Lacking the strength of the bear and the speed of the leopard, my only natural attribute was native animal cunning so I adopted the weasel as my spirit animal.  Some years ago I did an article on what I call Weaselcraft, and the good folks at American Handgunner magazine just reprinted it on their excellent website, www.americanhandgunner.com, which is a treasure trove of knowledge going back almost half a century.

You’ll find it here

Be careful when you practice these draws. They happen quick. You’ll notice even so that the finger isn’t going to the trigger until the gun is well clear of the body. DO LOTS OF DRY FIRE PRACTICE BEFORE YOU GO FOR LIVE FIRE WITH CAMERA-BLURRING SPEED. These techniques would get you kicked out of any quick draw contest I know of except Cowboy Fast Draw, but when you use them against a criminal trying to murder you or your loved ones, they don’t constitute cheating.  They constitute life-saving common sense.

24 COMMENTS

  1. I’m an old Bill Jordan fan (google him) and Charles Askins man (google him.) Back then you learned to be very fast drawing a gun, not only to beat the other guy if they pulled a weapon but to KEEP IT IN YOUR HOLSTER TILL YOU REALLY NEEDED IT.

    This off duty Deputy in Vermont that was killed by responding officers (just on Fox News) when he failed to drop his weapon, should have holstered his gun with the knowledge he could unholster it real fast if needed. That way no gun in his hand when cops arrived.

    Hence I do IPDA and IPSC and practice what old timers called… quick draw. I keep my gun in it’s holster until I NEED TO SHOOT. Covering suspects is a more tricky thing… but normally I just don’t touch my roscoe unless I am gonna shoot.

    Others may want to bring it in play early .. but you see what can happen.

    • I bet tunnel vision and audio exclusion played a part in that NY shooting as well.

      Another reason to be cognizant of what’s going on around you, if there are things blocking sight of your gun from any arriving officers, and putting things back in the holster as quickly as possible.

      • The deputy’s lawyer said as much as you suggested. Also, he didn’t die Deaf Smith, multiple gunshots but survived.

  2. While I was introduced to weasel craft decades ago, I have a minor comment: Slow my posterior! A couple of years ago I did the “other” hand draw like you did and was running about 1+ second with a target somewhat farther away. I was bringing the gun up into my field of vision though.

    You make some comments about labels for the dominant/non-dominant hand. A late SCOTUS justice pointed out in a decision that words have meaning. During a LE handgun instructor recertification back in the last century, it was made VERY CLEAR to us that one has a gun hand and a support hand. They may change functions as circumstances require, but those are the operable labels. One suspects there was a massive tort settlement driving that change.

  3. I do believe I have my Weasel Warcraft t-shirt around here somewhere.
    Good memories.
    Happy Thanksgiving to You, The EP and the rest of the Gang

  4. The hand on gun starting position is also an advantage of appendix carry – pretty easy to have a hand on gun, especially when seated, when it is in front of you and covered by a combination of hand and shirt. That carry position also lends itself to a faster draw when hands are in a ‘normal’ position. As our friend Clint Smith is fond of saying, “Always cheat, always win!”.

  5. Weasel, good choice. I adopted the eagle as my spirit animal but may rethink it as weasels never gets sucked into jet engines.
    Practice, practice practice.

  6. Weaselcraft. I love it. It’s one of the first things I learned in MAG. I remember when for health reasons I started pocket carrying, being able to grip the gun anywhere I was without anyone knowing. I remember doing some SIRT force on force training with a friend. He carried OWB. He could never get to his gun before me. He kept getting shot with laser before he could clear leather. He complained and said “hey, that’s not fair. You’re starting with your hand on the gun”. I told him that in a gunfight it’s not supposed to be fair. Message sent. Lesson learned. I’m glad my mentor taught me about weaselcraft. It works for me too.

  7. I believe many of the old west gunslingers (the ones that survived) were not always experts at the fast draw. Yes, they were fast, but their real attribute was that there was no hesitation – when the time arrived they were willing. Their mind was made up before the moment arrived. That was their “speed”. YMMV

    FWIW, if I sense trouble, my Glock is holstered but my hand is on the grip.

    BTW, the talk about spirit animals reminded me about this old funny. …and yes, I have experienced all three phases. 🙂

    http://www.stucohen.com/Three%20Stages%20of%20a%20Man's%20Life.htm

  8. The Way of the Weasel is the reason I like to have a small gun in a pocket holster on me when out and about. Having one or both hands in your pants or coat pockets is natural and non threatening but can produce a (albeit small) firearm in an instant if you don’t have to dig your hand in there first. You can keep your eyes on any sketchy people when pumping gas or walking to and from a store without mom & pop citizen knowing what is in your hand. Funny, but the ones that are up to something tend to turn on their heel & walk away when they see you calmly look them in the eye.

    • @ Mark – “Having one or both hands in your pants or coat pockets is natural and non-threatening but can produce a (albeit small) firearm in an instant if you don’t have to dig your hand in there first.”

      Yes, that is one of the reasons why I favor pocket carry myself. The ability to grip the handgun while still concealing it, via the natural “hand in the pocket” move, is a prime Weasel trick (as noted by Mas in his article).

      In addition, I live in the South which makes wearing a cover garment too hot for much of the year. My “spare tire” tends to rule out IWB carry. Thus, pocket carry is a quick and convenient method of concealment for me.

      My favorite firearm for such carry is a performance center S&W 642 in .38 Special. The revolver is rated for +P ammo but, to keep recoil manageable, I load it with this Buffalo Bore standard pressure round instead:

      https://www.buffalobore.com/index.php?l=product_detail&p=110

    • Yep. The predator is looking for those who are not situationally aware. Looking down at their phone, walking to their car zoned out, Leaving the handbag in a shopping cart and turning your back, Hands full of shopping bags. It’s all about vulnerability.
      The Jeff Cooper said that this can be taught but it required a discipline to maintain.
      We used to have a saying in the dive business, “Complacency kills.”

  9. When I was in uniform and the second officer in the patrol car (usually as a training officer) on traffic stops, I always exited the car with my hand in a firing grip on my pistol. I kept my gun-side bladed away from the view of the “suspects”. I did this because my rookie might not readily pick up on a dangerous situation unfolding and/or to give my veteran partner an edge. If the situation warranted it, I even drew my pistol and held it along my leg. Every millisecond counts. In cold weather, when working alone and wearing a coat or jacket, my backup hammer-shrouded Colt Cobra was in my hand in a pocket as I approached the car or person.

  10. The less arm motion, the better. Quickest is starting the trigger press just as you turn the hand to aim and fire. Look out, though! One or two Bob Munden style rigs with fanning hammer .45 Colt single actions may beat everything else. Just right for intimidating the sadly “oppressed” armed thugs in your favorite “gun-free” zone. Sylvester Stallone demonstrated the moves effectively with just one single action in “Rambo: Last Blood,” wiping out five or six more visiting Hollywood cartel sicarios in no time. Businessmen (and others?) in downtown Phoenix normally walk around in pre-emptive furtive posture with both hands in jacket pockets, apparently prepared to fire through the pockets. Too aggressive?

  11. Today can be called “JFK 59.” All over the Web today, for sure. One of these days a 20-minute video will appear with a clear and adequate summary of the real facts. All I have to say about it is that Hugh McDonald and James Files should get full attention. The assassination and the following phony investigation were possibly the biggest goat rodeos in history, IMHO.

  12. It is off-topic, but another mass-murder is in the news. As I read the preliminary reports about this case, it is all so familiar to me. It is like watching that movie “Groundhog Day” over and over again.

    1) Once again, we have a troubled young man who was spiraling out-of-control.

    2) Once again, law-enforcement, the courts, and the mental health services seemed to stand around with their hands in their pockets while it all happened.

    3) Once again, the existing gun-control laws utterly failed to have any effect at preventing this troubled young man from getting hold of firearms and ammunition.

    4) Once again, the gun-grabbers are dancing in the blood of the victims. Joyfully in this case since the shooting happened in a gay nightclub and the victims were part of a “Protected Class” set up by the American Left.

    5) And once again, it will all be followed by strident calls, from the anti-gunners and their media propagandists, for more gun-control and for more magazine / assault weapon bans. It is another crisis that they will jump to use and not let go to waste.

    How many times must we see this same old, tired play before the American People wise up and ditch the false solution of “yet more gun control” and instead actually take action to address our problem with ” troubled young men” in this country?

    See this new report for reference on this particular mass-murder.

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/colorado-shooting-suspect-purchased-gun-despite-2021-bomb-threat-arrest/ar-AA14q6ZJ?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531&cvid=524b923c854544379ee2a41a0e61b0e8

    • “It is another crisis that they will jump to use and not let go to waste.”

      How quickly my words are being proved true. The gun-grabbers are rushing to exploit this new opportunity. Not only here, in the USA, but in Canada too.

      Notice the loving support for an expanded so-called assault weapon definition in the propaganda piece linked below. They rejoice in a new “evergreen definition” that will, apparently, be so broad as to ban almost all semi-automatic firearms. Also notice that the writer is careful to not actually give us this new, wonderful, definition. I guess that we are just supposed to take the lying media’s word that this new definition is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

      Never let a crisis go to waste. A guiding principle of the Left. When no crisis is readily available, they are more than happy to manufacture one. How anyone could ever believe a single word, spoken or written, by the Lying Left is beyond me!

      https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/canada/assault-style-firearm-definition-draws-applause-from-gun-control-group-ire-of-tories/ar-AA14qTFS?ocid=msedgntp&cvid=a80d227ceec9449db8018b58a61ebfa1

    • TN_MAN,

      Tonight, on Tucker Carlson’s show, he said the shooter at the LGBTQ bar in Colorado Springs was “non-binary.” In other words, the shooter was gay. That does not fit the narrative.

      Also, a man in NYC threw a rock at a gay bar. After being arrested, he admitted to being gay, too. Tucker told us about both stories, and showed video of the rock throwing.

      Oh, the poor media. They have such a hard time finding those elusive “white supremacists” they are always trying to warn us about. Their side keeps committing most of the crimes (except for January 6th, of course).

      The Democrats are keeping America from returning to greatness, and more importantly, to goodness.

  13. I wouldn’t be so quick to jump on the authorities for not dealing with this guy before he went crazy.

    I would bet that there are thousands of crazy people who would give all of us the shivers if we met them. Probably more. But few of them actually do anything violent. If the police arrested every person who exhibited signs of potential violence and insanity, the jails wouldn’t hold all of them, and most of those arrested would never actually do anything.

    I’m sure that there are instances of incompetence, laziness, and neglect, but I think most cops and judges mostly care, and would not ignore a threat if they had the ability to deal with it.

    • @ Emmett – “I wouldn’t be so quick to jump on the authorities for not dealing with this guy before he went crazy.”

      Did you read the linked article in my comment above?

      Supposedly, this guy:

      1) Issued a bomb threat
      2) Refused to obey police commands
      3) Armed himself and took up a barricaded position.
      4) Forcing the police to evacuate an entire neighborhood.
      4) And, finally, caused the police to send in a tactical unit (aka SWAT Team) to arrest him.

      This was not just some guy mumbling to himself as he walks the streets. This guy had already demonstrated an extreme level of anti-social behavior.

      So, I do think that we have grounds to ask why he was still free and buying arms and ammo after an episode like this.

  14. TN_MAN wrote:
    “Having one or both hands in your pants or coat pockets is natural and non-threatening’.

    True. But it also means if you trip, you might be breaking your fall by headbutting the pavement.
    Side note. As the baby boomers hit mid life crisis here in the UK, motorbike ownership is higher than ever, though miles rode overall is down. They are all weekend bikers. When they crash they don’t get broken arms as their reflexes are too slow to get their arms up in time to try and break their fall.
    Who says there are no advantages to aging? 🙂

    • Actually, Mark wrote those words. I was just quoting Mark in my comment.

      I don’t see falling as a big danger. First, I would only put one hand in my pocket. It would be to grasp the handgun, in a doubtful situation, and be ready to draw. The other hand would be kept free to fend off any potential attack.

      If no attack was forthcoming, I would simply walk clear of the area and remove the hand from the pocket when deemed safe. Not much chance of falling when just walking away.

      If an attack did develop, I would certainly draw the gun. If I then had to run, it would be with both hands free with the handgun in my strong hand.

      The case of trying to run with both hands in the pockets simply does not develop.

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