Why Firearm Positioning is Important

Posted by Jessica Koenes on Jan 21st 2022

A few things to keep in mind about firearm positioning: your stance dictates your accuracy, agility, and safety. All three are crucial for success whether on a mission or while hunting!

The perfect shot starts with the proper firearm position and stances. A good shooter knows that they need to have their eyes on the target, as well as having an accurate aim in order for them to achieve optimal results!

The Stance

You have heard it all before. If you have ever been to a shooting range, there are a few things you can count on. Sure they will do a rundown of firearm safety, but once all the pieces are in place, the dialogue about your stance will begin. There will be an emphasis on the spacing of your feet, then possibly going into your shoulder stance. Where your hand is positioned on your gun. You know the drill, “your feet need to be shoulder-distance apart. Bend your knees slightly. Lean forward a bit. Make sure you're putting your weight on the balls of your feet.” Why all the reputation? Why does the conversation about your stance become such a predictable portion when shooting? Well, your stance determines your success. The stance you take to shoot will be the base for everything else. If you get your shooting stance right, you have laid a solid foundation. With the proper stance, you will see many gains throughout your shooting practice.

The Stance

hunting by tprzem from Pixabay

Does Firearm Positioning Really Matter?

Stay with me for a moment. From a short distance, for the most part, a bullet travels straight. When you take it in its simplest form, your stance does matter. Where you place your feet matters. How your shoulders are positioned matters. Where your hands are located, if you are leaning into the shoot, where you are placing your weight on your feet matters. Let’s look into it in more detail.

Solid Base

We use sights to help us line up our bullets with the target. This makes sure the muzzle is pointed to the correct location. Where you point the muzzle is directly related to where your arms and hands are located. In order to get the bullet moving down the muzzle and onto the target, you will need to pull the trigger. Unfortunately, it is impossible to pull the trigger with exact precision and zero body movement. There will always be some form of movement and play when you go to pull the trigger. This is why a solid base matters.

No matter how well formed your top positioning is, if your foot positioning is off, you will lose accuracy and have even more movement when you go to pull the trigger. Have you ever seen a new house being built? Now just imagine they cut corners with the foundation of the home. Shoddy work, sloppy precision, and cutting corners, and then boom! They decided to get to business and do immaculate work on the top portion of the house, on the roof. Would you be interested in buying this house? Of course not! The same could be said for the importance of your foot stance. You are going to want to create a strong foundation for your foot stance. You are going to want the proper foot distance to provide stability and grounding for the recoil. This all supports stable and consistent shooting. When it comes to your stance, there are several schools of thought. There are three stances you may want to consider for a firm foundation on your shooting routines. The Isosceles, the Weaver, or the Fighting stance.

Solid Base

shooting by tprzem from Pixabay

  • Isosceles: This is a two-handed technique where the dominant hand holds the gun while the support hand wraps around your dominant hand. Your elbows will be locked in position and your arms will be out straight. They call this the Isosceles due to how the shooter looks from an aerial view, with arms and chest forming an isosceles triangle.
  • Weaver This stance also has the support hand wrapping around the shooting hand. The main focus will be how the shooting hand exerts pressure on the firearm in order to lessen the muzzle flip and allow faster shooting. Your feet will also be in a boxing stance for this one.
  • Fighting For the Fighting stance, your toe of the shooting lead foot will be at the instep of the support foot. This is for the purpose of eliminating the forward-rear balance issues that come with other positioning stances. Your knees will be flexed as well in order to help take the impact of the recoil and to absorb the movement that is inevitable from the kickback after pulling the trigger.

Regardless of which one you choose, it is essential to practice and really stabilize your stance before focusing on other aspects of shooting.

Foot Position

Everyone is built different, therefore there are endless ways to arrange your body in order to allow for accuracy and consistently when shooting. An assembly line approach will not work when it comes to looking at footing position. The main idea is that you need to keep your feet a shoulder distance apart and find the proper balance based on your body type. The position your feet are in should feel comfortable. This might be different based on your weight or hip alignment, but it should feel natural and stick to the idea of being approximately a shoulder length apart based on your specific measurements.

Foot Position

rifle by tprzem from Pixabay

In Conclusion

Whichever stance you choose, it needs to be appropriate for the situation. Consider why you are learning to shoot and what situations you anticipate needing to shoot. Find the footing and stance that is comfortable and practice, practice practice! Form that muscle memory and get out to the target stands!