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What an idiotic test. As points out, running this test without a round in the pipe is dumber than a box of Glocks. A lot dumber. To which I would add that anyone standing flatfooted as a knife-wielding attacker sprints towards you is even more stupiderer. TTAG will repeat this test with Simunitions soon.

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  1. On the other hand, unless one is extremely well trained, there is a natural hesitation which prevents or slows tactical-avoidance movement. This is especially so when the focus is on the gun and counter-attack rather than avoidance and then counter-attack.
    Going into OODA mode when under stress is NOT easy without extreme preparation.

    • Totally agree. Incorporating a simple side step (either direction) every time you execute a draw stroke is an easy way to become ingrained with the concept of movement during a life and death situation.

    • Agreed they are both dead, therefore they both lost. Your goal is not to kill your attacker it is to stay alive

  2. I disagree that the test is dumb for the same reasons you point out as why it is dumb. Conceptually the experiment is good, it is just the interpretation of results needs to be careful. It proves, as you say that condition 3 carry is a bad idea (particularly if the handgun is your primary weapon) and it also proves that movement is important (so we can infer from it that bullseye-style target practice is not good self defense training).

    Experiment 2: condition 1 carry and no movement.
    Experiment 3: condition 3 carry but with movement.
    Experiment 4: condition 1 carry AND movement.
    Experiment 5: decrease the starting distance of the attacker incrementally, condition 1 carry and movement.

    Variations on Experiment 5 could include IWB and OWB holstering. For OWB, concealed and open carry. Also testing the difference between full sized, compact, and subcompact since they are sequentially squirrelier to grip. Strongside and crossdraw would be interesting (I’d keep track of misses to see if a cross draw sweep across the target provides less opportunity to hit it than a strongside vertical sweep along the man’s length). Varying the angle the attacker could also be interesting.


  3. This is a repetition of the tests done by Dennis Tueller in the 80s. The point that he made was that an average person within seven yards can close the distance and stab you in a second and a half. This is useful in several ways. It can be presented as evidence after a self-defense shooting. It reminds us to practice a lot with whatever safeties and carry conditions we use, and it preaches being aware of one’s surroundings.

    • Tueller’s thesis has already penetrated into the legal arena. In most jurisdictions, there’s an unofficial 21 foot guideline. Just don’t expect to see it in any statute book or published decision, because it’s not there.

      • I hate that sort of shit. If it’s not in the law and not referenced in the decision how are we supposed to know about it?

        • There’s a lot about the law that’s unwritten. If you ever had a t-bone accident at an intersection, you know this. A hit in the front of a vehicle indicates that the t-boned driver was likely at fault. A hit in the rear means the t-boner (is that a word?) was to blame. It’s not written anywhere, but it makes sense.

          If these guidelines were written, then in the rare situations where they shouldn’t be applied, the judges would be stuck with them.

  4. I figured they were carrying condition 3 because the gun was a stand-in for a SA revolver (they couldn’t find a SA revolver paintball gun, according to the episode).

  5. Robert,

    Why do you think this experiment is dumb? As others have pointed out, this is to test the FBI theory of being able (or not being able) to react to a threat in under 21 feet. That’s it. Nothing else is examined.

    Are you critical of the tools involved (paint ball gun) or of the test itself? Keep in mind, they are testing ONLY the theory of being able to react in the given distance. No other techniques were discussed. No sidestepping, no parrying. Easy folks, it’s just TV.

    • Actually, it’s an even narrower question, of whether or not “never bring a gun to a knife fight” is true? They’d tested several scenarios already and were testing one favorable to the knife.

    • FLAME DELETED The best I saw of this on video with real firearms was on ‘Personal Defense TV’. They had real firearms instructors in a well thought out presentation, not TV stuntmen (as good as they are) nor internet “experts”. As was stated in 2 other comments: 1) A tie is a loss 2) Movement is key.

  6. they were testing the myth in its Old West sense, an since there are no single action paintball guns, they were racking the action in place of drawing back the hammer.

    • Wade is correct. I did actually watch this episode and it is based on the old time saying, and they also went at it from an old west stand point.
      To that end newer fighting guns which are point and shoot would change the distance a bit. It is important to illustrate exactly what they did which is 21 feet isn’t a whole heck of a lot. There was a post yesterday on distance equals time. This is a fun way of showing that.
      Plus I like watching them blow stuff up!

    • since there are no single action paintball guns, they were racking the action in place of drawing back the hammer.

      Huh? Unless “single action” and “double action” have reversed meaning in the past decade or so, paint guns were traditionally single action (I owned a customized Nel-Spot 007 for a number of years).

  7. Just because you shot the attacker before he or she gets to you doesn’t mean the attack will stop. The attacker will likely get several seconds of activity prior to dropping. This does not do you much good if you get stabbed several times.

  8. I know plenty of people who can draw and shoot the bad guy every time without a problem during practice. Now when it comes to real life and you have to make a split second decision, you’re going to get the sharp end of that blade for sure.

  9. I recently took a CWP class, and the instructor discussed this very thing. He said that the distance that LEO’s previously used was something like 30 feet–meaning that a knife-wielding perp running at you from 30 feet or less will slice you by the time you get off a shot. And if I recall further, he said that that 30-foot number has since been increased.

    So with regards to the tests that the MB guys did, don’t forget that Adam was standing there ready and waiting to draw an open holster–not necessarily a real-world stance. Our instructor did a similar demo bu drawing on someone rushing him from between 23-30 feet away. A difference her is that he was drawing from an ankle holster concealed under his pants. From about 25-30 feet, the person who was rushing him was on top of him by the time he had drawn.

  10. Jeez. This show jumped the shark back when Robert was keeping us entertained with the GM Deathwatch series.

  11. It is also important to note that the attackee was prepared for an assault, i.e., he new what was going to happen. If it is a surprise attack, the response time will be significantly longer. One second is equal to 12 to 15 feet–and that’s when you just start to draw, unlike this scenario where the draw began with the charge. You are better off trying to avoid or block the initial assault to give yourself enough time to draw, which is consistent with the instinctual reaction of raising one’s hands into a defensive posture when surprised.

  12. Didn’t read all the comments but, they wanted to do single action revolver but couldn’t find one in airsoft.

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