Knives In Gunfights

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A man once said, a pocketknife is like a melody: Sharp in some places, Flat in others, and really annoying when it's stuck in your head. With that in mind, let's talk about knives in gunfights.

The gun always wins right?

A few decades ago, the Tueller Drill came about after a series of tests with experienced law enforcement officers showed that a person with a knife in their hand could close seven paces and deliver deadly force in 1.5-seconds. That's 21-feet. This is the golden formula to either keep more than 21-feet away from your knife-armed opponent or be able to draw and fire in less than 1.5 seconds. A combination of this is your reactionary gap. The further away you are, and the better prepared you will be, the less likely you will wind up with a knife sticking in you.

(This dated excerpt from Surviving Edged Weapons clearly illustrates how a skilled person with a blade can chew up a reactionary gap in no time.)

So does that mean that a knife will always win up close?

As a North Little Rock man found out just last week, bringing even a very big knife to a gunfight can be a moot point. You see the man in question entered a pharmacy and, brandishing a machete, demanded that the pill counters turn over their stocks of Oxy-Cotton. Well, said swordsmith took flight once the pharmacist produced his own Glock .45ACP and disputed the terms of the transaction. Even though the would-be oxy collector was within feet of the pharmacist, the sight of a muzzle pointed in his direction at the right moment negated the reactionary gap.

With that being said, you can bet I usually carry both a knife and a gun. Nothing like having those bases covered.

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