Shooting Positions
by ScottFN308

In this thread we will discuss different shooting positions and their uses, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.

The information contained here is by no means the last word or an absolute. It is merely what works for me, and my style of shooting. If some of the information here can work for you, use it. if you can take some of what is here and tweak it, adapt, and modify it to your uses, that that is what we are trying to do. This is by no means a "my way is better than your way" or a "this is the only way" type of thread.

Now that the legal disclaimer is out of the way, let's get started.

The Standing Position

The standing position, or offhand as it is commonly called, is the fastest position to assume, as you are already standing, or at least most likely will be when walking on patrol. It is also the one that offers the least amount of cover and concealment for the very same reasons.

I stand at a 35-45 degree angle to the target, with my leading, or weak side knee slightly bent. Strong side upper arm is slightly dropped, or sometimes parallel to the ground. (I prefer to keep upper arm dropped a bit as it keeps the stock into my shoulder a bit better).

The Combat Kneeling Position
This position is quick to get into and out of and offers quite a bit more support and concealment and cover than the standing offhand.

The front leg is bent with foot flat on ground. The strong side or trailing foot is tucked under the shooter's but. I sometimes even rest my butt on my boot. The weapon's support arm's elbow is using the support side leg for support. With a little practice, you would be surprised how stable this position can be.

The Squatting or "Rice Paddy Prone"
This position is a different theme on the Combat Kneeling Position, and I have included it here because some shooters find it easier to do.

It does get the shooter slightly lower than the Kneeling, and does offer a bit more support, as BOTH arms are resting on your legs. I find it easier to grasp the weapon by the front of the mag well, (if weapon has one) to give a bit more control.

The Sitting Position
If done properly this position is the most stable shooting platform so far discussed. Second only to the prone which we will discuss later.

To assume this position, the shooter merely crosses their legs, and sits down. Both arms are resting on the knees of the shooter supporting the weight of the weapon. A little slower to get into and out of than the Squat or the Kneeling, it is still a valuable position as it is more stable than either.

The prone Position
The Prone Position, it the most stable field shooting position, and the most effective from a cover and concealment standpoint that one can use. It is however the one that takes the most time to employ.

One must first, from standing, drop to their knees, with weapon cradled in both hands.

Then, extend weak side arm and break fall, while tucking the stock of weapon under arm. There is another technique where you use the stock of the weapon to do the job of the support arm, but I do not teach this due to the more common proliferation of collapsible and folding stocks on battle rifles and carbines today.

Then one drops to the ground placing the stock of weapon into shoulder, and support hand back on handguard, arriving at the prone position.

The Prone Position offers the most in cover, concealment, and stability, but comes at the expense of speed to employ.

The great firearms instructor Jeff Cooper once said that you should never fire your rifle from the offhand position, unless you have no other choice. I tend to agree with this line of thought, and it is for this reason that I posted this thread.

Some of us here a very experienced shooters, and some of us are new to the game, so to speak.

I hope some of what I posted here will help us all to become better shooters.