Shooting position

Discussion in 'The Basics, Starting Out' started by Newbie, Aug 2, 2004.

  1. Newbie

    Newbie Active Member

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    Obviously, it's nice when you can go prone or use a rest, except what if there is something taller in the way? I can't shoot very well standing up. I've noticed that I can shoot a lot better sitting cross legged, using one of my legs as an elbow rest for one of my arms.

    Would you guys advise practicing from this position for hunting or simply practicing to improve my shooting from a standing position? Are many game animals shot this way and is it common to shoot better this way than standing up?
     
  2. danacobb

    danacobb Well-Known Member

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    I would practice any and all positions you feel might be used in the field. Become comfortable at a certain distance and slowly walk it out further. Good shootin.
     
  3. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    See if you can find any guys in your area that shoot or have shot any kind of 3-position competition. They might be able to give you some pointers. As far as being better Sitting than Offhand... who isn't? There's a reason people struggling w/ Standing in 3-position refer to it as 'Awful-hand'. Sitting is the next most stable postion to Prone for most people.

    Otherwise... for sitting, there are a couple variants. The one I'm most comfortable with, as it was what I learned 'back on the ranch', is the 'Open Legged' version. Basically you sit straight down on your behind, w/ your legs out in front of you, drawn up so you can put your elbows on the insides of your knees. Works well, comfortable, and you don't have to work at it very much to be able to get into it in a hurry. There are cross-legged and crossed-ankle sitting positions; the cross-legged being basically sitting Indian style, w/ your elbows in the 'pockets' on the inside of your knees, and the crossed-ankle is similar by w/ your legs partially extended. Both are much more stable than the Open-legged, but much harder to get into consistently (especially if you are a little overweight... you will probably see a very pronounced pulse from the blood vessels in the stomach wall unless you loosen your belt and unbutton your top button of your britches first), and much more of a PITA as far as scope eye relief, and canting. The Open-legged is more similar to regular Offhand in that respect: rifle vertical, head in a fairly neutral position.

    Offhand... about the only way to get better is to practice. Get a .22 and some of those swinging targets or something to plink at.

    BTW, I'd suggest getting a sling, a good sling, not one of those flaky cobra jobs in the sporting good stores, but either a quick adjust or a leather military sling, and learn how to use it. Quickest way to steady up your position short of leaning against a tree or fence post. Presents some interesting issues as well... like don't let the stock directly contact the hard tree or rock, or the shots will go off in weird directions. Cushion it w/ your hand or a hat or something.

    HTH,

    Monte

    [ 08-02-2004: Message edited by: milanuk ]
     
  4. milanuk

    milanuk Well-Known Member

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    The shooting sticks are a very good option. I had a set of the collapsible Stoney Point 'Steddy-stix' or whatever they called them, fully covered w/ camo tape, strapped along the side of my Model 7 SS (similarly camo'd) in .260 Rem. Never should have got rid of that gun. Nice, lightweight, accurate, enough punch for pretty much anything I'm really going to be shooting at.

    Monte
     
  5. Karl in Phoenix

    Karl in Phoenix Active Member

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    Another way you might concider steadying your shots is to employ a set of shooting sticks. The buffolo hunters of the past used them to good effect for long range, accurate animal shooting (maybe you could, too).

    With a rifle sling and shooting sticks, you will find you will be very steady, indeed. Be sure to check your point of impact, as it may shift from no sling to sling or sling w/shooting sticks. The shift in bullet impact will not be very great, if at all, at short range but at "long range" you may notice a change.

    Hope this helps.

    By the way, I still have and use the shooting sticks I made for myself while at Quantico, VA, for the Marine Corps Scout/Sniper Instructor School (1979).
     
  6. Newbie

    Newbie Active Member

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    Thanks guys. I'll try different sitting positions. Also, I might buy a shooting stick. I found a place that sells them and they don't cost much.
     
  7. bblaine2k

    bblaine2k Well-Known Member

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    Newbie,

    All the advice given so far has been good. I too advise that you practice in as many position as time allows.

    One thing you should consider, depending on how you hunt, is your hunting position. If you're stand hunting, like a lot of LR hunters do, it might behoove you to get a setup prepped well before season. Get a good seat and shooting rail, heck one of the ultimate tripods might be the trick, though I usually use just a good setup and a Harris Sitting bipod. You can't always predict where you're going to be when the critters walk out but why not have your hunting stand as ready as you can make it.

    Just a thought.
     
  8. rwleonard

    rwleonard Well-Known Member

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    I do about %80 percent of my practice from offhand and sitting, and try to mix it up for the other %20. I don't remember ever killing a big game animal from anything but some variant of those two postions.

    Rick
     
  9. 1894

    1894 Well-Known Member

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    90% of my deer are shot standing. This is either due to obstructions such as crops etc or safety.

    You require a reasonably weighted rifle - around 8.5-9lbs with a mid range scope and a darn good trigger (2-2.5lb)and a set of shooting sticks. Best are garden poles secured 6" from top by a vacuum cleaner drive band around them.

    I hold the forend resting on the v formed by the sticks, others rest the forend direct on the sticks.

    You will get shake - you have to get it so that the shake is in the vital area, then with good breathing you squeeze until the shot is released.

    I find it easier on game than on target. In the past month (a busy time for roe stalking) I have made sucessfull one shot kills on roe bucks at 200, 180 and 160yards plus lesser distances.

    I won't shoot a roe buck at 25yards without sticks.
     
  10. kmassaro

    kmassaro Well-Known Member

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    Practice offhand, and off your daypack, up or down. A framed daypack, like a Kifaru, is a great rest.

    Do it enough so that you are fast. You can always slow down.

    A good marksman should be able to keep a 5" group at 100 yds offhand, and quick.