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Weaver vs. Modern Isoscles Shooting Platforms

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by 9mmepiphany, Mar 2, 2013.

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  1. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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 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
     
  2. Legion489

    Legion489 member

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    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.
     
  3. B!ngo

    B!ngo Member

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    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
     
  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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.
     
  5. 06

    06 Member

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    Target shooting is one thing and presenting a smaller target surface is another.
     
  6. Plan2Live

    Plan2Live Member

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    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?
     
  7. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    [​IMG]

    Parris Island 1964 the old days two hand hold.
     
  8. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    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.
     
  9. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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
     
  10. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Member

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    HRock, that picture of Gunny will give me nightmares for sure! Cool pic.
     
  11. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Ah, the infamous Teacup grip :rolleyes:
     
  12. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    Yes but 49 years ago it was a step forward.
     
  13. jim243

    jim243 Member

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    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
     
  14. Texshooter

    Texshooter Member

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    Should not both, and permutations of each, be practiced by savvy 21st century shooters?
     
  15. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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.
     
  16. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  17. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    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

    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
     
  18. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  19. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    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...:)
     
  20. Mikhail Weiss

    Mikhail Weiss Member

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    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.
     
  21. Soldiernurse

    Soldiernurse Member

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    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:
     
  22. Soldiernurse

    Soldiernurse Member

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    To this day, the Army teaches the tea-cup, which IMO is a No Go. I hope the USMC no longer teaches same.
     
  23. Rexster

    Rexster Member

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    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.
     
  24. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    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.
     
  25. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
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