Defensive Shooting Position: Proper Shooting Stance

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Duration:   4:42   mins

Rob Pincus discusses why your defensive shooting stance may not be the same as a traditional target shooting position. When practicing shooting to protect yourself, you need to take your natural body positions during a fight, the physics of the firearm and the most efficient use of your anatomy into consideration. Watch now to learn a proper shooting stance.

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13 Responses to “Defensive Shooting Position: Proper Shooting Stance”

  1. Beetlejuice

    Why do you stand straight toward the target. Would it be better to stand sideways to give a smaller target?

    • Customer Service Techs

      As Rob explained in the video that squared off with the lowered center of gravity is congruent with how the body responds naturally when confronted with a lethal threat. Training to shoot from a choreographed position such as bladed, weak foot forward, etc. only slows down the response to the threat. This has been observed many times during classes where a student has performed a lot of reps in a choreographed stance prior to attending class. During dynamic drills they take valuable seconds to shuffle their feet and/or blade off Instead of getting the gun into the fight. Also, a bladed stance isn’t conducive to getting a good two handed firing grip for maximum recoil management and maximizing volume of fire.

      • Brian Olynick

        Also a bladed or weaver stance presents all the vital organs for one shot. Think about deer hunting. You wait until the deer turns broadside and presents itself for a double lung and heart shot. Not a good idea if ypu are in a gun fight.

  2. revit57

    Rob, I am relatively new to handgun shooting and I have a question concerning gripping the handgun. I have taken classes and the Combat Focus class that you taught at GM in Lake Mary last year and have been watching and reading what PDN as to offer ever since.
    Here is the question, when gripping the handgun grip, do I grip with equal pressure from my hands pushing in side to side or from front to back. From front to back would seem correct because of the recoil, but I have never asked my instructors before and have not read anything on how to do this.

    • Customer Service

      Front to back is the best pressure to avoid twisting the gun while pressing the trigger. If you start over-thinking it, you transition from “defensive shooting” to “target shooting” pretty quickly. If you aren’t trying to solve a problem, then there isn’t much to worry about. If you are shooting off to one direction or another, you might find the answer in correcting your grip.

    • Graystone

      May I suggest pushing forward with the hand your gun is in (60% of your ‘pressure’ and pulling inward with your support hand (40% of your ‘pressure’. This should give you a firm grip (don’t over do it) and good control of your weapon.

  3. Bernardo Injury Law

    If you are shooting for defensive firearm training or practice, that’s the way it should be done. These are great tips from a guy who knows what he is talking about! As a former prosecutor and years of reviewing cases involving danger and victims reaction to it, I can say that this is indeed the typical startle reflex. As such, why train any other way? Your body is going to do what it does based on survival instinct so use it to make yourself a better defensive shooter.

  4. Derori

    For those of us who wear glasses and can’t see the sights (or the person attacking us) really clearly without looking through our glasses, too much of a lean forward and locking out the arms all the way results in having to look over top of our glasses to see the sights–and not being able to really see that well. If you lean forward and extend your arms all the way, then you have to try and force your head back to look through your glasses. Only you can’t then because your shoulder muscles won’t let your neck move back. Some of us are going to “naturally” use a stance that keeps our head a little more upright.
    I’m not arguing the points Rob makes. Having spent my early years with the post office working in gangbanger land and being attacked by pit bulls every other day, I’ve learned a lot about my startle response. Usually, it involves pivoting toward the area of concern, with my hand instantly going to where I always carried my pepper spray. My left hand was full of letters and I always had a stack of magazines on my left forearm, so my options were limited there. All that stuff was usually pulled in tight against my chest. Not just for protection, but to keep from dropping it. After the first couple times you have to chase that stuff around in the Oklahoma wind and put it all back in order, you learn not to drop it–no matter what is going on.

  5. Dexter

    Good tip Rob. I trained as a boxer years ago and yes you are naturally in that particular stance when you are in a defensive situation the only addition is a firearm..I agree with you 100% on this video. I just never put 2 and 2 together until I seen this video!

  6. David2u

    I don’t disagree with the tips, especially for someone with a slender build like Rob. But as a 300+ pound guy, in a shooting situation, I’m gonna be thinking of how to make myself appear just as skinny a target as possible. I carry a Glock 23. I have good iron sights, as well as a CT laser on the weapon and I use low recoil Hornady Critical Defense rounds so I will have good hand control of the weapon. I’m more likely to turn my body a little more to the side in order to show a thinner profile as I’m bringing up my weapon to shoot. And suck in the ole gut as much as I can. Heck, I’d dig a fox hole and jump in it if I could. For me, if I were to crouch like Rob, I’d just look like a dancing bear.

    • Mike Moon

      Rob bases his shooting techniques upon the bodies natural reaction to a life threatening situation or ambush. Lots and lots of video (police cruisers, security cameras, etc) validate that people will naturally (sub-consciously) turn to face the threat and lower their center of gravity. Rob is taking that natural position and leveraging it in his shooting platform. In such a situation you will *not* turn sideways or suck in your gut; you will do what others before you have done in such a situation — you will face the threat head on and get into a crouched position. Practicing to shoot effectively and efficiently in that position makes a lot of sense.

  7. gotwww

    Really surprised how hard it is to convince people of this after having been instructed in one of the traditional target shooting positions. It’s much easier to teach to someone that has never shot before.

  8. Bruce F

    I appreciate that tip on shooting stance for defensive shooting. It makes total sense and I’m surprised that more instructors don’t cover that. Thanks for all your tips Rob

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