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Basic Rifle Shooting Positions; Bench, Standing, Kneeling, Sitting (Open Leg, Cross Leg or Ankle) & Prone

Many shooters will commonly use the bench shooting position, as they are ideal for learning rifle and pistol shooters skills. Allowing for greater trigger control and sight alignment, this position gives your firearm placement in a stable position. You can master these elements of shooting from this position as well as improve your skills. Also, it gives you the fundamentals for increasing skills in the other four common shooting positions. Today, we at Shooting Range Industries would like to discuss the other four shooting positions.

Standing Shooting Position

This position has poor stability, though is applicable in different scenarios. This position takes practice since you have to rely on your own strength and balance for support. Fatigue will sooner than later set it since holding a relatively light weight rifle for any length of time is more strenuous than one may think. As mentioned, it has its uses as it is the quickest position to assume and is useful for quick shots and for shooting over objects.

Kneeling Shooting Position

Kneeling provides a good stability rating for rifle shooters. Supporting with one knee, this position has its uses. The steadiness comes from your left arm supported on your left knee that is anchored to the ground. This position is nearly as steady as the prone.

Shooting in a Sitting Position

As another good stability rated position, sitting is relatively easy to get into. Kneeling can get more clearance from the low- to medium-height obstacles that would interfere with the prone position. Open leg, cross leg and cross ankle are all variations of the sitting position. Where they are all useful and applicable, it often comes to preference.
– Open Leg. With your body pointing slightly to the right of the target at about a 30-degree angle, sit down. Extend your legs with them slightly bent. Though your knees may extend a bit wider, your feet should be about shoulder width a part. Keep your left foot as close to flat and connected to the ground as possible. In that little hollow formed by the knee bones, place your left triceps just forward and right of the kneecap. Your left hand will be close to or touching the front sling swivel.
– Cross Leg. Like the open leg, sit down with your body pointing slightly to the right of the target. Keeping the legs slightly bent, extend the legs and cross the left leg over the right one. To keep you left leg from sliding, your foot should act as a stop. Just behind each respective kneecap on the inside of the thigh, place your left and right elbows with your left hand should be just forward of the rifle’s chamber. When shooting during low light, this is the most common position.
– Cross Ankle. Get into position just as you would cross leg and open leg, except this time, cross right leg over your left leg at the ankles and tuck them underneath you. Behind each respective kneecap on the inside the thigh, place your left and right elbows. Just forward of the rifle’s chamber is where your left hand should be.

Prone Shooting Platform

The prone position has a great stability rating. When executed correctly, it is just as effective as the bench rest position. With your body pointing 10 to 20 degrees to the right of the target, lie down. With your spine and your weight on the left side of your body, keep your shoulders square. While drawing your right leg up as if preparing to crawl, keep your left leg straight. Your left lower arm at about a 30-degree angle and the Your left elbow should be on the ground just a little left of the rifle. Resting on the ground, the right elbow should be slightly out from your body. keep your head as level with the ground as possible. Establish a good cheek or spot weld while you snug the rifle into the pocket of your shoulder.

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