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Old January 5, 2012, 04:47 PM   #26
Brian Pfleuger
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I've never done the test described in the OP but I have done a test with air soft guns just as described, where one actor must draw and shoot before the other pulls the trigger.

Distractions and whatnot are one thing but if the BG is standing there alert and ready to react, most people are screwed. Capital SCREWED.

From my typical concealment, I can draw and point shoot in about 1.5 seconds. Maybe close to 1.0 on a really good day. I'm not a trained assassin but neither are 95% of CCWers.

Besides that, until I carry a phaser, there's a lot more to worry about than whether I can pull the trigger FIRST. FIRST better be "only" or I'm in trouble anyway.
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Old January 5, 2012, 04:51 PM   #27
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Bill Jordan and Jelly Bryce could draw and fire faster than the reaction time of most folks. I cannot.
It is one thing to do with a holster not concealed and another when the handgun is concealed. I personally am going to have to see it before I will believe that it can be done from a covered gun.

But suppose you could draw faster than the BG reaction time. Your shot may not stop him from shooting you.

Unless one firmly believes that the BG is going to shoot you anyway, I think it is very foolish to try to draw and beat him and not get shot. For what? A few or a hundred dollars???

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14  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
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Old January 5, 2012, 05:31 PM   #28
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I don't think the bandit can react that fast.
There's a big difference between "can" react and "will" react.

Average human reaction time is around .25ish, with some folks faster, some slower. You're not going to beat that from concealment against an individual willing to pull the trigger. Been there, done that with sims.

However, when it comes down to it, we probably won't have to, as fights are nothing more than a test of will. Lack of will on the criminals part can lead to hesitation, and I am of the opinion that most, but certainly not all, armed criminals want to get away with their crime without having a murder rap to deal with, so there will more than likely be some hesitation on their part. You see it all the time in crime videos.

Criminal lack of will that creates hesitation, combined with deception or distraction (such as you mention) and masking some of the draw stroke, can all buy you more time and enable you to get off a shot, but there's no guarantee. There never is.

IMO, since there is NO guarantee that you won't be shot and killed despite being compliant, you might as well fight as if your life depended on it, because it probably does.

Do what you think is best.
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Old January 5, 2012, 10:15 PM   #29
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It's pointless arguing over who's going to get a shot off first. Good guy's a 1/4 second faster, bad guy's a 1/4 second faster, who cares? It's not a phaser, the other guy's not going to just disappear into thin air. Unless one of you hits the CNS, (unlikely) there's no reason both of you can't still shoot. You can be half a second faster, drill him through the heart, and he can still kill you.

With cover, the right mindset, a distracted BG, luck, etc., your chances would increase. Someone who believes in managing risk would try to determine how that balances against the risk of compliance. Others would fight back on principle, refusing to let the crook have control of the situation. I can understand either point of view.

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Old January 6, 2012, 12:21 AM   #30
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But suppose you could draw faster than the BG reaction time. Your shot may not stop him from shooting you.
I can't believe it took 27 posts for someone to mention this. We don't shoot death-rays.
If someone has a gun pointed at me I'm probably not going to draw.
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Old January 6, 2012, 01:06 AM   #31
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this totally depends on the two people in the standoff. I'm a bad guy. I got a gun in your belly. I say don't move. suddenly you move. since I'm not some punk hood rat that borrowed his momma's pocket pistol, I'm former military and all that, I'm probably going to shoot and kill eddy noodlehead who never trained a moment, but read that he's faster than an armed hood.

If I go armed, some hood rat points a gun at me, tells me not to move, I see that his firearm isn't really aimed at me, hammer is down, he doesn't look as if he's ready to do the job, I'm going to wait for a good moment, then snap my gun out and put as many rounds in him as I can.

a punk is a punk is a punk. good guy or bad guy, the one who dies is almost certain to be the one who has no training, no matter who had the drop on who.
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Old January 6, 2012, 02:15 AM   #32
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The Force Science Institute in Minnesota has already run tests regarding this subject. The result was that it's not terribly hard to beat an officer's drawn gun.

They concluded that it was easily possible to draw and fire (from a tucked-in-the-waistband position) a handgun in about 0.34 seconds and as fast as 0.20 seconds, IIRC the stats. Typical reaction time for people is about 0.50-0.75 seconds.

Causes for the delay in response to the suspect's movements, they believe, include the need to confirm justification to fire in their decision making, disbelief that the subject would attempt to resist at gunpoint and, of course, deciding if they should fire at all.

I would never want to bet my life that my speed at drawing would be faster than someone's ability to react. But the comment that it's best to act when the aggressor is talking is sound advice since they have to shift gears mentally from speaking to processing the visual input.

This all gets back to interrupting someone's OODA loop. If you can introduce one or more unexpected variables into the situation it complicates the person's response time. For instance, dropping your wallet at the person's feet instead of handing it over presents a multiple decision for them - pick it up, leave it, make you do it or shoot you. While they're initially processing what to do (or initiating "the wrong choice") you act while they're distracted.

One Big Caveat:
Most of us have a natural inhibition against using deadly force. Many people are ingrained with the idea of "fair play" and/or "doing all the right things" and may have trouble suppressing those concepts in order to act swiftly and without hesitation.

But not so for someone who is a violent killer. Especially one who thinks he has nothing to lose by murdering you. He may lack any kind of social or legal inhibitions against killing or maiming people. In this case, his reaction time is likely to be much faster. His only decision tree might be kill you now or kill you later -- but your movement simplified the decision for him.
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Old January 6, 2012, 02:42 AM   #33
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Not getting shot, even if you shoot first

Thats one of the main points of the Mozambique Drill (two to the chest one to the head in +/- 1.5 seconds). I'm not saying even the best can pull it off without getting shot, I'm just saying...

Actually, unless you're very good and even if you are very good; it might not be smart to try and draw. Especially, if it was something like an armed robbery where they were just going to take the money and leave.

No one I've ever seen is as fast from their concealment holster as they are from a belt holster either. Use your range timers and see, half a second goes by fast. Now imagine a loaded gun is pointed at you and the slightest fumble you get shot. I don't like the odds.
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Old January 6, 2012, 05:14 AM   #34
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I believe the average guy/gal can shoot an adversary already pointing a gun at them. Speed however is not the major factor in pulling it off.
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Old January 6, 2012, 06:03 AM   #35
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Verrrrrrrrrrry intresting.
While i value life i have always been told by my daddy if your in my sights you are not a person but a target to destroy.
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Old January 6, 2012, 11:26 AM   #36
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If I believed that the bad guy was going to shoot me, yes I would try something. My CC is not set up for a fast draw, nor do I really want it to be. Playing for a slight distraction or a pointing of his gun away from me before I chose to draw would be good. The down side of "I can draw and shoot faster than he can shoot" to me, is if you are wrong you get shot, and possible even if you are right you get shot. I would be thinking more along the lines of getting a chance to knock him off balance and then move or draw, I have no intention of EVER matching reactions times in a fair fight. Fair gunfights suck!!
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Old January 6, 2012, 12:12 PM   #37
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We've all thought about this, but all the drills and testing can't replicate the actuality of an amped-up criminal doing a robbery and an armed victim having been caught pants down. So many variables and possible outcomes.

I regularly practice the wimpy, let me get my wallet routine, weak hand up and palm out in supplication, turned a little to my left to present a profile in lieu of a frontal; my gun rides at about 7:30 (i'm a lefty) and it really looks like i'm going for my wallet in my back pocket (at least in a mirror). For me it isn't about speed so much as setting up the illusion of meek compliance, so that when the gun comes out and fires from my hip, it's completely unexpected - ie., a the BG is distracted, sees my empty weak hand, and is expecting the wallet to come up in the other. Hopefully it delays his recognition of danger until after the first couple shots are already in him and i'm moving the other way fast, still firing.

I have no idea if it would work. I hope i never have to find out. But i'd sure feel stupid dying with my gun still in its holster.

And how much does the math change if your wife and/or kids are with you when you are accosted, multiplying the potential destruction of the BGs bullets?
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Old January 6, 2012, 02:31 PM   #38
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I have seen it done in movies 100 times (at least) but that certainly does not mean that I would ever attempt to outdraw and shoot someone whom already has me at gun point. I suppose there is a place and a time for everything, but logic is not on your side.
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Old January 6, 2012, 02:39 PM   #39
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The answer is situationally dependent. We have to realize that odds are not really in our favor; that there are things we might do to improve the odds; and that the best bet might be to hand over a wallet.

That said, a few different scenarios leap to mind. I suspect many here have seen these videos.

1) Guys get mugged in entryway to apartment building; one of the victims tries to wrestle the gun away, takes several bullets in the abdomen, and I think he died later.

2) Guy tries to stop a shooter on a subway platform, but can't get traction in his cowboy boots from the looks of it. Slips, falls, gets shot.


3) Lawyer is attacked outside courthouse by disgruntled former client. Lawyer bobs, weaves, runs around tree. He gets hit several times, but not killed or crippled. Bystanders physically take shooter down.

On the non-video side, as I've mentioned before, I know a guy who has stopped people from shooting him on multiple occasions, but he acted when he saw them go for the draw.

From my perspective, if somebody flashes a gun at me, my response will very likely be different than if that person is already holding a gun on me. Unless, of course, I get a very bad vibe from him, in which case, if I think I'm going down anyway, I'm going down fighting.
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Old January 6, 2012, 05:58 PM   #40
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Situtional Awareness

You can do much to greatly reduce the possibility of getting caught with your guard down through situational awareness. It's as simple as that, you must know who is around you at all times and assess those who could pose a threat. If you genuinely believe a specific individual could be a threat. Casually get your gun in your hand but keep it out of view. Should you be right, you have more than a fighting chance of winning.
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Old January 6, 2012, 06:53 PM   #41
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Lack of will on the criminals part can lead to hesitation, and I am of the opinion that most, but certainly not all, armed criminals want to get away with their crime without having a murder rap to deal with, so there will more than likely be some hesitation on their part.
True, that's why if somebody holds me up that says, "Look, I'm sorry, but I gotta have your wallet," I'm likely figuring it's one of those guys that's been out of work for the last few years, and I'm probably giving it up without a fight. Not that what he's doing is right of course, but I seriously doubt he wants to shoot me. On the other hand if it's a punk with a Mr. T starter set, holding his gun sideways, I'm going to figure a total lack of conscience, and I'm definitely looking for the opportunity to draw and fire, rather than simply laying down and dying, which I figure is on his mind.
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Old January 6, 2012, 07:42 PM   #42
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They concluded that it was easily possible to draw and fire (from a tucked-in-the-waistband position) a handgun in about 0.34 seconds and as fast as 0.20 seconds
Wow, most people can't move their trigger finger on a mouse button that fast, much less get all those arm muscles moving to draw from concealment and fire.

What kind of times do you get on a reaction speed test?

The world record for fast draw is .207, and that's clearing a speed holster (not concealed) with your hand just above the gun and popping a blank.

These guys with a gun already in their hand took longer than your .34 from concealment:

Last edited by 45_auto; January 6, 2012 at 08:02 PM.
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Old January 6, 2012, 09:40 PM   #43
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45 Auto,

Those are reaction times (moving from a signal), while the Force Science experiments dealt with action times (moving, not from a signal). Their research shows that if you are acting and the BG has to react to your movement, you get the benefit of the reactionary time delay even if/though the other person appears to hold all the cards.

Put more simply: he's holding you at gunpoint because he wants to force you to do something; he does not intend to shoot you right this moment. That means that if you act quickly and decisively, you can get ahead of his ability to react. That's especially true if he hasn't yet made the decision to shoot, but it's also true even if he has decided to shoot if you don't comply, because he has to process the fact that you're not complying while all you have to do is move.

Sometimes. (But don't bet your life on it unless your life is already on the table...)

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Old January 6, 2012, 10:06 PM   #44
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So the bandit has the drop on you, so what
Real world... Not open carrying; probably under a shirt; IWB; under a jacket; or in a pocket holster. If you're lucky, you might be carrying in a quick draw retention holster like a Fobus. Then you might have a chance and even then it is a slim chance.

We're not talking about who's faster on the draw. The BG already has his gun out and likely aimed at you. As I'd posted in another thread, you would have a better chance (if you are trained) at disarming the BG than drawing on him.
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Old January 6, 2012, 10:11 PM   #45
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Back in the early 70s there was a writer, I believe his name was Marshall. He was a retired NYPD Officer. I don't know his record but he was involved in numerous shoot outs.

His advice, backed up by personal experience, was do not attempt to draw unless they were trying to force you into the cooler. At that time there had been a number of robberys were the victums were placed in the "stores" cooler and executed.

His point was, unless you are in immediate fear for your life or your loved ones, donot attempt to draw.

If you are in fear, then distractions and the other deceptions are good points. My CCW instructors, walking to car thief confronts and demands keys, was drop your keys and then draw.
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Old January 6, 2012, 10:17 PM   #46
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live coward dead hero

best is to put a mental image of him in your mind and wait for a chance of him leaving then turn the tables but but not in the back
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Old January 7, 2012, 07:25 AM   #47
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This is a good place to throw this out again. This was from a radio show around 1960 entitled "Yours truly, Johnny Dollar." Johnny Dollar was a freelance insurance investigator and was the man with the "action packed expense account."

The scene was when the bad guy was corner by Dollar and the local sheriff who outdrew the bad guy.
"Wow, I've never seen a draw that fast except on television."
"That's where I learned it."
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Old January 7, 2012, 09:12 AM   #48
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This data seems to make Kraig's point perfectly:
Myth: You are more likely to be injured or killed using a gun for self-defense
Fact: You are far more likely to survive a violent assault if you defend yourself with a gun. In episodes where a robbery victim was injured, the injury/defense rates were:119
Resisting with a gun 6%
Did nothing at all 25%
Resisted with a knife 40%
Non-violent resistance 45%
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Old January 7, 2012, 09:42 AM   #49
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I am a firm believer, that if someone has a gun pointed at you, and you are carrying, the advantage is in your court. I think you can draw and fire before the bandit can shoot his gun he already has out.
kraigwy, funny that you mention such a test given that in a similar test, the Tueller Drill, is often run in such a manner and the person drawing and firing often loses against a person with a knife who has to run 21 feet.

I would disagree with you completely that a bad guy with his gun pointed at you and your gun holstered means that the advantage is in your court. In fact, what you describe definitely indicates that the advantage is not in your court. You describe waiting until an opportunity presents itself to respond, such as the bad guy getting distracted. It is at that point that you may gain an advantage, not before. If you had the advantage the whole time, then you would not need to be waiting for an opportunity to respond. You are not responding before the opportunity because the bad guy has the advantage.

What you are describing, however, is responding smartly. Basically, you are talking about complying and/or not fighting until which time there is an opportunity to respond that is more to your advantage.

This data seems to make Kraig's point perfectly:
The data might support the point, except nobody seems to be able to actually find the source for the data. Can you? As near as I can ascertain, it is completely fabricated. Gunfacts cites a study by the British Home Office for the data. The BHO sight has countless reports posted on it. They are all titled, dated, and many (most?) have authors. In other words, they can be searched for and found. Many of the reports deal specifically with crime and self defense. None that I can find have the actual data described. Strangely, you would think the folks at Gunfacts would provide a proper citation for the information. They do for many other subjects in Gunfacts, but not for this claim. You have to wonder why they don't provide a proper citation for the information and that the information provided doesn't seem to match any study from the BHO's website, unless the information isn't valid.
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Old January 7, 2012, 10:40 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by DNS
The data might support the point, except nobody seems to be able to actually find the source for the data. Can you? As near as I can ascertain, it is completely fabricated.
Besides which, even if the data were true, it's impossible to parse the generic "survive violent assault" from the very specific "draw on someone who already has a gun pointed at you", unless someone can find the original raw data describing the incidents.

The main discussion in the thread so far (including my own previous post) seems to be of a slightly different bend than the OP. Whether or not we believe that it's possible, or even likely, to successfully draw without getting shot, the assertion that "the advantage is in your court" is not even supported by the OP, as you point out.
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