Personal protection will rarely be in a controlled environment like your local gun club. More than likely, a defensive situation will involve moving and placing yourself in different positions to be able to deal with a threat. With that being said, it is imperative that as shooters increase their firearms acumen, they extend their training to defensive shooting and the compliments that come with it.
Today we want to talk about some brief tidbits regarding the 3 major pistol ready positions. Certainly this list is incomplete–please understand that this enumeration in no way attempts to exhaust the list of pistol ready positions!!!! These three major positions all have modified and compressed variants to them (of which will NOT be discussed in this post!!). Also understand this guys……all of these positions, and their variants have their merits and detractors for different situations. We just want to wet your whistle, and get you moving to a tactical range to practice!!!
Low Ready Position. The low ready position is usually assumed when shooters have yet to identify a definite and actual threat. The low ready is assumed because although the threat hasn’t been identified, shooters know that one may possibly exist in their immediate area. Defensively, shooters use the position when attempting to make their exit from an area where a threat may possibly exist, or as they navigate through their home or business, checking for the source of suspicion. PSA suggests this position to shooters as it’s an extremely advantageous position for when shooters feel that danger may be imminent.
The low ready position is accomplished by lowering the gun and arms to an area below the target (or area where the threat may present itself) ensuring that the arms remain locked. In the event that the threat suddenly becomes active, the shooter can swiftly reacquire the target and hopefully deliver an incapacitating shot.
High Ready Position. The high ready position is a totally different animal. Although the high ready is a feasible option for situations in the real world, high ready is most likely a position not allowed (and thus not practiced) at your local gun club. Not taking into account real world defensive situations, most ranges don’t consider up as a safe direction, and thus you’re not supposed to have the muzzle facing that direction. Most often used in areas where space is limited and others may be moving around you, the high ready keeps the firearm ready for defense without the issue of muzzle sweeping innocent bystanders, loved ones, or even Scruffy!
The high ready position is accomplished by keeping the firearm about eight inches in front of the shooters face (as you can see from the picture, you may have to scan around corners). In this position the shooter should ensure that both hands manage a firm, proper shooting grip. The shooters elbows should be down in a relaxed angle, and the muzzle of the firearm should be fixed at nearly a 55-65 degree cant.
Sul Position. The Sul Position (developed in 1997 by two South American Policemen) began to be executed to accomplish a very fast and efficient pistol presentation; normally assumed from a neutral position close against the body. This position is useful should the shooter feel the need to quickly get their pistol in the fight. Both of the shooters hands move together….the support hand is primed to fold around the gun to establish a solid grip at presentation in a quick and efficient manner.
The Sul position can be accomplished by the shooter placing their support hand flat and horizontal against the torso near their bellybutton level. In this position the the firing hand (that’s the one with the trigger finger on it!!!!) maintains a firm grip on the pistol, ensuring to keep the trigger finger outside of the trigger guard, and rests over the support hand. The muzzle should be parallel to the shooters spine and should be canted at a 15-degree angle away from your body.
By the way………..”Sul” is Portuguese for South.
Most shooters…..and the sad part is that most instructors alike don’t have a firm understanding of the difference between the pistol positions and as a result wind up using them incorrectly or inefficiently.
*** If you are unfamiliar with firearms and/or their accessories, and want to learn more, PSA strongly suggests that you find, enroll, and attend a comprehensive and reputable firearms safety course. Firearms safety is all of OUR responsibility.
We want to thank you for taking out the time to stop by our lane at the shooting range!! We hope that you enjoyed your stay and hope that you stop back by early and often to catch up on all PSA updates! We truly hope that we were able to hit the target, and if you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to shoot them our way!! We look forward to shooting the breeze with you soon again!!
And as always….remember to watch your six and stay low!!!