Rule Breaker: The 21-Foot Standard Is Misunderstood | CCM

The United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals very nearly turned the often-referenced, often-misunderstood “21-foot rule” from a law enforcement principle with specific presumptive application into an actual broad self-defense law.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Came across this on the app during lunch. Very good article if you haven’t seen it yet.


We have completed training drills where our son, 6 ft 6, can clear 33ft approx if he has good traction, while my mrs can draw and fire 1 round. Therefore in this gap, there is decision,reaction, muscle, fear, adrenaline, or whatever else one may think of, time. Maybe son could clear 40 ft. This gap is different for each of us. Rule vs gap, good point!

Mask vs face covering?


Moved this to the thread that was already started, @Jeff4 :wink:


In the prior issue of CCM, Mr.Janych made a good point. Tueller drill illustrates a point, but not a very practical one, as in most confrontations involving a knife, the knife stays concealed until arms-length distance. For that reason, don’t spend time training for it.

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Good article. I’ve been drilling at 7 yards but now see the benefit in drilling farther out just in case. The hope is to never need to use these skills but better to be prepared and not need it than the alternative.

Besides, in the heat of the moment, everything can get skewed including distance. If someone is coming at you with a deadly weapon we have to do our best to determine at what point that threat is actually and defensively imminent. That’s why I really appreciate these types of situational awareness articles to help keep us mentally prepared.

I certainly don’t want anyone to get killed or maimed but I also don’t want to throw my life away in jail either.

I wonder how many people here ever trained for weak-hand defence against a blade while retaining with strong hand

I have recently been training to draw from concealment. In the summer this is a short sleeve, button up shirt that is untucked. I carry my Sig P365 OWB at around the 4 o’clock position.

To reach to my right, pull up my shirt, clear the holster, and fire with practical accuracy takes me at least 3 seconds. While doing dry fire training, in my haste I have dropped my pistol twice! I was in an indoor range with no A/C. I was sweating and the pistol just got away from me. Great training though, and a great thing to learn about hot weather weapon handling.

I continue to train, but getting a cover garment clear is not as easy as I once thought. Wearing a tee shirt with an unbuttoned shirt is way easier and I will adapt my wardrobe accordingly.

It is amazing what you learn while doing realistic training. The 21 foot rule for me, at least right now, would not allow me enough time to get off an aimed, effective shot.


I am reading “In the Name of Self Defense” by Marc Macyoung. He made an important point about this situation. A predator will get as close as possible to the intended target before presenting the weapon, therefore 21’ is not a defense plan. It is a training aid to gauge your skill at presenting your self defense tool . There are other important skills needed to improve your personal safety so don’t focus on 21".