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Basic Two-Handed Shooting Stances

Grifter

Custom
Founding Member
Shooting stance is a very subjective topic. If shooting from cover in a life or death situation, none of the listed stances in the article may be appropriate. Have to learn to adapt to whatever the situation warrants.
 

KLGunner

Moderator
Staff member
As I agree stance is important I’d have to say in a defensive situation like from cover or something then stance isn’t gonna help you. As stated above you need to adapt and overcome based on situation. Now that being said i will also say I do agree that we need to train with stance at the gun range. The stance is designed to allow for follow up actions.
 

LM1982

Alpha
Founding Member
Agreed! Shooting for X rings is a whole lot different than shooting on the move or from cover to save your life.
I have to agree also. Basic stances are not going to help in a life or death situation. Basic stances are for target shooting at an indoor range where they frown upon practicing life saving techniques.
 

WEarp45

Alpha
Founding Member
The correct stance is very situational in terms of an immediate threat you might face. In my experience, threats may emerge so quickly that you really only have time to point and shoot. So, I think you should train with the stance that supports your ability to be the most accurate with the understanding that circumstances will often dictate your combat reactive shooting position.
 

Peglegjoe

Professional
Founding Member
My stance "sucks" as far as textbook goes. I grew up on an archery range and a 22LR range, but no real pistol work till later in life. My standing shooting was archery, where you draw a line from your rear heel, through your front toe, to the target - you do not face the target.

I fight that every time I'm at the range with my pistol.

I've gotten it to where I have a decently-squared stance, but still tend to shoot left-foot-forward about half a step, and weight on my front foot. My left elbow (support) is slightly bent, with a straighter trigger arm (right side). I still shift my windage by moving my rear foot and pivoting on the front foot, instead of twisting at the waist - that rotates my whole core and I don't have to "hold" the position, I simply shift my structure. Not "correct" according to the book, but it's the way I was taught when I was a pup on the archery range.

I'm on target and consistent, so it can't be all that bad....and nobody openly laughs or points at the range, so....
 

FlatEarthFred

Operator
Founding Member
My stance "sucks" as far as textbook goes. I grew up on an archery range and a 22LR range, but no real pistol work till later in life. My standing shooting was archery, where you draw a line from your rear heel, through your front toe, to the target - you do not face the target.

I fight that every time I'm at the range with my pistol.

I've gotten it to where I have a decently-squared stance, but still tend to shoot left-foot-forward about half a step, and weight on my front foot. My left elbow (support) is slightly bent, with a straighter trigger arm (right side). I still shift my windage by moving my rear foot and pivoting on the front foot, instead of twisting at the waist - that rotates my whole core and I don't have to "hold" the position, I simply shift my structure. Not "correct" according to the book, but it's the way I was taught when I was a pup on the archery range.

I'm on target and consistent, so it can't be all that bad....and nobody openly laughs or points at the range, so....
Hey, if you're hitting, it can't be too bad a stance!
 

SMSgtRod

Professional
Founding Member
At the church it worked well that a stance could have been used. But another few seconds and one could
find themselves shooting over, around or under a pew. That's why I try to go one handed. Strong side, weak
side and get center mass or maybe a head shot at different distances. Most likely what ever you practice
for is not what you will face so try to learn to adapt quickly. Like driving to the grocery. No two trips
will ever be exactly the same. Yet we get there and home safely each time.
 

Wrangler jk

Alpha
Founding Member
I'm sure my stance is all wrong. I've watch videos of people shooting, the way they grip the pistol, the way they stand, the way they just do everything from start to finish. And I'm no where near them. I can hit my targets though and when I was shooting every other weekend my groupings were decent. 7,15,25 yards is what I shot.
 

SMSgtRod

Professional
Founding Member
I'm sure my stance is all wrong. I've watch videos of people shooting, the way they grip the pistol, the way they stand, the way they just do everything from start to finish. And I'm no where near them. I can hit my targets though and when I was shooting every other weekend my groupings were decent. 7,15,25 yards is what I shot.
Big thing I think is to not get knocked over backwards as I see it. Lean forward in to it and grip tight. I think we
have a lot of differences in stance when age is calculated in to the mix.
 

TSiWRX

Master Class
I found this video (which is an excerpt from his training DVD series) by D.R. Middlebrooks to have been absolutely fascinating:


I'm relatively new to the shooting sports myself, having started only really in the last part of the last quarter of 2010, so being able to see this history/evolution was really, really interesting to me. :)

But with the bigger picture?

In-reality, with handguns, "the grip" is the foundation of recoil mitigation. Yes, that recoil will find the weakest link and that energy will try to take its easiest way out with ANY break in the chain between your hands and your feet (where the energy is literally transmitted to the ground) - high-speed video taken with an app like Coach's Eye will show you this in an absolutely unflinching manner, as guys like John "Shrek" McPhee and Joe Weyer will coach you to do in their classes. But if you don't have your that grip set to begin with, your stance is the least of your worries.

Why?

Because you can easily shoot excellent single shots with your grip (and everything else) completely compromised, but with your mission solely on the sights and trigger. Without the limitation of time, one should then be able to shoot a perfect group (which is simply the aggregate of X rounds that are each individually shot perfectly), with absolutely no recoil control whatsoever.

Proof?

I'm fond of citing this little demo by one of my favorite local instructors, Andrew Blubaugh of Apex Shooting and Tactics:


Take note of Andrew's BSA template - specifically, his distance-to-target and the size of his target.

This video is ostensibly about stance, but it shows that, in-reality, the single shot is all about the trigger and the sights.

The universal truth is [ Sight Package ] + [ Trigger Path ] = [ Hit ].

How well you are able to perfectly execute the left side variables in that equation translates directly into the amount of deviation from your POA that prints downrange on the right.

With handguns, we only interact with the gun via our grip, so that's where recoil control begins, and that's where grip really counts. But grip, like stance, is sexy. It sells, and that's why so many focus so much on grip and stance. But knowing that trigger path is much, much more important: knowing just how much you can get away with it is the difference between an experienced shooter, and one who is less so, as in many scenarios, your stance will be variably compromised.

Does this mean that I'm never going to practice getting into a good stance?

Hell no. I'm going to practice a good stance every single chance I get, even when I'm shooting a .22LR.

Why?

Because that is the foundation.

And if I *can* get that good foundation, why wouldn't I do it? To get that shot, I'll take EVERY advantage I can get, and if getting into a good, stable stance (or other body position) is something that I can cheat and get? Yeah, I'll definitely take it.

I've posted some of these pictures before, at the Handgun Enhancement Clinic run by Chris Cerino - History Channel's Top Shot's favorite bridesmaid: runner-up in both Seasons 1 and All Stars - in the winter of 2012.

These next two pictures are both from early on that night - notice how far apart my feet are spread. I'm in a black short-sleeve T-shirt and blue jeans, ballcap and OD Howard Leight Impact Sport earmuffs, shooting my full-size XDm9, second lane from the right......

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So that's when Cerino came over and gave me some rather uncomfortable loving...... 😅 😁 :ROFLMAO:

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Notice how much closer he made me scoot my feet.

Would you believe he then made me put my feet together for the rest of the night?

Guess how much worse I shot?

Yeah, no worse (but not any better, either :p).

Stance is way on the bottom of that checklist - but it's also the basis of our foundations.

Don't get carried away with it. But don't totally dismiss it, either. ;)
 
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