The Sitting Position, not just for the Kama Sutra
In keeping with the sling and prone photo essays, I finally finished a similar article on the sitting position. As always, comments are welcome. I'm making up a lot of this as I go, in terms of writing and pictures. So, if there are questions or suggestions, feel free. Oh, there may still be some punctuation errors. I compose these in MS Word, and it does not cut and paste well onto bulletin boards.
The sitting position, not just for the Kama Sutra.
The sitting position is the second most stable of the standard shooting positions. It allows for quick shooter displacement, brings his line of sight above low-lying vegetation, and, when properly assumed, is quite stable. There are three variations on the shooting position. The shooter will probably have to try all three of them to find the one that works the best. Even then, a conscientious Rifleman will probably know more than one, all three if his body will allow as field conditions will demand versatility (Mr. Murphy will certainly make it impossible to use your favorite when it counts). When shooting from a sitting position, the shooter should place his elbows in front of his knees, not on them, to ensure the most stability. If the shooter's elbows are not in front of his knees, the recoil will disrupt his position, making for slow follow-up shots, and loss of natural point of aim. If the shooter is flexible enough to put his elbows on the ground, that is ideal, as planting the elbows firmly on the ground makes sitting nearly as stable as prone (I saw a girl do it years ago, in high school). Most of us, however, will have to place our elbows in front of the knees. Even with the elbows on the ground, sitting is quite stable, much more so than standing.
The first variation is a cross-legged position. Start by donning the loop sling. The shooter sits down and pulls crossed legs close to the body with the support side leg crossed in front of the strong side leg. It may help to use the rifle as a crutch, to aid in balance while sitting (see figure 1). Push the knees down to the ground as far as they will reach, and lean forward. Again, if the shooter can lean as far as to place the elbows on the ground, the position is that much more stable. The sling should be so tight that the shooter will have to place the rifle into to the shoulder pocket with his strong hand (see figure 2) (note: a tight sling requires the shooter to place the rifle thus for all positions). Shoulder the rifle and move the hips until the sights are on target; do not try to muscle the rifle onto the target. Trying to muscle the rifle will prevent tight groups, and fatigue the shooter. Note how tightly tucked the shooter's body is in this position (figure 3).
(Figure 1, using the rifle to get into position)
(Figure 2, place the rifle into the strong side shoulder pocket)
(Figure 3, a good tight sitting position)
The second variation on the sitting position is a crossed-ankle position. Instead of holding the ankles close to the hips, the legs are out away, with the support ankle over the strong ankle (left ankle over right ankle for right-handed shooters). This variation is faster than the standard, and is easier for less flexible shooters (See figure 4).
(Figure 4, a crossed ankle sitting position)
The third variation is even more relaxed than the second variation. Like the second, the legs are away from the shooter. However, instead of crossing the ankles, the shooter holds them apart and turned inward, with the soles of your feet facing one another (see figure 5).
( Figure 5, an open sitting position)
The sitting position is often difficult for the new shooter to assume correctly, as it requires a greater degree of flexibility than is accustomed for many. However, by practicing for as little as ten minutes a night, three nights a week, the new shooter will be as comfortable in the sitting position as he is in his easy chair. All it takes is patience, practice, and the time to find which of the positions suits the shooter best.
The shooter may need to tighten his sling from its prone length. It is best to adjust the sling from the position initially. Later, the shooter can mark his sling with permanent marker for each position's adjustment (I have found that I can use the same adjustment for all common positions, and have marked my sling accordingly). One more note regarding your sling: before getting into position, it is wise to move the keeper away from your support hand, so that is does not pinch you while shooting.
Re: The Sitting Position, not just for the Kama Sutra
Another fine article!
What are the chances of getting these stickied? I'd sure love to see 'em permanently at the top.
Hey Toasty, any suggestions other than 'knees up' for a woman whose knees lay too flat to the ground (add to it our typically shorter arms) to assume a normal milspec seated shooting stance?
Best I have managed is seated, soles flat, knees up, and elbows on elevated legs/knees, OR more accurately, rest the underside of the upper arms past the knees onto the shins to improve bone-bone contact. It has proved pretty stable, and seems to work for 'me' but I don't know how 'proper' it is.
Hey Vic, I'd say there is no "proper" sitting position, aside from bone-on-bone, as you mentioned. If I wer flexible to put my knees to the ground I sure would. Put your elbows on the inside of your knees, as explained, and demostrated in Figure three. You might not be able to tell, because of the shooting jacket, but my elbows are actually in front of my knees, and resting on my shins. It makes for a very stable position. I can see how the picture could cause confusion. Get into the position of your choice and try to place your elbows on the ground. That's the idea. They will probably be on your shins, unless you are very flexible (they'll be on the ground), or have limited flexibility, a large belly, or both, in which case they will be much higher. Unless they are on top of the knee, it should be adequate. Again, the lower the elbow, the tighter the position.
These three threads were stickied at my request (after asking thetoastmaster for his blessing). I think it's important to have a resource available for folks who don't have access to live fire instructors.
When I decided to begin my rifle training, I couldn't find anything on the web. Search after search revealed nothing useful.
So when Bo posted these photo-essays, I found them invaluable. I hope others find them equally useful.
Please don't hesitate to continue discussion of these positions. We all want to learn.
I also tip my hat to Bo for posting these great tutorials. In my mind, a picture is worth a thousand words. I had trouble digesting all the information about slings and shooting position, but these are great. Thanks again for the great info.
Great tutorials, the only thing that I see that might help with more accuracy is the trigger finger is "dragging wood" or rubbing the stock. Bringin this thread back to the top. I need to practice getting into these positions again as the old body isnt as flexible as it once was
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