Rifle Shooting Stance Questions


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WALKERs210
July 1, 2013, 03:41 PM
I wish I could remember the first time I fired a rifle but that was a long time ago. I remember being shown how to hold the rifle and in the service was taught how to use the sling to help stabilize the weapon to stay on target. Recently I have noticed on many shows of competition shooting and military holding their left hand extended much further down and more on the left side of the rifle. I attempted to just hold it and guess it was just muscle memory from what I have done for years, just didn't feel right.
Is there a major advantage of holding this way or am I just an old dog that is too old to learn new tricks

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allaroundhunter
July 1, 2013, 03:49 PM
Depends on what type of shooting you are doing. For 3 gun and increasingly common combat rifle classes, getting your support hand extended as far out down the handguard as possible and on top gives the shooter great control.

It doesn't feel natural at all when you start, but keep on doing it and it will get normal.

arspeukinen
July 1, 2013, 05:01 PM
hand further forward helps when time is an issue. stabilizes faster.

when time is not a factor a "tight package" is better. no chickenwinging etc, everything supported, sling utilized etc.

AR style rifles encourage long front stocks, gripping over the stock very far away, etc. looks weird but works very well.

WALKERs210
July 1, 2013, 06:26 PM
When I first put my hands in that position in the back of my mind I could hear voices from my youth (some words would have to be bleeped) about what the blazes I was doing. I can see that the forward grip would give a better handling for faster target acquisition. On one of those shows with R.Lee Ermy USMC he is holding rifles with his left hand supporting just forward of the trigger guard, again voices of a Gunny rings in the ear.

henschman
July 2, 2013, 12:48 AM
It does allow for quick target transitions on fairly close or large targets, but I'll tell you one thing, it isn't worth a damn when you are really tired, as it is very muscle intensive.

Fred Fuller
July 2, 2013, 01:37 AM
We'll try this one in a more general forum for a bit, and if it doesn't work out then I'll bring it back to ST&T...

ObsceneJesster
July 2, 2013, 01:53 AM
It does allow for quick target transitions on fairly close or large targets, but I'll tell you one thing, it isn't worth a damn when you are really tired, as it is very muscle intensive.

This post couldn't be closer to the truth.

The type of grip being discussed is great for accuracy especially during rapid fire. It not only helps getting the muzzle on target but it also helps in keeping the muzzle down while firing rapidly.

That being said, this grip is the quickest way to induce muscle fatigue. Hold this grip for 30 or more seconds and you'll start to feel the burn. This is precisely the reason why some branches of the military are teaching soldiers to use the magwell grip when a long gunfight is immanent. The magwell grip is the worst grip to use for quick target acquisition or if keeping the muzzle down is your primary concern.

A good rifle shooter should be well versed in many grips and should never rely on just one.

Sent from my SGH-T999 using Tapatalk 4 Beta

henschman
July 2, 2013, 03:03 AM
A good rifle shooter should be well versed in many grips and should never rely on just one.

Exactly.

Last year, I was a RO at the Pecos Run 'n Gun, which is a 7 mile run through the desert, carrying your rifle, pistol, ammo, and other equipment, with 6 shooting stations along the way. A lot of 3 gun guys ran it, but not very many wanted to use the far forward grip. Those who did didn't fare very well. Introducing the fatigue factor changes a lot of things. That type of event is a great training opportunity.

Edarnold
July 2, 2013, 05:15 AM
The old-fashioned close-in support hand, with the rifle across the body and the elbow on the hip, is still the standard for formal paper-target shooting. Basically, because it is by far the steadiest position. The 'tactical' position facing the target, leaning into the gun, and with the support hand out on the for end, is indeed faster for repeat shots. Unless you are planning to shoot 3-gun, or getting into a gunfight, there is no advantage at all to the tactical position.

Just because something is fashionable, and 'everybody' says it's cool, doesn't make it better.

Infidel4life11
July 2, 2013, 12:01 PM
I wish I could remember the first time I fired a rifle but that was a long time ago. I remember being shown how to hold the rifle and in the service was taught how to use the sling to help stabilize the weapon to stay on target. Recently I have noticed on many shows of competition shooting and military holding their left hand extended much further down and more on the left side of the rifle. I attempted to just hold it and guess it was just muscle memory from what I have done for years, just didn't feel right.
Is there a major advantage of holding this way or am I just an old dog that is too old to learn new tricks
Just like with technology, Rifles, Ammo and the Shooter have advanced. In the competition world (and the tactical world a little bit) that forward grip is the way to go. Because of multiple targerts and shots, quick, fast and in a hurry. Under these conditions the weapon is more stable for that type of shooting and the ability to move target to target. However you won't see me using it with a bolt action. The forward grip has a time and place, it's not for everything. If I'm trying to be accurate (small target) at distance you won't see me standing.

taliv
July 2, 2013, 12:15 PM
in this particular case, i think the future will be as interesting as the past. I don't see this being a long-lived trend. My prediction is techniques will continue to evolve. Also, there seems to be something of a 'cool kids' aspect to it too. When the 3gun guys started doing it, it was function over form and done despite how goofy it looked. when a certain controversial trainer with a sizable following started doing it, it became trendy. folks with split times in the .5s became convinced that if they moved their hands out further and jerked their rifles around like crack-addled rhesus monkeys, they could be cool too. there seems to be some blowback brewing, particularly in the SF community.

mac66
July 2, 2013, 03:49 PM
If you want quick close in shots, the extended tactical type hold works well. I you want accurate long range fire on target a hasty sling with chicken wing still works best in standing, loop sling with elbows supported work best in sitting, kneeling and prone.

Mat, not doormat
July 3, 2013, 02:35 AM
It depends what you're trying to do. If you're trying to engage a single target as accurately as possible with little or no time pressure, then the forward grip isn't for you. In that case, you want the traditional Standing Position, with the strong elbow up as high as your ear, the support elbow braced on your hip, and either a palm rest or the gun balanced on your fingertips.

The trouble with that, however, is that although it's steady, it's also slow. Slow to build, slow to recover from recoil, and nearly impossible to shift targets. What the forward grip gives is control over the gun, when you're swinging quickly between targets and making multiple rapid shots.

It may be best to think of it as a carbine technique, for close fast work, rather than a rifle technique.

PS - In addition to 3 gun and tactical shooters, top Cowboy Action shooters use a variation on the forward grip. Specifically, they grab out at the end of the forearm, and pinch into the gap between barrel and mag tube with thumb and forefinger. That gives enough purchase to really crank the gun back into the shoulder, which helps to hold the sight picture in some sort of alignment while swinging the gun around like a maniac, and pumping the lever like a demented monkey. Oh, I suppose it also helps control the awesome recoil of the .38 Special.

Of course, what the forward grip giveth, the forward grip taketh away something else. For a three or four second run, it's great. Longer than that would be exhausting in short order. Also, all that muscular tension is the enemy of precision at any distance. Far better to shoot with a tight sling and a loose body, then.

WALKERs210
July 3, 2013, 10:25 AM
Great discussion and information on why and why not here. At my age and health issues prone is out of the question unless there are a couple strong young people to get me back up. Sitting position is easier but still getting up is not a fast recovery. Pray to all the GODS that are around that I never need to engage anything other than a blowing paper target that came loose from its retainer. The major thing was I just could not seriously grip in my feeble mind why the hand was extended in such an unnatural position, but it also goes to how one is trained at a young age.

henschman
July 3, 2013, 12:06 PM
I just don't see the far forward grip being of much use in a gunfight, other than maybe a cqb room clearing type situation. Most times you don't have a nice row of targets that you can just pop, bang bang bang, in a few seconds, from the standing position. So I see it as mainly a competition stance. I know there are some guys teaching it for serious use... I would certainly listen to their rationale, but I would be skeptical for most applications.

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