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Fundamentals of Hold Control
Lessons cover
(The Fundamentals of Hold Control, Revolver Versus Semi-Auto Grip, Revolver Grip, Semi-Auto Grip, Grip Pressure Ratio, Bad or Dangerous Methods for Gripping the Pistol, Fit the Gun to your Hand, A Perfect Fit, Recoil,  Stance and Bench Rest Positions, Weaver Stance, The Isosceles Stance, Summary of Stance, Bench Rest for Sighting in your Gun, Bench Rest Position as a Training Tool, Bench Rest Position for Home Defense, Steps to Sighting in your Gun, Using a Bore Sight)
Weaver Stance imageIsosceles Stance image

Quick view of STANCE:
Stance is one of the critical variables in shooting accurately.  Most of the time shooters who sit and bench-rest their guns are far more accurate than when they attempt to shoot from a standing position. 

When first attempting to shoot at targets, begin from the sitting position to eliminate the standing variable.

perfice bench rest position

Perfect Bench-Rest Position
See "Fundamentals of Hold Control"
Then go to;
(Bench Rest Position as a Training Tool)

on the sidebar.

Sit erect and raise the gun to align with your eye line-of-sight. Don’t bend over to align your sights on the target, and don’t raise the gun too high that you need to bend your head back to align the sights on the target. 

By combining the sitting position with proper grip, breath control, and aiming, you can perfect those variables before you rise up to a standing position. You will have increased confidence when you add the standing position.

Once you have developed accuracy bench-resting your gun, you can assume a standing position. There are really two proper standing positions for civilian shooters, Isosceles and Weaver.

The Isosceles Stance, is based on the "isosceles triangle." Anyone steeped in mathematics, engineering or drafting, would have encountered the use of an "isosceles triangle".

Isosceles Triangle

So what is it, it is a triangle where two of the sides are of equal length, forming equal angles, similar to this image. The two longer sides come together with the shorter base to form a strong triangle, that can be easily pivoted.

This same triangle is created by using your body and out stretched arms hands gripping the pistol. This makes the Isosceles stance a naturally defensive stance that provides excellent coverage in most directions by simply rotating the upper body, to pivot and pan an area. If you were to look down upon a shooter with an Isosceles stance it would appear to be a triangle as shown below.

Isosceles Stance & triangle

Isosceles Stance

Forming a triangle from shoulders to grip.

In the Isosceles stance the arms are locked out in front of you.  One thing you need to remember is that a two-pound gun in your outstretched arms weighs nearly five pounds at that distance. Like baseball players who swing weighted bats before coming to bat to make the bat feel lighter, you might train with a five-pound hand barbell sitting home watching TV!  It will build up your arm muscles so that when you get to the range your muscle tremors will be less holding your gun!

Using the Isosceles stance obviously puts the gun sights further away from your eye. Depending upon your eyesight, this could be either good or not so good. (We’ll discuss more of this in the section on aiming.)

The other recommended stance is called “Weaver” after the name of the man who invented it, Jack Weaver. It is a much more mobile stance allowing greater freedom of movement. You have undoubtedly seen it on TV, especially in “24”!

Jack Weaver 1950s

Weaver Stance

The Weaver stance was developed for competing in "Leather-slap" tournaments in Big Bear, Calif., during the late '50s. Over a period of 3 years, he tried different things until he hit on the winning combination, the use of a two-handed grip with opposite tension from both hands. Weaver's push pull, grip stance provided speed, stability and accuracy, and he started dominating the "Leather-slap" tournaments.

Weaver Stance Position

Full Isosceles Triangle Stance with support foot

in front of the firing foot.

Frontal view of Isosceles Triangle

Frontal view of Isosceles Stance

Isosceles Triangle Grip

Isosceles Stance Grip

Another view of Jack Weaver

Weaver Stance Grip

Frontal Jack Weaver Stance

Frontal Weaver Stance

Full Jack Weaver Stance with foot in front of the other

Perfect Weaver Stance with support foot

in front of the firing foot
Really bad stance

Really bad stance!

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Peter M. Friedman*
NRA Training Counselor, NRA Law Enforcement Handgun Instructor, LEOSA HR218 Firearm Requalification, CA BSIS Guard & Firearm Training Instructor, NRA Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun Instructor
(925) 818-6642
email us
*Former Deputy – San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept.
*Member – Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Posse
*NRA Life Member 140506318

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