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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
From the moment I starting shooting handguns some 37 years ago I have shot using nothing but the Weaver Stance when not shooting singlehanded. I find it the most comfortable, precise and natural way to shoot a handgun it also affords a tactical advantage, you are not presenting your whole body as a target since your body is on an angle when performed properly. Now it seems some would like to do away with the Weaver by replacing it with the Isosceles extolling the virtue of being able to maneuver easier while engaging multiple targets. I can safely say I can and have engaged multiple targets all while using the Weaver Stance without difficulty or hindrance. So, what's up with all this Isosceles stuff and what's your stance?
 
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I've always done Weaver, but have been trying the "isosceles/straight on" stance for a while now to see if it makes a difference for me.

Some prominent USPSA/IPDA shooters advocate facing the target directly, for the reason you mention and others. I don't shoot competitively so that doesn't matter to me, but am always trying to learn more. I cannot yet tell if changing stance has improved my ability. I'll probably keep trying forever.

Apparently there is more than one way to shoot a pistol. Most cowboys in the movies had great results using just one hand and shooting from the hip....
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This may be the crux of the matter, shooting steel is far and away different from combat or real life self-defense scenarios. For those that wish to square their shoulders and offer a perfect target for an adversary or assailant I salute you, as for me no way, not gonna happen, ever! As for Old West Pistolsmiths, they taught themselves instinctive shooting skills which anyone who wishes to can teach themselves as well.


Some prominent USPSA/IPDA shooters advocate facing the target directly, for the reason you mention and others.
 

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Weaver for me here. Fortunately I have never had to engage multiple targets, let alone a single target, but Weaver has always just felt more natural for me personally. No right or wrongs here, whatever works for you is GTG. I am far from an expert with anything of value to offer other than an opinion.
 

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Modern Isoceles (bent knees, shoulders forward getting upper body behind the gun; as opposed to traitional isoceles standing erect) has become more popular with law enforcement in the past decade, as it is easier and more natural when shooting on the move, especially when shooting on the move fast. You cannot move fast with your body bladed as in Weaver. It just is not natural. And, for law enforcement - squaring off with the target presents an area more covered and protected by body armor, whereas blading to the side as in Weaver present gaps in the body armor as targets. Dash cam video has shown that even shooters well-trained in Weaver will revert to Isoceles in a startle attack, because it works off the body's natural startle reflex. Check out Instructor Rob Pincus videos on YouTube and his own PDN - Personal Defense Network website for lots of info on Isoceles and reflexive startle response.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I am a firm believer in what works for one may not work as well for another, I also believe any method that leads to consistent and accurate shot placement is key. My concern is in self-defense applications when presenting more a target of yourself than necessary. I also take into consideration most miscreants learn to shoot by watching TV or playing video games but that is changing. I also find it more than concerning those I watch at my local ranges whose mutations of grip, body posture and stance frightening, they always seemed perplexed when there are less holes through the paper than bullets let loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Excellent reply, I WILL check it out! I'm always willing to learn something new but WE civilians generally don't wear body armor. I do have to respectfully dispute being able to move quickly using the Weaver, it's an acquired skill but achievable.


Modern Isoceles (bent knees, shoulders forward getting upper body behind the gun; as opposed to traitional isoceles standing erect) has become more popular with law enforcement in the past decade, as it is easier and more natural when shooting on the move, especially when shooting on the move fast. You cannot move fast with your body bladed as in Weaver. It just is not natural. And, for law enforcement - squaring off with the target presents an area more covered and protected by body armor, whereas blading to the side as in Weaver present gaps in the body armor as targets. Dash cam video has shown that even shooters well-trained in Weaver will revert to Isoceles in a startle attack, because it works off the body's natural startle reflex. Check out Instructor Rod Pincus videos on YouTube and his own PDN - Personal Defense Network website for lots of info on Isoceles and reflexive startle response.
 
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There are two things that have put me off about the isosceles stance. One being able to maneuver in tight spaces like turning corners in hallways. The other is the law of physics of inertia. When needing to quickly swing from left to right, it is slower to rotate your body with your arms extended holding your pistol and the likelihood of over travel past your target is greater requiring more time to get back on target. Then there is the question of weapon retention. Seems like it would be a little easier to be disarmed with your weapon presented at arms length if it were to come to that.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That, then this, it occurred to me why I'm so very fond of the Weaver, when you carry an Assault Rifle you cannot carry one in Isosceles only near to Weaver, it's muscle memory, the weapons you carry in combat should enable you to carry them in like fashion if not you only add to confusion, combat is no time for confusion. I'll add this, most Cops do not train or shoot nearly as much as many civilians, in some instances only once a year while re-qualifying, even the SRT/SWAT friends I have usually only shoot/train twice a month. I can see the advantages in the Isosceles for those who don't practice much and the issues with body armor.


There are two things that have put me off about the isosceles stance. One being able to maneuver in tight spaces like turning corners in hallways. The other is the law of physics of inertia. When needing to quickly swing from left to right, it is slower to rotate your body with your arms extended holding your pistol and the likelihood of over travel past your target is greater requiring more time to get back on target. Then there is the question of weapon retention. Seems like it would be a little easier to be disarmed with your weapon presented at arms length if it were to come to that.
 
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That, then this, it occurred to me why I'm so very fond of the Weaver, when you carry an Assault Rifle you cannot carry one in Isosceles only near to Weaver, it's muscle memory, the weapons you carry in combat should enable you to carry them in like fashion if not you only add to confusion, combat is no time for confusion. I'll add this, most Cops do not train or shoot nearly as much as many civilians, in some instances only once a year while re-qualifying, even the SRT/SWAT friends I have usually only shoot/train twice a month. I can see the advantages in the Isosceles for those who don't practice much and the issues with body armor.
Good point. Never really crossed my mind about the similarity between the Weaver and my normal rifle stance. Just seemed natural.
 

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All of the current breed of highly acclaimed combative pistol instructors are teaching Isoceles. These names include Rob Pincus, Travis Haley, Jeff Gonzales, Larry Vickers, Dave Harrington, Todd Green, and a host of others I'm forgetting off the top of my head. These guys are also teaching a forward Isoceles-type stance with the rifle. I challenge anyone here to find a current widely recognized combative instructor who still teaches and advocates Weaver. (The only one I can think of is Clint Smith). I was a die-hard Weaver shooter 15 years ago, when I switched to Isoceles and never looked back.
 

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I wish I had more handgun training. I liked the dynamic handgun vid ( Legion/Mag ). I shoot a deformed style of weaver, ( or try to ) with me leaning forward . I had watched some ex Mil guy's one time at a range and they were shooting this way. Fact of the matter is I suck at shooting "pistola" unless I practice constantly. Even when I'm shooting well, I have to work at it or it seems a plethera of poor diciplines effect me. I have always been interested in this question and never seen it come up on the board. I have a few budds that I shoot with, build guns with, load ammo with and they always shoot better than me. You can quickly see the difference in HG accuracy between "Many" years of practice and a " Few " years of practice! I believe both of them use the Isoceles... I just never have been trained professionally. I just never have gotten comfortable with it !
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I'll stick with the Weaver a truly combat proven stance one which served me and my brother Rangers quite adequately IN combat. One can train for months on end spending countless dollars, if you never have the opportunity to put that training to the test will you ever really know what you paid for? I trained with the Weaver and fought using it, it works without flaw for me, no question. I have also found a great many "experts" to not be experts at much more than making videos, offering made-for-TV training and taking peoples money. As for the so-called "natural" self-defense posture so often repeated in the videos, if you stand that way in a real fight you'll get knocked off your feet and be on your rear-end or face in a nano-second, it goes against human physiology (skeletal structure) and balance. Unless one is a freak of nature, the rest of us plant a foot for balance and stability before we throw a punch that same balance and stability is how one should stand to shoot IMHO. I wish Col. Jeff Cooper were still around, arguably one of the most influential men involved in real world shooting, I think he'd get a kick out of those videos. If there are any brother Rangers currently serving or recently separated reading this I'd like to hear what's being taught today, Weaver or Isosceles?
 
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Rob Pinucs is the only one I know advocating feet on the same line. Paul Howe explains it best in the video below:

All of these guys have real world experience; they're not just posers selling DVDs.
Pincus was Army & LE, Paul Howe in the above video has over 20 years US Army Spec Ops, Jeff Gonzales is a decorated SEAL and Naval Special Warfare instructor, and Travis Haley is 14 years Marine Force Recon.
I highly respect the late Col. Cooper for his opinions and paving the way for handgun training. I have taken courses at Gunsite, and like I said, was once a die-hard Weaver shooter; until I took a Gonzales course and discovered that modern Isosceles just worked better for me in every way.
 

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Interesting topic.

Blackhorse and I were just recently discussing this very same subject. I believe he teaches at the Front Sight academy in AZ. I think he told me they teach the modified Weaver but the academy doesn't force any particular stance on anyone. They do recommend the modified Weaver stance.

I grew up on the weaver stance but later in life adopted the modified weaver stance.

I have been taught the isosceles but find myself reverting back to a modified weaver stance, particularly in high stress situations.
 

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I grew up on Weaver then was taught Iso.

Nowadays I just use a modified iso/weaver stance.

Start in iso, take a small step back on strong side.
Works with body armor and without.

It lets me start advancing if I need to or transition to hand to hand if need be. (Yes, I've smacked people before with my duty gun, my fault for letting them get too close)

Works with handguns and rifles (don't even bother getting the shotgun out anymore)

I can engage multiple targets standing still or moving towards them (I really really need to train with some moving away but I just can't, I'm always engaging the threat).

If I have to move right (I'm right handed), I'll shoot at targets with both hands on the gun. If I have to move left, for some reason I am facing left with my right arm extended and engaging with my gun turned sideways. Weird, I know my coworkers have commented on it, but for me it works.


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forgot to add, I have no idea what's being taught now in Ohio's police academies (especially with the joke of a qualification course they've imposed). We haven't hired anyone that was a gun virgin and we haven't sent anyone to the academy in years. Every new person we've gotten since I've taken over firearms already has some experience and unless they are screwing up, I won't change what works for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I spent about an hour last night researching the subject, what I found was those that are trained in Military H2H, Martial Arts, Boxing etc. tend to favor the Weaver as it more closely resembles the stance taken while fighting/training and this could explain my preference for the Weaver or simply because it is the stance originally taught. However, I also practiced the Iso stance and grip last night, I will toy with the modified/combat Iso concept in the near future. To be honest I am somewhat hesitant of tampering with a skill that allows me to be here today but I won't be pigheaded or stubborn to the point of not accepting change or evolution.
 
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