When I first started dating my fiancé we went shooting at a local range for our 3rd date. I noticed her stance was very unnatural in appearance and form. She was taking a standard isosceles triangle position but was leaning so far forward she looked as if she was going to fall over. Her shoulders were tense and she nearly shook with tension each time she pulled the trigger. Her groupings were all over the target and she really seemed to be struggling.
When I questioned her about it (gently) she let me know the backstory; her ex (divorced 10+ years now) was a firearms instructor who had done contract work firearms training for the US military. When they had started dating she had loved shooting and could out perform him in accuracy and speed. Well, he started telling her all the things she was doing ‘wrong’ in her form, posture, and position, and started grilling her or mocking her if she shot poorly from that point forward. The bad habits he pressed upon her and the (I’m not joking) PTSD she still had from that previous relationship made her a poor and very anxious shooter.
Upon hearing the story I had her shoot through another magazine then gave her some pointers of my own. I told her to relax, stop leaning forward, ease her shoulders downward (they were by her ears), and flex her knees a bit in a far more comfortable position. “But that’s not how XXX told me to do it. He said to do it this way,” she said hesitantly over her shoulder. “Oh yeah? Well how’s that workin’ out for ya?” I asked not too assertively as I nodded down range at the target. She shrugged and saw my point, followed my guidance into a far more natural (for her) stance and fired away. Her groupings were MUCH closer and her handling of the firearm from fire to recovery were much smoother and appeared far more comfortable. She has a lot more work to overcome the bad habits, but it got me thinking (and yeah, I’m kinda finally to my point)…
I’m not a firearms instructor and, in fact, have never been formally trained, but I feel I shoot smoothly and comfortably in a “street taught” position. I feel that each individual shooter should shoot from a comfortable and natural stance and position, and that there’s no strict “you have to shoot this way” perfect posture “because that’s how the pros do it” or the like. Now I’m not saying a slumped over, weak-wristed firing style is the way to go…I understand that there are some parameters, posture, and position sets that provide optimum shooting results, but I would argue that even within those sets there’s not a one-size-fits-all variable set for all shooters. In short, every shooter is unique and they need to take the best stance-per-performance specifically for them to achieve their goal. “Professional” trainer-be-darned, but sometimes the student’s form is best discovered by the student (Now…disclaimer…I’m not at ALL knocking professional trainers…just that ONE! And only because he had a literal personal vendetta involved in his instruction. I have no doubt most professional trainers and instructions are top-knotch and nearly ALL of them are registered with the USCCA! lol).
So, what are the thoughts from the hive-mind? Is there a one-size-fits-all posture and stance shooting position that people should take regardless of their personal physique or comfort level? Or should a shooter be allowed to do what ‘feels best’ when shooting? Or…third option, is it a combination of the two?
Open discussion welcomed, please.