draw fast or fire accurately

Fast Gun Draw Or Shooting Accuracy?

From time to time, we get questions from Alien Gear fans asking about concealed carry topics of interest. This one, however, has a bit more to do with self-defense on the whole.

Mark asked, “is it better to draw fast or fire accurately?” when referring to self-defensive gun use.

Well, Mark, that's a tough question. The answer is going to depend on the situation you're presented with for defensive gun use AND your experience with the handgun. In general, for those who do not train specifically for speed – we generally advocate for accuracy over speed. Drawing fast without judicious aiming is asking for trouble. In situations where you cannot differentiate bad guy from bystanders, staying on the safe side is the best approach.

We'll take three different scenarios and then discuss the approach to each.

Scenario 1: Extreme Close Quarters (Point Blank CCW)

If the bad guy or guys are closing in within 15 feet or less, you're essentially in “point blank” territory. You do not have a lot of time to draw or react, let alone aim. Your best bet, where possible, is to create distance between you and your enemy to buy you additional time to react. With no training and no practice, your best bet is to try to side-step and out-maneuver your enemy before he gains hold of you.

For those with experience in hand-to-hand fighting, you may want to consider those techniques as a means to distract, evade, and distance yourself from the bad guy.

Scenario 2: Medium Range Combat (~10 yds – 25 yds)

This is the sort of scenario you see on the 11 o'clock news. If there's a shootout in the parking lot between bad guys and you get stuck in the middle – or worse, are the target – then speed and precision are both absolutely essential. The problem is that precision is difficult when the targets are both moving in and out of cover, shooting at you, and are at variable distance.

Your best bet, instead of trying to beat the bad guys to the draw, is to reach cover first.

Distance buys you time but fast thinking will truly save the day.

From cover and concealment, you may have the opportunity to return fire or engage the targets with judicious aiming. Even better, you can escape. Where escape is no option, however, judicious aiming is absolutely the top priority over speed.

Scenario 3: Longer Ranges (30+ yds)

long range shooting

Thirty yards is not a far distance in terms of rifles. The farther the target is from you, the harder it will be to hit him if he's shooting at you and moving. That's why you're going to want to get to cover and definitely stress aiming and marksmanship.

concealed carriers can and should escape when distance provides the opportunity to do so.

It is far better to escape with your life than risk it further by engaging a bad guy with your concealed carry pistol. Even with good training, you are still not guaranteed to cause a positive effect on target.

So, in conclusion, Mark – train for all three scenarios. The closer a bad guy is to you, the faster you will need to act. The farther away he is, the more opportunity you have to escape and evade your opponent or place special emphasis on judicious aiming. Hope that helped!


About The Author

James England (@sir_jim_england) is the contributing editor for Alien Gear Holsters. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and private defense contracting in Afghanistan.