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Shooting Stance

The foundation of shooting is your stance. The perfect stance can only be obtained on the range or as you practice. It is important for you to continually work on your stance, so you know what right is.  When lead is flying your way, you will take whatever cover that is available. I say that, and it’s generally true, but I remember a short fight I was in. I remember being so pissed that someone had the audacity to shoot at me, that I shot a whole mag and as I was reloading I thought, 'oh yeah, maybe I should take cover,' and I did!  As you shoot around, over and under barriers you will lean, stretch and do whatever you can to get the shot. The perfect stance is a luxury you will rarely get in a fight. But your body, knowing how to have the right stance, will aid you in achieving the most stable shooting platform in whatever situation you encounter.

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Your stance is the relationship between your lower body and your upper body. It is the same for both Rifle and Pistol.  Your stance should be natural and comfortable. It should also be aggressive, like the stance of a wrestler. To start, your feet should be approximately shoulder-width apart, with your support side foot forward of your work side foot. Your work side should be anywhere from a few inches to a foot behind. If you draw a line from the big toe of your work foot to your support foot it should be at the heel or behind. The dominant or rear foot should be planted to help with recoil, balance and any movement. The weight should be on the balls of your feet.  If you can lift your toes, you are not leaning far enough forward. 

When you’re in your stance, there should be a slight bend in your knees. This seems to be harder to do than you would think. Almost every new shooter starts to lock out their knees after a few shots. Bend your knees; it helps with recoil and maintaining your balance. Then lean your upper body slightly forward in that aggressive posture like a wrestler or a defensive end. The more aggressive your stance, the easier it will be to manage any recoil. Your upper body should face forward with your chest facing the target. There should only be a little bend at your waist with your non-dominant side forward.

Your head should be up and facing the intended target or threat. This body position and stance has many benefits: 1. You will absorb the recoil of the firearm; 2. You will be able to move in different directions quickly; 3. You will be able drive the gun faster; 4. You will have more control than with a more squared-up stance. 

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When I was first in the Army, I was taught to square myself to the target. I was told that a squared-up stance would have the maximum amount of body armor facing the threat. Yes, that may be true, but this greatly reduces the speed and overall control of your weapon. Your reaction time and overall movement is slowed and it is very uncomfortable, which leads to early muscle fatigue. Once I went SF and received better training by more experienced shooters, and from the experience of combat, I learned to blade out a little and move that dominate foot back.  Don’t be afraid to blade yourself. When you are moving and shooting multiple targets you will see and feel the difference.

Thanks for reading,

Jared

Abigail RossComment