Temple Index – Hold Your Gun Next to Your Head and… #GunfightScience

Editor’s Note: In the ***NSFW*** video above, Clay shows you why temple index, aka high ready, is a gun handling technique that has a very limited application in the real world.  

Basically, unless you’re backing up the point man (the #2 position) on a CQB raid, temple index is a mistake!

So, forget what those mall ninjas told you, temple index is not the way to go. Watch and learn!

About the author: Clay Martin is a former Marine and Green Beret, retiring out of 3rd Special Forces Group. He is a multi-decade and -service sniper, as well as 3-Gun competitor and Master ranked shooter in USPSA Production. In addition to writing about guns, he is the author of “Last Son of The War God,” a novel about shooting people that deserve it. You can also follow him on twitter, @offthe_res or his website, Off-The-Reservation.com

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • jim wing December 5, 2016, 8:42 pm

    I wish I could take instruction from Clay, I just think his advice/training is spot-on and the most realistic I’ve seen ANYWHERE online..plus the fucking guy absolutely cracks me up with his humor, Great Job Dude and from one Vet to another, thanks for your service,,( I was in the USAF for 8yrs, so I wasn’t really in the military..lol)

  • vindy November 26, 2016, 12:53 pm

    thanks for sharing, this is really a good article you write. i have bookmark it so later i can come here again

  • Inidaho November 16, 2016, 12:45 pm

    Clay!!! Great video!!!! LMAO, if you invent a holster for you hat/helmut let me know! We don’t live to far from you, we could trade you some siding for your storage shed for some training!!! lol!!! Thanks again and keep them coming!!! I think you write an article regarding the demonstrators/flag burners like the one you wrote for Kappernick!!!!

  • Christian November 12, 2016, 4:12 pm

    Awesome video from you Clay and also, as many others already have written, a humorous one indeed! I was very surprised that the high-ready for guns is more a myth than a good idea for combat situations because I also can see it all the time, either in movies or video games. I never was in the military, police nor do I have guns (I live in the wrong country) so Gunsamerica is the only website, where I can finally receive useful information from experts like you, thank you very much!

    Yet, I would like to comment on something you were showing. I agree that it is a bad idea to hold the gun directly beside your head, like your friend did when he just came out of the car. But the way I see temple index with pistols normally is around 20cm away from your head, while pointing it into the air and the other hand holds the lower end of the pistol, while you have the grip in your first hand and your finger on the trigger. While doing so, the pistol builds a straight line with your head but it is far away from your temple and not as close to it as your friend was carrying it. I was just wondering about it because I never saw a pistol at point-blanc range to the temple as your friend had it. I guess carrying the gun like I just mentioned also won’t give you the vision problem which you showed in the video at 1:50 (If the enemy gets that close anyway, I believe you were making even more wrong than just the temple index). But I admit that, as a layman, I could be horribly wrong in this case.

    Clay, since you are debunking movie myths about guns in your videos, I wonder if you maybe can make a video about the so called Akimbo style, you know two pistols firing at the same time. While I see all these guys in movies and games shooting pistols like this frequently, often even small MPs like fully automatic Uzis, it looks unbelievable to me, yet I have also read that this really comes from the wild west during the 19th century, where you had nothing more than 6-round revolvers that took you plenty of time to reload and therefore you were always carrying a second one to have an advantage against your opponent. I would like to know if this is also just Hollywood crap or a good choice for combat, especially in close quarters, because I never saw policemen or soldiers doing this in real life, only in movies and games, so I wonder what this is all about.

    Keep the videos up Clay, I like to watch them and I already learned a lot, thank you!

  • Archangel November 11, 2016, 10:02 pm

    High gun with a rifle or shotgun in CQB when coming around a blind corner, the opposition can reach out and hold the gun up, but with it pointed down, you can at least shoot him in the foot.
    And as he said, high gun is better for the second guy.

  • Daniel Branscome November 11, 2016, 1:45 pm

    The high ready (temple position) dates to the movie posters for “Dirty Harry”, and carried forward to “Lethal Weapon”, etc, and is mostly a Hollywood contrivance. The reasoning for #2 man in a stack or vehicle dismounts in hot zones seems valid.

    • Beachhawk November 11, 2016, 5:37 pm

      Yeah, only movie and TV actors do temple ready. Great video, Clay. Thanks.

  • Bryan M. November 11, 2016, 12:24 pm

    Hahahahhaa some awesome pieces of kit & a good vid there Clay! “A$$-over-Tea Kettle” had me rollin forever! I’m learning so much from your vids, and trying to train at the range with that information in mind. Keep it boss man!!

  • Sgt. Pop November 11, 2016, 11:36 am

    another “legitimate” use of a temple area (high) hold (so I have been told) is the rapid exit of a detail from vehicles under fire or to mount a rapid operation from a vehicle in “Zones” that the only weapon allowed is the sidearm (M9 etc.) Some that have served in “zones” controlled by our allies may know what I mean.

  • Jay November 11, 2016, 9:01 am

    Clay, thanks for the morning LMAO! Good information and thanks for the laugh! Like I’ve always said Hollyweird will get you killed if thats your training method!

  • Tripwire November 11, 2016, 8:41 am

    This video hit me right in the funny bone, Thanks Clay! The reason for my laughing is this, I have a good friend who spent over 20 years working on many movies as a stunt man, I won’t name the many movies but I can assure you that all of you have seen a lot of them, some of which we all gave him shot for being in , he just laughed and said it all paid very well, I see the light of that.
    I asked my friend one day why the movie idiots don’t learn to handle guns properly, his answer kinda stunned me. It seems the directors tell the actors to always “SHOW” the gun, that’s why you see them running down a hallway with their gun held way out from their body, sort of waving it, same thing with the “Draw the weapon, rack the slide” thing, Stupid! I watched a movie once where the actor gets out of a cop car with a double barrel shotgun, short of course, and the waving of it not being enough the director added the sounds of a pump gun cambering a round, and then there is the loud clicking off of the safety on a Glock.
    Hollyweird creates all this crap such as the sideways gangbanger stuff.
    On that note and while Hollyweird blows big time they do once in a while get it pretty right, as in the flick “John Wick” the gun handling in that was pretty damn good, of course John killed about 70 bad guys but WTF, they killed his puppy!
    Does this have anything to do with Clsy’s video? not at all! but I enjoyed saying it.
    Really like Slays “real and down to earth style” .

  • Duck Dander November 11, 2016, 3:41 am

    I wear a Donald Duck hat with a Freedom Arms .22 derringer pointing at my “Six” beneath the tail feathers The weapon can be fired by pulling on the bill, a migratory waterfowl version of “pull my finger.” I call it Duck of Death. Am I ready for the big time tacticool firearms training world?

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