Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Shooting Stances

Before I go into any more of my personal history with handguns, lets talk a little bit about shooting stances.

When I joined the Army fill-time in 1976, they were still teaching the old one-handed Bulseye stance for shooting pistols.  Basically, like you've seen the duelists in the movies, you held the pistol out in one hand, turned your head to align with your arm, sighted the pistol and fired it with one hand.  Not the most accurate way to shoot, but that's what we were taught.

What they didn't teach us (or tell us, for that matter) is that Jeff Cooper, a budding writer in Californai had begun trying to evolve the Modern Technique back in 1957. (Yeah, that's 20 years earlier).  Cooper started holding matches at the at the L.A. County Sheriff's Mira Loma pistol range.  A deputy named Jack Weaver evolved a stance that used two hands.  You can go to the linked page to learn all about it,but Weaver had evolved something revolutionary, and started winning everything that wasn't mailed down.

In 1977, when Copper formed his new range, the American Pistol Institute, he published the Weaver stance and started teaching it.  You might know that range now as Gunsite, the premier firearms training facility in the US.

I was taught the Weaver Stance in 1981 during a firearms qualification and thought it was wonderful stuff.  It was easy for me to shoot the Weaver, because it mimicked the rifle stances and shotgun stances I had already learned. Body at about 45 degrees to the target, both hands on the firearm, support hand doing the work, strong hand operating the pistol.  It seemed a natural.  It still does.

Yeah, yeah, I know that the Isosceles stance has taken over the pistol shooting world, but it's a relative newcomer.  First popularized by Rob Leatham and Brian Enos in the 1980s, we weren't taught it until the early 1990s, and by then I was firmly a Weaver Stance kind of guy.  I still have to talk myself into the Isoceles stance, falling naturally into the Weaver.

Jerry Miculek uses the Isoceles and talks down about the Weaver stance.  Jerry is good, probably the best pistolero in the US today.  If you're going to shoot a pistol today, learn the Isoceles.  It's a good stance.  But, it will probably never surplant the Weaver for the old dinosaurs like me.

We'll speak no more of this.


SPEMack said...

Well, as a young guy who was half assed taught isosceles in OSUT (2006); I still shoot Weaver, because hey, it works.

Anonymous said...

I shoot Steels down at Rio Salado gun club every Tuesday night. Rob is a fixture and instructor there. It's a real treat to see him shoot a stage. Simply amazing how fast he is, without ever hurrying.

Old NFO said...

I flop back and forth depending on what I'm doing... So I'm screwing them both up... sigh