Time To ROCK ~ The Speed Rock
Credit for this is to a Gunversation web page. The original page is just filled with ads...terrible! So...here is the text minus the photos.
It's an interesting firearm related "Sunday Evening Read" - I'll post it in bold text so you can leave your "reading glasses" off. :biggrin:
Gather what you wish from it & leave the remainder to decay.
Comments are always welcome.
All information contained in this thread "may or may not be" the personal
opinion of the forum member who posted it. :hand31:
Evolution of the Speed Rock
by Adam Celaya & all credit to him.
From its earliest roots, the primary objective to winning a gunfight, be it in an F15 Strike Eagle or between desperadoes, has been to get your weapon aimed at your opponent as quickly as possible. While it seems that Hollywood made a big deal out of Matt Dillon firing from the hip, and really, probably everyone reading this practiced the same feat as a kid, the concept was just as applicable then as it is now. But, before anyone gets to thinking that Iím endorsing point shooting, Iím not. Although Iíve practiced it, like most people I have never been worth a damn at it beyond three yards. Granted, I have witnessed people who were uncannily accurate at it out to ten or more yards. What Hollywood never seemed to grasp was that the classic quick draw stance was something used when an opponent was at arms reach, not squared off at twenty paces. Death in a western-era saloon (or the streets of modern-day Chicago for that matter) was not about the courage to step out into the center of the street for a fair fight. More often than not it was about one drunk, pissed off cowboy spontaneously shooting another drunk, pissed off cowboy just as soon as his gun cleared leather. Frequently the shot came from so close that the victim was clearly marked by powder burns.
What Iím talking about here is known currently as the speed rock. Sure, most of the famous gunfighters who lived past thirty were known to draw, go to an offhand stance and use sighted fire to stop their adversary. But romanticizing aside, most of the gunfights of the Old West were between nobodies in heat-of-the-moment altercations that occurred at contact distance where the winner was the cowboy or lawman who could get his 1860 Army upholstered and leveled the fastest. No finesse, just shoot the thing before the other guy gets his out, too.
The speed rock gained new use in the late fifties and early sixties with the competitive quick draw fad. Because of the simple requirements, shooters refined this sport far beyond practical (or historical) use in the name of winning. Whatever could be done to draw and bring your weapon to bear was tried. Low-slung metal-reinforced tie-down holsters, half pound trigger jobs, short barrels, and even peculiar body angles were employed to shave off every last nanosecond. But at its heart, competitive quick draw was all about a shooter getting in the first shot, accuracy be damned!
Eventually the Matt Dillon fad faded and most police agencies that had used any type of point shooting began to return to various forms of aimed fire as the Weaver stance gained following. Oddly enough though, reexamining the average statistical gunfight or assault showed more and more that they occurred at incredibly close range. At the same time, police agencies, through collective data, were realizing that two of the biggest killers of peace officers were the high speed pursuit and officers who were killed with their own weapons. The buzzphrase for the decade became "Weapons retention."
As seen here, the weak arm is pulled back against the body to get it out of the fire zone as well as providing shielding to your upper chest cavity. The strong hand and weapon are rotated to the firing position as soon as the muzzle clears leather. Use of a standard interview stance will put the strong side farthest from the attacker. This move should be done at a full retreat. At this range you are only exchanging wounds, put some distance between you and your attacker while those bullets soak in.
By the eighties, a revamped version of the quickdraw stance was being seen outside of elite weapons schools. Designed to allow a shooter to draw a weapon from a strongside holster, rotate it to firing position as soon as it cleared leather, and fire while keeping the weapon relatively safe from a gun grab, the Speed rock stance was reborn.
...compact weapons like the Detonics 45 and later the Glock subcompacts absolutely disliked being fired from a true speed rock
While many professionals had long ago (my father switched in the early sixties) taken to carrying autos, most police and security still clung to their revolvers. But as times changed and Hollywood made high capacity autos seem almost magical, agencies began to switch over to magazine fed weapons. Where this caused an evolutionary change to occur in the speed rock was in the fact that the trusty revolvers of the frontier would feed reliably regardless of how they were held so long as you pulled the trigger.
The obvious answer was to bring the weapon higher until it aligned with the wrist and forearm. Once linear, there was a better springboard for the slide to operate properly. With the shooterís arm braced against their side and the sights held level, a defender had only to turn their body to align horizontally with an attacker. The weak hand was brought back flush against the upper chest to keep from inadvertently shooting off your own fingers.
During this era, there was a lot of press on just how the weak hand should be used. Some advocates recommended drills where the attacker was pushed away while the other hand drew. There was considerable merit in this method---provided that it was accompanied by a significant amount of redundant training to the point that muscle memory was fully developed. Otherwise, the system was bound to dissolve under the chaos of real world combat and leave you missing fingers.
Another theme that emerged was to use the weak hand to shield the upper chest from a knife attack. Although it is doubtful that it would provide much cover against a large caliber handgun, an arm would be helpful in slowing or stopping many of the smaller cartridges. As for a knife, the bone of your arm would provide at least a few seconds of leeway for your defensive weapon, now in the speed rock, to do its job. There is nothing good about having your arm slashed or mauled by an attacker, but Iíd take a clipped wing over a thoractic penetration any day. At minimum, youíll have far better luck staunching arterial flow from an extremity than an internal hemorrhage. With the defender standing at an interview stance, or 45 degrees relative to your target, your gun arm is recessed enough to protect it from injury. Having your weak hand slashed is one thing, but loss of your gun hand will leave you defenseless.
Use of the speed rock has also found a niche among special weapons groups as the Ďpoint maní. Though this hold differs from the speed rock in that it is more of a stance than a speed draw, it consists mainly of an armpit level port arms carry. The virtues of the stance are weapons retention, ease of aiming, and a close knit hold that provides breathing room between you and an opponent as you round a corner or enter a doorway. I have found this tactic to be sound and have included it in building clearing training for security officers who are contracted to provide alarm response services. In one town I lived in, private security accounted for the majority of these responses and were commonly required to clear the premises before returning to duty. Although most are false alarms, either pets activating the motion sensors or systems triggered by electrical storms, the officer has to be wary nonetheless. Every corner or dark room is a potential criminal laying in wait.
Short barreled autos like this Glock 26 require a modified stance employing alignment of the forearm and weapon in order for their slides to cycle against their heavier springs. Practice sessions should include a shooting retreat.
It may seem like we have come a long way since flintlocks, but a fight is a fight. Be it with bare hands or firearms. They are extremely fast paced with victory going to the most furious. When a pistol is involved, close quarters combat will invariably regress to firing just as soon as you can clear leather. We may have refined it a little with the modern speed rock, enhanced it with variations, and cemented it with training, but a rose by any other name is still a rose.