Training and Shooting
Kneeling Rifle: Free, Standard and Sporting
Follow these guidelines for the Kneeling Position for Free and Standard Rifle: (based on the case of a right handed shooter.)
- Clothing & Position
- The shooter's clothing should be comfortable and somewhat loose.
- The lace of the right boot may have to be loosened, and the lace must be free of knots.
- Any folds of the boot tongue or trousers may cause discomfort or pain when the position is held for an extended period of time.
- The shooter faces about 15 degrees from the line of fire and places the right knee on the ground with the right thigh forming an angle of 20-60 degrees from the target.
- A kneeling roll is then placed under the right instep. With practice the shooter will be able to place the kneeling roll in the proper position before putting the right knee on the ground.
- The kneeling roll
- All well-known shooters agree that the kneeling roll should be used.
- The actual diameter of the roll will depend entirely on the angle of the instep and its flexibility. The coach and shooter should experiment to determine the most suitable diameter.
- The right leg
- The right knee is used to support only a minimum of weight.
- The right foot is supported by the kneeling roll under the instep.
- The toe of the boot is on the ground and the heel is centred on the base of the spine.
- When viewed from the rear the foot will be perpendicular to the ground.
- Note: A new shooter will often have difficulty using this position at first. The right knee, ankle and foot will be uncomfortable. As in the other positions, training will condition the body to accept the new strains introduced.
- The left leg
- The left foot is approximately parallel to the left thigh.
- The lower portion of the leg (shin bone) is vertical when viewed from any direction.
- This leg supports up to 50 percent of the body weight, and therefore there must be straight line bone support to prevent fatigue.
- The position relationship of the left leg to the right leg should not change.
- If the rifle is pointed to one side of the target then the entire body must be rotated to correct the position. The position must not be corrected by just moving the left foot.
- For some shooters, turning the left toe inward toward the right knee will "lock" the knee and reduce left to right movement of the rifle.
- The back
- The position of the back plays an important part in attaining a good hold.
- The torso should be positioned so that maximum stability will be derived from the support areas.
- The right foot and spine are in line and do not tilt to either side.
- The foot and spine, up to about the centre of the back, are vertical. Then the spine curves forward.
- The upper back and shoulders are relaxed with a certain amount of weight going forward counterbalancing the tension on the sling.
- The left arm
- In the kneeling position there appears to be a groove or flat spot on the forward edge of the knee. There is also a flat on the rear of the elbow just above the joint. These two flats are placed together for stability, and the point of the elbow will be just slightly forward of the front of the knee.
- The left hand is pushed forward against the hand-stop.
- The rifle is placed across the base of the thumb, as in the prone position, and the hand is relaxed.
- The sling crosses the wrist and supports the entire weight of the rifle.
- The left elbow is not directly under the rifle but is slightly to the left.
- The left wrist should be straight.
- When viewed from above, the left arm, wrist and hand appear to be in a straight line.
- Also, for the average shooter, the left forearm and the left thigh form a straight line when supporting the rifle.
- Note: If the left forearm is allowed to veer to the left to bring the rifle onto the target, the shooter will be shooting "across" the position from an unstable base.
- The right arm
- The right arm hangs naturally at the side.
- The right hand grips the pistol grip with the thumb through the hole in the stock, or along side.
- The trigger finger must be in contact with the trigger only.
- The degree of grip firmness may vary with individual preference. It is usually related to the weight of the trigger pull, but it is most important that it be constant.
- The head
- The head, in relation to the body, should be erect or leaned forward slightly; not to the extent that the eye will be looking through the upper lid or brow or that the neck will become cramped.
- The neck muscles should be relaxed and the head is supported through contact with the cheek piece.
- It may be necessary to cant the rifle slightly to bring the rifle into proper relationship with the head.
- The hook butt plate
- Usually shooters will find that there is a requirement for a shorter stock in the kneeling position compared to the prone.
- The hook on the butt plate is used to assist in the proper placement of the rifle in the shoulder.
- It also enables the stock to be raised up to meet the face, while continuing to give maximum shoulder to rifle contact.
Follow these guidelines for the Kneeling Position for Sporting Rifle: (based on the case of a right handed shooter.)
- The position is built along the same pattern used for the Free Rifle and Standard Rifle.
- One important difference is that because of the absence of a sling, the left hand must grip the rifle fore-end.
- Caution must be used to prevent the shooter from "shooting across" the position. This will happen if the body is faced too far to the right so the natural point of aim is to the right of the target.
- As in the prone position, the butt must be locked against the shoulder by cheek pressure.
- The head may be more erect than in prone, and the butt should be placed higher on the shoulder.
- A minor cant of the rifle may be necessary to keep the eyes level.
Reference: Todd, A.R. (Technical Director). National Coaching Certification Program: Rifle Shooting, Level 1 Technical Coaching Manual. Gloucester, Canada: Shooting Federation of Canada, 1984. This manual and many others can be obtained very inexpensively from the Shooting Federation of Canada. For contact information, please visit the Shooting Organizations section.
TargetShooting Canada - Layout Copyright 2001: Patrick Haynes