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Shooting Stance: Why It’s Important?

So, why do we have a wide base when we are shooting? Why do we drop our base? Why should our feet be apart and out? Why is our non-firing side leg forward? Why do we not do what we do on a range?

I see some people with their back arched. It looks like they’re uncomfortable. They’re trying to get their faces as far away from the gun as possible, and then they’re shooting.


Why do we not do the chicken wing, even though I’ve dropped my base?

Look at my elbows.


You’ll see this guy at the range doing that. Just look the next time you go. You’ll see it.

Why do we not do the NRA bull’s-eye posture?


Here’s why…

(That’s) because in a home defense situation, you’re going to be moving. You’re going to be shooting. You’re going to be communicating with your family and loved ones.

And like I told you before, your wife and children are going to come running to you. You need to be able to take the impact that’s going to happen to you when they grab on, when they don’t let go for dear life.

You can’t do that—arched back, chicken winged, or NRA bull’s-eye shooting. You need to be able to handle that impact. You think they’re going to walk and say, “Hey dad, I know that’s bad over there. I’m ready to go when you are.”



No, they’re going to be screaming, “Dad! Mom! Aaahhh…” And they’re going to tackle you—much like a drowning victim does to a rescuer.


Okay, so you need that solid base. You don’t know if you’re going to hit a wall when you have to move. You don’t know what objects are around; because it’s probably going to be at night. So, you don’t want to be knocked off balance.


One little hit, one little maneuver, one side to side and that bullet is gone. You’re responsible for that bullet as soon as it leaves the gun.

So, maintain that tight base and a firm firing grip. Pressing those arms out gives you the most stability when firing a gun.



The Difference between High Ready and Low Ready

You’ve heard a crash-bang-boom sound in your house. It’s made the hair at the back of your neck stand up. You’re nervous, so you decided that you need to get a firearm out to protect yourself from whatever’s made that noise.


Now, should you move through the house and secure young children? Or maybe move towards your wife and move in other room?

We’ve talked aboutlow ready and high ready. But, I want to demonstrate that here on the live range.

What I don’t want you to do is to walk around your house, head up, and your weapon is down; because as you can see, I’m not ready to engage.


If it’s bad enough that you had to pull a firearm, you need to be in high ready. So that weapon is just below my sight line, my arms are pressed out, and I’m moving towards that general direction.



Why is that?

Because in a moment’s notice, that guy will jump out at you. The amount of time it takes to go from low ready to high ready will make you overshoot your target.



Sigh picture wise, you have to come back down, and then you have to make your shot—all the time you don’t have.


So, in a high ready, my eyes are in line with my muzzle. I’m walking. The threat appears.



I’m ready to handle it.


Let’s do it with the low ready.

Unsuspecting, I’m looking around.




Yeah, I was able to rounds on the target because it was not jumping out at me. This target didn’t have a gun on my face. So, you need to be able to move quickly and be ready.


Now, let’s talk about having to shoot your gun.

You need to realize that one of the misnomers that people have when they buy a firearm is in the way they practice in a static range—the stall of your local gun store that has the range in it.

You load your magazine and point it out, you squint your left eye, aim with the front sight on the target, pull the trigger, and pull the trigger.



It’s not how it’s going to go in a “time is life” situation. You want to make sure that when you see the threat, understand that they SEE you.

So, you immediately want to move out of the line where you originally saw the threat. Moving keeps you alive.



Now, we have to integrate shooting and moving.

Since I can’t hit my target if I can’t see where my sights are, the gun needs to in high ready, up in my sight.

Now that I’m moving, I’ve locked my elbows and tucked my chin. My shoulders are leaning forward. I have a good base stance, with my non-firing leg forward. I’m able to control the gun.


Move, shoot, move, reload, and then shoot.






This decreases the possibility of me getting shot. That’s the importance of moving while under fire.


Why You Shouldn’t Use the Low Ready

The low ready, in my own opinion, serves no purpose in a gun fight. The low ready is an administrative position used in a static range by a range safety officer. This allows the shooter to keep their weapon pointed out towards a safe direction while giving some type of instructions.


If a situation has occurred where I need to pull my gun, there is a high probability I’m going to be in a gun fight. And so I need to be prepared.



What I’m showing you is the high ready. What I do is I’m moving through your house. Now, if you cannot keep your finger off the trigger, then you are unsafe.


The reason I say that because people will tell me “EJ, I don’t want to point my gun. I might shoot through a wall. I might shoot somebody. I might shoot one of my kids.”


Okay, you’re not following the “4 firearm safety rules.” If we can’t get pass it, you need to put your gun away. This is gun fighting. This is trying to save your life.

Yeah, it’s scary. It’s dangerous.

What you’re doing is dangerous. You need to get your head wrapped around that. Keep your finger off the trigger. Keep it outside the trigger guard. Not until your sights are properly aligned, and you’re sure of your target and what’s behind it, then you are ready to destroy what you’re about to shoot.


The 4 Firearm Safety Rules

Don’t point your weapon on anything you’re not willing to destroy. In a high ready, should you see a kid or a threat that you do not want to shoot, you essentially move, move, move it (your gun) off the target. Move it off that individual.

Yeah, we don’t want to knowingly flag anybody. But, you are mixing up “range-isms” and real life. You think the guys overseas don’t have their own buddies coming across the window and accidentally sweep him.

In close-quarters battle, muzzles don’t go across each other. It happens, but it doesn’t happen a lot. But, it happens.

Keep your finger off the trigger to make sure that gun doesn’t go “bang.” And if you find yourself in a situation where you’re sweeping something that you don’t want to shoot, immediately drop that muzzle.


Think about it, you hear a bump in the night. Something breaks. You come out to see it, and you’re petrified. You’ve got your gun up, and then you find out that it’s a drunken uncle. Move the weapon down. Keep your finger off the trigger.


Folks, this is reality. You need to follow 4 firearm safety rules. There is a difference between being on a range and being in real life. This is my own honest opinion. You need to seek your own level of training, your guidance in your local area, and follow your state and local protocols. Because what you’re doing is a dangerous and complicated legal matter.


Remain safe out there, guys. Keep your finger off the trigger, until you’re ready to shoot.


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The Science of Gunfighting

Gunfighting: a hostile encounter in which antagonists with guns shoot at each other
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