Close Ready is a pistol ready position that places the handgun just below the visual plane and close to the torso. The elbows are down and tight to the sides of the torso, and the muzzle can be seen with the lower periphery of vision. Close Ready can be utilized as a Movement Ready position to traverse space and is especially good when working in structures. Close Ready may also be utilized as a Challenge position. Keeping the gun high and close to the visual plane allows rapid extension and sight acquisition.
Proper utilization of the Close Ready position eliminates excessive muzzle over-sway or swing past the intended target while under stress or when transitioning from one target to another. A one-pound handgun held with only two points of contact extended at arm’s length often facilitates this over-sway and is frequently seen from both new and experienced shooters when shooting from a traditional low ready position with the handgun. This over-sway is not as common with long guns because four points of contact can be made with the firearm. This provides better overall control of momentum when moving from a designated ready position onto target.
Modified Low Ready
In the Modified Low Ready position, the muzzle of the firearm is depressed only enough so the operator can visualize the threat’s hands. The degree to which the muzzle is depressed off target is dependent upon the distance from the threat. At five yards, the muzzle may be depressed to almost a 45-degree angle in order to provide a good visual of the threat’s hands. However, at 15 yards, the muzzle may appear to a third-party observer to be right on target.
The operator is looking up over the optic or iron sights when in this ready position. The Modified Low Ready is an excellent Movement Ready position for traversing open spaces and is often utilized as an effective Contact/Challenge Ready position.
Depressed or Indoor Ready places the firearm with the muzzle approximately 20 degrees off the toes of the support-side foot, with the toe of the long gun’s stock maintaining contact with the shoulder in preparation to mount rapidly. With a handgun, this position is often referred to as “Sul” or South, a term coined by Max Joseph of Tactical Firearms Training Team. Depressed Ready is a stand ready position and is also utilized for moving in and around other people or teammates in crowded areas or confined spaces. Since the firearm is some distance from the visual plane and sight acquisition is slower, maintaining awareness when in this ready position is essential.
Not just for the range, firearm ready positions are applicable to real-life situations and can help reduce reaction time during critical incidents. Firearm ready positions provide efficient means for employing the firearm when it is required. This efficiency can equal the fraction of a second you need either to act first or react to an imminent threat.