Supporting weight with elbows in prone

Nov 10, 2005
35
1
0
Southeast, South Carolina
#1
I asked this question in one of the sticky threads, but it wasn't getting much action and this question has been bothering the hell outta me. In the prone position with bipod and a rear bag, is it acceptable to support some of your upper body weight on your elbows? I have tried snapping in without doing so and its difficult for me. If I try not to, i feel like i am too low and really having to strain my neck and eyes to get proper sight alignment. I could (and probably am) just thinking into things too much and making things more difficult than they have to be, but it seems if i do support with elbows, im adding muscle tension. I know that I need to raise the comb on my stock to get better weld, so maybe it'll help my situation after I get that done. Thanks for any input and I apologize in advance for asking another prone position question. I searched the forum high and low, but I cant seem to find a definitive answer to my question. Perhaps I wasn't looking hard enough or paying close enough attention.
 

TheGerman

Oberleutnant
Jan 25, 2010
3,519
790
113
Out West
#2
If you feel that you are too low, your rifle+bag is probably too high or your bipod is not adjusted correctly (or a combination of both).

You shouldn't support anything with your arms/shoulders and it should actually feel a bit unnatural at first (always did for me) to have your arms bent and chickenwinged a bit with the weight of your upper-body leaning forward without your arm muscles holding you up. Remember that when in position, your elbows should be out as far as comfortably possible and both your left/right arms should be evenly away from you to keep you from leaning.

The reasoning for this is that if you are holding yourself or the rifle with muscle power, you will get fatigued. Additionally, if you do not let your elbows out as I tried to describe you run the risk of moving your shoulder from shot to shot or 'loading' your shoulder with muscle power on the rear of the stock changing your NPA all of the time. Use the 'bone positioning' as a baseline guide as it will not change whereas anything under muscle power will.
 
Nov 10, 2005
35
1
0
Southeast, South Carolina
#3
So to clarify, elbows out as wide as comfortably possible and body weight on chest stomach and head weight on stock? Heres a pic for you (anyone) to critique.




Sorry they are sideways as hell. I use tinypic and it turns them every whitchaway.

Anyways, bipod on lowest setting and a wadded up shirt as rear rest. My bag was in the truck at the time.

I understand about not forcing my shoulder into the rifle. I apply pressure gently with firing hand rearwards and load the bipod. Although its hard to load a bipod on laminate flooring.
 
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Mar 14, 2012
1,515
5
38
Hedgesville, WV
#4
As long as you're comfortable, shoulders are square and you have achieved natural point of aim....what your photos show looks pretty good.
Like what's already been said, you want to be relaxed...not too much downward pressure with your head, just enough to lay your cheek on comfortably and obtain correct sight picture.
 
Nov 10, 2005
35
1
0
Southeast, South Carolina
#5
Aite cool, i follow. I shall practice some more then. Reckon i just aint used to the position and need to get more familiar with it. Thank yall for takin the time to respond, and if anybody else has anything to contribute, please do.
 
Jan 29, 2012
370
0
0
NW Florida
#6
For my current setup it is difficult not to have some weight on my elbows, I just make sure to minimize it and stay off the bony tip of the elbow. If you can put lower rings on it would help, looks like your bipod is up a notch or two. I'm 6'2" and have a giraffe neck, I require two notches on my legs only because I have high rings right now.
 

TheGerman

Oberleutnant
Jan 25, 2010
3,519
790
113
Out West
#7
So to clarify, elbows out as wide as comfortably possible and body weight on chest stomach and head weight on stock? Heres a pic for you (anyone) to critique.




Sorry they are sideways as hell. I use tinypic and it turns them every whitchaway.

Anyways, bipod on lowest setting and a wadded up shirt as rear rest. My bag was in the truck at the time.

I understand about not forcing my shoulder into the rifle. I apply pressure gently with firing hand rearwards and load the bipod. Although its hard to load a bipod on laminate flooring.
Looks pretty good. Your left arm will square out when you have a bag there obviously.

Alot of peoples' issues with prone is that the rifle is too high/too low. This causes people to adjust their body to it when it should be the other way around; the most common are people bringing their shoulders forward onto the butt of the stock as well as craning their neck and holding themselves up with one or both arms.

Ironically, the most asked question of 'how do I not make my bipod bounce?!' is the byproduct of this.
 
Oct 25, 2010
1,129
0
0
MI
#8
So to clarify, elbows out as wide as comfortably possible and body weight on chest stomach and head weight on stock? Heres a pic for you (anyone) to critique.
It might just be the angle of the top-most photo, but it looks like your left shoulder and elbow are slightly forward of their counterparts on the other side. I know that I have a tendency to do this (especially with regards to my support-side elbow), and have to make a conscious effort to keep everything symmetrical.
 
Nov 10, 2005
35
1
0
Southeast, South Carolina
#9
I have been doing more dry firing and I think im getting there. I'm getting more comfortable anyways. To TheGerman and E. Bryant, I can clearly see that my support elbow isn't square now that yall point it out. That's something I'm definitely gonna have to be mindful of. Thanks for the help everybody. I don't shoot in the prone enough and I think my problem was a lack of conditioning. Its one of those things I guess...
 
Mar 14, 2012
1,515
5
38
Hedgesville, WV
#10
LL had posted this photo in another thread....Think it was regarding bipods bouncing and recoil management. Might help you out with how to lay prone and square yourself up...
Prone.jpg
 
Apr 26, 2013
1,390
107
63
#12
So to clarify, elbows out as wide as comfortably possible and body weight on chest stomach and head weight on stock? Heres a pic for you (anyone) to critique.




Sorry they are sideways as hell. I use tinypic and it turns them every whitchaway.

Anyways, bipod on lowest setting and a wadded up shirt as rear rest. My bag was in the truck at the time.

I understand about not forcing my shoulder into the rifle. I apply pressure gently with firing hand rearwards and load the bipod. Although its hard to load a bipod on laminate flooring.
OK, Here Goes??, Right according to the field Manual your Feet and Legs are all wrong which is why your weight is going on to your elbows, If you turn your left foot inwards that will transfer your weight to the whole length of your body from your foot to your chest Reducing the weight on your Torso and your arms,

PS, if you go to steves pages and down load ( THE UNITED STATES ARMY MARKSMANSHIP UNIT ) hand book and look from pages 33 onwards you will see what I mean and they explain why, there are hundreds of other manuals there too, I love them books,


hope this helps,,john
 
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TheGerman

Oberleutnant
Jan 25, 2010
3,519
790
113
Out West
#13
OK, Here Goes??, Right according to the field Manual your Feet and Legs are all wrong which is why your weight is going on to your elbows, If you turn your left foot inwards that will transfer your weight to the whole length of your body from your foot to your chest Reducing the weight on your Torso and your arms,

PS, if you go to steves pages and down load ( THE UNITED STATES ARMY MARKSMANSHIP UNIT ) hand book and look from pages 33 onwards you will see what I mean and they explain why, there are hundreds of other manuals there too, I love them books,


hope this helps,,john

I believe the left leg being folded in is for a different type of prone position where you bring your right leg up and instead of having your left food flat on its inside, you lay it on the other side (small toe side).

The prone position here is different.
 
Apr 26, 2013
1,390
107
63
#14
I believe the left leg being folded in is for a different type of prone position where you bring your right leg up and instead of having your left food flat on its inside, you lay it on the other side (small toe side).

The prone position here is different.
Yes Sir thats correct.

Using that position over the other one I found that I could lay there longer because my weight was not on my Rib Cage. It never use to hurt when I was in my 20s.

John
 

J-ROD

Sergeant
Jul 17, 2011
294
0
16
Mechanicsville, Virginia
#15
I have been battling this for awhile. If i am low in prone and straight behind, the butt is directly on my collar bone and nothing else. Painful to shoot in long strings. If i angle slightly, the butt is in the meat of shoulder pocket but my groups suffer and i get knocked all over the place with recoil. So i am up a little on my elbows which are supporting some of my weight. This allows me to be straight behind and puts the butt in a meaty pocket. My groups are significantly better and i am able to see impacts at 300 and beyond. Maybe not right but it is where i am staying.
I am using a ski Duplin/Rorer bipod and 3A protektor rear bag. This setup hammers if i am positioned like above.


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J-ROD

Sergeant
Jul 17, 2011
294
0
16
Mechanicsville, Virginia
#16
PS i have been in denial about the SH training for a long time, refusing to follow. Even formal training spoke against it. But i am here to humbly say, it works, they know what they are talking about. The trigger section is especially spot on.


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#17
Im still kinda in your position J-ROD. Im fiding it way easier to be up just a hair and have just a little weight on my elbows. Just a little. Its better than the rifle bouncing off my colar bone. But to the other posters, i am not giving up hope being completley comfortable with no weight on my elbows. I dont shoot from pone a bunch because of terrain issues, but i want to still be "correct". Thanks everybody for your input. I will make prome position my bitch eventually.
 

jpgolffl

Sergeant of the Hide
Jun 21, 2017
169
48
28
Tallahassee, FL
#18
Reviving this old thread...... so should there be weight on the elbows? If I "relax" I'm laying face down on the ground. Obviously neck muscles are used to hold the head up. Should I be using muscles in the back to get some of my chest off the ground or propping up a bit on the elbows? I can get elbows and shoulders pretty square by using back muscles to keep my chest up but I'm not sure this is correct. When I put weight on the elbows I look exactly like the OP with the left elbow and shoulder out front a bit more than the right. The example pic posted by LL from the prone video shows his elbow tucked more under almost like he's laying on his forearm.
 
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