Taking a Stance

Discussion in 'Training & Safety' started by DCJS Instructor, Feb 17, 2008.

  1. DCJS Instructor

    DCJS Instructor Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    31
    0
    0
    The Stance is the base for the shooting platform. Not only does a proper stance assist in controlling recoil, it also allows you to move and react quickly and to draw your weapon with minimal movement.

    The proper stance consists of:

    a. Shoulders square to the target.
    b. Feet shoulder width apart.
    c. Weight slightly forward on the balls of the feet.
    d. Head remains high and still with chin pointing at the target.
    e. Ears in front of shoulders, shoulders in front of hips.
    f. Be Comfortable.

    The shooting stance is basically a support or shooting platform. The quality of the stance is a major determining factor in creating conditions for maximum control and accuracy for shooting.

    A high degree of control is necessary to deliver a rapid, accurate shot. Every individual is unique and possess characteristics that are their’s alone. These characteristics include height, weight, muscular and skeletal development, degree of flexibility and more. Therefore, there can be no universal shooting stance that can be utilized by all people.

    Each shooter, under the guidance of the Firearms Instructor, and consistent with safety must find the shooting stance which is best suited to them and provides the greatest degree of stability and accuracy for shooting. The shooter must be able to assume their stance instinctively, as a reflex action with minimal effort or conscious manipulation of their body.

    Remember: "Conflict is inevitable; Combat is an option".

    Stay Safe & Shoot Straight!

    Tom Perroni
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2012
  2. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

    3,865
    0
    0
    I shoot from more of a martial arts stance, with my shoulders at a 45° to my target rather than a 90° but it seems to work well for me. Other than that, all of your other points prove true.
     

  3. SimonTuffGuy

    SimonTuffGuy New Member

    130
    0
    0
    Nice points Tom. Our NRA instructors at the handgun class I took back in March put these same points in our heads. As Matt said, I feel more comfortable with a miss-matched foot and at more of a 45 degree angle. It just feels better on me.

    I think that if I were put into a combat more in a split second, I would be more able to function in "my" stance, than trying to square up, etc.
     
  4. RJ Stewart

    RJ Stewart New Member

    17
    0
    0
    I prefer a modified Weaver stance with a martial arts style planting of the feet. It enables me to move while firing, and I'm a harder target to hit than if I'm standing in an Isocolese stance, shoulders square to the target. I think in a shooting situation where you may have to move the shoulders square to the target is not practical.
     
  5. matt g

    matt g New Member Supporter

    3,865
    0
    0
    I started doing it, because I shot long guns for close to 20 years before I picked up my first pistol. It was easy for me to make the transition, by not changing my stance much. I was able to track and lead targets from the long gun position, so I stuck with it rather than attempting to learn something new.
     
  6. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    11,380
    2
    0
    Ah, the Weaver vs Isocoles argument. I shoot Weaver but am trying to retrain myself to Isocoles (Squared to target) for a variety of reasons.
    1. Body armor- squaring to the target allows the body armor to rpotect my vital areas. Weaver leaves my arm pit vulnerable.
    2. Recoil management- MUCH faster back on target for follow up shots when squared to the target.
    3. Multiple target aquisition- better able to pivot to the left (I'm right handed) from the Isocoles.

    HK SMG school taught me that I can dump an entire mag, full auto into a silver dollar sized hole at 10 yards by squaring to the target and flexing my abs to pull my shoulders forward. Thompson SMG- 5 shot bursts into a pie plate at 75 yards. M-16- 5 shot bursts into pie plate at 125 yards.
     
  7. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

    1,105
    0
    0
    Perfectly stated on all points. Mobility is greatly increased with an isosceles stance. It's a more solid foundation to begin with, allows a much increased ability to traverse targets, and allows proper body position to move. Try a weaver or modified weaver and see how far you can rotate JUST your upper body. Then do the same with an isosceles and comapare how far you can rotate. It also allows you to move in any direction, properly, without crossing your feet and allows oblique movement. I don't know of any legitimate schools of instruction that teach anything else anymore for handgun, shotgun, subgun or carbine use.
     
  8. Samhain

    Samhain New Member

    183
    0
    0
    I agree with the rest of you. My stance is not square either.
    I also shoot better with my elbows bent a little and my face closer to the gun, rather then arms fully extended.
     
  9. jeepcreep927

    jeepcreep927 New Member

    1,105
    0
    0
    The posters are great. If you want to minimize proper tecnique to that degree go ahead. Sure, you may get by having a jacked up stance and crossing your feet while running up the down side of an escalator while drawing you Desert Eagle .50 AE from your homemade ankle holster, but how many times? If you think "training" means you do what you can to get by,once, than have at it. It may work out for you, it may not. I doubt there's many professionals out there, military or L/E, who say "yeah, I just use what the hell ever stance I happen to slump into, I'll get by, and ten years from now no one will remember anyway." No one except your wife and kids cause your dead cause you tripped over something because you had your head up your *** with your foot positioning and you got smoked cause instead of getting to your weapon to protect yourself, you're fumble ****ing around on the floor. But, some dude put up some posters on a gun forum and apparently Wyatt Earp said do whatever you want, no one will remember. Have at it boys. Shoot from a friggin lawn chair with your feet up on the beer cooler for all I care.
     
  10. rhodieusmc

    rhodieusmc New Member

    9
    0
    0
    Shooting Stance

    Gentlemen,
    This is my first ever attempt at responding to a forum so,... I am not even sure if I am doing this right but, here it goes... My question to the gentlemen who began this thread is simple: "A shooting stance to do what?" I think those of us with Mil/LE experience assume the person requesting an "opinion" is concerned with training continuity that builds upon sound tactics etc, etc... I was fortunate to have been spoon-fed the Iso from Day One as a Marine and as a LEO back in Tennessee. But, that does not mean that the Iso is "THE" stance for all forms of non-tactical shooting. So, I never had to relearn any thing or make any adjustments. As an former Police firearms instructor and current adjunct instructor for United States Shooting Academy out in Tulsa we HIGHLY "recommend" the Iso but we are also aware of the passions this simple question awakens. Just my thoughts.
     
  11. DCJS Instructor

    DCJS Instructor Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    31
    0
    0
    As the gentleman who started this thread I will try to answer your question.

    This is the part of the post that is most overlooked:

    Each shooter, under the guidance of the Firearms Instructor, and consistent with safety must find the shooting stance which is best suited to them and provides the greatest degree of stability and accuracy for shooting. The shooter must be able to assume their stance instinctively, as a reflex action with minimal effort or conscious manipulation of their body.

    However please forgive me I was never a Marine. As a LEO Firearms Instructor Trainer and a LEAD Blackwater Instructor I was offering my $0.02 and that’s probably all it is worth.

    Please note that Target Accuracy and Combat Accuracy are 2 different things all together. And what I teach is A way but not THE way to do it.

    All too often people train on a static range and don’t move off the X don’t practice the draw or train for the fight. Weather you are shooting IDPA IPSIC any kind of Comp. or Combat ,I "notice" I said (I) would use this stance.

    But hay what do I know.....Welcome to the forum and good first post!

    Tom Perroni
     
  12. GDS

    GDS New Member

    29
    0
    0
    DCJS,
    "The shooter must be able to assume their stance instinctively, as a reflex action with minimal effort or conscious manipulation of their body."

    Glad you clarified in your last post. I was fixin to join the fray with my two cents. Which is, there is no ONE right way to shoot. The circumstances will always dictate the method: tactical, combat, or SD. Eliminate the sub- human by whatever means!
    Squared up goes against all my military training. The weaver and other low profile positions goes against my L.E. training.

    The only stance that I have found that works the best all the time is the stance or position I happen to be in when its time to make people dead.

    Shoot, and shoot some more, then go ahead and burn another 500 rounds, then, yes somebody is yelling to shut off the spot lights, shoot another 500 just to be sure!:)
     
  13. KingTiger

    KingTiger Member

    210
    0
    16
    Excellent thread, excellent posts! I'll contribute from the students perspective, any suggestions are greatly welcomed.

    I've been trying to standardize on the Combat Isosceles stance for the last couple of months. I'm 5'6"/145 lbs., so I don't have as much "leverage" as others and it was recommended to me when I was trying to gain control of my full size .45 ACP. I noticed an immediate improvement (after I got my grip right) in accuracy & follow up shots with pistols with it for starters.

    I then used it with my newly acquired M11/9 SMG. It seemed a natural for this application, so far I've kept my feet pretty much planted, but I can swivel from the hips to get about 120 degrees of target acquisition with good control.

    A few weeks ago I took a tactical shotgun course. We engaged targets from behind cover and on the move, and also had to shoot off-hand. I had never shot a 12 GA off-hand, but after a couple of rounds it wasn't that bad (even with slug/buck rounds) and I didn't have to worry about repositioning my feet. The hardest thing for me was keeping my feet spread far enough and remembering to bend my knees.

    I haven't had a chance to use it much with my carbine as I've mainly been shooting it off the bench so far.

    In summary, it's been tuff to learn new techniques after 35 years, but the improvements have been obvious. I just hope it doesn't screw me up for dove season this fall. As some one stated, practice will be the solution.
     
  14. ranger_sxt

    ranger_sxt New Member

    333
    0
    0
    Since the subtly of the statements seems to have passed you by, let me explain it.

    This long-running Weaver vs. Isoscoles vs. 3/4 hip vs. Center Axis Relock is absolute crap. Your stance is the least important of the fundamentals. That's right, the least important. The mantra that people are taught when first learning to shoot is "front-sight, press," not "stance, front-sight, press." A good sight picture and trigger manipulation are the keys to accuracy.

    If I happen to fall on my ***, I'll have a bruised ***, and be able to put my rounds into the bad guys. If I happen to fall on my side, I'll have a bruised pushup muscle, and still be able to put my rounds into the bad guys. If I fall on my face, I'll have some lacerations on my palm, but the bad guys will be leaking much faster than I am.

    The exact statement on the first picture places your priorities in a true gunfight: don't stay in one place, and find cover. This is taught to all of the combat arms in the US Military. Don't be where the bad guy thought you were, and hide behind something that will stop bullets.

    On to the second picture. Wyatt Earp didn't say that. It is supposed to make you think. What stance was Wyatt Earp in? What gun did he use before he moved to Tombstone (after he moved to Tombstone, supposedly he used the Colt Single Action Army Bisley modification in .45 Colt; although there is strong evidence that the Bisley modification wasn't done until after the Tombstone events were over)? What caliber was it? This little errata of history is lost to the overall concept that Wyatt Earp won every gunfight he was in...
     
  15. hydrashok

    hydrashok New Member

    692
    0
    0
    I can effectively group pretty tight shots sitting in a lawn chair with my feet on a beer cooler...

    ...but it seems the original post was geared more for the beginning shooter.

    The original post was excellent for someone starting out, or trying to re-start correctly.

    -----
    Originally Posted by robocop10mm
    Ah, the Weaver vs Isocoles argument. I shoot Weaver but am trying to retrain myself to Isocoles (Squared to target) for a variety of reasons.
    -----
    Screw it! Learn (and master) both... then when you've done that, master hitting a target while sitting in a lawn chair with your feet on a beer cooler.

    In all of my training and experience, one of the most applicable statements I've ever heard in any course is: "Never get in a mindset and stay there."

    ...I stole that, and I use it in all the tactical courses I teach.
     
  16. gorknoids

    gorknoids New Member

    2,396
    0
    0
    It seems to me that exposing the students to the various options (I hit better squared up) and explaining the pros/cons of each is about all you can do. The only person who can decide which stance is best is the guy holding the weapon.
     
  17. hydrashok

    hydrashok New Member

    692
    0
    0
    I coulda swore I already responded to this thread, but it appears I didn't. However, my sentiments are pretty much aligned with your post.

    I used to be one of those hard-headed know-it-all shooters who swore by one particular method until around 2000 when I first started getting into firearms instruction. Basics are basics, and I was stuck on the basics. I had an instructor tell me "never get into a mindset and stay there."

    I was taught the basics, and I was very good at teaching the basics. I was a very basic shooter :)

    The Iso is a great foundation to build upon. It allows for refining of the REST of the basic techniques for shooting adequately. Once those other techniques are honed and refined, then you allow for advancement into tactics and shooting tactically.

    I'm going to stop here, because I think this, plus the rest of what I have to say is going into an article :)
     
  18. pioneer461

    pioneer461 New Member

    938
    0
    0
    I agree with gorknoids, 100%. No matter which stance you prefer, they are great for teaching basic target shooting, or competition.

    I would not recommend concentrating on a proper stance while you are proned out behind a concrete planter box because of incoming 7.62x39 rounds at the local mall. I don't think the bad guys will wait while you get the proper stance, so it's a good idea to learn to shoot from all kinds of positions other than at the 15 yard line and on command. From behind cover, kneeling, prone, supine, strong hand, support hand, whatever.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Contractor

    Contractor New Member

    5
    0
    0
    Combat an Option

    Remember: "Conflict is inevitable; Combat is an option".

    Since this is a forum for firearms enthusiasts the implied context is that when confronted with a conflict that holds potential for escalation into a violent encounter ... you have a viable option in place that allows for not fighting back. Good luck with going passive in a bad situation about to get worse.

    If the author had another context in mind I invite him to step forward and state same.