by B.B. Pelletier
Start with sitting
The sitting position is one of the most stable of all, coming in just behind prone. But it can be a difficult position for many shooters to assume. The classic position is sitting with the feet planted flat and splayed apart in front of the shooter. This works okay for a very fit person; but, if your midriff is thicker, it pushes you back until you cannot maintain the position. That’s too bad because this is the No. 1 position of choice for field target shooting.
The classic sitting position has the legs splayed out with the heels dug in.
The classic sitting position with the legs splayed apart with the heels dug into the ground separately depends on finding just the right piece of ground upon which to sit. If you can’t find what you need, there is a better way to sit.
Truss me – I know what I’m doing!
The sitting position is SO popular that a harness has been developed to strap the legs in place and keep the shooter upright. You’ll notice that the shooter in the picture isn’t heavy, he’s just an older man. As we age, the muscles in our backs get shorter and tighter, and this can do the same thing as a big belly, so the harness is most helpful for older shooters.
This field target shooter wears a harness that allows him to cross his ankles.
Tip 3. Cross your legs!
Instead of planting your heels apart, if you cross your legs at the ankles when you sit like the shooter in the picture, most of the pressure will come off your back. This relaxes you while sitting, but it also removes the knee as a shooting platform. The shooter in the picture has his legs held up by the harness, and he’s using his knee to rest the rifle. But notice that he has a pad on his knee that elevates the rifle so his eye is in the correct position for sighting. The same thing can be done when the legs are crossed without a harness, if you make a rifle brace to stretch from your crossed leg up to where you want the rifle to rest. This rest will be about four times longer than the pad in the picture, or about 10 inches long. Experiment to find the right length for you. All it takes is a board with a Y on either end.
Tip 4. The ankle roll
The kneeling position is easier to assume than sitting for most people, but it has one serious drawback. Your butt sits back on the off leg, putting a lot of pressure on the ankle. It’s no problem for anyone but a three-position target shooter because a roll of padding can be inserted under the ankle for support. In the target shooting world, they frown on additional supports and, depending on what level of competition you shoot at, the rules about ankle rolls can be daunting.
The kneeling shooter sits back on the off leg, putting great pressure on the ankle. A roll of padding between the ankle and the ground relieves the pressure to a large extent.
Next time I’ll address the question we received about controlling muzzle flip in a pistol.