So there I was… a cadet in the police academy, on the firing line during range week and having paid due attention to the safety briefing and wondering why they told us to never point a firearm at anything we had not decided to shoot, but I was pointing my firearm at the target in a “low ready” giving verbal commands which were indicative of my not having decided to shoot. I was flummoxed.
Along the line came one of the instructors; so, I posed a question to him: “Sir, if we are not supposed to point our gun at something we have not decided to shoot, why are we pointing our guns at the target while giving commands?”
His answer was an emphatic, “Stop jerking the trigger!!” because that was the only response he had for any question that might arise on the range.
Low ready, **in that class**, was presented as the firearm being pointed at the threat with the muzzle being depressed low enough so as to be able to see a suspect’s hands. Follow on training from the same doctrinal source presented the low ready in the same manner.
**That** definition of low ready is arguable. The term has numerous definitions with each entity being convinced that its particular definition is correct.
In a recent conversation with John Hearne, he pitched the concept of safety positions and ready positions. He defined the terms as the following:
Ready position – placement of the gun in a manner that a shot can be immediately delivered once the decision to shoot has been made. The muzzle is diverted just enough to gather the information necessary to make a decision. A full firing grip, especially locked wrists, is maintained on the weapon.
Safety Position – with the caveat that the safest place for the gun is in the holster, a safety position intentionally “unplugs” the weapon from the fight in order to facilitate close proximity, typically movement by or movement past, to a non-threat. The ideal two-handed shooting grip is compromised by breaking the wrist, removing the support hand, etc. Safety positions should be viewed as temporary with the ultimate goal being to return the weapon back to a ready position as soon as safely possible.
Dave Spaulding uses similar terminology. He told me, “I look at the definitions of the words: Ready: prepared to act or take action. Prepare: to make ready.” He further stated that he sees them as levels. Furthermore, he stated, “I think of ready as the gun between you and the threat and the muzzle averted. Preparatory positions are like Sul and the like.”
My position, and my teaching, on the issue is that any definition of a ready position must include that the muzzle must not cover any portion of the target/threat. In my classes, students are evaluated, coached, and tested on muzzle discipline. The reasons for this are to one, reinforce the lifestyle rules of possessing a firearm, and two, documentation for court purposes.
Since the “Sul” position has been brought up already and will be discussed again in the other videos, an explanation of the position from one of its co-originators is in order:
Dave Spaulding explains his “Arc of Ready” concept:
Paul Gomez discussed Positions for Muzzle Aversion: