Snub Training – Stance and Balance

Every shooting instructor has a recommended stance.  Here is the one I find most versatile.  Begin by facing the target with both your feet shoulder width apart.  Each foot parallel with the other and knees slightly bent. Now using what martial artists often call a reverse stance, move your right foot forward (assuming that you are right side dominate – Reverse these directions if you are left side dominate.) Move your right foot until the heel of your right foot is ahead of the toe of your left foot. Be sure to keep the toe-foot-heel line of the right foot parallel with the toe-foot-heel line of the left foot.

Now with your right foot forward, parallel and about shoulder width apart your chest should be square to the target so if you were wearing armor the front panel would be squared to the threat.  Keep your shoulders slightly forward of your pelvis, your nose over your right knee and your right knee over your right toe.  You should find that this stance will offer you good lateral balance and except for the uncommon reversal of the traditional right foot / left foot position, this stance is probably very similar or something you may already be shooting out of. 

Let’s look at a few of the advantages that this right foot forward stance can give you.

When shooting around a natural left side barricade more of your upper body will be behind cover.  This is especially true if you keep your right toe close to the edge of the corner of the cover.  If you need to take a kneeling position behind the same left side barricade you will still be shielded more of your upper body behind more of the cover than if you keep your left foot forward.

 When either moving in the open in a step-and-drag fashion or training on a static range, with your right foot forward you will have a more effective 180 degree traversing range.  Try this experiment.  Put your left foot forward and extend your shooting hand.  Now keeping you feet where they are swing your arm across its natural 180-degree range.  Most likely you will have the greatest range of motion from the front (12 o’clock) to your rear (6 o’clock) Everything between 12-to-9-o’clock (i.e. your left side) can’t be covered very well without moving your feet.  Now switch up your feet.  Move your right foot forward and your left foot back.  Now when you sweep you can probably cover the whole of your front 9-to-12-to-3-o’clock with almost no upper chest binding.  In other words you have a natural 180 degree sweep of everything in front of you.  Is it better to have a free gun swing across your front 180 degrees or to have a free gun swing across your right side 180 degrees? Consider if you are moving in front of your family, guiding them to safety you would be planning to protect them from anything that is in front or ahead of you.  Strong side foot forward performs this better than strong side foot to the rear because you can quickly react to anything between 9-to-12-to-3-o’clock ahead of you.  If you are pulling rear guard while your family was moving away from the threat (keeping your right foot “forward” and closest to and “trailing” threat.) Again you are going to want to cover the 180 degree of the area they are leaving, i.e. the area behind you.  Right foot forward and toward and approaching threat will give you that natural 180 degree range. 

Now nearly every shooter knows that when firing weak hand only you want to lead with the “weak side” foot and get behind the gun.  Well, if this is the strongest stance for “weak-hand only” shooting, and it is, then the mirror position (right foot forward) must be the strongest one-handed strong-hand-only position.  It’s simple logic.  And if keeping the gun side foot forward is the strongest stance when shooting one-hand-only then when you add your weak (left) hand to your strong (right) hand and keep your strong (right) leg forward, you must have the strongest possible two-hand range stance.

Try both stances at the range.  Feet shoulder width apart and keep your knees slightly flexed.  Keep your nose over knee and your knee over your toes.  The toes and heels of both feet should be on a parallel “railroad track” pointing toward the target.  Try a cylinder full of rounds with the strong foot forward and another cylinder with the weak foot forward.  I think you will find that the increase in control will speak for itself.  If on the other hand you find neither stronger or if you find the traditional weak foot forward stance better serves you stay with it.  But give the strong foot forward “reverse stance” a fair test before you decide.

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