Standing Position Shooting Technique

USAMU Shooting Tips

The CMP webzine, The First Shot, currently features an excellent article for any rifleman (hunter or competitor) who employs the standing position. Authored by USAMU Team member Sgt. Brandon Green, the story covers rifle hold, body positioning, and trigger control. Sgt. Green writes: “We’ve all been there—on the two hundred yard line and in our three-minute prep period. As you stand there looking through your sights, you just can’t seem to make them stay in the center of your target or even close for that matter. You know that your three minutes are running out quickly, so what are you going to do? This is the time when a lot of shooters start to come unraveled….We all know how to stand up, but it’s the standing still part that gives us trouble most of the time.”

USAMU Standing position

Sgt. Green continues: “We will start our position rebuild at the feet. You normally want your feet about shoulder width apart and perpendicular to the target. Some shooters like to keep their weight evenly distributed between the heels and balls of their feet, but this may not be the best position for you. I normally try to find a place on the firing line where my toes are just slightly higher than my heels, maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 inch higher. With my toes slightly higher, I feel a little more of the pressure on the balls of my feet. This usually helps me eliminate some of the back and forth movement in my position by inducing a little tension in my calf muscles.

USAMU Standing position

At this point I will check for excess tension in other parts of my legs. I notice that excess tension in my upper legs can also cause me to sway back and forth more than usual. By rotating each foot in or out, I can usually find a position that will eliminate this excess tension and help my legs feel more relaxed. I then check the tension in my knees. I don’t shoot with my knees locked, but they aren’t exactly bent either. I find where they are comfortable and stick with it. Now that my legs are at a good starting point, I move up to my hips and waist. I normally shoot with my hips perpendicular to the target and twist at the waist slightly. This is more of an international style rifle position than a traditional highpower position, but it is very comfortable and relaxed for me. With my waist only slightly twisted, I can rest my forward arm almost directly on my hip bone instead of bringing it around and resting it on my ribs.” [Continued...].

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Photos and text ©2007 CMP and USAMU, used by permission.

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