Weaver vs Isosceles


When I started to shoot way back when I used the Weaver stance.

After joining the USCCA, I started using Isosceles but it wasn’t until after I did the Proving Ground that I 150% believed in always training in Isosceles. You never know what position you’ll find yourself in when you have to shoot for your self-defense, however, isosceles is what my body naturally goes to in a high-stress fight situation - even after years of tae kwon do training.

What stance do you use? And tell me why below!

  • Weaver
  • Isosceles
  • Other

0 voters


I’m going with Modified Weaver - that is a personal thing though. I think training isosceles is fine, and since it’s the format for USCCA training, it’s what I’ll teach for the USCCA certified classes - you have to start with a single choice and work from there, so Isosceles it is.
Here’s why weaver for me though:

  1. The vast majority of my firearms experience is shotgun. there’s no Isosceles in shotgun. This is where my training is founded, so it’s very drilled in, very automatic
  2. I also have martial arts training background, and that step back to make space and add stability thing is drilled in from that as well
  3. Two of the sports I spent quite a bit of time in are cross country skiing - which uses that one-foot-back to create certain kinds of control - and snowboarding - which has one forward one back built into the board and held in place with bindings.
  4. I have knee issues. In my case that means standing feet parallel makes me very vulnerable to being tipped forwards/backwards off my feet - I can’t compensate in the forward/backwards adjustment because my knees can fail in that direction. My right/left stability is much better. The solution for me is to create that isometric structure vertically with one foot forward, one back, and a shoulder width right-to-left. I don’t stand feet parallel for the most part, even if I have a wall to lean against… the instinctive fear of falling has me offset my feet forward/back, even if only a few inches are convenient.

All that said, I don’t disagree that in a sudden-loud-noise situation, most people, including me, will probably drop their body center (crouch) right where they are. I don’t think people square up their feet to accomplish that, but I do think if they’re square already, that’s what’s happening.

I think reduction of shoot-able mass provided by Weaver makes good sense (unless you’re wearing plates, in which case you’re exposing your un-plated side. But then who walks around wearing plates?)

I suspect the reality of many situations means you will be shooting from whatever position you find yourself in as adjusting your position will be a much lower priority than addressing the threat and, if needed, drawing and shooting. In the real situation, I doubt I’ll be giving any thought to position and posture, but my body will instinctively do what is needed to not be in precarious danger of falling down.

I also think that for the same reason we train shooting weak hand and single hand on the strong side, we should train weaver, modified weaver, isosceles, from the cover of a building corner (both left and right, standing and kneeling), behind low cover (like a car), standing on a steep slope (left/right/forward/back), laying on one’s back or any other thing one can think of. If I had to be shooting left hand from behind a covering corner I wouldn’t want the time my life depended on it to be the first time I’d ever done it.

So for stance, I’m going with isosceles as my USCCA entrypoint for training people, but training myself from a variety of stances, and my most common choice will likely be some variation on weaver.


I do both and other positions when shooting pistols, usually Weaver is more stable for Rifles.


I fall into the small Chapman group. You could use your bicep as a “cheek weld” if wanted or if you’re cross-eyed dominate, it may help.


I shot modified weaver most of the time, but I am not always going to shoot that way every time. I just find it easier to pivot in a modified weaver stance. I think I’ve made a mention before that I only believe in scanning with your firearm in front of you, so I want to pivot fast. I don’t know if that makes any sense.


I started out using the Weaver stance. Practiced a bit with the Isosceles but at the range went back to the Weaver. Then I was turned on to body armor. A friend of mine had two sets and made me a deal in one. Back at that time I learned the Weaver opened up the left side a bit so my friend alway shot Isosceles and now I do as well.

However I also know that if things get hot you shoot from whatever position you are in.


I use isoceles for the most part. One change that I have recently made is that I will place my right foot (I shoot left-handed) slightly ahead of my left. This allows me to “break friction” a little easier if I have to start moving for any reason. I don’t know if that’s called a “modified isoceles”, but that’s how I have started to train myself. At the end of the day, I say just use what works best for you.


Modified Weaver. Cross dominate eyes, and I shoot a lot of 12 gauge shotgun.


@Zee, I like your response as long as it may be. Hopefully in a self defense situation, you won’t go through this lengthy checklist before finding your stance. :wink:

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ha! @NJStraightShooter :smiley:

I think, should I ever need to defend myself, my stance will be decided by my body not my brain :wink: Hopefully what its trained to do, along with instinctual reaction, will be enough.

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I was trained weaver for two of the reasons Zee listed: Less of a target presented, and stability. I am now trying to train isosceles, but I am not as comfortable there (yet). The other problem with weaver is if I need to shoot weak-handed. I have not trained much with the weak hand, or weaver on that side. My near-future training will include strong weaver, weak weaver, and strong/weak isosceles, but I think the muscle-memory will automatically go to strong weaver, unless circumstances dictate otherwise.

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@AAlan, when I trained as part of my job at an armored car company, they purposely had us qualify with our weak (non-dominant) hand. Believe it or not, you can shoot better with it because as the instructor explained, your non-dominant hand does not have any mis-trained qualities (if I am quoting him properly). You use your dominant hand all the time so any errors or mistakes you have done it is with that hand. When I qualified with my non-dominant, I actually did better. Good to know also if you were injured in your dominant arm or hand.


I train weak hand -very useful when I have lefty students too. My weak hand has come along much faster than I expected

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Ok, I’ll give you guys weaver for shotgun.

But I still say isosceles for handgun due to personal experience and the research done by police officers over time.


I ended up shooting isosceles at the range in competition today. Idk, I train with all methods. I don’t like being stagnant. Modified weaver feels more natural while you’re moving while shooting from my experience.


Can anyone tell me how to charge an auto with one hand?


Use the rear sight as a leverage point, and hang it on a boot soul, belt, table. Anything it can grab onto, and push the pistol.


Do you mean [Semi Auto Pistol] or Auto Rifle?


Adding to @45IPAC, for pistol, a sheriff friend of mine says they’re trained to use either the top side muzzle end of the slide or the sights braced against the edge of their kydex holster or edge of a table or other hard object, and they train both hands.


I just learned that in a close quarter gun fighting class. Good to know if you’re strong arm is unusable.