In a comment on a previous post, +Jeromy French brought up the oft-cited statistic that if a knife-wielding assailant is within 21 feet of a person with a holstered pistol, by the time you could draw your gun and ready it, you’re likely to have been stabbed. Possibly a lot.
OK, forget reality for a moment. Is there a rule in GURPS about that? What’s the danger zone.
Well, like the original work, there are a lot of assumptions that come into play.
First, the speed of the attacker. Most human attackers will wind up Move 4-7, and 7 will be an outlier, as it requires DX and HT of 14 each, or more likely DX 12, HT 13, and +0.75 points of Move. Move 4 (Joe Average suffering -1 for encumbrance), Or Move 5 are much more likely, maybe 6.
On the defender’s side – or the gunman’s, really – you will need to Ready your weapon. For normal folks without a lot of practice, drawing the weapon takes a Ready maneuver. If you carry it in Condition Three (chamber empty, hammer, if there is one, down) it’ll take another. On the flip side, you can Draw with a Fast-Draw roll, and simultaneously rack the slide while you’re doing it, readying the gun in effectively no time.
So the attacker’s window is 0-2 turns.
If he’s faster than the gunman
He goes first. He can move and attack within his typical 4- to 6-yard range. So within 12-18 feet, he’s a threat even with the Gunman knowing Fast-Draw.
If the gunman carries with a round lowered in the chamber, it will take a second to draw the weapon, then he can shoot. This technically gives the knife-wielder two turns to close in, meaning he’s a threat from 8-12 yards.
If he decides to carry with a basically unloaded gun, the attacker gets three turns. You’re in trouble from a whopping 12-18 yards.
If the gunman is faster
The short version: subtract a second from the above.
If you’re faster and you know Fast-Draw well enough to draw and rack the slide as a Free Action, you are more or less fine unless your knifer is already in close combat with you.
If he’s more than one move away, you can even take a turn to Aim (and Brace, and AoA (Determined)) and pick up something like +4 to hit for your trouble.
I guess the moral of the GURPS story is “learn Fast-Draw” if you might get caught with a holstered gun. No surprise there. The other obvious piece of advice is if you see a threat coming, utilize a Wait maneuver. Assuming that you can’t just whip out your gun for no reason, of course. That guideline applies more in real life than many games, so you never know.
But for the 7-yard rule . . . in GURPS, as long as you’re somewhat self-aware and carry your gun with a round in the chamber, you’re probably mostly safe. At 4- yards, you’re well advised to back up a bit.
Of course, all bets are entirely off if you have your weapon loaded and to hand. Then you’re still subject to the “who’s faster?” question, but if the answer is either “I took Wait” or “the gunman,” then you’re going to get a shot off at 1 yard. But beware – that 4-6yard range is still a danger zone with a drawn and loaded gun if he gets to move first!