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Old February 1, 2011, 10:12 AM   #1
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Questions regarding keeping a steady aim

I am new to the world of shooting and marksmanship, and have a few questions on proper posture and handleing of my rifle to maximize my accuracy.

Currently I am practicing with an M91/30 Mosin Nagant, and most of my shots thus far have been from a supported seated position. I don't do too bad while seated, but standing is another thing all together. Keeping my irons steady is difficult at best, and I find that I struggle with the weight of the rifle since my left arm tends to tire out rather quickly. I am by no means large in stature, being only 5'3" and I feel if I were to shift the way I shoot, I'll be able to gain better accuracy.

Ive tried experimenting with the idea from spreading my feet farther apart to have a more stable footing (keeping one foot forward and the other towards the rear while leaning into the rifle), as well as shifting my body forward and tightening the stock to my shoulder to moving my hand a little further forward to try and distribute the weight more (this didn't really make any).

I usually try target practice from standing position at 50 yards, the furthest being 100 from a seated position. This also an outdoor range that I am practicing at if that makes any difference, I can't imagine it would.

Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old February 1, 2011, 10:39 AM   #2
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Not much you can do with a heavy rifle like that... just gotta suck it up when standing unsupported. Having a solid base will help your body become more balanced, but if your left arm is flinching from fatigue you're going to have a hard time being accurate. Best part is its cheap to shoot so you can get a lot of practice and strengthen your left arm. Shooting prone will also fatigue your left arm. Kneeling should be pretty easy on the muscles if you get your elbow on your knee for support.
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Old February 2, 2011, 08:11 PM   #3
Don P
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Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.
Look for and try to attend a Appleseed shoot. They will teach you about rifle marksmanship and about the American Revolution. here is the link to the web site,

I attended on this past Saturday and it is amazing as to what they teach. If you are willing to listen and learn these are the people to go to. Once you have attended a Appleseed you will have the new found techniques taught to you to practice with and only improve your rifle skills.
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Old February 3, 2011, 09:10 PM   #4
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I find the Mosin a relatively easy rifle to shoot offhand (standing on your hind legs). The long heavy barrel dampens movement.

Simple matter that just takes practice.

Stand with your feet a comfortable distance apart, close to shoulder length is the norm.

Stand 90 degree from the target. A little more is OK but no less then 90 degrees.

Keep your head straight, bring the rifle to your head, not the other way around.

Do not muscle the rifle, rest the elbow of your support arm on your hips, stomach. Use the support hand to adjust for elevation. Slide toward you to raise the muzzle, slide toward the front of the rifle to lower the muzzle.

Your shooting hand firmly grips the rifle and pulls it to your shoulder. Your elbow hangs naturally.

Now close your eyes and point the rifle at the target. Hold and open your eyes and see where the sights are pointed. Elevation was covered above. To adjust for wind age, shift your trailing foot forward and back to get it right.

Remember no less then 90 degrees so you might want to move your leading feet.

Now relax. Bone support only, no muscle support of the rifle.

Now that you got the standing position down, PRACTICE. you don't need ammo, dry fire. Call your shots, even during dry firing. Plot your calls on a score or data book, Learn to call and learn to write down every thing you do.

Pull the trigger in a smooth motion (notice I didnt say squeeze, I said pull SMOOTHly. Forget the "suprise break" myth. While your waiting for the suprise your target has left the country. SMOOTH.

Here is another trick that works great in dry firing. Steal your kids little laser light, the one he uses to harass the cat. Tape it to the barrel of the rifle and you can see that little red light dance around while you dry fire. Pretty soon you'll see what you are doing and you'll be able to dry fire without the little red dot jumping all over the place.
Kraig Stuart
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
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Old February 4, 2011, 12:44 PM   #5
Evan Thomas
Join Date: July 7, 2008
Location: Upper midwest
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Excellent advice, above...I always learn from kraigwy's posts. But there will always be some muscular effort involved in holding up the dang rifle, and you may also want to do some strength training -- there are specific exercises you can do to strengthen the muscles involved, and this will help to make your bone-and-muscle platform more stable. I've found even a little of this to be very helpful. And improving your cardiovascular fitness doesn't hurt, either.

For a good introduction to this topic, see this article from It also discusses dry-firing exercises.

Google something like "rifle strength training..." and you'll find a lot of ideas on this...
Never let anything mechanical know you're in a hurry.
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Old February 5, 2011, 01:21 AM   #6
T. O'Heir
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Upper body tone and use a sling. You're trying to hold a 9.5 pound rifle with poor sights steady.
Have a look at this. Youtube is good for some stuff. It's a sporterised Krag.
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