Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Shooting skills - alternative shooting positions:

I would like to get some feedback from some of the military trainers here on what they think about the usefullness of shooting positions other than supported prone in tactical shooting. Offhand and sitting postions are of course emphasized in the highpower game but I was curious if these positions are emphasized by the current military training.

Jack McC.
Jack McC. <>
Lawrenceville, GA USA - Wednesday, November 04, 1998 at 00:28:14 (EST) 

Jack - Just posted and saw your question. We EMPHASIZE the other shooting positons (not off-hand) because in many situations it is impossible to locate a prone position and still get the shot off. Just ask any of our students on some of our stalk lanes about shooting form the prone. We purposely use some areas that the prone is impossible to use with out getting so open that you are compromised. We use modified sitting sling supported, and kneeling sling supported positions, NOT recognized by the high power crowd. Of course we are not pleasing some range official. We also teach observer supported positions. Hope this answered your question.

Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Wednesday, November 04, 1998 at 00:40:52 (EST) 

On the question on shooting positions taught by the military;

The Army rifle (M16) qualfication program only evaluates 2 positions the supported fighting hole position and the unsupported prone. The FM 23-9 shows all of the positions supported and unsupported prone kneeling and standing but the only place they are being taught is at the National Guard MTU's Master Marksmen Trainer Course.

The USMC is still teaching the use of slings(loop and hasty) and the unsupported sitting, kneeling, standing and prone on known distance training. For field firing they go into the same positions as the Army.

The regular Army and USMC sniper courses evaluate only the supported prone, but also teach supported sitting, kneeling and standing. These supported positions used artificial and partner support. When I was running the National Guard course we did the same plus taught the use of a loop and hasty sling (Semper Fi buddy!!)

We also live fire shooters under stress (PT prior to the shot) so the students got an idea of how to handle a little more heart beat and respiration than normal.

The best evaluation of non-traditional shooting positions I've seen was at the Canadian Sniper Concnetration in Gagetown this Fall. Warrant Treger had the guys shooting from all sorts of problem situaions that realy made the teams think. Too lengthly to go into here but suffice it to say the guys had to improvise. Hope to use some of that stuff at Storm Mountain when I get there.

Gooch is out of here.
Gooch <>
USA - Wednesday, November 04, 1998 at 10:18:54 (EST) 

Gooch - Sorry man, you must not have read the full eval the students at SOTIC go through. They are tested at 200 standing off hand, 200 sitting rapid, 300 prone rapid, and 600 prone slow the first week of the course after four days of train up. Yes, this is with iron sights. No sense in having iron sights if the students aren't taught to use them. This drills the basics into them before they go to the crystal ball that will actually make a bad shooter worse, no better. It also gives the instructors a chance to find which students will stress out under pressure, and standing off hand is excellent for finding that "little thing" they are doing that you just can't find in the prone supported position.

Rick <>
Fayetteville, NC USA - Wednesday, November 04, 1998 at 22:43:50 (EST) 

Position shooting. You guys going to SMTC and other tactical schools are going to learn to use many positions. Those of you who went to the Hathcock Match will recall the stress course? When EVER did you get to use prone supported from a bipod? I saw some of you TRY! ;-) But the terrain never cooperates does it? Rod made us take 350++ yard shots on small chest plates from a sitting position during class 9-98. Good practice. The thing is, you never know what youíll have in the way of a shot, so youíd better get real used to oddball positions. At the end of the day, if your neck ainít sore, you ainít trying hard enough!

Scott <>
USA - Thursday, November 05, 1998 at 09:52:33 (EST) 

Rick & Gooch: Do you guys have any recommendations on a book/manual/whatever that shows some of the more "non-standard" positions? I went through about 10 books last night looking for partner-supported positions, and while I have several good books on field positions, FM 23-10 was the only one that covered partner-supported ones at all.
I completely agree with the need to be flexible (and sometimes downright creative) when it comes to field positions. Sometimes I wish that fewer shooting ranges were all nice and flat.

Dave <>
San Jose, CA USA - Thursday, November 05, 1998 at 15:01:11 (EST) 

Dave as far as nonstandard positions go the British Army Manual does a pretty good job of showing them as does the TC 31-32, SOTIC's newest manual. Where you can find them...I don't know. Rod Ryan and I are going to be teaming up o some articles for Tactical Shooter magazine soon and this will probably be one of the subjects.

Gooch is out a here

Gooch <>
USA - Thursday, November 05, 1998 at 18:33:20 (EST) 

Don't know about other places, but we do some non prone shooting. The sitting position is what we tend to use (supported and unsupported) and my ATL will hit 735m E type 70% of the time, unsupported.

E Engler <>
CP Greaves, ROK - Friday, November 06, 1998 at 09:44:27 (EST) 

Can I have some comments on a Standing offhand shooting position. Does the military teach a standing offhand where the rest hand is palm up and fingers are pointing toward you? I saw a clean cut young man who appeared to military possibly SF shooting last summer in like this. The gun he was shooting was a FN/FAL. Nice looking. Didn't recognize the scope though. Was odd enough that he shot standing while others were unsupported prone. What is better is that he shot almost as well and posted a respectable score. This guy ended up shooting and leaving right away so I didn't get a chance to talk. Could be a new LE with some other shooting experience I suppose, but he acted the type who took his shooting seriously.

bill <>
Central, Ny, USA - Tuesday, January 26, 1999 at 03:43:14 (ZULU) 

Bill Mohr,

Was the standing dudes fingees up or down? The Soviet Block Dudeskies came up with something like that for free rifle and UIT stuff claiming that it was ergonomically correct and offered a better platform, if my faulty memory serves me right.
A duly appointed & anointed Court Jester at another shooting site "Invented" a palm base and finger forwards technique called "The Artillery Hold" which I just saw in an ancient dude book from the turn of the century.
I normally use a fingee bridge with thumb at front trigger guard screws (base/index) and tips as feels good.


I HATE STANDING! BTDT in a buncha matches, windy city stuff, and the field and I abhor it. Have Had some real knock down / drag out conversations about the merits of standing with the shooting Neanderthals.

C.R.S. CITY, BY-ALL SHOOTERS HERE- GAWD!, USA - Tuesday, January 26, 1999 at 14:27:39 (ZULU) 

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