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Elements of a Good Shooting Position

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  • Elements of a Good Shooting Position

    Figure we could talk about elements that make up a good shooting position.

    There is so much information on this topic that it would be tough to cover every stance / position but we can easily talk about some of the different elements that goes into a good one.

    The purpose of a shooting stance or position is to allow you to get into a comfortable and repeatable position. This is important to aid in accuracy (stable platform for firearm) and also a good position will aid in shooting endurance.

    So how do we accomplish this? Its pretty simple when you incorporate 3 things...... Bone Support, Muscular Relaxation, and Natural Point of Aim.

    Bone Support:
    Basically if possible you want to use your bones to support a firearm. For example if your shooting in prone position your elbows are making contact with the ground supporting the rifle and your not relying on muscle strength to hold it up. If your in the sitting position placing your elbows on the inside of knees provides stable support as well as you can see in photo below. So ideally when you can get yourself into a comfortable repeatable position using your bones for support your going to make shooting a whole lot easier.



    Muscular Relaxation:
    Muscular Relaxation is exactly what it sounds like. Getting into a position utilizing good bone support or another support system other then your muscle strength will aid in your accuracy shooting endurance. Think about it, if you have to hold something out in front of you for a long period of time what happens? First your arms start to shake (not conducive to shooting) then if you fight it you will notice that you will probably bring your elbows in to try and get extra support from chest/stomach area. So having good support allows you too have muscle relaxation which minimizes shake allowing you to hold the sites on your target easier and longer enabling you to have better accuracy.

    Natural Point of Aim:
    Naturally Point of Aim is basically getting yourself into a shooting position where your sites naturally fall on your target. I talked about it more in this thread HERE.


    Now that I have covered some of the basic elements you can see why they are important. Bone support (or other support like a tree, rock, bipod, ect) allows you to hold your firearm for a longer period of time by allowing you to have muscle relaxation which aids in being able to hold firearm steady while aiming so you can hit your target more accurately. Natural Point of Aim is really a result of good support and getting your self into the right position by making small tweaks so your naturally aiming at target which further aids in muscle relaxation to make your shots more accurate and allow you to not get as tired so you can fire longer and maintain good accuracy.

    Hope I didn't miss anything and look forward to hearing what everyone else thinks.
    Last edited by usmcveteran; 09-16-2016, 12:15 PM.
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  • #2
    Nice. My buddy who is ex USMC taught me seated. Felt super comfortable and was nice and stable.
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    • #3
      Originally posted by 24Pink14Stink View Post
      Nice. My buddy who is ex Former USMC taught me seated. Felt super comfortable and was nice and stable.
      Fixed it for you lol, yes it is very comfortable, kneeling not so much especially when they have you "snap in" (practice) on concrete floors!
      www.AvidArms.com I'm STIHL out of conditioner!!
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      Am I short stroking or going to fast?

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      • #4
        I'm no expert by any means, but I think you pretty much nailed it.
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        • #5
          Anyone else have anything they can add?
          www.AvidArms.com I'm STIHL out of conditioner!!
          Finally joined the ranks of broke homeowner
          Am I short stroking or going to fast?

          I know he has a bush

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          • #6
            That's pretty much it, any position that is stable, comfortable and allows for the weapon to be accessed easily will do it. Then come the trigger pull, smooth as glass and gentle as air.

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            • #7
              You might want to add something for those of us "Buddha belly" guys .I am more prone to standing leaning supported. Sitting ,or One knee elbow supported on knee .prone you better call the EMT cause I aint getting up

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              • #8
                Well not to lead this thread astray but the last 2 deer I shot with my .308 were while I was sitting, since my rifle has 2 bi-pods I can shoot either prone or sitting using either one of them. I sit with the rifle resting on the bi-pod and with it against my shoulder that way all I have to do is move my trigger hand into place and shoot.

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                • #9
                  Great advice for target shooting but I subscribe to the "it doesn't matter" for real world scenarios. (because you won't have a choice......you may be off balance, shooting off hand, laying on the ground, squished up behind some type of cover, etc.). Learn to shoot as accurately as possible from any/all positions.
                  Last edited by thughes; 09-16-2016, 01:07 PM.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by thughes View Post
                    Great advice for target shooting but I subscribe to the "it doesn't matter" for real world scenarios. (because you won't have a choice......you may be off balance, shooting off hand, laying on the ground, squished up behind some type of cover, etc.). Learn to shoot as accurately as possible from any/all positions.
                    Are you thinking pistol or rifle? I read USMC's post and immediately thought rifle because in my 'rookie pistol shooter opinion', you can't really get much bone support when shooting a pistol. If you're thinking strictly personal defense I would tend to agree that it doesn't matter much. But there are plenty of hunters who take longer shots where it does matter.

                    Naturally for different positions you can get more relaxed than others. Standing always requires some level of muscle activation, which is one of the reasons standing is difficult. For prone I tend to think of it as 'shutting down my body'. I'm not sure how to best describe it, but I can relax my legs and arms so much that they start to kind of ache. That said, I'm not sure I shoot any better relaxing to that extreme than I do merely "relaxed".

                    When Frank Briggs showed up to coach us he had us get into our prone position and then he would grab a pant leg and lift up one of our legs. If there was any resistance or if his doing so threw off your position, he said you weren't relaxed enough.
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                    • #11
                      Breath control is important also it helps to keep the sight image stable

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WARFAB View Post

                        Are you thinking pistol or rifle?
                        I was thinking more about pistol and tactical rifle/SG. Take a tactical rifle/SG class sometime where they have you shooting weak side from behind cover......you'll see exactly what I mean. (Right dwa?)
                        Last edited by thughes; 09-16-2016, 04:42 PM.
                        Beer is like porn, you can buy it but it's more fun to make your own

                        I have to bend over too far

                        I get a boner.

                        bareback every couple of days, GTG. Bareback, brokeback, same $hit!

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