While teaching in Arizona last week, I heard from friends at Gunsite Training Center that Jack Weaver had passed. The retired lawman was eighty.

Back in the 1950s when Jack Weaver was a young deputy at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office, he attended the gunfight simulation matches developed in California by the legendary Jeff Cooper. The paradigm then was quick draw, one-handed shooting, but one also had to hit the target to win. Weaver experimented and discovered that he could hit fastest by drawing swiftly, taking a two-hand hold on the gun, and bringing it to eye level to rapidly aim. It proved to be the winning strategy. John Plahn analyzed the biomechanics of the isometric stance Weaver had worked out for himself, and Cooper adopted and promulgated it, naming it after Weaver. You can read the details here and here, in the excellent work of a fellow writer at American Handgunner magazine, Jeremy Clough.

The rest, as they say, was history. The paradigm changed completely: for police, for military, for armed citizens. We’ll never know how many good people survived criminal violence because they used the steadier, more accurate and controlled Weaver stance, or other two-handed stances for which the Weaver technique paved the way. I’ve heard that Jeremy’s article had made Weaver so popular that the old gentleman felt he was being treated like a rock star for the last year of his life. He well deserved it.

It is my loss that, though I knew Cooper, I never got to meet Jack Weaver. He changed a long-established paradigm. Weaver’s work undoubtedly saved untold lives.

The man Made A Difference.

These Lethal Force Institute students fire from what LFI calls the Classic Weaver stance in their final qualification at Phoenix Rod & Gun Club.


  1. I’d read that Mr. Weaver had passed, but I think this is the first time somebody played connect-the-dots for me to the Weaver stance. Thanks, Mas.

    I hope Vince did well at LFI.

  2. Mas,

    I was sorry to hear of Mr. Weaver’s passing.

    As you may recall, I got the news from you, when you told that LFI class in AZ. I really liked the way you taught the Weaver Stance, and especially liked the way it helped handle the “snappy” recoil of that .40 I was shooting.

    I will definately keep the Weaver Stance in my “Tool Box” but hope I never have to use it, except at the Range. If it wasn’t for guys like you, Col. Cooper, Ray Chapman, many others, and Jack Weaver we would still look like we were taking a dump when we went to shoot.

    Thank you for teaching me that stance. I will use it, and the other stances you taught us that week, but do have my “preferred” stance when wearing Body Armor. They say that age catches up with us all. I guess one sign of that is seeing our heros pass.

    I can only hope that I pass on some of what I have learned to the next generation. Take care and stay safe.


  3. I was in Parris Island when the ‘Corps was changing over from the osacelese (however you spell it) stance to the Weaver. It was so much more comfortable and accurate especially when holding the position for a period of time. I knew it was he was a cop but never knew the story behind it

  4. The man was a giant among mortals. He showed us the way and Jeff Cooper expounded on it. Men of that caliber are seldom seen. They were the last of a dying breed of american patriots, who understood that real freedom comes from the proficiency to defend one’s freedom and the confidence that comes with that skill. One can only hope , that in these dark days of a communist presidency, gun grabbing, and kidnapping, we will have men of virtue and courage, like Weaver and Cooper, who will pull out that old well worn .45 and that M1 garand when the call comes to arm oneself. I salute Mr. Weaver.

  5. A dying breed indeed. There are not many left from “the greatest generation”. Fortunately for the rest of us, they left their mark and blazed a trail for us to follow, if we can find the courage to do so.

    God speed Jack Weaver.

  6. Bummer, there aren’t many of the Combat Masters left. Thell is the only one I know personally and have my whole life. God bless JW and All the good old boys….