Shooting: Mastering the Kneeling Position

Get away from the bench and practice the kneeling position. During hunting season you'll be glad you did.
Get away from the bench and practice the kneeling position. During hunting season you’ll be glad you did.

The kneeling position in shooting is fast and stable when done properly. Once mastered it will pay big dividends in the hunting fields.

While much of the preseason tuning up we do as hunters happens at the range from a bench, likely at 100 yards on a paper target, it’s important that our big game training matches what we’ll face in the field.

Especially when hunting in the wide-open spaces of the West, it’s imperative to come ready to shoot from a variety of field positions at various ranges out to 200 or 300 yards. You can’t really know your maximum effective range from each position until you’ve practiced shooting from each of them, so training is obviously paramount.

One of the most effective is the kneeling position. It’s relatively quick and easy to get into, requires fairly minimal flexibility and allows the hunter to keep the rifle in a ready position while standing up. In turn, this provides for quick follow-up shots without taking your eyes off the animal.

To get into the kneeling position, start with your feet shoulder width apart, facing your target. Place your left foot in front of your body, toes toward the target, and drop to your right knee. Lower your torso into a rigid posture as you sit against your rear leg (your legs should now be perpendicular to each other).

Place the back of your left arm against the front of your left knee, avoiding the unstable bone-on-bone contact that happens if you perch your elbow atop your knee. To get out of the kneeling position, simply rise up with the rifle in the ready position, muzzle at eye level, giving yourself the chance to make a quick follow-up shot as necessary.

These shooting tips appeared in the Summer 2015 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine. Click here to download the full issue.

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  1. Good to seee someone talking about ways to shoot more accurately, BUT, why is it that in virtually EVERY picture where we see someone trying to say ‘this is the way to shoot more accurately’, we see the rifle sling DANGLING below the rifle, and NOT around the shoters arm?!
    Are ALL the writers today so young, and inexperienced, that they have no concept of using the rifle sling to stabilize the rifle, in order to truly shoot with greater accuracy?
    It seems to me that the vast majourity of youngins’ [under the age of 35 or so] I have met over the past ten- or more- years, simply use the sling as a carrying tool, with no knowledge of how to truly utilize the sling for greater accuracy, no matter if you shoot prone, sitting [on you butt, elbows braced inside the knees, much more accurate than kneeling], kneeling, or standing!
    You guys need to [re]learn what we ‘older’ shooters already know- USE THAT SLING FOR STABILITY, AND SHOOT BETTER!

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