The Fundamentals : Stance

The Fundamentals : Stance

Depending on who you talk to stance can be a very controversial topic in the world of defensive shooting. The proper stance like the proper grip have grown and evolved throughout the years, some parts of its evolution has been positive and others not so much.

Throughout the years there are two “stances” that have stood the test of time. The weaver and the isosceles.

Weaver Stance


Isosceles Stance


The major differences between these two stances is foot placement and torso orientation.

With the weaver stance your feet are set with your non dominant foot (if you are right-handed this would be your left foot) 2-3 feet forward of your dominant foot. Knees slightly bent, weight on the balls of your feet, Your torso turned slightly toward your dominant side, your dominant hand fully extended and your non dominant hand slightly bent at the elbow. I believe this is a great stance for range shooting, its qualities provides a very stable platform for stationary shooting. I’ve also found it doesn’t fare so well in defensive shooting classes or force on force. The angle of your torso limits the range of motion, impeding your ability to deal with multiple targets. Also the placement of your feet will inhibit you from moving quickly to cover if need be.

behind-the-line-weaver-stance behind-the-line-isosceles-stance





With the isosceles stance, your feet are just over shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, weight on the balls of your feet, your body square to the target, both arms extended out. You are forming an isosceles triangle with your body hence the name. While this stance offers a full range of motion and ease of transitioning from target to target it is very easy to forget to bend your knees and even easier to not keep your weight on the balls of your feet.

I’ve seen plenty of new shooters start out with this stance perfectly and after a few shots the recoil pushes their upper body further and further back to the point where there weight is past their heels, their balance is completely off, consequently now they have no steady platform to shoot from.

So which is best?

My answer is both… Or Neither. Depending on how you look at it.

The way I shoot is a combination of both, I like to keep my feet shoulder width apart, non dominant foot only slightly forward by 6 inches or so, knees bent, weight on the balls of my feet, body square with the target, both arms straight out, shoulders slightly forward. The upper part of my body mimics the isosceles while the lower part of my body is somewhat of a modified less drastic weaver stance.

This is a lot of information to take in on something that seems so simple, to help explain stance I’m have tagged a video below from a popular You Tuber Mr. Guns and Gear. He hits the nail on the head when it comes to stance.

Either one is perfectly suited for shooting on the range. They both provide a stable base of support.

The important things to remember are keep your knees slightly bent, keep your weight forward on the balls of your feet, stay balanced, and don’t lean back. If you can master these not only will it make you a better shooter while standing idle, it will give you the upper hand when shooting on the move is introduced.

In a defensive shooting situation it’s highly unlikely that you are going to plant your feet, correct your stance, and fire slow and deliberate shots. Your heart will be racing, your breathing will be sporadic, and your feet should be MOVING! The stance you practice on the range should enable you to fight for your life, moving to and from cover and concealment, and packing up and running when need be.

In closing I would say try both, see what is comfortable for you. If possible take a force on force class or play a game of air soft or paintball and see what your feet do under stress.

Incase you missed the first fundamental the link is below.


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