How To: Pistol Stance

Ever needed a "how to: pistol stance" guide? There are various stances named after the person or school who introduced them to the shooting public. Some are quite popular, some have gone more or less out of vogue. Some people will tell you that the Weaver stance is the best, some people will tell you the Isosceles stance is the best, or the modified Weaver. There is not enough room in one article to discuss them all, and they all can be the "right stance" if it fits your style, body shape, and fitness level and pistol. Below are the basics of the pistol or handgun shooting stance.

  1. Determine proper foot placement. Your dominant foot can be slightly ahead of the other foot and at a slight angle to the target. The other foot should be comfortable and providing stable support. Some prefer the feet form something of a triangle if you look down between them and imagine lines from toe to toe and heel to heel. Above all it should be a comfortable and provide stable foot placement.
  2. Legs should be slightly flexed. Your legs should be flexed slightly to create that stable platform which can easily move in any direction needed. The slightly crouched stance is stable, yet allows movement and shooting at the same time.
  3. Body leaning inwards slightly.  You should be leaning slightly inward with your shoulders ahead of your hips to to create balance and to keep the handgun steady under recoil. This also helps align the arms and shoulders to bring the handgun into natural alignment with the eyes. Some special stances will require that the body be angled.
  4. Keep your head high. Keep your head high and facing the target. Your eyes should be on an equal plane with the sights of the handgun when arms are extended.
  5. Shooting arm will be extended. The shooting arm is extended in the direction of the shot. Some special stances will have the dominant shoulder at an angle to the target, either towards or away, and some have the shoulder squared towards the target.
  6. Support hand placed properly. If using a two handed grip the support arm will be extended and hand placed in the proper support grip. If using a one hand grip the support hand can be placed in various positions depending upon comfort. Some advocate the hand on the hip, and some advocate the fist balled and pressed into the chest, providing counter pressure to the push of the shooting hand in a push/pull motion.

Those are the basics of the handgun shooters stance. From here the shooter can find out what works best for them. Study the different stances and see if one fits you. The most important thing is practice. Take the time and effort to practice and you will get better.



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