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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I was watching another firearms instructor teaching a small group of students today. And he was teaching the common forward stance were your shoulders are more or less square to the target. After he was done with his class I proceeded to train a few of my own students. Once finished this instructor approached me and asked " why are you teaching that older side stance" and for those who don't know the side stance was taught for many years. Its were the side of your body faces the target more or less.

I thought this brought up a great issue. Most now days are trained in the newer forward stance. This stance is most common and comes from the military and police training. The older side stance was taught when we didn't have bullet resistant vests. The idea is to make yourself a narrower target. The forward stance is for when you have a bullet resistant vest. Thus putting the part of your body best protected by the vest toward the aggressor and this makes sense.

But barring the addition of a bullet resistant vest a side stance in my opinion should be taught as well. Just as I believe one should be taught to step right, fire and step right and fire. This is because most aggressors and people are right handed. And it has been shown that right handed shooters tend to shoot high and right when under stress. Thus by you stepping right the aggressors rounds will likely fly over your left shoulder.

Anyway, I digress, my point here is we should consider the merits of the stance we take and train in both. If your wearing a vest then take the forward stance. If you don't have a vest then fall back to the older side stance. Just my thoughts and thought I would share….

I'm sure you noticed I don't call it a bulletproof vest, that's because there is no such thing. Its just a pet peeve of mine…
 

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I was a firearms instructor for many years before moving up the ranks into supervisory roles with the federal government. I worked at FLETC and with agents at the stations with requalification's and I agree with everything you say. The older shooters will fall into a weaver style stance and the new shooters will go with the Isosceles. I wouldn't correct the older shooters because they were qualifying for years in that stance so why change it. My own opinion, I think the weaver is better for revolvers and the isosceles is better with autos. As for the better use of armor I would argue that a glancing blow is better than a straight on hit because their is no guarantee that the vest will stop the round. It's bullet resistant not bullet proof. A smaller target is better and using cover/concealment is best. New advances in vests have improved and the argument that the sides are vulnerable have been greatly reduced although exposing a shoulder is never good, just ask a deer.
 

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I thought the most common defensive shooting stances taught take advantage of a persons natural instinct to hunch when startled. If we all hunch when startled then recovering and assuming a stance would take more time than incorporating that initial reaction into the stance. It is also a natural reaction for a person to turn towards what ever it was that startled them. Which might also explain the more squared up to target posture that seems to be common.

I could be wrong...
 

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I thought the most common defensive shooting stances taught take advantage of a persons instinct to hunch when startled. If we all hunch when startled then recovering and assuming a stance would take more time than incorporating that initial reaction into the stance. It is also a natural reaction for a person to turn towards what ever it was that startled them. Which might also explain the more squared up to target posture that seems to be common.

I could be wrong...
Common with the Israelis. It is called the Israeli Lean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was a firearms instructor for many years before moving up the ranks into supervisory roles with the federal government. I worked at FLETC and with agents at the stations with requalification's and I agree with everything you say. The older shooters will fall into a weaver style stance and the new shooters will go with the Isosceles. I wouldn't correct the older shooters because they were qualifying for years in that stance so why change it. My own opinion, I think the weaver is better for revolvers and the isosceles is better with autos. As for the better use of armor I would argue that a glancing blow is better than a straight on hit because their is no guarantee that the vest will stop the round. It's bullet resistant not bullet proof. A smaller target is better and using cover/concealment is best. New advances in vests have improved and the argument that the sides are vulnerable have been greatly reduced although exposing a shoulder is never good, just ask a deer.
I had a conversation with my father regarding this and training was a big part of his job in the SF. Because most vests leave the sides unprotected it is thought that a direct hit is better than risking the side impact when wearing amour. That's the way he explained it to me and it seams to be perfectly logical to me. But hey, I could be wrong….
 

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With many vests the sides are thinner or fold over front over back that could catch and direct a round inward. Also many vests really only have protection in a small breast and back plate. The newer armor that is being issued has more of an overlapping protection using lighter stronger materials. When I was working out in Ajo, AZ there was a young Park Ranger named Kris Eggle that was killed. Short story is he went up against a Mexican gunman armed with an AK-47, he with a shotgun. He was struck with a single round that hit his service radio bounced off and slipped between the plates in his armor cutting a major artery and he died before we could get to him. This was back in 2002.
 

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This issue was brought up during a class I took a few years ago. The people taking the class were not LEO or military and did not wear any bullet resistant vests. The thoughts of the instructor were that while you are a smaller target with a weaver stance, the odds of a survivable injury from a gun shot would were far less with the weaver stance. The reason being that you may very well suffer a double lung shot in that position. It makes sense to me, but personally I would prefer to not get shot in the first place.
 

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I do what's comfortable at the time, but I was taught the Weaver stance, then the Modified Weaver. Though I do find myself gravitating toward Isosceles because it's generally more comfortable and I'm more relaxed, especially now that I'm getting older and things just don't move like they used to. I also like Isosceles when I'm on the move, I get a better "radial swing" where Weaver makes me feel more constrained, inhibited by the need for good footwork and favoring coverage toward the strong side. Isosceles is more forgiving, at least for me.
 
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This issue was brought up during a class I took a few years ago. The people taking the class were not LEO or military and did not wear any bullet resistant vests. The thoughts of the instructor were that while you are a smaller target with a weaver stance, the odds of a survivable injury from a gun shot would were far less with the weaver stance. The reason being that you may very well suffer a double lung shot in that position. It makes sense to me, but personally I would prefer to not get shot in the first place.
Cover and concealment. Moving is also a very good thing to. I really like shooting on the move drills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
This issue was brought up during a class I took a few years ago. The people taking the class were not LEO or military and did not wear any bullet resistant vests. The thoughts of the instructor were that while you are a smaller target with a weaver stance, the odds of a survivable injury from a gun shot would were far less with the weaver stance. The reason being that you may very well suffer a double lung shot in that position. It makes sense to me, but personally I would prefer to not get shot in the first place.
I have been shot and trust me when I say its no fun....
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Cover and concealment. Moving is also a very good thing to. I really like shooting on the move drills.
I am with you, we do a number of such drills. I also like shooting from odd positions.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yes sir, even taken a couple magazine and put a stop in them so they quit feeding after 3-4 shots. Use dummy rounds and a number of other things so students get used to dealing with issues on the fly... Its funny to watch us sometimes...
 
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I always like it when you get someone that can make a pretty little group until you make them move for the first time or create a malfunction and their response is raising their hand for help. plinking only shows you how much ammo costs. Train like you fight and fight like you train. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, sounds like your dad is a great teacher.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think something else that’s often overlooked is the training you can do at home in front of the TV. Take your weapon and clear it, very important to make sure its clear! Then practice drawing and acquiring a sight on say a light switch. Pull the trigger watching closely what the gun is doing. You can speed up your target acquisition and correct problems with this simple exercise. Do not do this with a rim fire weapon BTW only center fire.
 
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I think something else that's often overlooked is the training you can do at home in front of the TV. Take your weapon and clear it, very important to make sure its clear! Then practice drawing and acquiring a sight on say a light switch. Pull the trigger watching closely what the gun is doing. You can speed up your target acquisition and correct problems with this simple exercise. Do not do this with a rim fire weapon BTW only center fire.
Dry firing, favorite of the SF guys. I do this as well in front of the TV and mix it up a bit by waiting for certain characters on the TV to present themselves and practice draw, sight alignment, and trigger control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I always like it when you get someone that can make a pretty little group until you make them move for the first time or create a malfunction and their response is raising their hand for help. plinking only shows you how much ammo costs. Train like you fight and fight like you train. I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir, sounds like your dad is a great teacher.
Oh he used to make me so mad, he was a hard man and expected perfection. When I was a kid I resented the way he pushed me to train and learn all I could. I am so thankful that I finally realized why and learned to appreciate the training and skills he passed on to me. Its funny to me now to think about those mornings in the middle of a cold rain and doing position drills in the mud. I didn't think it was funny at the time but you learn to tune out those issues and fight forward….
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Dry firing, favorite of the SF guys. I do this as well in front of the TV and mix it up a bit by waiting for certain characters on the TV to present themselves and practice draw, sight alignment, and trigger control.
Yep, I do the same thing. It works wonders and its value cant be overstated.....
 
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Although I usually use the weaver stance since that is what I was trained to, I think the main consideration is what works best for you. A few random thoughts: I do think that some people need to keep in mind that there is a big difference in combat firing and self defense. In most states if you perform fire and maneuvers towards the person you are engaging you might find yourself in prison. Once you start moving TOWARDS the guy it could be argued that you are not defending yourself, you are not standing your ground, you are attacking someone. Remember, you have to deal with lawyers, the government, LEO, and the others who don't think you should be able to own a firearm in the first place. I read somewhere that the average number of rounds fired in a self-defense situation is somewhere between 1-3 rounds. I believe that this is mostly due to the aggressors are not interested in getting hurt and in most cases will take off when a gun is fired or if they have been wounded. That is in most cases, not all. I think that it FIRST you make sure that you can consistently hit what you are aiming at, then start working on shooting from different positions. You need to work on both of them constantly. It is a never ending process. I have been firing pistols for nearly 45 years and still practice firing pistols and rifles once a week.
 
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