward, the trigger finger continues to take up any slack that is present. This will put the finger into position to finish the trigger press once the desired sight picture has been achieved. This eliminates the abrupt collision that occurs when the finger “attacks” the trigger from the “indexed” position after the arm is fully extended and the weapon is stationary.


  • At this point, the decision has already been made to fire, the slack has been taken out of the trigger, and the appropriate sight alignment has been verified by the student’s focus. As soon as the weapon stops moving, the student simply continues (or finishes) the trigger press to achieve the surprise break of the shot(s). With repetition, students should be taught to work towards the point at which the shot breaks immediately after the weapon becomes stationary and their eye has found the front sight.