30 Oct 23
“Overly-confident conjecture, ‘backed-up’ by fictional data”
Paul Harrell
Tactical Exorcism!
I routinely hear from beginning students any number of fairy tails that circulate among those who are new to our Art.
Some professing instructors, who are in the process of trying to manufacture an “instant reputation,” put-out pretty outlandish nonsense, mostly I think just so that they can “get noticed”
Conversely, most of what we legitimately teach is not particularly glamorous, nor eccentric, so sound doctrine often does not achieve the profile enjoyed by breathtaking new theories, the vast majority of which are quickly (and mercifully) forgotten!
Here is one I’ve encountered lately:
“Jack Weaver developed and used his signature stance, only because one of his arms was shorter than the other”
Yes, and Jack also had three eyes and a tail!
Jack died in 2009 at the age of eighty. I never met him personally, but I did meet and know many of his contemporaries. And, although the “Weaver Stance” bears his name, people were shooting from a stance that looked pretty similar decades before!
Jack liked his particular interpretation, because his pistol was held close to his body and he could thus pivot more quickly than if it were further out.
Jack also liked the idea that his stance was resistant to forcible disarms, again because the pistol was close to the body.
Of course, the closer the pistol gets to the sighting eye, the more coarse the sight picture, assuming one is using conventional iron sights.
With the Isosceles Stance (that so-far no one has ever stepped-forward and claimed to have “invented”), the pistol is further away from the face and hence more inherently accurate, again assuming iron sights.
However, Jack knew, as we do, that the degree of relative “enhancement” or “degradation” of accuracy between the two stances was minuscule and thus irrelevant for most “serious uses” of pistols.
Such accuracy disparity was of interest only to competitors who often shot at very small targets, and what distinguished the tournament’s “winner” from the next dozen competitors was a tiny oval (the “X-Ring”).
And, since Jack was more interested in legitimate gun-fighting skills and tactics than in quaint competitions, he preferred the “Weaver Stance,” as I do, and for the same reasons.
Today, both the Weaver Stance and the Isosceles Stance are perfectly legitimate, and both have their advocates.
In fact, with the advent and popularity of pistol optics (replacing traditional iron sights), reasons for preferring one stance over the other are even less persuasive!
So, the “short-arm theory” is one we can happily exorcize from our Art.
“When legend becomes ‘fact,’ print the legend”
Newspaper publisher, Maxwell Scott (played by Carleton Young), in the 1962 feature film, “The
Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” starring John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, and Lee Marvin