The 21 Foot Rule

I have not come across that in my classes, and in the Internet classes and videos I have seen, it was always made clear that you never “stand your ground”, that as Kevin Michelowski has repeatedly stated, “get off the X”.


In my CCW class, the video was show merely to show how fast something could happen… also taught to get off the X.


Watching videos of idiots who were supposed to be funny pranking people, one thing I’m wary of are people with cameras on. Same with Antifa and BLM. They attack then portray themselves as victims through edited videos of the encounter. If someone’s videotaping (not technically correct as it’s tape-free), be on guard.


A year or two ago I watched a video of 2 guys running this scenario. One was a knife guy they other was a navy seal, special forces type. He stated the best thing was to get off the x. He would sidestep, fall on his back or side.& shoot. Interesting to watch. Lots of practice I think…


Great insight, I recently watched an officer vs a knife wielding perpetrator,the officer shot the individual 7 times center and or low center mass. Shooting while backing up. The individual went down,did not comply with commands ,roles in the semi fetal position for a few minutes. Then got up,officer yelling,he then charged another officer,who was a bit closer,got behind the officer,knife to his neck,went for the officers weapon,and was then terminated.

1)do we practice firing while backing up
2)when out with family do we have action words like "one"or “wolf” etc where maybe some watch the rest,some the front and you Mr cc or CCW watch everywhere. The words indicate movement. Are we reactive aware,but because we are prepared,it is not reactive as much as active??

Situational awareness
Areas of cover (not concealment)
Egress even walking in public
Be safe, Presume everyone who comes near has your demise at stake,You assess, diffuse,and control your area of comfort.

How many people were attacked at marches,and the officers were right there. Sometimes it’s easier to arrest after video review a week or month later(at 3am) but your still injured ( situational awareness - use it) reflections in store fronts,car windows,mirrors, etc.

Be safe enjoy - Right now The world is a very different place.
:heartbeat::heartbeat:To all


I think of it like this. Say you’re the one armed with a knife, and have no idea if your target is armed with a gun or not. Would you simply charge them with your knife once you were within 21 feet?

Personally, I’d rather use my surroundings to my advantage. Wait in ambush, keep weapon hidden until target is within arm’s reach.


@David-65 that video was also posted above in post #6 by @BRUCE26


Yeah never thought I’d see it again. Thanks.


I am very sure, the 21 foot roll applies to people who are READY…The Attacker knows his part, but the Police officer, (not concealed Carry person) Knows he is coming.
Realistically, as a concealed carry person, your draw time wlill be much longer than a Police Officer with an exposed holster who is ready.
Think 50 feet!
The average concealed carry person, with gun out at the ready, does not hit the attacker with the first shots from 21 feet, moving at them rapidly. ( we made a cart with a target we could move and tried it on a couple classes)

Move off center, behind something…Move away, behind a car, MOVE, draw and MOVE


Welcome to the neighborhood @William330.

Yes it is not a hard and fast rule, more of a guideline… and yes, concealed carry does add some time.

Like the moving cart idea.

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All – Please forgive duplication of what’s been said previously, hopefully a thought or two will be new. Regarding the Tueller Drill and the extension in popular thinking that rendered it the “21 foot rule” – some great points have been made about 21 feet being a rough order of magnitude only – some folks are faster over the distance, some folks are slower (or quicker) on the draw. Although a draw from concealed is a lot slower (at least it is for me). And excellent points have been made about not standing around waiting to be stabbed (I greatly appreciate the video with the very agile man in the large coat armed with a pistol getting out of the way of the charging knife guy).

But as I was reading through the thread, a point came to mind that I first encountered in Mas Ayoob’s great book Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right To Self Defense: If we have read, trained, etc. and have documented that reading, training, practice , it becomes discoverable in court and preparations prior to going to court. (USCCA emphasizes the training and documentation point as well).

With the documentation of one’s knowledge and training – The critical body of information that informed the decision to defend life – and that made the decision what a reasonable person, knowing what that person knew at that time, in that position would do , is admissible as evidence, a potential legal and literal lifesaver for the individual forced to defend his or her life or lives of those under their protection.

This is so critical because without the careful documentary proof I/we knew those things – such as the Tueller drill and the various discussions on application, limitations (e.g., “ Why the Tueller drill did or didn’t apply in specific circumstances) , etc. surrounding it – that information might never be allowed to inform the jury.

If you’ve been to jury selections as a potential jurist, or sat in on a trial, most juries are composed of people terribly ignorant of the law, of firearms, self-defense, criminal behavior, rights, and responsibilities applying to the case on which they have been selected to be the triers of the facts. The prosecution works very hard to select for those folks.

This came to mind as I was reading over the discussion of the Tueller drill and the various conceptions available among those who have made it a part of their preparation and interest – that would be unavailable to the jury unless documented. Plus, all the rest of the (hopefully) vast body of knowledge we’ve been amassing over the years.

Critical factors – read, view the DVDs (etc.), get the hands on training, and document. Document the time spent, put down good notes (take good notes!), record the links, titles, etc. And God forbid we ever find ourselves having to use that training or having to make the justified shot.


Welcome to the family brother @William330 and you are blessed to be here.

The problem with this demonstration is that is has been previously practiced and staged and everyone knows what to expect. There is no element of surprise.I would believe in an actual attack you would need a much greater distance to react in time to defend yourself with a draw from your holster.


@William237 Yes, that to. Welcome to the community, we are glad to have you here. :+1:

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However, many self defense situations are at far closer ranges.


Thank you. Glad to be here.


The 21 foot rule, like mentioned in that article is really nothing more than a reference to the reaction gap. There are countless variables discussed in the article like drugs, adrenaline that also factor in and can play a serious role in expanding that 21 foot rule to as much as 70 yards (according to the article). One thing that became evident though to me is the other things NOT mentioned like clothing or coats covering your pistol. Remember, the 21 foot rule was created based on a “Typical Trainee” being able to draw and fire 2 rounds effectively from his OWB holster. What happens if they wear an IWB holster under clothes? Well that 21 foot rule turns in to 70 yards REAL fast. It takes time to effectively pull up your shirt (tucked or not), grab your firearm, draw your firearm, aim at target, and fire 2 rounds. If fact my friends and I played around with this some time ago during some training we were in and frankly, it was embarrassing to see we needed so much more time to draw our weapon effectively because half the time our shirt would catch the pistol or we’d snag it on something.

I do like the article RULE BREAKER though…it’s great.

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It’s a “general stat”…not a rule. The main point being to create good space against a knife or club wielding opponent. One should always be prepared change tactics “on the fly”.



Great points to everyone commenting on this thread. But Clyde4 drive the point home that few people consider: while we all train hard, documenting that training will be vital in the aftermath. Now a days I’m shooting less but training smarter- “Force on Force” classes, taking the FBI shooting test and I would add, a first aid class dedicated to shooting injuries.


Great point William330. My 3 buddies practice for what you noted as the importance of “being ready”- For the drill we went 3 on one. The defender didn’t know which of the 3 persons was going to attack nor from which direction. The reaction time went way down and shooter now encounters a extreme close quarter shooting situation if they don’t move.

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