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Old March 1, 2019, 06:09 PM   #26
Rangerrich99
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I couldn't say whether it's the most important skill, but I believe that it's definitely a required skill set for anyone that carries a gun for defense.

To wit:

Having assisted a friend of mine while he teaches a fundamentals course (mostly I help set up target frames and clean up, but I also handle some of the camera duties and I'm available to the students to answer questions they might have, and of course helping to ensure safe practices during drills), I've seen students that obviously have never spent any time drawing their weapon and executing a drill.

I've seen students fumble the draw so badly they sometimes dropped their weapon.

Others that took more than 5 seconds to draw and begin firing, students that muzzled themselves and others while trying to re-holster their weapon.

And so on.

Many of these students could shoot acceptably accurately once they got on target, and if the BG wasn't looking at them while they tried to get their weapon pointed downrange, they'd be okay with their 5+ second basically incompetent draw stroke, probably.

However, how about his scenario (this actually happened, except no good guy with a gun was present): you and your family/friends/date are having a bite at a local diner/restaurant. You excuse yourself to use the restrooms, and a few minutes later you return to the table.

As you are walking back, you hear gunshots inside the diner.

You come into view of your table to see the shooter standing just a few feet from your table. He's just finished shooting a couple at the table next to your party. With your family/friends/date cowering underneath/behind their table, People are screaming, crawling, running. The shooter then turns towards your family/friends/date as they cower underneath/behind their table. But you are slightly behind the shooter, and this angle gives you a safe shooting angle. He's likely going to fire his weapon at your people in the next few seconds.

Now how important is it to get your gun out of its holster and firing in the least amount of time? I guess it depends on how much you like your family/friends/date.


I've also watched my share of YT gunfight videos. I've been paying particular attention to the failures. I've noticed that a number of these "good guys with guns" fail because they have issues with getting their gun into the fight. Not most of them, but a fair percentage.

Of course, I'm not saying that they would've won their engagements had they drawn their gun "lightning quick," but at least they might've had a chance.

Now I don't have a "lightning-quick" draw stroke, but I practice my draw stroke 25 times every morning, 5 days a week. I average about 1.2 to 1.3 seconds from buzzer to first shot, from polo shirt concealment. That's not going to be fast enough to win any tournaments, but it's quick, and more importantly, it's consistent; it's basically become instinctual at this point.

Now, as others have said, the majority of the time, a super-fast draw isn't probably going to come into play in a "typical" gunfight, but history shows us that sometimes it is a useful skill to have.
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Old March 1, 2019, 06:22 PM   #27
labnoti
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The skills that keep you out of gun-action are always going to be more important. Next most important would be the skills that allow you to make good decisions on use-of-force.

But if we're considering weapon-handling skills exclusively, I don't think that time to draw is the most critical, but it can depend on what kinds of lethal-force encounters you might encounter. We might categorize them as:

crimes of opportunity against a person (armed robbery, mugging, assault, carjacking)
home invasion
domestic violence
acts of terrorism
mass shooter
assassination attempt

In some of these encounters, you might be a bystander, at least at first. In some, you have a chance to comply (hand over your wallet) and survive. In others, you have to fight to survive. Just opening the cash register might cause an armed robber to leave you alone, but it won't stop an assassin. If you start out as a bystander to terrorism, mass shooting, or domestic violence, you have to decide if and when to intervene.

While being able to draw smoothly, consistently, and without fumbling is critical, most lethal-force encounters aren't quick-draw competitions. So while drawing is super important, if tenths of a second are going to be critical, you might be better off not drawing. If it's really down to tenths, you might be trying to draw when your opponent already has the drop on you.

Whatever the encounter, the chances are your opponent is ahead of you because they initiated the attack. If they're using a weapon merely for intimidation (armed robbery), you might have to "wait your turn" and look for a better opportunity for a counter-ambush. You have a better chance with "compliance," or doing whatever your attacker wants until you get a better opportunity than one where tenths of a second matter.

So I would rate skill in drawing as very important, but not necessarily sheer speed in the draw, especially if the super-quick-draw speed you endeavor to attain is only practical with a special stance, two-hands available, and other controlled variables all in your favor.
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Old March 1, 2019, 06:23 PM   #28
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winning a fight can hinge on 1 issue but generally speaking, it hinges on several things. The key is to identify the most practical skills and develop them. Being super fast can make up for some deficiencies in other areas but I wouldn't count on it. I think that speed of draw is not likely to be the deciding factor in many gunfights but it could be.

I think that the speed in which a persons realized that danger is unfolding, the speed in which they reconcile the need to act and the mental fortitude needed to carry out a forceful response is probably as important.

I have never tried to be a fast draw, I simply try to make the process unencumbered as possible. The speed associated with that process is simply a byproduct not a primary goal. I am not trying to be fast, I am trying to be fluid/smooth.

The skills I consider most practical:

Awareness
Judgment
Mental Resolve (grit)
Tactics
Strategics
Marksmanship
Smooth, practiced and unencumbered presentation of a weapon
Fitness
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Old March 1, 2019, 07:05 PM   #29
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Now how important is it to get your gun out of its holster and firing in the least amount of time? I guess it depends on how much you like your family/friends/date
It is a lot less important than making a good hit; because just shooting him in the chest isn’t going to stop him from firing.

Again, pistols are weak. Regular people can get shot dead center and still be able to shoot back, move, stab, etc. I read a case the other day where someone was shot under the chin, it exited the top of the head. 9mm FMJ. Due to various circumstances, police weren’t even notified for 5-10 minutes. After police were called, they jocked up, established a perimeter, and entered. The guy shot through his head was mobile, alert to time and circumstances, and communicating with them, albeit with difficulty. He was also trying to provide himself first aid, although not super effectively.

Yet this whole “fast draw” premise is based on the mistaken belief that the first hit ends the fight.
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Old March 1, 2019, 07:58 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bartholomew Roberts View Post
It is a lot less important than making a good hit; because just shooting him in the chest isn’t going to stop him from firing.

Again, pistols are weak. Regular people can get shot dead center and still be able to shoot back, move, stab, etc. I read a case the other day where someone was shot under the chin, it exited the top of the head. 9mm FMJ. Due to various circumstances, police weren’t even notified for 5-10 minutes. After police were called, they jocked up, established a perimeter, and entered. The guy shot through his head was mobile, alert to time and circumstances, and communicating with them, albeit with difficulty. He was also trying to provide himself first aid, although not super effectively.

Yet this whole “fast draw” premise is based on the mistaken belief that the first hit ends the fight.
Well, obviously you have to get good hits. I wasn't saying that we should fire blindly without aiming at all. That would be stupid. Aiming and getting good hits on target is just part and parcel of one of the necessary skill sets required to increase your odds of surviving a gunfight, right? Firing a bunch of un-aimed rounds at a BG was never part of any thought process I have ever considered.

As for your anecdote, while I believe it happened, I don't believe that in most cases people that are shot in the head just walk away as if nothing happened. In fact, most of the videos I've seen of people being shot with handguns show that most of the time people react negatively to being shot. They go down. They run away. They noticed that they were shot. And in many cases they even die, despite the incredible weakness of pistol cartridges.

And who would shoot just one un-aimed round at the BG when he's about to take out your family/friends?

I guess I don't understand what you're trying to say here. It's always been my understanding no matter what weapons training I was learning, that I must strive to learn and master each skill set to the best of my ability, period. And learning to draw my gun quickly and efficiently and then put multiple aimed rounds downrange is part of the skill set included in learning to shoot defensively, or so I was taught.

Otherwise, shouldn't we all just be learning to shoot bulls-eye, or off bags/a rest only, and forget about combat shooting techniques altogether?
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Old March 1, 2019, 08:04 PM   #31
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Quote:
Yet this whole “fast draw” premise is based on the mistaken belief that the first hit ends the fight.
And not a bit of assumption that the fastest draw will be the first hit.


Quote:
I practice my draw stroke 25 times every morning, 5 days a week. I average about 1.2 to 1.3 seconds from buzzer to first shot,
cool, that's a bit of shooting, now what do those rounds HIT??? (or is it time from buzzer to trigger pull with no actual shooting??)

because the fastest draw means NOTHING without good hits.

There's a story in the movie UNFORGIVEN, about the guy who might have won the shootout, if he hadn't been the fastest draw...

Something to consider, despite the obvious risk, a slower accurate hit beats a faster miss.
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Old March 1, 2019, 08:25 PM   #32
Bartholomew Roberts
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rangerrich99
Well, obviously you have to get good hits
Well, how are we defining good hits? Because A-zone hits on an IDPA target are not the same as hits that stop a fight.

Quote:
I guess I don't understand what you're trying to say here.
I’m saying being the first one to land a hit isn’t the same as winning the fight. I’m not sure how to make that any clearer?

The whole “fast draw s the most important skill” relies on an unrealistic belief that a pistol will stop a fight with the first hit; but I’ve reviewed a few shootouts and that rarely happens.

Quote:
And in many cases they even die, despite the incredible weakness of pistol cartridges.
Around 80% of the people shot with a handgun in the U.S. survive.

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Old March 1, 2019, 09:18 PM   #33
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Let’s look at an actual shooting. Our CHL is a supervisor for unloading trucks at a big box store. Solid, middle-class job with low risk of getting robbed. His only major lifestyle risk is he works a 12hr shift and comes home during the witching hours.

He arrives at his apartment complex and is approached from multiple directions by three males with guns who command him to “Give it up!” and open fire as soon as the words are out of their mouth. He is hit in the dominant hand, weak arm, and abdomen before he can even get to his own gun. Despite the injuries, he returns fire and hits two of three attackers, driving them away.

Was a fast draw his most important skill? I’m sure he didn’t want to be any slower; but he won the fight despite being slower than his attackers. And he showed amazing resilience in being able to switch from “Man, I just spent 12 hours unloading trucks and now I’m home. I am really ready to kick back.” to “I need to kill these people to survive.”

He didn’t flee or “give it up”, he kicked in to fight mode and fought with his dominant hand already out of commission. His attackers on the other hand, started running as soon as he started shooting back. The most important aspect of that fight wasn’t a fast draw but a will to win.

And of course, a little better performance on observation and orientation might have made the whole fight unnecessary. Smooth, efficient, weapons manipulation is an important detail; but it isn’t the most important. It probably isn’t in the top five. Really, tedious, non-gun, observational stuff is at the top of that particular pyramid.

Important point: the pistol did not stop anybody in this fight. Everybody involved had the ability to continue the fight if they chose to. Only one guy made that choice. He won.
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Old March 2, 2019, 12:45 AM   #34
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Quote:
As one person put it "don't go to stupid places, where stupid people, do
stupid things". The gentleman speaking knew of what he spoke and said this would cut your chances of attack by 80%.
I've heard this called "The Rules of Stupid" and stated as:

Don't go stupid places at stupid times with stupid people to do stupid things.
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Old March 2, 2019, 08:30 AM   #35
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Fast draw? No.

1. Speed of Decision.
2. Depth of Determination.

... both of which have already been discussed here in detail.

I would only offer what lawmen already know.
- If you see the gun, you're likely already dead.
- Save for #2 . . . which you will never truly know until after the fact.
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Old March 2, 2019, 10:06 AM   #36
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Well, of course situational awareness and staying out of trouble is best. But if all of that fails, and it's a shooting situation, then I want be the first to fire and keep firing until the threat is over. If I can't be first, then I at least want to be fast and accurate with my response, or escape the threat if that works.

As an armed civilian, I can very easily see how, at the very least, I might end up behind the curve when the fight starts. I might need to catch up quick, so if I am not dead or incapacitated already, I want the fastest of fastdraws in my toolbox, and accuracy to go with it.
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Old March 2, 2019, 11:10 AM   #37
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The fast draw is nonsense.

For one thing, can a person really whip his pistol around and have the control needed to get on target? Isn't the most important thing to get on target and fire before the other guy gets a hit in? You can get the first deadly shot in without having a draw speed of 0.1 second.

Isn't getting the first shot in dependent on a wise and careful decision? If you haven't gone through the few seconds of planning beforehand, you will be grabbing and scrambling because you just saw a threat. Fast draw = Grab and scramble unless you have reached expert level and then added the mental skills required to do so under stress, under the gun, while surprised. Surprise and coordination and careful shot placement are completely impossible combinations.

I personally can draw and fire pretty rapidly, and I've trained myself to do so fluidly. I know that I am never going to be able to beat the already armed bad guy unless he's a real clod. So, where would having a fast draw (grab and scramble) put me? It puts me at gunpoint with a guy who may or may not be able to simply pull the trigger that is already pointed at my chest.

IMO being the first one in action is very overrated. Being proficient at the whole sequence is what you need. To be able to put your eye on target and accurately fire that gun at the target before your opponent can.

If you can get the gun on target in one second, that's good enough if the other guy is slower. my father in law told me about his quick draw training.
Quote:
I stood at the mirror and worked on my fast draw until I was faster than that guy in the mirror.


He demonstrated once for me and couldn't get within the target frame at 50 feet.

Come on, pops.

So, the simplest part of all of this is that you must develop handling skills because being fast gives you no advantage if you drop the thing trying to drag it out from under your coat.
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Old March 2, 2019, 11:23 AM   #38
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Nonverbal interview would be the classic guy hanging out trying not to look to obvious. Leaning on a wall and say acting like he's talking on phone. The whole time scanning. If you make eye contact he will usually look away. Or you may catch them looking to long at someone. Often your gut will tell you something is wrong here. He's looking for the obvious signs that say easy victim.
Walking with short steps with head down. Or having on ear buds, talking on your cell phone, just oblivious to what is going on around you. Looking for an easy mark. Might start to follow after victim is selected. Just a few examples.
Give you an example of a blatant example. It was not verbal. And it involved testing the victims reactions. Years ago I was teaching some students Martial Arts. One of the young ladies was very attractive and worked at a restaurant.
I guy they hired started going up to the different waitresses. Giving them a pinch. And seeing their reaction. One of the girls cried. My student gave him a good kick and whacked him in the head with a serving tray.
He was fired and walked out of the place of business. He waited that night and attacked the girl that had been timed and afraid. He was testing them to see who would or would not put up resistance.
Verbal I can give you an example that happened recently here. At a local market attached to gas station a man was hanging around in the store and approaching people telling them he was short of money and needed a few bucks. He said he was "trying to do right. Bu his friends had encouraged him to get a tree branch and hit people in the head". It was a form of strong arming in a manner. But it was a threat of violence to see how you would respond. One of the more overt ones.
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Old March 2, 2019, 12:43 PM   #39
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I've watched all of Raylan Givens. I've watched all of Jason Bourne and all the John Wick movies several times. To add to this I just finished binge watching season 2 of The Punisher. So I'm ready on the quick draw! Ready for this discussion!

Non verbal interview? That's me slapping a fool with my pistol. Or better yet his pistol that I grabbed off him. Like Sam Spade slapping Joel Cairo.

What ya want to know?

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Old March 2, 2019, 02:04 PM   #40
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Fast draw is a TV line of bull made famous by all the westerns that used to be on TV. It's a fantasy.
Western style fast draw is a fantasy.

However, anyone who has participated in a "Tueller" drill, and most people who have participated in realistic FoF simulations, realize that once a violent attack begins, it will proceed very rapidly, and it will not last long, however it ends.

If the use of a firearm is needed, and if the defender cannot produce it very quickly and use it effectively, the defender will lose.

Quote:
I think someone's been watching too much TV.
There are probably two areas in which people are misled by screen fiction. One is the speed with which a violent criminal acts unfold. The screenwriters slow it down so that the audience does not miss anything.

The other is the way a single shot from a handgun is always shown as immediately effective. That is simply unrealistic.
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Old March 2, 2019, 03:10 PM   #41
Rangerrich99
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Originally Posted by Bartholomew Roberts View Post
Well, how are we defining good hits? Because A-zone hits on an IDPA target are not the same as hits that stop a fight.



I’m saying being the first one to land a hit isn’t the same as winning the fight. I’m not sure how to make that any clearer?

The whole “fast draw s the most important skill” relies on an unrealistic belief that a pistol will stop a fight with the first hit; but I’ve reviewed a few shootouts and that rarely happens.



Around 80% of the people shot with a handgun in the U.S. survive.
Hey Bart, upon review, I think we're talking past each other to a degree. But I came off a bit snarky last night, and for that I apologize, my bad.

Anyways, I get what you're saying. Even good hits don't necessarily mean stopping the fight, and I agree with that.

For myself, I define "good hits," as inside a 6-inch by 10-inch rectangle vertically centered just below the collarbones down to about the solar plexus area. Any hits outside that area are bad hits as I score them, out to a distance of 12 yards. Beyond that I use a standard 8.5 x 11-inch sheet of paper, same placement on the target.

I also agree with you about the whole "a fast draw is the most important skill," thing. Which I believe I said in my first post. Just being first is irrelevant if you are just spraying rounds, or even if you just get periphery hits. I believe the hits have to be well-placed, though even marginal hits will probably be noticed and could give the attacker pause. It should also be noted that if the shooter does react/hesitate after being hit initially, that pause could give the defender the necessary time and opportunity to finish the job.

Here's what I believe is an example of what I was trying to describe. The robbery starts at about :43 seconds: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sr6UtCW5zZs

Now I can't tell you how fast the guard drew his weapon, but it was fairly quick, and I also don't know what kind of hit he got with his first shot, but the robber definitely noticed getting shot and it definitely ruined his plan. It also gave the guard a chance to gather himself and get additional hits, ultimately forcing the BG to retreat and allowing the guard to finish the job.

Now I'm not saying that every encounter will or should work out this way, my only point is that this guy had to get a hit from the draw in a very short time frame, and if he hadn't, he probably would've died that day.

And 20% is a relatively high percentage. I didn't say "most," just "many."

Anyway, the only point I originally was really trying to make was that, IMHO, there is value to becoming adept/expert at your drawstroke, assuming adequate marksmanship, of course. But I'm aware that there's no magic pill when it comes to gunfights, and a "lightning quick draw" is not necessarily going to dictate anything about the outcome of a fight.

Anyhow, if I came off as a PITA, it was unintentional. Think I'm just going stir-crazy over here, not being able to go fishing this last three months.

Last edited by Rangerrich99; March 2, 2019 at 03:17 PM.
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Old March 2, 2019, 04:18 PM   #42
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One of the ways I like to describe it is that you need to be able to take your time in a hurry.
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Old March 2, 2019, 06:00 PM   #43
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We all have to work out exactly how we carry. About every system trades something for something else.
Example,tucked IWB might be concealable,it might not be so fast,and "untucking" might be a signal to the bad guy.

I have a kydex pocket holster that ,whether in my jacket pocket or front pants pocket,allows me to wrap my hand around the grip discretely any time something does not seem right.Gun stays in the holster,finger can't touch the trigger,everything is concealed,and I can look natural and relaxed with my hand in my pocket.

In many/most concealed carry arrangements,the time consuming/frantic/exposed part is getting the gun hand to the grip.

I don't make any claim to being a Jerry Lewis/Sammy Davis fast draw.

But I start from pretty much "low ready" without revealing I'm armed.

As far as first shot vs first good hit, IMO,it would be a LOT harder to deliver a good hit after taking a hit.

Its just an amusing,entertaining "B" western, but Willie Nelson in the movie "Barbarosa" addresses this to a degree.Keeping your head and cool,and smoothly tending to business beats frantic wasted effort.


I;ve never been in a gunfight.I have dealt with an up close and personal bear that had already injured my wife,who was close enough I backed him off by just "counting coup" across his face. I was surging adrenaline,> I recall things being rather slow motion. I selected his nose as I focused on the bead. After the first sho the went down and got back up.,As he shook his head,I saw the axis of rotation as his spine and put the bead on it. I severed his spinal cord deliberately.

He was dead. I suspect I could have emptied that Win 97 12 ga very quickly on "center of mass" without immediately putting that bear down.
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Old March 2, 2019, 09:11 PM   #44
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I'm going to take a step back and look at this from a slightly different standpoint.

Whether or not a fast draw is important for deadly force encounters, a safe, well-practiced and "competent" draw is critical.

In other words, whether or not you think it's important to practice for speed, you still need to practice for smoothness and competence with your normal carry rig and (if applicable) cover garments.

You may not need to be fast, but you do need to be able to consistently clear your cover garment and get a good grip on the gun before you start the draw.

You don't have to try for speed, but you do need to make sure you don't get your finger on the trigger too soon and that you don't sweep your support hand (or any other body parts you want to remain unshot) during the draw.

Getting the gun out of the holster blindingly fast may not be terribly important but you do need enough practice that you can get a consistent grip with your support hand and that you don't have to waste time getting the gun indexed on the target.

In other words, if you're reading this thread and are relieved that lightning speed on the draw doesn't seem to be tremendously important in real-world self-defense encounters, do NOT get the idea that means you don't need to practice your draw.

If you don't get your cover garment clear and grasp part of it with the grip of your gun, you will end up involuntarily throwing your gun away when the cover garment brings your hand up short but the gun keeps moving.

If you can't get a consistent grip on your gun before starting the draw, you run the risk of dropping the gun or of failing to defeat the friction of the holster to allow the gun to be drawn.

If you don't practice for trigger safety and to avoid sweeping body parts, you could end up shooting yourself.

So, if you don't want to practice for speed on the draw, that's ok. But that does NOT mean you don't have to practice your draw at all.
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Old March 2, 2019, 09:46 PM   #45
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I didn’t read all the responses but I think DOJ states the first most important thing is getting off line (like lateral movement or moving to cover) and second is shot placement.
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Old March 2, 2019, 10:38 PM   #46
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The most important skill is situational awareness.
With that you can avoid 99% of deadly force encounters.
The remaining 1% requires a good aim.
If you are aware of your surroundings you have already pulled your weapon.
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Old March 3, 2019, 12:19 AM   #47
Bartholomew Roberts
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Hey Bart, upon review, I think we're talking past each other to a degree. But I came off a bit snarky last night, and for that I apologize, my bad.
No problem and I didn’t take it that way. I think JohnKSA summarized what both of us were trying to say well. You don’t need to be lightning fast; but you do need to be smooth.

I remember a Force-on-Force course I took where I was wearing a sweater with elastic around the bottom as a cover garment. I lifted with my weak hand to access the Glock. Then I pulled the Glock straight up and snagged the slide on the elastic, the elastic gave a little bit at first as I drew and then rubberbanded the Glock straight out of my hand and at the feet of my attacker as I tried to rotate it.

As comedy goes, it was a great success; but it did impress on me there were worse things than a slow, smooth, draw. Weapon manipulation is, of course, very important; but I just don’t think it is as important as the amount of attention it often receives.
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Old March 3, 2019, 01:34 AM   #48
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video

Now that there is video security seemingly everywhere, and our access to images from such records is available via the internet, it is possible to view and review gunfights. I've got my own conclusions, you can take them for what they're worth.

I'll use a broad interpretation of the term "tactics" to include mindset, use of cover, awareness and avoidance. Good tactics will help you avoid fights, and hopefully allow you to win one as well. A blazing IDPA draw is not a hindrance, but we now have recordings of a large number of gun fights being won now by what appears to be untrained folks w/ very average presentations, but who did so at the right time and place, launching what some trainers call a counter ambush. A large component of these wins obviously involves having a firearm to begin with, and on- body carry is way ahead of off- body.

For an LEO, or others carrying a firearm for a living, you might as well EXPECT that you will someday be in an armed confrontation. As part of such a mindset, your firearms skills need to be as sharp as one can hone them, as LE shootings are often reactionary , you may be behind the curve regardless of your awareness,and the fractions of a second you gain with an efficient presentation might make the difference.
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Old March 3, 2019, 08:19 AM   #49
OldMarksman
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Quote:
If you are aware of your surroundings you have already pulled your weapon.
Do not do so unless and until you have an objective basis fir a reasonable belief that deadly force is immediately necessary to defend against an imminent threat.

Awareness may provide you with a means to avoid that eventuality.
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Old March 3, 2019, 10:23 AM   #50
stephen426
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I really don't understand the need to immediately dismiss something we don't agree with as fiction or worse. We read the first few words of the post and then make ASSumptions as to what others are saying. We don't bother reading the while post or any of the previous posts. Are we here to show off how much we know and put others down or are we here to share opinions and learn from each other? We can cite statistics for or against a lot of different things and never agree. I appreciate the guys that say a good fast draw is a good skill to have in addition to other skills.

I used to think that shooting nice small groups was a very important skill to have. That is until I was at a range where there were some really thug looking characters. They had one hand holding up their pants and they had the gun held sideways "gangster style". They were shooting rapid fire and their groupings looked more like a shotgun pattern, but some of the hits were critical hits and could easily be debilitating if not deadly. The light bulb went on and I realized that a nice pretty grouping doesn't mean squat if you can't get lead on target quickly. While good marksmanship IS important, the thugs don't care about groupings or collateral damage. Its basically take them out before they take you out.

If I had to rank skills in order of importance, it would probably be:
1. Avoidance/Situational Awareness - Don't be there in the first place and don't let yourself get caught off guard. While we can go through life in condition yellow/orange our whole lives and have our heads on a swivel, things still can and will happen. You can probably lump de-escalation into here, but it won't work in all circumstances.
2. Drawing your weapon - Honestly speaking, how many people practice drawing their gun from concealment on a regular basis (Other than Rangerrich99 - good job by the way). If you don't practice getting your weapon into play and you fumble your draw in a poop hits the fan situation, things probably won't go too well for you. Our practical shooting club stresses that you should shoot what you carry and practice drawing from how you carry.
3. Good Marksmanship - It won't matter how fast you draw if you can't hit your target. Sometimes the mere presence of an armed victim is enough to end hostilities (usually contact weapon or size advantage), but you can't count on it. Also, as good law-abiding citizens, we try to minimize collateral damage rather than spraying and praying. Make good hits quickly until the threat is no longer a threat.
4. Situational Awareness - It is well documented that people can go into a zone like focus in a self-defense situation. It is important to watch for other attackers and to get a good read of the situation.

Feel free to add on or chime in with your own $.02, but please keep it civil.
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