Prone Position Problems


July 24, 2005, 01:44 PM
I am an occasional high power shooter, marksman classification. The biggest barrier to my improving is poor performance in prone slow fire. I always seem to have trouble getting into a stable and comfortable position - particuarly the position of my head. I always wind up with my face too close to the rear sight (with an AR I get dings in my glasses from the rear sight) and the angle of my head is all wrong so I am looking out from under my eyebrows like that guy in the latest starwars movie. Somehow I need to get my face facing up more at the target. What is this? Flexibility problem? Or maybe something wrong somewhere else in my position that is putting my head in the wrong place?

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Jon Coppenbarger
July 24, 2005, 02:11 PM
You are not going to like this answer because it does not help.
You will have to get a master or at least a high expert to help and watch you as they can correct a few things you may be doing wrong.

The most common is sling to tight, not getting the body behind the rifle, not getting the rifle next to your support arm plus not getting back into the same position every time and that darn NPA thing.

Easy way is to get some help from them.


July 24, 2005, 02:36 PM
My own comp shooting was way back - old back now precludes prone.

I would mention this tho after your problem description. Seems you are setting way too low. My combo for prone was - single point sling, good elbow pads (grippy), a good hand stop on forend and - an adjustable butt-hook.

Took me ages to get set-up originally but once I found my ''sweet'' position all was much easier. The combination of sling tension/length vs position of hand stop required much experiment. My objective was to permit a drop to prone such that all points found their own natural position and so consistency was achieved. Even using a single shot Martini I developed a roll to side to reload and then settled back with minimal shuffle to achieve same position and hold.

The triangle of body and both elbows does need to often IMO be higher than first thought - the natural inclination is to spread out wide, which drops position and makes for head awkwardness. Try and set up almost too high - and slowly adjust lower until head position gets awkward. That would be your lower limit.

As already mentioned by Jon - get experienced folks to watch you - this will probably be most effective.

Steve Smith
July 24, 2005, 03:09 PM
Try bringing the rifle higher in your shoulder, too. As Jon said, you'll just have to have an experienced shooter watch you while you shoot to get the most of it.

July 24, 2005, 11:31 PM
nothing wrong with being low.

if you feel you're too low, simply move your left hand (assuming you're right-handed) closer to your head. this is obvious enough that i suspect there's something you're not telling us. a bit more detail would help.

Jon Coppenbarger
July 25, 2005, 12:34 AM
When I gave my answer the order it was in should be followed and by that I mean this. Each problem needs to be addressed and if the one before it is not right the ones after it are effected enough to cause a chain reaction and will show in not only eratic shots but poor scores. Prone is the easiest to fix but without being there it is a hard thing to do. You also must remember slow prone is the most grueling part of the match and to get it right for 20 shots in a row takes not only a very good position but alot of mental pratice.

July 25, 2005, 01:26 PM
For starters, you might set a thumbtack on the wall and dryfire 5 shots at a time, trying different things--high sling/low sling, tighter/looser, lower position/higher position, pulling your elbow in, position of your hand on the grip, etc.

Take a couple notes between each one--what you like and don't like about it. This will help you analyze better and more importantly, when you do find something that works, you'll be able to duplicate it next time. When I describe my position on paper, I always end up with a couple ideas for different things to try to make it better.


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