Slice the pie? Quick peek? For civilians? Both. Maybe.

Waaaay back, in the Reagan administration (God, I miss that man!), I was taught the technique of the “quick peek” to deal with unknowns around a corner.  Sometime in the 90s the “slice the pie” technique came to largely replace the quick peek…and now, apparently, the quick peek is coming back into vogue in some quarters.  Both have merit, I think, with the weight of evidence and theory going to slice-the-pie.  But here’s the key pros and cons of each as I see them.

Quick Peek – Pros 

  1. It’s not even a shooting technique – no gun has to be in your hand or even on you.  You can use it to see what’s beyond and then possibly fall back or retreat if you need to, or seek cover and let the BGs come to you.
  2. It’s very hard for a BG to hit you in the exposed head if you show it for only a fraction of a second.

Quick Peek – Cons

  1. You reveal your position, which is hard to change quickly, while the BGs, if they see you, can easily change theirs.  Thus there’s no guarantee that they will be in the same position they were if you choose to then engage.
  2. Once the BGs know your position they can advance on you, or even shoot you through the wall (while there’s lots of concealment in the real world, there’s precious little cover).
  3. It’s hard to do really well.

Slice the pie – Pros

  1. It can be done at any speed.
  2. If done fast you are a moving target, while you can shoot on the move.
  3. It is aggressive and brings the fight to the BGs, which is one of the fundamental, proven, principles of combat.

Slice the pie – Cons

  1. You are committed and can’t change position (if done slowly) or direction (if done fast) easily, and can get caught outside your OODA loop or out in the open for too long.
  2. It’s hard to to well, and requires more practice than watching Die Hard a few times.  It really does require Sims or Airsoft practice in some quantity to master.  You have to master not only the movement (and potential fuck-ups if you are working with a partner) but the tactics once you are around your corner or in your door (run the walls?, engage first threat?, stick to your AOR?, etc.)
  3. It’s very easy to shoot the first person you see, without taking the time to assess first.  Very easy.  See 2. above.
  4. Done fast, it requires fitness and athleticism.

Bottom line: from a pure performance perspective I think that slice the pie, done at whatever appropriate speed, has a considerable edge, with a quick peek appropriate only for some special situations.  But it does require fairly extensive practice and often athleticism.

LE naturally has to go to the threat and every officer should know both these techniques and associated tactics (few outside of SWAT do though).  But do civilians need these tools?  Well, here’s an instance where I’ll argue for the macho side of the coin, and opine “yes”.   Imagine the scenarios that you might have to deal with; going into a threat situation (even as little  as just around the corner) to rescue a loved one isn’t all that unthinkable, nor is getting yourself (and anyone with you) out of a multi-attacker situation (in neither case do you want to just blunder around corners or through doors).

A lot of what I write argues for slowing down and turning down the Walter Mitty dial.  This is a case where I’m arguing the opposite.


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