Quantcast

Target Offhand Stance with Semi-Autos?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Drakejake, Dec 31, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    826
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I am very new to rifle shooting and have been shooting handguns for only 4-5 years. I have observed competitive shooters using a stance quite different from might be called the combat position (strong elbow up, weak arm far out from body and weak hand well out on forestock. I prefer the competitive or Olympic position in which the strong elbow typically isn't kept up and the weak arm is close to the body with the rifle resting on the weak hand just in front of the trigger guard. I seem to be able to be more steady in this position.

    But I am shooting semi-autos, so the mag is in the area where I would like to place my weak hand. I believe I may have broken a .308 mag by grasping it while firing. I speculate that the hand prevented the rifle from rising during recoil, thus ripping the front lip or tab off of the plastic mag. Naturally I do not want to break mags. I am referring to short mags holding 8-10 rounds, not the large 20-30 round mags.

    My question is this: what about resting the mag on the weak hand without grasping it? Then the rifle can rise during recoil without being held down. Any general comments on the "Olympic stance" for target shooting or hunting while standing?

    Thanks,

    Drakejake
     
  2. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,281
    Location:
    co
    I do see alot of folks holding the rifle by placing their hand under the mag.
    The only thing I would suggest is you better make sure you never have a slam fire or a bad round that blows everything out threw the bottom of the mag. It happens but not very often.
     
  3. Quintin Likely

    Quintin Likely Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    Relay 3, Target 17
    I see a lot of M1A shooters using a magazine hold in offhand. I shoot an AR, so I kinda let the delta ring rest against the web of my left hand while my fingers sorta cover the ejection port in offhand. Like Jon said though, a bad round takes the least path of resistance, usually the magazine.
     
  4. Ian

    Ian Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    3,857
    I hold rifles with my hand under the magwell, but I usually shoot an M1, so there's nothing in the way there...
     
  5. artherd

    artherd member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2003
    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    An Elevated Position in the Bay Area, PRK
    I too find the 'olypmic' offhand stance to be much more stable.

    I either put my hand right infront or behind the magwell (sometimes resting the gun on my hand via the trigger guard actually.)

    I also rest the mag on the hand, but do not grab. (works well with 10 and ok with 20 rounders, less well with 30s.) Do beware the slamfire issue.
     
  6. Sunray

    Sunray Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2003
    Messages:
    11,573
    Location:
    London, Ont.
    "...may have broken a .308 mag..." Not likely. You really have to work at breaking a mag. If your mag got damaged by recoil, it was a crappy mag to start with. Use issue mags, even though they're 20 rounds. Save you a lot of grief.
    There's no reason why you can't sit the mag on your hand. When I was in the Queen's Service, shooting C1A1's, the rifle was too long for me to grasp the forestock. So I held the front of the mag when shooting prone. No fuss or bother. Use whatever stance works for you.
     
  7. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    826
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Sunray,

    What do you mean by "issue mags" with 20 rounds? All my mags are made by the factory and are eight rounds. So far as I know, 20 round mags do not exist but may be produced in mid-2005.

    Thanks to the poster who said I could not break a good mag by grasping the mag while shooting. This seemed to be a possibility to me, especially with the .308. Some of the lips or tabs on the "short Russian" mags seem to be steel.

    Thanks,

    Drakejake
     
  8. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    826
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I should have mentioned that the rifle in question was a Saiga and the mags are plastic. Sorry for some confusion in my prior message.

    Drakejake
     
  9. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Messages:
    4,394
    Location:
    Southeastern US
    Yes, they do that (hold the magazine) all the time. A slamfire can cause you some grief, but typically no more than some bad scratches. Be dilligent in your reloading and you should mitigate this risk.

    Hmm, now my input is off because I was assuming you are using an M14 as well.

    I don't know the answer for plastic mags.
     
  10. 30Cal

    30Cal Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    2,347
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    I shoot the M1 and M1A in competition. I find that the best offhand position for me is as follows:

    with my right hand, I choke up all very high up--the web of my hand is up against the heel of the receiver. This makes my wrist turn down. I put my right elbow way up (at ear level) and pull back). With my wrist turned down, I can pull the rifle back into my shoulder without pulling shots.

    I find it's really good if the wind is up.

    Ty
     
  11. echo3mike

    echo3mike Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    363
    Location:
    Some tranisitional phase my therapist keeps talkin
    The typical standing position used in ISSF (Olympic) smallbore/ air rifle. Your support arm really oughtta be completely relaxed... since grasping involves muscular tension, you might be better served by plopping your elbow down on the ribcage and having your support hand forming either a shelf for the mag or using your fingertips on the stock. Let the weight of the rifle sink the elbow into your side.

    If I'm shooting an AR offhand, it's pretty easy to form a V with my hand to support the rifle at the delta ring. The M1 stock needs a fingertip support, or a magazine "shelf" for the M1A. The trigger hand elbow position is usually pretty high on the M1/M1A stock, but lower for the AR due to the pistol grip. I just do whatever it takes to achieve a nice straight wrist. Alot also depends on how much bend and twist you can get in your torso.

    S.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2005
  12. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,814
    Location:
    Texas
    The Olympic/formal target offhand stance is very, very stable especially with a sling and good breath control, but you're shooting a Saiga, you're not going to get great groups from that rifle. It's an AK clone, it's intended for shooting on the move, or from the prone.

    The Olympic/target stance is quite good at being very stable, but if you use that stance in "real life" shooting you'd be shot (very few people stand up on battlefields) and generally, there's something around to brace yourself on for kneeling/sitting/braced-standing if you're out in the hunting fields or in the middle of the L.A riots.

    It's good to train with that position just in case, but realistically, you'll hit a lot more from kneeling or prone.

    Yes, you can rest the mag on your hand, or grab the front of it. It's an AK mag, it's not going to "break" if it's a steel one.
     
  13. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    826
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    The Saiga rifles use their own plastic mags. I do not believe that any other mags can be used in them without modifying either the rifle or the mag. Since one of my mags has already broken, I believe that they are susceptible to damage. I would prefer steel mags despite the extra weight.

    Drakejake
     
  14. Sunray

    Sunray Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2003
    Messages:
    11,573
    Location:
    London, Ont.
    "...a Saiga..." That makes sense. Helps if we're all talking about the same rifle. I was thinking M1A/FN etc. Either way shoot the way is most comfortable for you.
     
  15. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,814
    Location:
    Texas
    I have shot Saigas that had steel mags. Look around.
     
  16. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    826
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I have done a tremendous amount of Net research on Saiga rifle mags. The only steel mag I have seen is one for sale on one of the auction sites. I have gotten no reply to my inquiry about that one. If you have any ideas on getting steel mags for the Saigas, I would be very interested.

    I have checked and rechecked on using non-Saiga mags in either the short Russian or .308 rifles and have concluded that only the proprietary mags work out of the package and that considerable modification of the mags and/or the rifles would be needed to use Galil, Vepr, AK, FAL, Cetme, etc., mags in the Saigas. I am unwilling to do that. I will wait for .308 hi-caps to emerge and meanwhile try to be more careful with the my 8 round .308 mags. If another one breaks, I will be very unhappy. The mags for the 7.62 by 39 Saiga (short Russian calibre) seem much less likely to break, because of their deisgn and because that round has less recoil. Moreover, CDNN is selling the 10 round mags for only $10 right now.

    Drakejake
     
  17. Drakejake

    Drakejake Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    826
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Back to the question of offhand rifle stance, I find the Olympic stance very stable up and down but lacking in control side to side. I am not sure how to improve lateral control with this stance. As I have mentioned, I am an extreme novice regarding rifle shooting.

    Drakejake
     
  18. echo3mike

    echo3mike Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    363
    Location:
    Some tranisitional phase my therapist keeps talkin
    The two biggest keys to lateral control in the standing position are a stable position and balance. The stability comes from relaxation, and finding and checking your NPOA. If, after you've closed your eyes for 5 or 10 seconds, your sights are still aligned with the target, you NPOA is pretty close. There really isn't a point of aim in standing... more like an area of aim. Some problems occur when the hips aren't consistantly aligned to the target, the support elbow placement is altered or the support forearm is angled differently from shot to shot, (to name a few).

    Balance trianing is critical in many sports and shooting standing is one of them. The sway in standing can be decreased to a manageble point with a little effort, but it's still a problem for most shooters. One method to train shooters balance is given in Ways of the Rifle. The authors suggest a series of standing exercises as follows:

    -stand on one foot, with your hands on your shoulders for 15 seconds or so, then alternate feet.
    -same thing, except with your hands stretched out over your head.
    -next, do the above with your eyes closed.

    The authors then proceed to suggest wobble boards, (a board with a curved bottom), being added to the above exercises. The next progression is to use the wobble boards in position, followed by shooting with the wobble boards in position, (DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME, KIDS!). I have used the first three with noticable results.

    After you've found a functional standing position, (a Herculean task by itself), see if these exercises can help.

    As always, YMMV.
    S.
     
  19. shep854

    shep854 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    952
    Location:
    Birmingham AL
    I don't know how much of this will be useful to you in your shooting sports, but this is what I observed yesterday, firing my M-1A for the first time in years:

    I fired right handed, using a tight hasty sling. When I raised my left elbow, I could see the sling tension increase, and the front sight become steadier. Also, as I raised my right elbow, I could feel the buttstock settle into the pocket of my shoulder better.
    Later, just to do something different, I fired without the sling, and my left hand still holding the forearm. Finally, I fired a few round with my left hand supporting the magazine.

    The last thing I'll comment on is how tiring holding a rifle in the offhand can be. I understand the "rifle calesthenics" the Marines used to put their recruits through. If you plan to compete seriously, appropriate weight training is definitely in order.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice