Do you bend your elbow when shooting semi-auto?

Do you bend your elbow when shooting semi-auto?

This is a discussion on Do you bend your elbow when shooting semi-auto? within the Defensive Carry & Tactical Training forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; When shooting a small semi-auto such as a Kel-tec P32 I hold the gun straight out with my elbow locked - partly to try to ...

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Thread: Do you bend your elbow when shooting semi-auto?

  1. #1
    Member Array John Wesley's Avatar
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    Do you bend your elbow when shooting semi-auto?

    When shooting a small semi-auto such as a Kel-tec P32 I hold the gun straight out with my elbow locked - partly to try to avoid "limp-wristing".

    When you shoot a larger, heavier, semi auto (or perhaps a revolver) should the elbow still be locked or should/could there be a slight bend in it?

    When shooting more powerful guns with lots of recoil, is it better for your arm (and elbow) to be slightly bent to absord some of the recoil?


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    Gee, I dunno the "correct" way but I usually have a little bend no matter what I shoot.
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    Having just watched the video put out by Wilson Combat, Bill Wilson and his partner discussed the weaver stance and the bent elbow. They sited several professional high ranked shooters who either bend the elbow or lock it. The reason for the bent elbow was front sight focus. As you get older, your eyes may dictate where you have to hold the pistol to clearly see the front sight. They clearly stated that the correct weaver stance is not dependant on the elbow being locked or bent, but the eye being focused on the front sight. They also noted that if the elbow needs to be bent for the eye to focus on the front blade, it needs to be held in close to the body to prevent "chicken winging" which creates an angled gun movement during recoil. By keeping the bent elbow close to the body, the arms could be put into tension to give the most possible control over mussle "flip" as they called it, giving quicker recovery onto the target.
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    When shooting, both of my elbows are slightly bent...trying to shoot with either or both bent seems rather uncomfortable...

    OMO...your stance may differ!

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    Pretty much been said, but in a Weaver, the strong arm elbow can be locked or slightly bent - personal preference. In an 'I' stance, elbows can be locked, but most utilize slightly bent elbows to get a piston effect rather than a rise.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArmyCop View Post
    Gee, I dunno the "correct" way but I usually have a little bend no matter what I shoot.
    That's what I do.
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    Member Array huntthehunter's Avatar
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    I shoot all handguns Weaver with both elbows slightly bent. I think you'll find muzzle flip is less apparent with bent elbows, but YMMV.

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    Senior Member Array purple88yj's Avatar
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    Tangle pretty well summed it up for me. By leaving my elbows bent, when the gun (be it revo or auto) goes into recoil, the gun tends to press backwards more-so than up. There is a little upward movement, but not a whole lot.

    If I am shooting at distance, I will lock out. At this point I am aiming more for accuracy than speed.
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    Member Array John Wesley's Avatar
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    Excellent responses guys! (As usual)

    When target shooting (slowly shooting one shot at a time) I always locked the elbow of the stong arm.

    After starting IPSC recently I found myself NOT locking the elbow but having a slight bend in it. I was concerned that perhaps I was developing "bad form" but my speed has increased with no apparent loss of accuracy with the bent elbow.

    I thought perhaps that my improvement was only due to the extra practice but maybe the slightly bend elbow is a good idea. (And yes, it is a bit more "comfortable"!)

    Thanks for the replies! They make sense!

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    I pretty much go to lock on strong arm but - due to a fracture on my left elbow cannot extend that a whole lot - certainly nowhere near a lockout.

    Therefore my two handed hold is not quite as ''out front'' as some folks might but I have adapted and what I have to do works - which in the end is all that matters.

    IMO control is the paramount criterion - and so entirely down to what an individual finds good for him/her - and practice, practice that way.
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    I tried to think of what I always do but discovered that I don't really know. I think I just do whatever is most comfortable for me at the time.

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    I naturally go into a Chapman stance. Strong elbow locked, weak elbow noticeably bent. Strong eye looking down strong arm straight through back sight to front sight.

    http://www.midwesttraininggroup.net/...3/chapman1.jpg

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    Member Array Sonic Misfit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregma View Post
    I naturally go into a Chapman stance. Strong elbow locked, weak elbow noticeably bent. Strong eye looking down strong arm straight through back sight to front sight.

    http://www.midwesttraininggroup.net/...3/chapman1.jpg
    I do the same thing. One other point is that the weak elbow needs to be lower than the strong arm. This helps get the front sight back on target after the recoil.

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    I bend both, weak hand is bent more but i like bringing the gun in closer, plus i shoot ALOT better that way and my eyes are good(Lasic Eye surgery).
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    I'm a Chapman guy myself.
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