Safe and Proper Rifle Shooting Positions & Stance
Shooting a rifle at a stationary target Is. or at least sterns to be. a rather simple and uncomplicated operation. All the rifleman must do it aim, bold the sight on target, and squeeze the trigger. And having safer shooting techniques along with proper air rifle shooting positions are the most important part of being a good hunter. Right?
Yes. That is right, and anyone can understand in a matter of minutes the safer and proper theory of shooting a rifle. Understanding a theory and shooting accurately, however, are two different things.
Learning to shoot a rifle well is more complicated than it first appears. Sharpshooters develop their skill after long hours of practice over a period of the year.
Understand the Risk
The first thing of shooting guide is a beginner should understand about a rifle or any gun is that it is a potentially dangerous weapon when loaded. The gun can kill, but only if a human mishandles the gun in an unsafe way. The worst mistake any human can make is to assume that a gun is unloaded.
Even if a brother or sister assures you that, a gun is unloaded, do not believe them. Do not even take your mother or father’s word that the gun has no shell in it. Do not Mist anyone but yourself when it conks in any gun.
As soon as you pick up a gun, check immediately to see that the gun is not loaded. One of the tips to maintain the gun is also checking the safety of the chamber. Safe hunters or shooters always inspect the chamber to see if there is a shell inserted, even if they themselves last held the pin in their hands and personally removed a cartridge.
The point is that unloaded guns do not kill; loaded guns do.
So go to any length to make sure a gun is not loaded, even if this means not trusting you, or your memory. There would never be another “unloaded gun” accident if everyone followed this simple rule.
Holding the Rifle with Steady Hand
Most boys and girls learn to shoot with the help of an adult, often a father, mother, older brother, or uncle. And this is a proper way to learn, except that too often the beginner simply shoots at a tin can, bottle, or some other target.
Some of the teachers of air rifle shooting, unfortunately, never bothers to tell the boy or girl that, to be a good shooter, he or she must pay strict attention to holding a rifle steady and squeezing off all shots. The person who does not pay attention to these details may be a so-so hunter, but will never be a top shooter.
Steadying a rifle is difficult because the body itself is anything but steady. Every living animal has a heartbeat, and the limbs and hands tremble, if only slightly. Gripping a gun tightly does not help; the tenseness involved in holding on for dear life may even make the movement worse.
To make matters worse, the average beginner pulls rather than squeezes the trigger in different shooting positions. This pulling probably has more to do with not hitting a target than general unsteadiness of the body.
Control the Breathing
Breathing, too, is a problem. Normal breathing can throw his aim off target. So the first thing a shooter must learn is to control his breathing by holding his breath. Then hold the gun steady and aim.
Next, gently squeeze off the trigger. Perhaps the best way to start shooting is in the prone shooting position, which for most people is the steadiest and the position of which more bull’s-eyes can be scored.
Perfect Shooting Positions for Air Rifle Shooting
Most shooters do twice as well from the prone position as from the standing (off-hand) position. In addition to prone and offhand shooting positions, rifle expert shooters usually learn to shoot from kneeling and sitting positions.
Anyone of these four positions at some time may be helpful to a hunter. Let us examine the shooting stances.
Perfect Prone Firing Position is Necessary
The definition here is “lying prostrate, or flat,” and in a prone position the shooter’s abdomen, legs, and the lower part of the body are flat on the ground. The lower body and legs slant away at around a 45-degree angle.
The shooter’s left arm (for right-handers) supports the rifle and the elbow should be directly under the gun. Most shooters find this position the steadiest and most accurate. Do not, however, rest the rifle on anything solid, because recoil may throw off the aim.
The support of an arm, even if at first it seems much too wobbly, in the end, is an aid to shooting accuracy. Some long-distance expert shooters cushion their arms on sandbags, but hunters will not find many sandbags in the field.
Just remember: when a steady position is required for shooting 150 yards or more, the prone position is the best.
Find a Relaxed Sitting Shooting Position
You need a comfortable sitting shooting position for perfect air rifle shooting. This is the second steadiest position. The shooter should find his own relaxed way to sit. The legs may be spread or crossed, depending on which way seems the most natural.
The shooter should face about 45 degrees from the line of his aim. Right-handers should lean well forward, slapping the left elbow against the left knee. Relax, aim and squeeze the trigger.
Kneeling Shooting Position for Air rifle
Of the four positions, this is the third most accurate, for most shooters. A right-hander should position his body at approximately 45 degrees from his line of sight. I myself, love the kneeling shooting position for target practices a lot, and its more comfortable than many newbies might think.
Right knee down, the buttocks rest on the right heel or the right foot. Support the rifle with the left arm, with the elbow against the left knee. With this position and perfect air rifle, you can easily shoot mid to long distant target very easily.
Offhand Position for Shooting
By now, you have guessed that this is the worst possible position to shoot from, again, for the average shooter. Offhand is from a standing position and is without any kind of a rest.
The shooter stands on his own two legs and steadies the rifle with his two arms. Spreading the feet helps a little. Right-handers support the rifle with the left hand just forward of the trigger guard. It is in this unsteady position that the hunter finally learns just how shaky a human really can be.
And yet, most hunters who use rifles, whether a .22 or a larger caliber gun designed for big game, do most of their shooting from an offhand position. Why? Because most do not realize that offhand shooting is so inaccurate and the offhand position is the one that most hunters find themselves in when they are ready to shoot.
Last Few Words
Practice from all the positions is extremely important because you never know when you may to be able to use one or the other. Anyone who ever expects to be good with a rifle, shooting either at targets or at animals, should practice. Practice, practice.