God’s Promise

God’s Promise

This is something I decided to write early this summer, but wanted to wait until the three year anniversary to post. Today November 15th marks three years that something downright unbelievable happened, this is the story.

Where do I start? I’ve struggled with writing this for the longest time. But here it goes. Brace yourself this may take a while.

My wife and I have been married for over eight years now, during those years we have had struggles like any other marriage. But what really tested our faith was our struggle to have a baby. Seven years of trying came and went before we were blessed with our perfect little girl Zoe. During those years of trying we encountered a very pivotal moment where I truly believe God spoke to me. But before I get ahead of myself I’d like to give a little background.

Both my wife and I have grown up in church, we met at church, dated while in the youth group at our church, got married and now serve in various ministry’s at our church. We followed the natural progression of things. We were ready to grow our family, then it seemed like we hit a wall.

We were happy being husband and wife, but more than anything we desired to be mom and dad.

It wasn’t just the waiting that was challenging, we had a few moments where it looked like it was finally going to happen and then as quickly as our hope grew, it was gone. We would go back to praying and trying to believe. Trying to stay patient, trying to trust God. Still praying nightly before bed for God to Bless us with a little girl, a little girl named Zoe.

Our biggest setback came December of 2011, it was very early on in our process of trying to conceive that we had a miscarriage. It was only a few days before Christmas. My wife, Heather was feeling funny and went to the doctor. They said she was pregnant but it was very early in the pregnancy, they would need to do another test to make sure things are progressing. The results from the test came back a day or so later, revealing that we had lost our baby. Though it only lasted a very short time. We only knew we were pregnant for just over a day, the news hit very hard. As we laid down for bed that night and came together to pray, the words were more than difficult to get out. If I’m being honest it was one of the moments that I felt like my prayers were falling on deaf ears.

One of the difficulties we had to overcome was my wife being diagnosed with PCOS. Polycystic ovary syndrome, The main symptom that caused issues with fertility is that with PCOS the ovaries may develop numerous small collections of fluid (follicles) and fail to regularly release eggs. with PCOS right off the bat the doctors said it would be difficult but not impossible to conceive. Especially since we had already conceived and miscarried. The doctors continually told us you are young, be patient, it will happen. We tried a few different things to help battle the PCOS, but it felt like with everything we tried nothing seemed to help us conceive.

We finally decided to meet with a fertility doctor in 2014 and we made arrangements to start an IUI treatment. With an IUI they give you three chances to conceive, and after those three chances they recommend moving on to IVF. So we went did the first two IUI treatments to no avail, and then our last treatment. We got family and friends together, we prayed, we did the procedure, and still no baby.

After we got the news that our last try with the IUI procedure didn’t produce a pregnancy I was mad at God. All I could ask was Why?

Why can’t we have a baby? Why are people who don’t want kids having baby’s? Why are people getting pregnant and having abortions? We were ready, mentally, physically, financially. Every-time someone we knew announced they were pregnant I would become upset, I was happy for my friends and family but I was mad at God. I was excited for those close to me starting the next chapter of life but I couldn’t figure out why not us? Why isn’t it our time?

The IUI procedure took such an emotional toll on us both. We decide we would try for a while without the help of fertility doctors.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day would pass year after year, Reminding us that it’s been yet another year and we still aren’t parents. To this day I don’t know how my wife brought herself to go to baby shower after baby shower.

Years past and we tried our best to be faithful. we stayed committed to our work at church, we continually tried to encourage each other to be patient, we still prayed every night for God to bless us with a little girl named Zoe.

Now this is the point where things get weird, it was Friday November 13th 2015. Just an ordinary Friday in my book, I went to work, ran some errands, came home. We had plans that night to meet up with some friends for diner, but after diner I had to teach my friend Kayla how to drive stick. So we dropped my truck off at my parents house and picked up one of our work trucks with a manual transmission. Drove up to meet with our friends for the night and ended up watching tv for a bit before we left for diner.

As we watched we saw what was happening in Paris at that time, there was terrorist attack with active shooters and suicide bombers that claimed the lives of 130 people and wounded an additional 413. I am no stranger to these types of tragedies, I’ve studied active shooter scenarios, and train for them on a regular basis, but for some reason this one shook me to my core.

We went to diner, news of the attack was playing on the TV while we ate, my mind was flooded with thoughts and prayers for those affected and I began to pray for the safety of my family. After spending some time teaching Kayla to drive stick it was time to go home.

We drive to my parents house to pick up my truck, and as I’m standing outside my parents house something tells me to look up at the stars, the sky was clear and the stars were bright as can be. I stood there for a moment getting lost in the vastness of the stars in the sky and I just felt like God was trying to show me something. We came home and I got ready for bed, and for the first time in a long time I blew off my daily devotional that I was currently doing. I Decided I just didn’t want to read it.

The next day, Saturday, I was almost overwhelmed with anxiety. I couldn’t stop thinking about how helpless those people affected by the attack in Paris were. All throughout the day I couldn’t shake this feeling of fear and anxiety. I was hurt for those in Paris but for some reason I felt afraid for the safety of my family.

I spent the night alone, my wife decided to sleep over at a friends house with some of the other girls from our church. I sat home alone on a Saturday night watching breaking bad, when all of a sudden I felt the urge to stop what I was doing and walk outside. It was 10:30 at night, I put on my shoes and took a walk around my neighborhood. All the while staring up at the stars and talking to God about what had happened in Paris and asking for his protection for my family and I. At this point I truly knew God was showing me the stars for a purpose I just didn’t know why. Around 11pm I decided it was time to go in, again for the second night in a row I put off my devotional reading for the day and went to bed.

Little did I know how life changing that short devotion would be.

Sunday morning came, I did what I do every Sunday, I got to church at 7am to do security. Cleared the building, made my rounds and acted like everything was fine. As I went about my day on Sunday, the attack in Paris still resonated in my mind. The entire day I felt like I was on the edge of having a panic attack. I did my best to keep myself together. I handled my duties at church, went to lunch, and spend the evening with friends all the while fighting this fear that was inside me. I can remember the drive home that night so vividly. My wife and I drove separately to church. Having to bring both cars home, I was alone in my car. No music, just driving silently, thinking and praying for my family.

I parked my car and stood looking at the night sky for what seemed like forever. My wife pulled in, parked, got out of the car and saw me standing there looking at the stars. She asked me what’s wrong? And for the first time I said it out loud to someone else.

“I don’t know, I just feel like God is trying to show me something with the stars.”

I shook it off and walked inside. I began to get ready for bed, starting to feel frustrated with God and frustrated with myself. I was angry at God for the five year journey of trying to have a baby. I began to speak to God saying I know you have promised my wife and I a child, but give me a sign, give me something concrete to know that you will bless us with a baby, and protect me and my family. As I readied myself for bed, I remembered the devotion I’ve put off for the past two days.

I went into the other room, sat down and started the devotion and it said… Gods promise to protect and bless Abraham.

Immediately I knew that this was a word from God, this was the sign I had been asking for. The devotion took me to Genesis 15

(1 Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.” 2 But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. 3 You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.” 4 Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.”)

Then my eyes fell on verse 5, as soon as I started reading this verse I began to sob. To this day, I cry every time I read this scripture.

(5 Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!”)

I sat there crying for a few minutes before heading back into my bedroom and sharing all of this with Heather. When I say that moment sitting alone reading that scripture forever changed my life, I mean it. My mind still has a hard time wrapping itself around the fact that God used the covenant he made with Abraham to illustrate the promise he had made to me and my wife.

Perhaps the most humbling thing about this entire situation is when I told this story to one of my close friends, he said “it’s crazy to think that when God was making his covenant with Abraham he was thinking about you Nick.”

Now most stories would end with, “and then a week later we found out we were pregnant and we lived happily ever after, the end.” However, It was a full 18 months after God gave me this word that we got pregnant. We ended up going through the IVF process. During those 18 months between receiving our promise and conceiving, there were moments when I still felt that we would never be blessed with a baby. However every time I felt the doubt begin to creep in I would think back to the stars and be filled with an overwhelming hope.

On September 5th 2017 we received a phone call from the IVF doctors. I sat there in the living room, my wife on the phone with the doctors… it seemed like my heart stopped while I waited for a reaction from her. As she started to cry I thought it meant we had to go back to the drawing board. But the tears weren’t tears of pain, sorrow, frustration, or anger. They were tears of joy because after all the years of trying, the miscarriage, the failed attempts, God finally did it! image10


Almost 8 months later on April 29th at 1:58am
Gods promise arrived. Zoe Nicole Stanko 6 pounds 7 ounces. Our perfect little girl was welcomed here after years of prayer.


I felt the need to share this because it was truly life changing for my wife and I, and I know that there is someone out there reading this that has been waiting on something from God. Someone who is frustrated with God and feeling like their prayers are falling on deaf ears. I wanted to share this as proof that when you feel like no one is listening and you will never receive what you have prayed for, don’t be discouraged, don’t give up hope. God’s timing is perfect, I never understood how true that is until now.


One last note.

As I prepared to write this, I spend some time in prayer. One last time I asked God why? Why did you choose Heather and I to go through what we went through to have Zoe. I felt something inside me say “because you could handle it.” If you are struggling with something, if you are waiting for something, if you are facing challenges it’s only because you can handle it.

Stay faithful

The Biggest Gun YOU Can Hide.

The Biggest Gun YOU Can Hide.

The unavoidable first rule to a gunfight is and will always be, have a gun. Preferably the biggest, highest capacity, longest sight radius gun possible.

The market is saturated with every shape, size, and now color imaginable. From the micro pocket guns to mammoth competition guns, the options of make, model, brand, and caliber are endless.


All to often I see new shooters gravitate toward the smallest of the small. Either by their own will, skillful marketing, or influenced by the gun guy on the other side of the counter. Those new to carrying concealed see the small gun as an easy fix to their new problem of how to hide a gun.

While hiding a small gun is truly simpler than a large gun. Running one is a completely different story.

God forbid you ever find yourself in the proverbial dark alley faced with the task of having to present your gun quickly and place accurate fire while startled and in fear for your life. Fumbling over a teeny tiny gun with buttons and levers is not a way to set yourself up for success.

There’s a few reason you don’t see competition shooters using micro pocket guns. Drawing, acquiring sights, pressing the trigger, managing recoil, reloads, and malfunctions are all harder to handle with smaller guns. Not to mention the smaller the gun the less rounds it will hold. Also on the flip side you don’t see really anyone carrying full custom competition guns for self defense either.

So where does that leave us? If you haven’t guessed the title gives this post away quite quickly. If you are going to carry a firearm on your person from day to day to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Carry the biggest gun YOU can hide.

Now I don’t mean the biggest gun you can hide under a heavy winter coat. Or the biggest gun you can hide in a bathing suite. But what is the biggest gun you can hide in your normal daily life.

I know their are countless variables as to what size firearm a person can hide. Body type, dress requirements, local climate, and levels of comfort all come into play when finding the gun that balances between hiding easily and easy operation.

To prove a point to a friend of mine I carried concealed the largest gun I own, 9.57 inches long 5.43 inches tall 6.02 inch long barrel and weighing in at 33.5oz my Glock 17L. It wasn’t the most comfortable thing, and with the barrel being so long it was a tad slower out of the holster but as you can see from the video below it hid under a t shirt just fine.

A very close friend of mine, big old’ boy 6 foot 3, 280 lbs carries the slightly smaller Glock 34. To him the Glock 19 and even the 17 just seemed a bit small. The right holster, jeans and a t shirt make the Glock 34 disappear on him.


Another Good friend of mine and fellow security team member at my church hides a full sized FN FNP 45, and two spare mags. This gun is no joke big, double stack 45 acp, hammer fired, full sized combat handgun. This size gun would be very difficult to hide for most people, but he carries it under a button down shirt or polo just about everyday unbeknownst to the rest of the world.

fnp 45

Ladies… don’t think I’ve left you out of this. My wife’s business partner, fellow security team member, and fellow blogger (theworldofwtf.com) hides a Glock 19 on duty with the security team while 99% of the time wearing leggings! While the 19 is by no means as large as the Glock 34 or the FNP 45. It is usually viewed by ladies as to big to carry.


Now we must address the other end of the spectrum, my wife can not hide a Glock 19 on her person. She has tried various holsters and a few different carry positions and the 19 was just to big for her.

She has stepped down to the Glock 42 on her person and the 19 stashed in her purse. This gives her the ability to immediately respond with the Glock 42 and if need be fight to her bigger gun in her purse.

The difficult part of having a setup similar to my wife is having to train with both guns regularly. She enjoys shooting her 19 and dreads running drills with the 42.

The point of this post is to challenge you to start with the biggest gun that you can shoot quickly and accurately and work on concealing it. As opposed to picking the smallest gun and trying to work out all the kinks that come with running it defensively. You will be surprised how easily a full sized gun hides with the right holster and carry position.

But if you have found that the biggest gun you can carry is still quite compact do not neglect the training.

The smaller your carry gun the more you should train with it.


The Fundamentals: Follow Through

The Fundamentals: Follow Through

Follow through has a place in various different sports. From swinging a golf club or a baseball bat, to throwing the proper right hook, and yes of course shooting handguns, rifles, and shotguns.

So how does follow through come into play when firing a gun?

Let’s set the scene, you have established a proper grip, your feet are shoulder width apart and your weight is placed over the balls of your feet. Your sights are aligned, equal height, and equal light on both sides. Your focus is on the front sight. You take a breath in through your nose and slowly exhale. As you reach the bottom of your breath your index finger is putting a consistent amount of pressure rearward on the trigger, steadily pressing the trigger to the rear and BANG! the shot goes off and nails the bulls eye.

Now what?

Once that first shot breaks, keep your composure. Keep the trigger held to the rear. Check your stance, confirm your grip. Resist the urge to look at the target, keep your focus on the front sight. Now slowly let the trigger out until you hear and or feel the trigger reset. It will be a tactile CLICK that you feel as you slowly release the trigger. Depending on the gun this tactile CLICK will be accompanied by an audible CLICK as well.


If you fail to hold the trigger to the rear after the shot breaks and let out only to the reset, or you completely remove your finger from the trigger after firing. Your follow-up shots will be slower, and you will have tendency to jerk or slap the trigger increasing the likely hood of missing your target.

In short follow through in shooting is essentially reaffirming the 6 other fundamentals between shots.

I hope these instructions on fundamentals have given you some insight on how to become better behind a gun. These are the essential building blocks that every shooter needs in order to build the skill of marksmanship.

For those of you who are reading these as a prerequisite for my VA Concealed Carry class I would like you to send an email or a text message to me listing the four rules as proof that you have in fact read the required prerequisite for the class.

Hold the trigger to the rear.

The Fundamentals: Trigger Press

The Fundamentals: Trigger Press

Of all the fundamentals, trigger press can be a thorn in your side no matter your experience level.

Improper trigger press is a frequent factor in shots that miss their intended target. From finger placement on the face of the trigger to using unnecessary amount of force to press the trigger straight and to the rear, and anticipating recoil. There are a few things that go into perfecting the way you press the trigger.

Let’s explore finger placement. The index finger of your dominant hand easily plays the most important role in firing accurate shots. The part of your index finger that should make contact with the face of the trigger, is the pad of your finger between your finger tip and first joint.


As shown in the picture above finger placement is important mainly due to leverage. When we press the trigger to the rear we are trying to push it as straight back as possible.

If to little of our index finger is on the trigger face the mechanics of our hand will put leverage on the far-side of the trigger (if right hand dominant this would be the left side of the trigger) this will in turn push the muzzle of our weapon slightly left just before the shot breaks causing our shots to hit left.

If to much of our index finger is on the face of the trigger the opposite will occur, our body mechanics will put leverage on the in-side of the trigger (if right hand dominant this would be the right side of the trigger) pulling the muzzle of our weapon slightly right just before the shot breaks causing our shot to hit right.

If our index finger is placed on the trigger face correctly, the pad of the index finger placed in the center of the trigger face. Then we have better leverage on the trigger and have less of a chance of pushing or pulling our muzzle off target.

Next is using the correct amount of pressure to press the trigger.

If excessive pressure is put on the trigger to fire the gun “jerking” or “slapping” the trigger occurs. This simply means the amount of pressure you are using is more than enough to cause the gun to fire and the extra pressure being put on the trigger will push or pull the muzzle off target similar to improper finger placement.

Trigger weights vary between different firearms. Some high tuned competition guns will only require a single pound of pressure to press the trigger while some self-defense guns, small revolvers for example require 12+ pounds of pressure.

Using the correct pressure in reality is using the least amount of pressure possible to cause the gun to fire. You don’t need to be informed of the trigger weight to apply the correct amount of pressure. Simply put a steady amount of pressure on the trigger, pressing it straight back, until the gun fires. It’s important to remember to hold the trigger to the rear after the shot breaks as well. After the gun fires, recoils, cycles, and chambers the next round slowly relive pressure from the trigger only letting the trigger out enough to hear it click. This click is called the reset, the gun audibly telling you It’s ready to fire again. The steady consistent pressure and holding the trigger to the rear after the shot breaks will help you not “jerk” or “slap” the trigger.

The most common problem that occurs with shooters and their trigger press is the anticipation of recoil.

No matter the experience level this will still happen from time to time. Shooting a firearm is unnatural to the way we are wired. It is not natural for us to contain small explosions in our hands, when we fire a gun our brain sends signals to our hands to help counteract those small explosions. In right hand dominant shooters an anticipation of recoil will result in shots hitting lower and further left than intended and in left hand dominant shooters, shots hit lower and further right than intended.

Counteracting the anticipation is only done though dry and live fire practice.

What I tend to do when I encounter someone I believe to be anticipating recoil. I have the person start with a unloaded weapon and do the same thing they were doing with live fire. Usually after a few dry fires they see how much they are flinching and pulling the muzzle off target. Seeing it for them self, or seeing it for yourself if you are self diagnosing helps your brain come to terms with these small explosions that occur while shooting thus reducing the tendency to flinch due to anticipating recoil.

We are all going to flinch from time to time, we all make mistakes and miss shots. The only way to get better is to train consistently. Just like anything in life the more effort you put in the more reward you will see.

I’ve also attached a video on trigger press from one of my favorite YouTubers below. Sometimes it’s easier to understand if you see it rather than read it.

Stay Consistent

The Fundamentals: Breathing

The Fundamentals: Breathing

Breathing is something we do constantly, so how is it a part of the fundamentals of shooting?

Breathing is a fundamental that doesn’t exactly come into play until you really start pushing your effective range, the distance you can accurately put rounds on target. At close ranges with a handgun (inside of 15 yards) your breathing makes little difference in your shot placement.

As we breath in, our lungs inflate and fill with oxygen. As we breath out our lungs deflate expelling a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and argon. While none of that information is pertinent to shooting. What does effect our accuracy is the fact that when our lungs inflate and deflate our body moves slightly


Just as we discussed in stance and grip, to fire accurate shots we need a stable platform from which to send those shots.

So should we hold our breath? Stop breathing?

Holding your breath will stop the slight movement of our upper bodies from our lungs inflating/deflating, but it also has a very negative effect as well. If we hold our breath as we try to press off that perfect shot, there is going to come a time where you can no longer hold your breath, and now your body will fight to get the oxygen it needs. Your eyesight will blur slightly, your focus will no longer on the front sight and your body will begin taking in air more drastically than normal and causing your upper body to move more than with normal breathing.

Our body has a natural respiratory pause, sometimes referred to as the bottom of your breath. Take a second, take a deep breath in through your nose and slowly exhale though your mouth. Once you reach the point where you cannot exhale any more, you have hit your respiratory pause. This is where your shot should break if accuracy at distance is your goal.

As I said in the beginning this truly only comes into play at distance, for new shooters shooting inside of 15 yards breathing is even simpler.

Don’t hold your breath, take deep breaths, get comfortable in your stance and grip, relax, and breathe.


The Fundamentals: Sight Alighnment

The Fundamentals: Sight Alighnment

Sight Alignment is one fundamental that really is as simple as it sounds.

Proper sight alignment is simply lining up your sights (front and rear) so they are both level horizontally and having equal space on both sides. Time after time you will hear instructors say, equal height, equal light, and focus on front sight.


I could just stop there and move onto the next fundamental, but let’s take a second and examine it a bit further. The importance of sight alignment increases with distance.


While an improper sight alignment won’t make very much difference at 3 yards it could very well be the difference of a hit and a miss at 15 yards. Distance will show your flaws, if you only shoot at 3-7 yards push yourself farther. Find where your shots are no longer hitting your target and work on your fundamentals there.

Just as I mentioned in the previous fundamental, (sight picture) take some time and practice sight alignment before you start a dry fire session.
After you have cleared your weapon, and removed any ammo from the room, pick a target, extend your weapon and line up the sights,
Making sure they are level and there is equal space between them, left and right. Remember FOCUS ON YOUR FRONT SIGHT!

During live fire if your shots are hitting directly left, right, above, or below, your point of aim. This is usually an issue with improper sight alignment.

Below is a short video illustration of where your shots hit in relation to how your sights are aligned.

Stay in line

The Fundimentals: Sight Picture

The Fundimentals: Sight Picture

Sight picture is simple to explain, yet somehow very difficult to master.

Not to be confused with the next fundamental, sight picture has little to do with how your sights are aligned, and more to do with where your eyesight is focused.

The proper sight picture explained is letting your eyes focus entirely on your front sight while both your rear sight and your target go slightly out of focus. Your view should be a nice crisp front sight on a slightly blurry target and slightly blurry rear sight.


It is impossible for our eyes to clearly focus on separate objects especially when those objects are at different distances from each other.

So why the front sight? Why not focus on your target? Or your rear sight?

If your focus is primary on your target, which in a stressful situation that is usually what happens. The orientation of your barrel in relation to your target will be off. Focusing on your target does absolutely nothing to ensure hits on your target.

If your focus is primary on your rear sight, while your barrel orientation may be slightly better than when your focus was on your target. It will obstruct your view of the target and add difficulty to making your shots connect with your target.

If your focus is on your front sight, In relation to your rear sight, front sight, and target; your front sight is what lies in the middle. If your focus is on your front sight it will enable you to have a sufficient view of your target while still
keeping your barrel orientated properly.

Good practice is the only way to learn this fundamental. Dry fire is a very good way build this skill.

After clearing your weapon and making sure there is no ammo in the room pick a decent sized target no smaller than a basket ball stand 3-5 yards away, hold your weapon out, on target, and without pressing the trigger just take some time, breath, and focus on the front sight. Don’t let your eyes travel back and forth between the sights and your target. Spend a few minutes doing this prior to pressing the trigger the first time and your accuracy will improve.

Front sight focus during live fire is a bit more difficult. When it comes to sight picture the most common problem I find with students is “chasing their shots.” Firing a shot, then removing their focus from the sight to see where their shot hit. The shift of focus not only slows you down but will inevitably cause your shot group to open up.

The only way to break this habit is practice, before I step up to the range, in my head or even out loud I’m saying to myself front sight, front sight, front sight.

Mentally preparing yourself, reminding yourself to focus on your front sight before live fire is a step forward in mastering your sight picture. Being mentally prepared is vital for training. If you constantly tell yourself to focus on the front sight on a static range, your training will kick in under stress. If your target ever becomes anything more than a sheet of paper hung on a piece of cardboard, this could save your life.

Stay Focused

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.



The Fundamentals : Grip

Your grip is the first building block of becoming more efficient behind a gun. Over the past few decades there have been a handful of different opinions on how you should grip your gun. As the times change, and weapons evolve your skills should grow and adapt with them.

If I’ve learned anything in my time around guns it’s over time things change, people find better ways of doing things and it’s better to be flexible and adapt to the change than be stubborn and resist it.

With that said they way I grip my gun, and the way I will be outlining on how you should grip your gun is currently the industry standard for proper grip while firing a semi auto handgun.

Building the proper grip starts with you dominant hand. A lot of instructors refer to your grip with you dominant hand as a master grip. A master grip simply refers to gripping the gun properly with only your dominant hand. With a proper master grip you should be able to fire you weapon with only one hand and mitigate the recoil as best as physics will allow.

What makes a master grip?

First you want to ensure your hand is as high on the gun as the gun will allow.


You want to get the web of your hand, the area between your thumb and pointer finger as high into the tang of the gun as possible.


Once you have accomplished this you will tightly wrap your “non shooting fingers” around the grip of the gun. Your grip should be tight enough to fire the gun without the risk of the gun jumping out of your hand. But not so tight that your hand begins to shake.

Now you will be left with a space like this.

Grip 1

This space or gap needs to be filled with as much as your non dominant or “support” hand as possible.

You accomplish this by rotating your support hand slightly forward, laying your support hand thumb along the side of the frame and resting your strong hand thumb on top of your support hand thumb. The next step is wrapping the fingers of your support hand over the fingers of your strong hand. This allows the palm of your support hand to fill the void left by your strong hand on the grip of your gun


This is usually referred to as a “thumbs forward” grip. It may not feel natural at first but over time you will notice how much more recoil you can mitigate with your thumbs pointed forward toward your target.

I understand that reading this may make it a tad difficult to understand so I would like to encourage you to click these two links below and watch a demonstration on proper grip from two of the most informative shooting instructors I’ve even found.

If you have never heard of Travis Haley or Chris Costa I highly encourage looking them up on you tube and purchasing their “art of the dynamic” series of DVDs.

The proper grip is vital to making your shots connect once the trigger is pressed. As you saw in the videos shooting with an improper grip is like working against physics. developing the proper grip will work with the mechanics of the gun, you want to remove as much of the path of least resistance as possible. With the proper grip the only way the gun should recoil is straight back. If you truly want to make your shots count and mitigate recoil to make faster follow-up shots, get a high tight grip with your strong hand, fill the void with your support hand, and point your thumbs toward your target.