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View Full Version : The Wyatt Earp Drill


stonewall50
April 12, 2011, 09:14 PM
I know this seems a little unusual, but me and a few friends who are concealed were inspired by Wyatt Earp to do this drill. We used airsoft pistols and facemasks for safety. If you know the history of the OK Corral, you know that Wyatt Earp was rushed by an unarmed Ike Clanton and Earp had the presence of mind NOT to put a round in Ike.

Our drill was to have one person be the "Wyatt" who walks around a corner(in this case a simple sheet of plywood to block our view) into a situation where Wyat would have to determine if drawing down was the proper response, but also to distinguish between threats or just bystanders moving in YOUR direction. This drill was made rather interesting given our distance and I can say that I received my fair share of welts too. I would say it was worth it though and that I would like to continue to do the drill. Does anyone have any tweaks that they might add? Or would you like to clarify?

Mind you this was not a police situation that we did. We were not trying to "arrest" anyone, but only increase our awareness and situation handling. There were always at least 2 people on the other side of the board from "Wyatt" and they determined the scenario and we would "lawyer" each other over proper response(sometimes we decided to just step back around the corner...and one time I made the mistake of turning my back and got shot...I broke my own rule and turned my back and I paid the price).

But again I ask...any tweaks? Like or dislikes? I know this is wordy, but I am in the process of writing a paper about the IRA and their Weapons channels for a class so I can't help but write alot.

threegun
April 13, 2011, 09:56 AM
Since you guys are not practicing for LE I would 86 the shoot don't shoot scenarios. I would instead set up some force on force drill based on actual dangers you guys may face while out on the street as a civilian.

Back in my retarded days (sadly not to long ago), we use to use unloaded guns (please don't do this we were very stupid and violated many gun safety rules) to play out scenarios. Of course using our system we had to assume that a trigger pull in the direction of the bad guy/good guy was an automatic hit. We know how wrong this is right. Anyway you have a much better training opportunity using airsoft. Best would be simunitions.

If you need help with scenarios TFL members will be a ton of help.

AK103K
April 13, 2011, 10:09 AM
I think something like that has merit. You never know whats going to happen and where, and you may very well be dealing with non combatants freaking out and doing who knows what, if something should go down, especially in a crowded venue.

In the split second you have to decide, do you shoot the boy running at you with a dark 12 oz pop bottle pointed at you, or the boy just to the right with the gun?

May also help you to deal with using one arm to deal with or move the non combatants out of the way so you can shoot.

jhenry
April 13, 2011, 10:40 AM
Shoot don' shoot drills absolutely do have merit for CCW holders.

g.willikers
April 13, 2011, 12:48 PM
Stonewall,
What you are practicing is an excellent idea.
Shoot just one innocent person and it's all over.
Target identification is a must.
Practicing one handed shooting is authentic to how they did it back in Earp's day, and a very good idea in its own right.
You might try your drills with the other hand occupied with luggage, a malfunction long gun, gesturing and pointing, opening a door, 'etc.
Also add yakking and talking to the drills.
It's difficult to talk and shoot at the same time.
It's encouraging to read a post about increasing skills, instead of just what gun or caliber to buy.

g.willikers
April 13, 2011, 01:11 PM
Here's another drill you could try.
It has to do with Bill Hickhock, as described in one of the many biographies of his life and times.
He walked into a hornet's nest, in a saloon, in one of the cow towns he frequented, and found himself in a gunfight with either four or five guys.
Two were standing right next to him at the bar, one or two were sitting at a table to his left and one was at the far end of the saloon, standing on a stair case.
Or something like that.
It's been awhile since I read this book.
Anyhow, when the festivities began, Hickhock knocked down the two nearest with direct hits from the revolver in his right hand.
He either got hit in the right arm or that gun malfunctioned.
Either way, he dodged to his left to avoid the lead coming his way, pulled his other revolver with his left hand and dropped the other two or three guys, all while on the run.
Whoever is being Hickhock will either need two guns, or just transfer one from one hand to the other, while on the move.
This scenario has been actually included, in local and national level matches.
Sometimes as part of a larger course of fire, sometimes as is.
It's pretty hard to improve on the real thing.
If you try it, tell us how you did

threegun
April 13, 2011, 02:14 PM
Shoot don' shoot drills absolutely do have merit for CCW holders

So does shooting practice at 25 yards even though shootings at this range are rare. My point is that it is more important for LE. The likelihood of its being necessary in self defense is minimal.

AK103K
April 13, 2011, 02:58 PM
I can see it being more of an issue than you might think. Just being in the Unimart at a bad time comes to mind, or just about anywhere else you might think of where you may have to deal with it. Even if you arent a cop, and as much as you dont want to get into it,or try to avoid it, you may just have to act.

One thing I think really throws people, is dealing with other things going on around them, while trying to shoot. Look at how pissy people get at the range when they are trying to shoot and you just get a little loud while talking close by. Start moving around close to them, or bumping into them, and watch things take off. If all you do is stand and concentrate on those tight little groups in practice, and dont get a little more realistic in what youre doing, whats going to happen when you have to start multitasking on the fly?

stonewall50
April 13, 2011, 03:00 PM
When I say shoot V no shoot I mean when someone is being threatening vs when they are just being aggressive and you still have an option to retreat(something a CCW holder is obligated to do).

We actually did use SOME force on force drills, but we only had 30 minutes or so when we tried out the drill. The civilian thing was helpful for knowing what exactly was going on. In one drill I turned and ran at "Earp" as he rounded the corner and the "bad guy" was actually being mugged and escaped (only to be shot in the back by "Billy" or whoever else was on the losing end of the gun fight at the OK Corral). The situation didn't end well for Earp either.

I do alot of martail arts so hand to hand I am comfortable with. I practice alot of clearing punches/shove. I might actually start a thread on that.

AK103K
April 13, 2011, 03:13 PM
you still have an option to retreat(something a CCW holder is obligated to do).
I suppose it might depend where you are, but not all places put that requirement on you.

Unless your laws require otherwise, if you have a right to be where you are, you are under no obligation to retreat just because you have a gun, any more than anyone else. Not that its not the prudent thing to do, but it may not be the best thing to do, as you saw with getting shot in the back.

Ive always felt that if youre coming up on or past the other side of 50 in being sure its going to happen, then get to it and be as hard an aggressor as you can. Youre a lot more likely to come out on top. Trying to win by reacting generally doesnt go to well.

SauerJackson
April 13, 2011, 03:35 PM
Well in MN we are required to try to run away "whenever reasonably permitted". Now there's been a rash of mall violence around here, so there's a perfect example. If someone starts cutting loose on an entire crowd of people, I'll take my chances with the law and press to engage! In a scenario like that there would likely be innocents flying all over the place, and you had better be quick to identify the non-combatants vs. the shooter!

Last Knight
April 15, 2011, 10:47 AM
Not to mention the shooter vs. the lawfully armed citizen likewise responding, SauerJackson.

SauerJackson
April 15, 2011, 12:08 PM
Very good point last knight, you never know who/what'll be around that next corner! And you have to be VERY sure you understand the situation before you act....

threegun
April 15, 2011, 12:54 PM
I can see it being more of an issue than you might think. Just being in the Unimart at a bad time comes to mind, or just about anywhere else you might think of where you may have to deal with it. Even if you arent a cop, and as much as you dont want to get into it,or try to avoid it, you may just have to act.


This presumes that I'm gonna run toward the trouble. If I'm not going to actively insert myself into a potential shootout, and only in the most extreme of circumstances would I do so, then the likelihood of needing that practice is very slim. A better use of the time IMO is to run drills more likely to occure should a shootout happen.

That said good training is good for you even if it is taylored for an event that is most unlikely.

AK103K
April 15, 2011, 04:43 PM
This presumes that I'm gonna run toward the trouble.
If trouble presents itself, and you have to act, its really about all you can do, if you want to "solve" the problem. Theres no such thing as fighting defensively.

If I'm not going to actively insert myself into a potential shootout, and only in the most extreme of circumstances would I do so, then the likelihood of needing that practice is very slim.
I think youre making the assumption you have a choice. Sometimes you might, many times, you dont, and you just have to go with the flow.

Im not planning on actively looking for trouble, but you really have no way of controlling that, unless you just stay home and dont go out. Even thats not a guarantee of anything.

That said good training is good for you even if it is taylored for an event that is most unlikely.
I think many people are very unrealistic in their training, and I'd be willing to bet, that more who carry a gun, have no other training than just shooting at bullseye targets at the range, and base their skills on that. How many here actually practice shooting "people" (not silhouettes), with targets that actually make you think as to where you have to shoot to put the bullet where it needs to go to solve the problem? Not everything is "head on", and proper placement and aiming points may be different than youre accustomed to if you dont practice it.

I know it can be hard to get realistic practice in, but you have to at least try. Even if you do it all in dry fire or airsoft, youre still going to be way ahead of the bullseye only shooter you used to be.

Its not hard to figure out what you should work on, just look around you as you go through your daily life, and insert a "problem" into any of the likely situations you may be in at the moment. You'll have plenty of material. Just try to stay realistic in what youre doing.

Oh, and the Unimart thing, that actually happened to my buddy, who didnt have a gun at the time (who needs to carry a gun "all" the time? :) ), and was caught flat footed in line at the register when they walked in. Luckily, the only casualty, was the cash register. It took a shotgun blast when the gun went off unexpectedly. Seems even the bad guys get nervous. :)

justjim75
April 15, 2011, 04:48 PM
nobody knows for sure whats going to happen in the future and if you carry a gun you should train for as many possibilities as you can. good job.

threegun
April 15, 2011, 06:38 PM
If trouble presents itself, and you have to act, its really about all you can do, if you want to "solve" the problem. Theres no such thing as fighting defensively.


AK103k, My point is that in civilian self defense having to select a good guy from a bad guy is very unlikely. The threat usually presents itself hence being a threat. If I don't know where the threat is then it is highly likely that I can make a swift retreat.

Police officers on the other hand must approach danger even unknown danger. The chances are much higher that they will in fact have to choose between an innocent and a ruffian in the course of their jobs.

Again I just believe that the OP's time would be better spent on more realistic and likely scenarios.

justjim75
April 15, 2011, 06:46 PM
threegun what about the often mentioned SHTF scenario? how about the new orleans/katrina catastrophy? one would have to know the difference between someone seeking refuge/help and say, a looter. beats the heck out of poking holes in stationary cardboard at 20 feet. keep it up "wyatt" what's the best airsoft brand to buy?

threegun
April 17, 2011, 10:11 AM
threegun what about the often mentioned SHTF scenario? how about the new orleans/katrina catastrophy? one would have to know the difference between someone seeking refuge/help and say, a looter.

You can make a scenario enhancing the necessity of any training. Most professionals tend to spend the bulk of their training on that which prepares them for the most likely to occur scenarios.

beats the heck out of poking holes in stationary cardboard at 20 feet.

On this we agree.

stonewall50
April 17, 2011, 01:37 PM
@threegun: target distinction is a very important thing to consider. Target distinction is not as clear cut as bad guy has a mask on or a visible gun. Even Wild Bill Hickock had a problem with instant target distinction(killed his own deputy). You need to at least practice hitting a target through a crowd...and while you may be retreating from an active shooter(something I do not blame you for[something like North Hollywood]), retreat is not going to be a linear thing. You might have to go to C from A because bad guy is already at B. Think crowded 7/11 where you can't get to the exit and you don't know who is what.

But threegun essentially what I am talking about is situtaional awareness. Reality is not going to follow into the drills that we all practice. You can practice how to react in certain scenarios, but the real goal is not the explicit curriculum that is being verbally taught to you. It is the implicit that is important(what is not verbally said but an unspoken objective), and in the drill case it is teaching you to react to the threat and improvise. To be fluid to the situation and keep your head on a swivel. Nothing will ever be perfect. We all agree on that, but to practice a wealth of drills where you never know the exact outcome I would say is best. That is the point of the Earp drill. You never know who is doing what and where they are going. Humans are predictably unpredictable.

@the airsoft thing: I don't know. They were semiauto. Thats all I know.

threegun
April 17, 2011, 03:50 PM
Stonewall, The drills the OP was running are definitely oriented toward someone who is entering an unknown situation. For all but the most extreme of situations, as an ordinary citizen, I am not going to be forced to separate good guys from unknown bad guys.

If I enter an ongoing situation unknowingly I will not know who the threats are until they become a threat. At that point there is no need to separate them from good guys.

I think that my time would be better spent, given the equipment and members available to the OP, in FOF training which caters to more realistic scenarios. Things like drawing while under attack, drawing against another armed man, getting off the x while under attack, and others based on likelihood and usefulness.

But threegun essentially what I am talking about is situtaional awareness.

SA or recognizing a potential threat early isn't going to be enhanced IMO by turning a corner and having 2 guys running at you while you decide which one to shoot.

To me SA is simply keeping your radar operating. Observe your surroundings as opposed to ignoring them. We usually don't need training to recognize a potential threat using SA. Now maybe some training designed to help us remain Situationally Aware would be good.

threegun
April 17, 2011, 04:05 PM
Reality is not going to follow into the drills that we all practice. You can practice how to react in certain scenarios, but the real goal is not the explicit curriculum that is being verbally taught to you. It is the implicit that is important(what is not verbally said but an unspoken objective), and in the drill case it is teaching you to react to the threat and improvise. To be fluid to the situation and keep your head on a swivel.

I have to agree that having to react to an unknown situation forces you to make decisions while under duress which is good. This can also be accomplished, IMO even better, in FOF yet using more realistic scenarios.

maestro pistolero
April 17, 2011, 04:18 PM
The likelihood of its being necessary in self defense is minimal.Wholeheartedly disagree here. Any training that incorporates the cognitive part of the brain while it is being tasked with motor-skill duties is a huge plus in terms of increasing stress management. It could absolutely help prevent a terrible mistake , IMO

threegun
April 17, 2011, 04:33 PM
Wholeheartedly disagree here. Any training that incorporates the cognitive part of the brain while it is being tasked with motor-skill duties is a huge plus in terms of increasing stress management. It could absolutely help prevent a terrible mistake , IMO

I agree however this can be done in unison with a more realistic scenario set. Achieve the same stress management goals while focusing on something that actually has a snow balls chance of happening. Getting two birds with one stone is better IMO.

The OP was asking But again I ask...any tweaks? Like or dislikes?and I was tweaking.

stonewall50
April 17, 2011, 11:01 PM
@threegun:

I like your tweaks. They can ALL incorporate an unknown element. I have to say maybe I am not explaining correctly? Target distinction is more than just recognizing a threat to you. I HATE HATE HATE to use ABC's dateline or 20/20 investigation, but they DID make a point in their biased study that should be touched upon in drills. They had 2 shooters and 1 that was shooting students actually appeaared to be shooting at the bad guy who came into the room.

I guess basically what I am saying in target distinction is just that you learn to need to be eyes open to everything. Just because it is someone with a gun doesn't make them bad and it also doesn't make them good. I mean don't get me wrong either...al the tactics you are discussing are very important and should be practiced until they are instinct. They can be incorporated into different types of FOF drills though.

Perhaps target distinction can be applied to dogs as well? I will be discussing in another post though lol.

moose_nukelz
April 18, 2011, 12:53 AM
We have done training to see at what distance we could get a shot off from the holster when someone charges with a knife using airsoft and rubber training knifes. Less than 20 feet and the guy with the knife won, 20-30 feet was about half and half and over 30 feet we were able to draw and get a shot on target.

threegun
April 19, 2011, 10:58 AM
Stonewall50, I understand your concern over target recognition. I agree that distinguishing between good guy and bad guy is extremely important. I just feel that the odds of needing this skill are much much lower than say the odds of needing to defend against a charging knife attack. Hence I would devote much much more practice time on the Tueller drill for example.

AK103K
April 19, 2011, 01:14 PM
I understand your concern over target recognition. I agree that distinguishing between good guy and bad guy is extremely important. I just feel that the odds of needing this skill are much much lower than say the odds of needing to defend against a charging knife attack. Hence I would devote much much more practice time on the Tueller drill for example.
Im not sure I see any difference between the two here.

Either way, you still have to ID that someone running to you does in fact have a knife (or gun, or what ever), and if hes amongst a number of people also running at or around you, who dont, you have to make a lot of instant decisions and deal with other things at the same time.

Threat assessment and ID is just a basic part of all this, and if youre carrying a gun, regardless of your purpose, its something you need to be able to do, especially under stress. One on one, or one on some.

Tunnel vision is hard enough to deal with, practicing to do so, just makes things worse. Working on anything that helps you stay in the big picture, especially when your brain is screaming to focus on one thing, is much more useful than constantly practicing one or two things of a more narrow scope, over and over.

One thing here with Tueller, since everyone is so caught up in its time space continuum thing, are you also practiced in your grappling (and since a knife is involved, bleeding :)) skills to be able to deal with it if your timing is off? I know we're all gun people, but sometimes the gun "isnt" always the answer to the question, or at least, not immediately. Most of the "tests", assume the gun is, or will be the solution to the problem. Actually shooting/cutting each other, is really the only way to find out. Airsoft and a "chalked blade" help here too.

threegun
April 19, 2011, 07:53 PM
Im not sure I see any difference between the two here

We carry concealed. We draw when we see a threat. This means that we have already had to acknowledge a threat just to be legal to pull much less fire. Unlike a LE officer who must take trouble head on.

Threat assessment and ID is just a basic part of all this, and if youre carrying a gun, regardless of your purpose, its something you need to be able to do, especially under stress. One on one, or one on some.



For the civilian its more Situational Awareness than a true shoot don't shoot target selection like cops do. My SA identifies a potential threat. If the threat has the ability, opportunity, and intent to cause me death of grave bodily injury it gets a preventative action.

One thing here with Tueller, since everyone is so caught up in its time space continuum thing, are you also practiced in your grappling (and since a knife is involved, bleeding ) skills to be able to deal with it if your timing is off?

Short answer is no. Long answer not in a very long time. My hand to hand has had to be set aside due to illness recently. I'm working things out but will probably not get back into hand 2 hand. Just to easy to get hurt nowadays and my family needs my pay check. So while I have the knowledge I lack the necessary practice to deal with a knife attack unarmed. If the guy knows how to use the knife all but the very best trained are in trouble anyway.

AK103K
April 19, 2011, 08:33 PM
We carry concealed. We draw when we see a threat. This means that we have already had to acknowledge a threat just to be legal to pull much less fire. Unlike a LE officer who must take trouble head on.
I still dont see any meaningful difference. Trouble is trouble, and if you have to deal with it, then you have to deal with it.

The threat may not be initially visible, but still fairly obvious or apparent, and you dont have to see it to have your gun out. I'll err on the side of breaking "the rules" if I feel it warrants it. Better to be wrong and deal with that, than to be right and be behind the curve. Besides, you can still be discreet with the gun upholstered if you need to be.

For the civilian its more Situational Awareness than a true shoot don't shoot target selection like cops do.
Call it what you want, you still may have one from column A or one from column B, or even the possibility of one or more of each, all at the same time. Decisions still have to be made as things move along. In reality, everyone there is a shoot/dont shoot target at some point, no matter what.

I think we're basically on the same page here, its just we "see" things differently. Your more focused on certain things, and Im looking at it in a broader sense. The goal is the same, win at all costs, and hopefully youve had some varied forethought, and can keep the "costs" to a minimum. Better yet, just make the other guy pay. :)