Does Speed Matter In A Gunfight? & Drawing From Winter Concealment

I’ve noticed a couple of questions that have been coming up often since the beginning of the year…

“Why’s everyone think it’s important to shoot fast and play quickdraw McGraw?


“How do I draw from concealment in the winter when I’m wearing cold weather clothes?”

So, today we’re going to talk about whether or not you really need to train to shoot fast for self-defense and I’ve got a video demonstrating how to do a 1 handed draw from concealment under multiple layers & a heavy wool coat.

Let’s start with the need for speed in a gunfight.

There’s a paradox that happens with a gunfight that can be confusing…

You’ve got the rest of your life to stop the threat, but if you move so quickly that you to miss or make ineffective hits, speed won’t help.

You don’t have to shoot fast to win a gunfight,

But the quicker and faster you can shoot precisely in practice, the more likely it is that you’ll win a gunfight.

How can this be?

In a high stress situation, if you have to choose between moving quickly and moving smoothly and efficiently, you want to choose smooth and efficient movement every time.

That’s where the saying, “slow is smooth and smooth is fast” comes from.

For most shooters, the biggest gains in speed and accuracy will come from eliminating wasted movement rather than forcing their muscles to move faster.

This is especially important in high stress situations.

Because if you add adrenaline and the chaos of a life and death situation to sloppy technique, the end result will be more misses than you want.

But add that same adrenaline and chaos to smooth, efficient, precise form and you’ll get much better results.

Here’s the irony…

One of the easiest ways to test whether or not your technique is smooth and precise is to pour on the speed in practice.

If your performance falls off a cliff, you need to slow back down and focus on your technique.

But if your performance only drops a little as you crank up the speed, it’s an indication that your technique is smooth and efficient.

How fast is fast enough?

A good friend of mine, Retired Navy SEAL Larry Yatch, fellow brain based firearms instructor, Dusty Solomon and their team at SEALed Mindset analyzed hundreds of shooting video and they found that .40 splits with solid hits was fast enough to win the vast majority of law enforcement and civilian gunfights.

Top competitive shooters shooting single action pistols are regularly in the .12-.15 range.  I’ve done demos where I shot a 10 round 6” group with .14-.18 splits at 21 feet with a Glock.  And .2-.25 splits are VERY respectable.  .40 is downright slow in comparison.

But .40 gets the job done in real life.  And you can be quite a bit slower than .40 most of the time…as long as you’re getting your hits.

If .40 is “good enough” in real life, what speed should you shoot for in practice?

Ideally, you’d always be trying to make your technique smoother, more efficient, and quicker no matter how fast you are now.

And remember, the more sterile your practice conditions, the bigger dropoff you’ll have in performance in a chaotic, high stress situation…so don’t aim for .40 splits.  Just strive for making continual forward progress.

Here’s what I’d encourage you to do…

Focus first on hits.  Focus on smooth, efficient technique and practice however slow you need to in order to eliminate wasted movement and make your hits.

When smooth, efficient technique becomes a conditioned response, start adding speed until your performance starts to drop off.  Back off a little and focus on smooth efficient technique at a faster speed.  Keep repeating this process.

In less time than you can imagine, that smooth, efficient technique will become natural at any speed.

Want to shortcut the process?  My Private Video Coaching program is just what you’re looking for and you can learn more by clicking >HERE<

Next, we’ve got a video on drawing from concealment when you’re wearing multiple layers of winter clothes.

To make things even more interesting, I’m going to show you how to do it wearing a glove and only using one hand…

As always, if you like the video, please “like” it & share it if you’re on social media.

Questions?  Comments?  Fire away by commenting below...


  • Ferrero P Gary

    Reply Reply January 19, 2018

    I’ve been using the “lean to the side” technique for years when wearing heavy clothes. I’ve had several “experts” tell me how wrong it was. It’s good to see someone agree with me. One other approach I use is to tuck as many layers as reasonably works into my belt after exiting a vehicle leaving only one layer, outer, of covering. It’s still concealed, but eliminates potential snag points. This also requires practice and may not work in all circumstances. It works for me and, with lots of dry fire practice, is efficient. Thanks guys.

    • Ox

      Reply Reply January 19, 2018

      Hey Ferrero,

      That’s the frustrating thing…it IS wrong, but with heavy clothes, it just happens to work better than the “right” way 🙂

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