In the heat of battle, who knows what “shooting stance” you’ll adopt? The chances of shooting from a “classic” stance in a gunfight are about as low as the chances I won’t link to an Israeli model for an analogy. Remember: a gunfight is a fight with a gun; not a simple test of marksmanship. You won’t know the who, what, when and where of it until you do. And then an armed citizen’s gotta do what an armed citizen’s gotta do. Even so, anyone who fancies using a gun for self-defense should adhere to some basic training principles to save their tochas in a life-or-death lethal force encounter . . .
For example, get off the X. Move and shoot, shoot while moving or just move. (Do try this at home with a triple and independently checked unloaded gun and ammo safely stored.) Another basic: lean forward.
Like many new or poorly trained shooters, Krysta [above] holds the .357 as far away from her face as humanly possible. To do that, she’s leaning WAY back. It’s the worst possible stance—if you want to call it that—for recoil management. Notice the muzzle flip (despite the death grip). Sure, a shooter can learn to adapt. But accuracy’s always gonna be an issue.
Never mind that. The bigger problem: passivity.
To get a move on, to move forward and away from a lethal threat, a backwards leaning shooter has to transition from leaning back to leaning forward. The easiest thing to do: not do it. Either stand still or back up.
Tactically speaking, standing still sucks. It sucks so bad I often wonder if regular static range training is counter-productive. It teaches shooters not to move. Again, anyone who’s got their basic pistol craft together is better advised practicing moving and dry firing at home.
Backing up can be even worse. Not to state the glaringly obvious, but you don’t have eyes in the back of your head. Backing-up is an excellent way to bump into something at a time when bumping into something could be your last mistake on this earth.
Nope. You’ve got to follow Devo’s advice. Go forward. Move ahead. To do that, you have to follow the old British aphorism “start as you mean to finish.” If you start a fight leaning backwards you could well end it in the ultimate backwards posture (i.e. lying flat on your back).
I know from backwards to forwards seems like a simple change. Yes but—in a potentially lethal encounter every millisecond counts. More than that, leaning forwards puts you in “go” mode. It enables the most advantageous self-defense strategy: speed, surprise and violence of action.
When it comes to self-defense, you’ve got to lean into it. Even if you’re moving away from it. By all means, practice shooting off-balance. But make leaning forwards your default stance.