Sitting Position, v. 1.1

This is my photo tutorial on the sitting position. I’ve endeavored to clean it up a little. Call it version 1.1. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

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 sitting 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 know more than one of them, and all three if his body will allow. 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. As with the prone, place the support elbow directly beneath the stock’s forearm to prevent the arm from pulling the rifle off target.

The first variation is a cross-legged position. Start by donning the loop sling. The shooter sits down and pulls his 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, as previously mentioned in the prone position (see figure 2). 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 postion)

(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.

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