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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Beyond The Wall
    Posts
    45,756

    Default Myths Of The Weaver

    Another can of worms. Lets look at the myth of stance. Again, our focus is the raising of the art, and not the dumbing down of the system to teach uninterested lowest-common-denominator academy conscripts.
    Instead of trying to figure out which stance to use, let’s look at the dynamics of combat and what we can do as human fighters.

    Gunfights, like any fight will usually be a close range affair. You will get little or no warning, and there will be no limit to what the adversary can do. He can, for example try to tackle you as you fire on his partner, or he may be one of our modern day “juramentados” and not go down with your non-standard response and clash into you. Remember my friends, IT’S A FIGHT. In a fight you must be able to move, to kick and punch, as well as to provide a suitable platform for shooting while you move. You must have balance and be able to absorb a clash.

    One of the most controversial issues in our study is how to stand. I tell my classes that if I had a dime for every article or chapter that seeks to rationalize or explain why one stance is better than another, I would leave the training business altogether and lay in the sun on my yacht in the Bahamas. Nonetheless, one of the myths we see is that the Weaver Stance is the ticket for gunfighting.

    Myth: “The Weaver Stance has a slight speed advantage over Isosceles when drawing from a holster”

    Truth: No. The speed comes from not extending the arms into a fully locked out Isosceles, not from the Weaver Stance itself. If the Weaver shooter locked out, he would be no faster or slower than the Isosceles shooter. Similarly for the unlocked isosceles shooter.

    Myth: “You must blade to 45 degrees so you make yourself a smaller target”.

    Truth: Again, the idea is to make the other guy worry about becoming a target. Move. Get behind Cover. Shoot him to the ground. Focus on becoming a smaller stationary target?? Bad idea. As far as 35 degrees, 45v degrees, …you may not be able to get into the perfect degree. Learn to shoot from all positions with a firing platform that IS NOT DEPENDANT on your foot position.

    Myth: “ The Weaver works better for shooting from around cover and shooting on the move.”

    Truth: Actually the Isosceles gives better transitioning ability from either side of cover than the Weaver. For that matter, so does changing the hands. And when you move, you do not move at a 45-degree angle, you move straight on.

    Myth: “One important element of the Weaver is the isometric push pull of the two hands; firing side pushing, support hand pulling to control muzzle flip.”

    Truth: The grip on the weapon, and the posture of the upper body contribute much more to controlling muzzle flip than pushing and puling. From what I’ve seen pushing and pulling creates, not muzzle flip control, but tension, trigger mashing, and a shaky sight picture.

    One of the problems with combat shooting is this issue of controlling the recoil. I say let the gun recoil…it will come back on target without you forcing it to do so. That said, I will also say that not everyone needs a .1911 chambered in. 45 ACP. For some, a 9mm…or even (good heavens!) a .380 is a better choice. A well placed hit with a minor caliber is far better than a peripheral hit..or a miss with the “Hammer of War”. Shoot the biggest gun you can guarantee a hit with, but you must guarantee the hit.

    Myth: “The thumbs must be stacked one atop the other”.

    Truth: Do whatever you like with your thumbs as long as you keep ‘em out of the way. Thumbs pointing forward toward the target will allow you to obtain a “biomechanical index” on target much faster than other methods.

    Rather than label your stance, or to try to fit into anyone’s mold, try this. Imagine a big Creatine snorting, tattooed, shaven- headed thug ten feet away from you. You have no gun, but you will soon be in a fight with him. How are you going to be standing? Take that stance right now! Get your hands up! Ready? Now hold everything and bring your pistol into the picture. THAT, my friends, should be your shooting stance.

    Once you get comfortable with it, add movement. You won’t pass any school tests like that because it’s a dynamic stance that screams for movement, not a rooted in-the-box shooting position, but it will keep you alive and your enemies not…and unless I’ve missed something, THAT is the point of the whole exercise.
    Gabriel Suarez

    Turning Lambs into Lions Since 1995

    Suarez International USA Headquarters

  2. #2
    gptrent Guest
    Gabe

    You sure know how to stir it up... (:>)

    I have used (and taught) the Weaver for many many years and during my "formative" years would have argued with you a bit. Now having reached 50 and seriously studied this for about 25 of those years I find myself agreeing with most of what you say.

    I think that the Weaver is a great stance/technique to start teaching with and I find it easier for me to get students started correctly with the Weaver. However if I run across someone that does not shoot the Weaver, gets hits and controls recoil etc... I do not mess with a good thing.

    I also concur that worrying about the position of your feet is a waste of time. Your feet will be wherever they are when the balloon goes up and you need to be able to deal with it.

    The principle of the classic Weaver can be applied in many different ways and it does not always look like a "Weaver".

    Now having said that. I think that you need to know "exactly" what "you" need to do as an individual to get the most precise shot placement as you possibly can as well as what you need to do to get the "good enough" placement as absolutely quick as you can. I do not think that for most people these two techniques will be the same.

    As for caliber... Go with the one that you can use and use well. I prefer the .45ACP, I will use the .40 S&W, but I only "used" the 9mm when it mattered.

    Get good hits and much of the caliber debate is negated. For years the Bakersfield PD was getting a stop ratio (with 9mm) that was higher than about anyplace else in the nation. When our range master looked and analyzed it he discovered that we were getting a much higher percentage of "good" hits.


    Keep stirring it up!

    Take Care

    G.P. Trent



    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe Suarez
    Another can of worms. Lets look at the myth of stance. Again, our focus is the raising of the art, and not the dumbing down of the system to teach uninterested lowest-common-denominator academy conscripts.
    Instead of trying to figure out which stance to use, let’s look at the dynamics of combat and what we can do as human fighters.

    Gunfights, like any fight will usually be a close range affair. You will get little or no warning, and there will be no limit to what the adversary can do. He can, for example try to tackle you as you fire on his partner, or he may be one of our modern day “juramentados” and not go down with your non-standard response and clash into you. Remember my friends, IT’S A FIGHT. In a fight you must be able to move, to kick and punch, as well as to provide a suitable platform for shooting while you move. You must have balance and be able to absorb a clash.

    One of the most controversial issues in our study is how to stand. I tell my classes that if I had a dime for every article or chapter that seeks to rationalize or explain why one stance is better than another, I would leave the training business altogether and lay in the sun on my yacht in the Bahamas. Nonetheless, one of the myths we see is that the Weaver Stance is the ticket for gunfighting.

    Myth: “The Weaver Stance has a slight speed advantage over Isosceles when drawing from a holster”

    Truth: No. The speed comes from not extending the arms into a fully locked out Isosceles, not from the Weaver Stance itself. If the Weaver shooter locked out, he would be no faster or slower than the Isosceles shooter. Similarly for the unlocked isosceles shooter.

    Myth: “You must blade to 45 degrees so you make yourself a smaller target”.

    Truth: Again, the idea is to make the other guy worry about becoming a target. Move. Get behind Cover. Shoot him to the ground. Focus on becoming a smaller stationary target?? Bad idea. As far as 35 degrees, 45v degrees, …you may not be able to get into the perfect degree. Learn to shoot from all positions with a firing platform that IS NOT DEPENDANT on your foot position.

    Myth: “ The Weaver works better for shooting from around cover and shooting on the move.”

    Truth: Actually the Isosceles gives better transitioning ability from either side of cover than the Weaver. For that matter, so does changing the hands. And when you move, you do not move at a 45-degree angle, you move straight on.

    Myth: “One important element of the Weaver is the isometric push pull of the two hands; firing side pushing, support hand pulling to control muzzle flip.”

    Truth: The grip on the weapon, and the posture of the upper body contribute much more to controlling muzzle flip than pushing and puling. From what I’ve seen pushing and pulling creates, not muzzle flip control, but tension, trigger mashing, and a shaky sight picture.

    One of the problems with combat shooting is this issue of controlling the recoil. I say let the gun recoil…it will come back on target without you forcing it to do so. That said, I will also say that not everyone needs a .1911 chambered in. 45 ACP. For some, a 9mm…or even (good heavens!) a .380 is a better choice. A well placed hit with a minor caliber is far better than a peripheral hit..or a miss with the “Hammer of War”. Shoot the biggest gun you can guarantee a hit with, but you must guarantee the hit.

    Myth: “The thumbs must be stacked one atop the other”.

    Truth: Do whatever you like with your thumbs as long as you keep ‘em out of the way. Thumbs pointing forward toward the target will allow you to obtain a “biomechanical index” on target much faster than other methods.

    Rather than label your stance, or to try to fit into anyone’s mold, try this. Imagine a big Creatine snorting, tattooed, shaven- headed thug ten feet away from you. You have no gun, but you will soon be in a fight with him. How are you going to be standing? Take that stance right now! Get your hands up! Ready? Now hold everything and bring your pistol into the picture. THAT, my friends, should be your shooting stance.

    Once you get comfortable with it, add movement. You won’t pass any school tests like that because it’s a dynamic stance that screams for movement, not a rooted in-the-box shooting position, but it will keep you alive and your enemies not…and unless I’ve missed something, THAT is the point of the whole exercise.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    200
    I've found that if your grip is good, sights are aligned, and the trigger is pressed, that the way the rest of you is situated doesn't really matter.
    My own personal stance looks like a monkey hunching a football, but I get the hits and I can keep the split times low. I can also transition to right or left handed for cover or light manipulation. I can move easily and I won't fall on my can unless you give me a good shove.
    What else do you need?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    1,061
    Well, there are problems with ANY stance, including Weaver. Things like 'blading' will somewhat reduce your exposure, but it also exposes you to being hit in BOTH lungs, exposes you to having your vest penetrated (armpit), and there can be times one just cannot get into a Weaver becuase of situational factors.

    But then, other stance have problems to. Isosceles allows more exposure, makes it harder, all other things being equal, to control recoil, and again, situations may come up where it is impractical to use it.

    Now for those who practice allot, learning several ways is great. Those who do not shoot much, or train much, well I would suggest a limited number of 'stances'. Say one for two handed and one for firing one handed. But that's like limiting oneself to one handgun, it does get kind of boaring, right?

    Oh, as for faster 'stances', it would depend on what is wanted AFTER you aquare the stance. Faster repeated shots from very heavy weapons would best be answered with Weaver. Lighter weapons and more precision, Isosceles.

    Deaf

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    south west Florida
    Posts
    107
    Gabe,

    Good post.

    I could only add that I might disagree with your statement that ' you will get little or no warning'. My experience is that sometimes you do, and sometimes you don't.

    Please keep up the excellent work.

    Just my .02, and worth what ya paid for it.


    Cat

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    1,217
    Boy, are some of us being baited out or what? :)

    I don't disagree with anything here. Well, maybe a bit with the isometric tension - but I admit to being the gratuitous civilian/non-LEO/non-professional around here - so I'm not going to claim that holds a lot of water.

    The one thing I would say is that before you break the rules and go "free form," I've found it best to know the rules very well. They were created for a reason. In the limited teaching I did in the past, it seemed the better combat shooters learned the formal lessons first and then understood how and why corners could be cut. Same thing with art, and I would suppose many things in life. I hear that military special forces does things in a similar manner. You have to learn to salute and march and prove you are disciplined before they will let you get away with "modified grooming standards."

    Human beings like a process. I don't think we should stop once we've mastered the process. It's just that it gives us a foundation and building blocks to move forward with. Unfortunately, many people confuse the class room with the real world.

  7. #7
    Timber Wolf Guest
    Gabe -
    You said:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe Suarez
    the idea is to make the other guy worry about becoming a target. Move. Get behind Cover. Shoot him to the ground. Focus on becoming a smaller stationary target?? Bad idea. As far as 35 degrees, 45v degrees, …you may not be able to get into the perfect degree. Learn to shoot from all positions with a firing platform that IS NOT DEPENDANT on your foot position.
    I agree when you say not to label your stance, and that brings me to my question.

    If you are moving to the side towardscover while looking square at the enemy (sidestepping) I would expect a form of the Isosoles. If you are moving forward towards cover while looking to the side, I would expect some other form Weaver / Chapman depending on whether you are looking to gun-hand side or non-gun-hand side. Is this a logical thought? The arms form the position they need to in order for you to do what you need to - move to cover while firing at an enemy intent on doing you harm.


    Thanks,
    TW

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Amarillo Texas
    Posts
    491
    I've stumbled my way into the zen-like "stance of no stance" by accident. Because I believed every article I read in the gun rags, I think that I tried every named stance available at one time or another without seeing a lot of improvement from one to another. Thereafter, I decided that whatever my body did from the ribcage down just didn't really matter a whole lot. Now, Weaver amd isocoles purists scratch there heads at IDPA matches as they watch me switch from Weaver to Iscocoles to "turret" to . . . while I move from shooting position to shooting postion.

    When I take a new shooter to the range, I instruct them to use the isocoles stance . . . not necessariy because it's better but because it's quicker for a brand new shooter to learn.

    -Chuck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    38
    The whole point is to learn a real-world based system (instead of a shooting range based), and the make the system conform to your body rather than forcing yourself to shoot like Cooper or Enos, or anyone else.

    This is like JKD for firearms.
    Leonidas
    Molon Labe Consulting Group

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Deep in the Rockies
    Posts
    408
    It was so long ago that I finalized my stance that I didn't know exactly what stance I was using when I read Gabe's essay. It was just my personal "best" stance, that felt "right", that I had been using since Custer rode out to the Little Big Horn.

    So...........I just researched it, and lo and behold it is the "Chapman" modified Weaver that I use.

    I don't remember ever intentionally learning the "Chapman" version of the Weaver, or even hearing about it, so it must have evolved naturally from the original Weaver I did learn.

    It works well for me because it is my "natural", "feel good" stance. YMMV.

    creed
    Last edited by Vig Creed; 12-02-2003 at 07:19 AM.

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