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Beartooth Regular
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5,218 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,
I got to thinking about the different shooting positions and sometimes, the variations thereof. I've never had any formal firearm training and have developed some variants of approved shooting styles. I read in the G&A shooting annual how to "properly" shoot from the seated position, and though I've used that on some occassions, it does differ from what I consider to be a much more "solid" position. I would like to get your opinion.

I've used this particular variant for as long as I've been shooting and collected a large number of game with it, especially at distance. I typically use this when it is impractical to shoot from the prone position or another type of rest is not available. This for the right handed rifleman (swap left for right if you are left handed). First, sitting with knees up in front of you, snug the underside of your left elbow comfortably on your knee while reaching around with your left hand to your shoulder or tricep (depending on shot angle). This produces a nice little cradle in the elbow of your left arm which you can rest the rifle just forward of the magazine. This typically puts the center of balance of the rifle into the crook of your left arm. This works incredibly well if you have something (a tree or a rock) to lean back on. Since the only jointed movement can come from the elbow or shoulder, I believe this to be much more steady than holding the forearm in your hand. As with the accepted shooting position, your feet must have a solid foundation. I find that most of the movement in the "modified" version comes from your lower back. If you have a bad back, some other position may be a better alternative. It is also much like shooting from the bench in that you don't have a lot of control over recoil, but I've used this shooting my 338 Win Mag without hinderance.

Like I said, I haven't had any formal training, but this works so much better for me than the regular seated position where you grasp the forearm with your hand. Some angles are hard to adjust to, but this works for me in about 95% of the situations when I need to take a seat for the shot.
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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5,466 Posts
Good topic!

I shoot the National matches and one of the positions is seated. There are two that I have used;

1. the first seated, 45 degrees to your target, with your legs extended in front of you, elbows resting on your knees, feet slightly spread. This is a very stable position, but very uncomfortable position for myself.

2. the second, which works very well for me even with a bulky shooting jacket on, [same as your hunting coat in bulk] is sitting almost 90 degrees to your target, Indian style, with your elbows resting on your knees. At first, when I tried this, it felt very awkward, almost as if I was lying over upon myself. It does however, give you a very stable base from which to fire the shot. [sitting in the matches is all rapid fire, 10 rounds in 60 sec. with a magazine change.] this position allows for a quick follow up and target re-acquisition.

Granted the above positions are using a sling also.

I've used #2 in the field, as I never hunt from a stand, always from the ground, as done in days of old. But that's just me, I'm quirky like that.

I guess that any seated position will work provided you are "rooted" to allow a stable base with minimal movement, and your elbows are secure. The use of a sling will further enhance your base from which to shoot.


Lets hear some more!!!

Chris~
 

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Beartooth Regular
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5,218 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Chris,
The first of the two positions you mentioned is very similar to what I was trying to describe above, except I am assuming that with using the sling you are using your hand for support of the forearm. The method I described doesn't work well with a sling, but I have found that, at least with my No. 1 that has a barrel band sling swivel I can vary the point of impact by applying varying pressures on the sling. With the elbow cradle, I'm much steadier (more steady?) than supporting the forearm of the rifle with my left hand. Up hill shooting is very difficult, if not impossible from that position though.
 

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Nawth East Moderatah
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5,466 Posts
Yes, I'm supporting the forearm with my gloved hand [would be my right] with the sling wrapped around my right arm/forearm. Darn lefty!
In your position, you are using the crook of your arm [yes?] to support the rifle; similar to using, say a log or rock? That would really be a secure stable base for a shot.

My description is purely a competition style of hold. What it comes down to is, a secure platform for a precise and efficient shot.:D
Chris~
 

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Banned
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Alyeska, what you describe sounds to me like the "jack-knife position" I first saw long ago in one of Elmer Keith's books. As I recall, it was mentioned in the caption under a picture of Keith shooting a Sharps from that position. I figure that if it's good enough for Elmer Keith, it's good enough for me!

For me, the jack-knife is much steadier than sitting, but slower to get into, and a hard-recoiling rifle will roll me over on my back. That's good for my friends' amusement, and it soaks up a lot of the recoil's sting. Incidentally, I never could shoot worth a lick from the conventional, open-leg sitting position. I've found cross-legged much easier.
 

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Beartooth Regular
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Discussion Starter #6
skalkaho,
Though I haven't seen Elmer's Jackknife position, I sit in the normal seated shooting position as m141a described in (1) above. Feet shoulder width or so apart, knees up in front (comfortably), I haven't tried the cross-legged style. I turn my upper body 45 degrees or so to the target, with my left elbow perched on my left knee. I reach around with my left hand and touch (or lightly grasp or wedge) on my right shoulder, arm or tricep (just depends on where the target is). The forearm of the rifle is placed in the cradle of my left elbow. Seriously, I have found this to be as steady as the prone position if I do not have a rest. Granted this doesn't work in all circumstances, but is very solid if you have to shoot without a rest in the seated position.
 
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