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Your Personal Tueller Distance

Posted by on in Concealed Carry
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Most shooters know of the Tueller Drill.  It established that 21' is the minumum distance that an attacker with a contact weapon an run while a defender can draw and fire.  "The 21-foot Rule" is widespread.  But your distance will vary, hence the concept of your PERSONAL Tueller distance.  We'll show you a simple method to find it.

The question Dennis Tueller, police firearms instructior, was trying to answer was "how close is too close with a contact weapon?"  At what distance should an officer be drawing his or her gun, in order to have enough time to shoot if the attacker came any closer?  Police, with quite a bit of training, can, on average, draw and shoot in about 1.5 sseconds.  So, what Tueller had to establish was how far someone can run in that time.  The results showed that 21 feet was typical.

Even Mythbusters got into the action, doing a variation of the Tueller Drill in a show called "Duel Dilemmas" and pretty much confirmed it, but found that 24' was about the right distance.  They also noted that although the defender could draw (from an open holster) and shoot the attacker, the attacker would also get close enough to use the club or knife before or just after being shot, sos in fact both parties would end at least injured, if not killed.

In a recent interview with the Armed Citizens’ Legal Defense Network, Tueller said,: “It goes back to the issue of reaction and response time. The more time you need to physically access your defensive weapon and put it into action, then you need to have that much more distance that an adversary with a contact weapon would have to cover. The thing to do is to find out how long that is.”


Your “reactionary gap” will be different from that of a typical police officer and different from other people with concealed carry licenes.  So, how can you use your personal factors (reaction time, concealment method, and so on) to figure out how far away from YOU an aggressor is dangerous?

A future article in Women&Guns magazine will detail three different ways of measureing your personal Tueller distance.  The one we present here is probably the simplist to carry out.

Although there are many unpreidctable thjings that can affect your persona Tueller distance in a real event (your attacker can run faster or slower than average, vissibility might be good or bad, you might be able to retreat or not, the ground might be easy to move on, or hard, and so on) the one consistent, most predictable factor will be the time it takes you to draw and fire . 

Most of us don't have that 1.5 second time to draw and fire.  Even competition shooterss, who go much fasster than that in competition will be slowed down in the real world.  In your real world, you carry in some concealed place quite consistently. 

What you need to find out is how long it takes you, on average, to draw from that concealment and fire.  For this test, you need to wear your real clothes, not range gear.  A coat, if it is winter.  You will need a shot timer, or a friend with one.  With a target at about 7 yards, usijng the timer as an unpredictable start signal, draw and shoot once.  Don't be standing facing downrange with your hand positioned to reach you holster.  Write down every time for every shot.  Notice the spread; you probably have some nice short time and some longer ones you wiuld like to forget about.  Calculate the average, and then take a look at the following table to see your personal Tueller distance.


Time in Seconds Approx. Distance in Feet
1.5 20
1.75 23
2.0 27
2.25 30
2.5 33
2.75 37
3.0 40
3.25 43
3.5 43
3.75 50
4.0 53


Are you shocked at how big your persosnal Tuellar distance is?  Most of us will be, but that knowledge is invaluable.  Even with this knowledge, your mileage will vary.  Consider your personal Tueller distance the minimum for a distance that might help save your life.


 Picture credit: Shutterstock/Alexey Grigorev


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Guest Wednesday, 26 June 2019

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