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Old December 14, 2011, 06:59 PM   #1
stonewall50
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Slow and Steady Wins The Race

Well maybe quick and steady wins the race? I am talking about one of the most important aspects of concealed carry. The draw. I got advice from a gang unit LEO on firearms training and how to proceed with this specific task. I will share the information with everyone here.

I unload my gun and make sure that I am in a safe area. I go through the entire process of the draw SLOWLY. I did this since the day I purchased my handgun (the day I turned 21). I put on my standard every day clothes and for 20 minutes a day I would perfect the shirt lift. I then took the next step of getting my hand on the gun. Next step was getting the gun out of the holster and moving it to the first position I would need(2 hands and controlling my weapon). I didn't even bother extending my arms during these practice sessions. I did this slow and steady step by step process for at least a year and a half. I did it so often that there were days I would catch myself going through the motion with no gun, needless to say it started a few odd conversations. Anyway.

I can now say that, while I am NOT Quick Draw McGraw, I am proficient at the draw. Arm extension is not an issue(something I worked on during live fire), and getting a gun out of the holster is a nice and smoothe process. I still have the occasional hang up in practice since I speed up sometimes, but I always go back and do the same process of shirt rise and draw from IWB.

If anyone has any suggestions to help me improve my draw I would love tips, but I will always go back to the slow and steady process.
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Old December 14, 2011, 07:45 PM   #2
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I am pretty sure it will never come down to the speed of the draw if you are ever unlucky enough to need to draw. However, equipment is very important. A simple retention holster with a single button that releases the weapon as you pull it out is greatly preferable to just about every other kind of holster and will allow you to draw quickly.
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Old December 14, 2011, 08:16 PM   #3
Edward429451
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I think that skills in drawing quickly are good. Possible it just a bad term because of Hollywood but calling it quick draw invokes peoples sarcasm easily so let's call it drawing smoothly. Practicing smooth-draw conjures images of slow fire and is totally misleading in that because smoothness of draw is speed.

Weapon presentation is everything in my opinion. When Democracy fails it usually fails very fast you are likely to be being heavily stressed and distracted at the moment your inner voice says you better draw...if you have practiced this 5000 times or more then you will be more efficient at it and able to free up your attention to more critical issues at the moment. Does that make sense?
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Old December 14, 2011, 09:46 PM   #4
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Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
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Old December 15, 2011, 10:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
A simple retention holster with a single button that releases the weapon as you pull it out is greatly preferable to just about every other kind of holster
I would like to see an elaboration on that. I have been carrying IWB with a form-fitted holster for a couple of decades without a problem. I am not sure that the potential for human and/or mechanical failure inherent in a button retention/release mechanism is "greatly preferable." Am I missing something?
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Old December 15, 2011, 11:23 AM   #6
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Am I missing something?
No, I think youre spot on.


Being practiced enough to be smooth and speedy is good, and should be constantly fine tuned. Personally, I think more importantly, deception and stealth are probably an even more important skill to have. The speed part is more reactive, where having the gun in hand discretely before hand, is more proactive.
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Old December 15, 2011, 11:37 AM   #7
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Tactics and gear aside, there is an advantage in training in slow motion: It reveals wasted movement, or in some cases instants of unbalanced motion, that would have been concealed by speed.

This is particularly true if footwork is involved. Picture shooting on the move, reversing direction and drawing, etc. If you can do it slowly, and stay on balance, then doing it more quickly shouldn't be too hard.
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Old December 15, 2011, 12:42 PM   #8
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Slow, steady are the way to go.

Prior to joining the SO I had never practiced drawing my pistol. My carry had been strickly military with the standard flap holster or hunting.

When I joined the force I started practicing. I concentrated on the individual steps in the process. Grasp the weapon, activate the thumb break, draw the weapon, grasp with weak hand, align sighte, fire the weapon.

I never tryed for speed. My training officer was considered the fastest in the department.

The first time we did a felony stop we both exited our squad car. My weapon just appeared on target. I was about half a second faster than my partner.

Effectively train your muscles and the speed will come.
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Old December 15, 2011, 07:13 PM   #9
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Smooth is fast, fast is smooth.

You are doing a great thing for yourself by training the way you are. Trying to be fast right off the bad will give you bad habbits has you haven't worked on the basics yet.
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Old December 15, 2011, 11:40 PM   #10
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Good job on getting the reps. I don't prescribe to that smooth is fast idiom that became popular with "The Unforgiven" with Clint Eastwood. Although you do want to start out smooth and slow, the whole idea is to develop your technique to be as fast and smooth as you can accurately. On the street it's a function of your situation. You should always get out of the holster as fast as you can and place as many rounds down range as accurately as you can. Look at pistolcraft as a wheel where accuracy, speed, and efficient body mechanics or a smooth draw are the spokes. All components are interdependant and build on one another. To say speed is not important, though is just incorrect. If speed were of no consequence then why does every LEO academy, that can afford it, have a timed course of fire with turning targets that require you to get rounds off in a prescribed or optimal amount of time?
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Old December 16, 2011, 12:17 AM   #11
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It's useless to draw fast if you don't get a good grip on the gun and throw it across the room instead of pulling it out and presenting it in a controlled fashion. Or if you have to waste all the time (plus more) you saved by rushing things trying to cheat your grip around so that you can get a decent shooting hold on the gun after you've drawn it. Or if you don't clear your cover garment and end up getting the gun partially out of the holster before something binds and stops the draw stroke short. Or if you get your finger on the trigger before you intended to and shoot yourself or maybe just waste a round into the floor if you're lucky.

Practice doing it RIGHT. That generally means that you need to intentionally go slow so that you can be sure that every move is exactly correct.

When it becomes second nature to do it RIGHT every single time, you will find that speed comes naturally too.

Trying to draw fast before proper technique is fully ingrained is a recipe for bad habits and carries the potential for disaster.
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Old December 16, 2011, 12:35 AM   #12
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"More time is required to master the handgun than any other type of firearm. To become an expert sixgun shot, one must live with the gun. Only by constant use and practice can one acquire a thorough mastery of the shortgun. You must work and play with it, eat with it, sleep with it, and shoot it every day - until it becomes a part of you and you handle it as surely as you would your knife and fork at the table."

Elmer Keith, Sixguns, page 57
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Old December 16, 2011, 01:03 AM   #13
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This isn't directed at any individual so please don't take offense.

I'm forty seven and I don't feel old, but it must be catching up with me, because the idea of novice practicing speed drawing and firing with live ammunition is a disquieting thought.

I realize if someone wants to do it, they have to learn somehow, but I'd hate to be there. I guess we just have to hope for the best.

I can't relate a lifetime of gun handling into a single post. So if I could just offer two words of advice...be careful.
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Old December 16, 2011, 08:08 AM   #14
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Like anything else, to get fast, practice slow. It's much like learning to play hot licks on an electric guitar. You start off very slow, playing it perfectly, then gradually play faster. If you start out trying to play a lick full speed, as so many do, 10 years from now you'll still be struggling with it.

Do the same with your draw, dry-firing. One point with drawing is that you do it in stages. First is "purchasing," actually moving your hand to the weapon and taking proper hold of it. You can do this part slightly slower than the actual draw-and-fire. The purchase is critically important. It's amazing how fast you can draw and fire once you have a secure, correct grip. But again, in any case, start slow, get down the details, then gradually speed up over a period of a couple of weeks or so. Just go through the motions say, 50-100 times a day, and get it all ingrained in your muscle memory.
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Old December 16, 2011, 01:03 PM   #15
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Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.
Said twice already, but I will say it again.
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Old December 16, 2011, 03:39 PM   #16
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When I was a puppy I used to try fast but finally settled for smooth and not dropping my gun. It makes my first shot more likely to be the only shot I need.
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Old December 16, 2011, 05:00 PM   #17
Bartholomew Roberts
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In the little force-on-force training I've done, I've seen very few situations where a fast draw would have been useful - and most of those could have been avoided to begin with by better situational awareness and/or tactics.

On the flip side, I've seen (both firsthand and as a bystander) pistols slingshotted across the gravel after they got stuck in the cover garment, pistols dropped, Master-class IDPA shooters missing shots on an entire human being at distances of less than 5yds because they got in a hurry and missed their master grip on the draw, etc.

Personally, if I could choose between spotting a situation develop 2 seconds earlier and having a 0.5 second draw, I'd take the situational awareness edge every time. Execute the draw correctly with perfect form. Concentrate on doing that and forget about speed and you'll be fast enough without much problem.
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Old December 16, 2011, 05:45 PM   #18
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Personally, if I could choose between spotting a situation develop 2 seconds earlier and having a 0.5 second draw, I'd take the situational awareness edge every time.
I agree, I have a half second draw and I'd much rather a) not have to use my pistol period, by avoiding the situation, or b) already have it in my hand before the shooting started.

Putting it all together and drawing a handgun, then firing full power defense ammunition, that actually strikes the target, takes lots of practice. Its also dangerous, lots of people have shot themselves in the leg or foot doing it.

Having a good holster is a place to start, I suppose mine are old fashioned and not tacticool, but so am I and the 1911 style platform I prefer.


From left to right: N-Frame Bianchi Cyclone, K-frame Bianchi L58, El Paso Saddlery Tom Three Persons for the SAA, S.D. Myres for 4" j-frame, S.D. Myres for 2" j-frame. Bottom: El Paso Saddlery Yaqui Slide

I've got lots of holsters, but I'm fastest out of the above. I really don't practice with revolvers much anymore. So I can clear the Yaqui Slide the fastest.



I took that pic of my timer, because I thought eight rounds of +P 230 grain .45ACP that all hit the A-zone of an ISPC target 5 yards away was pretty good.

You can see I drew and fired one shot in .53 and then seven more in 1.55 for a 2.08 total. If I draw at my own volition, instead of in response to the timer beep, I can cut that first shot time in half.

All it took was a lot of practice. Is it worth it, or practical? I dunno, but its fun doing it and then seeing the look on peoples faces, while .45 ACP cases are still falling from the air.



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Old December 18, 2011, 07:50 PM   #19
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This sounds like the "slow is smooth and smooth is fast" training methodology from the 1980's. To me, this type of training seems to be motivated by the idea that more firearm control = less liability and not so much about winning the race.
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Old December 18, 2011, 08:32 PM   #20
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To me, this type of training seems to be motivated by the idea that more firearm control = less liability and not so much about winning the race.
No, that's missing the point.

Here's a quote from a post a few posts up from yours.
Quote:
On the flip side, I've seen (both firsthand and as a bystander) pistols slingshotted across the gravel after they got stuck in the cover garment, pistols dropped, Master-class IDPA shooters missing shots on an entire human being at distances of less than 5yds because they got in a hurry and missed their master grip on the draw, etc.
More firearm control = not screwing it up and losing more time than you could have gained by rushing.

If you don't have time to fumble around and pick your gun up off the ground or if you don't want to deal with a self-inflicted gunshot to the leg, then you have the time to do it RIGHT the first time. Even if it takes you a tiny bit longer to do it RIGHT than it would to do it as fast as you possibly could.
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Old December 18, 2011, 11:08 PM   #21
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if I could choose between spotting a situation develop 2 seconds earlier and having a 0.5 second draw, I'd take the situational awareness edge every time.
So would I but a man may not always have a choice due to a human's capacity for treachery. Many o' police officer has learned this the hard way. My point is unless you view all other persons as an immediate threat and you hold the handgun in your hand during these chance contacts with strangers, you may very well be reacting to their action. In that event, I think being as quick as you can be, while still controlling the pistol in regards to holding onto it correctly and getting the rounds in the right spot is the right attitude. Fractions of seconds could mean the difference between living and dying. Even if you are hit first, getting your shots off quickly could keep you from taking another hit.

I like the whole idea of starting slow and working that to perfection before continually picking it up. Push the envelope in training until things start to get sloppy then come back to where they aren't. I like what an earlier poster (Chileverde 1) said about disregarding the need for speed being an incorrect attitude. It is just one more piece of your complete package if you are to be a finished handgunner. Good stuff nate45 on the 1/2 second draw and hit at five yards. That sort of mastery epitomizes the serious handgunner. I've done it in less than second but no where near a half second...yet.
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Old December 19, 2011, 07:09 AM   #22
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I was practicing this last evening with my Ruger .45. Because you (or at least I) wear different clothes all the time, you have to keep in practice drawing under different arrangements to keep yourself "warmed up," in a manner of speaking. Some concealment arrangements are great from a concealment standpoint, not so good for making a smooth draw. But a fairly quick draw is still possible nevertheless. The Ruger (P345) is a fairly good compromise for size and weight and has a good smooth profile. It also is a double action, which I prefer for the first shot. In fact, I wish it were double action only.

I did that a few times and as usual, I reach a point where I think it is almost meaningless because it all has to do with watching a clock, rather like drag racers waiting for the light to change. In other words, it is completely unrealistic. To win, in real life, you have to somehow come to a mental "ready" position before the game starts. That's were the problems start to show up. It just isn't possible to be in a fully alert and "ready" condition all the time. If you are, well, that just isn't living.

And, oh, yeah, you still have to hit the target.
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Old December 19, 2011, 08:49 AM   #23
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Since speed seems important, I hope "quickly" moving offline while drawing and shooting is part of your drill.

No sense being an easy target standing there performing a reactionary quick draw.
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Old December 19, 2011, 08:57 AM   #24
Bartholomew Roberts
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I like the whole idea of starting slow and working that to perfection before continually picking it up. Push the envelope in training until things start to get sloppy then come back to where they aren't. I like what an earlier poster (Chileverde 1) said about disregarding the need for speed being an incorrect attitude.
The reason I concentrate on accuracy, and not speed, in training, is that doing it right leads to both accuracy and speed. Trying to push yourself in terms of speed, inevitably leads to poor accuracy and if done frequently enough, will build in bad habits.

Quote:
My point is unless you view all other persons as an immediate threat and you hold the handgun in your hand during these chance contacts with strangers, you may very well be reacting to their action.
Again, just from what I've seen in Force-on-Force training, the sticking point for most people isn't the speed of their draw; but the speed at which they recognize they are in a life-or-death fight. And considering that we are in Force-on-Force where people pretty much know that is the point of the whole exercise, I can't imagine what it must be like for officers who have to face that situation in real life. Either way though, my point is that draw speed is rarely the sticking point in the OODA loop.

To give an example, we had a video on here not too long ago where a guy who was open carrying got into a gunfight. On video, you can't see ANY reaction from this guy until after he has been shot, and even then, it never occurs to him once during the whole incident to put his hand on his pistol. He may have been faster than Jelly Bryce for all I know; but it didn't help him much.
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Old December 19, 2011, 02:22 PM   #25
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I'm forty seven and I don't feel old, but it must be catching up with me, because the idea of novice practicing speed drawing and firing with live ammunition is a disquieting thought.
That's why I'm a big fan of plastic training bullets powered by primer only. I use Speer's plastic training bullets. I'm sure there are others. They allow me to practice in the garage (well ventilated.) I practice draw to first shot. My times and first shot accuracy have improved enormously since I started practicing.
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