I do this demonstration at the beginning of every class I teach. Reaction has never beaten action.
This is a discussion on ACTION vs REACTION Live Fire Video Demo - Stunning Results within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I always wanted to test this theory based on several scientific studies on police shootings. Mainly officers being killed during traffic stops. If you ever ...
I always wanted to test this theory based on several scientific studies on police shootings. Mainly officers being killed during traffic stops. If you ever see cop standing behind you with their hand on their gun. Well, cut them some slack. Even if they are expecting a criminal may shoot at them. They are still at an amazing disadvantage due to the natural reaction times for our brains, nervous systems to detect, think and react which is 3-4 times slower than some aggressor getting the slight jump on you with intentional action. For average citizens and permit holders we should be aware of this. There is training on how to avoid, use situational awareness, detect people who are about to attack and how to change the dynamic situation back to your favor with some kind of action BEFORE you even think about trying to out-draw someone like the wild west. Which will get you killed in real life. This video should make a lot of pros just nod their heads and say, YEP, been there, done that, got the T shirt, but for many over confident gun owners that watch too much TV and have a false perception of their skill this may be a real wake up call. I was amazed how my test so closely matched the studies I have read. I was just not ready for how STUNNED watching the video in replay would be. I had to wait until I came home to see my simulation of the criminal shooting an officer from the drivers seat. When I measured the time with the computer it kinda made me sick at my stomach. My son's childhood buddy is not a grown man, and a cop in our town and I'd always wanted my son to follow that path due to his aptitude and demeanor. Now, I'm glad he went from being a smart jock to a tax accountant. If you ever thought a cop's job was easy, well, data like this might change your mind. This is still a good lesson even walking on the street.
PLEASE add your comments, thoughts and experiences for others to learn from. Obviously situational awareness, positioning, avoidance should be discussed to get at some real solutions besides our first instincts which might cause a permit holder to have a bad day.
VIDEO LINK - length under 2 minutes
Action vs Reaction - Proxy beats Skill - Live Fire Video Demo - YouTube
I do this demonstration at the beginning of every class I teach. Reaction has never beaten action.
Hey, I am no expert--just a 71 year old guy in very good shape who believes in protecting himself and his wife. In my home, castle doctrine goes a long way toward changing the dynamics of reaction/action. I can assume imminent danger from the getgo and I can be prepared before I actually see anything and I can shoot before I actually see anything because imminent danger is already in play. In my house, at night, Ilock bedroom door, put a door stopper under same, have my cell for 911, have my garage door opener and have my car alarms for noise, lights and ease of location should LEO arrive on my block. All the time, I have secured a location where I have a view of the bedroom door and have my shotgun and my semi auto pistol. BG can have what he wants in other rooms--all insured and replaceable. No one else in house so no reason for me to confront--I am insured but not replaceable. He forces through bedroom door--he probably will die. My only concern is costs for new door jam and carpet. This above scenario is well-defined in my favor as far as defending myself and wife.
Now we are outside of home and this is where it gets difficult. I am of the opinion and try to follow this as much as I can without getting paranoid and becoming a recluse--situational awareness (SA) is numero uno. If something bothers me about a location or visit, particularly at night, I will avoid or minimize. I am always looking ahead of myself. I do not frequent things like ATMs. Anything and everything that has a smell of a problem I try to avoid without changing my active lifestyle. I see my biggest concern here in SC is going out at evening for dinner--I cannot CC if I am going to a restaurant that serves alcohol and this surely limits my ability to dine in nicer restaurants--if I am a responsible CCer, I am disarmed going and coming from car to/from restaurant, particularly at night. If I am CC at other times and am out and about night or day I will keep SA as a priority but the reasonable presumption of imminent danger does not, I repeat not, give me the right to present my firearm and point it just because some guy or guys are walking the gangsta walk with pants at their ankles and hoodies and loud music---if they mean harm I am in the reactive mode to their active mode. The best I can do is walk across the street or turn around and walk back where I came from--anything to placate my fear (real or unreal). If my reactions seem to elicit further actions from the guy or guys (they continue to follow me), I will attempt to at least move my firearm from its holster to a more accessible location even having it in my hand with my hand under my coat or shirt.
I agree with video though---reaction to an action is a distinct and dangerous problem for LEOs and citizens alike--you cannot just brandish, particularly if you are a citizen--if you are wrong about your presumption, you are breaking the law.
Sorry for length but found this thread of interest.
A good friend of mine, developed a training program that he delivered to thousands of law enforcement officers over the years, entitled Mental Preparation for Armed Confrontation, or MPAC. I helped him teach it a number of times, to state and local law enforcement officers, as well as our federal brothers and sisters.
An entire block of this instruction was dealing with Action is Faster than Reaction, and we demonstrated it, over and over again, to drive home the fact that it is virtually impossible to outdraw a trigger squeeze. It's why it's IMPERATIVE that gun fighters practice WHEN/THEN thinking, all the time. This fact is the why, behind the officers standing slightly behind the drivers window, or approaching from the passenger side, keeping some cover between the officer and the shooter.
Good post OP. Should facilitate some interesting comments.
" But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself... Baa." Col. Dave Grossman on Sheep and Sheepdogs.
Anyone who has ever boxed or wrestled knows that you have to be first. Get off the blocks first. Shoot your takedown first. Throw your punch first. Action ALWAYS beats reaction.
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Nice vid! It should be noted also that while this indicates even if someone has finger on trigger, you can draw and fire before they can react - the "bg" here didn't actually have to draw. If you actually have to reach for your gun and clear a holster, you're screwed. If you're point blank, going for their gun is a safer bet than going for your own, but you'd better know what the heck you are doing.
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Good video. Show that to the folks that say condition 3 is a viable option.
"If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge or jury. Therefore what he must be taught to fear is his victim." - LtCol Jeff Cooper
When I draw/dry fire practice in my yard I always start moving backwards and laterally as I draw my weapon. I have also run the draw and fire drill against a charging opponent. Managed to outpace the guy once in ten times. Some of these drill are rather eye opening.
The hardest thing for me to do is hold my gun beside my hip on a close range shot. I still want to stretch out and offer my gun to the bad guy.
We have different gifts, each according to the grace God has given to each of us.
I've seen lots of threads like this - it's good for perspective.
Personally I wonder why they always use a noise to react to. It seems to me that my reactions to sound happen after a slight delay, and then the reaction is sudden and extreme - startling even. With sight, the reaction is smooth and happens continuously as the situation changes. That's just my thoughts based on my experience.
I'd like to see this with a visual cue.
I don't see the relevance as it might equate to everyday life?
Unless LE has a reason to suspect imminent danger from the car during a traffic stop; their gun remains holstered; right?
The BG, DOES indeed have the advantage if his gun is already out in hand; which is why LE approaches a vehicle staying very close to the vehicle and stay back a tad.
Other than SA, I don't see how this particular demo relates to me..Mr. Citizen who carries concealed?
Walking to my car late at night thru a abandoned parking lot, should I have my gun in hand? I think not.
"When those who are governed do too little, those who govern can, and will, do too much." Ronald Reagan
Do what you can; then do what you must
RightsEroding, of course this could apply to any defense situation on the streets or home and property. You don't have to be a cop. And the illustration of reacting with gun in low ready with finger down the frame or actually on the trigger merely shows how dramatic this disadvantage is. I really hope someone here doesn't have to type 3 paragraphs to explain what you are overlooking. Saying you would not walk to your car with gun in hand is hand plucking a tiny part of this test and trying to split hairs and prove a meaningless point. If a criminal walks up to you already drawing to fire on you, the lesson here is you will not be able to simply out draw them, not without your victory party being very short before you die along with them. Of course there are scenarios you would already have your weapon drawn and low ready. I run home defense drills like that all the time, and parking garage, convenience store stages, endless examples. Please rethink this and come back around to comment. Watch the video, again, you missed the part where i come from the holster in reaction, there is what you may assume contains every situation you will ever encounter.
aus71383, with the help of someone else on the range, perhaps a signal light or other visual queue that could be tested but there is no point in that. Stop and think, my video shows the maximum time the bad guy takes for the gun to leave their lap or console area until the bullet hits the officer 200 milliseconds. An experiment where the officer has NO idea the shot is coming, and they can only see the gun coming later in the bad guy movement, it would only amplify their reaction time from 600-800 milliseconds to perhaps 1.5 seconds. I'm actually giving the cop maximum consideration in this demo, best case scenario. And the reason sound (shot timer) is used, it was the best tool on hand that could measure the time accurately. It's quicker to respond to that beep than a cop could respond to a visual and make an identification of a weapon, cell phone, wallet. We could test reaction in low light conditions which accounts for about 66% of all gun battles making this even worse.
Hope this was useful for the points it makes but any that dismisses this, could be making a permanent mistake. As you know bad guys dont just stop attacking when a bullet hits them unless you hit some pretty magical places, they might shoot you 4-5 times before they run and collapse. Story last week in Atlanta bad guy shot 5 times in face and head with 38 caliber and still drove away, he's on a breathing tube now though, under arrest.
velo99, funny you brought that lateral movement up. I also practice so much by stepping out of the line of fire when shooting close quarters the habit overlapped when I shoot competitions, other competitors looked at my like I was crazy. That's a great response IF you have enough time. Some better responses can be found in books like combat Handgunnery by Massad Ayoob and countless other references. Some of those moves are genius and proven in real life to work repeatedly. The lesson one is not to draw on them and create a double gun wrestling match at bad breath distances.
I like two specific methods. You may have seen or studied. One involves actually driving into the bad guy, especially in hallways, elevators, alleys where a wall is to their back. Your left arm holds their right gun hand down and away while you drive them into the wall. Your head goes beneath their left arm pit preventing them from accessing your gun while you then draw, drive upward, and fire into there left side of chest. This, when perfected, is a stone cold deadly defense that works on people larger and stronger than you, if you are aggressive enough, they will be dead about 1.5-2.5 seconds after they start their draw. Trust me this is not theory, this move has been proven to work beyond forum chit chat. I've simulated it with guys that could pound me like a rag doll.
The Second move I really love is the one in Massad's book and based again on real life by people that have used it many many times with success. This involves reacting to the bad guy beginning to draw by grabbing their left shoulder with your right hand with fingers blading into the rear slot of their armpit. Pulling hard and literally riding around them blocking them from shooting you unless they fire through their own body. You immediately transition your left hand into that slot at the rear of their armpit which is an awesome control point for a man, and then draw and shoot them in the 7 oclock position of their head. I have trained my wife to pull this move on me flawlessly and she weighs a 100+ pounds less. My son was a state champ wrestler in high school and a head taller than me and I can perform this move on him. And I've demonstrated it without fail to people that have never seen it, I mean grand master level shooters that know more than I ever will. I opened their eyes like a "frog" with this move. acttimmy excellent point btw!
There are even more equally effective ways to change a situation to YOUR advantage, defeating their action and then responding with your knife, gun or other weapons. Not just for cops, for anyone defending themselves. This is all about how your brain, nervous system works and I hope this illustrates what many of you already know, learn and evidently teach. Thanks for watching the video and comments. I hope more people will share responses they would use when standing eye to eye with a threat who already has the jump on you, and how you avoid being in those situations. I think this stuff is fascinating and eye opening.
WC145, condition 3 has no place in handgun defense or combat unless you want a nice funeral, I totally agree. I use it for a split second right before I chamber a round and carefully holster the gun. An unloaded gun is a nice paperweight or doorstop, LOL. I laugh at states that require Cond3 for OC. Hope they have a knife on them.
As for GeorgiaShooter - I'm not trying to argue that action doesn't beat reaction - just that there is a lot more information in real life than just a beep or a gun moving. It is best to act first. If I am forced into a situation where I am going to have to react quickly, my reaction will be to move - not stay in place and draw.
"aus71383, with the help of someone else on the range, perhaps a signal light or other visual queue that could be tested but there is no point in that."
There is a point in that, which I think is perfectly clear. It won't change the results of action beating reaction, but I believe it will be "more" realistic. Nothing demonstrated or trained will ever be "fully" realistic, of course.
"Stop and think, my video shows the maximum time the bad guy takes for the gun to leave their lap or console area until the bullet hits the officer 200 milliseconds."
I hadn't realized it was your video until your response - now it makes more sense you would think I was being critical. I'm not trying to invalidate or insult the video - it was well made, and illustrates the point well. Thank you for making it, and for sharing it. A "bad guy" doesn't need to have his gun in his lap though - if the officer approaching can't already see both hands, he might as well have the gun pointing out the window. Then it's just a matter of timing and being able to point shoot - which at ~3 feet means a hit is pretty likely.
"An experiment where the officer has NO idea the shot is coming, and they can only see the gun coming later in the bad guy movement, it would only amplify their reaction time from 600-800 milliseconds to perhaps 1.5 seconds. I'm actually giving the cop maximum consideration in this demo, best case scenario."
Absolutely - no one is expecting to get shot every second of the day. If you are actually walking around that amped up you'll develop physical and psychological symptoms pretty quickly....
I guess my point is that situational awareness and reading visual cues and behavior can help more with preparedness and being ready to act than just practicing drawing quickly.
"And the reason sound (shot timer) is used, it was the best tool on hand that could measure the time accurately."
Makes perfect sense - it is a timer. How did you time the "bad guy" shooting 200 milliseconds thing?
"It's quicker to respond to that beep than a cop could respond to a visual and make an identification of a weapon, cell phone, wallet. We could test reaction in low light conditions which accounts for about 66% of all gun battles making this even worse."
There are too many factors, I don't think anything is that simple. Reaction to noise being faster than reaction to sight is not something I am willing to just accept because someone says so. I will continue to agree that action beats reaction though.
"Hope this was useful for the points it makes but any that dismisses this, could be making a permanent mistake."
Definitely useful. Thanks again for putting it together and sharing it. I think the biggest mistake anyone could make is to try to "react" by drawing their gun. Moving should be step 1 in my opinion.
"As you know bad guys dont just stop attacking when a bullet hits them unless you hit some pretty magical places, they might shoot you 4-5 times before they run and collapse. Story last week in Atlanta bad guy shot 5 times in face and head with 38 caliber and still drove away, he's on a breathing tube now though, under arrest."
Humans are amazing creatures, aren't they?
Wow that was a long winded reply. If anyone actually read that.....you are probably dumber now. Sorry....
OP, thanks for posting this. It does make sense and will help me rethink some things I do.
NEVER point a gun at something you are not prepared to destroy!
AND for GODS sake, get your finger off the trigger until you are ready to squeeze the trigger!