The Low Ready position is only low, it’s not ready.


Photo By Oleg Volk

Let’s talk about where your pistol is if your sights are not on-target. For years now, the “Low Ready” position has been the standard way to hold your gun if your sights are not on target or your gun is not in it’s holster, and there’s a bunch of reasons why it caught on so quickly. It’s a comfortable way to hold a gun for an extended length of time, it keeps the muzzle pointed down at the ground, and it keeps the gun out of your field of view if you’re looking around.


It’s a pretty useless position to start from if you have to quickly engage a target with your pistol, because it forces your body, eyes and brain to work together in ways they’re not accustomed to. 

Let me explain. Actually, I’ll let Chris Woods of Phoenix Firearms Training explain for me, and talk about why High Compress Ready is a better way to hold your gun if there’s trouble around. 

Bringing a gun up from Low Ready position onto the target forces your arms to pendulum up and halt at a precise point. It forces your eyes to instantly focus on the shape and sights of your gun, and if forces your brain to expect something it’s not used to seeing. Low Ready may work well in the context of a Bullseye match, but it kinda sucks if you need to shoot something rightthisinstant. 

And I can prove all this. 

Awhile ago, I had the goal of completing the Federal Air Marshall Drill with my daily carry gear. I kept running into issues with equipment (namely magazine pouches), but one of the biggest hurdles I had was getting up gun up on target fast enough to complete the drill within the required time limit. Low ready (holding the gun down at waist level) wasn’t working for me, but the instant I switched to the High Compressed Ready, (and got better mag pouches), I aced the test

Not that there isn’t a use for Low Ready: If I’m going to hold a gun in my hands for a long (5+) minutes, chances are it’ll be at low ready. 

But I’m usually wearing a holster, which is a safer place for my gun than my hands, so if I do why not just re-holster, and not worry about Low Ready at all?