One-Handed Shooting Stances … and Their New Names?

While teaching a ladies’ class that was focused on one-handed firearms training, I got into an interesting discussion with my students as to what to do with “the other hand” — first and foremost for safety reasons, but also because of various balance and comfort issues. In order to effectively teach the students (and to explain some of the acceptable positions for the unused appendage), I came up with some interesting — and memorable — names to classify the stance variations.

Since it’s nearly pointless for me to simply write about these amusing names, we recruited a brave volunteer to demonstrate some of the one-handed shooting stance types.

Hopefully you will enjoy the images and understand the explanations behind them … or maybe even see yourself in them. But most of all, hopefully you will appreciate that we were just having a little fun while learning!

The Celine Dion

The Celine Dion (fist across chest):

I know that a lot of instructors teach this way, with the unused arm across the chest and the hand creating a tight fist. But this maneuver reminds me of one of singer Celine Dion’s signature moves, in which she balls up her fist and hits her chest while belting out an impressive note. I don’t know if she realizes how hard she actually hits herself, but that move has stuck in the minds of many people. Maybe it’ll be on your mind the next time you see it, along with this annoying little earworm: “My heart will go on and on.…”


The Diva


The Diva (hand on thigh):

For some ladies, positioning their non-shooting hand high on the thigh area ends up being the most comfortable and stable shooting position. But, you have to admit, that can look a bit glamorous. So this fabulous pose quickly took on the “diva” nickname.

The Pregnant Woman


The Pregnant Woman (hand on back or lower hip):

For some shooters, keeping one hand on the back of the hip is the most secure and balanced way to shoot one-handed. But this stance can easily resemble a pose that pregnant women often adopt as they desperately seek out comfortable standing positions.

The Angry Mama


The Angry Mama (hand on hip):

Placing the non-shooting hand on the hip tends to be my pose of choice. It just feels natural and comfortable in my shooting stance. Oddly enough, though, it does kind of bear a resemblance to an angry parent. So I decided to name it the “Angry Mama,” since most folks can easily envision an aggravated mother, exasperated with her children, standing in this authoritative way … while lovingly delivering her requests and appeals!

The Redneck


The Redneck (hand grabbing belt or top of pants; or thumb shoved into side pocket):

This pose usually makes my students laugh, since it involves a shooter whose non-shooting hand is firmly grasping a belt or shoving one thumb into a pocket. But a lot of people find it to be comfortable and secure. All I know is while it may be an effective way to keep your arm and hand out of the way while manipulating a firearm with one hand, it does look a lot like the pose a good ole’ boy might use to show off that brand new belt buckle.

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