View Full Version : Fast Draw Times

May 26, 2011, 05:18 AM
I was training a bit on fast draw from IWB carry (measuring the results with Shot Timer) and was wondering what the average drawing times are (measured from hand on the head till first shot). Please include method of carry (IWB/holster), used weapon and condition of carry (safeties, SA, DA, ...). If you know both your average and your fastest time, feel free...

Thanks in advance.

May 26, 2011, 06:47 AM
I was ROing at a steel match last month and kept an eye on how long it took shooters to get the first shot off. Only one beat the one-second mark and he was shooting an Open gun from a CRSpeed holster. Several did it with .22 pistols and carbines because they started from “low ready”. No one drawing from an actual holster beat one second. Typically, their draws ran from 1.2 to 1.8 seconds depending on the size of the first target and the distance.

You might be able to do a little better if the target is just 5-10 feet away and you ignore the sights.

You really should go to a steel match sometimes and see how many people can miss an 18 X 24" plate at 9 yds on the "Smoke & Hope" stage. Most of us don't need the sights on those big, close targets. Or we think so, right up until we make a clean miss. Repeatedly.

Getting a gun out from concealment in less than 1.5 sec is pretty good. Getting a solid hit is even better!

May 26, 2011, 06:59 AM
Speed is OK, if you don't miss.

Smooth is the answer. The "Smoke and Hope" stage was mentioned, hitting targets at close range. The Smoke and Hope stage I've shot has 50 yards targets. Don't know many people who can point shoot at 50 yards.

Instead of using steel targets, use paper and see where you are missing.

Smooth is the name of the game, start slow, as you "smoothly" increase your speed, check the hits, when you loose it and start missing, slow down and concentrate on hits again.

I like paper targets because they start adding time as you get sloppy with your shooting.

May 26, 2011, 07:38 AM
From CCW, IWB @ 4 o'clock with hands down next to, but not gripping, cover garment, I strive to keep my draw at 1.5 seconds---1st shot on target at three yards.

It may take a couple tries, but I can can still manage it a few times during a session.

While walking in a figure 8, and not facing target, and not knowing when I'll get the beep, I strive for a 2 second hit, but some times are longer. Some shots are one handed--like when the beep sounds when the target is to the right or even a little behind.

By gripping the coat for the slight edge, and not moving, some hits are within 1.3 seconds. 3 yds is as close as I'll get to my steel Evil Roy portable tgt. And that's pushing it kind of close (I shoot on an angle for safety reasons).

I'm trying to get away from just standing there trying to beat the timer to get my 1.5 or under. I think that is to the draw what target shooting is to combat shooting.

I only do it to get my self respect back.:D

When we practice reloads from about 5 yds, I can manage 3.5 seconds between shots. But not on demand.

I'm usually a little over, but get the occasional 3 sec. reload--as well as the occasional 4. Avg. is about 3.65--from ding to ding. Pistol being a SIG dbl or single stack or 1911.

Without coat or vest (open carry) times are faster, but I don't practice that anymore since I don't carry that way.

Not all practice is from the draw--nor should it be. From high ready, .5 seconds is about my speed for first shot.

As you can see, all my practice is for CCW.

Don't know nothin' about competition.:cool:

May 26, 2011, 08:31 AM
Thank you for the responses!

I get average 1.75 if I want my shots to hit the cranio-ocular cavity at 5 meters or somewhere on the head at 10 meters. I practice IWB with a Beretta 92, safety off and hammer decocked. Unfortunately any form of carry is forbidden in Belgium unless you ask for a permit with a legal reason (like high-risk job, ...), so it's pretty much training for "just in case" situation.

May 26, 2011, 08:44 AM
I like smooth too. Stationary and in motion while wearing my usual attire. Need to get a timer one day.

May 26, 2011, 09:05 AM
I've never shot where I could actually practice a fast draw, so whether or not I could hit something is still undetermined. However, I'm doing good to be under a second with a revolver from a regular leather holster with no safety strap, thumb snap or other retaining device. The revolver being a Model 13 with a 4-inch barrel. It's another story from concealment and again, hitting the target remains unknown. One should assume the bullet will hit something or other.

From concealment, times vary with the sort of concealment, the holster and the pistol. I've been mentioning thumb snap holsters frequently and they haven't slowed me down all that much, considering the advantage they offer in keeping the pistol secure. I'm not sure a thumb snap is really necessary in an IWB holster but that depends on other things. One of my belt holsters with a thumb snap is fast enough, the other is on the new side and is still quite tight. Believe it or not, I have a Jordan-style holster for my Walther P5, except that it has a thumb snap instead of a strap.

I don't have a timer but I think (wishfully, perhaps) that I can manage in between one and two seconds, looking at a clock with a second hand. This is from under concealment but some forms of concealment require two hands (for me, but at least I always have them with me) and that might be a problem someday. I guess you do have to literally dress around the gun but that really means from a concealment standpoint. Access may have to take second place.

Finally, I'd have to say that I wonder about some of these times. Some older books mention very short times but when do you start counting?

May 26, 2011, 09:36 AM
So the story goes, back in the Old West, gunslingers used to practice the "Drop the Dollar" game. They'd hold their shooting hand out, palm down at waist height with a silver dollar on the back of the hand, and do a fast draw. The object was to draw and dry-fire their single-action Colts before the dollar hit the floor.

That's about a quarter-second draw.

In my younger days when I was carrying a Model 10 in a homemade speed holster as a security guard, I could do it most of the time. Whether I could have hit anything except the ground, I couldn't say. ;)

Don P
May 26, 2011, 09:53 AM
so it's pretty much training for "just in case" situation.
If you are not carrying in public then what would be the "just in case" situation???
If you can find a IDPA match www.idpa.com or IPSC at www.ipsc.org give it a try and see where you stand to others on draw to first shot time.

web site for the ipsc in Belgian club http://www.bpsa.be/

and their contact info [email protected]

May 26, 2011, 10:06 AM
I might mention here that what I've described was more or less ideal circumstances. Real life, as you know, is not ideal. There will be no beep and you will not be listening for one, either, and you might not even be up on your own two feet. But no doubt I expect that once your feelers were up, all of your senses would be on high alert. You might not go so far as to draw your gun but you might unsnap the strap. You probably would be on your feet and if you had any sense, you wouldn't just be standing there.

I guess maybe the hardest thing to overcome would be your own inertia. A lot of people with just stand there with their mouth open.

May 26, 2011, 10:37 AM
Thank you Don P,

I know plenty of IPSC ranges in Belgium, but I'd more like to get into IDPA. However, the rules of the Belgian Shoot-sports Federation forbid shooting at human silhouettes, shooting from cover, ... pretty much everything that is necessary for IDPA. So I'm still looking for a range that is not member of the Federation where IDPA matches or practice could be legal.

On the just in case, I meant if I ever found a legal reason to carry my weapon. While I can't think of anything for the moment, it's fairly possible that I might. I'm not going to stay here my whole life too, so maybe I'll move to a country that allows carry one day.

May 26, 2011, 10:45 AM
Not everything is about SD.

This is the Tactics & TRAINING Section. Far more rounds are fired in competition then SD.

There is a club I shoot at that has some sort of Action Pistol/Revolver match every other week. Lots of fun, I try to make all of them. I seldom fire less then 100 rounds in one of these matches.

Sure I carry (642 in my pocket) but except for practice and competition, I don't shoot it much. Kill a rattler every now and then, maybe a rabbit for the pot when I'm camping, Nailed a fox trying to get my chickens. But most of my pocket revolver shooting is in Competition or Practice.

The Competition Shooting I participate in helps a lot in the above mentioned incidents. Shooting after the timer goes off doesn't hurt my rattler shooting, or putting a rabbit in the pot. But the practice I get in competition certainly helps all my pistol shooting.

Even Bullseye. Not likely in a Self Defense Situation you'll get ten minutes to fire ten rounds at 50 yards, but Bullseye re-enforces fundamentals, building muscle memory.

I'm not impressed to see people ask a question about this or that and someone chimes in with, THATS NOT PRACTICAL, you wont get a whistle or timer in a SD situation.

So what, maybe the one asking the question just wants to improve his abilities to shoot STEEL or ICORE Matches.

Frankly I'm convinced the only bad shooting is NO Shooting.

May 26, 2011, 11:04 AM
So what, maybe the one asking the question just wants to improve his abilities to shoot STEEL or ICORE Matches.

Thank you kraigwy, I actually asked the question because I wanted to know if I should work more on speed or more on accuracy. If my speed is about average, then I think I should focus on bringing more accuracy to my shots, if it were below average, I would have to work on my speed.

Frank Ettin
May 26, 2011, 11:41 AM
I just completed an Intermediate Handgun (350) class at Gunsite. We were putting two rounds COM (mostly) on a turning target at 5 and 7 yards in 1.5 seconds (in 2 seconds at 10 yards), including a step to the right or left as we drew and fired.

The cue to draw was the target turning to face us. The target remained visible for the allotted time and then turned away and thus disappeared.

We were also doing a drill they call a Tactical El Presedente. We started facing up-range from three targets 10 yards away. On the signal, we turn, draw, engage the first two targets with one round each, the third target with two rounds, and then re-engage the first two with one round each. We all did it in between 5 and 6 seconds.

We were all wearing our guns in strong side hip holsters. All but one was OWB. One student carried IWB. About half of us were using kydex holsters and half leather. The guns weren't concealed. About half of us were using 1911s and the other half Glocks (with one Sprinfield XD).

(I was using an Ed Brown Kobra Carry in a Bulman holster. And that was also what I was wearing concealed daily during my stay in Arizona.)

May 26, 2011, 08:44 PM
I think Kraigwy and Knobby pretty much summed it up.

For what it is worth, I shot IPSC for a pretty long time and was lucky enough to have two Grand Masters and a couple of Masters along with some A class shooters in our club. We would occasionaly shoot a very informal, and definately NOT a classifier stage that was called "One Shot". As you would figure, it was just one round, fired from the surrender position from 21'. My best time for an A hit was .9 seconds, one GM shooter did it in .25, also with an A hit.

This was done with our competition rigs, again with hands held above the shoulders.

My time with my CC weapon, a 340pd, coming out of my pocket is around 2.5 seconds, and a COM hit.

"Fast is Slow and Smooth is Fast", that is what was beaten into us by the really good shooters when I started, it does make perfect sense, if you think about it enough, and put it to use. It works for me, anyway.


May 27, 2011, 11:34 AM
Okay, thanks to everyone who has responded!

May 27, 2011, 08:01 PM
Thank you kraigwy, I actually asked the question because I wanted to know if I should work more on speed or more on accuracy. If my speed is about average, then I think I should focus on bringing more accuracy to my shots, if it were below average, I would have to work on my speed.

Practicing drawing and htting the target takes care of both the speed and accuracy aspect as long as the speed doesn't exceed the ability to hit the target. They go hand in hand. You can't hit faster than you can draw and shoot. If the latter is so fast that you miss, then slow down 'till you can hit.

Obviously, that applies to self defense practice or competition.

Or, to paraphrase: Let speed and accuracy progress at the same pace. You don't stop one to work on the other.:cool:

Make sure that some practice is from the ready position without having to draw. Practice should also include drawing quickly and coming to ready WITHOUT firing.

Unless, of course, you're training for shooting games. Then train to win the game. :D

For the real world, don't train yourself to be a robot where you have to shoot every time you draw. In real life that's determined by specific circumstaces (and judged by the Judicial System).

June 5, 2011, 07:13 AM
I don't do competition, haven't been to any of the "training academies", or stuff like that. I HAVE carried a gun all my life and shot a lot of ammo. My draw practice is to hold a foam(Nerf) ball about 5" diameter in my left hand while standing in a relaxed position. I toss the ball so it will land 10-15' away and attempt to dry fire DA on the ball as it hits the ground or before it rolls more than 1'. Right after my Son got his carry permit, I was showing him this practice. His comment was"I've got a long way to go if that's what I need to do". I told him it takes a while and a lot of draws to become smooth and on target as the gun comes up. His activities require a higher level of concealment than I do as is the condition with many others so this may not even be possible for some.
When walking in a parking lot, I carry bags in my left hand. If confronted, I have the option to toss the bag toward the attacker or just drop it as a distraction. Same with my wallet, it's in my left hip pocket so I can remove it and toss or drop it giving me a similar movement as my practice.

Deaf Smith
June 5, 2011, 06:40 PM
With my Glock 26, FIST IWB, under t-shirt, I'm so fast I go back in time.

Seriously it's below one second, including reaction time, on a IDPA target at 5 yards with arms down and hands beside the body.

Why? I shoot from the hip. Amazing what you can do if you practice with a) laser glock, b) AACK .22 unit, and c) the real deal. And alot of the practice can be done in the house with the laser gun (ex air-soft Glock 26 spring gun.)


Old Grump
June 6, 2011, 11:30 AM
I have a preacher buddy that can empty his revolver into a 10' target before I can get a second shot off with my pistol. On the other hand he can't hit paper at 50 yards and only so-so at 25 yards, I'm still making good hits at 100 yards.

Depends on what you need. In a close up and personal encounter when you are in breathing range of a boogermans bad breath he wins. If you need a marksman you want me and he will do the loading.

There are people who are amazing at both but they have more time and money for the intensive training it takes then most of us do and I chose hitting the target over blazing fast speed. Besides no amount of training is ever going to make me blazing fast, my muscles aren't wired that way.

June 6, 2011, 12:52 PM
And of course, you won't know how fast you are if you aren'y using a timer.

I've got a CED 7000. There are other good ones out there. Get one.

June 6, 2011, 12:59 PM
Ed McGivern devoted a whole chapter to timers and measuring instruments in his book on revolver shooting. With my speed, there's no point to bothering.

June 6, 2011, 01:32 PM
And of course, you won't know how fast you are if you aren'y using a timer.

I've got a CED 7000. There are other good ones out there. Get one.

I use my android phone as timer, there's an application that counts down, produces a beep and records the shots, with adjustable peak settings so dry firing is also possible. A real timer may be better but it's free and it works :)

Deaf Smith
June 6, 2011, 06:57 PM
My timer is a PACT.


June 7, 2011, 01:28 AM
Has anyone caught the Discovery channel Super Humans show where they had a shooter who could draw, fire, and reholster faster than your eye could follow? He was so fast they had scientist hook him up to measuring instruments. The scientist said this guy pulled 24 g on his wrist when he pulled his revolver. His time was faster than the scientist felt was humanly possible. He was also very accurate, shot a Colt SAA.

Deaf Smith
June 7, 2011, 04:55 PM

You mean Terrance Hill?


June 7, 2011, 08:00 PM
Deaf, i did not catch the guys name. W/M 60ish, dressed up western. did not look like the fastest draw in the world.

Deaf Smith
June 7, 2011, 08:41 PM
I mean Terence hill!

As in 'Trinity Is My Name".

He is this fast.



Man that is FAST!


June 7, 2011, 09:58 PM
In the mid 90's I could do a draw and hit an IPSC target at 7 yards in the A or C zone in under 1 second from a timer beep. Today I can do it in under 2 seconds from cover. Earlier it was from a competetion holster. When you get older things go a bit slower, but still fast enough to beat street crime from CCW!

June 8, 2011, 12:26 AM
Deaf, Terence Hill was fast but i believe Bob Munden is faster. He is the guy i saw on Discovery. there are some you tube videos of Munden, but i don't understand how to add attachments.

Deaf Smith
June 8, 2011, 06:48 PM

Terence Hill was just an actor. Those films they just sped up the deal to make him look fast.

Munden, on the other hand, is real.


June 11, 2011, 01:59 PM
Drawing from an IWB holster from an open front concealment garment such as a vest or a light jacket, a "good" time for a draw to a single hit on an 8 inch plate is right around 1.5 seconds. If you're drawing to a smaller target, such as a 3x5 index card (my favorite new practice target) then your draw will necessarily be slower. I'm usually around 1.8ish seconds from concealment to an index card at 7 yards if I want to be sure of my hit.

Drawing to an open "Down Zero" zone on an IDPA target from concealment, I can keep pretty consistently around 1.2 to 1.3 seconds; if I want to get under one second from concealment I sacrifice a lot of sight picture and accuracy.

That being said, forget all of this "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" nonsense. Slow is slow. Fast is fast. There is a point to going slow. The point to going slow is to build up positive reps of a movement (such as a draw) and to give you the ability to analyze your drawstroke and eliminate wasted motion. Just practicing the "slow" motion doesn't make you fast. A runner who can run a 10 second hundred meter dash doesn't practice making a perfect 10 second run, he pushes his speed to make a 9.5 second run. The same is true about shooting. Once you've gone slow enough to master the mechanics of the movement, push yourself to go faster. You have to push yourself to the edge of your performance envelope - go so fast that you start dropping more shots than you're making.

When I'm practicing for pure speed on an 8 inch circle, my goal is hit at least 80% of my shots. If I'm hitting more than 80% I'm going too slow, and if I'm under that 80% margin then I'm going too fast.

June 11, 2011, 04:11 PM
I just got one of those shot timers to see just exactly what I could do.

Normally I carry in my pants pocket, but I got a Blackhawk holster to play with.

I found out, (using the timer) at 7 yards I can draw and fire 2 rounds out of my 642, hitting the A ring of the USPCA target at 7 yards in 1.98 seconds.

I can't do it wearing earmuffs, I can't hear the beep from the timer. Normally when I shoot matches, the RO has to tap me on the shoulder.

Like I said, I don't carry in a holster, I wont try it out of the pocket for fear of hitting something important.