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Thread: What do you consider the best stance and explain why.

  1. #1
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    Icon6 What do you consider the best stance and explain why.

    What do you consider the best shooting stance for (1) range plinking, (2) competition, (3) defensive shooting in the home, (4) defensive shooting in public? I have my own opinions, but will comment after there are a few opinions from others.....GO!
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  3. #2

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    Since the "best stance" is often viewed as a matter of opinion, I'll just give what I like and shoot best with. I shy away from using terms like bladed and weaver etc...


    1. Squared up, feet about shoulder width and seperated with my left foot out front. Upper body slightly forward for balance.
    2. I havent competed yet but assume it would be the same.
    3. It would be the same as one, only moving forward clearing the house "slicing the pie" around every corner.
    4. While in public I'm gonna take advantage of any cover if possible. If not I'll default to #1.
    It takes only seconds to call the police, waiting for them to arrive could take the rest of your life...





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  5. #3

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    As an untrained shooter maybe my method is weird. When I go practice I use multiple guns on any position possible and swap hands for better learning. My thought is conventional stances may not be allowed for the situation at hand. Be ready for any thing that may come your way. It may look strange but I can acquire a target from weird positions. Any thoughts from the members will be considered as good opinion.

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  7. #4

    Default Hey buddy

    Hey Gator, its been a while, good to hear from you. Your response isn't wrong or flawed. Training for any position in any situation, this is what matters... Can you hit what you're shooting at? Simply put, your reaction is built upon muscle memory. If you practice on the same scenario you will react the same. If you train as you say, you will more easily grasp the situation at hand. What matters is your reation to a threat.

    Stepping off the "X" is important when reacting. 3 foot to the left or 3 foot to the right... If responding to someone shooting at you this is important. You need to hit what you're shooting at as you move.

    While there are good techniques for specific movements like building clearing and accurate handgun shooting, what matters is what works for you based upon physical ability and mindset.

    There is the other side though, sloppy technique's will always have sloppy results... Repetitive training is needed for muscle memory. The key is and will always be "response" to a threat, hesitation is a killer...

    Swapping hands and learning to shoot ambidextrious is excellent. Training with multiple guns at different angles is a plus. A shotgun is less forgiving than a handgun. Based on that, I know I'm not saying someting you don't already know...
    Last edited by UGA; 01-19-2014 at 09:51 PM.
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    Default shadow shooting ....

    hard to describe i suppose .when casual plinking I tend to give a nearly full frontal with something approaching a "hand to hand combate stance" .. when shooting for defensive practice, I have put a light source behind me and to cast a shadow and the view was making a large target so I turn to a more extreame angle. I reduce the target of my center of mass and my right arm holding the pistol will more resemble a rifle shoot with my right arm nearly fully extended and my left arm much more tucking into my left side close to my chest ...the thinking being that the left arm will act a some protection and a very stable platform to stablize the pistol. the shadow cast in this stance is one third to one half the target as opposed to a squared off pose.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NWFFT View Post
    What do you consider the best shooting stance for (1) range plinking, (2) competition, (3) defensive shooting in the home, (4) defensive shooting in public? I have my own opinions, but will comment after there are a few opinions from others ..... GO!
    Doesn't matter what I'm doing with a pistol in my hands: plinking, competing, or self-defense; it's, all, going to be the same. My stance has evolved as I've aged. I've been shooting for many years; and, way back, 'in the day', we all used to blade our targets and shoot one-handed.

    Postal pistol shooters were generally considered to have an easier time of it, and be more accurate, if the off-hand was placed in your front pants' pocket. (All in all a very relaxed way of shooting a pistol.)

    Back then we didn't shoot combat pistol matches; so whatever the FBI was doing with Rex Applegate and his Fairbairn-Sykes combat pistol shooting methods wasn’t very well translated to the American shooting public. All that has, of course, changed today. With the advent of: IDPA, USPSA, and IPSC combat shooting matches Applegate, Fairbairn, and Sykes’ style of handling pistols has experienced a rebirth.

    During the late 1950’s Jeff Cooper and Jack Weaver got into the act; and the first effective modification of the FBI’s Applegate pistol shooting stance took place, and entered into the American shooting public’s conscious awareness of how a combat/self-defense pistol should really be used. It was slow going; and American law enforcement wasn’t quick to adopt to these changes.

    In the late 1970’s I witnessed a Southern police officer shoot it out with a couple of felons. He was a brave fellow. Without a vest on (Because, at least out on the street, there were none!) this officer adopted a perfect postal pistol shooting stance, raised his revolver, meticulously sighted down the barrel, and methodically fired off all six rounds. I thought his performance under fire was, both, impressive and absolutely classic!

    IPSC shooting matches were just getting started; and, at the time, the general American shooting public had access to much better pistol shooting methodology than the law enforcement personnel of the day.

    As I remember things: I began the modern style of pistol shooting by adopting the, ‘Weaver Stance’ espoused by the legendary Jeff Cooper. (Whose exact G. Wm. Davis gunbelt and Yaqui slide holster I purchased duplicates of from Austin Behlert; and, thereafter, wore every time I put on a pair of dungarees.)

    The next popular stance came from pistol shooting champion Ray Chapman. It was alternately referred to as either the, ‘Modified Weaver’, or the, ‘Chapman’ stance. In the original Weaver Stance both elbows were bent. The support (pulling) elbow was often severely bent. Chapman changed that by straightening out his gun arm, and (correctly) firing from: a locked wrist, a slightly flexed elbow, and partially anchored shoulder. Both the Weaver Stance, and the Chapman Stance required the shooter to, more or less, squarely, ‘front’ the target.

    As time passed, both of these stances evolved into the full frontal, ‘Isosceles Stance’. With the advent of the Isosceles Stance American law enforcement was starting to catch-up. The, ‘ancient wisdom’ of Wm. Fairbairn began to revive; and law enforcement was quick to modify their former Weaver and Chapman Stances. This, ‘tempest in a teapot’ has been raging back and forth ever since. (Which is, I suppose, the reason for this thread!)

    Now is a good point for me to introduce the particular pistol combat stance that I train with, and prefer to use: It’s D.R. Middlebrooks’, ‘Reverse Chapman’, or, ‘Fist-Fire’ stance. Here’s, ‘Why’:

    1. It’s the best of ALL worlds!

    2. The gun wrist is locked; and the gun hand is rolled over.

    3. A flexible elbow is used on the gun hand side; and, although it’s little recognized, a flexible gun-side elbow is able to significantly mitigate the tendency of a stressed right-handed shooter to fire low and left.

    4. The Fist-Fire stance accommodates the tendency of a stressed (right-handed) shooter to fire low, left in the same way that the Isosceles Stance does. (In fact, fully, 'fronting' the target, and better biomechanical resistance to firing low and left are the Isosceles Stance’s two strongest recommendations!)

    5. Both the Fist-Fire, and the Isosceles Stance take full advantage of any body armor being worn by the combatant.

    6. A, ‘pure’ Isosceles Stance uses stiff knees which can throw a shooter’s balance off and is, therefore, not conducive to the presenter maintaining his balance.

    7. The, ‘Modified Isosceles Stance’ which modern law enforcement is still playing around with allows the knees to flex and bend slightly; this position is, somewhat, better for the shooter, and continues to allow full advantage to be made of any body armor; but, although it continues to be ignored by the greater pistol shooting community-at-large, there remains a better way to: stand, hold, and fire a combat pistol. Here is why:

    8. By stiffening the gun arm and locking the gun wrist, significant tension is introduced into the shooter’s grip, as well as along the tendons on top of his forearm. As Middlebrooks, himself, points out: This can be particularly fatiguing - Even painful when practiced for an extended period of time.

    There is, something of, a biomechanical trade-off, here: In exchange for releasing the tension along the top of the gun-side’s forearm, that tension is, now, transferred into exactly the same place on the support arm - Where, perhaps because the support arm is not fully weight bearing, it is physically easier for the shooter to manage.

    9. As mentioned above increased tension in the gun hand forearm’s upper tendons requires the shooter to exert greater control over his gun hand, and (for a right-handed pistol shooter) contributes to throwing shots low, and off to the weak side of the grasping hand. (At the fingertips!)

    10. Elements of ANY good pistol shooting stance include: The shooter, ‘squaring up’ with the target, keeping his head slightly forward, and his knees slightly bent. I, personally, prefer to marginally advance my support-side foot as well.

    So, ahh, for me Middlebrooks’, ‘Fist-Fire Stance’ is the principal way to go. Whenever I work with a handgun I try to be as consistent in my form, handling, and aim as possible. So, no matter what, I always shoot a pistol in exactly the same way. The only distinction I make is between sighted pistol fire, and instinctive point shooting. (Which often employ different physical techniques.)

    As much as I continue to admire the man, I'm convinced that Jeff Cooper never got instinctive point shooting quite right; and this remains as the principal, ‘bone of contention’ between combat pistol shooting recommendations made by Cooper, himself, and other more instinctive sighting methods made by Jim Cirillo and Rex Applegate - (Both of whom couldn’t have disagreed more about the presumed absolute necessity of fully-sighted pistol fire.)

    Good thread, good question! Hope this helps.
    Last edited by Arc Angel; 06-30-2014 at 11:18 AM.

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    Okay, I am one of those "visual" guys. I can't quite picture it in my mind. Anyone have an actual picture of this method?

    Myself, I lean heavily towards the "modified Weaver" stance, although on occasion I do use the Isoscelyes(Hey, I KNOW I spelled it wrong, so shut up!! ).


    When I trained with Barry & Sandy awhile back, they wanted me to use strictly Isoscelyes(see, I did it again! ), but I did find myself reverting back to the modified Weaver. It is just more comfortable, and I shoot better from it, and I move better from it as well.


    But whatever works............

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    I cannot argue or debate which stance is best, I only know which works best for me. The Isosceles stance feels so horribly off balance to me every time I've tried it that I'm afraid to pull the trigger...it just doesn't feel right. I'm using some form of the Weaver...wouldn't swear it's true to anyones definition...but it works for me and doesn't exhaust my arms and shoulders.

    Arc Angel, I would very much like more information on the
    D.R. Middlebrooks’, ‘Reverse Chapman’, or, ‘Fist-Fire’ stance you spoke of earlier. I did a quick search and couldn't find any pictures or video. I have the same problem as suncat in that I tend to be very visual and need help "seeing" your discription. It sounds interesting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rkbartley View Post
    ....... Arc Angel, I would very much like more information on the D.R. Middlebrooks’, ‘Reverse Chapman’, or, ‘Fist-Fire’ stance you spoke of earlier. I did a quick search and couldn't find any pictures or video. I have the same problem as suncat in that I tend to be very visual and need help "seeing" your description. It sounds interesting.
    Here ya go: http://www.tacticalshooting.com/videos

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