Sitting techniques

OK, now we're going to start talking about firing rifles.  A good place to start is in the sitting positions.  A sitting position is much more steady than a standing position and is more flexible than the prone position.  You can also take advantage of the sling for added support in the sitting positions.

The cheek weld

This is a key part of rifle marksmanship.  The idea is to put your face in the same location each time, so your eyes see down the sight the exact same way for every shot.  You do this by forming a cheek weld; i.e., you select a point where you will put your cheek every single time you fire.  I like to put my cheek on the first knuckle at the base of my thumb.  This works for me on pretty much any iron-sighted rifle.  On some scoped rifles I can't get this close.  An alternative is to put your cheek on some point on the stock closer to your shoulder.  Some people are more comfortable being further back.  It doesn't matter too much where your cheek weld is, as long as you are consistent and can see down the sight.

Sitting at a table

On most rifle ranges, you will find tables and benches you can use to shoot from.  To do this, sit in the chair (or on the bench) close to the front edge of the chair.  Your back should be arched forward such that you apply spring-like tension to your upper body.  Pull the butt of the rifle into the pocket of your shoulder - the fleshy area just below the collarbone.  Both elbows should be on the table; this will reduce your movement considerably.  You should also utilize the sling for support by wrapping it around your arm as shown.  The sling should be tight enough as to be a little uncomfortable.  There are different techniques for using the sling as a shooting aid; one specific one will be explained in a later section.

Sitting at a table and using sandbags for support

This is even more steady than the above example.  In the case you have sandbags (or a log, or a schoolbag, etc.) for support, you can use them as follows.  Put your sandbag on the table in front of you.  Push the front of the rifle's trigger guard into the sandbag, applying tension with your shoulder.  If you have multiple sandbags, use them to support the rifle close to the muzzle as well as by the trigger guard.  Since the front of the rifle is now supported, take your non-firing hand and bring it back to hold the comb of the stock near your shoulder.  Fire when ready.  (I will try to get a picture of this online; however, my local range doesn't provide sandbags.)

Sitting on the ground

Similar to firing from a table.  Note how both elbows are supported and how the sling is utilized for extra support.


To continue onto Prone techniques, click here.