How Do You Shoulder Your Rifle?


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Joshua M. Smith
July 19, 2009, 10:50 PM
Hello,

http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b191/WabashShootist/Guns/skeleton.jpg

I grew up shooting slug guns. Though I knew some folks who put the butt on the shoulder or the shoulder joint, I personally found it more comfortable to shoulder in position number two on the diagram. Lots of meat to absorb recoil.

I fairly recently asked about the shorter stock on the M4 carbine, and was told that it's current policy to shoot from position number three on the chart, closer to the chest. I was further told that it helps absorb recoil and provides additional weapon control.

Taking the butt extender/recoil pad off my SKS, I found that this is true: Though I don't consider the 7.62x39mm to be a hard kicker in the first place, I found that shooting from this position, the sights hardly jumped from the target, allowing follow-up shots to be made very quickly.

I can see additional benefits with regard to body armor: Shooting from this position exposes less of the side and more of the stronger front to the target - you're more squared off, sorta' like isosceles vs Weaver.

So how do you shoot your rifle, and why?

Josh <><

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Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 19, 2009, 10:54 PM
Wow, good poll. The answer is #3 - I hold them bad boys in as close to the centerline as I can, as I have dislocated my right shoulder on multiple occasions playing sports.

bdg146
July 19, 2009, 10:55 PM
To be honest, I have no idea. I've never thought about it. I just shoulder it. I suspect I'm somewhere around position 2 (definitely not 1).

Would one run the risk of a broken collarbone if shooting a particularly strong caliber in position 3? That bone is easily broken, and if you get the right amount of force in the right direction, it'll break.

Joshua M. Smith
July 19, 2009, 10:58 PM
I used to have a Mosin-Nagant M44 carbine, and shooting prone, I had it rested against my collarbone. I could definitely feel it flexing with the recoil - very interesting sensation.

I am a recoil junkie, if you've not guessed :D

Josh <><

oneounceload
July 19, 2009, 11:01 PM
If position 2 is the pocket of your shoulder, that is where I place it and my shotguns

SHvar
July 19, 2009, 11:02 PM
3, I remember being taught that when you place your arm in position to hold a rifle or shotgun the pocket naturally created at the inside of the shoulder on the chest was created by god to shoulder a rifle. Keep in mind Im not religious at all. But this postion take the pressure off the shoulder, and joint where 1 and 2 are located.

Gaiudo
July 19, 2009, 11:05 PM
Depends on the rifle. My .375.... looks more like 2. You're right though that the centerline hold keeps one squared up more, and most of the tactical games shooters I've seen are using this more and more.

jpwilly
July 19, 2009, 11:07 PM
3, I remember being taught that when you place your arm in position to hold a rifle or shotgun the pocket naturally created at the inside of the shoulder on the chest was created by god to shoulder a rifle. Keep in mind Im not religious at all. But this postion take the pressure off the shoulder, and joint where 1 and 2 are located.

We're thinking the same thing but I'm going with #2 as being "the pocket" God created. As we know man made the rifle to fit man...God created the metal and wood and gave us the brains to make it happen.

dispatch55126
July 19, 2009, 11:08 PM
I put mine in the shoulder pocket, which would be #2. The reason current doctrine puts the butt closer toward centerline is Army currently teaches to fire with your shoulders more squared to the target. This takes advantage of the body armor. Pointing your shoulder to the target or some angle thereof exposes your armpit/side of the armor which is the weakest point. It has nothing to do with recoil.

jpwilly
July 19, 2009, 11:09 PM
^^^ the 5.56 doesn't have any recoil! :)

BunnyPuncher
July 19, 2009, 11:11 PM
Position 3. Pec is a large muscle that can take the abuse of a metal butt plate and battle rifle calibers (at least for a while).

Edit: I was just poking around in the sore spot on my shoulder and it seems it is somewhere between 2 & 3. So I'll call it 2.5

I'm still trying to figure out how #1 would work for anything above a .223

jim in Anchorage
July 19, 2009, 11:13 PM
First of all,that fellow needs more meat on his bones to shoot anything. # 3 looks down right painful.

Publius1688
July 19, 2009, 11:27 PM
Position #2, with anything carrying recoil. For plinking 22LR, #1.
Great poll!

FlyinBryan
July 19, 2009, 11:35 PM
3 while standing.

2 prone

sarduy
July 19, 2009, 11:36 PM
voted Other = 2.5

.38 Special
July 19, 2009, 11:44 PM
I voted #2 but yeah, 2.5 looks about right. I've been playing with my .416 Rigby lately and I'm pretty sure #1 would cause physical damage.

P.B.Walsh
July 19, 2009, 11:44 PM
Other, 1.5 :)

Coal Dragger
July 19, 2009, 11:45 PM
Either position 2 or 3 depending on the position I am shooting. I like the rifle to be as close to my centerline as possible as I find it makes my cheek weld more consistent thus making how my eye addresses the sights or optics more consistent.

jojo200517
July 20, 2009, 12:04 AM
I voted other. I'd say around 1.5 or so most of the time. Depends on what i'm shooting, and how it feels. I always just hold the weapon where its comfortable. I'd say about the same place with shotguns and stuff to. After you learn to shoot mag 3 inch buckshot loads and slugs out of a 12 gauge pump with no pad on the folding stock rifle recoil just doesn't bother ya any more. Especially those squirrel rounds like the .223.

lions
July 20, 2009, 12:54 AM
I looked at it and decided on 2.5, looks like I'm not alone. I think that is about where my pocket is. I went ahead and voted 2 because I assumed that was supposed to represent the pocket.

Maverick223
July 20, 2009, 01:31 AM
Somewhere btw 2 & 2.5 for me...never really thought of it, I just put it where it feels "right". One thing about it you will know it (and have time to think about) if you shoulder the wrong rifle the wrong way. I recently shot a 12Ga. pretty poorly when a buddy threw up a "clay" (old tin can IIRC) too low and I [expecting it to go higher shot anyway before getting the butt squared away properly (shot from the "almost ready" position). Despite the moderate recoil of no. 7.5 shot...I had plenty of time to think about the next "clay" for the next couple of days. :D

gga357
July 20, 2009, 01:35 AM
voted 3 but have tto say more like 2.5.

blackops
July 20, 2009, 04:20 AM
2 is the best place. Right in the pocket. 1 is injury prone and 3 is suspect of right to left movement from recoil in turn not being as accurate.

CoRoMo
July 20, 2009, 02:26 PM
#2 looks like it is right on the medial edge of the rotator cuff. That is exactly where I shoulder my stock, and it tends to be painful after enough shooting.

I went shooting yesterday and have a bit of a bruise there.

RP88
July 20, 2009, 02:32 PM
somewhere around #2. It feels more natural.

Maverick223
July 20, 2009, 04:41 PM
All the cool kids fire from the hip. :neener:

possum
July 20, 2009, 04:54 PM
Wow, good poll. The answer is #3 - I hold them bad boys in as close to the centerline as I can,
+1 me too.

taliv
July 20, 2009, 06:05 PM
i answered 3, but really more like 4 to 4.5

3 is definitely not the "pocket"

Redneck with a 40
July 20, 2009, 06:22 PM
Shooting my remmy 700 sps tactical in .308, I'm pretty much in position two, inside the joint, below the collarbone, where the meat is to absorb the recoil, although its not bad at all in .308.:)

.38 Special
July 20, 2009, 06:31 PM
i answered 3, but really more like 4 to 4.5

3 is definitely not the "pocket"

Horsefeathers. #4 is the arch of the clavicle. 4.5 would practically be the sternum. I'd pay money to see someone "shoulder" their rifle in that spot.

taliv
July 20, 2009, 06:41 PM
yeah? how much money?

i'll PM you next time I'm in LA. probably late august after camp perry. though, I can't bring any of my ARs into that state. You'll have to supply a suitable carbine.

JImbothefiveth
July 20, 2009, 06:45 PM
When shooting .22s I sometimes shift it. I still haven't settled on one.

.38 Special
July 20, 2009, 06:46 PM
yeah? how much money?

i'll PM you next time I'm in LA. probably late august after camp perry. though, I can't bring any of my ARs into that state. You'll have to supply a suitable carbine.

You can borrow my Rigby. I'll give you $5 for each shot fired from your sternal notch. E.R. bills are your responsibility.

1prcntr
July 20, 2009, 07:51 PM
#2 in the pocket.

Joshua M. Smith
July 20, 2009, 08:36 PM
.38 Special,

Careful there... that's where the stocks of long guns were originally rested, after they discovered that a wide butt stock was better than a tube on a stick.

And, those bad boys were shooting .75 to 1.00 caliber...

Josh <><

.38 Special
July 20, 2009, 08:52 PM
Meh. Most folks who've borrowed that gun give it back after the first shot, and they were firing it from the shoulder, not the throat.

tactikel
July 20, 2009, 09:10 PM
The newest trend for the 5.56 is 3.5 or 4- do not try that with a .30-06! I shoot off 2.

PT1911
July 20, 2009, 09:13 PM
#3 with a shoulder shrug.. makes a nice little pocket for the gun to seat itself in and allows for minimal movement of the gun while shooting... For me anyway...

#2 includes too much actual shoulder... I prefer the butt of the gun be in the separation between the deltoid and pectoral muscle...

Myles
July 20, 2009, 10:40 PM
#1 looks like it would cause serious injury.
#2 is painful if you happen to have a torn rotator cuff. Believe me.
#3 looks right in the pocket to me.

Coronach
July 20, 2009, 10:47 PM
Depends on the rifle, and what I'm wearing. I shoot "shoulder pocket" if I'm shooting a traditionally stocked rifle, or something that actually has recoil. With a collapsible stock I get it as close to centerline as I can.1 is injury prone and 3 is suspect of right to left movement from recoil in turn not being as accurate.Not necessarily. If you're wearing a LBV or a plate carrier, you can place a bit of kit to act as a "ridge" to keep the stock from sliding around. I use a Fenix L2P slipped into the furthest-outboard molle loop to keep the stock locked in, and it creates a mounting point that is rock solid when used with a M4-style stock.

I have a real problem with my duty rifle. It is a full-stocked M16, and I have body armor. You can't put the stock centerline, unless you want your cheekweld to be back by the buttplate. You have to seriously chicken-wing it to use the shoulder-pocket/bicep, due to the thickness of the armor. I can't put a collapsible stock on it (don't ask). Using the usual "over the shoulder" techniques used by the .mil guys with the M16A2/A4 is less than ideal, since it's really important to fire as few times as possible and not miss. So, I'm still playing around with the best position.

Mike

Arkel23
July 20, 2009, 11:04 PM
It's a mix between 2 and 3 mostly slid over on 2. If you get what I'm saying.

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