View Full Version : Stance: Weaver vs. isosceles

April 7, 2006, 07:47 PM
I've always used the weaver style stance. Thinking about switching over to isosceles. Based on what I've read and observed, seems to make sense that accuracy will go up as fewer muscles are under strain. Anyone have any thoughts or advice here?

April 8, 2006, 03:22 AM
it depends on how you shoot. if you shoot with one eye closed the weaver is best. if you shoot with both eyes open then switch. with the weapon centered off of your nose with both eyes open you will shoot much better. you have to get used to the sight picture and reconciling the target within it. i switched to both eyes open and the iso stance. i found much quicker sight alignment/front sight on target. i find that the weapon naturally is pointed at what your looking at where with the weaver it is off a bit requiring stricter discipline with sight picture.

if your dominate eye is on the same side as your dominate hand and you shoot weaver the sight and target alignment will be fairly close. the iso stance is much faster also.

there is a reason that most competition use the iso or a slightly modified iso stance

April 8, 2006, 03:28 AM
esp from an leo perspective (bladed position which should be your FI stance anyway). However I shoot best with a natural point shooting stance that is basically a loose, limber isosceles stance (shoulders squared, gun at center line raised to eye level, head up).

April 8, 2006, 03:31 AM
Learn both then pick the one you do better with. It also depends on the situation ,one might work better than another in a particular situation.

April 8, 2006, 10:37 AM
If you practice what you shoot you will shoot what you practice.
I have used the weaver stance for 30 years and it works for me, that dosent say there isn't anything better but having practiced that way for this many years i ant about the change now, would just confuse this little space in my head taken up by my brain.

April 8, 2006, 02:50 PM

Could you explain the universal stance more or is there a website with photo visuals? It sounds interesting and I'd like to learn more.

Thanks much.

April 8, 2006, 05:29 PM
Try closing your eyes, and point your gun at a target, now open your eyes and see where your aiming. I found the iso stance, gave me a better, natural point and shoot stance. This would be better for low light shooting, so why not use it all the time.

April 8, 2006, 06:05 PM
To add more confusion: I'm cross-dominant and use the Quell stance. I sorta developed it on my own so I'm not sure if I'm doing it exactly the same way he did but it works for me.
I hunted high & low but couldn't find a picture.

April 12, 2006, 10:28 AM
The "BEST" stance is a modified Iscoceles.
#1 If you are in law enforcement, better to get shot in the vest straight on then shot in the arm shooting weaver and have the rd go through arm and into chest cavity where vest doesn't protect.

#2 Check out the best shooters in the country no weaver stances with them.

#3 Why add stress and strain to your shooting positon, pushing and pulling with your hands and arms what idiot though of this OH the LEO who want to get famous.

#4 When shooting weaver you have a tendancy to wobble left to right and when shooting Isco you have a tendency to wobble up and down. Humans and targets are usually taller then they are wider.

Modified would be with elbow slightly bent, square to the target, remember the only thing here that moves is the shooters trigger finger. I know alot of people will disagreed with me so here are some of my accolades:

3 Time Police Pistol Comabt State Champion
Won 3 gold Medals at Police Oylmpics
Shot perfect score in Police Olympics with a Service Auto
Police Sniper, Sub gun Instructor, Dept., County, State and Police Academy certified Firearms Instructor, I could write all day about myself but this is just a few so you know that I'm not BS-ing you.

April 12, 2006, 10:33 AM
PPC Master,

Could you explain the modified?


April 12, 2006, 10:39 AM
This is what has been taught by Doug Koening and where I picked it about 10years ago.

Stand square to the target, toes pointing toward target and feet about 2-3 feet apart depending on your size. Extend arms out with a slight bent at the elbow, I find it helps with recoil better. Gun comes up to your eye. Also remember that when gripping the gun with two hands you want the pressure to be 30% with your shooting hand and 70% with your support hand. At no time do your hands tighten on the gun while squeezing or pulling the trigger. Your hands are just a platform from which you hold the gun. Your trigger finger is the only thing that moves when you are firing a shot.

April 12, 2006, 10:42 AM

So the only difference is a slight bend iin the elbows? How about the knees? Any forward lean in the shoulders?

April 12, 2006, 10:55 AM
Hey Striker,
As far as the knees go that would depend on how you were shooting i.e. with a barricade or free style. Basically what I do is no matter position I am shooting from I am in the most comfortable, sometimes with my knee locked but for the most part they are just unlocked. Leaning forward a little only seems to make a benefit to me when shooting large caliber firearms that produce a large amount of recoil and another time when I lean in the shooting stance is when I shoot fast i.e. steel or I am behind on a string fire and trying to catch up.

April 12, 2006, 10:57 AM

OT, what's going on up your way during police week? Any shooting?

April 12, 2006, 10:59 AM
Nothing as usual first match on April 29th

April 12, 2006, 12:56 PM
does anyone have a pic or illustration of what the 2 stands look like sorry i am a noob, and i am a little lost.

April 12, 2006, 02:01 PM
I'm with Erick - over the years I've switched from "Weaver" and "Iso" to kind of a modified stance that's a bit more natural for certain types of shooting. If you're target shooting, then sure - go with one of the old tried-and-trues.
If you're practicing for offensive or defensive shooting, then you need to change things up.
Thinking that you're going to have time to line up a perfect Iso stance or a perfect Weaver stance during a high-stress moment may be asking a bit much of yourself, not to mention sacrificing a bit more than you want.

Just like we teach QK-style techniques with a carbine: legs slightly bent, toes in the direction of movement, weak leg a little forward, torso slightly forward from the waist, elbows in, weapon at the "ready", looking just barely over your sights.

Weaver vs. Iso pics:

April 12, 2006, 02:40 PM
A modified Weaver , basicly straight on from the interview stance , that being said i am not wedded to the stance at all and have shot from some real contorted position , a stance is a starting point not a commandment imho

April 12, 2006, 03:26 PM
I was taught the I triangle. My brother-in-law who works for the NJ DOJ was taught the modified weaver. The weaver looks law enforcement cool. The advantage of the I triangle over the weaver is assuming you are wearing a bullet proof vest - which I am not since I am a civilian. But I was taught the I triangle.

PPCLI 2 can.
April 12, 2006, 05:24 PM
i prefer the stance ( cant remember what its called i lost my book ) from
page 38 of the karma sutra:p

April 12, 2006, 08:23 PM
Thanks everyone for some great comments. Especially PPCMaster who has really shared a lot of useful info here.


April 13, 2006, 10:22 AM
....and stand with it shouldered facing the target. Aim, and fire. Now, drop the carbine and draw your pistol. Do you really want to move your feet to get into what feels right?
We train to have the exact same foot position with carbine, shotgun, or pistol. There's no realistic way to hold your long arm in the isocoles stance.
The schools that I've been to that teach Iso stance maintain that the body armor faces the target. The ones that teach Weaver mantain that it delivers a slimmer profile to the target, reducing your chances of being hit. I like Weaver, as it gives me a multi-weapon platform for shooting. After a couple of transitions from carbine to pistol, Weaver made the most sense.

April 13, 2006, 11:05 AM
....and stand with it shouldered facing the target. Aim, and fire. Now, drop the carbine and draw your pistol. Do you really want to move your feet to get into what feels right?
If I read this right, you're saying that you can't realistically employ your carbine from this stance, right?

I very much disagree - assuming that you mean only the "true" iso stance. My above post indicated that I train people to fire both weapons from the same stance: shoulders square to the target, both feet pointed in the direction of movement and about a shoulder's width apart, weak foot forward.
You lean slightly forward at the waist, keep your elbows in, and bend your knees. If you're moving forward in this stance we've always called it either the "duck walk" or the "combat glide" - it provides the most stable shooting position throughout your movement because your lower body absorbs all of the 'bouncing' motion.
Transitions don't change your stance, either. Drop the carbine to the weak side, draw your pistol, and maintain. Shoulders are still square to the target and feet are still pointed forward.

I think the true Weaver stance gives you easy transition when you're not moving. So I suppose it just depends on what you're practicing for.

Hard Ball
April 13, 2006, 04:10 PM
However, in a life or death encounter you will be feeling combzt stress the instant you realize that your life is in danger. There is consuderable evudence ( from surviellance tapes) that uner this stress law officers trained in the Weaver stance instinctively revert to the Isosolese stance under fire. Many will say after the action that they used the Weaver stance and are astounded when shown that they did not.
Since it seems to be difficult and for many people impossibe to use the Weaver stance in actoal combat the logical thing tp do is to adopt the Isosoles stance and practice with it since you should practice doing what you are actually going to do.

April 13, 2006, 04:40 PM
First of all, I am not a LEO or a certified trainer so the following are questions and opinions that I have developed in my 10+ years of shooting. I do not claim that any of the techniques I use are better than anyone elses. So with that said...

What any weakness in the Modified Weaver assuming you aren't wearing body armor? I'm not too sure about the strong hand over powering the weak hand part. Does this mean the shooting hand is pushing more than the support hand is pulling?

One other thing is I believe that muscle memory is going to play a major factor in a high stress situation. Basically, what you practice most will be what you revert to when the poop hits the fan. I even at the range, I practice a modified Weaver stance. I feel this is probably what I would revert to instinctively if I was in a bad situation. (There is always a possibility that I will be cowering in some corner soiling myself too but I hope that won't be the case! :eek: )

While the isocoles presents a target that is protected by body armor (assuming you are wearing any), you are still presenting a LARGER target. I have never been shot (thank God) but I have heard that even with body armor, it can be pretty painful. If the officer gets knocked to the ground, they will still present a large target for the bad guy to shoot at. I prefer the modified weaver as I present a smaller target and stand a lesser chance of getting hit at all. At the same time, my support arm is covering my chest and will reduce the energy of any round that strikes there. It may still be a fatal injury but I don't wear body armor anyways.

I also like the modified Weaver since it is a forward leaning stance. This helps to control recoil, as mentioned, and also sets you up to fall forward if you were to be hit. I assume this makes it easier for you to continue fighting. At least that is what the mall ninjas and internet warriors claim. Heck, it makes sense to me.

April 14, 2006, 08:38 AM

The quell stance presents a smaller target than any of the above, a quicker presentation, more stability, and less muscle trembling.

Of course...it comes at a price of more muzzle flip and less range of motion for traverse. And that little matter of having to be cross-dominant in order to employ it...

Disclaimer: I am not an expert, nor do I play one on TV.

April 15, 2006, 10:48 AM
I shoot in a modified Weaver stance, I just always have, it's how I was taught.

My wife shot for the first time naturally in an Isosceles, and even slightly bent her knees.

She gives me a hard time (I've heard "Way to go mall ninja!" more than once in the middle of a draw an fire excercise), and I give her crap right back (Recently it's been the nickname TEX because of the cowboy-esque way she shoots). Both are very different, but each work for the individual user.

April 18, 2006, 09:47 AM
In the Iso stance, the carbine is very difficult to properly employ. In the Weaver stance, the carbine and pistol can be employed without changing foot position. It makes a sturdy recoil absorbing platform for shotguns, too.

April 19, 2006, 06:41 PM
I prefer Isosoles for several reasons.

1. After reviewng vidieos of several shootings, the predominant stance is isosoles. "natural instinctive reaction"?

2. natural point of aim. It is one of the funamentals of marksmanship correct? No muscles are twisted to get into position. Your toes are pointed at the target. If you simply raise your hands to form a triangle, the tip (gun) is naturally aligned.

3. Mobility. You can roll left or right to shoot around cover or create distance.
Linebackers use a similar position for fast movement in any direction.

4. Commonality of tactics. This is the same as the shotgun or subgun position. Why switch?

Your results may vary. I like isosoles because it seems more natural with more consistant results.

Sidney Wu
April 19, 2006, 08:56 PM
I have to second this:

I prefer Isosceles for several reasons.

1. After reviewing videos of several shootings, the predominant stance is Isosceles. "natural instinctive reaction"?

2. Natural point of aim. It is one of the fundamentals of marksmanship correct? No muscles are twisted to get into position. Your toes are pointed at the target. If you simply raise your hands to form a triangle, the tip (gun) is naturally aligned.

3. Mobility. You can roll left or right to shoot around cover or create distance.
Linebackers use a similar position for fast movement in any direction.

4. Commonality of tactics. This is the same as the shotgun or subgun position. Why switch?

Your results may vary. I like isosceles because it seems more natural with more consistant results.

It is a good one if you are on the move, if you are just drawing and aiming and shooting I drop down with both knees bent, feet about shoulder width and facing the target, at the same time you raise the pistol. Smaller target.
Quicker to get on target.

Using the Isosceles if you are not careful, you will change the dominant eye. Then you must practice that eye also, good to keep both open.


The British Soldier
April 21, 2006, 09:19 AM
I believe the modified weaver stance is the optimum, because you have the maximum static arc of fire with it. If you compare with isosocles then the arc through which one can move the pistol is reduced and one's personal target area increased. After many years of being taught the wrong way to shoot a pistol, I found that once I was introduced to the weaver stance it was such a comfortable way to shoot that I stuck with it throughout four further tours in Northern Ireland.

Originally I was taught to shoot a pistol in a stance that can only be described as the 'taking a dump in the woods' stance! It was a crouch and it was hellishly uncomfortable on the thighs!

In the mid 80s when I first went to Northern Ireland; and was introduced to the pistol as a primary weapon (prior to that I had an SLR) for carry when we were in civvies, I was not too happy. A happy encounter with a member of the Battalion I was with who really understood pistol shooting led me to completely re-appraise my attitude towards it. He taught me the weaver stance and how to really use a Browning very effectively; it is knowledge that I have passed on to everyone since.