Correct rifle stance/hold?


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CountGlockula
January 9, 2008, 08:33 PM
I'm trying to do a search and cannot find it. So I apologize if I'm beating a dead deer/turkey/pheasant/duck/bear/etc. Please help a rifle newbie out.

Anyways, while standing how do you correctly hold and fire a rife?

I've shot an M1 Garand and the dude told me to stick my right elbow out (parallel to the ground), and then I've seen SWAT/LEO videos of guys holding their MP5 with their elbows tucked in close to their chest. The former is the position of what I've been shooting and is pretty comfortable for me. But I'm interested in other ways of holding, but want to know how seasoned rifle men/women hold theirs.

Any information would be helpful. Thanks.

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Slugless
January 9, 2008, 08:47 PM
Jeff Cooper illustrates the classic positions in his book "The Art of the Rifle."

I just recently got the book, but they are basically the same positions I was taught & are similar to what is in an old NRA rifle instruction book I have.

Cooper's techniques are better for field use than the NRA techniques, which are more range techniques. I'd start w/ Cooper for the "old school" style.

I was shown the "tucked in" position by a recent Army vet. I know something about it, why they're doing it, etc. but there are people on THR vastly more qualified than I am to discuss it.

CountGlockula
January 9, 2008, 08:49 PM
Thanks for the book recommendation Slugless!

Swampy
January 10, 2008, 09:54 AM
I've shot an M1 Garand and the dude told me to stick my right elbow out (parallel to the ground), and then I've seen SWAT/LEO videos of guys holding their MP5 with their elbows tucked in close to their chest. The former is the position of what I've been shooting and is pretty comfortable for me. But I'm interested in other ways of holding, but want to know how seasoned rifle men/women hold theirs.

Count,

Different rifles... different hold....

The M1 and M14 both have a conventional wood stock with a wrist. A standing hold with the elbow out gives the best support.

The MP5 and AR15 are both set up with a low rider pistol grip. The elbow out does not work well with them. The tucked in approach works better.

At just about any CMP or NRA Highpower event you go to you will see M1, M14(M1A) and AR 15 shooters exhibiting the two different methods during the standing stage of fire.

Use what works best for you and the rifle you currently have in your hands.

Best regards,
Swampy

Garands forever

iamkris
January 10, 2008, 11:00 AM
In addition, an "elbow out" stance also creates a more pronounced "pocket" in the shoulder area (that fleshy part between the collar bone and your shoulder joint). The pocket is the proper place to hold higher-recoiling rifles.

Not many people hold a rifle the right way. I always chuckle when I see the posts about a Mosin/Springfield/Remchester/308/30-06/whatever and its brutal recoil and bruised shoulders. The recoil is often personal perception...the black and blue shoulder is from improper hold...which contributes to perceived recoil.

cracked butt
January 10, 2008, 11:22 AM
the black and blue shoulder is from improper hold.

Or sometimes from shooting 2 bandoliers ot turk ammo through a M48 in one sitting:evil:

iamkris
January 10, 2008, 12:27 PM
Or sometimes from shooting 2 bandoliers ot turk ammo through a M48 in one sitting

I've been to 2 Appleseeds and seen guys on the line shooting, not only gas guns, but also bolt action Springfields and Mausers. With the rifle in the pocket, they had very little complaints about sore shoulders. Even with my M1A, however, if I have it up on my shoulder instead of in the pocket, it'll leave some bruising after 200 rounds.

everallm
January 10, 2008, 12:28 PM
Count, you didn't say if you are using a sling or not, if not I would heartily recommend one. The other issue to mange is breath control.

The "chicken wing" stance with the weak hand supporting, wrapped through the sling will steady you noticeably. Next issue is breathing control, this can make the difference between and X ring and a flyer.....8-)

Bring the rifle snugly to shoulder (if it's loose it'll hurt)

Sight and breath in and out normally, do not take up tension in your arms.

There will be vertical sight wobble, mostly be vertical at this point and is a natural consequence of breathing......quite important to you....8-)

When you have the target acquired, take any slack in the sling up and breath in and out deeply twice, FULLY. Expect the rifle to move up and down in a vertical plane.

On the second breath out, exhale, stop and do not "hold your breath", you have already flushed the carbon dioxide, which triggers the breathing reflex and you will not feel a need to breath for 5 -10 seconds.

Vertical wobble will be minimal now, bring the sights down to the target and squeeze the trigger, following through and then safety on and relax.

If you still don't feel you are sighted well, want to shift position etc stop, finger off trigger, safety on, tension off hands and arms, wait a short time and restart the process.

If you stay in tension or hold your breath you will quickly start feeling your lungs and blood flow pulsing and you'll be all over the target.

The idea is to surprise yourself when the round goes down range.

You can do a lot of this at home before going to the range so you are prepared before hand.

The biggest points are be comfortable in a position, know your limitations and enjoy what your doing. The more you fret the worse it'll get.......

Vermont
January 10, 2008, 12:29 PM
As I understand it, the elbow in is part of a CQB/Carbine technique.

With this technique you rotate your body almost square to the target instead of having your body at an angle like the classic rifle stance, and you tuck your elbows in. This allows for better maneuverability in close quarters. With this stance you can walk forward like you naturally would, instead of at an angle. This also means that the part of you that is covered by body armor is facing the enemy, instead of your side, which is often unprotected. It also means easier transition to your handgun if you use the isosceles stance.

Pistol grips and VFGs make this stance easier to achieve

I don't remember where I heard this, but I think it was on LWRCs forum. It made sense to me, but I am no expert.

I did a google search for information about this, but I can't find any. There are schools that offer carbine classes and pictures on their website show shooters using similar stances.

HorseSoldier
January 10, 2008, 01:31 PM
+1 what Vermont said. SWAT guys, etc., are using a stance that minimizes target area (elbows in) and maximizes protection (chest and body armor squared off to threat). This style of shooting isn't optimized for overall accuracy, it's optimized for combat conditions and speed.

30Cal
January 10, 2008, 02:11 PM
On the M1, you can choke up with your trigger hand till the web of your hand is up against the receiver. Then lift that right elbow up. Way up. Now, you can pull with that hand which will help steady the rifle out.

Remember to try to bring the sights up to your eye. Don't force your eye down to the sights.

CountGlockula
January 10, 2008, 03:50 PM
Thanks a lot of all your helpful insights. I've learned so much by just going through your responses.

So far, I've shot:
M1 Garand
Lever gun in .357mag/.38 calibers.
Bushmaster AR-15
Steyr AUG (this one did have a sling, but I never put it on).

I'll apply what you've all said. Thanks again for helping a newb. This will help my decision on picking up my first rifle. Lastly, will enable me to get some self defense rifle training.

KBintheSLC
January 10, 2008, 06:53 PM
Count, you didn't say if you are using a sling or not, if not I would heartily recommend one.

+1
The sling is likely going to matter more than elbow position.

Vern Humphrey
January 10, 2008, 07:06 PM
The proper stance is to face the target and do a half right face (more or less.) Stand with feet about shoulder-width apart. Pull the left hand back toward the trigger guard until the left forearm is as close to vertical as you can get. (With the Garand, you will have to reverse your left hand, putting the left thumb on the right side of the stock.)

If the rules permit, you may modify this by using the hasty sling -- insert the left hand between sling and rifle from the right side, and twist so the sling passes around the left upper arm near the armpit, then between the upper and lower arm to the front swivel. Again, reverse the left hand and try to keep the lower left arm as close to vertical as possible.

The biggest mistake most people make in shooting any rifle offhand is putting the left hand too far farward on the stock. Pull the left hand back, as close to the trigger guard as you can get it, and you'll see an immediate improvement in your shooting.

Rembrandt
January 10, 2008, 09:14 PM
Sorry, double post...

Rembrandt
January 10, 2008, 09:17 PM
Off hand target position....

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/OffhandTarget.jpg

Off hand hunting position....
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v405/Rembrandt51/Offhandhunting.jpg

mp510
January 10, 2008, 11:24 PM
http://img110.imageshack.us/img110/3755/p1020681yy2.jpg
http://img110.imageshack.us/img110/5999/p1020683bz8.jpg

Elbow in our out, forearm in or out are both correct shooting positions. It's really a matter of what feels more comfortable with a given rifle. Same with hand in or out. It's a matter of personal preference. With some rifles, I need to hold my elbow tucked against my chest. With others, elbow out is a lot more comfortable and steady. Slings also help a lot, especially when shooting standing. You want to use a military strap sling- those padded hunting slings aren't necesarily good for shooting.

Rshooter
January 11, 2008, 01:37 AM
I will probably get into trouble for this generalization but this manual is used for training the "best marksmen in the world". There are a lot of pictures about handling slings as well as different shooting positions. A lot of good range safety if you want to read that too.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/432351/USMC-MCRP-301A-Rifle-Marksmanship

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