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Weaver vs. Isosceles Stance?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by wally, Jan 20, 2005.

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  1. wally

    wally Member

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  2. hillbilly

    hillbilly Member

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    They are both good stances, and they have their tradeoffs and uses in different situations.

    What I get leery of is when "gurus" start saying Weaver only or Isoceles only.

    hillbilly
     
  3. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    As long as safe and stable - either or mix of both.

    WWFY ..... (what works for you)
     
  4. DMF

    DMF Member

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    I wonder how old that document is. I know Isoceles is the stance trained by most fed LE, and is what the SEALs teach, and the last time I was on an AF range they were teaching Isoceles too. For long range, get a long gun. For short range (ie, anything you would use a pistol for) use a natural, and stable platform, which is the isoceles or modified isoceles (aka field interview) stance.
     
  5. straightShot

    straightShot Member

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    I like the safety tip at the top of the page:

    Sheez.
     
  6. esskay

    esskay Member

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    For some reason, I've always found the Weaver to be most comfortable and natural for me, but generally I'm more accurate shooting from an Isoceles stance.
     
  7. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    I was always taught to use the weaver. Does anyone have a good technical write-up of the Isoceles? (specifically hand placement, technique, etc)

    Have a good one,
    Dave
     
  8. OF

    OF Member

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    The Weaver has it's uses, but it is undeniable that the ISO is an overall superior platform.

    Simply put, if the Weaver was superior, people would be winning practical pistol matches with it, and they're not. It just doesn't hold up.

    The only people I find who are more comfortable in Weaver are those who have been using it their whole lives and have difficulty getting away from it for whatever reason - which is perfectly understandable. I was a Weaver guy at one time.

    - Gabe
     
  9. OF

    OF Member

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    I don't have any real 'technical' write-ups on the ISO, but I'll do my best at describing what I shoot and teach - there are almost as many variations on the stance as there are people out there :)

    Feet about shoulder width apart, squared to the target. Some bend to the knees. I tell my students to imagine they're going to shoot some foul shots on the basketball court or something. One of the great things about the ISO is that the lower body position is almost irrelevant, so assume whatever lower body position makes you most comfortable or is most applicable to your current environment. The same can be said for your arms: some people completely lock out their elbows, some have a slight bend, some like a pronounced bend. Use whatever works best for you, whatever feels most comfortable - but try everything before settling on one position.

    Square your shoulders to the target, try to keep them down in their sockets and not hunched up. Bring the gun up to your eyes, not your head down to the gun. If I'm teaching a defensive-oriented class, I ask people to assume a bit more of an aggressive forward lean and a little more hunch to the shoulders and hunch down to the headd, more for mind-set sake than anything; for sport shooting, you really want to be completely relaxed, head up, almost standing straight up. Weight on the balls of your feet, but not leaning forward more than feels comfortable.

    Grip is strong-hand high on the gun, strong-hand thumb high on the frame (riding on the safety if you have one there). Support hand very high on the gun (nobody gets this right at first. get it waaay up there), support hand thumb pointed straight out at the target, not touching the gun - just floating in air. Your support-hand wrist should have a pronounced downward cant to it so you can get your fingers under the trigger guard. If you open the fingers of your support hand, they should point out at almost a 45-degree angle towards the ground. Fill in all the space on the support-side grip with your support hand plam as much as possible and as high as possible. Really surround the gun with the meat of your hands. It should look like the gun is disappearing in your grip, with just enough room for the slide to cycle out to the back. If you can see any part of the grip/frame, it should be at the bottom, not the top or the middle. Your grip should be high enough with both hands that the bottom of the grip might well be sticking out of the bottom of your hands.

    When shooting one-handed, either strong- or support- many people blade away from the target at 45-degrees or so. I used to do this, but lately I have been getting great results by just staying in the normal squared-off stance and just removing the unused hand (bringing it in tight to the chest). Much more comfortable and feels more aggressive and controllable.

    There is no pressure in the hands in a good ISO grip. No 'push-pull' or any of that nonsense. Some grip more with the support hand than the strong hand, I grip 50/50. What you don't want to be doing is gripping more with the strong hand. Go 50/50 or tighten up the support hand and losen the strong hand. The goals are: repeatability, being as neutral as possiblea and maintaining trigger finger control.

    Don't muscle the gun. Don't fight the recoil. Allow the gun to recoil almost freely, without any extra effort on your part to control it. With a good neutral grip and a good index, the gun will return on its own to the target with out being pushed there faster than you could get it back if you tried. If you over-muscle the gun, you'll find it not returning to the target properly. You'll be re-adjusting for each shot as the muscle tension moves the gun to wherever your muscles push it - and it's not going to be back on target, it'll be off by whatever amount your grip is imperfect. If you're squeezing a hair more with your left hand this shot than you were, the gun will be off because of it. The more neutral you can keep your grip, the more the gun will function like a machine in a rest - recoiling back to it's starting position each time, ready for the next shot with little or no adjustment on your part.

    Always keep your head/gun and hips moving together as a unit as much as possible, working as one - like a turret on a tank. Turn your body from the hips to your next target, pushing yourself around with your knees and legs. That upper body working as a single unit (head/torso/gun - especially head/shoulders/gun) is what provides your index, it's what keeps the firing platform consistent from shot to shot and allows you to shoot with your vision. You see something you want to hit, you turn to face it and the gun is right there. You can shoot anything you can see as fast as you can turn to face it.

    That's all for now.

    Hope this helps,

    - Gabe
     
  10. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Really? On what facts do you base that statement?

    The purpose of the Weaver stance (as it has evolved, not the original intent) is not to win practical pistol matches. Rather, from the law enforcement point of view, the Weaver is naturally achieved from the FI (field interview) stance, in which the officer is at an angle to the interview subject, keeping the gun side away from the subject. There are many options for fast action from the Weaver, and in many respects, it's far better than the Isoceles (especially when you are very close to an uncooperative or combative subject, and you need to access your handgun or other equipment, i.e., handcuffs, baton, OC, etc.).
     
  11. OF

    OF Member

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    Like I said, the Weaver has its uses, but as a shooting platform, it doesn't stack up. If the goal is to get better hits faster, the ISO has shown itself to be a superior platform for achieving that. If the goal is something other than that (like keeping your gun away from a subject, for instance), then there is an argument to be made for all sorts of other platforms or techniques specific to certain situations.

    But as a general shooting platform, the ISO is state-of-the-art. The people getting the fastest, most accurate hits today are shooting from an ISO variation.

    That's not to say that the Weaver (or any other platform) doesn't have it's place, it most certainly does. The more tools available to the user the happier I am. But each tool or technique should have its strengths and weaknesses fully understood. And the strength of the ISO is making rapid accurate hits on targets, movement, adaptability, weapon manipulation, etc. In other words, shooting.

    I should also make clear that I'm no 'purist' when it comes to shooting stances. Frankly, I think the whole concept of a 'stance' is a little silly. I believe more in a general shooting framework than a true stance, which is almost never achievable in any off-the-range situation. For me, flexibility is the key, having a broad-ranging set of tools and techniques available to you and understanding when to use what and where.

    - Gabe
     
  12. C. H. Luke

    C. H. Luke Member

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    "...it is undeniable that the ISO is an overall superior platform."

    IPSC is a "running" sport, so sure something like ISO is more adaptable when banging away at a whole slew of targets all over the place on one of their 30+ round "Field Course's" using comp's and wimpy PF ammo.

    That proves nothing in the real World. Try to push someone in a good Weaver and then push same in ISO. Weaver will recover quickly and solidly, ISO they just fall over.
     
  13. Ankeny

    Ankeny Member

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    The old iso stance from the 70's like us PPC shooters used was not real stable and it's out the door. The modern ISO stance is what GRD is talking about. Weight slightly forward on the balls of the feet, left foot (if you are right handed) slightly ahead, etc.

    IPSC is not just a running sport. In fact, the classification system is built around short courses with little if any movement. For shooting one or multiple targets from a stationary stance, the modern iso is used far more often than a Weaver becasue it is more stable and allows for better recoil control. When used properly the modern iso is really a "natural action stance" like many athletes use in various sports. It is rock solid. The modern iso works well when leaving a spot, arriving at a spot, on the move, and standing still.

    FWIW, the modern iso and grip in use by IPSC shooters today was developed under the old power factor when guys shot real ammo out of pretty much stock 1911 .45 autos. The stance evolved to achieve better control of hard recoiling guns. The Weaver vs. ISO debate is tired and worn out. Use what works for you.
     
  14. MrAcheson

    MrAcheson Member

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    With all due respect, real combat shooting is a running art as well. If you aren't moving you are a stationary target. This is foolish. So any stance you can easily move with is highly desireable in the real world.

    Something no one seems to have mentioned yet is body armor. With Weaver you often have your chest at an angle from the target. With iso your shoulders and chest are square with the target. Now let us assume that your target is either shooting back at you or could do so. It's a good assumption since you probably shouldn't be using lethal force otherwise. If you are wearing body armor this means you are opening up your (probably unprotected) side to incoming fire. A good iso stance means the area of your chest exposed to incoming fire is covered with body armor. So shooting iso is preferable to weaver because it maximizes your armor protection. This is why most military and law enforcement types like iso, it is assumed their people will be wearing kevlar.

    But really you should be shooting with what you can hit with best anyway.
     
  15. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    I've always felt that one of the advantages of the Weaver stance was that it was a natural stance to someone who does a lot of rifle work. It just feels "natural" for the rifle-shooter.

    That said, I've watched a lot of folks at IDPA matches who are committed to the Weaver stance really have problems when they have to shoot around the weak-hand side of an obstacle or barricade, or have to shoot from any position that doesn't let them assume the "Weaver" stance they grew up with.

    I suspect there are times when Weaver might be superior -- as in a "Bullseye"-type match -- where you can really get set and speed isn't absolutely critical. In many other venues it seems less effective.
     
  16. Kruzr

    Kruzr Member

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    I use this grip and stance:

    Grip and Stance
    The guy teaching this has seemingly done "OK" with it.
    ;)
     
  17. OF

    OF Member

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    Ankeny is on the money when says this horse has been beat and beat and beat.

    Suffice it to say, Luke, that there's more to a shooting platform's evaluation than what happens when you try to push on someone. And your 'take' on IPSC sounds like the textbook 'I'm a combat shooter, I don't play silly games' cop-out, to be frank. The 'you can't control a real man's gun from ISO is just nonsense. I shoot 230gr. out of a 5" .45 making a PF of 195, and I'm not an oddity out there. The fact of the matter is, there is not a single Weaver shooter ranking in any modern 'combat' or 'practical' pistol game. Not one. And you're hard-pressed to come up with a list of any size of trainers still teaching Weaver. Even the state-of-the-art in carbine and subgun stances are moving more and more towards the squared-off ISO stance and farther away from the Weaver/traditional rifle-type stances. Why? Better recoil control, better hits faster.

    ISO is more stable, easier to assume under stress, makes controlling heavy-recoiling guns easier, gives the shooter a symetrical platform - making left or right-side cover easily negotiable, is highly mobile, makes better use of body armor, does not destabilize under recoil, is faster into and out of positions, better for shooting while moving, gives the shooter a wider available arc of engagment, etc etc etc.

    - Gabe

    PS: If we're going to discuss this, at least do it civily. Lose the 'you don't know what happens in the REAL WORLD' garbage.
     
  18. XD Niner

    XD Niner Member

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    GRD,

    Thanks for the great explanation of the Iso stance and grip. That is the best I've seen and I know it will help me greatly. :)
     
  19. dmftoy1

    dmftoy1 Member

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    GRD, thanks for the write-up. I'll have to mess around a bit the next time I'm out shooting.

    Regards,
    Dave
     
  20. Grump

    Grump Member

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    Perhaps its the old smallbore rifle experience creeping in, but I still wind up trying to drop my stronghand elbow down and in a bit, so the inside edge is about even with the side of the pistol (in rifle, elbow _directly_ under the rifle went out by the late 1970s). How bad is that?

    Having read Ayoob at a young and impressionable age, I also still drift towards pulling back with my support hand. Is that really bad, or does it just not bring any benefit? I no longer "grind" it, but I really want to "pre-tension" the front of the grip away from recoil.

    Conscously letting the gun recoil back has helped me reduce the muzzle-punch of anticipating the shot.
     
  21. OF

    OF Member

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    You are very welcome. I'd recommend seeing if you can find someone to show it to you in person, too. It's easy enough, but can be hard to describe.

    - Gabe
     
  22. Grump

    Grump Member

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    I'll need to check--doesn't Jerry Barnhart, "the Burner", use a modified Weaver?

    Also need to check if he's still competitive. Just might have to re-subscribe to that "turdsucker" magazine. :cuss:

    Edited 'cause the wrong quote got in there. :uhoh:
     
  23. C. H. Luke

    C. H. Luke Member

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    "Suffice it to say, Luke, that there's more to a shooting platform's evaluation than what happens when you try to push on someone."

    You're pretty full of yourself aren't ya'.... :rolleyes:
     
  24. OF

    OF Member

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    Grump,

    I'd suggest really trying to keep that strong-side elbow symetrical with the support-side one. If you're going to drop the one, drop the other too. If the symmetry isn't there, you're likely to see the gun not returning properly after the shot. If you are doing the exact same thing every time, it will be less of an issue, but if that elbow is kind of wandering around, it might be an issue at some point. Depends on your current skill level. As you get more and more proficient, smaller details will start to make more of an impact. I can get away with pretty much anything, because I suck. :) Ankeny should chime in for you, he's the man.

    Re: pulling back with the support hand: you want to avoid this as well. You should actually have the sensation that both your hands are pushing forward, just a bit. Your support side hand is firm on the gun from all directions, not pulling it back at you with your arm. The only rearward pressue is from your fingers on the front of the grip.

    - Gabe

    PS: Luke:
    Funny. I was going to say the same thing to you, but was trying to stay polite. We were discussing this all nice and civil-like before you dropped your wisdom on us about what 'works on the street' and how IPSC is just a 'running game'.
     
  25. BamBam-31

    BamBam-31 Member

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    I'm also more comfortable with the ISO stance. I began shooting much more accurately once I switched from Weaver to ISO, but that's just me.

    My BIL and SIL are Homeland Security, and they're taught to shoot ISO. Instructor said that if you're talking to someone, you're already squared up with them anyways. Then it's just draw and shoot. (But wouldn't you have time to drop into a Weaver stance during your draw anyways?)

    Anyways, I show both stances to new shooters and let them choose which is more comfortable/effective for them.
     
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