Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Lost Art of the Quick Draw

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by adobewalls, Jun 17, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. adobewalls

    adobewalls Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Messages:
    280
    Location:
    Houston
    The thread that inspired this thread is Volkolak's thread on Wyatt Earp's "Views on Gunfighting." A good thread, but one that is starting to talk more about the Earps than the mechanics of the draw.

    Some of the things that I thought interesting in that thread were the general dismissal of fanning a revolver, or "fixing" a revolver by wiring the trigger back so it was hammer actuated. I also thought it interesting in regard to the "two-gun" carriers and how they employed the two guns (seems the speed loader of the day was a second revolver.)

    There were some good reference works cited in the thread:
    "Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshall" by Stuart N. Lake
    "Shooting to Live" by the late William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes
    "Triggernometry, a gallery of gunfighters" by Eugene Cunningham.
    http://www.again.net/~steve/page7d.htm

    I guess what I would like to see is what else is out there on the mechanics of the fast draw, especially what was Hollywood and what was real. Also, what is out there about some of the other techniques, such as the Tuscon Twirl and how in the hell did Wild Bill Hickock draw those pistols so fast with the handles pointed forward?
     
  2. Tearlachblair

    Tearlachblair Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    Missouri
    Go ahead..make my day...

    No doubt ol' Wild Bill used the "Mexican Roll" a' la Clint Eastwood in The Outlaw Josey Wales:what: :D
     
  3. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    PA
    In my experience, the most important thing for a good fast draw is making sure that your holster holds the gun far enough away from your body that you can get your fingers around it. Small of the back carry is right out. Front carry is supposed to be fast, but I've never been able to make it work for me. I usually carry just barely behind the hip (around 3:45 position), canted forward so the butt and muzzle are in a vertical line (though that's with my particular guns). That way it's held in close enough to conceal well, but there's enough room to get a solid grip on the gun before drawing. The forward cant is uncomfortable and slower to draw if you're "standing on your hind legs like a man," but excellent if you're crouching or sitting.

    If carrying IWB under a T-shirt, don't try lifting the shirt with the back of your thumb. Just use your fingers. You don't gain any time by using your thumb, only lose it because of fumbles and tangles.

    There used to be a great writeup on Jelly Bryce on gutterfighting.org, but now everything requires a password to access. You'll have to make do with a short article here, and anything else you can find.
     
  4. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Messages:
    5,479
    Location:
    Seattle
    They still have quick-draw competitions. Watch one (or check out some online pictures) and tell me how valuable you think those skills would actually be.

    Hitting your target has always been more important than shooting first. Yes, with practice that process can become faster and faster, which is very good. However, the emphasis should always be on not missing.
     
  5. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    PA
    Shooting to Live, chapter 4.

    Before we close the subject of shooting at short ranges, we would ask the reader to keep in mind that if he gets his shot off first, no matter whether it is a hit or a miss by a narrow margin, he will have an advantage of sometimes as much as two seconds over his opponent. The opponent will want time to recover his wits, and his shooting will not be as accurate as it might be.

    ----------

    There are many documented instances of armed criminals completely giving up, because they thought they were shot when they really weren't, and either surrendered or fainted dead away. This is especially common at night, and when the shooter used a gun with a large muzzle flash. It's not something you can rely on, but it does happen.
     
  6. bow4828

    bow4828 Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Pa
  7. bow4828

    bow4828 Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2003
    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Pa
    only put in the last one:this is the most informative site.
    http://www.fastdraw.org/index.html

    Buy the by: You not only must draw FAST but,You MUST ALSO HIT THE TARGET.A miss counts as ALOT etxta added to You're time.
     
  8. sjohns

    sjohns Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    471
    Location:
    Twentynine Palms, CA
    First off, if I contributed to highjacking the other thread, I apologize.

    I was thinking that all I have read or found on the net indicates that the quick draw contests use blanks. I DO understand the safety issue about having competitors shooting their feet or legs, but wasn't that always a hazard?

    I tend to agree with the folks that accuracy is more important, and that with repetitive training on accuracy, that speed will develop as a consequence. It seems like pulling it right and accurately is extremely important, but having said that I would also admit that speed is important and I am not trying to detract from that.

    I was wondering about people drawing down on one another and thinking about how the movies portray it. I can tell you right now that I would begin with my hand ON the butt of the pistol and not dancing out in the air.

    While I haven't tried shooting from the hip like Russel Crowe in the quick and the dead, it SEEMS to me that accuracy from that point would be specious and probably intermitten unless two people were really close, but I don't really know.

    Has anyone tried that snap draw? I haven't tried it with a loaded gun, but I have noticed that it does seem to come out and orient quicker than a straight draw. I haven't tried it with ammo as I wouldn't want to open up my stomach...
     
  9. Ovid

    Ovid Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    70
    RyanM, I have the Jelly Bryce article in wordpad, if you, or anyone would like it. It is too long too post (unless it is broken into two posts). VERY interesting read!
     
  10. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    23,908
    Location:
    Arizona
    Regarding “quick draw” duels in the Old West vs. Hollywood…

    Many years ago I got the chance to have a 15-minute or so interview with one of two Territorial Arizona Rangers that were still living. During that short time span I learned more about how things really were then at any other time before or after.

    Because of the quality of ammunition in those days six-shooters (Colt’s and otherwise) had very heavy mainsprings, and no one with common sense lightened them. They didn’t call those hoglegs “thumb-busters” for nothing. Consequently fanning and other modern tricks were not used because most of them would require lightening the spring. The gun was drawn, pointed, and then cocked in that order. He showed me how the revolver was pointed at about eye level with the elbow slightly bent, not from the hip.

    Also the holsters in those days (often called “scabbards”) were made of relatively light leather and swallowed the revolver contained therein, because protecting the gun from the elements was considered more important then quick drawing. The old lawman, who was in his 90’s at the time, told me that he had never seen anyone wearing a gun slung low, or tied down.

    He and other Rangers were under strict orders to approach anyone they intended to arrest with their gun drawn, and preferably from that person’s back side to catch him unaware. The idea was to make a safe arrest without having a lot of shooting, and to be the one who survived if there was. It was also considered good practice to depend on their Winchester rather then any handgun when they could.

    The word “quick” had nothing too do with how fast a man’s draw was, but rather their lack of inhabitation when it came to shooting another person. Most men would hesitate when it came to shooting another, while others “would shoot you quick,” which was the reason to get the drop on them first if that was possible.

    Hollywood, he pointed out to me, made good entertainment, but they knew zip about how things really were, cared less.

    Unfortunately I was so excited at the chance to talk to him that I forgot to take a tape recorder – something that I’ve always regretted.
     
  11. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Messages:
    5,479
    Location:
    Seattle
    I would love to see how often this happens as compared to how often a person winds up dead because they missed their target. Feel free to "miss fast" in order to scare your target, I will practice actually putting holes in the things im shooting at.
     
  12. gmatov

    gmatov member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Messages:
    355
    If you really want to study this, 3 books come to mind.

    "Sixguns by Keith", chapter or two on quick draw and hitting aerial targets as well as stationary targets.

    "No Second Place Winners", by Bill Jordan, late of the Border Patrol. Runner up in a shoot out does not get a Silver Medal, he gets a bronze plaque on his grave.

    "Fast and Fancy Revolver Shooting", by Ed McGivern, one of the best quick draw artists ever. McGivern said he always used his sights, Kieth says he could not have, as he drew 2 S&W Model 10's, or whatever, 4 inch, and could knock coins out of the air double action, and place 10 into a playing card a t 7 yards so quickly that the shots sounded like one continuous roar, and the pistols never came up to the level where he could SEE the sights.

    All double action.

    Give 'em a look see.

    Cheers,

    George
     
  13. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    PA
    I'd appreciate it if you could post it. It's definitely worth reading.

    It looks like in the photo I linked to, Jelly is pretty much using textbook Shooting to Live technique (half-hip), though he probably never learned it. I also just now noticed that he carries his gun in the same position and angle that I independently determined to be optimal for a quick draw. Wow.

    Fairbairn and Sykes were fans of flap holsters worn in about the 10:30-11:00 position (for a right-handed shooter) for uniformed carry, or a shoulder holster for private citizens. Strange, given how much they emphasized speed. They also advocated carrying the gun with the safety off, hammer down, and chamber empty. They said that chamber empty carry did not itself cause any officer deaths, out of the 666 shooting affrays their officers were involved in.

    ------------------

    Me, I don't "miss fast," as you seem to be assuming. I hit fast. Most shots within 1/2" from the point of aim, none further than 2" (the "flyers" are usually when I do three-quarter hip or half-hip position). That's from the draw, at 3-4 yards. After not practicing shooting at all for months, due to being away at college. That's not bragging. Because almost anyone can get those kinds of results with Shooting to Live (though about 5-6" groups at those distances are more common). It works extremely well and requires minimal practice to stay good, if you actually take the time to learn it right the first time.

    In any case, the flashbang effect is pronounced enough that the vast majority of medical doctors that specialize in wound ballistics agree that the difference in "stopping power" between the .38 SPL and .357 magnum (assuming good ammo is used in both) is solely due to the increased flash and blast. Same with .40 vs. 10mm, 9mm vs. .357 SIG, etc. The more powerful caliber never produces a wound that's noticably more severe. Their belief is also that every single instance where a person drops when shot by a handgun, when the central nervous system was not hit, is due to psychological mechanisms, caused by the flash and blast. Every single time. And that's a very large percentage of shootings.

    --------------

    Oh, I forgot to mention before, Kill or Get Killed is an excellent book to get, too.

    "Combat shooting with a pistol or revolver is a type of shooting that occurs frequently in certain types of military service and between police and criminal elements. It is neither target shooting nor defensive shooting. It is offensive shooting, and is the quickest way to insure the successful conclusion of a gun battle with a shooting enemy."

    "We must recognize that there is no such thing as 'defensive' shooting where lives are at stake. This is as true in police circles as it is in armed services. When a weapon is primarily carried for the elimination or subjugation of an enemy it ceases to be defensive. Neither wars nor individual combat can be won by a defensive spirit. Rather, the all-important offensive spirit must be developed in the training for any type of combat work. This is true of hand guns. Courses in the combat use of these weapons should be called just that: Combat Shooting."

    "The best descriptive term for using the hand gun in combat without the aid of sights is shooting by 'instictive pointing.' This is a close-quarter method and should not generally be advocated for distances greater than fifty feet. Combat proficiency at ranges of fifty feet and less will be attained by using this technique. Almost all pistol shooting affrays will take place within this distance."
     
  14. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    18,535
    Thank you Old Fuff.
     
  15. adobewalls

    adobewalls Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2003
    Messages:
    280
    Location:
    Houston
    Guys, I am enjoying watching the discussion develop, and I see I have a new reading list. Its interesting to learn how much Hollywood took over the "cowboy" and developed the mythology.
     
  16. Ovid

    Ovid Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    70
    Jelly Bryce, The F.B.I.'s Legendary Sharpshooter

    Here is the Jelly Bryce article! I have to beak it into two posts, because it won't let me post it whole.

    by K. B. Chaffin
     
  17. Ovid

    Ovid Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    70
    Part Two


     
  18. Smokin_Gun

    Smokin_Gun Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,632
    Location:
    Mojave Desert, California
    I'll just mention this about live fire fast draw. I wear cross/front draw with a skelleton holster at a good angle to my belt worn just to the side of center. Stance about sideways narrow target. Pull cocked on the way out fired at with arm about 90 degrees. At 20 paces I can hit a cardboard silouette that ain't shootin' at me pretty well... (disclamer: I DID NOT say it was safe for you to do this!)
     
  19. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Messages:
    5,479
    Location:
    Seattle
    Thanks for the infomercial. Im so pleased that you never miss your target. I guess Im silly for assuming that you were advocating missing your target when you make a statement like this:

    Maybe you should work on actually saying what you mean?
     
  20. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    PA
    Uh huh. So because I say something happens pretty often, I'm automatically endorsing it?

    Intolerance happens. Murders happen. Injustice happens. Man's inhumanity to man happens. Every single day. And there's no sign of it ever slowing down.

    Oh no, I'm evil or something.

    Armed criminals collapse, surrender, or flee when fired upon in the majority of firefights. It's just a fact. Just something that happens.

    (great job doing an incomplete, out of context quote, btw. The liberal media would be proud)
     
  21. sjohns

    sjohns Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    471
    Location:
    Twentynine Palms, CA
    Ryan... don't get into a pisser. It doesn't matter.
    I'm glad the chickens snots run when they do. I'm no leo, but I have drawn down on clowns out here in the desert. If you pop one they run like H, so I tend to agree.

    The evil ones are foul people. They chase their compulsions and give little else any thought. It would stand reasonably to assume that "escape escape escape" is all that would be on their minds in tight situations.

    That story above about "Jelly" is astounding man.
     
  22. Dienekes

    Dienekes Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,905
    Location:
    Wyoming
    Spent a morning once on this subject with Jim Cirillo. Did the same with Rex Applegate. Was privileged to spend some time with some other very competent gentlemen who had ridden the river. They're pretty well of a type.

    A hard man is good to find.
     
  23. Lurikeen pew pew

    Lurikeen pew pew Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    Messages:
    10
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Wow..... that article about "Jelly Bryce" was awesome.
     
  24. sjohns

    sjohns Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    471
    Location:
    Twentynine Palms, CA
    It seems like those shorter barrels are helpful when getting the weapon to clear the holster.
     
  25. RyanM

    RyanM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    4,412
    Location:
    PA
    I'm trying, but it really bugs me when people pull those tricks. Then people read the quoted text instead of what was actually said, and you end up with straw men and all kindsa stuff. All I said was that it happens. Because it does. So somehow, saying that the blast and flash are the cause for incapacitation in most cases (because that's a fact), means you're better off missing than hitting? Some people.

    Criminals definitely tend to be cowards at heart. "Predator" is an appropriate moniker. They act all big and bad, until they run into a bigger fish...

    Depends on the holster design, but in most cases yes. That also ties into why "Mexican carry" is faster than carry with an IWB holster. With a normal holster, you have to get the muzzle all the way out before the gun can be swung up. But with no holster, you can swing the gun up much earlier. Much like those "fast-draw" holsters that are used in some competitions, which are almost completely open at the front.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page