Benefits Of The, 'Reverse Chapman' Stance And Grip
I can't approach this topic in the same way that D.R. Middlebrooks does; he is an internationally recognized championship-grade pistol shooter. Me? I am just an, 'old gunman' who, probably, likes ‘guns’ too well, and has done nothing more than to very carefully study this particular pistol shooting style.
Events similar to those which Middlebrooks describes as leading up to his own adoption of a, ‘Reverse Chapman’ stance (or, ‘grip’ if you want to get really technical) have, also, occurred to me. Over the years, and along with everybody else in the sport, I went through the usual pistol shooting experiences: Started out shooting one-handed (postal) pistol matches, used the old, dated and muddled, ‘FBI combat pistol techniques’, and went on to follow Jeff Cooper’s, ‘Weaver Method’ of two-handed pistol shooting which Cooper’s gun club developed at Big Bear, CA.
I found the Weaver Stance to work well with large magnum revolvers. It was, also, a vast improvement over the old one-handed hold. For speed shooting - and, again, like everybody else - I found an Isosceles Stance to be easier to manipulate a pistol with than the Weaver. The big problem with an Isosceles Stance, though, is the tension which builds up in your arms while you use it - especially on multiple targets. The Isosceles is too rigid, and can prevent a shooter from moving well with a pistol through a series of shots.
The Chapman Stance, or, ‘Modified Isosceles’ provides, both, a lot more flexibility in the upper torso, as well as quicker and more fluid movement of the pistol from target to target; however, the existing high shooter fatigue factor is still present; and, in my opinion, this fatigue factor is primarily responsible for a lot of the misses and mistakes that end up showing on a target. As Middlebrooks sagely points out: You CAN train around it; however, it’s even better if you don’t have to deal with it at all! The question becomes, ‘What is the principal cause of shooter: fatigue, misses, and mistakes in (high quality) pistol shooting?
Now I’m not, ‘the last word’ in pistol shooting - OK. So let’s remember that you’ve asked me for my opinion: In my opinion, increased (or, ‘hard’) tension in the muscles AND along the tendons of the gun hand’s upper forearm makes a significant contribution to the most commonly occurring pistol shooting mistakes. The less, ‘management of’ or, ‘working around’ this tension and fatigue a pistol shooter has to do, the better he’s going to: aim, fire, and control his pistol; AND, a shooter is going to be able to do this for a longer period of time, as well.
Let’s take the specific example of a right-handed pistol shooter who consistently, ‘drops’ his shots and hits, ‘low left’ @ between 9:00 and 7:00 o’clock, over and over again. (Yes, I know that this area covers a variety of different pistol shooting mistakes; but - for a particularly, ‘dense’ reader like that, ‘devildog’ fellow I ran into on this forum the other day - THAT IS NOT THE POINT!)
Assuming that his grip is what it should be, and trigger technique is, at least, adequate then: If a right-handed shooter with a bad, ‘left and low’ problem were to straighten out his support (left-side) arm, slightly bend his gun hand elbow, and slightly cant his gun hand wrist in a downward direction, do you know what’s going to happen WHEN that pistol shooter pushes his gun hand into his grasping support hand (and arm)?
THE SHOOTER WILL, QUITE NATURALLY, FIND IT TO BE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO DROP HIS SHOTS INTO EITHER THE LEFT SIDE, OR THE LOWER LEFT QUADRANT OF HIS TARGET!
Now, the, ‘Reverse Chapman’ stance is NOT a, ‘panacean cure-all’ for generally lousy pistol shooting. A shooter’s: grip, front sight management, and trigger control still have to be correct and what they should be; however, the use of a, ‘Reverse Chapman’ stance allows an experienced pistol shooter to have one less problem to overcome while he’s manipulating a pistol. What is more, I have found the, ‘Reverse Chapman stance’ to be increasingly useful as the pistol I’m using becomes smaller and smaller.
NOTE: I don’t want to address the subject of, ‘quicker follow-up shots’ in this reply. That would require me to expand my answer into far more depth than I care to get into right now. I’ve tried to say this correctly; and I hope I’ve been able to help you out.