What’s Your Stance on That?

Shots on-target trumps how you stand.

posted on September 9, 2023
Sheriff Jim Wilson

There was a time when gun writers entertained the readers by arguing the merits of the Weaver stance over the Isosceles stance. Fortunately, those days are behind us, for the most part. I understand that later in life, even Col. Cooper regretted that he made such an issue of stance.

What you really need is a good grip on the gun and a body position that allows you to manage recoil and get back on target. You may have noticed that some of us are tall and skinny. Others are short and stout. While others might be described as tall and, well, let’s call it “robust.” In addition, some of us exercise and stay in shape while others not so much. All of these things affect how one handles a gun effectively in defensive shooting.

So, what you do is try several techniques to see what works for you, and try them through several shooting sessions, arms straight, arms bent, an isometric grip or not. With all of it, just make sure that your body is in an athletic stance so that you can move quickly when you need to. These practice sessions will settle the issue for you because will soon identify the technique that allows you to shoot quickly and accurately.

In addition, you might keep in mind that crooks like to make their approach when a person appears to be least prepared to respond. Therefore, you might not be able to get into any shooting stance when the need arises quickly. Imagine that you are reared back in your recliner when the door flies open and trouble comes in. Exactly how do you do a Weaver Stance while in that position? And taking the time to stand up before responding might be a big mistake in terms of precious time wasted.

So, once a person has begun to get a handle on the basics of defensive marksmanship, it might be a good idea to realistically imagine the various positions from which one might have to respond. Let’s imagine that you are a person who is packing a few extra pounds and, at the moment, are wedged into your favorite booth at the corner cafe. In addition, you are carrying your favorite shooter in a front pocket holster. Exactly how do you plan to make an effective response when the shooting starts?

You might be sitting, kneeling or lying flat of your back when the need to defend yourself arises. You might have seen trouble coming, or you might not. You need to give thought to these issues and how you will respond. It may affect your shooting technique, your carry position, and even the gun you choose to carry.

Give it some thought and be prepared. When you have successfully defended yourself from a violent attack, only a fool would come up and critique your stance.


GX4 Graphene
GX4 Graphene

First Look: Taurus GX4 Graphene

A unique new graphite-based coating sets this pistol apart.

The Proper Order

Take some time to learn about your new gun before deciding it needs an upgrade.

Glock Gunsite Service Pistol

Jeff Cooper was never a fan of the Glock. He considered the 9 mm caliber an antique cartridge and the Glock a disposable, plastic gun. Then, Glocks started to show up at American Pistol Institute, later to be renamed Gunsite.

Rifle Roundup: FN America FN15 Guardian Rifle With A Swampfox TriHawk Optic

And we’ll honing our rifle skills by using the Mantis Blackbeard dry fire training system.

First Look: Buck Knives 663 Alpha Knife

Buck has another fixed-blade option to consider.

First Look: SOG Ether FX Blade

A minimalist fixed blade knife built for a variety of uses.


Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.