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JUNK SCIENCE: “Don’t Draw to Steel”

If you’ve been shooting USPSA for any length of time, you’ve probably heard someone say “Don’t draw to steel!” while walking through a stage before it’s shot. It’s something that’s become conventional wisdom in practical shooting, and I think it’s complete hogwash.

If you approach an array of targets like the ones below, and draw to the steel target first, your time to first shot might be slightly longer, but at the same time, your time to shoot the plate if it’s the last target will probably take just as long, so I think it’s a wash.

So, Here’s what I did:

Draw to steel on far left then shoot to the right. Mean HitFactor = 8.9833

Draw to paper on far left then shoot to steel on the right. Mean HitFactor = 8.9952


Draw to steel on far right then shoot to paper on the right. Mean HitFactor = 8.5273

Draw to paper on the far right then shoot to steel on the far right. Mean HitFactor = 7.9567

Basically, it doesn’t matter. Personally, I think the slight fall off on the last one I shot down to a 7.5 hitfactor was more to do with the fact that I was tired, had shot a bunch, and was trying to beat the rain, more than it was the target placement messing with my shooting.

So, by the powers of junk science, I declare this myth busted. Draw to whatever target most benefits your stage plan, and stop listening to the other folks on your squad who are spewing out things they don’t know about.

Here’s all my data:

Gear that Doesn’t Suck

I really like my Ghost 360 magazine pouches. I’ve been running them for two years, and they’ve just been great. They’re relatively inexpensive compared to the other ones out there, and they’re basically what everyone uses for Production division. I run 5 of them on my belt, and they’re good to go.

Call to Action

So, The episode “What Should You Practice” has already become the #5 most downloaded episode of the Triangle Tactical Podcast, ever. This tells me that a great number of listeners are interested in knowing more about what to practice.

Well, I think today’s podcast is a good exercise in what you should practice. So, take the diagram above, and shoot it in live fire, or dryfire with a timer, and see what gets you the best results. Should you “not draw to steel”? or will you find that it doesn’t really matter?

Let me know, hit up the comments, or shoot me an email at luke@triangletactical.net.

About Lucas

Editor/Head Honcho at Triangle Tactical. Lucas is a life long shooter and outdoorsman, avid concealed carrier and competitive shooter, and a lover of pork fat.

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