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Resolving the "Weaver Question"

3374 Views 18 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Dean Speir
There is an on-going discussion on Rob's, Dan'l's, CeePee's and my favorite newsgroup about "the Weaver Stance," and as usual on that particular newgroup, a whole bunch of people got it wrong. (But then, in fairness, some got it reasonably accurate, too….)

One fellow wrote that the Weaver was now going on forty years old, but I knew that to have been an undershot by a considerable amount, and did some research through the Cooper Commentaries (current at and what I found was pretty interesting.

I had thought that it was 1957, but was actually 1959. So it's been 45 years since LASO Deputy Jack returned to Big Bear Lake with his six-inch S&W K-38 and a two-handed hold and competitively forced the "Leather-Slappers" into the first stages of what we now know as The Modern Technique after Jeff Cooper and the late John Plahn incorporated "dynamic tension" (as they used to call it in the old Charles Atlas advertisements) into the mix.

BTW, by Cooper's own admission a dozen years ago, it took him three (3!) years to discard his "one-handed long-point" style and emulate Weaver… when I asked him why, he simply shrugged and stated "I was stubborn." (Okay, why do you think they're called "jarheads?!?")

Another poster mentioned that "the speedrock was taught me ancillery {sic} to the modified Weaver as it started from that stance."

Well, that's amusing, because almost by definition, any two-handed, bladed stance not performed by Jack Weaver is in fact a "modified Weaver," so that term is tossed around far too loosely. Upon information and recollection, it was first used to describe the Chapman "refinement," as Ray was one of those early participants.

(There's another variant of that promulgated by another retired Marine which he once called the "Kent Turnipseed Enhanced Low Ready" or some such. Most of what one needs to know can been seen on his video page and some of the subjects he covers:
  • Hit from the hip!
  • Hit without sights![/*:m:eek:f69ecto]
The other thing which is instructive about the man, he was a participant, albeit pretty much as an after-thought, in Dean Caputo's celebrated "Firefight on the Edge of the 'Hood," coming soon to TGZ.)

The "Weaver stance" and the "Speed Rock" were part and parcel of the Modern Technique, and while it's been a tad over ten years since I was last at Gunsite, there was a curious construction adjacent the South Range which I learned from then D.Ops Bill Jeans, had been used in instruction of the Speed Rock but was rarely ever used. The preferred technique was, I believe, what is now commonly referred to as the "police protected position."

But the best thing about my explorations was the discovery of a modest site launched by Jack Weaver's son Alan which confirms the date of the Weaver introduction, and a photo from "the day." Appropriately it's and there's a terrific photo of his Dad showing off the only true "Weaver Stance."

Our next question for discussion is "Who is Thomas Glenn Terry and why should we know him?"
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Okay, why do you think they're called "jarheads?!?"

Gee, and I though it was because a flat top high and tight hair cut made our heads look like a jar with a lid.

Who is Thomas Glenn Terry and why should we know him ?"

In Anniston, Alabama, two criminals using stolen guns herded 20 customers and employees of a Shoney's Restaurant into a walk-in cooler. Thomas Glenn Terry, who was legally armed with a .45 semiautomatic, shot and killed one robber and mortally wounded the other. (a simple search turned this up... is there more to the story?)
Schmit said:
a simple search turned this up... is there more to the story?
Probably not, and the absence of the rest of the story is why we should know him.
No multiple execution style homicides. No repeat offenders. No HCI blaming the tool for the actions of the depraved men that Mr. Terry stopped. No media circus trial. No last minute appeals from Death Row.

Oh, yeah... and next to no media coverage.
Right you both are… especially Doctor B. Reminds me of that Conan Doyle story about Silver Blaze:
"Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?"

"To the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime."

"The dog did nothing in the nighttime."

"That was the curious incident," remarked Sherlock Holmes.
Two months after the highly publicized (freakin' media circus with… surprise!… lotsa cries for more gun control laws!) event at Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, where George Hennard murdered 23 people, Br'er Terry (a postal worker, of all things!) lit up one guy and blew up the other, and forstalled the "massacre" of his wife and nearly a score of other customers and staff who had been herded into a walk-in box by two robbers. Both had previous armed robberies on their record, and one had murdered a motel clerk just a few days earlier.

"If it bleeds, it leads," but only the goops bled, so the national news agencies yawned and, with the solitary exception of The Christian Science Monitor, looked elsewhere!
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A question of semantics?

Ok Dean, I'll bite, what's the difference between "lit up" and "blew up?" One was fatal, I assume?

Ed said:
Ok Dean, I'lll bite, what's the difference between "lit up" and "blew up?" One was fatal, I presume?
Sounds to me as if both become a main course for the worms. :twisted:
Re: A question of semantics?

Especial Eduardo said:
Ok Dean, I'lll bite, what's the difference between "lit up" and "blew up?" One was fatal, I presume?
"Lit up" = Hurtin' for certain… ya might get better but you'll never get well.

"Blew Up" = DRT.

And speaking of "semantics," it might be presumptuous of me, you might like to reconsider your use of "presume."
Assume! I said assume right? There must be a glitch in the software! :wink:
Re: A question of semantics?

DeanSpeir said:
"Lit up" = Hurtin' for certain… ya might get better but you'll never get well.
That I like!
My fav is DRT - never heard that till I found P.I. (R.I.I) and lucked into some pretty savvy gun folks. Dean, what's SeanMac up to?
I admit I looked on and came up with "Dead Right There." I will ASSUME that is what Dean (Conan the Grammarian) was referring to.


Yes I know that a true acronym makes a word but that page is a good tool to look up abbreviations.
Dear Dean;
The "Weaver" stance has been in use for a bit longer than the 1950s.
I refer you to J. Henry FitzGeralds(his spelling) book "Shooting" originally published in 1930 and reprinted by Wolf Publishing in 1993.(Now out of print.)

Section 50-Two Handed Shooting. "Fitz" describes how he holds his revolver. "...
place the hand holding the revolver firmly in the palm of the other hand, the first finger of the outside hand to be just under the trigger guard and the thumb over the thumb of the hand holding the revolver. Use pressure enough to steady the revolver....if the revolver is held in the right hand and both placed in the left, the left foot should be placed ahead of the right and slightly to the left or nearly the position of the feet for left hand shooting."
On the facing page is a photo of Fitz in, well, a Weaver-Fitz Stance.

In another photo, he's holding what appears to be a 6" Colt Official Police revolver back at his right hip with this side turned away from the covered bad guy.

Many so called modern handgun techniques are simply old wine in new bottles abiet now with "catchy" names.
Welcome to the forum.
I'll let Dean or Charlie to make the appropriate introductions for those that aren't familar with Mr. Rauch. I'll just mention that Walt was one of my instructors at TR's DHG2 in fall of 2000, which I've recently described elsewhere as the course that I enjoyed the most.
Uncle Walt, we are honored…

And I think that most here will recognize the name.

Thanks for the lore on FitzGerald, a name not unknown to me even if his actual two-handed technique is.

In my research of the Weaver last week, I came across FitzGerald's name, but not with the specifics you provide. Thank you for that… sounds like a good resource!

In a related matter, I heard back from Jack Weaver's son this afternoon, hereinunder transcribed:
Hello Dean,

I am very much a computer novice but my website is forcing a change of habit, which is turning out to be quite interesting. Thank you for the kind comments and the link.

I started this poster exactly as I described-the idea hit me while listening to Rush, and developed from there. As far as the dates ... 1956, 1957, etc. The first "Leatherslap" was held in 1956 and my father was not there. In 1957 he entered but did not place.

By 1958 he had practiced hard on a kind of waist-high two handed point shooting which he says was working pretty well until his first match when he "got wiped out immediately."

It was at this 1958 shoot that he says he realized in a profound way "that the most important thing was to hit the damn target and I had a whole YEAR to get ready."

Jack won the 1959 Leatherslap and began winning almost everything he entered.

Anyway, that's how I heard the story.

Thanks again Dean, Alan
And thank you, Alan!

As I said to Uncle Walt (I'm gonna keep calling you this as it is how Bane has elected to immortalize you in All Night Radio) on the 'phone earlier, I have never seen anything where Jack Weaver ever claimed to have "invented" the two-handed stance with which he is indelibly associated. And Walt hadn't either… "he was the right man at the right time," Walt observed.
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Hello Walt, While I was in a gunshop (TargetMaster in Concordville, PA) talking High Powers with another customer. He mentioned that he did some pratical shooting at a range nearby and I'm pretty sure he dropped your name as someone who shows up. Are you in the S.E. PA area these days?

Ed from DelaWhere
PO Box 510, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444
Member, Lower Providence Rod and Gun Club, Oaks, PA; my main location to break guns.

Thanks for the welcomes.
Uncle Walt
Welcome Walt ...


A follow-up note from Alan, son of Jack, Weaver: more note.

I spoke to my father today and I had something wrong in my timeline for the late '50s.

At his first Leatherslap in 1957, he came in at 2nd place but says that it was one of those instances where he and his competitor had blazed away furiously and it had been "a fluke" that he had come out #2.

Also, I told him about your E- mail and he was so very pleased... said that no one had ever even commented to him about that letter turned feature article and was wondering if anyone had paid attention. By the way, he did not get any compensation for that or even acknowledgment of it having been received. He went to the local magazine rack for a month or two looking at the letters column, and was stunned to find his letter featured as an article. In fact, he was too nervous to read it until he got back outside to his Jeep. That's my old man.

Thanks, Alan
About ten years ago, Jan Libourel, class act that he is, had taken a Letter-to-the-Editor, run it as a two-page article, blurbed "Jack Weaver Speaks!" on the cover of a Petersen's Handguns, and gone back to doing whatever it was that Jan used to do during his tenure at the Petersen's Publishing Tower.

It was a great read, offering some remedial information (retired Dep'ty Jack had intended his letter to correct some mis-information one of the writers there had published… guess who?!?) and a couple of terrific lines, one being (this is known as a clue) "What is a 'Duane Thomas?!?'"
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