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Old December 21, 2009, 08:06 PM   #51
Senior Member
Join Date: November 12, 2009
Location: SW Missouri
Posts: 215
Originally Posted by OldMarksman
The only real application is to establish a rough guess of the time possibly available to a civilian to shoot a potential attacker coming at him with a contact weapon after he is lawfully permitted to reach for is gun.

In the vast majority of jurisdictions in this county, a civilian may not lawfully even reach for his gun until he is in imminent danger and deadly force is immediately necessary--for example, until a potential attacker is close enough to be able to strike or slash him before he can defend himself.. The Tueller drill, though by no means applicable in every situation and though not necessarily authoritative, puts the distance at which a standing attacker can do that is roughly seven yards. That's based on an assumed 1.5 second draw time.
The reason I said I don't think it's really applicable is that the whole 7-yard thing is merely, as you said, the average distance that a person has to have in order to draw and fire their weapon when confronted with a known scenario and executing a pre-determined response.

There are several problems with trying to use this as the basis for any type of doctrine:
  • There are going to be differences in draw time based on where/how the gun is carried and how much the user practices. Doing this from concealment (pocket carry, IWB under a closed-front garment, etc.) is going to be much different than doing it from an open belt-holster.
  • Even if you get rounds on target, there is no guarantee that the attacker's momentum is going to cease, so you still have the problem of a BG hurtling towards you with a weapon.
  • We're not really going to be in a simple reaction time situation. Going through the whole OODA-Loop process is going to take longer than a simple stimulus/response paradigm.
  • Expecting the threat to manifest itself at 7+ yards is a little unrealistic. Most incidents occur at something like 0-3 yards (basically, conversational distances) which cuts our available time significantly. I'm referring to the FBI stats for police shootings as I think they are analogous to situations citizens might face, at least insofar as the dynamics of the fight (if not the circumstances) are concerned.

The only thing I think we should really take away from the Tueller Drill is that an adversary armed with a contact-weapon is dangerous from much farther away than many might think. As a result, we should seek to maximize the reactionary gap, or be prepared to utilize other skillsets (empty-hand combatives, etc.) to manage the threat until we can cleanly access our pistol.
Assuming that we're actually going to have 1.5 seconds (or whatever) is, to me, making assumptions that are not necessarily supported by reality.

Back to the OP, this is even more reason not to handicap ourselves by carrying with an empty chamber. Doing so is just dumb.
"Either you are the weapon and your gun is a tool, or your gun is the weapon and you are a tool."

Matt K.
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