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Old March 6, 2012, 08:29 AM   #1
CaptainObvious
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1.5 seconds from draw to fire thread

In the most ideal situation with the most ideal shooter, it will take 1.5 seconds or less to go from draw to fire. Keep in mind, that figure was obtained on a controlled range with a highly trained and considerably experienced youthful shooter. The firearm was in an open carry specially designed holster the shooter had trained on previously.

We all know that most self defense situations are anything but ideal and not all of us spend the entire day practicing with a shot timer. Some of us here have probably never gone up against a shot timer at all. Therefore, more likely it will take anywhere from 2-3 seconds to go from draw to fire.

Keep in mind the following. The average human being can sprint over the area of a football field or 100 meters at about 17 mph. Olympic athletes can get up to over 25 mph. Lets say a human was sprinting at 15 mph. That is 22 feet per second. Therefore, even with the most ideal shooter under the most ideal conditions, at least 33 feet is needed for just one shot to be squeezed off and that shot may not even hit the target.

The distance an object travels from a freefall drop in 1 second is about 15 feet. So in 1.5 seconds, the object will have fallen about 22.5 feet.

Just some food for thought this morning. Feel free to discuss.
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Old March 6, 2012, 09:11 AM   #2
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I think you're 1.5 seconds is a bit off. Even older dudes like me can get well under that number. Where I fall down time wise in the reloading department.

It doesn't take much practice to get that first shot, from the draw, to .5 seconds. I do shoot a lot of Steel, ICORE, USPSA type matches and its not uncommon to get the first shot off in .5 seconds.

Take into account the club I shoot at, the guys, thought great people are no way professionals, some young, some old like me. Even the older dudes are closer to .5 then 1.5.

I don't know, so I'll take your 17 MPH mark for a 100 yard sprint. That would be about 25 ft per second. Or if a guy is sprinting, he would cover 12.5 seconds in that .5 seconds.

However, you are assuming the guy started the sprint and was up to full (17 MPH/25 FPS) when you start to draw. You forgot the acceleration factor. It takes time to get to that 17 MPH.

Also, when I'm talking .5 seconds in competition, that normally takes into account that in competition, the gun is drawn, brought up to a sighted 2 handed hold, and aimed at a 8 - 12 plate placed at an avg. of 30 feet.

In the case where the bandit starts his sprint, you draw and shoot, and he gets within 12.5 feet, you don't take or need a two handed sighted shot.

Another thing, I never heard of a SD situation which started with the bandit instigating the incident by making a sprint toward the victim.

Where the victim has the advantage is in Surprise. Bandits don't expect victims to carry and resist. If they thought their victim was armed, they would choose some one else. It takes time for the bandit to register the fact his victim is responding before he starts (if he does) his dash toward the victom........that would cover your .5 to 1.5 draw time.

Anyway, all this math and physics can be thrown out the window with a little bit of practice. Draw and shoot at 7 yards using a shot timer.

Shot timers are rather cheap, it reveal a lot.
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Old March 6, 2012, 09:53 AM   #3
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IIRC, failure to stop drills with the M9 in Security Forces training (two to chest, one to head),7 yards from a flap holster, 1.3 secs, would get you a marksman badge, not even sharpshooter.
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Old March 6, 2012, 10:02 AM   #4
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We routinely qualify with two shots in two seconds as part of our annual qualification. Every law enforcement officer in Louisiana uses the same course of fire. Gunnies or non-gunnies, we all qualify with the same course and that 2-shot, 2-second scenario is easily done by everyone on the line. When I'm on my game, I can do it in under a second.

We're taught that it takes 2 seconds to cover 21 feet, from a standing start in a sprint. That's our reaction zone and if caught in that zone, the second shot will be at bad-breath distance.
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Old March 6, 2012, 10:14 AM   #5
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1.5 seconds is an eternity. When I took the Defensive Handgun course at Front Sight as a relatively inexperienced self defense shooter (I had shot a lot, never trained for SD), we were told we would have to place 2 shots in the thoracic cavity and one in the ocular cavity from the holster from 7 yards in 1.5 seconds or less to pass the course. My jaw dropped, I thought I was going to fail for sure, but as the class progressed and my technique improved it became quite simple to do.

The targets were on motorized swivel stands, the instructors would set the time and then you would face the target, it would swivel to face you (no warning or buzzer), you would draw and fire, and it would swivel back when the time elapsed. At first, I struggled to get off my shots, even with 3 or 4 seconds sometimes, even shooting the wooden frame edge of the targets in desperation as it swiveled away from me a couple times, but soon it became second nature.

In fact, when I took my "final" to pass the course, I drew, fired my 3 shots, went to the low ready and began my after action drills, and noticed that the target had failed to swivel back. I remember thinking "Something is wrong with the target, I am going to have to do this over". Then, the target turned away, the instructor clapped me on the back and said good job, and I realized that I had slowed everything down in my brain so far that it seemed like 10+ seconds had passed, when in fact it had only been the allotted 1.5.

Granted, this is on a controlled range and does not reflect an actual self defense situation, but it is interesting to see how much you can actually do in such a short amount of time.
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Old March 6, 2012, 11:00 AM   #6
Bartholomew Roberts
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A lot of things can effect draw time - retention holster, cover garment, etc. However, I'd say that 1.5 seconds is plenty of time for most people who spend time on that.

Having said that, the OODA loop is Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. Typically the time to draw only measure the "A" part of that loop, and it is one of the smallest time increments in the loop. If you are really concerned about being faster and more efficient, the place to concentrate your efforts is on the OOD part of the loop. If I can cycle through that part of the loop 2 seconds faster, I've created enough time that even a 2 second draw leaves me a half-second ahead of the next Jelly Bryce.
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Old March 6, 2012, 11:23 AM   #7
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There are some remarkable people on this forum when it comes to beating the clock but I'm not one of them. There's just no way I can do any of those things anymore at my age, not that I ever could. Oh, I used to practice a lot and a K-frame revolver (heavy barrel) with an open top unconcealed holster was the best gun I ever had for the purpose. An N-frame, especially with a longer barrel, was hopeless. I had several single actions over the years but I never attempted any fast draw with them. When it came to single action autos, however, I decided I was all fingers when it came to that thumb safety and finally gave up on them. All I have left are two DA/SA autos and I only practice from concealment.

The old-timers just wouldn't cut it these days, would they?
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Old March 6, 2012, 11:46 AM   #8
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I think people are optimistic on here. .5 second may be a consistent reality if your name starts with R and ends with Leatham. Under 1.5 on a shot timer to first aimed shot is adequate for most IPSC. Running around with a lot of good IDPA shooters we'd see only 2-3 sub second first shots on a no cover garment standards course. I know I can get .8 if tuned in. Average concealment draw to first shot is about 2.2 seconds from watching a lot of IDPA shooters.
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Old March 6, 2012, 11:51 AM   #9
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainObvious
In the most ideal situation with the most ideal shooter, it will take 1.5 seconds or less to go from draw to fire. Keep in mind, that figure was obtained on a controlled range with a highly trained and considerably experienced youthful shooter. The firearm was in an open carry specially designed holster the shooter had trained on previously...
Not exactly. At Gunsite, par for two of the "School Drills" is 1.5 seconds for one round to the head at three yards, and 1.5 seconds for two rounds to the center of mass at seven yards, beginning with a holstered gun (but without a covering garment). Turning targets are used, so the time limit is strictly enforced and the cue to engage is visual.

When I took the Intermediate Handgun (350) class last year, we all managed to pass the School Drills, and in the 350 class, the drill includes a step to the right or left while presenting. I guess since this was an "intermediate" class, we could all be called "well trained", but we weren't using any special holsters or other equipment -- just the guns and rigs were were wearing outside in the real world before and after class.

And not one of us could have been called "youthful" by any stretch of the imagination.
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Old March 6, 2012, 12:44 PM   #10
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speed of first shot

I was a POST Firearms Instructor for many years while working in the
Baton Rouge , La. area.
I worked for seven years as a narcotics agent and can say first hand that if you are attacked and not full of first rate training you will fail to react fast enough in a real life situation.
I saw LEO's with years of service fail to draw their guns when fired upon. They froze in position with the deer in the headlights look.
The very first thing that goes through your mind is, that person can't be attacking me.
Only those with extensive training will react. I was standing to the rear of two uniform officers who had a driver stopped and standing beside the drivers side door.
I was watching his hands and his right hand went into his right front pocket and I drew and had my gun pointed to his cranium. He stopped his action and I retrieved a 32 automatic ready to fire from his pocket.
The two officers were standing in complete disbelief and told me that they had never even seen the mans hands moving.
They thanked me so many times that I had to finally get in my car and drive away.
I have also see those who may punch the center out of a B27 only to miss from 10 feet on the first shot when fired at.
The real thing can't be judged until you have first hand knowledge of what goes on.
You can only prepare and be ready and remember that this is not Gunsmoke. If you feel a threat is possible then that gun drawn and down to your side is a good starting position.
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Old March 6, 2012, 05:00 PM   #11
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I read this this morning and I went to the range to test this out. With just a basic stopwatch and my wife telling me to draw I timed out at 1.1 seconds to draw and put two to the center of mass - one to the head-ish (I missed the head area by .5" too high).

This was from a defensive position with both hands up and in front of me. My gun was my 1911 holstered in an IWB holster at 4 o'clock and beneath a sweatshirt and my coat which was not unzipped.

I don't believe 1.5 seconds to draw and shoot is unreasonable - in fact it feels a bit slow if you've got any decent practice behind you.
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Old March 6, 2012, 05:49 PM   #12
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Add talking to the scenario and the times increase quite a lot.
Try it.
If using a timer, set it for a random start, with enough delay to allow you plenty of time to have a conversation.
Continue talking until the timer buzzes, then do the drill.
It will be surprising how much longer it takes to stop talking and act.
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Old March 6, 2012, 05:52 PM   #13
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Comparing draw times is useless without defining all the terms; how the pistol is carried, whether concealed or unconcealed, distance to target, size of target, acceptable accuracy standard, what measuring system is used.

Turning targets can't be compared directly to electronic shot times. A 1.5 second exposure means the target is fully faced to the shooter for 1.5 seconds. However it takes time for the target to turn, around 0.2 - 0.3 seconds depending on the system, and the shooter reacts and begins the draw as the target is facing. 1.5 seconds with turning targets is equivalent to about 1.7 - 1.8 seconds with a shot timer.

If people would like some real numbers for comparison, here's an example: in 1995 I was shooting at the range with Rob Leatham, winner of multiple national and world titles, at a time when he was about at the peak of his ability. As one training exercise he did six consecutive draws on an IPSC target at seven yards.

Pistol was a single-stack 1911 5" gun (stock division) with iron sights, holster an off-the-shelf Safariland paddle holster, concealable but with no covering garment. He had all A-zone hits with each draw in the range of a bit over 0.9 of a second.

The superstars can go faster when just fooling around in practice. I've seen times in the 0.6 range when guys are having fun and not too concerned about missing. But not in a match where misses can sink you. Incidentally I've also seen Rob mow down a row of Pepper popper targets at 50 yards, shooting from the hip. He wouldn't do that in a match either.

Try that one: concealable holster, no covering garment, stock/production gun, IPSC target, seven yards (measured, not paced off), electronic shot timer. Record the time for A-zone hits. Add 0.3 seconds for B/C hits, 0.6 for D hits, 1 second for misses. Do ten consecutive draws and count every one.

An honest average of under 1.5 seconds is pretty good. No one cares what you did once. What matters is what you can do on demand, every time.
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Old March 6, 2012, 06:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Keep in mind the following. The average human being can sprint over the area of a football field or 100 meters at about 17 mph. Olympic athletes can get up to over 25 mph. Lets say a human was sprinting at 15 mph. That is 22 feet per second. Therefore, even with the most ideal shooter under the most ideal conditions, at least 33 feet is needed for just one shot to be squeezed off and that shot may not even hit the target.
Assuming your math is right, if he's up to full speed then yes, he can cover 22 feet in a second. But if he's standing over yonder 22 feet away I'll have longer, due to the fact he'll take a while to get up to top speed.

If I'm ever attacked by an NFL cornerback or Usain Bolt I'll let you know how it goes. Assuming I win.
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Old March 6, 2012, 07:54 PM   #15
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We know from Tueller's work that the average person can cover 21 feet in about 1.5 seconds. We tested this in a number of classes and confirmed that.pretty wide range of people can cover that distance in between 1.25 and 1.75 seconds.
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Old March 6, 2012, 10:30 PM   #16
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Capitan,

If you shoot from the hip you can get well under 1.5 seconds. And for that sprinting guy, well real social altercations tend to have lots of indicators something is going down BEFORE it goes down. If one picks up on those signals, or tells, they can start their draw just as that 'sprinter' starts to attempt to sprint.

The 21 ft rule is actually an estimation, a approximation. Much depends on how well the defense is attuned to the attack, skill, speed, reflexes, and a host of other things as well as those of the attacker.

Long time ago a gent name John W. Hardin was accosted by three Texas State police somewhere near Longview Texas. The police asked for his guns. He gave them the contents of them. I have no doubt those police had their guns out. Wes beat them and they had the drop on him.

Like I said, there are alot of factors not just some stop watch estimation.

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Old March 7, 2012, 01:28 AM   #17
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For those who want to time their shooting, don't have a shot timer or want spend money to buy one, and have an iPhone; there is a free application you can download to your phone.

Shot Timer by Surefire
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Old March 7, 2012, 02:16 AM   #18
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"Also, when I'm talking .5 seconds in competition, that normally takes into account that in competition, the gun is drawn, brought up to a sighted 2 handed hold, and aimed at a 8 - 12 plate placed at an avg. of 30 feet."

In competition that would also include reaction time from the buzzer. That leaves not much more than .3 seconds to do all of the above. That's a lot to accomplish in .5 seconds. As someone else mentioned, it's one thing to do something 1 time out of 10 attempts as opposed to what a person can do the majority of the time. I know that you are a very experienced shooter, but I think the .5 seconds is pretty optomistic. Mark
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Old March 7, 2012, 08:10 AM   #19
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We had a fairly recent thread concerning rates of fire. I remember posting about when we transitioned to Glocks. I was able to draw from concealment and place 5 shots on a B27 target with a Glock 23 in 1.53 seconds. The guy that beat me did it in 1.47 seconds. I really felt as if I could have done better but the trainers did not allow a redo on that part. I really wanted to beat that guy. For a recent requalification I had to travel to another zone due to a scheduling conflict. The guy was there so I made sure to get on line next to him and beat him there instead. Petty perhaps, but I felt better.
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Old March 7, 2012, 08:41 AM   #20
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Im kind of curious how some of these times were achieved. How exactly are you setup? Do you have the hand on the pistol itself before the shot timer goes off, to your sides or arms crossed? Are you using a purpose made shot timer or just a stopwatch or some other solution? Tell me a little bit more because maybe Im doing something wrong.

If you can do a draw and fire in .5 seconds then by all means post up a picture of the shot timer or do it for us on Youtube. I want to know where I am going wrong.
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Old March 7, 2012, 09:00 AM   #21
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My draw time depends on whether I'm sitting or standing. From a standing position, I can draw in about 1 second - on average. From a sitting position it will be about 4 seconds, because I pocket carry. Either I must stand up or wriggle it out of my pocket.

First, the average human can't sprint 100 yards at 17 or even 15 mph. Maybe 12-13mph.

Second, potential assailants aren't likely to sprint at you - that would be too easy to defend against and that kind of thing would draw too much attention. They will likely distract you, or target those who are distracted.

Third, if you ever have to use your gun, you are not necessarily going to have to "fast-draw" to ward off an unsuspecting attack. You will probably get a "hinkey" feeling about something or someone and get your hand on your gun while still concealed. For example, if I have to pull into a gas station late at night to pump gas (which happens frequently), I'll have one hand on the pump and my other hand on my gun in my pocket. I'll also have my cell phone nearby and will be constantly looking around. Another "trick" I use in this situation is I always clean my windows & check my tires - lets me quickly move around my car if someone approaches me - I don't just sit there looking to talk to strangers.
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Old March 7, 2012, 10:09 AM   #22
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Quote:
Im kind of curious how some of these times were achieved.
When I talk about the .5 second area I'm talking about drawing my 642 from my pocket and getting the first shot off.

I use a shot timer, and start with my hand in my pocket pretty much gripping the revolver. BUT, that's how I walk around, with my hands in my pocket.

In another topic I posted some random pictures of me standing around, wearing my "air force gloves".

When I shoot competition, Steel Challenge, ICORE, USPSA, etc, I start from the surrender position. But to be honest, in competition I really don't know the time of the first shot because I haven't checked. The time is based on the time to complete the stage. I'll have to work on that, check it out.

Sure, like anything else it takes practice. I have blue guns (plastic training non guns), a J Frame, a K Frame (ICORE revolver) and a Beretta, (the last two is what I normally shoot in competition) and I do set around practicing my draw, or in the case of the J Frame, getting it out of my pocket in weird positions, setting on the couch, at the table, in the truck, or just walking around.

I'm old (64) if I can do it anyone can. I will confess in competition, I don't do that well but its the "reloading" the pistol or revolver that gets me. I do have to work on that part. I really like revolvers and I simple can't compete in many of those matches with a "6" shot revolver against a 14-18 round magazine.............but its what I like to shoot, and I shoot for fun.

It's like the Tourist asking the Cab Driver "How do you get to Carnegie Hall"...."Practice man, practice".
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Old March 7, 2012, 10:14 AM   #23
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CaptainObvious, I can't tell you where you are going wrong. I can tell you that at my previous IDPA club, most of us could do the following:

1) face 180 away from the targets;
2) at the buzzer, turn and draw (only bring the muzzle up when facing the targets) IE About Face and draw;
3) shoot double taps to center mass on three targets

And the typical times were 3-4 seconds, including the turn, the draw, and the three double-taps.

If it takes 1.5 seconds for a prepared shooter to draw and double tap a target he is already facing, something is off.
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Old March 7, 2012, 10:51 AM   #24
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Just to give perspective, I'm not a pro shooter, but I dabble in USPSA Production Division. From a start position of facing away from the targets, hands by head, turn, draw, shoot 3 targets (modified El Preaidente with a no shoot overlap) with double taps freestyle, reload, shoot same 3 targets with double taps strong hand only, I can get it done in just under 6 seconds. That's drawing from a Bladetech DOH holster. I'm not the fastest (I'm working on it though), but that shows you what the average guy can do.
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Old March 7, 2012, 11:45 AM   #25
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Let me clarify. This is a video demonstrating exactly what I consider a good draw and fire.

http://youtu.be/BKcHsLUhNTQ?t=5m20s

#1. Timing is done with a reputable purpose-made shot timer. The shot-timer is set to a random interval.

#2. Firearm is holstered open carry.

#3. A target is set a reasonable distance away. We could debate the distance and size of the target.

#4. You have to hit the target for it to count.

#5. Hands are not on the holstered firearm. Lets say to your sides.

This guy made it in about 1.5 seconds. So, using this method, how can you get it down to under 1 second?
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