VSO Gun Channel has some theories about drawing a handgun against an opponent at belly-to-belly distance.

Here are my concerns, based upon training that is very fresh in my mind.

  1. Attempting to draw a handgun at this distance and angle is giving the bad guy a more than sporting chance at impeding the draw, stripping the weapon, or establishing control the weapon from the outset.
  2. As practiced, he’s dropping both hands to his side to draw the gun. He’s not protecting his head, at all. Any semi-competent bad guy is going to take that opportunity to wind up and take the head off of our hero with a punch when he tries this two-handed draw.  An even worse-case scenario is that our hero is going to have these training scars so deeply ingrained that he will still try this two-handed draw, even as the bad guy already has a weapon in hand. You may laugh, but I assure you similar befuddling range-learned behavior in real gunfights is heavily documented. You will fight as you train, warts and all. If that is the case, and the criminal has a handgun, an impact weapon, or a decent blade  in his hands and the skills to use it correctly—our good guy will be a corpse well before he clears leather.
  3. He is not in a balanced fighting stance. He’s a big guy, but if he squares up like that, darn near anyone is going to knock him back on his heels, and possibly down to the ground. They’re now controlling the fight.
  4. As he fails to get his gun into play against competent opposition and retreats straight backward, he’s creating his own disadvantage, allowing the bad guy to move forward against him and giving the bad guy leverage and momentum, and every opportunity to put him down. Lateral movement is much better.

What should he have done instead?

  1. Protect his head.
  2. Establish a balanced fighting stance. As Steve Tarani recently shared with me the wisdom of one of his masters, “Take from him his balance, and you take from him his life.”
  3. Protect the gun. He should blade his gun side away from the bad guy.
  4. Establish distance, preferably laterally, before drawing if he can, once again to protect the gun and give himself enough space to use it.

Compare what VSO has learned from his trainers, against this from close protection specialist John Goldsboro.

Which technique do you think gives you a better chance of survival against a threat more realistic than a cardboard Peter Dinklage?