QSI Close Quarters Handgun Shooting Inside of a Shirt

| June 10, 2015 | 1 Comments

The She Shepherd and I attended QSI Training‘s close range handgun class last Saturday. The class is a collection of drills and techniques meant to be used at ten feet or less.

One of my favorite lessons of the class is learning to shoot from within a t-shirt.

This is a very applicable skill. After taking force on force training, it becomes clear that sometimes stress, movement, equipment and contact can add up to fouling your draw. Most of the times the handgun winds up partially or completely inside of the cover garment. Before I did these drills I was afraid to fire my gun inside of my shirt — now I know that I can do it, and what to do when a malfunction happens.

I tried to video the drills with a chest camera, but it wasn’t 100% clear. I did not include firing left handed (all you saw was my wrist) and a lot of the slide movement and recoil is out of frame.

The Drill

Put your pistol underneath your shirt. In my case, a normally-sized t-shirt. Some people brought very large / oversized shirts; I brought one I might actually wear in real life.

Handle all malfunctions from within the shirt if possible. Extract the pistol only if it was not feasible to clear the malfunction otherwise.

Engage a target from about three yards away.


This was the first time I’ve done this drill with the G26. The shorter slide makes a huge difference; the G19 gets caught in the shirt material more easily, especially near the front between the slide and the frame.

However, the G26 was easier to push out of battery. It seemed to take less effort to release the slide by pushing it against something. This is important for any close contact shooting, not just within a shirt.

Not being able to see the pistol is an important experience. The first “malfunction” in the video wasn’t one at all — I was out of ammunition. Most violent encounters happen in low light / dark conditions, so even if you are successful on the draw you might not be able to see your pistol very well. Practice!

Why isn’t my thumb up in the second part of the video? Bad! I had no idea my thumb was down, I am glad the video was there to show me. Always record your training if possible.


I love doing this drill. I wish more people did this. We spend about 8 months here wearing outerwear like fleece or a coat. I want to do this again in the fall and/or winter. I am curious to see if the muzzle flash of the pistol will ignite a fleece jacket or a down coat. Good stuff to know when it doesn’t get above 60F until June.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

1 Comment on "QSI Close Quarters Handgun Shooting Inside of a Shirt"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. CR Williams says:

    Okay, shameless plug insert as I comment – I have a chapter in the first book covering the one-hand draw that comments on this as well as providing some ways to get the gun out from under the shirt in a hurry.

    That said, I’ve done this three or four times. Only had one jam after three shots the first time I did it. All cases were with a G19. The times I did it following the first experiment I could have emptied the magazine if I wanted. This included the G19 with the RMR on it and all attempts involve rapid fire. The biggest danger so far has been hot brass bouncing around inside the shirt and onto me.

    It’s an interesting thing to do if you’re inclined.

Post a Comment