Developing a Pistol Stance

Stance defines how you should stand to provide a stable and consistent support for shooting. You must be able to duplicate this naturally, or you’ll have difficulty producing good groups (getting your shots to land together in one area.) Furthermore, your stance must be comfortable. Some matches can last up to almost 2 hours – you must be able to hold that stance during it.

Follow these instructions to develop a basic stance:

  1. Stand comfortably and naturally with your feet about shoulder width apart.
  2. Weight distribution should be equal on each foot (50/50) and slightly forward (about 55% on the ball of the foot, and 45% on the heels.) Furthermore, the feet should be turned slightly outward for sway control.
  3. Knees should not be locked backward, nor should the thighs or calves be flexed. Relax the legs such that you feel a little bit of muscular tension.
  4. Back and neck should be aligned straight. The shoulders should be relaxed. Keep your head up and stand tall.
  5. Your non-shooting hand must be anchored; otherwise, it will swing (moving while shooting is ‘bad’) and throw off your stance. Place it either in your pant’s front pocket or tuck it into your pants or belt. Don’t stick it in the back pocket or in the back of your pants as I believe that this induces a twist in your spine, throwing off its natural alignment.
  6. The elbow and wrist of your shooting arm should be locked during the lift and until you have completed your follow-through after the shot is released. A relaxed wrist will move about 5 degrees to the right or left during a shot; whereas, a locked wrist reduces the movement to only 2 degrees.
  7. Keep both of your eyes open, looking as straight ahead as possible. Aim with your dominant eye which is usually the same eye as your shooting hand (not always so.) You may wish to put a translucent blinder in front of your non-aiming eye to help you focus on your front sight. Remember to allow equal light into your non-aiming eye. Clear tape on your lens takes care of this. In a pinch, place a piece of paper in between your lens and your non-shooting eye.