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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking around as I normally do, I have seen that shooters tend to take one of two stances (you can probably guess). These stances are Weaver and isosceles, with all of their slight modifications. Now, I am normally a Weaver, but am finding more and more merit in isosceles. Let us go and explore this a bit.

Why I shoot Weaver:
1: This is the stance I naturally take. It is oddly similar to almost every ready position I have to take in any martial arts I have partaken in.
2: It puts recoil into your strongside.
3: It lets me use my cross dominance more advantageously.
4: It is the position I take when shooting longarms.
5: It is more stable, in so far and your base of balance is wider, thus making a push from front or back easier to defend against.
6: With this staggered stance, you make a thinner target.

Why I am finding merit in isosceles:
1: You are square to your target.
2: It shows almost equal emphasis on strong and support sides.
3: You can lower your center of gravity much more readily.
4: You can strafe a target much easier, making this seem much more tactically sound.
5: It is a much lower energy expending shooting stance.
6: Recoil management seems to be more innate.


These are just my observations, but I know that I am rather new to the whole handgun shooting scene. What stance do you take when you shoot, and why?
 

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My stance is what ever it needs to be to get the shot off and make the hit the quickest I can. When you are in a gunfight you don't have time to get into your favorite stance, you just need to get the gun in action. Learn to make the hit from where ever you need, be that to the front, side or rear. Standing on one foot or two, on your knees or flat on your back. As the fight will be what the fight is. Learn to get it DONE!

Secret is center line, your center line is.. in line with your dominant eye. Whether you are looking at or through the sights, over the sights or the gun is below your line of sight keep the gun in line with your dominant eye and let your body do its thing.
 

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My CHL instructor told us that when you get into a situation that your heart rates jumps and you lose fine motor skills. According to him, the weaver stance requires fine motor skills and you will automatically take an isosceles stance as you can only activate major muscle groups. If you watch videos of police shootouts, they always end up using isosceles even if they train for a weaver. This was all according to him and I haven't looked at shootout video stances to verify it. Take it with a grain of salt but he seemed to know what he was talking about.
 

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I try to balance my practice between both, but I tend to notice that I shoot weaver when I think about it, and isosceles when I don't. That leads me to believe that in a self defense situation, I would probably end up shooting isosceles, or even more likely, the "whatever it took to save my life" stance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My stance is what ever it needs to be to get the shot off and make the hit the quickest I can. When you are in a gunfight you don't have time to get into your favorite stance, you just need to get the gun in action. Learn to make the hit from where ever you need, be that to the front, side or rear. Standing on one foot or two, on your knees or flat on your back. As the fight will be what the fight is. Learn to get it DONE!

Secret is center line, your center line is.. in line with your dominant eye. Whether you are looking at or through the sights, over the sights or the gun is below your line of sight keep the gun in line with your dominant eye and let your body do its thing.
I am cross dominant. When aiming with both eyes, the sights tend to drift left (rear) to right (front). I tend to drift into Weaver, whether I want to or not. I don't really have opportunities to practice in different positions (on my back, prone, from cover, etc). I don't have that many instructors within a reasonable distance that I can train with, or anyone with land I can learn on my own. I do dry practice from various positions. Aiming with strong side only is..... let's just say I hope it's something I never have to do, if that time ever comes.....
 

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The one that doesnt let me get shot and gets some lead into the BG:smile:
 

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As low to the dirt as I can get. Because combat tested ground warriors know that ‘Earth is the Great Combat Multiplier’.

Actually, if there is an option, I like to move and shoot, but always present the smallest cross section to the opponent. Even a 3 inch pole/sign post can afford you extreme protection from an opponent who has no clue. As always, it depends. Regardless, in a moving fight, I am right!

Disclaimer: Not to sound like a wanabe (a, um, Gecko somebody, on the above text = I am basing that off of some OCONUS experiences in CQB Military style.......... just sayin..). I'm lucky. I shoot pistol expert with both hands. Rifle = same. I had to work very hard to get to the 'left' hand proficiency.

Note: I am an expert in nothing, other than the stuff I learned to stay alive/or pure real dumb luck (not sure)......getting shot at is highly over rated, but it is terribly exciting. Especially when you have M-82s on CAP for returning the 'love' to your military opponent (ANGLICO, Baby!).......... Semper Fi!
 

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I used to shoot Weaver, but these days I've found I shoot better in Isosceles. I can lean forward a lot more and manage recoil better. This is for handguns. For my shotgun I still shoot Weaver for sure.
 

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Weaver, mostly because I was trained that way and have most of my experience doing it that way. Have used isosceles. Both have merits, as you've indicated. With handguns, training with a variety of techniques, positions and situations is the only way to find what works well and what doesn't. Can't exactly being doing Weaver one-handed, for example.

And, regarding shotgun, I too haven't found a way around Weaver for that one. Can't imagine isosceles being very effective with a half-dozen loads of hot 2-3/4" 00 Buckshot ... no matter how good the recoil/buttpad is. My sternum ain't that stout. :tongue:
 

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I've been working on "getting off the X" and still putting rounds on the target. Not as easy as it sounds. Don't get to train as much as I like, lack of ammo does it...
 

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My stance is what ever it needs to be to get the shot off and make the hit the quickest I can. When you are in a gunfight you don't have time to get into your favorite stance, you just need to get the gun in action. Learn to make the hit from where ever you need, be that to the front, side or rear. Standing on one foot or two, on your knees or flat on your back. As the fight will be what the fight is. Learn to get it DONE!
I'm firmly in this camp, too.

However, I would like to caution newer shooters from reading too much into Bill MO's very wise words here.

Remember that it is of utmost importance that, as a new shooter, you become grounded in the fundamentals.

Shooting while moving is akin to what Bruce Lee described as fighting without form. However, to be able to successfully execute your marksmanship skills while on-the-move, you *MUST* have mastered how to execute those skills in the most fundamental manner. If you cannot hit a target while standing still and the target static, how do you expect to hit a target while you're moving and it is moving, too? Sure, such a shooter might get lucky and land a few shots or even make one clean run...but it's guaranteed that he/she won't be able to reproduce that kind of performance cold and on-demand. A person can't accomplish the triple-jump without having first learned how to walk. A racing driver isn't automatically accepted onto the grid at a Formula 1 race without having earned their racing license.

The fundamentals MUST be mastered.

And towards that end, adopting a truly set and sound "stance" is a must. It's literally the bedrock of that foundation.

Once you've mastered being able to shoot static, then only then will it be the right time to look at positions and movement. :smile:

Please do not think that I'm preaching from a high horse, here. :redface: I'm definitely not. I actually make this plea for new shooters because as a newer shooter myself, this was a pitfall that I unfortunately found myself in, more recently. :embarassed: And guess what? Those sayings about it being "twice as hard" to work backwards? it's absolutely true.

When I started shooting back in November of 2010, I put in *_A LOT_* of time and rounds on self-guided practice. By the time I started taking my first professionally-taught classes, I'd actually reached sufficiency in static shooting that my instructors pushed me immediately towards more dynamic skills. Towards this end, several of these instructors pushed me to divorce my lower body from my upper body.

No, that was not a bad thing: I learned to shoot on-the-move as well as learned to not let my lower body dictate my shooting capability, and I'm forever grateful to these instructors for their knowledge - but as it would turn out later, this "push" occurred without any of them having truly first pushed me to the limits of static marksmanship. Last summer, when I was for the first time really pushed to the limits of my fundamental marksmanship capabilities, it was revealed that among my two main weaknesses was that I do not have a consistent stance. That lack of consistency translated into tossed shots at-distance as well as noticeably slower response times in transitions to widely spread targets. Since then, I've been trying twice as hard to break some of these old habits.

Remember that the fundamentals are "fundamental" for a reason. Don't overlook them. :wave:


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Stance-wise, I favor a more aggressive "fighting" base - the same foundation as my H2H "fighting stance." What I really don't know is whether if I've come to this shooting stance (which is what I shoot from, regardless of the firearm) because of my many years of martial-arts training as a youngster, or if this truly is my personal "natural default" when surprised with a threat. What I do know is that my natural-point-of-aim coincides with this stance, and that gives it an inherent advantage.

This stance also allows me to immediately drop to one knee, as well as the flexibility to really move-off-the-X at a moment's notice.
 

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I can shoot from the isosceles stance and have practiced it but I just naturally come back to the Weaver stance. With my right arm extended and locked out I suppose it's actually what's known as the Chapman stance. It's what feels natural for me and I tend to do better shooting that way.
 

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Never had to do it live, but my intent is to use whatever stance helps me shoot first in a crisis at short range. What I practice most is F/S/A style point shooting with one hand. At a distance, I intend to use whatever stance lets me maximize cover or concealment while getting off the first well-aimed shot. For me, intermediate distances are the tricky part. At 12-25 yards, I'd use isosceles unless Weaver allowed me to shoot from behind cover. The longer the range, the more I'm having to use the pistol like a rifle, so Weaver comes naturally since it's most similar to offhand rifle shooting. And a combat situation like this would probably ensure I used a combat stance: prone, kneeling, squatting, but preferably using cover and the KISS principle.

This may not translate well to any sort of match shooting per se.
 

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For target practice - Weaver. For SD practice - everything I can think of. When the chips are down - whatever I have time and room for.
 

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All this is very good for target shooting. When it hits the fan you will draw your gun as quick as you can and put your finger on the trigger as soon as possible and aim towards the guy trying to kill you. At least that is how it was for me. I guess if I had the time I could get into a proper stance, pay attention to my grip, get a proper sight picture and gently squeeze the trigger in-between breaths. However most times I would be dead before I could finish that process. I used a proper stance when I was competing. When I was shooting VC I was shooting while moving (you really should be moving while shooting and not standing still like an easy target), shooting from laying on my back, shooting sideways and any way I could. I do not recall ever getting into a proper stance and waiting for a sight picture. To this day I still practice point shooting for defense with one hand because that is what most will fall back on despite how much they practice shooting at static targets at a range with no pressure whatsoever.

I like to tell my new shooters that in the Army we had 6 months of intensive training and yet many of us new guys did not act as we were taught to act in the face of enemy fire. I am pretty sure that soiling your pants was not one of the methods being taught by the Army back in '69 and yet we had quite a few new guys do that. The point is that what you think you will do in your mind is not even close to how you will act under life and death stress. Until you face death you will have no idea of what you will feel and how you will act despite all the good thoughts in the world. Training helps but only if it is intensive and over a long period of time. Navy Seals do not practice for a few months and then turn into tactical special operators. They practice over and over again and get better through experience as well as training which is something us civilians do not have the luxury of. The typical Army recruit gets a lot more training than 99% of civilian gun owners and yet I know a lot of gun owners who think that because they read about what to do, that is what they will do. Sorry but it does not work that way and I would not stress over which stance to adopt. Just shoot whatever way that is comfortable for you and allows you to hit what you aim for. In a self defense situation, you will just react and it would be rare for anyone without a lot of training or experience to get into a proper stance. Just saying. Do what you all want to as it is your life but a few training classes will show you how to shoot in many real life situations which will be while seated, on the move, on your back, on your side, with a guy on top of you, etc.. Range shooting at static paper targets is not going to prepare anyone for the real thing, especially when unexpectedly knocked on your butt and trying to figure out which stance to use from down there. :)
 

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What matters is that you can you front sight on the target and in line with the rear sight.

You should be able to do this from weaver, isocoles, sitting, kneeling, prone, prostrate, whatever.

Even target shooting, it doesn't matter much. At least not to me.

Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk 2
 

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I only worry or think about stance when I am at gun range target shooting where I have the luxury of time to worry about such things. My "stance", first consists of total adherence to "situational awareness" (SA) and followed by evasion, retreat, hiding etal. My appreciation of stance is anything and everything that gives me an "out" from a confrontation and anything and everything that gives me an advantage--cheating is acceptable and preferred. Personally, time spent on SA and the above will leave me in a position where stance will be secondary---if you do not confront or avoid confrontation there is no stance necessary. Yes, I understand what this thread is about, but my priorities leave it at the shooting range and, if a confrontation should happen, the practice at the range will become relevant and further discussion and time spent on one stance vs another for the sake of a confrontation is just conversation. Interesting subject, though for the forum and well written.
 
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