3 Types of Pistol Shooting Stances

An individual’s shooting stance is a crucial, yet often neglected, fundamental when it comes to discharging a firearm. While there is no universal “correct” shooting stance, there are different stances that are optimal depending on experience level and personal preferences. 

As a law enforcement officer, it’s important to realize that it doesn’t matter how knowledgeable or skilled you are (such as grip, sight, recoil control and other factors) — if your stance does not provide a strong base for your shooting, you will have an inconsistent shot. 

Check out these 3 types of shooting stances to better understand what is right for you. 


Isosceles Shooting Stance

The isosceles stance is named after an isosceles triangle (a triangle in which two sides have the same length). In this case, the two sides are the shooter’s arms while the base of the triangle is the shooter’s chest. A proper isosceles stance includes feet shoulder-width apart (or slightly wider) with toes pointed at the target. A slight bend of the knees and forward lean is common while in this stance. The arms are to be extended, forming the isosceles triangle. 


Weaver Shooting Stance

The weaver shooting stance, often accredited to 1950’s LA County Sheriff Jack Weaver, is taught to a lot of new shooters. The stance is assumed by moving your non-dominant leg (often your left) forward of your dominant leg (often your right). The firing arm, the arm and hand that will pull the trigger, is fully extended while the supporting arm has a slight bend to it. The toes are again pointed forward towards your target and the shooter will slightly lean forward. 


Tactical Shooting Stance

The tactical stance, also known as modified or modern isosceles, is a popular law enforcement stance since it is an adaptation of the weaver and isosceles shooting stance. In this stance, the shooter is square to the target with feet shoulder width apart (or slightly wider). The firing side foot is just slightly behind the support side foot. (a “middle ground” between the weaver and isosceles stance feet placement). There is a slight bend in the knees and forward lean as the shooter’s arms are extended straight out. 


Aftermath Supports Local Law Enforcement

Through various training opportunities (COVID-19 safety & bloodborne pathogen training), as well as annual giveaways and fundraising, Aftermath Services has long been a partner to local law enforcement departments. Initiatives such as our annual K9 Grant and Why We Serve campaign have helped LEO departments acquire the tools and develop the training regimens necessary to keep officers safe while on the job. 

Learn more about Aftermath Services here.