This is a discussion on Stance within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I did a search and really couldn't find anything related, but if there's a thread already open about this, please direct me. My husband and ...

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Thread: Stance

  1. #1
    Lead Moderator Array limatunes's Avatar
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    Question Stance

    I did a search and really couldn't find anything related, but if there's a thread already open about this, please direct me.

    My husband and I went to the range last week and he's always on my butt about stance.

    I don't even know what the majority of the stances are called but he's been trying to get me to adopt a stance where I stand with my feet about shoulder width apart and straight across, my body completely parallel to the target, bending at the knees. That leaves my gun out in front of me, square with my chest, and both arms at equal length to my gun, which messes up my grip as well.

    Every time I try that I feel like I'm going to fall over and my shooting is HORRIBLE. I feel like a good swift breeze could knock me over and so absorbing the recoil of firing really leaves me feeling uncomfortable.

    Maybe it's because I took violin or because I shot WAY more rifles growing up than handguns, but my preferred stance is with my left leg slightly forward and bent, my right leg back and a little straighten, but not locked, my body ever so slightly cocked at an angle to my target.

    At that stance my gun is slightly placed on my dominant right side and secured in my right arm and since my left shoulder is slightly more forward than my right, I have more of my left hand to wrap around my grip to get it tight and secured.

    I've always shot with both eyes open to ensure my peripheral vision is all that it can be in case a threat should come from either side (unless I'm shooting long distances with rifle), and in my own stance I can do pretty darned good (at least better than when I'm pressed to adopt another stance).

    I'm truly not stubborn and stuck in my ways and I do try to accommodate but eventually my right leg starts traveling to the rear and I start cocking my body and I don't realize it until my husband says, "Check your stance." If it will help my shooting I will try other stances and other grips and so forth, but so far any other way has only caused me more problems than it has helped me.

    So what about stances? Do we each have our own that is best or is there a handguner's stance that is supposed to be the Bible stance to be followed? When we go to our concealed weapons class this fall will I have my wrists slapped for my quirky stance? Should I try to force myself to adopt a stance that is awkward at first and wait for it to "grow" on me?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Mtbiker's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Stability first! Like any sports stance you need to be stable and comfortable. It sounds like your hubby is trying to get you to use an Isosceles stance. The other stance is the Weaver where you kind of cross the body. Most people use a stance somewhere in between. Be stable, get a good sight picture, have a good grip, and outshoot him!

  3. #3
    Lead Moderator Array pgrass101's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    The first stance you described is the Weaver stance. That said I shoot almost exactly the way you do.

    My Right (strong) arm is straight, slighty bent at the elbow, my left arm is bent with my left shoulder is more forward than my left. My feet are shoulder width apart with the left foot slightly forward and right foot slightly back.

    I shoot with both eyes open but find this stance a lot more comfortable and easier to shoot from. I too grew up shooting long guns (mostly duck hunting) and did not start shooting pistols until I was an adult.

    Tell your husband that if it ain't broke don't fix it. But if your stance prevents you from moving while shooting you need to change it. I can shoot and move from mine but did have to bend at the knees more. IDPA matches really helped me in the ability to shoot and move and I believe that is vital for any shooter.
    A real man loves his wife, and places his family as the most important thing in life. Nothing has brought me more peace and content in life than simply being a good husband and father.

  4. #4
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    For target shooting there are some prescribed stances based on the type of competition you are in. However for fun shooting/general practice you should adopt a comfortable stance. Not everyone can assume a "standard" stance. I had a young lady who was rather large in the chest and had difficulties with some of the stances. We kept adjusting until she found a stance that gave her stability and was comfortable.

    I had a guy that was the victim of a terrible knife attack. We had to work quite a bit to find a comfortable stance that he could use. He had lost a lot of mobility in his arms and chest due to the damage from the knife attack.

    I would suggest that having your feet offset versus on a line will give you better stability as you have already noted. The key is to find a stable and safe shooting position for practicing. After that and some practice you can advance to other positions and moving etc. Try different things to find out what does and does not work for you. Stay safe, have fun and keep shooting.
    Procrastinators are the leaders of tomorrow.

  5. #5
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    It looks like you're talking about the difference between the Weaver stance and the Isoceles stance. The iso is the one where your feet are squared up to the target. It sounds like you're already more comfortable with the Weaver stance(kinda like the Police interview stance). Personally I think people should just shoot they way they feel more comfortable and effective. I'm a Weaver kinda guy myself. I can hit lemons at 25 yards repeatedly using Weaver that's what I stick with. It doesn't hurt to try to learn other methods though. I try to shoot iso every once in a while just for accuracy shots, but it doesn't feel natural to me so I don't do it much.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

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  6. #6
    VIP Member Array OPFOR's Avatar
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    First, you are allowed some foot staggering in the Iso - they don't have to be absolutely on-line. Second, make sure your weight is balanced on the balls of your feet, and your knees are bent just enough to allow flex, but not so much as to make you off-balance or to put too much strain on your quads/hamstrings. A good Iso is akin to a "boxer's" stance, where you are solid, but able to move in any direction (or use either hand for striking/defending) effectively.

    Some of the benefits of the Iso (and I'm not picking sides here - they both have their merits) are these:

    -- Both arms/wrists locked to absorb recoil
    -- "Turret" effect for upper body, allows it to turn without displacing your feet/changing your stance too much
    -- Places your full torso in line with the threat (much more important when wearing body armor, where the front is much better protected than the sides)
    -- Good mobility (if it's done right), as you can easily "step off" in any direction without having to cross your legs, et cetera

    A quick google will give you many more pros and cons, it's probably worth a look. I was a weaver shooter for years and years, it wasn't until I got into handguns more (and started wearing body armor) that I made the switch, and it took some serious practice. I encourage you make a real attempt to master it, as it is a good tool for the box, but at the end of the day you're best served (IMO) shooting what is the most comfortable/accurate/repeatable for you.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  7. #7
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    Shoot the way you feel confortable with. The idea is not to look pretty or tactical but to put them little holes where you want them. Make any modification that you feel necessary but always make yourself a confortable & stable platform to shoot.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Stance is Head up , confident gaze on the uninformed . Shooting posture however is a matter of debate lol . Personaly i shoot from a boxing stance that all arrest control i have learned flows out of , It would be called a modified weaver that uses push/pull isometrics to stablise the gun under recoil . Isosolise allows the gun to recoil , but uses muscle memory to return the sights to the starting point . Neither is right or wrong , Use what works since among other things your body type will tell you which is best . As a thumbnail rule tho thin men and smaller chested women tend to prefer the weaver type stance , husky guys and breasty girls tend to like the isocilies In male or female chest mass is an issue with weaver type stances , If you ar lucky enough for it to work for you tho there are techniques which makes your pistol a " hand rifle " for extended ranges .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Depends on what you're doing. Stance is a non-issue, real-world, other than you should be body-aware, and proactive to approaching threats. Other than that, be solid, be able to move, and don't lean back like the pistol is a motorcycle you're desperately hanging on to.

  10. #10
    Assistant Administrator
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    Stability - comfort and control ......... according to your body's own liking if possible.

    One thing always - ''nose over toes'' - but to be honest beyond that, even tho some stances are ''recommended'' - there are IMO no hard and fast mandatory positions.

    If one particular stance works for you with stability and accuracy I would cultivate that ...... I have seen folks being brow-beaten into maintaining ''text book'' positions and they hate it and shoot badly sometimes.

    Best in the end IMO is compromize ........ stance based on sound rules but - with leeway to modify for the self and best results.
    Chris - P95
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Array sheepdog's Avatar
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    At that stance my gun is slightly placed on my dominant right side and secured in my right arm and since my left shoulder is slightly more forward than my right, I have more of my left hand to wrap around my grip to get it tight and secured.
    Between that and your observation that it "messes up your grip,", you may find it helpful to adjust your grip to what works with the isoceles stance instead of your normal Weaver style. If you want to continue to see if this style fits you (as mentioned-female shooter shapes have particular concerns) style, maybe Todd Jarret's grip video will help you adjust:
    Good luck to you and your husband! I'm pretty sure I don't have the understanding and patience to try to teach my wife to shoot. Teaching someone with whom you have other than a student-instructor relationship is tricky. Actually, there nearly was a shooting the last I tried to "coach" her. That level of violence broke out over wallpapering ("Honey, that one's not straight..." were my last voluntary sounds before the estrogen fueled firestorm hit), so I'm pretty sure shooting coach-to-the-wife is out for me.
    What Would Gumby Do?

  12. #12
    Lead Moderator Array rocky's Avatar
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    I try to look pretty as well as use a weaver stance. J/K. actually the waever is so ingrained in me after years of shooting, my PD instructor said go with it.
    All the points about the Iso stance is right, but Weaver just works better for me. Also weaver may create a less than perfect symettrical target .
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

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  13. #13
    JD is offline
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    May the condemned man speak?

    Honey, darling, dearest, the reason I'm trying to change your stance is when your in the weaver you keep your shoulders too far back, to the point they are behind your hips, and while your footing may seem more well balanced it's totally screwing with your follow through and the recoil is totally rocking your body to the rear...

    As far as if it's not broke don't fix it is concearned, if it wasn't broke, I wouldn't be trying to fix it.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    One thing always - ''nose over toes''
    Once again chris leads off with an understated comment that stops the bs , a foreward weight on anything is a given ... untill it isint due to lack of knolege ect .. no matter how you shoot tho it should be " One thing always - ''nose over toes'' .
    Edited to add :
    Jdlv4 , she may well lean back or be upright to far , but fix the weight dont change what works . She told us what works for her , now make it work as a stance .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

    Criminals are looking for victims, not opponents.

  15. #15
    Array SIXTO's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    The condemned man is 100% correct.

    It may feel wierd at first, but you'll get used to it. This method also sets you up for more advanced stuff down the road.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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