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The topic that started it all. The Marksmanship category contains all discussions about the art and science of employing the rifle.
I competed in a lot of local outlaw matches for years before finally going to a “real” one. Excellence in Competition matches, or EIC, happen periodically at military bases all over the country. They follow CMP rules, with a few twists.
Buckle up, because I’m about to talk nerdy. This post is all about the two most common marksmanship measurement systems, how to use them, and which one you should use.
Be warned, I will be dropping some math on you. I’ll be gentle, though.
Shooting enthusiasts, especially new ones, tend to try and shortcut the mastery process.
The truth is that a standard rifle is more than capable of all the precision a new shooter can muster.
Practicing rifle positions will take you far. You’ll be able to get in and out of them quickly, build up a stable shooting platform, and even be an effective marksman. But getting good with your natural point of aim will make you even better.
Many view the notorious “chicken wing” as a defining trait of a newbie. Tactical instructors, and the enthusiasts who follow them, will all claim it’s a surefire way to get your arm shot off in a fight. So why is it still so prominent?
The standing position is simultaneously the most common and least useful of the standard rifle positions. The thing is, outside of competition, if you need to use it then you need to use it right now!
Kneeling is a moderately stable position, being better than standing but not as good as sitting or prone. It’s the go-to when mobility is the priority, though.
Jeff Cooper, in The Art of the Rifle, stated that the seated position is the most useful for hunters. Military shooters use it less because it’s neither as low as prone nor fast like squatting or kneeling.
The Swiss Sniping 4th Generation, or S4G, concept leverages ballistic arcs and volleys of fire to increase hit probability. It’s not as fancy as the American Designated Marksman Program, but it’s no slouch, either.
Most field shooters, from big game hunters to military members, do not have the luxury of time to check distance, adjust sights, and take a precisely aimed shot. Knowing and using the point blank zero is a tool for helping with that.
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