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Guns & Ammo Network

Tactics & Training

Traditional Handgun Stances: Weaver and Isosceles

by Handguns Online Staff   |  July 28th, 2011 19

Professional shooter Doug Koenig demonstrates the best handgun stances: Weaver and Isosceles.

  • brian

    that was good info I just started getting serious about shooting handguns.

  • http://none Kalena Bellamy

    Hello Doug:

    Your video has a great training on how to stand ready to shoot at targets. Any other advice on how to hold and sight a handguns will be a added tool for my enjoyment. I currently shoot a 45ap, 357 mag, and a 22 lc as my training handguns.



    • Gabby

      Robert, Think about the weaver stance, your blading which means your showing your side to the bad guys. This will allow the rounds if they hit to go through both lungs. heart, liver. All the vitels. Not good. the Isoscoles if your hit, only one lung plus other vitels will be exsposed. Also the Isoscoles is more naturel and easier the shoot from plus the fact you can move faster from the isoscoles then you can from the weaver. Last bit, you can shoot faster and hit more rounds on target from the Isoscoles then from the weaver.

    • Jason

      In a real world scenario, you are going to want to move laterally while shooting, and in an isosceles stance you can do this easier, since you do not need to line up your sights and your foot placement allows easy movement. The gun is placed dead center in front of you so as long as you angle yourself while moving to the left or right you will hit the target center mass. Whereas if you have the weaver stance you are more limited on movement because you will have to keep lining up your sight, not to mention the foot placement hinders lateral movement. The person who taught me this was a Ranger who trained with the Mossad, then later was the head of a Detroit SWAT team

  • Tracy Thorleifson

    Nice video. I use a modified Weaver stance – basically Isosceles feet, body and arm position, but still utilizing the classic Weaver push-pull. Regardless of stance, trigger control is the key to good shooting. I find that a laser illuminator (sight) is a terrific training aid for improving trigger control (not to mention the obvious tactical applications).

  • jred

    What it really boils down to is what is comfortable for the shooter. No matter how many people say the Weaver is "natural", it feels forced to me.

  • http://UnitedKingdomCH3 Gerald Morris

    I was taught the forward stance in the R.N. because on a boat or go fast ,it gave better support when standing by to board a smuggler at sea. Somewhere in the promotional literature of the R.N. is a picture of me in that stance on an M.T.B. as my team boarded the smuggler. diver338l R.N.

  • Robert G. Smith

    Just before I began subscribing to your magazine I believe you printed an article on the modern isosceles stance, which I hope to learn more about. How do I go about getting a reprint of an article from and issue that was printed shortly before I began subscribing – and have every intention of continuing my subscription.

  • sl1

    That's pure bullshit. The Weaver as demonstrated by Col. Cooper and ALL his instructors has the SUPPORT arm bent down instead of OUT. I learned to shoot from the good Col. bact in the very late 60's and further honed the skill with Cpt. Chuck Taylor the X-Ranger. Furthermore, the support is wrapped and locked thumbs over thumbs. If people want to learn to shoot, don't learn from videos. There is nothing better than going and having a good and qualified instructor who has been in firefights and survived to be a teacher to you.

  • Hurryin' Hoosie

    Fully agree with sl1. The support arm is to be bent down – hence more "support".

    • Jason

      If you hold the gun in the weaver stance and have someone hit the front end of the gun you will notice you are more likely to have your toes leave the floor. Now, hold the gun in the correct iso stance and have someone hit the front of the gun. You will notice the gun recoils back less and your toes dont leave the ground. Obviously if this is the case then the iso stance has better "support". I used to be a strict weaver stance, but after that training where they did the recoil test i saw why, so many are pro iso.

  • BroncoBob

    It's amazing how people argue about how one stance is better than the outher.I live close to the deadlest city in the nation,and when bullets are heading in every direction, including yours,believe me,Weaver and Isosceles,goes out the might be kneeling,or in most cases prone,I mean very prone,I think that if you realy want to be good at staying alive,do what's best for you when shooting targets,I prefer Isosceles,but I would'nt use it in A gun fight.

    • Jason

      Why wouldnt you use it in a real fight though, the iso stance is the most easy to use in a high stress situation?
      A great article on why is:
      They go over the basics well.

  • Will Carry

    I am much more accurate with the Weaver stance. Being a rifle shooter, the Weaver stance feels more natural than the Isosceles stance. The right arm, being stiff, feels like a rifle. I am trying now to improve my shooting from the Iisosceles stance, but when I need to make one jagged hole, I go back to the Weaver stance.

    It seems that every new generation of pistol shooters like to think that they reinvented the sport.

  • sl1

    btw, is there an instance where using the weaver and it's so-called bladed stance has caused a fatality or injury? or is it just justification for using something else? seems like ALL the NEW systems are the isos re-invented and re-named for marketing hype, nada mas

  • nic

    I’m from south africa and I love handguns and anything that has to do with shooting.I have been reading these arguments about stances when firing a personal opinion would be if you are in a gun fight I really don’t see anyone getting into any stances what so ever,you will get into the stance closest to the ground,especially sl1 you go on like you have been in a gun fight and honestly I mean no disrespect but I totally agree with the people that say you should aquire the stance you are most comfortable with.

  • Dewey E. Du Bose

    Well, I go way back to the good ol' days of shooting the Colt .45 Army style. Standing sideways a d holding the gun stiff armed pointing at the target. Never did use that position in Vietnam. The few time I did have to shoot my .45, it was shooting without aiming at an enemy that was 50 or more yards away from my. Don't think I ever did hit anyone, just made a lot of loud noises and I felt better for it, at least until I got more rifle ammo for my M16. Thankfully, I learned to shoot better and more correctly at the Alabama Police Academy.

  • Hambone7777777

    Both stance and a two handed draw can go right out the window in a fight. If at close range, you better be moving and shooting one handed, aimed fire or not. If your taking rounds you better seek cover. Pistol hold and stance have evolved from range work, just like shooting at paper and static qualifications. These things have no reflection on real world fighting. They are etiquette for the range, which is where the overwhelming amount of rounds are fired. Force on force training bears this out, in fact. This needs to be presented to all shooters so that a reality mindset can be learned, and separated from the world of the range.

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