Low Ready / High Ready Again

I recently read an article that was espousing the benefits of high ready over low ready. Within the article the author stated that one explanation for high ready is that you’re automatically in a position to muzzle strike or be able to run faster. Both of which he stated were true.

On the muzzle strike issue I would say he is right. As a cop my department policies dictate some of what I can and cannot do. Muzzle strikes to the head and neck region would be considered deadly force by my policy. It falls in the same category as a wood shampoo, I can do it but deadly force criteria must be met. Conversely, throwing elbows to the dome are not, and I would argue that I can throw a nastier elbow with my rifle at low ready versus high ready. I don’t have one of those sweet ass pressure plates that Drago was punching in Rocky IV to test it, but I can subjectively tell you that there is a huge difference in heavy bag response trying it from both positions.

On to the point at hand of this; does high ready really let me run faster? I have heard this before and this article made me wonder what the difference is. So I measured a distance of 30 yards and sprinted that shit with the rifle in high ready, football carry and with both hands on the gun. Now I prefer football carry if I’m picking them up and putting them down. In addition, every sprinter and sprinting coach on the planet will tell you that pumping the arms builds momentum which in turn creates speed. None of them would tell you to keep one of your forearms vertical while you try to hit warp speed.

High Ready 4.76 seconds
Football Carry. 4.56 seconds
Both hands on the gun. 5.32 seconds

Now this is not a ton of data, because Sarge gots some bad knees. But 2/10’s of a second in 30 yards is a goddamn ass kicking in the sprint game. And please don’t tell me about your buddy who is super-fast carrying high ready, because he is likely faster carrying that shit like a football. Usain Bolt would crush me carrying a fucking Tuba in the high ready, but this is about what I can do with different carry methods when hauling ass. And by extension, it is about what you can do too.

Now comes the internet, “Well if I’m in high ready I can get a shot off faster if I need to in the middle of my gold medal performance”. Really? Let’s check it out. First, I have to ID that I need to make a shot on something, then I have to apply brakes, build an acceptable platform for the shot at hand, settle sights, manipulate a selector and pull a trigger. So there is quite a bit of time in there. My test was set up with a shot timer on Delay and a random start time between 1-2 seconds. I pressed the button and started getting my giddy-up. When the buzzer went, I reacted by stopping and hit the C zone of a VTAC target. Based on where I started I presumed the target would be around 15 yards away when I fired. So I’m at full speed, beep, stop & shoot.

High Ready 1.77 seconds
Football Carry 1.80 seconds
Both hands on the gun 1.71 seconds

There are variables in this one with reaction time to the beep and likely where I registered the beep in my stride to start applying the brakes. Even though I am faster firing the shot with both hands on the gun, I am WAY fucking slower when I’m shittin’ & gettin’. Again, not much data here but it really doesn’t matter since more data would only garner what I already know. Football carry is a faster way to run with a rifle AND it is as fast as high ready to press a shot if I get caught mid-sprint, FOR ME

More science and stuff on this topic in the days to come, but for the love of god go run your own damn test to determine what YOU can do.


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