Tactical Rifle Stance for Residential and Urban Use
Wyatt Erpp is supposed to have said, “In a gunfight, you have to take your time fast.” This means you must aim, but you have to aim fast in order to survive. So, it is vitally important, we utilize a shooting stance that enhances our ability to get accurate, fast hits. This can be done, when we maximize speed by minimizing movement. Research also proves that in a gunfight, you must utilize simple techniques, so they can be accomplished under the stress of a real world life threatening attack.
Once again we can use research to develop a simple stance technique which maximizes speed by minimizing movement. Research from the FBI, “Law Enforcement Officers Feloniously Killed in the Line of Duty with Firearms”, over the last twenty years clearly documents:
- Over 80% of police shootings occur under twenty feet
- Over 50% of police shootings occur during dark time hours or under low light conditions
Additional independent FBI research documents:
- The vast majority of these shooting occurred under the physiological stress response known as “Tunnel Vision”
Research from “Police Marksman Magazine’s”, “Stopping Power Survey”, 1985 – 1990 documented:
- It takes multiple shots (an average of 3.5) in the torso to stop an attacker
- 100% of the time a single head shot stopped the attacker
Police vehicle dashboard video as well as practical firearms training logic indicate:
- The average police shooting occurs between 2.5 and 3.5 seconds
Using this research, the goal of our tactical rifle stance is to provide a simple, stable platform from which the shooter can deliver fast, accurate multiple hits to the torso of an attacker, at close distances, during low light conditions or dark time hours and under the real world stress of a life threatening attack.
Body square to front/target
When your body is squarely facing an attacker, and your rifle is pointed away from your body at a 90% angle, the front of your body and the front of the rifle are pointing directly at the attacker. (Photo A) This gives the shooter “Body Alignment” on the target, so they can quickly and accurately aim the rifle, at close distances, and under stress without using the rifle sights, because in a life threatening armed encounter, shots that miss do nothing to stop the attack, and they waste what little time you have, so you must aim the firearm to get accurate hits.
Leaning forward at the waist
This enables the shooter to get their center of gravity out in front of their body, so they can better hold down the muzzle rise of the rifle after each shot fired. If you can fire multiple shots from your rifle in quick succession without the barrel rising up and off the target, you can get accurate, fast, multiple hits on target. (Photo C & D)
Rifle in line with shooting eye
When you move the rifle butt out of the shoulder pocket and over towards the center of the chest, you can position the butt of the rifle at the top of the pectoral muscle and directly under the shooters aiming eye, and this adds to the shooter’s “Body Alignment” on the target, so they can get accurate, fast hits on target. (Photo A & B)
Rifle stock high up on chest with top of stock touching cheek
Bringing the butt of the rifle stock high up on your pectoral muscle will enable the shooter to place his/her cheek against the rifle stock, and this will position the rifle and the aiming sight plain of the rifle just a few inches below the shooting eye. (Photo C & D) Barrel of the rifle held six inches below your line of sight to a threat
The butt of the rifle stock remains high up on the pectoral muscle, and the shooter’s cheek remains against the rifle stock, but the end of the rifle barrel is positioned about six inches lower than the shooter’s line of sight from his/her shooting eye straight to the threat. (Photo C & D)
This gives the shooter a clear view of the attacker, so they can quickly identify a deadly threat which justifies the use of deadly force. Once this threat has been identified, it takes just a fraction of a second to move the barrel of the rifle up and directly in line with the shooter’s line of sight straight to the target. (Photo B) This added to their “Body Alignment” on the target will give them accurate, fast hits.
Elbows down and held close into the body
Formal rifle training, for the range, dictates the shooter holds one elbow straight out (at a 90 degree angle) from the body, and this hold the rifle butt tightly into the shooter’s shoulder pocket.
However, shooting at the range and shooting in an urban or residential setting are totally different animals. Hallways and doorways are narrow, so if you keep your elbows out, they will surely slam up against a doorjamb, wall or door. This impact will not only pull the shooter off his/her body alignment towards the threat, it causes a great deal of pain, and it could even cause serious injury. None of these negatives are anything you want in the middle of a life threatening attack. (Photo A & B)
Feet shoulder width apart
This is a key part of getting body alignment on the target. It also provides the shooter with a balanced stance and easy forward or rearward movement as well as quick pivoting to the right or to the left,
as needed. (Photo A & B)
Feet facing forward
This prevents the shooter’s body from swaying from side to side, as they walk forward or backwards. If your feet are angled outward, as you walk, it forces your body to sway outward from side to side. (Photo A & B)
The bent knees work as shock absorbers. This allows the shooter to walk forward or backward without the barrel of the rifle bouncing up and down with each step. It also aids the shooter in maintaining a level shooting platform as well as the vital body alignment needed to deliver accurate hits on target(s). (Photo D)
Knees facing forward
This keeps your legs shoulder width apart, and it helps keep the body from swaying from side to side; it also helps prevent you from slamming your knees against a doorjamb, walls, doors, end-tables, etc. (Photo D)
Wyatt Earp survived several gunfights; therefore, it would behoove us to listen to his advice. Utilizing this simple body alignment stance enables us to aim quickly, and at the same time it addresses the research identified requirements to get multiple hits on target, under low light conditions and under the stress of a real world life threatening attack.