“May I make a suggestion?”
It was with those five simple words that my friend John Johnston of Ballistic Radio kicked off a lengthy instant message exchange which evolved into a pair of phone calls totaling nearly an hour.
By the time we were through, I realized that I shouldn’t have blasted Rob Pincus for his video criticizing the Weaver stance, for a number of different reasons. The primary reason is that I was wrong with heck of a lot of what I said.
For one thing, there is no “one true Weaver.” As Grant Cunningham notes in his critique, no two experts agree exactly on what constitutes a Weaver stance. Cunningham goes on to note (in the comments) that there is reason to suspect that the “Weaver” has existed intermittently in one form or another for generations before Jack Weaver rediscovered it for himself and his name became associated with the technique.
The version offered in the video is just one example of a Weaver stance.
But where I really got sideways when I sorta-kinda attempted to justify the Weaver, without really having a solid grounding on what really matters.
Here’s what really matters.
What matters for shooters shouldn’t be some sort of silly tribalism, where we claim something along the lines of, “I shoot ____ stance because its the best stance.” What should matter is getting yourself into the best possible position to get rounds on target, stop the threat, and save lives. That’s what Rob was trying to get across in his video. That’s what Grant explained in his critique. That’s what John said on the phone. And that’s what I should have been concerned about in the first place.
I was also dead wrong about calling the Isosceles a “competition stance.” Yes, it is used in a lot of competition shooting, but it’s also used in combat by the most accomplished and highly trained fighters in the world as the situation demands it because it works.
And you know what? The Weaver is valid in certain contexts, too. It excels in compressed positions, such as inside automobiles. It may be the only position available if a right-handed shooter can’t turn his or her hips and has to engage targets on the left, or for left handed shooters, for targets on the right.
The smart thing to do is go to different schools, listen to different theories, and then develop a toolbox of skills that you can pull out and use at the appropriate time.
You may discover that you end up shooting Chapman, Isosceles, Weaver, or some weird Iso-Weaver. In the end, position names don’t matter, as long as you can get the hits to stop the fight.
In the end, we need to do a lot more in the firearms community to be less exclusive and cliquish, and instead attempt to be more inclusive, and attempt to work from common ground. We don’t have to agree with everyone about everything, but we don’t have to be tools about it, either.
Please learn from my mistakes.