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Old December 6, 2011, 09:49 PM   #1
scwhitetail
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Shooting from a standing position, unsupported.

What are your ideas on shooting from a standing position. I can't really find a position that feels "right." Also, what is the best position (standing) to hold a rifle as steady as possible? I know things like shooting sticks help, but say that isn't an option, what do you guys do?

The range I go to most often doesn't lend its self well to shooting while standing due to the fact that each shooter fires through a 3-4 foot wide cement tube buried in a giant hill. I guess it is supposed to help with muzzle control or something, but sucks if you want to do anything but bench rest shooting, so when I get a chance to shoot unsupported, which I have found is the most realistic position I will be shooting in, I want to make the most of it by doing it properly.
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Old December 6, 2011, 09:56 PM   #2
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I've tried it with a military sling and all the other things but no longer will use it. I'll find a tree, bush, rock or something to rest against. If none exist where I'm hunting I'd have to carry shooting sticks. I just cannot get comfortable to shoot over 50 yards standing offhand.
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Old December 6, 2011, 10:07 PM   #3
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http://artofmanliness.com/2011/05/13...shoot-a-rifle/

"Bladed-Off Stance" is apparantly the name for what I learned.

A sling is a useful tool as well. It's not just for hanging the rifle on your shoulder.

http://www.rifleshootermag.com/2010/...ps_sling_0612/

Am I the only person that learned to shoot off hand first?
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Old December 6, 2011, 10:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Am I the only person that learned to shoot off hand first?

No you are not the only person. We are just getting spoiled in our old age. Easyier to sit. Whenever I move a bench out of the way to make room to shoot sitted, prone or standing the RO's give me a funny look like I am about to do something they won't like. Public ranges are just not designed for it, unless during a competition, then it's normal.

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Old December 6, 2011, 10:37 PM   #5
scwhitetail
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Very good article on the deliberate sling position abelacres. I've been thinking of making a para cord rifle sling, and now i might just add a loop at the proper place on the sling. I tried it out in my home with an unloaded rifle and a leather sling and it greatly improved my steadiness. If I ever get around to making that sling, I'll post some pictures.

I learned the bladed-off stance as well. Does anyone have any preferences on tucking in the elbow of your trigger finger arm? or not?
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Old December 6, 2011, 10:42 PM   #6
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The best explanation of shooting from the standing position is taught by the AMU and CMP.

When I'm talking CMP I'm talking about Gary Anderson, Olympic Gold Metal winner. He also, some time ago, in the 70s, set the record for Standing that hasn't been broken. (300 meter ISU free rifle).

Stand 90 degrees from the target. A tad more if you have to to get a NPI but never less then 90 degrees.

Feet are "about" shoulder width apart. I say "about" comfort plays a more important part then distance.

The head is straight up. Bring the rifle to your head, not the other way around.

Bone support: No muscling. Rest your non-shooting, or support elbow on your hip bone, rib cage, or stomach, (depending on your build).

Bring the rifle to your shoulder as mentioned. Hold it firmly by the pistol grip. When I said firmly I don't mean tight. If held too tight, you can't squeeze the trigger without disturbing your sight alignment. The right or shooting elbow is left to hang naturally. Don't try to hold it up or force it down.

Now Close your eyes, and point at the target. Open your eyes to make sure you have a proper natural point of aim. You adjust your windage by moving your feet back and forth, remember to keep the body at least 90 degrees from the target. Elevation is obtained by moving your non-shooting hand back and forth on the stock. The stock rest on the non shooting hand, the hand does not grip the stock.

Again close your eyes, open them to check your natural point of aim. Keep adjusting until its perfect. Now get lined up, close your eyes and dry fire. Without moving, open your eyes and make sure you're still lined up.

Relax. Relaxation is one of the most neglected fundamentals of marksmanship.

Don't muscle the rifle. Use bone support. Don't force anything. The sling is a deterrent to good off hand shooting, it doesn't help.

Nothing helps off hand shooting like dry firing. When you dry fire, (as in shooting) call your shots and plot the calls.

Follow through it critical in offhand. To develop muscle memory for follow through, after you drop the hammer, get back on target as fast as possible as if you were going to fire a second shot. Most people want to drop the rifle as soon as they fire. What happens is you subconsciously drop the rifle as you are shooting. If you act as if you are going to fire a second shot, you develop muscle memory to bring the rifle on target. So subconcisely, you'll do that, keeping the rifle on target. Hence, good follow through.

Forget the breathing stuff you've been told, breath naturally. You'll stop when you get ready to squeeze the trigger whether you want to or not. Worrying about breathing is just some unnecessary mental problem you don't need.

I'm pretty sure I left something out. I'll think about it a bit and come back and edit this post.

I'm sure someone will disagree with this, but when that person beats Gary Anderson's record, I'll give it another look see.
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Old December 6, 2011, 11:38 PM   #7
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great post, lots to think about

I'm keeping the sling for now, but I'm pretty sure I couldn't challenge that score with a bayonet charge.
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Old December 6, 2011, 11:47 PM   #8
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I shoot the off-hand the way I was taught in the Marine Corps...

Tight sling, feet perpindicular to the target, slight lean back, (right handed shooter) left elbow cocked out to keep the sling tight, right elbow dropped close to the body and on the hip bone if you can reach it without muscling up, good firm cheek-weld, high firm pistol grip, controlled breathing, and interrupted trigger control.

In the 10 years I was in the Corps, I never dropped a single round on the 200 yd line in the off-hand.

The last year I had to go to the range, they were instituting new off-hand rules to teach how to shoot with the new body armor that I absolutely despised and felt awkward... but they worked as well. Before the new armor with SAPI plates, they taught us to stand sideways to provide a narrower target to the enemy... after the SAPI's, they taught us to stand facing the target to give the enemy the SAPI plate shot.
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Old December 7, 2011, 12:26 AM   #9
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Absolutely agree with kraigwy, but I think we learned from the same old school.
As far as the offhand position goes, this is the right way ( though you rarely see it at a public range where there are not competition shooters):
Quote:
Bone support: No muscling. Rest your non-shooting, or support elbow on your hip bone, rib cage, or stomach, (depending on your build).
Examples:
All bone support, no muscle. Elbow on hip bone, lean back to bring the sights up to the target; lock your back and hips. Look how these guy's offhand supports the rifle on the palm. You can also make a fist and support the forearm across your knuckles


How to shoot sporters. I personally would bring my right elbow down and tuck in to my side like the guys above


You can do this with high power rifles, 30 '06 no problem, just roll with the recoil. An AR, but the same idea...


At first, leaning away from the target may feel strange, practice and, after a while, it will be the only way.

The aggressive "art of manliness" photos are for an action shooting event, speed over accuracy. It has its place, though, and I wish I could shoot well like that for those particular situations

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Old December 7, 2011, 12:38 AM   #10
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eh...I was taught a sling is used only when the slinged elbow is supported (i.e. sitting, prone, etc), so it's not used when standing.

Also, there's a difference between the NRA Standing position, used in formal target shooting, and the offhand, unsupported position. The latter is a field position only used when a quick snap shot is needed, otherwise, a more stable position is used. So, which are you interested in?
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Old December 7, 2011, 08:27 AM   #11
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I have shot a lot of deer when I was standing up un-supported. Forget the sling. If you had time to use it, you would probably have time to move to a tree. Usually I have heavy clothes and a full size pack on. That seems to help tighten up my stance, but it might just feel that way. I don't know, maybe I am just naturally good at it. I like to walk around when I am hunting and seem to get caught away from trees, in brush too high to get down on one knee, or in a situation where I just have to shoot quick. In the last 20 years I have been building my guns as short and as light as I can. That really makes a difference. Try starting with a .22, it is cheap to practice with. Just try what comes naturally first, you might surprise your self. I get the impression you are hunting, not competing, right?
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Old December 7, 2011, 09:30 AM   #12
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In my little group of shooters, the guy who consistently does the best offhand happens to be the one who shoots 1000 or more clay birds a month [trap / 5 stand/ sporting]. Different "science" but I believe that he has a higher level of muscle conditioning than some of us who are spending more time in the office and at the computer. Technique counts, but he has a basic advantage 'cause his arms and upper body are in better shape than mine.

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Old December 7, 2011, 10:19 AM   #13
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There are tricks that can, some considerably, help but they don't take a bad shooter to a great shooter. They are generally for taking a good shooter to better shooter and I'll take a shooter with the worst form in the world that shoots a lot over a shooter with perfect form that goes to the range a few times a year.

In other words find whatever works for you and practice, practice, practice. I've seen some great off hand shots that have never had professional help or even read a book or article for that matter. It seems that the OP is generally talking about off hand in the field and for that these "official" stances described and shown are a pretty much a waste of time.

Good field shooting requires tossing the bench out the window and learning trigger control, breathing, etc by sending lead down range. Holding your feet and elbow at the perfect angle isn't very feasible out there.

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Old December 7, 2011, 10:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Holding your feet and elbow at the perfect angle isn't very feasible out there
Why

It's natural. "feet a comfortable width apart" , "elbow hanging natural"

How is that not feasible?
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Old December 7, 2011, 10:36 AM   #15
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You go look at the pictures Tango posted.......what in the hell is natural about that? Then toss in the fact that you are standing on an un-level possibly slippery surface with maybe a tree on 2 throw in....................

I'm not arguing against a natural position as a matter of fact that's what I'm suggesting.
Quote:
find whatever works for you and practice, practice, practice.
But competition range techniques are a completely different ballgame.

IMO, good off hand field shooting has more in common with current combat/SD techniques taught today which BTW have little in common with range stances and most of the old school rifle instruction.

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Old December 7, 2011, 11:16 AM   #16
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Quote:
But competition range techniques are a completely different ballgame.
True, but someone who is good at a "competition" standing position, either in Highpower or Silhouette shooting has the fundamentals down, and can likely adapt to less ideal conditions.
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Old December 7, 2011, 11:51 AM   #17
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Quote:
True, but someone who is good at a "competition" standing position, either in Highpower or Silhouette shooting has the fundamentals down, and can likely adapt to less ideal conditions.
I'll agree with this and there even things that can be learned from a bench that can be carried over but IMO a person that goes out and practices "field" positions in less than ideal circumstances is way ahead of that competition shooter.

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Old December 7, 2011, 12:18 PM   #18
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You go look at the pictures Tango posted.......what in the hell is natural about that? Then toss in the fact that you are standing on an un-level possibly slippery surface with maybe a tree on 2 throw in....................
It is natural, it works, field or range, it works. Once you get the ideal of the proper stance, its fast, faster then a lot of wierd field positions you see.

I use it in hunting, its fast. Really all you have to do is bring the rifle to your chess, thats it. One naturally stands with his feet a comfortable distance a part. All you have to do is bring the rifle up, you're almost laying it on your chest.

I teach a lot of High Power and CMP GSM clinics. Every now and then I get cops attending the clinic. They were taught the "tactical" or "field" method of semi crouching, extending their non shooting hand down the forearm, etc etc. That's the way they were taught in "cop school".

You can show someone better then you can tell them. So I simply let them fire a string offhand, "there way" then show them the position described above and have them fire a string "my way". Always, the second string is better.

LiKe I said, you can show some one easier then you can tell them. So I'll put out a standing offer, if anyone wants to come to my range, I'll work with them a couple hours and then I'll buy you lunch if your off hand scores are better your way then mine. This is not a bet, its I'll buy if I'm wrong, if I'm right, you'll learn a better method.

Cost you nothing to try it.
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Old December 7, 2011, 12:27 PM   #19
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Hello kraigwy,,, I have a question,,,,,

I've been told since I was a small kid,,,
To grip the rifle sling with your off hand,,,
Using it to pull the rifle snug into your shoulder.

Is that not a viable thing to do?

Honestly man, I'm not doubting or arguing with your method,,,
In fact I see the high scoring people shooting rimfire silhouette using your stance.

I'm just curious as to where the method of pulling the rifle into your shoulder came from.

Aarond
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Old December 7, 2011, 12:29 PM   #20
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I learn how to shooting at targets off-hand,kneeling,sitting,prone in the Marines. I also made the entry level shooting team with the 4th Marines in Hawaii and I made the landing at Chu-Lai with the 4th in 1965.

Big different target and the real thing.

I look at those pictures of guys standing and shooting and that's great for targets. If your up in the high country hunting carrying a pack or walking around hunting is someone really going to have that kind of time to stand like that.

I never once after getting out of the Marines ever use a sling as a support to shoot a rifle. I do agree with the one poster about clay bird shooting and I shoot more off-hand like that hunting. I've shot Silhoutte again that's target shooting vs walking shooting PD off-hand.

Have to stop and think about this. What would the score be like for the high power shooter if you took all those padded jackets,gloves using the magazine as a rest,sling or cradling rifle in palm of hand or their body as a rest for elbows.
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Old December 7, 2011, 12:48 PM   #21
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Quote:
I've been told since I was a small kid,,,
To grip the rifle sling with your off hand,,,
Using it to pull the rifle snug into your shoulder.
When you shoot from a bench, or bipod, you dont use the bench or bipod to pull or push the rifle to your shoulder. You use your shooting hand.

Same thing in Off Hand. You non shooting hand is like the bench or bipod. The rifle rest on the hand.

When I mentioned not using a hard grip with the shooting hand on the pistol grip, I did memtion "firm Grip". Its this grip that pulls the rifle to the shoulder, but in doing so you dont have a hard grip which will interfere with trigger control.

To see what I mean, take a salt and pepper shaker. Draw a line on the table. Grip one of the shakers. Use your trigger finger to draw the second shaker down the like.

Grip the first shaker hard, and see how it disturbs the second shaker comeing straight down the line. Now loosen the grip a bit, you'll see its easier to keep the other shaker on the line.

You can still pull back the first shaker without a tight grip. The rifle is the same way.

Another test is to dry fire with a laser. (I'm a firm believer in laser sights for dry firing and training, both rifle and pistol). Steal your kids laser pointer (the one he uses to tormet the cat). Tape it to the from of the barrel.

Now as with the salt shakers, dry fire using a tight grip and watch what it does to the dot. Relax the grip and dry fire again. You'll see the difference. The harder you grip, the more it causes the trigger finger to move other then straight back.

Also pull the rifle into your shoulder without a hard grip, you can do it and still not interfer with the trigger control.
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Old December 7, 2011, 01:00 PM   #22
kraigwy
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Quote:
What would the score be like for the high power shooter if you took all those padded jackets,gloves using the magazine as a rest,sling or cradling rifle in palm of hand or their body as a rest for elbows.
Good Question: To come up with a good answer I ask that you check out the scores fired in NRA Light Rifle or CMP Sporting Rifle competition.

Jackets, gloves, slings, etc are not allowed. The rifle is still cradled in the palm of the hand.

The rifles you use are the same found in most of our closets. Typical light 22 hunting rifles.

Another good example is the CMP GSM Vintage rifle shooting. The CMP encourages shooters of vintage military rifles wear period gear. Field jackets, web gear, etc etc. If you watch many of these matches you'll see the same method being used.

I use to coach NG combat teams where they had to wear field gear during the matches. The position I descried worked there too.

I taught the same method in Sniper Schools too, both LE and military. Though offhand isn't encouraged in sniper activities, I believe its a valid tool that needs to be learned.
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Old December 7, 2011, 02:36 PM   #23
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Kraigwy has it nailed.

We were taught the same way in my marksmanship course in college. The guy that taught us to do it that way was 70+ years old...but it works. It seemed counter intuitive at first, but 90 degrees to target and tucking the non-shooting elbow provides good support and accurate results.
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Old December 7, 2011, 03:48 PM   #24
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The sling helps, but only if wrapped appropriately around the non-firing arm.
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Old December 7, 2011, 03:56 PM   #25
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And the light comes on,,,

Quote:
Look how these guy's offhand supports the rifle on the palm.
Perhaps that's why the bottom of the stock on my Henry Accubolt is flat,,,
Quote:
The beavertailed forearm with progressive width allows for sure handling.
Okay, now I hafta try this stance,,,
It surely couldn't make my off-hand shooting any worse.

Aarond
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