916 yards on steel - sitting with shooting sticks

Len Backus

Staff member
May 2, 2001
I have just extracted this content of my own from December of 2014, that I wrote from deep down in a long 2 year old thread started by someone else..

My content (below) makes a good base for discussion on seated shooting technique and it was kind of lost where initially posted.

It relies on the following:

Tips For Small Groups From Sitting Field Position

  1. Solid rear anchor for rifle stock
  2. Support shooting arm/elbow (sometimes by leaning back into the hill)
  3. Setup so your feet are lower than your butt if you can
  4. Check list: level, parallax, dope, etc.
  5. Setup for consistent recoil off sticks
  6. Range with environmental inputs

December, 2014
Here are my newest, best groups shot at distance using shooting sticks yesterday.

This winter and spring we'll be working on fresh new material to present at the LRH-NTO Shooting Classes (CLICK HERE) to be held in the mountains of western Wyoming next August. In the classes we teach plenty of prone style shooting but one of the ways our classes are unique is that we also spend a lot of time on real life positions other than prone.

Too often prone just isn't available, whether you're sitting in a bed of sagebrush in Oregon or a field of CRP in the midwest or up at 8,000 feet on the steep slopes of the mountain west. And if the range is much over 300 yards most hunters are simply not up to the task of taking a clean shot on big game from a seated position.

Yesterday before my Green Bay Packers trounced the Detroit Lions I was at my friend's hunting land, refining my own long range seated shooting sticks technique in order to be better able to teach the subject. My shooting spot is high up on a snow-covered hill but just below its crown. My bullets from there fly first over many rows of pine seedlings and then over a harvested corn field where I shot four tasty whitetails just last month. I set out 2 steel targets at 916 yards on the far hillside beyond the cornfield and beneath a huge oak tree.

My first 2 three shot groups were fired while using the new Rudolph Optics Quad Sticks plus my optics tripod plàced under my right armpit for shooting arm support. The feeling of absolutely no left-right jiggle builds great confidence in a shooter using the quad sticks. I have found that the armpit support makes the "vertical" part of the shot feel rock-solid, too.


There was a bit of a variable wind coming from the back side of the hill that was difficult to call due to my shooting location on the down slope of the hill and to the lack of any telling leaves remaining on the winter trees. The 9 inch horizontal spread of each of the groups satisfied me given the wind and the distance. The vertical size of the groups were 3 inches and 1.5 inches respectively. If the 2 groups were superimposed the combined vertical spread would be 3 inches. That's about 1/3 MOA at 916 yards.

The wind became a little more readable at this point.

Next I added one click to the scope's elevation setting to better center my group on the piece of steel and switched sticks. I grabbed my Primos Magnum Shooting Sticks (formerly Stoney Point). Under my right armpit I used my Stoney Point Polecat tripod. This group had a 1.5 inch vertical spread and it measured 3.5 inches overall including width. If superimposed, all three groups using two different sets of sticks would measure a 3 inch vertical spread - 1/3 MOA.

I'd love to share these shooting techniques with you this summer at our LRH-NTO Classes in Wyoming. You can read about the class offering HERE.
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Well-Known Member
May 24, 2012
I remember when you posted this the first time.

It was definitely motivation to get in shape and attend the NTO school.

Both have proved extremely valuable ever since!

Just did some shooting here in the Texas Hill country over the past weekend. Made some first round hits on a steel at 1680 and a bunch of good shooting from 100-1260. Mostly in the hills and improvised shooting positions. Too much fun!


Well-Known Member
Jan 21, 2008
I have been able to get consistent .5-1 MOA out to 1000 yards with short set-up time:
-Sitting square to target with legs crossed, shoulders square to target, elbows on knees(or back pack in lap)
-Basic Stony Point shooting sticks supporting forend
-HOG Saddle rear loop sling tensioned from forearm sling stud, attached to waist/belt.
This also works on right knee up kneeling position for more height if needed. Back pack between right armpit a thigh for support fill.


Well-Known Member
Sep 15, 2012
Mojave Desert, Nevada
This is my inspiration to use my hiking poles as shooting sticks at my Silhouetta steel range (960 yards max).

Been hitting with my 6.5 Creedmoor Ruger Precision Rifle and Atlas bipod at 960 yards from my shooting mat with regularity in competition.

I've practiced in my back yard getting my hiking pole handle straps looped quickly and getting into positions. Now to actually shoot from them at my range. I'll use my 6.5 CM Ruger American Predator. It's very accurate at any distance I've tried up to and including 960 yards. And the barrel does not even "walk" shots when it heats up. Amazing for such an inexpensive rifle (well inexpensive until I added a Timmy trigger and Boyd's laminated Classic stock).

If you're wondering, my hiking pole handle straps are twisted then looped over the opposite pole handle and the poles are actually X'd. One strap, usually the left one for consistency, must always be passed up through the other strap where it leaves the handle. The rifle forearm then rests on the overlapped straps. Height is usually done by spreading the poles further apart or closer together. Adjusting the hiking pole length via the flip locks is too slow but I practice it anyway in case there is no room to spread the pole tips in the field.

Eric B.
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Well-Known Member
Nov 25, 2018
sitting and shooting is hard.....been practicing for coyote callin this season and man....its a lot of work getting good at it....im coyote deadly out to 300 yards...in perfect conditions....22250


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