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Instructor said not to lock her elbows

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Dr_2_B, Jul 23, 2008.

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  1. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Member

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    Watching guns & ammo tv or something like it the other night. A lady instructor was teaching another lady to shoot a semiauto and mentioned in passing, "make sure you don't lock your elbows." We all know about different stances; weaver, isosceles, modified isosceles, etc. etc. etc., but I hadn't heard it presented as taboo to lock your elbows. Have I just missed it? Where's she coming from on this?
     
  2. Thernlund

    Thernlund Member

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    I've never heard that either. Hmph.


    -T.
     
  3. Gas Operated

    Gas Operated Member

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    I don't lock my elbows.
     
  4. WVfishguy

    WVfishguy Member

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    The instructor was Julie Goloski, champion competition shooter, sponsored by Smith & Wesson. She probably shoots better than anyone on this forum, so I'd listen to her...:p
     
  5. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    I don't lock mine either. Alot of my practice is holding the gun in close, with a little cant, with my elbows bent at right angles.
     
  6. weisse52

    weisse52 Member

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    I went to a CCW class in Ohio where the instructor wanted everyone to lock elbows. I never thought about it, but then again I never did it.

    I just seem to remember being taught never to lock elbows, and it stuck.
     
  7. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    it wasn't too long ago that folks were taught to lock their elbows in an attempt to control recoil...you can't. recoil can only be managed..that is allowing the gun to recoil, but allowing it to return to the point of aim for a followup shot.

    if you lock your elbows, you're directing the recoil through your elbows and back to your shoulders and to your body. you're just beating yourself up and disrupting your whole shooting platform prior to the follow up shot. competitive shooters have found that unlocked elbows allow faster and more accurate shots
     
  8. dwave

    dwave Member

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    I was taught not to lock your elbows by a man who spent 20 years in the military, my Dad. Seems to work well for me.
     
  9. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    The classic "Weaver Stance" as developed by LAPD pistol champion in the late 1950s Jack Weaver stressed slightly flexed elbows, with the upper body turned slightly towards the target and the supporting hand pulling back as the gun hand pushes forward.

    The locked elbow technique is part of the "Isoscoles Stance" where the shooters make a perfect triangle with the arms and upper body.

    The Isosceles Stance has been popular with game shooters for years. Old school instructors, such as the late Jeff Cooper, denounced it as lacking the stability of the Weaver. I happen to agree with this notion.

    Anyone who seems surprised at being advised to avoid locking the elbows must be fairly young to not recall the Weaver Stance.

    If the advice was to form an Isosceles posture in all respects save locking the elbows, then that's a new one on me.
     
  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    i think you're refering to the Isoscoles Stance...that Cooper was also refering to...as practiced in PPC target shooting

    the modern Isoscoles currently used in competition...i'm thinking Enos was one of the first to use it...and taught by most large LE agencies does indeed teach unlocked elbows

    this is Bruce Gray teaching it at a recent class

    [​IMG]
     
  11. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine Member

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    I agree.
     
  12. VegasOPM

    VegasOPM Member

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    Again, it is a function of what they are trying to teach. Go to a USPSA Nationals, and NOBODY locks their elbows. Most folks there use the Modern Isosceles, but the Weaver stance doesn't lock elbows either. The bent elbows act as shock absorbers and keep the recoil linear. Go to Camp Perry and everyone locks their elbows. One handed shooting pretty much mandates it.
     
  13. FieroCDSP

    FieroCDSP Member

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    Is THAT what I've been doing wrong??!!!?!!?! :banghead:
     
  14. Disaster

    Disaster Member

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    Exactly. Two handed quick defensive shooting...don't lock your elbows. One handed target shooting do.

    Another example is offhand target rifle shooting. You lean backwards to create a balance...press your elbow to your chest. In defensive rifle shooting you lean forward...elbows out.
     
  15. C. H. Luke

    C. H. Luke Member

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    "Where's she coming from on this?"

    Julie also has an article in 'DPA's "Tactical Journal V-12 # 1" concerning "Freestyle Stance", etc. She specifically mentions using the arm, shoulder & chest muscles to help control recoil and ... not locking the elbows.


    "I strongly discourage it because of the stress it places on the elbow joints, and in turn may lead to injury. I have found the isosceles position with my arms (arms form the two sides of an isosceles triangle when extended) to be the best way to be able to control recoil while still maintaining the ability to transition from left to right quickly."

    From:


    http://www.idpa.com/tj.asp?ID=177
     
  16. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Member

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    The gun's recoil momentum must be absorbed by the gun's motion and the motion of your body/body parts.

    If you have very strong wrists then you can lock your elbows and hold your wrists perfectly still and all the pistol's recoil momentum will be transferred through your arms to your body resulting in a negligible impulse. If your wrists are that strong then you probably don't have to worry about your elbows either. ;)

    For those of us who aren't superman, locking your elbows just means that your wrists will have to dissipate nearly all the gun's momentum. That will mean a lot of muzzle flip and it will also mean that your wrists will have to drag the gun down out of recoil and reposition it for the next shot. That's fatiguing and it's also hard to do consistently because of the wrist's range and "variety" of motion.

    By leaving your elbows unlocked, they can absorb a good bit of the recoil, taking a lot of the pressure off your wrists. There's a lot of strength in your upper arm muscles that can be used to absorb the recoil momentum--much more strength than you have in your wrists.

    In addition, your elbows don't have nearly as much variety of motion as your wrists. Elbows bend and unbend, they can't bend in multiple directions like a wrist can, they can't rotate like a wrist can. That means when they bend, they unbend back pretty much to where they started. There's not a lot of twisting and torquing involved which means that the gun will tend to track back onto target better if you keep your elbows unlocked and let them do the work of absorbing the recoil and pushing the gun back onto target.
     
  17. slustan83

    slustan83 Member

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    I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say I'd do almost anything Julie Goloski told me to do. ;)
     
  18. RNB65

    RNB65 Member

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    I shoot Isoscoles and don't lock my elbows. I used to lock them year ago, but discovered thru trial and error that I shoot better with slightly flexed elbows.
     
  19. Eric F

    Eric F Member

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    Well no suprise here. Julie is of the D R Middlebrooks tactical shooting acadmey. D R has developed a form of shooting called fist fire. Look here for more information. www.tacticalshooting.com this form of shooting has the "no locked elbows" technique. ok so the site seems to be down right now but do an internet search for it it is there in Surry va.
     
  20. TNT.45

    TNT.45 Member

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    I prefer to lock my Jeep when I have a gun in it...lol
     
  21. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I was combat-trained not to lock elbows. Primary shooting stance was the Isoscoles stance, but we did not lock in any other (at least, not with handguns.) I doubt I could shoot very accurately if I tried with elbows locked; would be too "foreign" to me.
     
  22. Harley Quinn

    Harley Quinn Member

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    Never lock your elbows or your knees, it is a rule/law:what:
     
  23. XDKingslayer

    XDKingslayer member

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    +1

    +1000
     
  24. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    Interesting because you would not know it from these pics.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  25. Saab1911

    Saab1911 Member

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    Thank God. I tried locking my elbows, but I cannot tense up the rest of
    my arm and be loose with my trigger finger. So, when I lock up my elbows,
    my trigger control suffers.
     
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