Shooting stance

Leave My Stance Alone


On more than one occasion, people have ripped on me about my shooting stance – “You’re bent over too much.” “You shouldn’t stand like that.” Well folks, shooting stance is different for everyone.

The shooting stance is not going to be identical for everyone, and every situation might need a different one. The shooting position must be balanced and comfortable. So, based on your body type, where you carry your weight and your training methods, this will vary. One thing that’s for sure whatever your stance is, you need to be stable in it, so if I were to come and push on your shoulder, you wouldn’t fall over.

If I’m just out plinking with my .22LR long barrel, I’m in a taller isosceles stance. But if I’m training for defense, I’m in what my trainer likes to call, the combat assault position. See, when you’re in a defensive shooting position, it’s helpful to make yourself a smaller, more difficult target to your threat. So why in the world would I want to stand nice and tall (and I’m pretty tall) and give my threat a better shot at me? I wouldn’t. Also, when I’m training from a running position, I notice that my body naturally goes into a into a boxer’s stance, to balance my momentum. It’s natural. A balanced position is a stable position. What stays consistent in all of it is my arm extension, and consistency is key.

We carry concealed firearms because we don’t ever know when it’s going to be necessary to protect our lives. That unknown event is probably not going to allow for a defensive shooter to assume all the correct and picture perfect shooting fundamentals from A to Z. If you have that kind of time, you should be running away and not engaging in the fight. These types of critical incidents are usually immediate or occur with very little notice. The muscle memory in training will help immensely with drawing and point shoot accuracy, but your stance may be very different each time based on what the situation calls for. Heck, you may not even have a stance if you have to shoot from the ground or the floor or from your bed.

So, be encouraging to fellow shooters and provide good feedback if asked. No two bodies are alike and all will balance differently. And leave my stance alone. It works for me.

Categories: General, Women
About Kelly | View all posts by Kelly

Kelly is an NRA-certified instructor for Pistol, Personal Protection in the Home and Refuse to be a Victim. She also is also credentialed as a certified pistol instructor through The…

Kelly is an NRA-certified instructor for Pistol, Personal Protection in the Home and Refuse to be a Victim. She also is also credentialed as a certified pistol instructor through The Well Armed Woman, and owner of ARMED and Feminine, LLC. Visit her YouTube channel by searching ARMED and Feminine.

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  • Mark L Evans

    In all things, if it works, it is not wrong.

  • Ryan

    I like this. When I’m working with friends who are new to shooting, the only thing I get picky about (with regards to stance) is to NOT lean backwards. As long as they’re leaning at least a little forward, I don’t say a thing – because of the same reason you posted this article. It’s theirs and theirs alone.

  • 1KR

    Thank you! As a female who carries a lot of my weight ‘up top’ I couldn’t agree more. I have the same issue when practicing martial arts. Guys (or whoever doesn’t have this issue) don’t seem to understand that you have to adjust your stance to keep your balance! One size/stance definitely does not fit all!