Precision Shooting 1-Part 3: Marksmanship: Just The Basics
There are various different approaches to the sitting position. One way is to sit open legged with your elbows (bone on bone) ontop of your knees or with your legs crossed. If there is a tree, berm or rock to lean up against, this can be pretty good. Stability is increased; you are not as exposed or vulnerable and the position can be assumed in a relatively short amount of time. Mobility is not as good as kneeling, but you can instinctively relax your legs.
The prone position is an ideal position. It may limit your field of view and be slow to assume, however it is the best for concealability, and stability. There are several methods of the prone firing position which have been taught over the years. One method teaches you to have your front side flat on the ground, your legs spread slightly apart with your heels, toes and hips flat on the ground with your body aligned straight with your rifle. This is how I was taught, however in many situations such as with uneven ground, hillsides and other obstacles, it doesn’t prove realistic. Best comfort, with as little resistance on your body is recommended; ideally, you would be on flat ground with your heels and toes flat on the ground. Having your heels and toes flat, assists your hips being squared and flat; thus adding stability to your position and keeping your heels and toes safe from being seen.
In addition to what we have already discussed in this chapter, there are shooting aids that can be utilized to secure a solid platform. Some of these are as follows: Backpack, Sand Bags, and Small bean bags for the butt of your rifle; shooting sticks, metal tree climbing screws, and bipods.
The back pack is an essential piece of gear that you can use to rest your rifle on. If in the prone position, lay your back pack down and lay your rifle on top of it. It will help keep it steady.
You can make a bean bag out of hollow beads that can be purchased at a hobby store by stuffing an old sock. Fill up the sock with the beads, tie it off and you have a light “squeezable” rest for the butt of your rifle. Small bean bags work great on the butt of your rifle stock if you are utilizing a bi-pod as a front rest. While set up, you can let the butt rest on this “bag” which you can squeeze to raise or lower your site picture with.
Shooting sticks are another aid that you can rest the front of your rifle on while in the sitting or kneeling position. They are manufactured out of space age materials that can be purchased from your gun store; or you can make them in the field by cutting several sticks and tying them together with Para-chord.
Tree stakes make for an excellent rifle rest when leaning up against a tree. They can be beat, staked or screwed into the side of a tree to rest your rifle on, if you can afford to take the time. However, this practice is not recommended as it is not exactly forest service friendly.
Ward Brien is a US Army Veteran, owner of Sniper Tools Design Co., LLC and the inventor of the "Angle Co-Sine Indicator," which is sold and under contract to different branches of the US military, British military and others. Located in the top of the Colorado Rockies, Ward also instructs a specialized three day Precision Shooting 1 course to hunters and has trained military and other government agencies.
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