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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I usually shoot any pistol from the Isoceles (sp?) stance, but during my last trip to the range, I decided to try shooting what I thought was the Weaver stance. I had my right arm straight out, laft elbow bent, the plane of my shoulders was about 45 degrees to the right, shooting right-handed. I didn't plce every shot where I wanted, but my problem of shooting low and left has been partially cured. Now, I only shoot low, but I know why.

First off, I close my eyes just as the shot goes off, and I break too soon, making the barrel drop a couple degrees or so. I only get in 50 rounds a session, so I know I need to make that more like 100-200 rounds to improve my aim and control.

Here's my question:

Does anyone shoot better with one stance than they do with the other? The two stances I'm talking about are Isoceles and Weaver, no variations on the two. Thanks.



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Blackjack
---------21----»

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance"
-Thomas Jefferson

"I'd rather take matters into my own hands if someone were to break into my home, steal my possessions, violate and possibly murder my wife, and try to end my life as well. In short, don't enter my house unannounced. You might leave on a stretcher."
-Blackjack_21
 

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Isosceles versus Weaver has little to do with basic marksmanship, which is what you are talking about. Trigger control and follow through can be done equally well from either stance. When you try to speed it up with full power loads, I think Weaver is better, but many disagree, and that is not the issue here.

Rather than more shooting each range session, spend that time dry firing. It will improve your accuracy more than increasing the live fire round count. Periods of dry firing during a live fire range session can be especially helpful.

By far, the best solution is to put yourself in the hands of a good shooting instructor until you sort out the problems.
 

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Originally posted by Blackjack_21:
Does anyone shoot better with one stance than they do with the other? The two stances I'm talking about are Isoceles and Weaver, no variations on the two.


Depends what you mean by "better". If you are talking stictly non-timed, single target accuracy, with no tactical elements or movement thrown in, then I shoot equally well with both stances.

Things change drastically if I have multiple targets, or a stop watch running, or movement involved (me or the target). The Isoceles is the clear winner for me. I have more arc of engagement with the isoceles, and can pivot my hips and shoulders to cover a broader area around me, without having to turn my feet. I get better recoil control and recovery with the isoceles as well, therefore my times drop if I am shooting against a clock.
 

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Suggest you get a copy of Ayoob's Stress Fire. Shows all three common stances. Your description sounds like the Chapman.

Dry fire suggestion is an excellent one. Remember, safe backstop, no ammo in room, self talk. GLV
 

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GLV's got it right, your "new" stance is indeed the Chapman, ocassionally called Modified Weaver, named after Ray Chapman, former Marine and cop, one of the early dominant forces in the practical shooting world. He currently heads the Chapman Academy of Practical Shooting.

Massad Ayoob outlines this technique in Stressfire and teaches it in his LFI-1 course, which I recently took.

A true Weaver stance has strong side arm slightly bent, elbow down.

The Isosceles (both arms straight out) stance lends itself redilty to firing from a crouched position behind medium-height cover and to covering a much wider field of fire without having to move one's feet than either the Weaver or Chapman stances. This stance was all but an unknown and was certainly not in vogue with top-level IPSC shooters until 1983 when Rob Leatham showed up to the IPSC World Shoot VI and used it, handily beating everyone. Other shooters thought it was an oddity and marveled at just how good he could be if he only learned to shoot "properly" with the Weaver/Chapman techniques.
Rob persisted and drove the point home by cleaning up at World Shoot VII and VIII in '86 and '88. Since then, the stance has become the technique of choice. The irony is that it was originally developed as a defensive shooting technique, but since it's effective adaptation to compeditive shooting, IDPA now dismisses it as a "gamesman's technique".


As to which one of the three is "better", the answer is the one you personally shoot best with. Try all three and decide for yourself.

You sound like you have one of the most common beginner shooting problems known to man, the flinch. You are setting off a controlled explosion in your hands, the natural human instinct is to shield your eyes and brace yourself. The only cure for this is lots of practice and a consious effort to supress it. You are going to flinch no matter what, but the idea is to have it be a REACTION to the gun going off, not in ANTICIPATION of it. In other words, hold the sights on target and SQUEEZE the trigger until the gun goes off and surprizes you. By the time your brain responds to the bang and causes you to flinch, the bullet's long gone and you can no longer affect it's path.

I would also suggest practicing trigger control and marksmanship with a small-caliber handgun and then moving up. I personally believe that one of the biggest mistakes that can be made is to give a novice shooter (particularily a small-statured female) a large-caliber weapon to start with. Every possible problem, fear, or discomfort they might have is going to be intensified to its worst. A .22 is inexpensive to buy and feed, and great for practicing technique. My suggestion would be Ruger's variant on the Mark II, the 22/45. This gun, in a bull-barreled variant, has an overall size and weight similar to a full-sized 1911 and has a polymer grip specifically designed to mimic the overall size, shape, angle, and control placement of a 1911-style .45, hence the designation 22/45. For $300 plus $40 to a gunsmith to touch up the trigger, you get a pistol that is the perfect raining companion to your 1911, is cheap to shoot, costs a fraction of what a .22 conversion for your 1911 would cost, and can put off-the-shelf CCI Mini-Mags into a half-dollar at 25 yards all day long. Even though I've been shooting for years, I still take the 22/45 with me almost every time I go to the range and run a box through it to "settle down" before I pull the bigger toys out of their cases.

You also would likely benefit from some tilt stability in your shooting stance. Shooting with your left index finger on the trigger guard doesn't lend you much stability and costs you time on follow-up shots. I would suggest Ayoob's wedge technique. Wrap your left hand around the front of your right, as if you were going to put your finger on the trigger guard (last three fingers tight under the guard) and then wrap that left index finger UNDER the trigger guard, with it's tip in the notch between the index and middle fingers of your right hand. Grip TIGHTLY. With this grip, the web of your hand is pushing the muzzle downward and your left hand is pushing it upward. The opposing forces tend to keep the gun stable. In the same manner, when shooting Weaver stance, that is, with your right arm slightly bent, elbow almost straight down (not to the side), your right arm is pushing forward and your left is pulling back. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart, left leg out front, knees bent, slight crouch forward. In this position, you're locked in. You and the gun cannot be easily moved back and forth, up and down, side to side, or tilted. It makes your shooting much more stable and follow-up shots much quicker.

This stuff works. http://www.1911forum.com/ubb/Forum26/HTML/000684.html

It took Ayoob a matter of minutes to correct a few bad habits of mine and improve my speed shooting 100%.

Ok, I've written a book. Hope this helps.


[This message has been edited by Chris F (edited 05-18-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay, ot's been determined that I need more dry-fire time, but without a 1911 of my own, I can't take home a range rental and sit around dry-firing at targets around my house.


We've also determined that I don't know one stance from another, and that's a bad thing.


Finally, we've determined that I'm a lousy shot, and I still can't figure out why. Shoting isoceles, I drop my rounds low and left, even at 5 yard. Shooting Chapman, modified Weaver, whatever, I only hit low. Maybe it's all in my head, I don't know. Maybe I need to break out the old credit card and buy that Kimber I've been drooling over for the last few months...


Thanks for the info, and hopefully I can find that Ayoob book. I'll check Amazon.com and some of the other online libraries tonight.

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Blackjack
---------21----»

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance"
-Thomas Jefferson

"I'd rather take matters into my own hands if someone were to break into my home, steal my possessions, violate and possibly murder my wife, and try to end my life as well. In short, don't enter my house unannounced. You might leave on a stretcher."
-Blackjack_21

P.S.-Something tells me I jumped the gun when I sold my 22/45. I feel a bit stupid now, but the money situation was killing me and the wife, so the pistol was the first thing to go...


[This message has been edited by Blackjack_21 (edited 05-18-2001).]
 

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...this ain't that serious. You sound to me like you care about what you are doing. Don't try to do it all in one day. Relax and take a few days off from it. If you have something to practice with, you can do the dry firing anytime. If not, don't sweat it. When you go to the range next time, don't do anything except have fun...Get the enthusiasm and fun back into your sessions...Maybe try a different pistol...or even a rifle...just have some fun. Try something you've never tried before. Once you relax, youll get better much faster than beatin' yourself to death tryin' too hard. When you can, ask someone to help you. You'd be surprised how much even a non-shooter can help you if you take the time to explain to them what to look for...Take your wife! It'll be more fun for both of you! Who knows? Maybe the "boss" will enjoy it enough to help you find another addition to your "family"...You'll get another pistol or three and things will come along just fine. When things lighten up a bit, you'll be able to afford more toys and some range time with friends or an instructor can help you in a remarkably short period of time. OK?



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Hey Gyp_c,
Pretty good advice from a guy who's still up at 3:00 am !!!!! Do you EVER sleep?

The only advice I can add, is to deal with only one variable at a time. Stance is only one part of the puzzle, and IMHO, not that big a piece. Get back to basics. Sight alignment, proper trigger and breath control, overcoming flinch (if you have any) and even general overall health all have a much bigger role to play in keeping rounds in the 10 ring. A good shooter can do that with any stance he/she chooses.

As Gyp_c says, RELAX. Nobody knows more about relaxing than him.



[This message has been edited by shane45-1911 (edited 05-19-2001).]
 

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The best advice I can give about marksmanship.

When I started shooting pistols, I had a solid working base from shooting arrows at 20 yards. Since I didn't know any better at the time, I shot the gun just like shooting the arrows. I use a Stanislawski back-tension release for bow(for those who don't know what this is, this releases the arrow without warning, kind of like a clean trigger break), and focus on aiming. My arrow and gun groups were always a source of pride even then.

When I target shoot, I aim the gun and squeeze the trigger as slowly as humanly possible, all the while, focusing on aiming. Try again squeezing even slower. Slow it down as much as you can. The trigger break should be a complete suprise every time. If you can't anticipate the break, you won't be able to flinch. I also started putting a snap cap in the mag, or an empty in the cylinder (random) to see if I flinched when it came up.

As far as stance goes, I don't think I've ever used the same stance twice. As long as I'm well balanced, I group well. I try to keep the gun the same distance from me throughout all stances.

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[This message has been edited by Electric_Armadillo (edited 05-19-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the posts, and I learned something today, during my weekly trip to the range. One of the range masters shared a trick with me, and I almost got it down, up until the rental Kimber Compact I was using decided to FTF three or four times...

Here's the trick.

He suggested that, to get used to the muzzle blast and recoil, that I should only load one round into the magazine at a time, and that I should force myself to keep my eyes open when I squeeze the trigger. Of course, slapping the trigger has always been my biggest problem, next to flinching and blinking just as the shot goes off...

I tried this with one box of ammo, and almost had it, but then I got the FTF's. I shot the next 50 rounds normally, but I kept trying to keep my eyes open. I really need to buy my own Kimber, but I have to save up the cash first...

BTW, the Compact I was shooting had a worn down recoil spring, as told to everyone by the gunsmith, after he tore the thing down and gave it a thorough going over...

Oh, well, I guess I could start a fund on this forum to earn enough dough for a Kimber...


Hey, brother, can you spare $700 bucks?




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Blackjack
---------21----»

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance"
-Thomas Jefferson

"I'd rather take matters into my own hands if someone were to break into my home, steal my possessions, violate and possibly murder my wife, and try to end my life as well. In short, don't enter my house unannounced. You might leave on a stretcher."
-Blackjack_21
 

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The Isosceles for me! I found that shooter stance is not as important as proper hand placement, indexing, proper grip tension between the hand that holds the gun, and the hand that pulls the trigger, and trigger control. If you are holding the gun properly, the platform in which you choose is of little consequence. i.e., on one leg, kneeling, prone, etc., etc. My 2C...

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Shooting low is often caused by squeezing the entire grip instead of just the trigger finger. This is often termed "milking" the gun.

Shooting left (for a right hander) can be from pushing the trigger to the side while pulling instead of pulling it straight back.

Dry firing is a great aid to good trigger control.

Guy
 

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A good way to test your "ideal" Weaver stance for stability is with a toy or dummy "training" pistol -

- OR your pistol of choice after the appropriate clearing drill and be certain that it is DEFINATELY empty. Have NO OTHER guns to hand that might get "switched" prior to the exercise:

1)Lock back the slide, eject the magazine. Look through the ejection port down the magazine well and make sure it is clear - INSPECT it thoroughly. Stick your fifth (smallest) finger INTO the chamber, look down the barrel and make sure it is clear too; white paper in the ejection port or a bore light if you need it to make sure it is CLEAR. do not re-insert the magazine.

With a revolver, open the cylinder; look through, and COUNT, every chamber for a clear view. Then look down the barrel, making sure you can see it is clear all the way to the frame backplate - use a bit of white paper at the end or a bore light if you like.

2)Have your buddy, wife, or other willing helper perform the SAME check step by step as above.

3)Unlock the slide, and let it go into battery /or close the revolver cylinder into the frame.

Now, assume your Weaver. Have the other person grip the slide/front (or revolver barrel) and exert just enough force neccessary to make you oppose that force to maintain the stance. Have them exert push, pull, side to side, twist forces. This is not a "weapon retention" exercise, so they shouldn't overdo it. When you have the optimum stance, freeze. Analyse it completely, then memorize it. You could even have them photgraph it from front, back and sides. Use it consistantly, and aim to make it the automatic stance in response to a deadly threat.

..And as Col. Cooper said, in effect; make sure you have a gun.



[This message has been edited by LAK (edited 07-04-2001).]
 
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