Basic Shooting Positions


Facing nearly 90 degrees to the target, standing straight up, feet at a normal spacing, comfortable distance apart, sling up! Keep the forward hand open or lightly gripping the rifle, fingers clear of the operating rod. You may want to hold the fore stock a bit further aft than other positions, and remember when you are adjusting the sling or dry firing not to put you hand so far back that it would cover where the magazine will be. The sling should be snug, under the back of the hand, across the forearm and high on the bicep. Elbow nearly straight under the rifle, trigger hand gripping the rifle firmly and pulling the butt back snugly into the pocket with the trigger side arm held elbow high (“chicken wing”) to form a better pocket. M1A guys may want to flip up the butt plate. Head as nearly vertical as possible, turkey necked. If your head is laying over on the rifle you need to raise the butt in the pocket for a better “cheek weld” and therefore, eye/ sight alignment.

Make gross adjustments on target by shifting the rear foot left to right for windage, and closing up or spreading the feet for elevation.


(A) Cross legged: Sit at a 30 to 45 degree angle to the target, toward your strong side, with your legs crossed. I like my right heel under my left leg, so my right leg folds in last. Others want their left foot in last.

Try to get as low as possible without “canting” (tilting) the rifle. Again, the front hand should be open or lightly gripping the rifle, and remember to clear to op rod. Sling should be snug, under the back of the hand, across the forearm and high on the bicep.

The elbows should be in front, (on the target side), of the knees. This is very important! If you place the elbows on top of the knees you will lose your NPOA on every shot due to the recoil. So remember to keep the elbows in front. Trigger hand grips the rifle and pulls it snug back into the pocket. You body will be canted and your head may be leaning considerably, but try not to cant the rifle. Get a nice cheek weld and turkey neck. Make gross adjustments on target by shifting your butt left or right for windage and sliding your hand along the fore stock for elevation.

(B) Crossed Ankles: If you can't get your legs down into a crossed leg position, you may be able to get nearly as stable by sitting and simply crossing your ankles. Make sure your legs are supported by your feet, (As a fulcrum), and that your legs are relaxed, (no muscle input holding your legs up). Place the elbows on the forward, (Target), side of your knees. Make gross adjustments as with the cross legged position. Not as stable as cross legged, but less painful.

(C) Feet in front (open stance): Again, sit at an angle to the target, although a little more nearly facing the target than cross legged. Keep your knees spaced the correct distance to accommodate the elbows in front of them. Feet should be flat if possible and spread as far as possible to gain stability. This is not as stable as cross legged, but may help some of you out who cannot do that. Make gross adjustments on the target by shifting your feet simultaneously to the left or right, keeping your butt essentially stationary, for windage and drawing the forward hand along the stock to adjust elevation. Remember to keep the elbows in front of the knees.


Kneel with the weak side leg forward, bent with the shin near vertical, and the strong side leg underneath you. You should be sitting on the inside of the foot/ankle. If you aren’t that flexible, then on your heel, with the heel at the base of the spine. Put your forward elbow in front of the knee. Your trigger arm should be “chicken winged” or holding the elbow out to form a good pocket as with standing. Get a good cheek weld and don’t forget to turkey neck.


Facing about 30 degrees to “strong side” of the target, lie down on your belly and roll about 1/8 turn to the weak side. While propping up on the “flat” or back of your forward elbow shoulder the rifle. Keep the front hand open or lightly gripping the rifle, clear of the op rod. The forward hand is no more than a post or support for the rifle. The sling should be snug, under the back of the hand, across the forearm, and high on the bicep. Front elbow should be as nearly under the rifle as possible. (If the front sight doesn’t fall and then rise vertically when you inhale and exhale then your elbow is not far enough under the rifle.) The weak side leg extended in a straight line back. The trigger side leg should be bent about 90 degrees with the knee as far forward as possible to anchor the opposite side hip, get you more off your diaphragm, (easier to breathe, less influence on the rifle while breathing), and reduce the effects of recoil. The trigger side elbow should be on the mat, (not in the air), and spaced properly. Get a good cheek weld and remember to turkey neck. To make gross adjustments, anchor the front elbow and rotate everything around it. Shift the hips left and right for windage, and slide the the hips forward or back to gain proper elevation. Don’t allow the magazine to touch the mat.