Weaver vs. Modern Isoscles Shooting Platforms


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9mmepiphany
March 2, 2013, 02:24 PM
We get a lot discussion in threads about the two major shooting stances.

The word stance is a bit of a misnomer as it nominally refers to the placement of the feet. Both of the shooting platforms, in the thread title, use the same foot placement. If you are shooting with your feet placed drastically differently, you aren't really shooting from either stance...that means all you folks who are highly bladed ;)

The difference between the Weaver and the Isosceles shooting platforms is more about arm geometry, force vectors and their diametrically opposed philosophy of recoil management.

I happened to tun across an interesting Youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GewbIC2P8Hw) by Ron Avery, that he made in conjunction with HaleyStrategic, that gives a good explanation of the differences and thought I'd share it for your consideration and discussion. If you aren't familiar with Ron, here is his Vita (http://www.practicalshootingacademy.com/instructors/ron-avery-presidentdirector-of-training-2/)

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Legion489
March 2, 2013, 04:09 PM
What gets me is the "Weaver" is "new" and now we have the "modern", which is newer yet, while both were tried back in the 1920's and 1930's and written up in books from that time frame that show the EXACT same stances or forms. The target shooters got the press and both "Weaver" and ''modern" got forgotten. Of course every book I've read on pistol shooting in the last 20 years has the author "inventing" a "new" form of modern or Weaver and pushing it, but failing to figure out it was tried 90 to 100 years ago and dumped because it didn't work! Of course most of these fools only want to be different than the next guy, not better.

B!ngo
March 2, 2013, 04:27 PM
The human body is rather limited in it's ability to create a new geometry that will supplant either the Weaver (approximate right angle) or Isosceles stance. So every time I read of a new stance invention, I recheck the impact to the human form.
But I'd like to hear how much the isosceles stance was motivated by it being a superior shooting position versus it being an optimized position to be used when wearing modern body armor where you maximize armor coverage against the assailant.
B

9mmepiphany
March 2, 2013, 06:01 PM
But I'd like to hear how much the isosceles stance was motivated by it being a superior shooting position versus it being an optimized position to be used when wearing modern body armor where you maximize armor coverage against the assailant.
B
That shouldn't be very hard as the as the widespread use of body armor didn't become common until after the VN war. I'm thinking more soft body armor which made movement practical as opposed to the bulky Flakjackets from WW II...common in current movement tactics/doctrine.

The superiority of the Modern Isosceles (used to differentiate it from the old PPC stance) was proven in competition back in the 80s. We were still being introduced, in LE circles, to the new Weaver at that time and body armor wasn't fully accepted.

The military was much slower in training in the Modern Isosceles.

06
March 2, 2013, 06:52 PM
Target shooting is one thing and presenting a smaller target surface is another.

Plan2Live
March 2, 2013, 07:19 PM
Target shooting is one thing and presenting a smaller target surface is another.I know I'm not breaking any new ground here by my comment but since we are re-visiting the shooting stance version of the caliber vs capacity debate, and for the sake of those newer shooters who haven't heard the debate before, I'll ask the question. By smaller target I'm assuming you mean a profile placing your ribcage 80 degrees (or so) toward the assailant. So, if I present my slim ribcage to the assailant (Weaver) doesn't it make it more likely for one shot from the assailant to transect the torso shredding three vital organs in one shot rather than one organ per shot (if the assailant is super lucky) in the Isoscelese stance?

Hangingrock
March 2, 2013, 07:39 PM
http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc277/lowflash/ParrisIsland1964_zpsb546f860.jpg

Parris Island 1964 the old days two hand hold.

Walt Sherrill
March 2, 2013, 08:52 PM
My experience has been limited to some classes, a lot of IDPA matches; and a lot of reading -- and I think the most interesting reading was Brain Enos' "Practical Shooting - Beyond Fundamentals." (My military shooting was limited to the M1 Carbine.)

What I've noticed (mostly in IDPA matches, as a safety officer and scoring targets) is that folks who use the Weaver stance often do very well when shooting from a fixed position, when they are able to GET SET in the proper Weaver position.

But, when a right-handed Weaver shooter has to shoot from the left side of a barrier (or vice versa) or has to fire while crouched or from an unusual kneeling or supine position, that make it difficult to get all of the Weaver-required tensions working together, things don't always go as they should.

An acquaintance who has been working as a trainer/instructor for Special Ops troops at Fort Bragg for a number of years says they teach variations of the Isocoles stance with handguns or sub-machine guns. That isn't just theory: their training is based on real-world experience and feedback from the battlefields.

I've seen videos of a few matches with some of the top shooters in the gun games, too, and I don't think I've ever seen anyone using the Weaver stance, there. I think Brian Enos changed all of that about 20 years ago.

9mmepiphany
March 2, 2013, 08:55 PM
Target shooting is one thing and presenting a smaller target surface is another.
Can I surmise from your statement that you didn't read my description (second paragraph) or view the linked video...or did you just missed the subtle point that neither presents a smaller target surface.

You might be thinking of the Chapman shooting posture (sometimes referred to as a modified Weaver), which is based on the old rifle shooter's stance...which dates from armies lining up facing the enemy and firing in volleys...think the British Square. This did present a smaller target area, but current training doctrine values the ability to move and shoot over standing and delivering fire

OptimusPrime
March 2, 2013, 08:55 PM
HRock, that picture of Gunny will give me nightmares for sure! Cool pic.

9mmepiphany
March 2, 2013, 08:58 PM
Parris Island 1964 the old days two hand hold.
Ah, the infamous Teacup grip :rolleyes:

Hangingrock
March 2, 2013, 09:05 PM
Ah, the infamous Teacup grip

Yes but 49 years ago it was a step forward.

jim243
March 2, 2013, 09:46 PM
Yes but 49 years ago it was a step forward.

What he's teaching them will get them killed. Flat footed, face on to the guy shooting at you, wearing a brim that blocks your sights on the gun, with a grip that only works on revolvers, finger on the trigger (I hope he was planning on shooting what was in front of him, no helmet, no eye or ear protection), (real grunts don't need no friging protection).

What he should be teaching is to take cover first and don't expose more than 10% of your body and I mean HARD COVER, like walls, cars, tanks, trees, things that might stop a bullet or at least deflect it away from you.

Jim

Texshooter
March 3, 2013, 01:30 AM
Should not both, and permutations of each, be practiced by savvy 21st century shooters?

9mmepiphany
March 3, 2013, 02:54 AM
Should not both, and permutations of each, be practiced by savvy 21st century shooters?
Not really. You should be able to shoot from a variety of arm and body positions...however, your recoil management philosophy should not change.

A well rounded technique, that exemplifies this, is the Stressfire Star. When practicing the Star, you go from a rightly wound Chapman, through Isosceles and end up in a reverse Chapman.

Rexster
March 3, 2013, 03:13 AM
Ah, the infamous Teacup grip :rolleyes:
Actually, now that my aging right wrist is thoroughly scrambled, and I have largely gone to being a lefty, the snappy .40 recoil of my duty pistol hurts even when my right hand is the support hand, with the modern two-handed technique. I am now using my right hand for merely passive support before the shot, letting the pistol recoil freely in my left hand. (.40 is the mandated standard duty cartridge; I can accept it, or retire.) In my case, however, I had learned to shoot after teacup had been debunked, so I am not reverting to the old way, but learning it fresh. Anyone know of any good teacup tutorials! :) ;)

But, yes, I agree, regarding the grip-versus-stance issue. In the police academy in 1983 and 1984, we used an isosceles upper-body position, but our feet were not even; we positioned the support-side foot a half-step forward of the weapon-side foot, with up to a full step being OK with the instructors, if we were producing good results. Later, the training switched to the feet being more evenly-placed.

9mmepiphany
March 3, 2013, 04:05 AM
In my case, however, I had learned to shoot after teacup had been debunked, so I am not reverting to the old way, but learning it fresh. Anyone know of any good teacup tutorials!
The best Teacup shooter I've seen lately was Jay Lim from Season 2 of Top Shot. He gave it up after the show, but he does know how to do it very well

In the police academy in 1983 and 1984, we used an isosceles upper-body position, but our feet were not even; we positioned the support-side foot a half-step forward of the weapon-side foot, with up to a full step being OK with the instructors, if we were producing good results. Later, the training switched to the feet being more evenly-placed.
We switched back to off-set feet, following the lead of USPSA competition, in the late 80s...it is what separates the Classic Isosceles from the Modern Isosceles

Hangingrock
March 3, 2013, 10:30 AM
What he should be teaching is to take cover first and don't expose more than 10% of your body and I mean HARD COVER, like walls, cars, tanks, trees, things that might stop a bullet or at least deflect it away from you

Jim this was Forty Nine Years in the past. Parris Island may I add Basic Training and the recruits at the time period fired the 1911-1A for familiarization only it was that simple. Total of (14) rounds were fired. After Parris Island Marines of that period went on to ITR (Infantry Training Regiment) which gave them the Basic Infantry MOS of 0300 after that they went onto addition training in their military occupation. It’s easy to critique the past by the current standards of today. I could show you pictures of previous generations from WWI-WW2 & Korea just using one hand.

Walt Sherrill
March 3, 2013, 11:57 AM
Some added thoughts to my earlier comment:

The strength of the Isoceles technique arguably comes from getting the upper body right -- with the arms extended to form the two sides of the triangle. That lets you more easily manage recoil, and allows the gun to drop back down as it should, generally staying pointed at the target. Where your legs and lower body are positioned is less critical.

Arguing that Weaver or Isoceles is better or worse, because one or the other presents a bigger or smaller target is probably meaningless because -- 1) some folks may be wearing body armor, 2) the shooter may be aiming at your head or groin, 3) it assumes that the "bad guy" is standing directly in front of you, and 4) it implies there's only ONE opponent and you know where he or she might be.

Using the term "Stance" to describe any shooting technique suggests a "stand and deliver" mindset, when -- as another person has suggested -- you should be moving to cover, probably shooting as you go.

As for me -- I think I'll try to make my practice conform to what will probably happen in real life. In other words, I'll be shooting over my shoulder while running and screaming and crapping my pants...:)

Mikhail Weiss
March 3, 2013, 01:08 PM
I shoot both ways, but mostly Weaver/Chapman-esque in terms of arm position, sometimes with feet/hips squared to target, sometimes slightly bladed. I'm simply faster with W/C than Iso, by which I mean I'm faster from the holster to eyeline to target to first shot, and my recoil management is better, by which I mean the sights don't bounce up and down nearly as much.

When I torque my off-hand forward in thumbs-forward grip, shooting Modern Iso, I'm inconsistent with recoil management (thus the sometimes too-bouncy sights, which seems a practice issue), I often experience tendonitis, and I'm not as fast from the holster to eyeline to target to first shot. Something's just a teensy bit off enough that I don't see the sights as quickly during presentation. I suspect that, too, is a practice issue.

In terms of precision, I may be slightly more precise with Modern Iso (too close to call without a bit more comparison between the two), but in terms of practical accuracy, there appears to be no useful difference, at least not in my hands, between 3 to 25 yards, based upon my most recent range visit (hmm this is starting to sound once again like I need more practice).

Such things said, I continue to work on Modern Iso because I'm told it's great.

I like the Avery video. Thanks for posting it.

Soldiernurse
March 3, 2013, 02:17 PM
I prefer a side stance (vs sq stance) using one-handed shooting. Why? After RTC (failed) repairs x3 my left shoulder ain't worth a flip. Much, much practice time & my one-handed shooting ain't bad, ain't bad at all.

Too bad not more discussions on my preferred shooting style. :scrutiny:

Soldiernurse
March 3, 2013, 02:20 PM
To this day, the Army teaches the tea-cup, which IMO is a No Go. I hope the USMC no longer teaches same.

Rexster
March 3, 2013, 03:43 PM
Back to stance for a moment: SouthNarc, in a 2005 ECQC class, answered the stance question, posed by a student, "A stance is a moment in time. A stance is a moment in time."

Yes, he said it twice; that was not a double-tap on my part due to insufficient caffeine.

Notably, in his _Stressfire_ book, Mas Ayoob shows how one might morph seamlessly from weapon-side foot far to the rear, to the extreme reverse of that, if one's feet must remain in place due to environmental limitations. Snce reading that some time in the past century, I have made it a point to practice with my feet in a variety of positions.

Obviously, there is an an optimal position, but anything from deep mud to heavy ground-cover vegetation to a cluttered hoarder's residence might interfere with fast, flowing foot-work.

MachIVshooter
March 3, 2013, 05:43 PM
It's all very personal.

I shoot with a heavily bladed "rifle shooter's" stance; Left foot facing about 10* right of the target, right foot turned about 80* right of the targert, and almost directly behind the left. Both knees bent slightly, both elbows also bent. I can traverse 110* left and 170* right (using handgun, 110* and 120* with rifle) without changing the weight on each foot or becoming "bound up" and unbalanced. With Isosceles, it's 140* either direction with handgun. But with Isosceles, I am not terribly stabile in ANY direction, where with the bladed stance, I have stability similar to Isosceles from the sides, but much, much better from the front, whence the recoil is coming most of the time.

Bladed also allows dropping down on your knee without repositioning the feet. Try that with Isosceles.

For one-handed shooting, I blade the other way, and more severely; virtually a straight line down the arm and across the body, from muzzle to weak hand shoulder.

When we shoot in our drills, we obviously NEVER traverse past 90*, and usually not more than 45*. FOR ME, a very bladed stance works better with both handguns and rifles. However, as a rifle shooter first and foremost, it's easy to see the benefits. Try traversing toward your strong side with a rifle from the Isosceles; I bet most of you can't get past 60-70* without becoming unbalanced and/or uncomfortable.

That said, I'm 31 years old and fit, so mobility is good. Other people with less joint/spine flexibility, or carrying around a bit more "insulation" may be more limited, and find an unbiased stance prefereable.

Cosmoline
March 3, 2013, 05:51 PM
Parris Island 1964 the old days two hand hold.

Oh no! He's tea cupping that 1911! Someone should have corrected the gentleman.

Unless you're shooting in competition, it's really not that important what stance you use. And the type of firearm you're shooting has to be taken into account, along with your own physical quirks. Try a variety, train in a variety, and use what works best for you. And mix it up. Try some one handed techniques. Use a flashlight. Move around if you can.

9mmepiphany
March 3, 2013, 10:20 PM
Bladed also allows dropping down on your knee without repositioning the feet. Try that with Isosceles.
So does the MI and the Original Weaver. They taught the technique with the Weaver at Gunsite when I attended a 250 class. I just used it out of the MI this afternoon during an IDPA match stage. The COF was 6 shots standing, reload and going to kneeling, 6 more shots before another reload and going prone. Bladed shooters (we have a lot of Front Sight alumni) had to assume a one-knee down position to avoid being off-target without having to reposition their feet, while MI shooters just dropped to their knees while still facing their targets

For one-handed shooting, I blade the other way, and more severely; virtually a straight line down the arm and across the body, from muzzle to weak hand shoulder.
Interesting, as I used to do this also. Since utilizing the MI, I now just maintain my body position and extend my shooting arm forward...there really isn't a need to switch sides. Plus blading to shoot one-handed is unduly torquing the body and interferes with rapid movement

Try traversing toward your strong side with a rifle from the Isosceles.
The MI when used with a long gun, as currently utilized in the military is based on balanced movement. When you reach the end of your comfort range, you just step forward (or back) and turn the stepping foot in (or out) to face the target

MachIVshooter
March 3, 2013, 11:41 PM
Bladed shooters (we have a lot of Front Sight alumni) had to assume a one-knee down position to avoid being off-target without having to reposition their feet, while MI shooters just dropped to their knees while still facing their targets

That was my point. Dropping onto one knee is controlled; dropping to both knees is an abrupt, disruptive movement. Getting up from a one-knee kneel is also faster and more fluid. It's not like I haven't tried it both ways.

The MI when used with a long gun, as currently utilized in the military is based on balanced movement. When you reach the end of your comfort range, you just step forward (or back) and turn the stepping foot in (or out) to face the target

Again, that's the point. I can traverse almost as far weak side and MUCH further strong side without repositioning my feet from a bladed stance. It is nigh impossible to go 90* strong side with a rifle from the isosceles without moving your feet (unless you switch hands)

There were 6 of us shooting today. Some of these guys like Isosceles, some MW. I'm more bladed than any of them. Guess who had the best times? :D

I don't discourage people from using other stances if it works for them. But for me, blading heavily is the most controlled, most balanced and most accurate.


ETA:

All the stance stuff is fun to talk about, but I think we should point out that it pretty much flies out the window in more advanced simulations. Trying to shoot under a vehicle or around cover, stances are simply not used, nor are they when shooting on the move. That said, I do blade my torso a bit when shooting and moving.

9mmepiphany
March 4, 2013, 12:24 AM
All the stance stuff is fun to talk about, but I think we should point out that it pretty much flies out the window in more advanced simulations.
Than perhaps we can drag it back to the original point of the thread...and mostly the reason I posted the video.

Do you push-pull as taught in the Weaver doctrine or utilize a more uniform arm geometry?

MachIVshooter
March 4, 2013, 12:32 AM
Do you push-pull as taught in the Weaver doctrine or utilize a more uniform arm geometry?

Push-pull. I very much strong-arm guns.

I actually tend to move my body and handle most things with much more force than necessary. Not sure why, and it does make for more painful miscalculations in movement; not uncommon for me to skin a knuckle on door trim when reaching for a light switch.

Ankeny
March 4, 2013, 12:50 AM
Do you push-pull as taught in the Weaver doctrine... Short answer is no. The discussions about this stance vs. that stance will continue. Beginners need a place to start and the basics of grip, balance, and stance are the foundations of a working shooting platform. Fact is, if the bore of the pistol is in proper alignment with the target face, and if the bullet leaves the bore without disturbing the alignment, you will get the hit unless the target moves. Doesn't matter if you use the Weaver, modern iso., or the ruptured egret stance.

In my experience, those shooters who have a solid foundation, a superior shooting platform, and the most miles behind the gun, seem to have the best chances of getting the hit under less than ideal shooting conditions. Of course I am talking about the square range. FWIW, the fundamental shooting platforms of the vast majority of our best "practical shooting" champions are very similar. Like Ron Avery said, "The choice is yours."

Bill4282
March 4, 2013, 01:00 AM
Everybody knows that Marines are bullet-proof per the DIs so a straight on sighting stance is OK. As a boot, we got to fire 7 rounds of .45 and, at the time, only NCOs got to carry .45s in place of M16s. All iron sights, everybody had a bayonet. SNCOs got a Kabar.

9mmepiphany
March 4, 2013, 03:37 PM
Push-pull. I very much strong-arm guns.

That is what I would have guessed...it is a personal control issue. As Avery said, you have to make your own choice for your comfort zone.

It really is a philosophical decisions between control vs. management; brute force vs. efficiency

holdencm9
March 4, 2013, 08:18 PM
9mm, thanks for starting this thread. It has been interesting to read. I agree with you that "stance" is somewhat of a misnomer. It is more about the philosophy.

When I first started shooting pistols, I was all about the weaver, without even knowing it. For feet and arms. When I started to try getting serious about it, reading things online, and I adopted the Isosceles philosophy in the arms, I greatly improved. It was a revelation to realize, "Wow, I don't need to fight the recoil, I can just accept it" or manage it, as you say.

I still sometimes revert back to weaver feet (modified isosceles?), but apparently my torso is still twisted toward the target, and I maintain the isosceles arms somehow.

Regardless of which "stance" someone chooses, I think the argument (in favor of weaver) that the weaver presents a smaller target to the bad guy...is rather weak.

9mmepiphany
March 4, 2013, 10:09 PM
I adopted the Isosceles philosophy in the arms, I greatly improved. It was a revelation to realize, "Wow, I don't need to fight the recoil, I can just accept it" or manage it, as you say.
That is the reason my shooting philosophy evolved also.

Avery has an interesting take of taking the recoil with the forward leaning body, rather than fighting against it with your arms...something I've never heard before.

My background is in Internal Power martial arts and leans more toward accepting the recoil through correct structure and transferring it downward into the ground.

I think it is just a Western vs. Eastern perception of power transfer

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