Shooting Stance

To a great degree, how you stand may be dictated by your physical condition and surroundings. However there are a few key points you should try to address when developing your shooting stance.

We feel most comfortable when standing with equal weight on both feet and with our weight more on the heels than the balls of the feet. This is how our musculature is designed to hold our weight, with the joints more or less fully extended, or locked. This requires the least amount of muscle to keep us upright. However, this is NOT the optimal position for controlling and quickly shooting a hand gun.

Arm Position:

Arms should be fully extended when possible, but not necessarily locked out. Shoulders should be relaxed, not up around your ears.

Leg and Foot Position:

Front-to-back: Strong-hand side leg is rearward of other leg about 12 – 18 inches . The amount varies depending on each shooters level of balance, weight and strength.

Side-to-side: Typically, a hip-width distance between each foot is comfortable and stable.

Knees can be bent or locked, although I usually bend mine a little.

Body Position:

Your torso should lean forward slightly with no more than a small amount of bending forward at the waist. NEVER bend backwards at waist, hip or shoulder area. Shoulders should always be forward of the hips.


Your weight needs to have a forward bias to counteract the kick of the gun. The idea is to get in a position that allows you to be active against the rearward force of the gun firing (recoil). This will enable you to control the gun properly and quickly return it from muzzle rise and recoil to the position back on target. The gun should never push you back so much that you become off-balance. If this happens, you need to move your balance and body position forward.


Hold the gun tightly – tighter than you might think. This is, in my experience, the most common problem with new shooters. Grip is covered in detail in a separate blog.

Let Us Help You Find the Firearm That Fits You Best

Explore by Purpose