December 16th, 2017

Basics of the Prone Position — Building the Position

USAMU Prone First Shot CMP
USAMU Prone First Shot CMP

The First Shot, the CMP’s online magazine, features a well-written article on Prone Shooting Technique by SPC Matthew Sigrist of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). The article covers all the major points of gun hold and body position: hand position, elbow position, stock weld, buttstock placement, and sling position/tension.

Keep it Steady — The Elements of a Good Prone Position

Part 1 — Building the Position
By SPC Matthew Sigrist

Imagine the following scenario: You are at the last stage of fire in the National Trophy Individual Match, firing at the 600 yard line in the prone position and every point matters. What should you reflect on as you prepare to shoot this final string? As your eyes cloud from sweat, you realize that all you have to rely on is your experience and knowledge of the fundamentals.

During the National Trophy Individual Match, you will fire 60 percent of your shots from the prone position. This article will address the fundamentals of a good prone position and help you learn the techniques required to be successful in both the slow and rapid-fire stages of National Match competition.

This article will be divided into two parts. In part one, we will discuss the elements of a good prone position. In part two, we will cover the techniques you will in the rapid-fire and slow-fire stages.

The Fundamentals

The fundamentals are the building blocks of a position. Much like the framework of a house, a correct application of the fundamentals ensures a solid and stable structure. Since each person’s position will depend on their particular body build and shape, there is no “perfect position” that applies to everyone. Experience, practice and knowledge of the correct fundamentals will dictate the best position for you.

There are six key elements of any position. The purpose for these six points is to achieve a solid platform that allows for consistent sight alignment using the least amount of muscle tension.

    1. Placement of the Firing Hand (the hand that pulls the trigger)
    The firing hand needs to be placed high on the pistol grip. This high hand position will give you better control of the rifle. Combined with a firm grip there will be a reduced amount of hand movement when pulling the trigger. Wrap your thumb over the three fingers on the pistol grip (excluding the trigger finger). This will help isolate the movement of the trigger finger.

    2. Placement of the Non-firing Hand (the hand supporting the rifle).
    The non-firing hand should grip the handguard or stock in the flat portion of the hand between the thumb and forefinger. The fingers should curl naturally around the stock, but they should not grip it tightly. The position of the hand on the stock will depend on the physical size of the shooter. Generally speaking, taller shooters with longer arms will grip the rifle further out, near the sling swivel, while shorter shooters will need to pull their hand rearward. This is sometimes referred to as “short-stocking” the rifle.

    3. Stock Weld
    Stock weld is the contact that the face makes with the stock. It is important because it directly effects your sight alignment. Consistent head placement will help you achieve consistent sight alignment. The human head weighs an average of 8 to 10 pounds. The full weight of the head must rest on the stock. In doing this you achieve two things, a relaxed neck and reduced recoil because of the pressure of the head.

    4. Placement of the Rifle (the contact that is made in the firing shoulder)
    The rifle butt placement needs to be consistent. If this changes between shots, it effects your sight alignment and the effect of recoil. In the prone position the rifle will sit lower in the shoulder compared to other shooting positions. This allows for a more forward head and a lower position as a whole.

    5. Position of the Sling
    The sling should be high on the arm, above the bicep. This way the sling will have less leverage on the arm so it doesn’t cut off the circulation.

Demonstration of the placement of the firing elbow (left) and non-firing elbows (right).

    6. Placement of both the firing, and non-firing elbows
    A guideline for non-firing elbow placement is that there should be 1 ½’’ to 2’’ gap between your non-firing arm and the rifle’s magazine. (NOTE: this references the AR-15 service rifle) Your arm should be almost straight up and down; this will transfer the weight directly down the arm and not to the side (see picture above). Think of the firing arm as only a kind of kickstand, it doesn’t support weight it only holds the firing hand in position.

Variations of the Prone Position

There are two main variations of the prone position; open/spread legged, and bent-legged. The two types will be discussed below.

Open/Spread Leg Position

Demonstration of the Open/Spread Leg Position.

The first position is the open/spread legged position. This is when the shooter spreads their legs shoulder width or more apart. This allows for a more forward pressure on the sling and elbows. This position requires a tighter sling and solid elbow placement. The rifle should sit tight in the shoulder. With this position, your body will be farther behind the rifle compared to the bent leg position, allowing for minimum disturbance from recoil.

Bent Leg Position

Demonstration of the Bent Leg Position.

The bent leg position is when the shooter bends the firing side leg up towards the firing hand making the knee at a rough 90 degree angle to the body. The non-firing leg will remain straight and inline with the body. This will take pressure off the lungs and heart minimizing the pulse from the chest as well as easing the pressure on the lungs which will allow for easy breathing and control.


You now know the fundamentals of a good prone position, as well as the two types most commonly used. Extensive dry-firing will reveal which is the best position for you. If possible, have a friend take pictures of you in position. This will enable you to better diagnose and correct your errors. Remember, a position must be both fundamentally sound and comfortable. Practice frequently to learn your new position and to develop the conditioning required to endure long days on the range.

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February 12th, 2017

Berger SW Nationals — Day 4 Report from Saturday

Arizona Berger SW Nationals Southwest Nationals F-Class Palma F-TR Phoenix travel

We saw a change in weather on Saturday. It dawned warm and relatively calm, but the winds picked up in the afternoon as clouds rolled in. There wasn’t any rain though, and for shooters who were sunburned after many days in the Arizona sunshine, the overcast was a bit of a relief. On Saturday, Ben Avery hosted both individual and team matches. All three classes (Sling, F-Open, F-TR) shot two 1000-yard individual matches. This was followed by 4-person Team Matches at 1K. Here are the top five performers in Saturday’s individual matches:

Top Five Competitors in Each Class
Kevan Hoffarth (P), 400-19X
Jerry Iliff (A), 400-18X
John Whidden (A), 399-23X
Peter Church (A), 399-22X
Gary Rasmussen (A), 399-16X
Dan Bramley, 399-28X
Robert Hoppe, 399-27X
Pat Scully, 399-24X
Erik Cortina, 399-22X
John Meyers, 399-20X
Ian Klemm, 394-16X
Bryan Litz, 393-16X
Nancy Tompkins, 392-19X
Peter Ricci 392-13X
Alan Barnhart, 392-9X

In a great individual performance, Kevan Hoffarth, shooting a Palma Rifle, shot clean to beat ALL sling shooters, including those in the “Any Rifle” sub-class. In fact, “Any” shooters took the next four sling places. In the F-Open Division, it was a very tight race, decided by X-Count for the top five places, with Dan Bramley edging Robert Hoppe for the win by one X.

Berger SW Nationals Sling

Watch Highlights of Day 4 at the Berger SW Nationals:

What the Berger SW Nationals is All About

When folks usually talk about shooting matches they focus on the obvious — scores and hardware. But the Berger Southwest Nationals (SWN) is about much more than putting holes in paper with bangsticks. We’d say this match has become so popular (with 400 entrants) because it offers the whole experience — fun, challenge, a warm-weather escape, and above all, camaraderie.

Berger SW Nationals Sling

Some shooters come to Ben Avery for the swag (the prize table is amazing). Others come for the sunshine (think warm 75-85° weather). And even more folks come to try out their shiny new toys and to test their skills against the nation’s best shooters.

But we’d say the number one reason most folks make the pilgrimage to Ben Avery every year is the camaraderie — the chance to connect with friends, rekindling connections that may go back decades. Fundamentally, then, the Berger SWN is about the people. For this Editor, the chance to meet good friends such as John Whidden, Gary Eliseo, Doan Trevor, Nancy Tompkins, Anette Wachter, Shiraz Balolia, Adam Braverman, Jay Christopherson, Erik Cortina, Scott Harris, and so many others, gives me plenty of motivation to make the 7-hour drive from California.

For many of us, this is the only time of the year when we get a chance to meet fellow shooters from distant corners of the USA. And where else will you find a past NRA President (John Sigler) on the firing line, and have a chance to chat with him during a lunch break. The SWN is very special.

Berger SW Nationals Competition

The Brain Trust — Experts Galore
The best minds of the shooting world come to Ben Avery every year. Got a question about ballistics? Well, Ballistics Guru Bryan Litz will be happy to answer your questions between relays. Want some expert advice about wind reading? Seek out Mid Tompkins (usually found hanging around the club-house) or Emil Praslick, one of the most knowledgeable wind coaches on the planet (Emil was shooting and coaching this year). And if you have a gunsmithing question, you’ll find some of the top barrel-fitters and stock makers, including Doan Trevor and Gary Eliseo.

Emil Praslick III heading out to the firing line…
Berger SW Nationals Emil Praslick

Tubegun Chassis-Maker Gary Eliseo was at the match
Berger SW Nationals Gary Eliseo

Berger SW Nationals

Compete against the Best
If you want to test your mettle against some of the best shooters in the world, get yourself to Ben Avery in February. Here you can compete, shoulder to shoulder, against the best Sling and F-Class shooters on the planet. Guys like John Whidden (reigning Long Range National Champion) and Kenny Adams (reigning World F-Open Class Champion). If you want to play with the “Big Boys”, Ben Avery is the place. Having said that, novice shooters will enjoy the experience as well, because you’ll find that these top shooters are (almost universally) happy to share their knowledge.

Berger SW Nationals through lens

Learn from Top Talents
If you want to improve your game, this is the place. Walk down the firing line and you’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with many national champions. There is no question that you can improve your techniques by watching top shooters, and you can get ideas about hardware by looking at the rigs campaigned by the best. Where else will you find a half-dozen national F-Class champs seated around a table. Or an 11-time National High Power Champion (David Tubb), hanging out at the Lapua trailer in the parking lot.

2015 F-TR National Mid-Range and Long-Range Champion Bryan Litz helps a Junior shooter
Berger SW Nationals Bryan Litz

Mid Tompkins at Shooters’ Clinic
Berger SW Nationals Mid Tompkins

Gun Gear Candy Store
If you are thinking about upgrading your match rifle, you’ll find plenty of inspiration at Ben Avery. On the firing line you’ll fine the newest actions from Barnard, BAT, and Borden, the latest/greatest optics (see Vortex Golden Eagle below), and the newest most advanced stocks. F-TR guys will find a wide variety of exotic bipods plus the latest generation of sandwich-construction bipod “mats”. (NOTE: These are becoming rigid, elevated platforms with low-friction tops — will the rules be tightened?).

Arizona Vortex Seb Rest Borden Action SW Nationals Phoenix travel

Arizona Vortex Seb Rest Borden Action SW Nationals Phoenix travel

Warm Arizona Weather
When we arrived in Phoenix on Tuesday it was a relatively mild 76°. By Friday it had warmed to a balmy 84°. We didn’t hear any complaints from the Canadians who fled ice and snow to shoot the match. Even while California was getting soaked with rain it was sunny and warm in Arizona. And you can even have a balloon ride right over the Ben Avery range.

Arizona Sedona SW Nationals Phoenix travel

Enjoy a Desert Escape
The Ben Avery Shooting Facility is located in a scenic corner of Arizona, north of Phoenix. Get here early in the morning and watch the balloons take off. Head northwest and you can visit the historic town of Prescott. Two hours north is Sedona, famed for its stunning Red Rock scenery. A few hours south you can visit Tombstone and the OK Corral. There’s a lot to see and do in the Phoenix area that makes the trip worthwhile in addition to the gun fun at the range.

Arizona Sedona SW Nationals Phoenix travel

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December 17th, 2016

Tac Talk: Six Tactical Slings Reviewed by 6.5 Guys

6.5 Guys tactical precision sling review
Photo shows Precision Rifle Sling from Armageddon Gear.

A good sling is a vital accessory for a hunting or tactical rifle. Along with enabling over-the-shoulder carry, a good “tactical” sling will also provide support for shooting from hasty or improvised shooting positions. In fact, in many tactical/practical precision matches there will be at least one positional shooting stage or a stage where only a sling may be used for support (that means no bipod, no tripod, no sandbags, and no shooting sticks). The 6.5 Guys, Ed and Steve, recommend tactical slings that allow quick set-up and easy adjustment. The best slings allow shooters to quickly slip into them and then make rapid fine-tuning adjustments to build a stable shooting position.

Six Tactical/Practical Slings are Reviewed in this Video:

In this episode, Ed and Steve provide an overview and compare/contrast different designs and the functionality of six popular slings from these suppliers: Armageddon Gear, Tab Gear, Rifles Only, Hard Target Interdiction, Short Action Precision, and Accuracy International.

To learn more about tactical/practical shooting disciplines, or to access more shooting gear/accessories reviews by Ed and Steve, visit and subscribe to the 6.5 Guys’ YouTube Channel.

6.5 Guys Slings tactical

Video Tip from Boyd Allen. We welcome reader submissions.

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December 8th, 2016

Shooting Skills: Breath Control for Precision Shooters

Glen Zediker respiration breathing competition

Top shooters like 11-time National Champion David Tubb have mastered marksmanship by being continually aware of their physical state while shooting. This article by Glen Zediker talks about respiration and how to modulate your breathing to maximize on-target accuracy and consistency. This article originally appeared in the MidSouth Shot Report Blog.

by Glen Zediker
Elsewhere I’ve talked about what I call the “true fundamentals” of shooting. Put the sight on the target and pull the trigger without moving the sight. And we’ve talked about some of the mechanics, like natural point of aim, sight picture, and the trigger itself, that combine to assist this goal.

Holding still sometimes takes more thought, and effort, than we might realize. Shooting well is a truly multi-faceted task that shooters like 11-time National Champion David Tubb have attended to through miniscule details, like being aware of the physical state continually while performing.

Another crucial and largely unknown element is controlling breathing. Right. That thing we do to stay awake and alive. Breathing can be a calculated technique among competitive shooters, and that is because the state of the body in the framework of making a shot is a defining element in the effectiveness of the shooting platform. That platform, by they way, is you!

I’ll break it down, and then offer a few suggestions on how to incorporate a better understanding of the dynamics of maintaining human oxygen supply.

When we are breathing when doing nothing in particular but living, we’re not taking the deepest breaths we can when we inhale, and we’re not expelling all the air we had when we exhale. We’re also not breathing in and out, in and out, in and out in constant successions. We breathe in to a comfortable level. Hold that a bit. We breathe out to a comfortable level. And then we hold that state for a bit. Then we very naturally breathe in again. These cycles are on a balanced rhythm, and a relatively shallow cycle. It’s a lot different than when we’re doing something strenuous, like running.

So, to fire a gun from our most stable state, make the trigger break in what shooting coaches call “the natural respiratory pause”. That’s the state between exhaling and inhaling. From a “human machine” standpoint, that’s when the body is most calm and stable.

Respiratory Breathing cycles

Breathing Cycles for Best Shooting

Learn to use the natural pattern of your breathing to experience the most effective (steadiest) hold. When we breathe normally we don’t inhale as much air as we can hold and then blow it all out, and we also don’t breathe continually in and out, in and out. Rather, we simply inhale and exhale to levels that are comfortable to us. Take aim and fire the shot when you have reached what some call the “natural respiratory pause,” or the natural resting point prior to inhalation where we are “using” the oxygen we have retained.

It’s a narrow window. That window of opportunity varies widely depending on a lot of factors, but some experience dry-firing will show you where you stand.

Midsouth Blog


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May 17th, 2016

2016 Sierra Cup — Multi-Discipline Fun in St. Louis

2016 Sierra Cup F-Class 600-yard F-Bench

Something interesting took place in St. Louis, Missouri this weekend — F-Bench competitors shot next to Sling, F-TR, and F-Open prone shooters and all had fun. We like events that bring shooters together from multiple disciplines, and we like matches that allow F-Class folks to shoot from the Bench for a change. (We’d love to see a 300-yard match that allows short-range PPC and 30BR shooters to compete side-by-side with F-Class shooters — the more the merrier.)

Read 2016 Sierra Cup Match Comments in the AccurateShooter Forum.

2016 Sierra Cup F-Class 600-yard F-Bench

The 2016 Sierra Cup Match took place at the Bench Rest Rifle Club (BRRC) of St. Louis on Saturday, May 14, 2016. Some 57 shooters braved some chilly weather to compete at 600 yards. Competitor Jim K. (aka 500Stroker in our Forum) said this was “another great match” despite challenging conditions: “It was freezin’ cold, with major switching winds, but I loved every minute. Congrats to all the winners — they earned every point at this match.”

2016 Sierra Cup Winners
by Division

F-Open — Tony Francik
F-TR — Drew Rutherford
F-Bench — Neil Greenwell
Sling — Jeff Lindblom

New, Experimental Sierra Projectiles Perform Great
Two Sierra staffers competed this year, shooting prototype Sierra bullets in the final stages of testing. Congrats to Sierra’s Tommy Todd who took Second Place in F-TR class, and to Sierra’s Mark Walker who finished third in F-Open. That bodes well for the new, experimental Sierra bullets. Based on Tommy’s and Mark’s results, the new Sierra bullets appear to be very accurate indeed.

2016 Sierra Cup F-Class 600-yard F-Bench

Forum member Drew R. (aka SkiUtah2) drove all the way from North Dakota to attend the Sierra Cup:

“This was my first time at BRRC and it was as anticipated — a great place to shoot. I met many gracious and talented shooters. I love getting to try new ranges and meeting people from the AccurateShooter Forum. It’s fair to say that even the guy from North Dakota was chilled when we started on Saturday. The warm welcome helped take the edge off.

Organizing a match of this caliber takes a lot of work even with an army of people behind the scenes, and without a core group herding the cats it doesn’t run well as this one did. Thanks Brett, Joe, and everyone who made this match run so smoothly. Coordinating with sling, bench, F-TR and F-Open shooters’ needs must have been remarkably challenging and you made it look effortless.

It was a fun time. I can highly recommend this range and this match to everyone wanting an enjoyable and memorable experience. Conditions on Saturday were definitely not a trigger-pulling contest, and (for me) that adds to the fun. The amenities are top tier. Many of the ranges I shoot at do not even have running water, much less showers onsite.

Thanks to Sierra for the sponsorship and very generous prize table. And thanks for the award waiving my entry fee as the ‘Long Distance Shooter’ for my trek. That was classy and completely unexpected.” — Drew R.

2016 Sierra Cup F-Class 600-yard F-Bench

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February 15th, 2016

Berger Southwest Nationals — Match Wrap-Up

This video includes interviews with Walt Berger and tube-gun builder Gary Elesio. This is our final Berger SW Nationals video for 2016, so enjoy the highlights from Ben Avery — see you next year.

The 2016 Berger Southwest Nationals are now history. This was a great match, with an incredible level of talent. There were numerous “big names” on the line, including reigning F-Open World Champion Kenny Adams, 10-time National High Power Champion Carl Bernosky, past National Long-range Champion John Whidden, current National Mid- and Long-Range F-TR Champion Bryan Litz, and Derek Rodgers, who won the F-TR division at last year’s SW Nationals. With a strong performance this week, Derek topped the F-TR field again, securing his second straight SW Nationals F-TR title.

Top Five Shooters by Class

F-TR Top Five F-Open Top Five Sling Division Top Five
Derek Rodgers
James Crofts
Niklas Montin
Bryan Litz
Ian Klemm
John Myers
Larry Bartholome
Jim Murphy
Emil Kovan
Danny J. Biggs
Patrick McCann
Oliver Milanovic
Robert Stekette
Nancy Tompkins
Tom Whitaker

In team competition, the Michigan F-TR Team scored a narrow victory over tough competition from the USA F-TR Team and the X-Men. In the F-Open Division, Team Lapua-Brux shot superbly at 1000 yards to capture the Aggregate title, finishing ahead of Team Grizzly and Team Berger. The Ethnic Fringe Team from the UK had strong performances in the Sling Division Team events.

With his 2016 victory, Derek Rodgers has secured back-to-back F-TR titles at the Berger Southwest Nationals. He says he likes his new McMillan F-TR stock. View yesterday’s feature video for a revealing interview with Derek. In that video, Derek discusses the best bullet and powder choices for F-TR.

Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Ben Avery

Members of the winning Lapua-Brux F-Open team were all smiles. They deserved to be proud — they set a new SWN record in the 1000-yard team match. Left to right: Bob Sebold, Pat Scully, Erik Cortina, Steve Harp.

Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Ben Avery

Here is F-Open Winner John Myers of Texas, along with Berger’s F-Open Perpetual Trophy. John is interviewed in today’s video, linked at the top of this story. John’s F-Open rifle is chambered for the 7mm Walker, a .284 Win Improved similar to the .284 Shehane.

Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Ben Avery

Sling Division (Palma rifle) winner Patrick McCann is congratulated by Bryan Litz of Applied Ballistics. Pat has recently returned to competitive shooting after a lengthy hiatus. Pat’s a great competitor who has won the National XTC Championships Twice. Nancy Tompkins lead the “Any Rifle” Sling category. As Forum member Rheurer observed: “No intro needed for the nicest person in the sport.”

Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Ben Avery

Berger Southwest Nationals Phoenix Ben Avery

berger southwest 2016

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October 12th, 2014

Stud Rail Adapter Mounts Picatinny Rail on Sling Swivel Stud

Here’s a cleverly-designed new product that adds versatility to any rifle with a front sling swivel stud. This new Stud Rail Adapter (SRA) allows you to mount a Picatinny Rail on a sling swivel stud. With the SRA in place, you can attach any accessories that clamp to a Pic rail, such as lights, lasers, pistol grips, or rail-affixed tactical bipods. And look carefully — the SRA’s designers included a sling swivel at the inboard end of the unit. That way you can mount Picatinny-rail accessories and still use your carry sling.

STR Harris Stud Rail Adapter Sling Swivel

Sold by, the SRA Stud Rail Adapter retails for $47.85. NOTE: is a web retailer. This is NOT Harris Engineering, the manufacturer of Harris bipods. does sell the full line of Harris bipods and most Harris accessories. However, as far as we can tell the SRA is NOT made by Harris Engineering.

Comment: We think this adapter is a useful invention, particularly for those who might want to mount a light to a varmint rifle. Most hunting rifles have a front sling swivel stud and there is now a very wide selection of Picatinny-rail-mounted accessories.

Product tip from EdLongrange. We welcome reader submissions.
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June 30th, 2013

Body and rifle positioning for prone shooting

by Kelly Bachand
Prone from above[Editor: If you have been watching the Top Shot All-Stars TV series this season you’ve noticed that our Buddy Kelly Bachand has been “kicking a** and taking names”. On last week’s episode Kelly was the only shooter to place multiple rimfire rounds through the center of a CD without touching the plastic. Most of the other Aall-stars in this challenge couldn’t send even one shot through the CD without breaking plastic. Shooting offhand, Kelly went three-for-three. That’s impressive. Though you know him best from Top Shot, Kelly is one of America’s leading young long-range prone shooters. Bachand has been a Top Five finisher in many major matches, and he has won the Canadian Open Target Rifle Championship, shooting his Barnard-actioned Palma Rifle.]

In this article, I’ll share what works for me in the prone shooting game. However, I recognize that every shooter/rifle combination is unique. So, the best way to find out what will really work best is by practicing and putting some rounds down range. But hopefully you’ll find some suggestions in this story that prove helpful.

The Rifle, Sling, Arms, and Hands
I keep my sling high on the pulse pad of my Creedmoor Sports shooting jacket which turns out to be at the top of my bicep muscle. The sling is tight enough that, with my forward hand against the hand stop and the stock firmly in my shoulder, the rifle is fully supported without any noticeable muscle use. As my coaches have recommended, placing my forward elbow as close to directly under the rifle as possible often yields a more stable position. My trigger hand does not support the rifle but rather grips it without disturbing its aim. If the rifle can be held level and stable with just the forward hand and sling, then one knows a good prone position has been found.

Head, Torso, Hips, and Legs
As with shooting off hand, when shooting prone, I find it best to keep my head as close to perfectly vertical as possible. While swaying is not a typical problem in the prone position, if a vertical head position grants me more stability, I will work to have one. My torso in particular bends in a way that may be uncomfortable for other prone shooters. My left hip and some of the left side of my stomach touch the ground but the majority of my chest and diaphragm are off the ground while I shoot prone. By minimizing the contact my stomach and chest have with the ground I can also minimize the effect my breathing has on my hold. (Also breathing is much easier when each breath isn’t lifting one’s torso weight). Below my waist my left leg extends almost perfectly straight out and sometimes falls asleep while shooting. My right leg is cocked and my right knee is brought up almost even with my right hip. This is what allows me to get so much of my torso off the ground.

Prone position

The Finished Product
In the prone shooting game we shoot at distances from 300 to 1000 yards using iron sights (and sometimes scopes). When I have a good prone position, and my breathing is correct, there are a few seconds right before I take a shot when I feel as if my rifle is being supported on a bench. This sort of stability is only needed for the few seconds it takes to squeeze the trigger. It can, however, very consistently produce sub-minute groups with iron sights from the prone position at any range from 100-1000 yards.

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August 19th, 2012

Wandering Shooting Tribes Head to Ottawa, Ontario

Canada Full-bore championship

Not content with their great performances at the NRA Long-Range Championships and America Match held at Camp Perry, shooting teams from Australia and Great Britain have crossed our northern border in search of new worlds to conquer. Brit and Aussie shooters are now in Ottawa, Ontario, competing at the 130th Canadian Fullbore Rifle Championships. Held at Ottawa’s famed Connaught Ranges, the Fullbore Championships attract many of the world’s top marksmen, including David Calvert of the Great Britain Rifle team. After completing the initial Ottawa Regiment match, Calvert leads the way in the target rifle division. Calvert posted a 75-12V, narrowing edging Justin Hearn (75-11V)

Canada Full-bore championship

Along with the sling-shooters, F-Class competitors test their skills this weekend in Ottawa. Alexander Tklitch shot a 75-7V to lead the F-Open Division, while Kevin Chou posted a 74-10V to top the F/F field by two Vs. Why are we referring to “Vs” rather than “Xs”? In international competition, the “V” area is the center-zone equivalent to our X-Ring in the USA. However, the Scoring Ring values are different. On International fullbore and F-Class targets, the highest scoring ring has a value of 5, not 10 as in the USA. So, a 75 score represents the max points possible for 15 shots. If all those shots land in the V zone, the total, for 15 shots, would be 75-15V.

Canada Full-bore championship

Story Based on report from

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June 10th, 2012

Remington-Bushmaster 2012 Long Range Regional Championship

The Remington-Bushmaster 2012 Long Range Regional Championship was held at Reade Range in Fallen Timbers, Pennsylvania on June 1, 2, and 3. We had a great turn out of over 60 shooters. Half of these shooters showed up on Friday to participate in the practice and team match. The weather had other plans for the shooters though and the second half of the team match was rained out.

Reade Remington Long Range RegionalSaturday started off sunny, but cool and windy, with 62 shooters registering in Sling (43), F-TR (7) and F-Open (12). Pit service was provided by the Boy Scouts, and had a rocky start. With the help of some shooter volunteers, pit operations smoothed out throughout the day and the first three 1000-yard Matches ran without incident. The wind pretty much held a steady 2 MOA left throughout the day, and some high scores were fired.

After the Saturday matches were finished and daily scores posted, Bryan Litz conducted a wind clinic, and then the Reade Range Staff provided a wonderful meal of ca-bobs, salads, fresh fruit and beverages. Then came the prize raffle. Over 50 prizes were raffled off, including a Vortex Spotting Scope, gift certificates, and other merchandise items worth over $6000.

Sunday morning started off overcast and the same wind as the day before. Conditions remained constant and the pits ran smoother than ever with more volunteers helping the scout troops. Rain was forecasted to start at 3:00 pm so the shooters were eager to move through the matches and beat the rain. Mission accomplished, as a cease fire was called just before 3:00 pm, ending the last match. Scores were quickly figured and awards were promptly given. Bryan Litz, of Applied Ballistics LLC, announced the winners of each individual match, Tom Ferraro announced the aggregate match winners, and finally Ken Roxburgh presented the winners with guns on behalf of Remington-Bushmaster. The rain showed up as the final name was announced.

Bryan Litz remarked: “We would like to thank everyone who participated in this match and all of those who helped make it a great weekend. We are looking forward to seeing everyone again next year!”

Reade Remington Long Range Regional

Final Scores:
Sling Class F-TR F-Open
1st: Bryan Litz 1194-70 1st: James Crofts 1141-27 1st: Don Nagel 1172-41
2nd: Trevor Hengehold 1190-65 2nd: Brad Sauve 1134-25 2nd: Bob Woodward 1169-49
3rd: Jon Howell 1188-60 3rd: William Litz 1122-19 3rd: Jim Murphy 1159-38
Gun Winners by Gun Class:

High Palma: Bill Bowers 1180-43
Any/Iron: Bryan Litz 598-36
Any/Any: Jon Howell (pictured) 597-35
Jr. Any/Iron: Tommy Ferraro 557-12
Jr. Any/Any: Joe Hendricks Jr. 571-14

High Grand Senior: David Brantner 1164-42
High Senior: Gerry Sanders 1179-47
High F-TR: James Crofts 1141-27
High F-Open: Don Nagel 1172-41

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February 11th, 2010

Shooting Skills: Prone Position Shooting Tips from USAMU

The First Shot, the CMP’s online magazine, features a well-written article on Prone Shooting Technique by SPC Matthew Sigrist of the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU). The article covers all the major points of gun hold and body position: hand position, elbow position, stock weld, buttstock placement, and sling position/tension.

SPC Matt Sigrist of the USAMU breaks down the prone position into “fundamentals” and explains how you put each element together to create a stable body position: “The fundamentals are the building blocks of a position. Much like the framework of a house, a correct application of the fundamentals ensures a solid and stable structure. Since each person’s position will depend on their particular body build and shape, there is no ‘perfect position’ that applies to everyone. Experience, practice and knowledge of the correct fundamentals will dictate the best position for you.”

SPC Sigrist also demonstrates the two basic variations of the leg position when shooting prone: open/spread legged, and bent-legged.

For any service rifle, highpower, cross-course, or prone shooter, this helpful article can improve your performance in the prone position.

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December 21st, 2009

Last-Minute Bargains at Creedmoor Sports

Based in Oceanside, California, Creedmoor Sports is one of the leading suppliers of equipment for High Power, Prone, Smallbore and Air Rifle shooters. Creedmoor’s General Manager Dennis DeMille is a former National Champion High Power Shooter. Dennis and his staff have the expertise to know what competitive shooters need.

Creedmoor has some good Holiday Specials running right now, and there is still time to order gift items for Christmas if you get your order in by midnight PST on December 21st. Creedmoor’s “affordable gift picks” for this Holiday season include instructional DVDs, Shooting Gloves, Rifle Slings, and Shooters’ T-Shirts.

Creedmoor SportsJim Owens High Power DVDs — $16.00
Master Sgt. Jim Owens (USMC retired), aka “Jarhead Top”, has created a series of instructional DVDs for High Power, Position, and Service Rifle Shooters. Owens’ DVD titles include: Reading the Wind; Positions–Prone; Positions–Sitting & Offhand; Sight Alignment & Trigger Control; Service Rifle Sling; and M1 Garand Care & Cleaning. All these cost $16.00 (that’s 20% off), except the longer Reading the Wind DVD, which is $24.00 after 20% markdown.
Creedmoor SportsFull-Finger Shooting Glove — $40.00
This glove is offered for both right- and left-handed shooters and meets all ISSF and NRA rules. It’s made of premium leather with rubber facings and ample padding. The rubber on the back of the glove is designed to eliminate sling slippage when locked into position. For the holidays, this glove is marked down to $40.00 from $44.95.
Creedmoor SportsRon Brown Service Rifle Sling — $60.00
Each sling is hand-stitched by Ron Brown in Lexington, KY. These slings are made from the highest-grade Hermann Oak leather, in saddle-tan or black. Slings are edged and creased, and holes are numbered. D-rings are oversized and parkerized. Frog hooks are made by Waterbury Buckles. All slings are treated with Neatsfoot oil guaranteeing years of use in the harshest conditions. According to Dennis, this is “the highest-quality service rifle sling money can buy”. Price is $60.00.
Creedmoor SportsT-Shirts with Shooters’ Messages — $12.95
Creedmoor offers a selection of 100% cotton t-shirts printed with rifle images or clever messages that will appeal to serious shooters. In all there are over 30 gun-related designs available, including the ever-popular “Life’s Too Short to Shoot 9s” and “Got Ammo?”.
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December 10th, 2009

More Interesting Shooting Competitions from Norway

Norway shooting matchOur recent post about Norway’s annual Landsskytterstevnet (Rifle Country Fair) marksmanship competition was very popular. American sling-shooters noticed how Norway’s marksmen used a different sling set-up and how the Norwegians were using their middle finger or ring finger to pull the trigger. This allows faster cycling of the bolt in rapid-fire competition.

CLICK HERE for more Landsskytterstevnet streaming videos

Unfortunately, some of our readers with slower internet connections were not able to stream the video from the Norwegian server. Here are two YouTube videos posted by reader ICECOOL from Norway. The first shows John O. Ågotnes shooting rapidfire in the Stangskyting discipline (25-second time limit). The gun is a Sauer 200 STR (Scandinavian Target Rifle) chambered in 6.5×55.

YouTube Preview Image

The second video, below, shows competitors in a 3-position (standing, kneeling, prone) shooting competition at the 2008 Samlagsskyting Finals. This provides good closeups of the Norsk sling arrangement. Note also the electronic scoring technology which instantly plots the shots on the target. This makes it exciting to watch the match… tension builds until the final shot. American clubs could benefit from electronic scoring which allows the crowd to follow the action.

YouTube Preview Image

ICECOOL has posted more links to Norway shooting match videos on the Firing Line Forum. Many of these matches are actually broadcast live, in prime-time, by Norwegian Television.

One interesting fact about Norway’s shooting matches is that they are partly funded by the Norwegian government. On the Firing Line Forum, member UltimaThule noted that: “The National Rifle Assn. of Norway receives financial support from the Department of Defence — 1/10 of one per cent of the National defence budget. What would your anti-gun people say if the American NRA got $560 million dollars a year from the government?”

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October 29th, 2009

Versatile $40.00 Sling Bag Holds Lots of Gear

Looking for a sturdy, versatile shoulder/sling bag that doesn’t look like a “metrosexual” man-purse? Check out the Rapid Deployment Pack (RPD) from Natchez. Sturdily made from heavy-duty nylon with beefy fasteners and a quick-release front buckle, the RPD offers plenty of storage in a 10″ H x 12″ W x 3″ D format. On the front the RPD has velcro-secured mag pockets which can also be used for hand-held radios, wind meters or other gear.

tactical shoulder bag

While other companies offer similar bags for up to $120.00, the RPD retails for $26.99. That’s a lot less than most sling bags cost. This editor personally likes this bag (made by U.S. Peacekeepers) because it will hold a 10″ netbook (and paper notepads) in the main compartment, while I can put my still camera and video camera in the mag pockets. The $81.00 Maxpedition “Jumbo”, while otherwise a good bag, is a bit too small to carry a netbook easily in the main compartment. The RPD has the carrying capacity I need for assignment work, without being too large. In the field the RPD can easily carry your wind meter, laser rangefinder, log book, spare mag, and water bottle, making this a useful option for tactical comps. The RPD offers serious utility for half the price of the Maxpedition Jumbo.

Tactical Shoulder Bag

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May 1st, 2009

Double Rifle Sling for Hunters and Tactical Shooters

double rifle slingGermany’s Vero Vellini has released a new double-strap sling system that holds your rifle securely, while allowing you to keep both hands free while hiking or stalking game. Vero Vellini’s new “High Climbing Double Sling” is modeled after the Biathlon rifle slings used in the Winter Olympics.

If you have ever tried a Biathlon-type sling you know it is far superior to a conventional over-one-shoulder sling, when you need to run, climb, or to move rapidly from one shooting position to another. We predict this double sling will become popular with alpine hunters and tactical/practical rifle shooters who must move rapidly through a multi-stage back-country course.

As with a conventional sling, the new double sling can be used to steady your shot. By looping the sling behind the elbows, you’ll get better support when taking an off-hand shot. The fully-adjustable “High Climbing Double Sling” comes in Forrest Green with Dark Brown trim. The product is very nicely made — the “air cushion” neoprene shoulder straps have stout leather end panels and the webbing and snap-buckles are top quality.

double rifle sling

The “High Climbing Double Sling”, item V17350, retails for $89.99. To order, contact Vero Vellini’s USA dealer, Pioneer Research, (800) 257-7742. Vero Vellini also manufactures fast-access cartridge cases, scope covers, and straps for binoculars and cameras.

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February 11th, 2009

USAMU Tips on Sling Use

On the ShootingUSA television show, today’s episode will feature the Infantry Team Match at Camp Perry. In connection with that segment, Sgt. First Class Kyle Ward of the U.S. Army Marksmanship provides guideslines on how to properly fit a shooting sling, and how to best use the sling in various shooting positions.

CLICK HERE to read Sgt. Ward’s step by step Sling Instructions.

Proper Sling Adjustment
Once the sling is linked together properly, Sgt. Ward explains: “The next step is attaching the sling to your arm. Attaching the sling to your arm is simply done by creating slack in the sling, turning the sling a quarter turn clockwise if you’re a right handed shooter, or a quarter turn counter clockwise if you’re a lefty. You know that your sling is set to the proper length when you can easily and comfortably get into position, when you can take your firing hand off the rifle, and the rifle remains in your shoulder. To get the most of your sling, setting it to its proper length, and where you place it on your arm is critical. There are some general rules to follow when setting up your sling. You want it tight enough that it’s providing maximum support, but not so tight that you have to fight to get it into position.

Proper Sling Placement
Sling placement on your arm is also critical. In the sitting position, you want to place the sling toward the inside of the arm. Place the sling too far to the outside, and it will likely introduce pulse into your position. It’s not uncommon to have to adjust the length of the sling for different firing positions. While using the sling in the prone position, you should place the sling in the outside of the arm. Placing the sling too far towards the inside will reduce the sling’s effectiveness and likely generate pulse.

Try these techniques the next time you’re on the rifle range. Proper use of the leather sling will definitely increase you scores, and decrease the amount of perceived movement when looking through the sights.”

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