Any Smallbore shooters?


January 10, 2011, 08:43 PM
Just curious if there are any smallbore shooters who hang around in this forum. I am a Highpower shooter who has been talked into shooting with the local indoor winter league and am learning the ropes of 50-foot 4-position. So far I am having fun and finding it extremely challenging!

A couple of questions though:
1) Kneeling: This position has me a bit stumped at the moment. I have browsed online, talked to and watched fellow shooters and I "think" I am beginning to get a grasp of it. The roll goes under the strong-side foot, you rest your body against the strong-side heel. The forward leg should be vertical or slightly forward, with the foot turned to provide a stable base. The support arm elbow goes on the near-side of the forward knee and the sling supports the rifle.

How far off am I and what kind of pointers would you suggest?

2) Sitting: I have a longish neck and wear glasses, and I find it a bit difficult to establish a solid position. In Highpower with my Service Rifle I just cant outboard until the sights, glasses and my head line up and I can maintain my natural balance. So far I have been reluctant to try this with the smallbore rifle, and so I end up with my forehead tilted forward looking over the tops of my glasses.

Again, any pointers and tips welcome.

3) Lastly, I think I may be on the lookout for a good position rifle of my own for next season. I am currently shooting a pre-A Winchester 52. I notice a lot of the other shooters use some variation of the Anschutz 1907, so obviously I realize finding one of these would be a solid choice. Any other models?

Seeing as I am still learning the ropes, I am also open to any other helpful hints and advice.

Thanks all!

If you enjoyed reading about "Any Smallbore shooters?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
January 11, 2011, 01:12 AM

Smallbore is my main discipline. I'd be happy to help you out.

1 - You've got it pretty much right (I'll be describing a right handed shooter from here on out). Your weight distribution should be about 65% on the roll, 25% on the right knee, and 10% on the left foot. Also make sure your left foot is parallel to your right leg.

The key is to make sure you are shooting "out" of the position rather than "across" the position. To shoot out of the position, you want to make sure the angle between where the rifle is pointing and where your right knee is pointing is about 20ish degrees.

My person finding for kneeling is that it is a mental trap after shooting standing. It's a better hold which you end up settling for a less than perfect sight picture. My advice in your practice is to learn to take your whole time limit and more. I suggested to the kids I coach to watch TV in the kneeling position. Also, as an aside, when you finish and your foot is numb, the best thing to do is walk around, don't sit down and try to let it pass, it hurts way more.


2 - Sitting...not my favorite. In fact, in 4P matches I shoot kneeling instead (higher position is allowed in the rules). But with you, coming from high power, that's probably not the route you should take.

When I shoot high power, sitting is actually no problem. Everything just works. In smallbore, I had to change a lot. Try not putting your right elbow on your right knee in the crossed leg position, just let it dangle like in kneeling. This is legal by the rule, and creates a more upright position.


3 - The thing with competition smallbore rifles is that they last FOREVER. The rifle I'm shooting was shot by my mom for 10-15 years and I have shot it for 10-15 years. Whatever you decide to buy, go ahead and spend your money on something good. Piecing together a rifle like many high power shooters do just doesn't work out as well in smallbore.

How much smallbore do you want to shoot? If you only intend on shooting the league, then I would suggest getting an Anschutz 1903 (~$1300 w/ sights) unless you have the money to burn to get more gun. A brand new 1907 will run you $2300 with sights. A 1913 with sights will run you $3000.

Also, look around for used equipment online. It's cheaper, and likely just as good.

Lastly, be ready to spend some real time on getting the rifle set up. If you get a 1907 or greater, expect it to take you 3-6 MONTHS to get everything the way you want it. And if you come from a service rifle background, you'll really feel like your drowning in adjustments.

Let me know if there's anything else I can help with.

January 11, 2011, 08:51 AM
Mr Walker, many years ago (too many) when I was assigned to what was then called AMTU (Advanced Marksmanship Training Unit) we put together a training pamplet for position shooting. It was distributed to college and high school rifle teams and may still be available. If so you would find it quite helpful. Try searching "army marksmanship" "AMU" or similiar and you may find a copy.

January 11, 2011, 11:42 AM
Look up M-1 marksmanhip video. The original Army training video goes into shooting positions and should help you. You can also download them for future study.

January 11, 2011, 08:35 PM
Thanks all!

Soupy, I will put your advice for kneeling and sitting into practice on Friday. Just trying it with the gear in the basement I did notice the improvement in kneeling. Such a simple little thing can make a big difference in position shooting!

As for going over position shooting, I am a Master-class Highpower shooter chasing my Distinguished Rifleman badge. I am pretty comfortable shooting prone and offhand (my offhand average has been around a 95 over the past summer). ;) It's just adjusting to kneeling, which I've never had to do before, and adapting to slow-fire sitting, a slightly different technique than shooting rapid-fire.

And I will keep on the lookout for used equipment, a used rifle may turn up somewhere. I'm not too worried about wearing one out; the Winchester 52 I am borrowing is 70 years old and is still capable of punching centers more reliably than the trigger nut. :p

January 14, 2011, 10:07 PM
For a rifle see the CMP and get the "rusty" Kimber.

January 14, 2011, 10:22 PM
I am shooting small bore prone. It has really helped me in Highpower prone. Small bore is not a gimme. You see things that the recoil and blast from centerfire masks. If you ever get outside you will find that the slightest breeze will push that rim fire bullet way out.

This year's Small Bore Prone National Iron Sight Champ, Charles Kemp, used a M52D action and M52D trigger. This is Mr. Kemp and his rifle. Obviously the stock and barrel are different.

If your rifle shoots well, use it. At some point in the future you may want something with a lighter trigger, or more stock adjustments, but as long as the thing holds the ten ring, you can shoot a possible.

And what pointers?

Work on position and followthrough. The slightest, tiniest change in position and you will see it on target.

January 15, 2011, 09:15 PM
Just an update: The pointers helped, I picked up 4-points sitting and 12 kneeling last night versus last week's efforts. (But I lost 2 more offhand...) It's challenging and I'm addicted, I don't think I can stop now! :o

If your rifle shoots well, use it. At some point in the future you may want something with a lighter trigger, or more stock adjustments, but as long as the thing holds the ten ring, you can shoot a possible.

Oh, the Winchester is perfectly capable of shooting a 400 at 50-feet, no doubt in my mind. The only reason I want "another" rifle is that this one is not mine. As such it has the limits of I can't (and won't) mark, etch or otherwise permanently alter it. Actually, the rifle belongs to one shooter and the sights (Redfield Internationals) to another.

If you enjoyed reading about "Any Smallbore shooters?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!