Originally Posted by 4xforfun
OK, I'll disagree.
You are not "behind" the rifle when you shoot off hand.
You are not "behind" the rifle when you shoot sitting or kneeling.
Why the change for prone?
The Army teaches guys reflexive fire to square up with their target from the standing position (with individual weapons and not crewed served weapons for obvious reasons), so you are "behind" the rifle. This is for two reasons: 1. To mitigate the effects of recoil and get back on target faster and 2. If you take a center mass hit moving forward the plate will stop the round from penetrating (hopefully). The weakest spot on the individual body armor is on the sides, epsecially under the arm pits. This method is extremely effective at typical engagement ranges we faced in Iraq.
If I am firing from the sitting or kneeling position it's for several reasons:
a. The terrain or vegetation will not allow me to get lower, but I will use a tripod. sticks, or front rest of some sort and get as directly behind the rifle as possible.
b. I need a fast more precision shot without a rest. In this case the standard firing positions apply and you use your bone support structure.
c. They make us use (c) on our qualification range.
The limiting factors on the position to use are: type and weight of weapon being used, (not gonna try a standing off hand shot with my .338 EDGE), time you have to engage, range to target, terrain/vegetation/obstacles (and maybe for me available cover and concealment).
I practice squaring up with the target with my "regular" hunting rifles in case I do need to take a quick shot at game. The limiting factor is gonna be the weapon system itself (size&weight) and how much I can control it.