getting strait behind the gun

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by rdsii64, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. rdsii64

    rdsii64 Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    I have noticed that a lot of experienced shooters don't get strait behind the gun when shooting prone. I was always taught to get strait behind the gun when shooting prone. Since I am always willing to learn something new, is there good reason that I am unaware of for a canted body position?
  2. rb85cj7

    rb85cj7 Member

    Nov 29, 2007
    it is more about body comfort for me. I get into a position that gives me a good stock weld and a solid recoil base. Sometimes that is behind the rifle sometimes it is canted. depends on the locale.

  3. KQguy

    KQguy Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2007
    I think some people try different positions to try to keep their heartbeat from interfearing with their shot.
  4. Gene Jr.

    Gene Jr. Well-Known Member

    Feb 6, 2009
    My experience is with smallbore (22LR) olympic style competition so you'll have to allow for some adjustment to your needs. The position is built to allow repeatable natural point of aim while providing support and reducing felt heartbeat. Raising your right leg (for a righty) lifts your chest slightly and will reduce felt heartbeat. Slightly angling the position to the side will help get your head directly behind the sight. Whatever is comfortable and stable for YOU is what will work for YOU. Most competitive shooters have similiar positions but all are fine tuned to their preferences and body type. How your position allows you to handle recoil and follow through are also very important aspects. Try some different positions and see what works for you.

  5. Buffalobob

    Buffalobob Writers Guild

    Jun 12, 2001
    I suspect it has to do with how many years ago you learned to shoot prone or the age of your instructor. An angled body position was the way we were taught long ago. Many of us still use it, although I have pretty much switched to straight nowadays. It would be easy to go back to angled because that was the way I did it for so long.
  6. eshell

    eshell Well-Known Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    The angled position behind the gun comes with the "prone unsupported" position, where we use our non-firing hand to support the gun, with or without the sling. By moving our bodies off to the support side and drawing up the firing leg, we take pressure off the diaphragm, increasing comfort and allowing us to reach forward more easily with the support hand. It is physically impossible for most folks to get straight behind the gun when using the prone unsupported position.

    Shooting "prone supported", with either a bipod, ruck or improvised support, is is no longer necessary to get off at an angle, since the support hand does not have to go forward with enough bend to rest on the ground while holding the rifle up.

    As Buffalobob points out, it then has to do more with what one has learned and become comfortable with.

    One major consideration to shooting prone supported is the the non-firing hand no longer fully controls the front of the rifle, and recoil will have a greater effect in displacing the gun during firing.

    Because of this, when one is not straight behind the gun when shooting prone supported, we will often get horizontal displacement of our shot. It is quite common to see shooters that are using bipods for the first time to try to keep their traditional offset angle behind the gun, but this will usually lead to shots striking to the right of their normal zero point, and/or horizontal stringing. The straighter we can be behind the rifle that is not controlled by our support hand, the more consistent our results will be, both shot-to-shot, and when going from prone supported to other positions. Getting more directly behind the gun allows the body to absorb recoil in a straight line and thus helps keep shots on target better.
  7. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    May 2, 2001

    Excellent analysis, thanks.