Low ready

150 year old technology (125 if you count just the 30-30 cartridge) still works pretty well.

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19 Responses to Low ready

  1. Midwest Patriot says:

    NICE! The Marlin 336. As beautiful as the model bearing it.

  2. Henry says:

    Five rounds of 30-30 will make an impression. Ten rounds of .357 Magnum will make an equal impression at ‘social distance’ with less recoil.
    The lever gun avoids the ‘evil black rifle’ image (“Grampa’s old deer rifle”).

  3. Cargosquid says:

    I wish that I could find it.

    A body guard wrote a great article that his favorite rifle for car carry was a lever gun. Heavy hitting, not “scary,” enough ammo. This was a few years back, during the 90’s.

  4. David E says:

    Cowboy assault rifle. Worked for decades, and still does.

  5. Will says:

    I notice that females tend to have the muzzle too low in the Low Ready stance. I attribute this to a shorter forearm than is typical for males. When the elbow is braced against the lower ribcage to hold the weight of the gun while waiting, this angles the muzzle closer to the floor.

    • Paul Koning says:

      Will, for those like me who are not so experienced, could you elaborate on “too low”? What is good, and what is too low, and why?

  6. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    I wish I had purchased a 94 Trapper in 30-30 Winchester way back when they were pretty inexpensive (=/- $350). I have a .357 Trapper in same and am amazed how handy they are to carry in the woods. A stronger power in same platform would be awesome!

    Nothing wrong with the Marlin (older ones, the new ones have issues), I think they are a hair more accurate, but the lever link gets in the way with carrying in hand and they are about 1/2 pound heavier. At the end of the day of a long hike, you feel it more.

    The best point for Marlin is their long production gives them great inexpensive used gun, I’ve seen gun shown Marlins and the Glenfield version for less than $200 at gunshows and pawn shops. These were used by casual deer hunters who rarely fire more than a box a year, so even if outside is blemished, the interiors are virtually new. Well worth seeking out.

  7. Bob G says:

    …and during the “ammo shortage,” .30-30 was one of the calibers I’d see on the shelves frequently (along with tons of .300 Win. Mag., go figure). There is nothing wrong with .30-30, but for home defense, I’d look for the lightest bullet I could find. The 170-grain may be a good hunting bullet, but I suspect it will be more likely to overpenetrate than a light bullet.

  8. Will says:

    Basically, you want the muzzle to be low enough to be able to see your opponent hands, but not so low that it takes too much time to lift it to center mass for an effective shot. Pointing it at the ground or floor between the two of you is way too low. Also, there is less implied threat to the other guy if your muzzle is not actually pointed at their body to some extent. This may encourage them to continue being a problem, as they may think you aren’t willing to actually shoot.

    If their hands are higher than their waist, so should your muzzle be.

    With a handgun, I find that the muzzle moves maybe 6″ up from ready to aiming. A shotgun or rifle muzzle will move farther since it is much longer than a pistol. Perhaps 12″-18″ up. In addition, the long gun will move a bit slower, since it is heavier, with the weight ahead of your firing hand.

    A general rule of thumb would be to keep the muzzle no lower than their belt buckle. The important thing is to be able to see their hands, since those are what will hurt you. Don’t block your sight of them.

    In some cases, you might be better to offset the muzzle to the side, but this can be problematic, as the tendency of most shooters under stress is to overswing and miss the target. Better to hit a little high or low than miss, which is why you generally try to index for a vertical swing of the gun. Nothing terribly wrong if you start shooting a bit low, and walk rounds up your opponents body. Recoil tends to cause this for most shooters, anyway, when shooting as fast as they can. This seems to be the default mode for self-defense responses. The closer they are, the faster people shoot, due to the perceived increased danger.

    • Paul Koning says:

      On the “low ready” question, Will’s explanation suggests that low ready means having the weapon aimed at a bad guy, just not quite at center mass. If that’s what it’s supposed to mean, I understand.
      But I thought of “low ready” and for that matter “high ready” to be “safe but able to be brought to bear very quickly” positions. Seen that way, I would expect “low ready” NOT to be pointing at any part of a person’s body.
      Did I misunderstand the intent?

  9. Mountain Rifleman says:

    It’s tiresome to see PC pics of people holding firearms with their finger alongside the piece. Keep your finger on the trigger unless you want to get shot and as soon as you have the intent, shoot. You can bet your ass the bad guy has the intent and his finger is on the trigger.

    • Oleg Volk says:

      You say PC, I say self-interest. By the time you can aim or point, the finger can find the trigger.

  10. sean says:

    I had that conversation today. A friend in California says that his home defense gun is a lever gun. His wife could handle it easily. It made sense to me. I have lever guns in .357 and .45 colt. I wouldn’t feel at that much of a disadvantage with either one.

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  12. Paul Koning says:

    I learned “finger off the trigger” from one of the most non-PC guys I know. The explanation has nothing to do with PC. It’s safety — specifically, the reflex muscle contraction that occurs when you trip, or otherwise something unexpected happens. Finger on the trigger in that case means negligent discharge.
    I don’t do PC, but I do keep my finger as Oleg shows it.

  13. PubliusII says:

    With an old model 1894 Winchester, chambering cocks the piece (of course), and the only safety mechanism you have is the lever being raised out of contact with a little button on bottom of the stock where your hand wraps around the grip. Basically, it takes only the smallest amount of pressure to go from “safe” to “BLAM.”

    Later on (don’t know when), Winchester added a real safety, and I understand there have been several designs since. But with any oldie, make sure you really know just what kind of safety it has, what its limits are, and how to use it.

  14. Will says:

    Drat! not sure what happened to my original reply last week.
    Low ready was originally a position of waiting for something to happen. It was supposed to be a stance that enabled one to maintain a gun in your hands for an extended time, as pointed in on a person/location can’t be held for very long for most people, especially a long gun.

    The newer “high” ready is when pointed at a threat. The problem I have with “high” is most people hold it too high for the “interrogation” part of the scenario. If the situation doesn’t have you shooting immediately, you are most likely evaluating the threat level. Hard to do if you can’t see your opponent properly due to your hands and gun in your face. If you are dealing with multiple BG’s, you don’t want to do this, as pulling your gun up near face level tends to create tunnel vision. You may not see the gun being snuck out of the pocket of the person to one side of the group.

    The time to point in would be after an ultimatum to drop the weapon. This would be because you are planning on shooting if you don’t hear/see the weapon hit the ground RIGHT F’ING NOW.

    Another problem with having the gun too high is that some people looking at the muzzle won’t hear you making commands, and it looks like they are ignoring you. So focused on the muzzle that the brain turns off their ears.

    Most self-defense encounters don’t involve shooting. Avoiding techniques that might push things to a shooting conclusion are generally looked at favorably.

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