The key to running a handgun in shooting competitions is the ability to quickly get back on target after making your shot. Hitting the first target is easy, but it’s all about how quickly you can take down the next ones. The ability to make quick follow-up shots comes only after hundreds of hours of practice on the range, or thanks to winning the genetic lottery like a Lena Miculek. A few companies have been developing some products to try and make it easier to control the recoil of a firearm and get it back on target quicker, and one of those companies has come out with a device known as the Speed Ledge.
The idea is simple. The device attaches to the front of the gun, and has a small serrated pedal you use to rest your support thumb. It gives you the ability to exercise more control over the muzzle by applying force directly to that part of the gun. The concept has been tried many times before, and is a staple in the “race gun” sections of handgun shooting (known as a “gas pedal” or “go pedal”), but those devices have always been attached to the back of the firearm and typically are dependent on using the grip panels to hold it in place. The Speed Ledge bypasses that whole headache by clamping directly onto the forward Picatinny rail.
Many production handguns these days come with a Picatinny rail already built into the forward section of the frame to allow for mounting things like flashlights and lasers. The Speed Ledge guys take full advantage of that. The device mounts to that rail section within seconds and stays securely in place thanks to a stout screw.
The plain Jane version of the Speed Ledge comes with a flat base, but there’s an optional version that has a Picatinny rail on the bottom. Kind of like a Xzibit special — yo dawg, we heard you like rails, so we put a rail on your rail so you can rail while you rail.
As I said, there are a ton of other products out there for race guns already using something similar to this. But does the Speed Ledge work? I hit the range to find out.
For me, the difference wasn’t very big — but it was there. I already have pretty good control over my handgun, but I felt like the Speed Ledge allowed me to fire just a little bit faster. It may only be a small fraction of a second improvement, but it was there. I think that with a larger thumb rest this would work much better, but then we run smack dab into the bigger issue.
This thing makes it impossible to fit your gun into your existing holster. In order to use this in competition, you’ll need to grab a skeletonized race holster of some sort rather than a standard Kydex holster. You lose a lot of control over the gun, and for those in a strenuous competition where movement with a holstered handgun is required (like 3-gun) it may be more of a hindrance than a help.
I could see a use for something like this in USPSA shooting where the holster is basically useless once the buzzer goes off. But for 3-gun or games where a holster is required, the small boost in the ability to control the handgun doesn’t seem to outweigh the potential DQ that could come with the race hostler. And even then, the thing is so small that it’s hard to keep your thumb on it despite the aggressive serrations. In short, meh.
Overall: * *
While it works as advertised, its position on the handgun makes using your existing holsters nearly impossible. Also the small size of the pedal makes it somewhat difficult to use. If the pedal were bigger, I might be happier with it.