View Full Version : Mounting the long gun in CQC

January 16, 1999, 03:47 PM
This will likely spark some kind of dogma war...ah heck, I was never one to shy away from controversy. In CQC applications, how do you mount/shoulder your weapon? There are two schools of thought:
1) The traditional method ("modern technique?"): feet offset, body bladed in Weaver type stance, firing side elbow raised perpendicular to body, toe of stock in pocket, support side arm under weapon, balance neutral or slightly forward.
2) The method most often seen espoused by HK Int'l and others training "new school" methodology: feet and hips almost square to target in a modified isosceles (firing side foot slightly back), shoulders forward in aggressive forward lean, knees bent, both elbows tucked in tight to torso, stock mounted with toe about mid-pectoral.

I submit that method #1 is obsolete for CQC applications for the following reasons:
1) raised firing side elbow makes a "wing" that can hinder rapid movement in close quarters or with team members - the firing side elbow runs into walls or humans.
2) if shouldering weapon with only one hand (non-firing hand otherwise occupied), the tendency will already be for the firing side elbow to drop to support the weapon.
3) when firing full auto or rapidly on semi auto, a bladed stance creates a tendency for the weapon to walk up and to the right (for a right hander), creating poor burst control and slow shot to shot recovery. A squared up stance and aggressive forward lean greatly enhances rapid fire controllability.

Weaver shooters, modern technique proponents, subgun shooters, et al, I welcome civilized discussion.

January 16, 1999, 08:13 PM
I [ assume ] you are talking about the use of .223/9MM, and not .308.

My Colt SBR .223, is 29 1/2" overall with stock extended. I use a modification of the H&K psn with butt more in shoulder pocket, high, with gun carried in a close low ready for in building use. Fast into action, gun comes up very quickly, and can be fired with one hand if necessary. Yes, I use sights. Telescoping stock limits where gun can be mounted.

January 17, 1999, 07:02 PM
I don't think you should change the mount from situation to situation. There are very effective move and search techniques available for employment from both mounting positions. The most important aspect to CQC with longarms is to know and accept the limitations this weapons system presents - then develop specific techniques to minimize those weaknesses.

I agree the HK version or it's variants gives you better fire control under movement. But I think the normal pocket technique offers better retention possibilities and it is easier to transition down the force continuum in a CQC situation. To summarize I feel the HK technique is better for pure shooting and the regular technique offers more versatility, plus it is how I usually shoulder a longarm.

The main issue is to know a weapon system's strengths and weaknesses and apply it to the majority of the situations in which you will have need of it.

Buck Peddicord

January 17, 1999, 08:42 PM
I'll have to stick with the "HK version". Depending on the long gun (I'm assuming a carbine M4, HK 53 config) the traditional methods do not afford the stability needed when shooting or moving in a CQB environment. Elbows perpendicular will tend to get in the way when you need to maintain a slim/low profile when operating in CQB. As for rural applications where these factors do not necessarily apply the traditional may be more favorable depending on your style. Also in a burst configuration the 5.56 can be controlled almost as good as the MP5. Just my thoughts.


Rob Pincus
January 18, 1999, 02:03 AM

I think you summed it all up very well.

In addition to the short falls that have been pointed out, Elbows perpendicular is also much more tiring during extended (seconds seem like hours.....) operations and training.

I use a more-agressively-than-normal bladed "HK" stance with Carbines in CQC scenarios.


Michael Carlin
January 18, 1999, 09:50 AM

I find that my offhand position for service rifle has changed significantly with the M16/AR15. My position with weapons having a real pistol grip is firing elbow down.

During the conduct of military combat matches in Canada a couple of years ago I noticed that in the CQB "run down" phase (100 m, 75 m, 50m, 25m) that most of the really good shooters were mounting the AR15/M16 from the "ready" (a match requirement) in this manner:

The toe of the buttstock was placed high in the pocket of the shoulder (between the deltoid and the pectoral. The weapon is held into the pocket with tension using both arms. (In the "ready" match rules require the weapon be depressed at 45 degress or more acutely to the ground.)

When the rifle/carbine/smg is raised the heel of the stock is above the shoulder, this facilitates a head erect position. The erect head position makes detection of multiple targets much easier. The stance is more opne to the target, but not square on, more boxer like, about half way between bladed and square on, this facilitates a good "pocket" and allow "traverse" to both stron and weak sides, plus it seems faster to me in "search".

I have no real house clearing experience, as in Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) we train to breach the building with an explosive charge at other than a door or window, follow with a hand grenade or two, and enter shooting. (This is regular dismounted infantry not HRT training!)

But my experience in martial arts (email me if you have questions/reservations) indicates that depressing the muzzle to a position forward of the forefoot is the right answer. When you are armed with a long arm, do not "lead" the weapon around the corner or through the door. Remain back from portals/corners and pie them!

Otherwise you will wind up in a wrestling match for your weapon if you let the BG inside your "radius".

I would appreciate your evaluation of my comments as I have limited experience in this area and seek your detailed comments/guidance.

Ni ellegimit carborundum esse!

Yours In Marksmanship


[This message has been edited by Michael Carlin (edited 01-18-99).]

January 18, 1999, 06:18 PM
Like Rob, I favor the HK style "low ready", but bladed. This is with a light carbine. I will have to see how an AR15A2 changes my body dynamics.

Scott Evans
January 18, 1999, 11:45 PM
Elbows in close to the torso I would agree is best overall while upright. However, the stance is fluid, neither weaver nor isosceles. As you clear and a target presents itself you engage regardless of what foot is forward or whether you are square to the BG or not. If training absorbs a great deal of time in only one static stance then you will be unprepared if you need to engage mid stride. Rapid, accurate, controlled fire while moving is best for CQC.

Harry Humphries
January 19, 1999, 03:58 PM
As usual - some really good input.

Lets take a look at some of the key points of the discussions.

First there is a clear difference between the "Long Gun", standing mount and an appropriately configured CQC shoulder fired weapon, standing mount. The two are definitely mission specific and appropriate - given the conditions of deployment.

• Without delving into the esoteric realm let it suffice to say that the, so called, "Modern Technique" described by HILTON in his kick-off posting is the appropriate "Offhand" or standing position for relatively high powered or heavy recoil shoulder fired weapons being deployed for accurate shot placement at relatively distant targets. Missing of course was the application of sling support which is another topic altogether.

• The H&K method described by HILTON probably found it's roots with the tenor of Mr. Singelton who brought his former 22 SAS experience to Law Enforcement training in the US through H&K's MP-5 qualification program. It continues to be improved and disseminated through the likes of Chris Sheperd, former LASO dep., Gene Zink, former Delta type and a litany of very experienced and qualified special operators most of whom I am honored to call shipmate. This method is designed to afford maximum efficiency in a high speed, danger close, environment where need of speed dictates the need for reasonable, rather than extreme, accuracy. Remember balance of speed, accuracy and power - the essence of the "Modern Technique"?

Without stirring too much controversy I think it can be said that the ideal entry shoulder fired weapon, or primary, should be as short as possible, have auto select (although not an absolute must) and be chambered in a controllable caliber so as to facilitate accuracy in multiple shot application. It is important to keep lethality and control balanced in this decision.

Again without too much controversy, one can safely say that the entry weapon will be deployed while moving into and through the unknown, often through small portals and / or small rooms, stairs, halls etc. where the operators ability to rapidly assimilate the environment is a must.

Given the above, the CQC shooting stance should be open, at least in modified weaver, so as to enable the shooter to get as much peripheral view of the upcoming environment as possible and allow for complete flexibility in turreting the weapon and eyes through 90 degrees on either side of the advancing path. The advancing walk should provide a non-oscillating, steady shooting platform such as Graucho, Fencing Step or SAS (another topic), if retreating the fencing step is a must as the weapon and eyes stay aligned with the threat zone as the lead foot feels the path before the shooters balance is committed to the direction of movement. The toe of the stock should be mounted. higher and more centered than normal offhand so as to avoid bringing the head and eyes down to the sights or worse, not seeing the sights. Both elbows are in tight as the low recoil does not require a shoulder pocket and limb extremities should be avoided at all costs to facilitate confined space passage and deny hand holds to a perpetrator seeking to take the weapon. Once the shooter has left the stack the primary should be carried in low ready with the stock remaining in the mount position. While closing on an unknown area the support arm should come up over the barrel and the stance close to a bladed position offering as much retention potential as possible (also another topic).

Again you all have the idea I'm simply giving you reasons why.

January 24, 1999, 12:58 PM
Along the same lines as reasoning for the isos. stance when utilizing the handgun, does not the HK stance allow fuller coverage of ones vest/armor when compared to the tradional stance? This would also be a factor to consider if it does have merit. EricO