Learn From Position Practice

A rifle’s natural wobble zone and recoil impulse will change drastically based on your shooting position. Patrick Kelley reveals how several common scenarios affect rifle behavior and explains what he does to ensure he’s always ready to compete.

Posted by Savage Arms on Thursday, May 30, 2019
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Patrick Kelley knows a thing or two about shooting. The Savage Arms sponsored shooter is a champion in multiple disciplines, most notably in 3-Gun. In this latest training video from Savage Arms, Kelley breaks down how shooters build their barricade positions to most effectively achieve rifle hits.

Standing Supported Position

Shooting a rifle is all about accepting and dealing with wobble area, especially when talking about using a variable-power optic. Shoot offhand, that wobble often comes in a circular or figure eight pattern. But tie into an obstacle, or rest, and the wobble looks dramatically different, even from a standing position.

“From the top position, you’ll have to get comfortable with the movement that occurs when you brace on the top of this tier,” Kelley explained. “Your rifle will tend to move horizontally, so when you’r looking through your reticle at your target, you’ll actually see the reticle move in a horizontal fashion.

“The up and down, the vertical element, is taken care of by your shoulder and your body,” Kelley continued. “But because its braced on the top here, you will see a horizontal movement you’ll have to get comfortable with to break shots cleanly.”

High Kneeling Supported Position

Especially in the sport of 3-Gun, positions often require an alternative approach, such as the barricade Kelley uses in the video. Positions often stretch just too high or low to tie into just right. So you’ve got to be ready to adjust. Instead of a true high kneeling, this position becomes a sort of low, or bending standing.

With a position too tall to take a knee, Kelley demonstrates the correct way to tie into the barricade for support, leading to a small wobble area that he accepts. “The reticle just makes little tiny smooth circular motions, and I can easily break a shot within that motion,” Kelley explains. “Again, that’s what leads to more hits.”

Low Kneeling Supported Position (Reverse Kneeling)

When possible, low kneeling supported is turned into what is known as reverse kneeling. Born of 3-Gun, but used throughout the tactical community today, reverse kneeling is a position everyone should add to their toolbox. It’s quick, efficient and extremely stable.

“I have my right leg in a position that I can put my right elbow on it and get solid bone on bone contact,” Kelley said. “That secures the rear of the rifle. I’ll let my forend go wherever it needs to go so I can have that contact, and then place my left hand as far forward as I can get and brace it against not only down section of the wall but also the left vertical section of the wall.

“So now that I have so many points of contact and a good brace with the rear, the rifle remains virtually stable, virtually still, and it’s very easy to break shots,” Kelley said.

For more information on Patrick Kelley or Savage rifles, visit savagearms.com.

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