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This series of articles is all about the fundamentals of rifle marksmanship.
One of the easily overlooked areas of good marksmanship is controlling your breathing. I really believe it’s one of those things that everyone knows they should get control of it, but good breath control becomes one of the first marksmanship fundamentals to go out the window as pressure mounts.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in the midst of a stage and didn’t even think about my breathing until after it was over. Of course, then I try to go backwards and wonder if I did it correctly anyway, or if I did it wrong and it cost me a little bit of performance.
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.
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 squatting position, otherwise known as “Rice Paddy Prone,” isn’t as common as it once was. It is a moderate stability position that supports both elbows, making it more stable than kneeling yet keeping a high level of mobility.
The prone position is the bread and butter of a skilled rifleman. It is the most stable position you can get using only your own body. When you attend any shooting school, you’re going to spend a lot of time in the prone. But it’s not without its limitations. Let’s take a good look at the most classic of rifle shooting positions.
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