Basic of Firearms 

Firing Positions

The Standing Position

Standing Shooting Position

The standing position is a very common hunting position, as it is easy to adopt the standing firing position quickly upon spotting game. The standing position also has some disadvantages and limitations.

One disadvantage of the standing position is that it is very unstable, making it less accurate than the kneeling position, the sitting firing position, or the prone position. Another disadvantage of the standing position is that it allows the game to spot hunters more easily, due to the increased profile.

To shoot from the standing position, first turn your body approximately 45 degrees to the right of the target, and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Support the rifle with your left hand holding the forestock. You may hold your left arm against your body for additional firing stability.

The standing firing position for shotguns is not the same as the standing firing position for rifles. Serious injury can occur from firing a shotgun in an improper firing position.

The Sitting Position

Sitting shooting position more stable firing position than the standing firing position is the sitting position. The sitting firing position is not the most stable firing position, but it generates much less sway in the muzzle than the standing position.

One disadvantage of the sitting position is that it is one of the more comfortable firing positions. It is also very convenient to use the sitting firing position while hunting game from a tree stands.

To fire from the sitting position, sit solidly on the ground, with your legs crossed or open, and your body positioned approximately 30 degrees to the right of the line of aim.

Place your elbow on near, but not on, the bony part of your left knee, and tuck the elbow as far under the rifle as possible. Place the rifle’s butt firmly against your shoulder, and place your right elbow near or on the right knee.

The Kneeling Position

Kneeling Firing PositionThe kneeling firing position is not nearly as stable or comfortable as the sitting firing position or the prone position. The kneeling firing position is better than the standing firing position, however.

To adopt the kneeling firing position, turn your body approximately 45 degrees from the target, kneel on your right knee and place your left foot slightly forward. Sit on the heel or side of your right foot, and place your left elbow near, but not on, the bony part of your left knee. Hold the butt of the rifle firmly against your shoulder, and aim.
The Prone Position

Prone Shooting Position

The prone position is by far the most stable firing position and the most accurate firing position. The prone firing position is especially appropriate for accurate long-distance shooting. The prone position is the steadiest firing position.

To adopt the prone position, lie down on your stomach, with your body slightly angled left. Spread your legs apart, bending the right knee slightly. Keep your left leg straight, and your back muscles relaxed.

Both elbows should be bent, supporting the rifle against the ground and firmly against your right shoulder, creating a strong upper body.
Shotgun Shooting Position
Shotgun Firing Position

Because shooting a shotgun is very different from firing a rifle, the shotgun firing position is also different. Serious injury can result from improperly firing a shotgun, due to the tremendous recoil of a shotgun.

To adopt the shotgun shooting position, turn your body 45 degrees away from the target. Put your left leg forward, placing the majority of your body weight on that leg. This will counter-act the recoil of the shotgun, providing a stable shooting position.

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