Some gun gurus call the high ready position the “high Sabrina.” The picture above illustrates their point, although Sabrina [left] is the only one not in any danger of blowing her colleagues’ head off. That said, the still highlights the fact that gun positioning is situationally dependent. On a boat, up. In a helicopter, down. These days, most gun slingers go for a compressed high ready (gun straight back to the chest), assuming they’re in the midst of combat and, hopefully, headed for or behind cover or concealment. It’s [allegedly] better for close quarters combat. (Not forgetting the physically awkward but strategically valuable retention position.) There are those who continue to prefer low ready. Which is your default position and why don’t basic firearms courses teach this stuff?


  1. I always go low ready at my indoor range, because I’m sure the
    owners are none too keen about any accidental holes punched in
    their roof, no matter how small. Plus, it backs up against a major
    highway and residential area, so going over the backstop could be
    quite a danger.

  2. Low. Its tougher to grab the gun if its pointed down, and i can still shoot your legs.

  3. Always holstered, unless in action. When in action, always low-ready, unless in combat. In combat, back to chest or at fire-action position(s), unless in boat, bird or auto. If in boat, bird or auto, away from driver in the direction that keeps you floating, flying or motoring(or holstered).

  4. I wonder if it should change even during one event. Say there is a bump in the night and all the bedrooms are on the second floor. I may prefer high-ready while upstairs since I know nobody could be in the attic but there could be family members downstairs. Maybe once I’m downstairs low-ready might be preferable since I know family members are upstairs but probably not in the basement.

    • Moving in multiple-level areas are more challenging. This requires awareness of intended target/defence and up, down, fore and aft, and left-side/right-side, in a continuous ‘flow’ in movement, while being aware of the situation ‘outside’ of your immediate area (if your in a stairwell, lets say): city, street, building, people,

  5. Low ready anywhere except the second floor of the house. There might be friendlies down below.

  6. Whatever “ready” is being demonstrated in that Charlie Angels still, that’s a great way to accidently shoot yourself in the head when going down stairs.

  7. Low ready. That compressed high ready is used more for movement and corners.

  8. I’d carry compressed high ready with a handgun, since I have a light and laser on it and I’d want optimum illumination while maximizing my chances of weapon retention in a close encounter. (In my case, my other hand would be on a cane with which I need to walk.) If I had my Benelli M2, I’d go low ready in one hand (I’ve practiced shooting this way) and, if in a struggle, I’d shoot the bad guy’s lower leg for my first shot and thereafter he’d be known as “stumpy!” (Note: nickname applicable for both the living and post-mortem.) Last, if I were holding one of Charlie’s Angels, I’d hold her close & tight. (R.I.P. Farah Fawcett.)

  9. I get to be the first to say that I’m pretty sure they all have their booger pickers on the bang switch.

  10. Not too sure about compressed high ready mode. Pistol tight to chest barrel pointing up under the chin. I am sure that is not the way to do it( I never have), altho I did see it done by navy seal in demo on TV. High to off the side shoulder would seem much less risky.

  11. Completely situational though my default is low ready or holstered. The angels are all carrying what looks to be .38spl 2″ j frame revolvers. Talk about .38 killaskeeters… I’d be worrying about them actually being able to puncture a tire or a heavy coat. I never let anyone carry anything less than a .410″ diameter round. .4i mag and prefer a minimum of a .44spl to .45acp HP. A 4′ 6″ girl is perfectly able to handle and control a 4″ 5 shot .44spl revolver though it’s a bit harder to hide in a purse or a holster on someone that size. The .45 G.A.P. is a good fit too.

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