Let’s talk about speed for a second.

In the video, Todd of Pistol-Training.Com executes a 7.31 El President Drill from concealment using an appendix carry holster and an HK45. For those of you new to Gun Nuts, the El Presidente Drill is a standards drill designed by the late Col. Jeff Cooper; starting with the gun holstered and facing away from your targets, you turn, draw, fire two shots each at three targets, reload and fire two more shots at each target. Col. Cooper believed that the drill should be run exactly as depicted in the video – your times in between each shot should be the same whether it’s a transition or a follow up shot.

Back to the video, and why we’re talking about fundamentals. Watch the press out – where the shooter transitions from holstered gun to his shooting stance. The arms come up and in to the high compressed ready position, and then are thrust out to the proper isosceles stance. It doesn’t look fast, does it? That is what is deceiving about good speed with a gun, is that it looks easy because it’s done without that “scramble”. You’ve seen someone trying to complete an unfamiliar task in a hurry – their limbs are awkward, they don’t move with economy of motion, and everything just kind of goes helter-skelter.

I recently had Julie Golob on Gun Nuts Radio, and she talked about dry fire practice. A lot of people advocate dry firing practice against a timer, but Julie doesn’t do that. She said that dry fire is your time to build that fluidity and economy of motion; dry fire is where you can perfect your techniques. I’ve been dry firing off the clock now, and you know what? She’s right. If you want to get to that kind of crisp movement in Todd’s video, your practice needs to be unhurried. You can practice speed later, but until you’ve got the movement down in the most efficient fashion possible, speed is just going to be sloppy.


  1. Nitpick – speed re-holstering.

    Other than that, very helpful to see the fluidity of motion.

  2. I wouldn’t call that speed reholstering, it’s a very deliberate motion. It’s just one that’s been done A LOT. I’m not in any hurry to get my gat back in to my IDPA rig, but it generally goes in quickly because I’ve put in there a lot.

  3. Thanks, Caleb! Wasn’t shot from concealment, though.

    I was actually pretty disappointed with the press outs, the pause between extension and the shot breaking shouldn’t be there.

    That’s the huge benefit of seeing video of yourself: you can see where you’re sucking and make focused improvements!

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