For defensive shooting, there’s no question that a good athletic stance, generally squared off to the target, is the better way to go. One of the most important things in defensive shooting is recoil management, so you can fire fast follow-up shots and get the threat stopped quickly.

Yet Rob Pincus sees people coming to handgun training courses wanting to use bladed stances, upright stances, stances that might be great for precision shooting or might work in areas where you’re doing limited strings of fire, but aren’t good for rapid, multiple-shot strings of fire into the high center chest area.

Why Not the Weaver Stance?

Rob is on the range with Christina, who normally shoots with an athletic stance, but Rob coaches her into using a stance that is inappropriate for defensive shooting, the Weaver stance. The Weaver stance was very popular in the past and there are controlled circumstances under which it works well, but for shooting rapid strings of fire into the torso of a threat, the Weaver stance has several failure points. Rob and Christina demonstrate this with some shooting drills using the Weaver stance first.

How It Looks

In the Weaver stance, the strong-side leg takes a step back and the shooter’s body is bladed toward the target. Driving both arms out causes a bend in the support-side elbow, allowing for some isometric tension. Recoil management is difficult using this stance. Christina places four shots in an extreme vertical spread that is definitely not ideal for defensive shooting.

Next she takes an athletic stance with both legs parallel and the body facing the target squarely, knees slightly bent, shoulders in front of the hips. With this stance, the shooter has a lot of weight behind the gun. Christina is able to fire four rapid shots into a closed-hand sized group.