“Do not try to catch a dropped gun” & “Slow isn’t Fast”

Gun bloggers Say Uncle and Caleb Giddings have both published guest articles at Shooting Illustrated. Both articles are worth reading.

SayUncle shares his wisdom and explains why trying to catch a falling gun is a bad idea

Whether it’s guns falling from the pants of star athletes, hunters trying to catch a falling rifle, servicemen grasping the trigger of a falling gun during cleaning or someone shooting himself in a rather sensitive area because he tried to stop the descent of an unholstered pistol, these incidents, while rare, do happen.

Caleb, a competition shooter, attacks the old adage “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.” …

One of the oldest sayings in the shooting sports is “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.” In theory, this means trying to maximize the efficiency of motion will produce better returns over time than simply trying to yank the gun out of the holster as fast as you can. Unfortunately, people take this to mean they should never practice going fast.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Lee

    When I was 10 or 11 my father and I were up in the woods above Sterling City, California. He was deer hunting. I had a single shot .22. One of those old ones were you pulled the bolt back to ready the rifle. My dad was having me shoot squirrels with it. While driving to where we were going to hunt we saw a gray squirrel in a tree.

    I got out of the truck and pulled the bolt back. The squirrel ran around to the other side of the tree. I stood there for some time waiting, then my dad told me to go around to the other side of the tree. To get there I had to climb this embankment that was probably about eight feet tall. Forgetting that I had locked back the bolt I got a little running start and started up the embankment. I foundered a couple of feet short of the top. I set the rifle down and pulled myself up. The rifle started to slide down. I grabbed the barrel and began to pul it up to me when the rifle discharged striking the embankment about a foot from my face.

    I looked back at my dad. His eyes were wide. We stared at each other for several seconds before he could speak. He asked if I was hit, and I said that I didn’t think so. I slid down and he checked me for wounds. We agreed not to tell my mom. I’m not sure she knows that story even now, thirty or so years later.

  • subase

    This is standard knowledge, sort of like not trying to catch a knife you accidentally dropped, you only do if you got circus level skills.

  • charles222

    Who the hell cleans a loaded firearm in the military? I’d like to think my kind is generally smarter or at least better-supervised than that…