In Search Of The Perfect Balance
There are usually two trains of thoughts in the concealed carry world. Those who must have the fastest drawstrokes and everyone else. The fastest drawstroke sacrafices in other areas, other areas that might be more important.
Its Not About The Gear
In a recent concealed carry class one of the conversations that happened off the firing line had to do with how fast should the drawstroke be in the real world and fastest drawstroke sacrafices. The obvious answer is fast enough. Only, that doesn’t help much when you are trying to provide feedback. I feel there are three ways to look at your drawstroke; repeatable drawstroke, sneaky drawstroke and the sooner drawstroke. Each one of these needs to be practiced to a high degree of skill and then sustained over time. It is easy to go down the rabbit hole when ever we start talking about improving human performance. Naturally, the first place we start is on gear. What gear can I get that will make me go fast, in this case. Truthfully, no gear will help you go fast and conceal well enough for everyday carry.
Don’t Be Fooled
When you are allocating time to practice your drawstroke there is the added complication of concealment. Since this was a concealed carry class some of the students were having a hard time making the par times and still remaining accurate. While this is a training related issue for many, it can also have poor unintended consequences. In this case, when the freedom to choose the holster and its location along with the cover garment many opted for the least concealable holster and location combination. I’m not saying it is a bad way to carry, but carrying on the waistband (OWB) does not conceal as well as inside the waistabnd (IWB). A better way to look at this is IWB allow for mistakes. Your concealed carry mindset has to be on point with OWB, something I think is possible, but not necessary.
Working From Other Common Positions
The whole reason for these decisions was in an effort to make the par times. I understand why it can influence decision making, but it shouldn’t. Yes, you may not have the fastest drawstroke, but is it repeatable. When I say repeatable what I mean is can you repeat the drawstroke as per the par time from any position or condition. In other words, can you still make that par time from your back, a sitting position or when on the move. I would much rather have a drawstroke that is capable of being reliable in those conditions than fastest drawstroke sacrafices. Since we don’t know what the conditions of the deadly force encounter might be we must plan for a wide array of contengencies. Shooting from our backs as if we were knocked down, from a seated position such as at a meal time or on the move as we try to exit the danger area are all real scenarios.
Types of Attacks
Most deadly force situations can be broken down into either an surprise or staged attack. The surprise attack is the most dangerous because we do not see it coming and way behind. While it might seem logical to have a super fast drawstroke for the surprise attacks, chances are you will not have the time and space to draw. You may need to counter attack to create time and distance, then draw. The staged attack happens in phases, you might see some of the signs and as a result are able to take action. Even if that action means running away, it is something. It is during the staged attacks I see the sneaky drawstroke the most valuable. You are either using a diversion or maybe a distraction to carefully draw your handgun while still keeping it somehwat hidden or obscured. Having the gun in hand makes a big difference when the attack is triggered and gives you more options.
Being a Split Second Ahead
We say the fastest drawstroke is when you draw sooner. This has more to do with maintaining situational awareness and being able to detect possible attack signs. It runs a fine line between being in the right and being in the wrong. Brandishing a weapon to intimidate is illegal, even against someone wishing to do you violence. However, if you time it so you are a split second or more ahead of the reactionary gap it might make the difference. The point is, whatever your drawstroke speed, it didn’t matter about the fastest drawstroke sacrafices. What mattered is you had a reliable drawstroke that you were able to execute seconds in advance.
There is plenty of reasons to develop a good and reliable drawstroke, but a super fast drawstroke may not be as worthy as you may think. Considering the greatest investment into this skill is time, how much time are you willing to invest up front then how much time on the back end to sustain. Think about it.