Quick Draw vs. Slow Draw

Quick Draw vs. Slow Draw
Quick Draw vs. Slow Draw
Quick Draw vs. Slow Draw
Quick Draw vs. Slow Draw

Today’s article is actually being written for my father-in-law, but I thought you’d find it interesting. Let me explain:

My father-in-law is a computer wizard. All I can really tell you is that he builds super computers for Oracle, and after about the first 30 seconds of explaining his job to me I had no idea what he was talking about.

This means he’s a very inquisitive guy and loves numbers and statistics and pretty much everything I don’t like. Well, apparently, the other day he was reading a gun article where someone was saying it was better to draw the gun slowly and that quick drawing was bad because it drew attention to the person, etc. etc. etc…. And my father-in-law asked me to find the statistics on this and wanted my opinion about which draw I thought was better.

And even though he’s committing the sin of living in California, he did play a pretty important part in producing my wife, so I decided to see what I could find out for him regarding quick draw vs. slow draw.

After much digging…

I can tell you that Officers in Baltimore County Maryland have a hit ratio of 64%… 77% of shootings occur in some type of low light… And that when one officer is involved in a shooting he averages a 51% hit ratio… but if it’s a multiple officer shooting the hit ratio drops to 23%.

In other words, I found a lot of statistics, but nothing on quick draw vs. slow draw. So here’s what I can tell you from my own experience. The two times in my life when I had to draw my firearm it couldn’t come out fast enough. If someone is coming at you with a knife at an ATM machine, that gun should come out lightning fast. If a guy is approaching your car with a gun, you better draw quick.

I read a story last month about a criminal with a knife charging a guy and his girlfriend in a restaurant parking lot. The guy drew quickly, his girlfriend ducked and he shot over her to kill the attacker.

On the other hand…

There are instances where slow draw may be appropriate. For example, if you’re in a restaurant and all of the sudden a guy pulls out a gun to rob the register it’s probably not a good idea to whip out your gun and start shooting. Let the guy rob the place and give a good description for police.

Or if you’re standing in line at the bank and the guy in the line next to you throws on a ski mask and takes out a shotgun to rob the place you may want to remain still. But, if he starts shooting people then you know it’s more than a robbery and you better draw that gun quickly and deal with him.

The bottom line is, quick draw vs. slow draw depends purely on the circumstances. One day you may find yourself in a position where you have to slowly draw the gun under a restaurant table to see what the robber is going to do.

But if I had to guess, I’d bet the majority of times a gun is drawn it’s coming out quick, which is why I believe if you carry concealed you better be able to draw your gun and get it on target in 2 seconds or less.

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Jason Hanson is a former CIA Officer and author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry. He is also the creator of the Ultimate Concealed Carry Experience, which allows you to take your concealed carry training without leaving home. For full details about this training, please visit Concealed Carry Academy. You can also follow him on Google+ and Twitter.
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Windwalker 38

Many times I have heard or read this quote, “Speed is fine but accuracy is final. If you have to draw your weapon, whether you draw slow or fast, be sure your first round hits the target.


I couldn’t agree with Windwalker 38 more. No matter what the situation is. And there are never going to be two the same. The cooler your head, the better chance you have of surviving and possibly saving others. The quick draw will probably cause you to miss a first shot and maybe more. But if your lucky enough to get your weapon out and take careful aim while the perp is not looking, your going to stop the threat. “Just my personal thought.”

Bob Moore

If you practice quick draw and shoot enough, then you should get good at hitting within combat accuracy requirements with the first shot. Purely a matter of sufficient training.
Remember a missed shot just gives your opponent more time to do you harm. And who knows what that missed shot might hit before it stops.


Good article and makes a lot of sense. One suggestion, though: ”

If a guy is approaching your car with a gun, you better draw quick.

But, if he starts shooting people then you know it’s more
than a robbery and you better draw that gun
quickly and deal with him.

I believe if you carry concealed you better be able to draw your gun and get it on
target in 2 seconds or less.
Proper English is, “…you’d [you had] better…”, not, “…you better…”

Dan Hammond

“Quick Draw” is very specific. Think Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) or cowboy action shooting.
“Presentation from a holster” is much more accurate. It can be done slowly and surreptitiosly so as to not draw attention to one’s actions, or it can be done quickly with as much speed as possible.
The decision as to which might be correct is situation dependent. And the “slow draw” results in the gun being out of the holster ready for instant employment. I can think of a number of instances when I might remove my gun from the holster in hopes that I wouldn’t need to use it, but feel I might need it if my departure from the area gets interrupted.


Cops are not a good analogy to CCW. You see a cop, you know he is armed. One of the great tactical advantages to CCW is that the only time you should be identifiable as armed is when your gun is “in play” in your hand.

Almost everything connected with carrying a concealed weapon is “situation dependent.” Yes, you need to be able to get your gun out and into action fast, but that is a skill not an “always” response to what is going on. Slow-draw, concealed-draw, hidden-draw, call it what you will. Most of the time the less notice you attract getting the gun in a position to shoot the better off you are. Once it is noticed that you are drawing your gun, however, that is the point where “lighting bolt” speed comes into play.


Matt Kaufmann

Agreed 100% on all points. Everything about carrying is situation dependent. When to shoot, when not to shoot, which gun to carry ,which method of carry, which caliber, etc.

All of these debates are akin to the chocolate vs. vanilla debate. The answer is “it depends.”

And, when it comes to drawing, the ideal draw will be lightning fast while still under the radar. But, it isn’t always possible so the answer is, “it depends.”

Keith Cromm

Y’all got it all wrong …

It ain’t “Slow Draw” or “Quick Draw”. Since ya gotta have both down pat, combine the two. Thus, whatcha got is:



Let’s keep the discussion practical. In my circles, I know many who carry concealed, nearly as many women as men. Not one of them, myself included, practices quick draw sufficiently, most not at all, to do it under stress without shooting themselves in the leg. Since you will fight the way you practice, in my opinion it is best to practice a reliable, steady draw and a double tap, without an emphasis on speed. Build the muscle memory, and let speed take care of itself. Also, I strongly recommend a laser sight. Your percentage of two in center of mass will go way up.

'Boltaction 9'

Really appreciate reading “Quick Draw-Slow Draw” article. In fact all the article at USA Carry are very informative.


Not mentioned at all is the need to learn to draw while doing a dynamic movement. If your assailant has a drop on you and that is likely in a CCW situation then getting out of the way of his gun is job one. While moving one should then draw and engage while still moving.
This is difficult if you do not practice it and and hitting while moving is more difficult still. I teach my students to move first and then to engage. Job one is to keep from getting shot. Job two is to stop the assailant.

So fast draw vs slow draw is reduced to what one can execute under what are generally bad conditions to begin with. If you are wedded to your sights you will find they do not work well when you are moving. Point shooting works just fine though.

I use an SIRT Training Pistol in my classes and also train with it myself. That lets me do all sorts of practice almost anywhere. As a result my draws are very smooth and fast from concealment and can be done while doing a dynamic movement. I can also practice shooting on the move while keeping the hits on the threat. Much of the same type of practice can be done with a top of the line airsoft.

Standing still and exchanging gunfire with a bad guy rarely is a good tactic in spite of what Marshall Dillon used to do at the opening of gunsmoke. .


slow is smooth, smooth is fast

Matt Kaufmann

This is the first thing I though of when I saw the title. 😀

Tom Sasser

Sounds like someone didn’t read that article well. There are times to draw quickly and times to covertly draw. One does a covert draw when trouble is coming, but not yet confirmed. For example, you notice several unsavory men react to your presence across the street and they parallel you. A covert draw may be warranted in such an instance. A fast draw, while moving, would make sense if three of them started rushing toward you (three on one justifies lethal force in most jurisdictions).


As a septuagenarian with some physical limitations, my fast-draw
is only a memory. I focus on being
alert & aware of my surroundings, trying to be able to anticipate the need
to draw my weapon. If something were to happen too quickly for me to respond
effectively, I would toss my “throw down” wallet & $50 Casio into the sack without a 2nd
thought. Without being paranoid about
it, I try to honor my scout training from 60 years ago, “Be Prepared”. Be watchful for trouble, but don’t go looking
for it. Wear clothes that will not
impede deployment, standing or sitting. Select a gun that
matches my personal abilities & minimizes the impact of
disabilities. Perhaps getting the preliminaries right can speed
up anyone’s draw, even an old geezer like me.

I appreciate the articles, and the comments of other
readers. I enjoy the exchange of ideas,
and if I’m not careful, I learn something useful every time I log on. Thanks to

Dennis P.

Though my only ‘draws’ have been in combat operations, I found that a DELIBERATE draw resulted in the most accurate firings. It was more a matter of focus than on speed – focus on everything from grip to draw to aim to firing. The more practiced you are, the ‘faster’ this will be. I recommend practice for accuracy (focus) and let the ‘speed’ develop naturally.

Bryan Casal

good info in this article quick draw or slow draw it dosnt matter as long as its combat effective when it comes to accuracy.