Splinter Cell: Conviction's box art features Sam using a Weaver grip without the supporting weak arm
And in 2009, a former British police officer by the name of Paul Castle publicized what he called the “Center Axis Relock” stance. Looking for something fresh and exciting, Ubisoft picked up the concept and incorporated it into this year’s Splinter Cell game. It involves the same concept of isometric tension as the Weaver stance...except that in using C.A.R. you hold the pistol at the center of your body width and grip it by compressing your hands toward each other. The result is an extremely tight grip that can handle even the most stout recoil; unfortunately, every example of C.A.R. shooting that I’ve seen on video results in a great shot grouping...from about six feet away. Granted, this stance is used for close quarters combat only, but when I see it employed in a game like Splinter Cell: Conviction, my first assumption is that the technique is more versatile than just shooting a stationary target in the same small room.
Sam Fisher demonstrates Center Axis Relock
Sadly, all indications point to, “nope, that’s it”. According to Paul Castle it is possible to gain so much experience with C.A.R. that someone could actually perform the feats that Sam Fisher does in Conviction. Myself, I highly doubt that. If Castle himself needs to stand six feet from his paper target in order to provide such good shot placement, then how can anyone else be expected to...especially when there are so many more natural ways to handle the pistol?
Weaver - still the best, in this writer's opinion
While doing some research for this article, I came across a video - made in 1996 - that was part of a comprehensive behind-the-scenes look at the movie The Rock. In it, a former Navy SEAL and technical consultant described one of the biggest no-no’s in handling a firearm, and that was the “belt draw”: drawing a handgun from behind the back and letting the muzzle cross the waist. While C.A.R. isn’t necessarily so negligent, it does place the shooter’s weak side elbow and chest area in an unsafe position with regard to the pistol’s muzzle. Just another reason why little-old-me wasn’t very impressed.
So basically all of this has led up to one simple statement: I don’t care much for Center Axis Relock in a real-world application. As cool as the name sounds, the combat method itself is no more effective than a simple case of common sense, in my opinion. But as long as bigger-than-life video game characters are using things like the C.A.R. stance in situations that are believable within the context of the game, even sticklers like myself can let it slide. It just serves as yet one more reminder that games are not simulators...and that I am a complete nerd.