PAN AM Shooting Footwork

pan am shooting          Competitive shooters name stances for their innovators or for their appearance. There’s the ‘Weaver’ and the ‘Chapman’; there’s also the ‘Natural Stance’ and the ‘Isosceles’, which may refer to a triangular set up.  Hobby shooters, however, who follow doves or waterfowl have the catchiest monikers for their shooting footwork: the ‘British Churchill’, the ‘American Step’, and the ‘Foxtrot’. The ready position for the Foxtrot begins with the heels 6 to 8 inches apart and the toes pointing at 12 and 2 o’clock. The bird in flight orchestrates the next move. (1)

Skill-testing target shooting with pistols or rifles begins in three stationary stances – standing, kneeling or prone.  Shooting at a moving object with a shotgun, on the other hand, requires dynamic but practised moves.  The goals are the same: control of the firearm and accuracy in aim. While individual shooters may vary their foot positions within a stance (of whatever name), every marksmen tries to duplicate his grip and footwork on every shot. 

Pistol and Rifle


The shooter finds his comfortable stance. He may stand square to the target, with feet shoulder width apart, and toes pointed at target. Or, he may stagger his feet with a supporting foot six inches ahead, in a ‘nose over toes’ style. The shooter’s weight is on the balls of his feet, leaning forward to balance and absorb recoil.


The shooter is permitted to touch the ground with the toes of one foot, one knee and the opposite foot.  Kneeling lowers the shooter’s centre of gravity, increasing his stability.


Lying face down and directly behind the firearm, the shooter draws his dominant leg up, bends that knee and points his feet in the same direction, the toes of that foot pointed outward. His other leg is stretched out and relaxed, with the toes of that foot turned inward.


Standing, the shooter’s eyes are set to focus on the high-flying skeet or clay pigeon, released on his instruction.  Prepared for anything, he is balanced on feet shoulder width apart, weight on his front foot, leaning into the shot. This is the natural predator position.

Go to –

Resources:  (1)

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.   1 Corinthians 9:25 (NIV)



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