LE Shooting stances

As everyone knows, there are many different types of shooting stances for pistols. However, people also love to know what Law Enforcement does as well, especially where firearms are concerned. So, here is a wee little insight. I’m going to be covering and comparing the 2 major stances, the Weaver and the Isosceles.

The main important thing to remember about the Weaver is that your body is slightly twisted towards your target with your off side (your non-dominate side) closer to the target than your dominate side. Your dominate side elbow is straighter (but not locked) than your off side elbow.

Here is an excellent picture of a Weaver stance, borrowed from Women of Caliber:

Now, on to the next shooting stance, the Isosceles stance. The Isosceles is another basic stance. Feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, arms as far out as they will go, but again, not locked.

Another picture from Women of Caliber, illustrating the Isosceles stance:

Now, many different LE agencies say and recommend both stances seemingly equally, but the instruction I went through made a serious point, and here’s what it is.

Your average beat cop wears some kind of body armor. It is usually a Kevlar vest worn under their uniform top. Body armor traditionally offers the most protection in the front. With that being said, the Weaver stance isn’t the best stance for shooting while wearing armor. Why you ask?

Look at the picture above of the Weaver stance. The weakest part of the body armor is exposed, that being the side, while the arm pit area isn’t cover by armor at all.  This obviously means you stand a greater chance of taking a serious hit.

I know your thinking I’m fixing to say that the Isosceles stance is the best stance right? Well, even then, that has some issues. You see, the Isosceles is a great stance for maximizing body armor protection, but the flip side of it is you can’t take a lot of forwards and backwards energy. Your whole body will rock slightly with each shot you take.

So, then what is the best stance?

Well, it’s actually both. The Weaver is great when your taking cover, such as behind a car door (as a vast majority of cops do) or a door frame. Because you off side elbow is more relaxed compared to the Isosceles, it is a lot easier to rest parts of your arm on things, again, such as a car door frame. Your exposed side is protected by your piece of cover, so you still having the protection you need.

On the flip side, the Isosceles is great for shooting when there is no cover available. This stance allows you to quickly move in any direction since your feet are in a neutral position, while maximizing the use of your body armor. If a suspect takes off to your right, left, or away from you, you can quickly pursue them.

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