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Are We Teaching The Wrong Things About The Concealed Carry Draw?

Are We Teaching The Wrong Things About The Concealed Carry Draw?

Yeah, I know, this is more inline with the stuff I post on my firearms training website. Indulge me.

Let’s assume for a minute that concealed carry is the American martial art, and that it’s a weapons-based martial art. First off, it differs from a lot of other weapons-based martial arts like kendo or HEMA in that is doesn’t come from a martial background. Instead, it’s more like the karate weapons disciplines, where nunchucks and sais came out of common farming implements like pitchforks and flails. Some other close analogies I can think of are things like fencing with sword canes or fighting with staff. All of these require you to have your weapon on you in order to use your fighting knowledge when everything is on the line. 

And just like other martial arts, there’s a tendency to focus on the exploits of the true masters of the art and then try to adapt those techniques to the needs of the beginning student. This doesn’t work because all a beginning student needs to do, four times out of five, is have a decent-quality firearm on them and be able to present to the attacker. A sub-second draw or a two second Bill Drill only begin to come into play in those one out of five times when rounds have to go downrange.

But how much do they matter even then? 

Let’s take, for example, the oft-quoted and even more often misunderstood “Tueller Drill” (which isn’t really a drill…). Dennis Tueller figured out that an athletic male can cover 21 feet in about two seconds, which we interpret to mean that a competent concealed carry practitioner should be able to draw and hit a target seven yards away in under two seconds. But is that actually what happens when someone rushes up to you? 

Of course not. In reality, they’re going to cover most of that distance in those two seconds and be up close and personal at around a second and a half. So therefore, our standard should be to draw and put a round on target 3 yards away, from retention, in a second and a half. Or, if that’s not possible, “shoot from two” at a target one yard away in that same time frame. One and a half seconds into the “Tueller Drill” is about when we’d expect to see the bad guy show up in our face, so this would be a more-realistic representation of what a bad guy rushing us would look like. 

Oh, and that second and a half draw to Position Two thing? It also works as a great counter-ambush technique. Imagine, if you will, that you’re now caught up in a transactional violence encounter. Whether it’s because your ]situational awareness has failed or the bad guy has decided that the juice is worth the squeeze, it doesn’t matter. It’s now your turn under the gun. Deal with it. 

Watch this video from Craig Douglas, the absolute master of close-range encounters. Is he doing a one-second draw here? No. Why? Because the same things we look for to tell us that things are out of whack are the same things the bad guy looks for, namely furtive movements. Malicious compliance is how John Murphy describes this sort of behaviour, and it fits well here. Craig earns his draw by getting permission from his assailant to pull things out of his pockets, one of which just happens to be a .32 Kel-Tec. 

What does a sub-second draw to Down Zero have to do with that sort of defense? Absolutely nothing. A 1.5 second shot to the head at 3 yards, on the other hand, might be a very usable skill.

Plan accordingly.

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