Payment Processing




Get Your Hand on Your Pistol
Placing your hand on a pistol concealed or openly carried early in a dangerous situation can provide a .74 second time advantage if you must draw over starting with the hands in another position.


_____________________________


Why is this important? Joan N. Vickers and William Lewinski published research on police officers performance under pressure in “Performing under pressure: Gaze control, decision making and shooting performance of elite and rookie police officers.”* Vickers and Lewinski discovered that more experienced police officers placed their hand on their pistol and unholstered their pistol earlier in a confrontation and thereby gained precious time in responding to a threat—often shooting before the threat could fire at them.


Unlike a police officer, a CHL licensee cannot simply draw his pistol at a perceived threat without risking arrest. However, under the revised PC §46.035 it appears that simply placing your hand on a holstered pistol would not be intentional display as long as the pistol remains in the holster.


After reading the Vickers and Lewinski research I started collecting data to determine how much of a time advantage was gained by placing your hand on the pistol versus starting with your hands in some other location (e.g. hands at sides). My goal was to determine how long it took a competitor (granted, not necessarily the average CHL holder) to draw and fire single shot--the classic stand and deliver of the Modern Technique. We have timed the draws of 157 individuals to date during our local IDPA and Short Range matches. We have measured 793 specific instances of drawing the pistol and firing a shot from concealment, 183 draws with the pistol not concealed, and 168 instances when the competitor started with their hand on the holstered pistol. We only included instances where the competitor's shot stuck inside the -1 or 0 of the standard IDPA target in the data set.


The skill level of the competitors varied from new shooters participating in their first IDPA match, novices, marksmen, sharpshooters, and experts--unfortunately we have few Master class shooters in our local matches. The draws we measured were with the competitor standing, drawing the pistol, and firing without moving their feet. The draw time was measured using a shot timer that calculates the time elapsed between the end of the beep and the sound of the shot.


The average time to draw the pistol starting with the hands at the sides for a concealed standard draw was 2.15 seconds and open carry was 1.79 seconds--a difference of .36 seconds. The average time to draw the pistol starting with the hands on the holstered pistol for a concealed standard draw was 1.38 seconds and open carry was 1.12 seconds--a difference of .26 seconds.


For all experience levels, placing your hand on a pistol concealed or openly carried early in a dangerous situation can provide a minimum of a .74 second time advantage if you must draw over starting with the hands in some other position.


* You can find this article on the Force Science website at:


http://www.forcescience.org/performingunderpressur...