Question on prone shooting position

Sig685

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#51
Re: Question on prone shooting position

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Johnny5</div><div class="ubbcode-body">For those who are more educated/experienced on the subject than I here's the problem.

I have traditionally (and been taught) to shoot supported prone with my shooting side (right) leg cocked up a bit to relieve pressure on the chest and reduce the effect of heart beat etc... To get comfortable and a NPA The rifle points a little to left of center line. Now I get plenty good accuracy when I shoot prone however when the rifle recoils it always ends up pointing a little left of POA (not enough to lose the target out of the scope but enough let's say 4-6 MOA). I have tried shifting my alignment with the rifle every which way and can never seem to overcome this problem.

Now I've been experimenting with different positions lately for shits and giggles and have found that when I shoot prone with both legs straight and toes out that the rifle crosshairs barely come off target at all (< 1 MOA). However I am definately more aware of my heartbeat but I'd say it effects my POA by < .1 MOA. Accuracy doesn't seem to be effected much if any other than a different POI.

Any opinions or similar experiences? How does everyone else position themselves?

-John </div></div>

I read this thread several times and really enjoyed the reading the responses, but I am not sure John ever got an answer to his questions. He responded once early on and never came back.

I'm thinking that since he mentions a scope in his OP, he might be shooting off a bipod with at scope.

This is like F-class shooting so I thought I would weigh in on the discussion.

When I started in F-Class, I had been shooting HP for a while so my prone position was as described, with my right leg up quite a bit and my body slated a bit to the left. Over the years, my position has changed and now I find that I lie straight back behind the rifle with my legs straight out behind me.

Like John, I noticed that my scope would jump a bit to the left after every shot when I was using my original position. And like John, I discovered that by placing myself directly in line with the rifle, the jump disappeared.

I found that lying straight behind the rifle also helped by follow through quite a bit. I am not struggling with a rifle that wants to go for a walk; all I get now is a shove backwards.

I definitely let my non-shooting hand do the steering, because I am using the lightest of touch with my shooting hand on the trigger. That is also the reason why I use such a thick pistol grip, my hand contact is evenly distributed and the hand rests very easy. When I squeeze the trigger, oh so gently, the rifle does not move and the target stays put in the 36X scope. When the rifle fires, the scope rises just a little bit and sets back down, still on target.

I have discovered that I needed to set myself further away from the trigger; I use a Magpul stock that I have extended all the way out. I also pulled my scope back some so that I can have a great sight picture without crawling up the scope.

I find that when I am stretched out like this, I am more relaxed and the body tremors go away. I also have my bipod very far down, the rifle is very close to the ground. I find that when my body has a lot more contact with the ground, I move less and that helps the shooting.

My non-shooting arm (left) is curled up in front of me, not under my chest. I can put my head down on it, if that helps you visualize it. It's a very relaxing position for me, I sleep pretty much the same way, so that was a hint for me.


It may not fit the proper parameters for the purists here, but this position has started paying off for me; close to the ground and stretched out front to back. Of course, the rifle is really setup for that position; it's a bear to shoot off a bench and I don't even want to think about shooting it offhand.

The F-class rules state that you must shoot your rifle off the shoulder, but there is no reason to curl up with it; I hug the ground and kiss the rifle, so to speak.

Edit: If you are not shooting off a bipod with a scope, forget what I said.
 
Jun 10, 2004
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#52
Re: Question on prone shooting position

All,

I've really enjoyed reading all of the responses, opinions, and perspectives posted here about what constitutes a good prone position. I think success in the prone position is essential to becoming a good shot; and, perhaps, thoughts delivered here will help those seeking to become better shooters.

I know, being inspired by this thread, I'm going to re-think my prone position, as, occasionally, I have shots that, while on call, aren't where I want them.

Thanks again, for the time and effort to making this thread so instructive.
 

Greg Langelius *

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#53
Re: Question on prone shooting position

I may do likewise. I am especially interested in LL's comments about aligning the body axis and bore axis parallel. Although I've been taught differently by several sources, I still can't find any reason to disagree with his reasoning. I'll simply have to try it out.

Greg
 

Arch

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Nov 5, 2007
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#54
Re: Question on prone shooting position

In this case more is more and I see myself trying to pay more attention to what is where next time in the prone. In more simple terms, it is always good for the newer shooter to be coached by the older shooter. Surprised that there is no discussion of simply making oneself less of a target in this position though, which in and of itself is a good reason to use the prone.
 

Greg Langelius *

Resident Elder Fart
Aug 10, 2001
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#55
Re: Question on prone shooting position

What's good for the new shooter is good for the other shooters, too. Where ignorance is the bane of the newbie, complacency is the bane of the experienced shooter.

We all need to be observed by a new set of eyes periodically. That includes when we're looking in our very own mirrors. Otherwise we are vulnerable to mental stagnation and backslippage.

That question the newbie asks is very often that little nagging tweak that jogs the mind and memory to insight and innovation.

If you're not thinking about it, there's a good chance you're doing it wrong. If you're not talking about it, you're not getting all the input that's available.

Greg
 
May 16, 2005
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#56
Re: Question on prone shooting position

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I read this thread several times and really enjoyed the reading the responses, but I am not sure John ever got an answer to his questions. He responded once early on and never came back.
</div></div>

Sig685
Indeed I was asking about shooting prone with a bipod and scope. However I can honestly say I never imagined this much info would have come out of my original question. I looks like my experience pretty much followed yours, I now shoot straight legged and my body is much more in line with the bore of the rifle (not a perfect line but a lot closer than before).

Thanks to all the posting that has gone on here I have also found my self paying alot more attention to all my shooting fundamentals during every shot and my consistency has skyrocketed.

Thanks to everyone, as always this site and the people that frequent here have proven to be a wealth of knowledge. I think the thing that truly amazes me is that even with all the different personalities and levels of experience and training, no-one is opposed to listening to ideas and sharing their own freely.

-John
 
Mar 1, 2007
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#57
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Like mentioned before,Consistency is the goal.I need to keep learning what makes ME more consistent.

My Father was Very good at golf and used to teach in Florida at a resort he worked at.
One thing I remember him saying is not everyone is the same ,and you have to find what works best for you or your body type.I think There are general rules(that I want to learn)about Marksmanship that must be learned im sure.But there has to be room for some variables in the shooter as well.Just like handloading,There is not one load that is best for every rifle.You have to fine tune a load for a rifle to get BEST accuracy.
 

Graham

Generalissimo
Oct 30, 2007
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#58
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Thank you all for a very informative thread! It takes me back to when I first learned small-bore prone shooting. I have been using your suggestions, and your ideas, to work on my technique.

Greg wrote that “Familiarity. . . is what leads to precision . . .” I like his choice of words. I had thought that familiarity bred contempt; now I understand that more accurately stated: Familiarity breeds precision. If I may add to it, I notice that in my case familiarity also breeds bad habits.

I have seen the AR15 shot well prone using very different styles. My heavy 14-plus pound AR works best for me when held closest to the receiver with my non-shooting hand and with a slight twist (pronation) of the wrist to lock the hand under the handguard. The twist helps me get the elbow directly under the gun. The position is stable, and repeatable, but it is not relaxed. Perhaps it should be. The twisting is likely due to carry-over in technique from my offhand style, and it is probably not proper technique for prone shooting with a sling. I hold hard on the pistol grip with my shooting hand both standing and prone, pulling the rifle hard into the shoulder. I also naturally twist counterclockwise on the pistol grip, which cants the rifle [I can hear the NRA High-Power guys screaming as I write the words ‘prone’ and ‘cant’ in the same paragraph] . My grip with the shooting hand is high, with the second and third fingers above the finger groove on a standard grip (I switched to a MagPul grip on my tactical gun). I get a bit of neck strain from holding my head up with a strong cheek weld, so I raise the stock on my shoulder with the AR. I can’t do that with my .308 because of the greater recoil. I crawl the stock a bit, both prone and standing, to stay ‘on’ the gun.

When I started tactical rifle shooting I was told, and taught, to get straight behind the rifle. This makes sense to me, and it does wonders for producing the desired vertical rise and fall of the crosshairs. But I always revert to raising my leg. I don’t need to raise a leg because I have no girth, but I find a more fetal position more comfortable. Perhaps it’s only what I am used to. When I was at Tac Pro Bill kept kicking my feet to flatten them out, but I still couldn’t get used to splaying both ankles like a frog. I make body adjustments from the hips to achieve NPA, and in so doing I position my lower body at an angle to my upper body after a few adjustments. Also, my shoulders are narrow and when I lie straight behind the rifle the stock impacts on the bottom of my collar bone. This becomes uncomfortable after a day’s shooting with large rifles.

Most of my shooting is now done prone with a bi-pod because it’s easier for me to shoot well that way without consistent practice (that’s not a slight, it’s simply an observation). I have noticed the straight-back recoil phenomena that some of you talked about. I have noticed bi-pod bounce to the left or right if I influence the shot too much. That said, I favor a hard hold with a bi-pod. I can’t get light hold or free recoil to take without a bench rest on which the rifle can slide predictably. I have gone so far as to place heavy cardboard or plastic under the rubber feet of the bi-pod to help the rifle slide back during recoil.

I had one of those “Aha!” moments reading Ken’s post: I had found a naturally balanced position, but then I had to fight to keep it. His lesson is simple, but counter-intuitive: If I have to fight to get back to my natural position then it is not a balanced position. I wondered why I was getting tired fighting to settle after a reload. I had forgotten to apply what I had learned about balance in practical pistol shooting: The position must be flexible enough to permit an efficient return to a consistent lock-up after a variety of movements. I went home and re-evaluated my rifle stance from the ground up.
 

Sig685

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Dec 3, 2006
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#59
Re: Question on prone shooting position

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Johnny5</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Sig685
Indeed I was asking about shooting prone with a bipod and scope. However I can honestly say I never imagined this much info would have come out of my original question. I looks like my experience pretty much followed yours, I now shoot straight legged and my body is much more in line with the bore of the rifle (not a perfect line but a lot closer than before).

Thanks to all the posting that has gone on here I have also found my self paying alot more attention to all my shooting fundamentals during every shot and my consistency has skyrocketed.

Thanks to everyone, as always this site and the people that frequent here have proven to be a wealth of knowledge. I think the thing that truly amazes me is that even with all the different personalities and levels of experience and training, no-one is opposed to listening to ideas and sharing their own freely.

-John </div></div>

I should add that having my body in line with the rifle also helps me to do my final checks before shooting. As I look down the scope, I remember where I called my prior shot and the attitude of the flags then and compare that attitude to the flags now. I can check the flags with my left eye.

While the left eye is open, I also check my bubble level that I installed on the rail and which sticks out the left side, just in front of the eyepiece bell. I make a final adjustment to the rifle to make sure it is level (consistency is critical) and then close my left eye.

Through the scope I place the dot on the target at the position where I think the current conditions dictate it be placed and tkae the shot quickly before something changes.

When I was slapyed out at an angle I would actually have to crane my neck to see the flags and by the time I got back in position, precious seconds had elapsed.

Because the F-class targets are so much smaller I believe the shortest time possible between a conditions check and taking the shot, is critical.

I believe my current position is helping me reduce this time and with a minimum of movement.
 

9H_Cracka

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Mar 15, 2005
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#60
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Give me some time and I'll post in some excerpts from "The Ways of the Rifle" book. Lots of good info in there, cause and effect relationship between position changes and results.

A few basics though:

- Shoulders should be between 10 and 30 degrees off the parallel line with the target
- left leg should be between zero and 30 degrees outside a line running down the left side of your torso
- torso should be relatively straight; no contortions/twists of the torso
- height of upper torso off the ground should be driven primarily by head position, that is, a good one with the head more upright and looking with the eye as near the center of the eye socket as possible
- elbow placement primarily supports getting the rifle to the right height for a good head position; left elbow almost directly under the rifle (sling shooters)
- right hand does not provide triangulated support; right hand should be able to be removed from rifle without point of aim shift; removing right hand and having POA shift means you are doing something majorly wrong with your position
- shooters that don't shoot prone often compromise their position for comfort, not effectiveness, often exceeding (many greatly) the 30 degree max shift of the body/shoulders to the target line
 
Jun 10, 2004
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Louisville, Kentucky
#61
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Graham,

Very interesting thoughts. I also cant, all positions. I've got a firm handshake grip in all positions; and, I choke the chicken with my non-firing hand in all but slow prone. I am definitely muscularly relaxed in slow prone, in others, there is some tension. My shot calls indicate I'm shooting on-call; and, my shots are going right in there. Still, from comments here from you, Greg, Ken, Kraig and Leo, I'm inclined to take another look (feel) for all of my positions, as my scores are not yet perfect. I'm only at 96% today in HP.
 

9H_Cracka

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#62
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Charles, my left hand is relaxed in all positions. Even though I short stock the AR SR handguard, there is enough friction that the 223 does not cause the left hand to move in the rapids or slow prone.

I put the most pressure on the rifle with the right hand during offhand; it is part of the overall balance I have between cheek pressure, palm pressure, and the rifle sitting on the left hand and shoulder. It also helps cut down on steering of the rifle with the 4.5 pound trigger we shoot. On the SB Prone rifle I make sure the fat of the right thumb is not behind the grip and put moderate pressure in the fingers. This helps keep the recoil impulse consistent. If the hand/fat of the thumb is behind the stock, then the shots go out a 10 o'clock.

Nuthin' like smallbore and a one minute ten ring to humble ya.
 

Graham

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Oct 30, 2007
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#63
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Sterling and 9H: Thanks for the info. Interesting what you (both) say.

I'm not very good at this NRA stuff, but I was taught and have always used a tight grip with my shooting hand (actually, with both hands) centerfire. It influences the rifle like crazy, but I started on an M14 and that was 'the way' to do it back then. Yet I notice that I do the exact opposite and shoot very, very relaxed smallbore rifle and pellet, to not over-influence the gun.

So, I think I will try a firm but more relaxed shooting hand grip for a week or two, in all positions for tactical rifle, and see how that works. I think my groups will open up with the .308 off a bi-pod; I know they will open up with my AR .223. But maybe I don't have to hold SO tight. Perhaps the hard-hold thing is working for me only because the pressure is consistent. The problem with (over) analyzing is that now I don't know whether I have good technique or if I have only perfected bad habit.

Also, do you have any ideas for getting used to my AI thumbhole stock? I love the feel of it, it fits my hand well because I have small hands, and I like the low profile of the AI chassis because I am naturally 'on' the gun (more accurately 'in' the gun by crawling the stock and wrapping myself around it). But I am not used to a thumbhole stock and I think I am twisting the pistol grip and trying to cant it like my AR. I also think a different elbow position is leading to inconsistent tension in the shoulder, which throws the occasional shot either high left or low right. How do you correctly grip one of these things?
 

9H_Cracka

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Mar 15, 2005
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#64
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Graham, for bipod center fire shooting I do put quite a bit of downward pressure into the grip hand, particularly on my unbraked (now has an FTE) 308. A combination of firm shoulder contact and downward pressure into the grip area makes the POI more consistent for me. Since I added the brake the rifle is less sensitive to vertical POI stringing, but in the end you have to have something repeatable and consistent. Whatever you do, trigger finger isolation from the rest of the hand must be a part of your execution.

With the bipod, any "steering" you do with the right hand will not allow the rifle to recoil the same from shot-to-shot for real precision work. Granted under time pressure on multiple more forgiving targets some of this goes out of the window. It's all about building up tools in your bag that let you adapt to the challenge at hand.

A good practice drill for you would be to set up multiple bulls say at 200 yards, at both different windage and elevations, then rather than shooting multiple shots into a bull and moving to the next, shoot one shot per bull. Really study what you are doing on the setup for each shot, which requires movement for each shot, and the effect it has on the POI on the bull. When you can shoot around the target grouping with the same POI, now you are getting somewhere. Be very conscious of the pressure being put on the ground by the bipod, the stock pressure on the rear bag, your cheek pressure, any twisting pressure you are putting on the rifle with your right hand, any twist you imparted on the bipod moving laterally that might require a left hand little bump on one of the feet to take away.

Charles is a big advocate of dummy rounds mixed in with your live ones, so if you have a friend load your AICS mags up for you with some dummies mixed in this will tell you a bunch as well.

BTW I downward load my AICS 1.5 stocked 6mm/22-250 and it weighs 17 pounds. While it due to low recoil is less prone to POI shifts, if I want the absolute best group/repeatable POI out of it, the setup and execution still has to be perfect with it.

Do you have a decent 22? At 50 yards with a multi-bull target it can teach you a lot in this area.

BTW Charles, I'm thinking the next 2% are about as tough as the first 96.

4 of us are gonna shoot 1k KD today; if it is warm enough for the digi camera to work let me see if I can get some position pics to post up. One guy will be shooting off a bipod, albeit a lefty.
 

Greg Langelius *

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#65
Re: Question on prone shooting position

I shoot better with a hard hold, and believe this has some commonality to being tightly slung in prone. Hard holding is difficult to do without introducing conflicting influences and is also very difficult to employ concurrent with a relaxed NPA. In truth, I'm still working on it, and may do so indefinitely.

Greg
 

Sig685

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#66
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Muzzle brakes are not allowed in NRA competition, including F-Class.

When it comes to hard-holding the rifle off a bipod, the only thing that I do is put a little forward pressure on the bipod so that it reacts the same way on recoil and allow me to do the exact same follow through. If you just plunk the rifle down on the bipod, it will recoil in unpredictable fashion.

In F-Class competition with very high power scopes (I use a 36X,) a hard hold creates problems as each body tremor, burp, heartbeat and eye movememnt is transimtted to the rifle and makes the target dot dance. I use the bunny ear back to hold the stock with my left hand and thus apply forward pressure on the bipod. The cheek weld pressure is also compensated for by the rear bag. When my shoulder is against the read of the stock, very little body tremor is transmitted as the rear bag firmly controls the stock.

My right hand is free to just easily slip on the oversize pistol grip (I have very long fingers) after loading the round into the chamber. I installed a bolt release that I activate with my trigger finger.

One must understand that since F-class targets are one quarter the size of the regular HP targets, minimizing body contact with the rifle is critical, unless of course, you have ice water in your veins and you can control your heartbeat completely. I don't and cannot, so I hug the ground and gently kiss my rifle.
 

Greg Langelius *

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#67
Re: Question on prone shooting position

There's a reason I don't shoot F T/R, but it's a different one from the one I used to have.

These days, I just don't think a bipod is a reliable support.

If I am going to use a support at all, I am no longer interested in using one which is complicated by the vaguaries of torque jump. I can get it perfect and next time, on a different surface, it all goes to hell.

Not my brand of precision shooting anymore. Nowadays, all my bipods are left at home; because nowadays, all my prone shooting is done on a range, with a rest.

If I ever do go afield, I'll mount a bipod, but I will also use my own oddball technique of employing a sling to counteract bipod jump.

Greg
 

Sig685

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#68
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Last Sunday at the 1000 yard match, I was on the look out for bipod jump and I really didn't detect any to speak of. Grated with a 26inch bull barrel, a .223 is not going to recoil much, especially in a gasgun like the AR-15 with the in-line recoil.

I use the VersaPod bipod with the friction lock and I believe the attachement to the rifle via the single stud, minimizes torque, to the point that I don't even experience it any more. I think bipod jump and torque is more visible with the Harris bipod by virtue of its attachmment method.

But you are right, with a rest you are now in F-Open. This is why I consider F-TR to be a very difficult discipline, arguably the most difficult one.
 
Jun 10, 2004
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Louisville, Kentucky
#69
Re: Question on prone shooting position

I think F Class shooting is so divergent from traditional NRA LR that instruction in one may not have any corollary with the other. From the concept of sight alignment to building a steady position; the principles, elements, factors, and techniques known to good shooting are applied so differently in these two kinds of LR competitions as to confuse, as well as retard a new shooter.
 
Aug 2, 2004
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Texas. Was CO, AK, VA
#70
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Lot's of good info here.
I'm the lefty bipod shooter 9H mentioned earlier. Shot at 1000 off a concrete deck yesterday. Wish I had read this thread prior to going to the range. Would have saved me some ammo. Started off with leg up and light pressure on stock. Poor scores. Ended up with legs straight and spread slightly. Moved belly to get NPA. Used toes to push shoulder into butt of stock and used off-side hand to squeeze sandbag along with downward pressure through cheekweld to control elevation. Placed the bipod in the dirt forward of the concrete to eliminate some bounce. Scores improved dramatically after I put it all together. Started zipping x's and 10's.
 

Sig685

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#71
Re: Question on prone shooting position

SS, I agree with you, which is why I was finding it interesting that some replies on this thread were admonishing the OP to set up like a sling shooter when he was using a scope and a bipod. I chimed in late on the thread, after I figured out the OP wanted information on prone/bipod/scope.

I believe it is critical for a thread on shooting position to clearly specify the intended purpose; bipod/scope vs sling/irons. I would even say that a third one would be sling/scope as I usually have a different head position.

This way there would not be excellent, yet conflicting advice being dispensed.
 

Sig685

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#72
Re: Question on prone shooting position

JohnAE308, I enjoyed your post. Could we get some more information of your setup; rifle, scope, caliber, load, bipod. Was this your first time at 1000 with this setup?

I've been shooting F-TR at 1000 for about 3 years now and I love hearing and reading about others' experiences in this discipline. I'm forever learning.
 
Aug 2, 2004
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Texas. Was CO, AK, VA
#73
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Sig,

I've shot some at 1000 in any-any and tactical matches. Usually place well in the any-any's and mid-pack in the tac matches. I have zero NRA HP experience, but I do own a welding glove and sling, so wouldn't rule it out in the near future.

Rifle #1 is an AE308 on a Harris bipod topped with an USO 3.2x17 SN3 T-Pal GAP reticle. Ran 175 FGMM and 175 HSM through it yesterday. The FGMM shot better than HSM at 1000, whereas they're nearly identical at 600.

Rifle #2 is a 30" Chanlynn .260Rem on a Savage 110FLP/Stockade P-Dog chassis propped up with a Harris and topped with an 8.5x25 Premier-Loopy MkIV Gen II XR FFP. I like this reticle at 1000 better than the GAP reticle in the USO due to the fine lines. Ammo is the BH 139 Scenar load made for George at GAP. Pushing 2825fps.
 

9H_Cracka

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#74
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Funny thing is the two scope shooters, one on bipod and one on a rest, had elevation trouble. I was pulling John's target and yes he sure did get some things figured out by the end. We had good conditions and he started stringing the 10s and Xs together.

To be fair, the other shooter was shooting M118 Special Ball; not sure how good of a 1k ammo this is.

I was shooting sling and coat and forgot that my mat was worn out. The concrete about did my left elbow in and I threw some called bad shots - I think 3 all day. Two two o'clock 8s and one at 4 o'clock I remember. Overall my elevation was good with some out of the X ring, but I've also discovered a brass weight spread issue I'm addressing that for sure is showing up at 1k yards as inconsistent elevation.

Here are a few position pics. After consulting my "Ways of the Rifle" book I can see I do have some tweaks to make. The body is a bit too straight, which may be good for center fire 308, but compromises my left hand placement some and may also be putting more strain on my left elbow per the book. I'll play with it some. The rest of the angles are pretty much textbook. Note the angle of the seam of the jacket from above - I'd guess about 15 degrees. The left side of the body is not kicked out or kinked. Head position is OK but I'll play with getting it a bit higher.

Shoulder angle relative to target and relaxed left hand:



Body angle, straight leg, and horizontal shoulder angle:



Head position and trigger hand placement - note no dragging of wood, looking forward out of the eye socket (still will work on a higher head position):


 

Sig685

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Dec 3, 2006
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#75
Re: Question on prone shooting position

So, how do you like the 17X with the small F-Class centers? I used a 10X for a while and simply could not do much of anything with it, even on the regular LR targets. When the new FC centers came out a years ago, I moved to a 20X and found that was not quite enough for me. Over at long-range.com the consensus for dealing with the new FC targets seems to be with magnification beyond the mid-20s as being the minimum. I thought I was weird with 36X, until I read about people using 42X and above.

With the 36X I find I am now able to hold on the target instead of fiddling with the knobs at every shot. Mind you, I still find it challenging to get one of those 5-inch Xs but I seem to be getting more and more of those 10-inch 10-rings.

At last week's match, the wind was blowing pretty hard and I found a lot more of those 20-inch 9-rings than anything else, and I was actually happy to get those, at least. The elevation was spot on, but the wind was toying with my bullets and I was wishing that I could have been shooting at a standard LR target with its rings quadruple the size of the FC rings. But that's what makes F-TR challenging, isn't it.
 
Aug 2, 2004
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Texas. Was CO, AK, VA
#76
Re: Question on prone shooting position

With my eyes, the 17x worked ok. Would be better with a fine line reticle, but the extra power of the 25x MkIV and the Gen II XR reticle was a help in the bright sunlight we had Sunday. I should add that I think lower power works better in tactical conditions, so I won't be changing the USO anytime soon. For dedicated 600/1000 shooting off the line I'd go with the higher power scopes.

I was shooting cleans and high 190's on the old target and mid to high 180's on the new target. Definitely have to hold harder to stay competitive.
 

Graham

Generalissimo
Oct 30, 2007
49,821
8
0
Michigan
#77
Re: Question on prone shooting position

9H: Thanks for the advice. I tried it.

I agree with JohnAE308's recent post about shooting prone with a bi-pod, except that for me leg up or leg back appears to make no difference in my scores after I adjust my body position (NPA).

With my AE, and bi-pod, I tried a softer hold and the groups opened up, even at short range (100meters). My scope is mounted low on the Pic. rail, so if I use a firm cheek weld with downward pressure on the stock into the rear bag, plus forward pressure on the rifle at the cheek and shoulder, groups improve. I am not sure why this forward pressure works, but it seems to; perhaps it promotes consistent bounce of the pod. I think forward pressure is a must, but I did get a bit of diagonal stringing in the groups - low and right. The only thing I can think of to explain it is that I may have been jerking the (heavy) trigger.

I also realized that I twist an AR as if to unscrew the upper and lower, as well as cant it. I was at the range, explaining to another shooter how to sight-in an AR by adjusting the front sight, and I unscrewed his two-piece float tube as I locked into position. I usually shoot a scoped AR, but when I got back behind iron sights I mounted the gun differently: In an aggressive standing position I pull my right hand up and back on the pistol grip. This cants the rifle, but it also moves the rifle up and back, as if to unscrew the lower with counterclockwise motion. At the same time the wrist of my non-shooting hand is twisting the handguard clockwise as I force my elbow close to body to keep it directly under the gun.
 

milanuk

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 23, 2002
1,378
0
0
45
Wenatchee WA
#78
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Leo,

If you've been reading WoTR... you know there are about as many different 'ways' that work as there are shooters. If it works for you, don't screw with it just because someone else's position looks different!!!

Personally, WoTR was a life-saver for me. I'd been beating myself up trying to conform to the 'cookie-cutter' positions most people use in Highpower. Try as I might, I couldn't get a comfortable, repeatable, and stable position. My body just doesn't work that way. I started over, built from scratch, and found a position that works for me. May never be featured in a book or magazine, but I can shoot all day, generally hit what I'm aiming at, and not feel like I've been beaten about the head and shoulders with a tire iron the next day.

Monte
 

9H_Cracka

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 15, 2005
2,806
0
0
WAY off base (COS CO)
#79
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Clearly Monte the book makes that point and illustrates some of the more extreme positions. Still, there are many people out there that could benefit from a heavy dose of the basics and building off of known solid characteristics of a good position. Glad you got something that works for ya! That is all that matters.

Two key elements in all this are head position and left elbow placement. The position seems to build or follow from these two main parts, including rifle adjustments on adjustable rifles.

On the AR15 Service Rifle, between the ability to short stock the left and and use the A1 or A2 buttstock, one can get some degree of adjustability out of this platform.

Leo.
 
Jun 10, 2004
2,842
2
0
Louisville, Kentucky
#80
Re: Question on prone shooting position

All,

The adjustment, or lack of adjustment available from your stock will determine what your prone position will "look like". The venue will determine what the prone position will look like; and, to some degree, even the target height, relative to your position, will determine what your position will look like.

In all cases you do the best you can to make the position comfortable and relaxed, while allowing for a consistent stock weld.

Results will indicate whether or not you're getting the job done.

Interestingly, I can get a magnificent prone sling supported position with my AR; but, with my McMillan Prone stocked LR Rifle, which has every adjustment feature you can imagine, I, still, am not as comfortable as with the AR.
 

9H_Cracka

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 15, 2005
2,806
0
0
WAY off base (COS CO)
#81
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Charles, the McMillan prone stock is patterned after the same Anschutz prone stock I have on my smallbore rifle. The pattern ain't all that and a bag of chips. Anyone serious about shooting that pattern (sans Kevin Nevius) whack on the thing and add bondo to it. I took a disc sander to the left side removing about 1/4" in width at the rollover in order to get my eye behind the rear sight and bondo'ed up the grip area a ton. You can bondo the grip on the McM stock but the disc sander is out.

The more I massage this rifle the more I like a wood stock for long range shooting.

And you ain't seen nuthin' yet on stock adjustments until you play with a modern, top of the line air rifle.
 
Jun 10, 2004
2,842
2
0
Louisville, Kentucky
#82
Re: Question on prone shooting position

I too have had to take a grinding wheel to the McMillan Prone Stock. Same problem you've had; plus, I had to remove a hunk of material to get my bolt open with the comb adjusted to my liking.
 

TNT

Sergeant
Oct 30, 2006
145
0
0
31
Arlington, VA
#83
Re: Question on prone shooting position

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: NineHotel</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

On the AR15 Service Rifle, between the ability to short stock the left and and use the A1 or A2 buttstock, one can get some degree of adjustability out of this platform.

Leo. </div></div>

Reading this thread has already given me a lot to consider the next time I go practice.
I shoot for my school HP/SR team and am having trouble with my prone position. I've been taught that the left hand should be as close to the muzzle end of the handguard as possible, but with that configuration I can never get the elevation I need to get NPA on target - it's always into the dirt about 5-10 feet in front of me.

Any suggestions? What is "shortstocking the left?" The only solution I have found so far is to bring my left hand closer to the magazine well, more than halfway oftentimes.

The other major problem I have is cheek weld. My cheekbones are rather high, so if I rest my head on the stock comfortably, my eye level is well below the sights. I try to roll as much skin onto the stock as possible, but sometimes I'll end up having to lift my head up ever so slightly in a rapid string. I'm not sure if there's a fix for that.
 

9H_Cracka

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 15, 2005
2,806
0
0
WAY off base (COS CO)
#84
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Yea TNT, you have the basics. A good glove and a tight sling will let you bring the left hand back on the handguard and it will stay in place during rapids without squeezing the handguard.

And you explained the cheek weld right as well. You can't really bare down hard; just keep more skin under, apply some side pressure, and kinda "float" the head a bit.

I can get good hard cheek pressure on the stock during offhand when the head is more upright, but not the same pressure for prone and sitting. Is it less than optimal? Yes. Is it quite workable? Yes again.

My prone position with the smallbore and Palma rifles has my shoulders more square than I can accomplish with both the AR Service Rifle and the space gun. The mag and mag well get in the way of the left arm with my radius/ulna length. The compromise is a bit more angle between the shoulders and the target. Unless you have gorilla arms, getting the left hand out against the swivel without a bunch of shoulder angle and a real low position is impossible. Some stockier guys can do it, the ones with no necks, and still maintain a good head position and shoulder angle. Most though need to short stock which will raise the rifle up and give a better head position.

One other point of adjustability I left out for the AR SR - the magazine. The straight 20 and the curved 30 rounders are legal. You can pick from the two for offhand if you do a magazine hold. I do a delta ring hold so it does not matter, other than I like the shorter mag so it does not ride up against my coat and have people questioning the legality of my position since I try to keep the hips and shoulders pretty square to the target.

HTH and good luck!
 

TNT

Sergeant
Oct 30, 2006
145
0
0
31
Arlington, VA
#85
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Thanks NineHotel,
I think I will try shortstocking and maybe trying a high prone position. Do you have any links to some pictures on what this position looks like? I am only guessing from things I have read and the limited diagrams I have found.
I have recently cocked my right leg to raise my chest off the ground but it feels quite awkward and I may abandon it altogether. Hopefully the new position will alleviate the elevation issues and will allow me to have my head more upright. As it is now I'm shooting better in sitting rapid than I am slow prone, most probably because my NPA is so messed up.
 
Apr 3, 2008
17
0
1
37
Where My Ruck Drops
#86
Re: Question on prone shooting position

we teach the cocked leg method but it is to keep the ballistic plate from making it hard to breath. when we shoot out of kit it is usually body in a straight line to minimize recoil and target reacquisition time. i prefer a slightly cocked leg either way. you really have to try different methods to find out what works best for you. once you do everytime you snap in, take the time to make sure you are doing everything the same. build muscle memory.
 
#87
Re: Question on prone shooting position

I myself, prefer laying as flat as possible. I'm pretty slim and I like have my bi-pod on the lowest setting. If I don't have my chest to the ground, I have a hard time getting my breathing straight. If I'm leaning I tend to cant more during breathing.

I have to have my legs shoulder width apart and by feet flat (toes pointing to my left and right). If I ever tried with my leg up I caught myself pushing with my foot.

Of course, we don't shoot with body armor. At most we'd have a soft armor.

This is my average position.
http://www.astraybullet.com/_web/range2.jpg

 
#88
Re: Question on prone shooting position

For the leg position it's what's comfortable/stable. After wiggling/hunkering down so that the rifle is on target you'll know what's a mistake if you move a leg and come off target. So while wiggling things into place be making the legs comfortable and getting a good upper torso position while the rifle is getting settled to where you want it. One reason some believe it isnt just shooting.... it's practice practice practice. You to know what gets you there and practice it for comfort. Distractions even if you think they don't matter they do. My real answer is make sure your right leg is positioned so that if the back of the left leg starts to itch that you could bend at the right knee and scratch the left leg with out disturbing your lay. Kind of in other words don't let the legs bother your position too much is another way to look at it. If you move your foot or lower leg and the natural aim goes off target your prone isn't doing what it can to make a stable position. At least that's the words way. The shooting way is do it till its right.

Hey also don't be afraid to get back up higher to try settling in on the target again. It wont settle in good all the time. Did I mention practice which is where you'll find out nothing is fool proof.
 
Sep 3, 2008
1
0
0
77
#89
Re: Question on prone shooting position

If your NPA is left of target, the muzzle will return to that point after you release the shot - most of the time
 
Jul 27, 2008
20
0
0
53
Kalifornia
#91
Re: Question on prone shooting position

That is pretty standard for a prone position, i was taught it back in 1983, it doesnt seem to have changed.


Its all in the toes!!
 

JC Steel

Gunny Sergeant
Oct 12, 2008
3,320
57
48
35
Washington State
#92
Re: Question on prone shooting position

Shooting prone is an experiment of what your body likes and not what someone elses body likes. Go try 4 or 5 different positions until you are comfartable. Good luck
 
Feb 3, 2008
5
0
0
www.shotist.com
#93
Re: Question on prone shooting position

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Johnny5</div><div class="ubbcode-body">For those who are more educated/experienced on the subject than I here's the problem.

I have traditionally (and been taught) to shoot supported prone with my shooting side (right) leg cocked up a bit to relieve pressure on the chest and reduce the effect of heart beat etc... To get comfortable and a NPA The rifle points a little to left of center line. Now I get plenty good accuracy when I shoot prone however when the rifle recoils it always ends up pointing a little left of POA (not enough to lose the target out of the scope but enough let's say 4-6 MOA). I have tried shifting my alignment with the rifle every which way and can never seem to overcome this problem.

Now I've been experimenting with different positions lately for shits and giggles and have found that when I shoot prone with both legs straight and toes out that the rifle crosshairs barely come off target at all (< 1 MOA). However I am definately more aware of my heartbeat but I'd say it effects my POA by < .1 MOA. Accuracy doesn't seem to be effected much if any other than a different POI.

Any opinions or similar experiences? How does everyone else position themselves?

-John </div></div>

I learned from 8541's at Long Range International.

The reason your rifle moves is because you're not directly behind it. Bending the leg is causing this. When it recoils, your body is naturally going to want to change position slightly to its natural state...which is to have one shoulder a bit more forward (hard to explain). I guess you can just imagine a plane representing your shoulders that needs to be perpendicular to the rifle. If it is not, then there will be lateral movement under recoil.

If you keep both legs straight and apart, you will be able to make the rifle land in the same spot. It takes a bit of practice to do. I succeeded with it on day 3 of LRI's Long Range Hunting course. You can practice this by:

1) Place rifle on its bipod and sand sock
2) Stand behind the rifle, feet a bit wide, with toes pointing out
3) Achieve the prone position without moving your feet. Adjust your distance from the rifle so you come down in the correct position.
4) Get your NPOA (natural point of aim).

The goal is to require as little adjustment as possible in getting your NPOA. There will always be some changes required. Try to be consistent as possible. The above drill trains many things, but this is one important skill that is overlooked by most people.

If you are straight behind the gun, when the gun recoils, it will do so vertically. If you do it right, you'll be able to see the hit as close as 500 yards...sometimes 400 if you're quick about getting your eye back into position.
 

Lowlight

HMFIC of this Shit
Staff member
Apr 12, 2001
27,023
2,544
113
Base of the Rockies
www.snipershide.com
#94
Re: Question on prone shooting position

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
If you are straight behind the gun, when the gun recoils, it will do so vertically. If you do it right, you'll be able to see the hit as close as 500 yards...sometimes 400 if you're quick about getting your eye back into position.</div></div>

When you do it right, the Zen moment is seeing your shots at 100 yards impact on the paper. Then you know your position is right, your fundamentals are right and you're doing it correctly.

Being straight behind the rifle is the first step, loading up the bipod with your core weight is another, trigger is another, spine, shoulders, etc...
 

doc76251

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 5, 2003
1,748
2
0
Virginia Beach, VA
#95
Re: Question on prone shooting position

It seems that there are two conversations going on at the same time. There is a HUGE difference between prone slung and prone supported simply because of the mechanics involved in each.

Prone Slung: The left arm (I'm talking right handers) is thrown out in front of the trigger. Lateral placement of the elbow will determine either the elevation of the gun and the elevation of the body. Lower is conceptualy better but you can't always get your arm under the gun in the lower positions. The farther your elbow is away from the gun the more the rifle will recoil off the target. Getting an arm completely under the rifle will not allow you to plant the trigger side elbow. Somewhere in the middle is what needs to be found. In doing this it is natural and advantagous to "cock a leg".

Prone Supported: Get flat on your belly and square behind the gun (do a push up). The reason is simple, your not attached to the gun except at the shoulder and the trigger. If you get sideways the recoil will move the gun sideways to the side the you are not at. Essentialy you are pulling the rifle to you with one hand at the back end of the rifle and letting whatever rest you have to balance the load. You are at a single point of contact, pull it straight back with the mass of your body behind it. If you "cock a leg" you will have the gun recoil off target as you are not square behind the rifle.

Don't confuse one with the other as they don't work the same. Your body will tell you that.

Cheers,

Doc
 

RKBA

Sergeant
Oct 19, 2004
118
0
0
Phx, AZ
#96
Re: Question on prone shooting position

It was mentioned that the 'ideal' position for prone shooting is directly in-line behind the gun due to recoil. I don't mean to stir the pot, but I was under the impression that recoil is a byproduct of the gases leaving the muzzle. All things being equal if all the parts of the gun are directly aligned with eachother (barrel, bolt, stock) then the recoil should be straight back. How you lie behind the gun and absorb the recoil then should have little effect on the bullet then as it's already on it's journey, no?
 

Lindy

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 26, 2003
4,020
1
0
Rifles Only
www.arcanamavens.com
#97
Re: Question on prone shooting position

You're correct that the rifle will recoil straight back.

However, if your body is angled off the line of the shot, the recoil impulse will cause the muzzle to veer in the direction of the angle under recoil.

Shooters used to be taught to angle their body toward their weak side. Your shoulder, the point of contact with the rifle, then acts as a pivot point, causing the rifle to veer toward their weak side under recoil.

For a right-handed shooter with their body angled toward the left, then, the muzzle will drift to the left under recoil. That makes it difficult to spot the impact of the bullet and make a follow-up shot if necessary.

With your body straight behind the rifle, the rifle will not veer to the side under recoil.

Actually, I've shot some rifles with heavy enough recoil that I had to angle my body slightly toward my strong side, in order to get the center of mass of my body directly behind my shoulder pocket.

That's not really necessary with a rifle in the .308 class, though.
 

RKBA

Sergeant
Oct 19, 2004
118
0
0
Phx, AZ
#98
Re: Question on prone shooting position

so the sole reason is not for accuracy but rather observation and follow up shooting if needed. gotcha, just needed a bit of clarification.
 
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