Long Range Body Positioning Pt. 1: Bipods Don’t Jump
How to get into a proper prone position is a matter of a lot of discussion. That’s certainly pretty weird because it’s a pretty simple thing and there’s only 1 way to do it right. There are infinitely more ways of doing it almost right but that’s just a long way of saying “wrong”.
The idea is to put your body into a position that supports the rifle, allows recoil to be managed, eliminates unintended motion and allows maximum use of fine motor skills. Moving away from fine motor control to gross motor control will only make you miss. Failing to support the rifle properly will probably get you hurt (scope’d in the face), unintended motion means a miss. What you want to be is a slab of granite with a trigger finger and an eyeball to which a rifle is mounted. Once you put the buttstock to your shoulder you should not need to hold the rifle to keep it there. This means that the rifle is pressing back against your shoulder due to the pressure it’s exerting on the bipod keeping up with Newton’s laws. It also means you can hold your arms and legs up in the air off the ground and your rifle and the rifle stays mounted.
Do it right and you’ll be able to tolerate much more severely recoiling rifles, you’ll be steadier, you’ll be able to shoot farther and you’ll hit your target. Do it wrong and, well you’ll be doing it wrong and that means missing. The best part about taking a prone shot with a bipod properly loaded is, you’ll be able to see your bullet hit. Since recoil comes straight back and there’s no vertical component your target never really leaves the optic.
Of the two shooters in the pic below, neither is doing it actually right. They’re both angling their bodies off of the axis that their bore is pointed. For optimal results they should be directly behind the rifle in a straight line. The one on the left is doing something else wrong. He’s pointing his toes. This presses his chest harder downward and adds to fatigue as well as wobble. The shooter on the right has his feet correctly positioned relative to his legs. Your feet should be pointed roughly to the sides and totally relaxed.
Now I’m not going to sing the praises of Frank (SHLowlight) and I’m not going to say anything negative about him. Plenty of people already do both. What you can’t deny is he knows what he’s talking about when he talks about shooting prone. So we have a couple quick video clips of him and another shooter demonstrating the position and the effects of doing it right.
Here’s a shooter doing it right while Frank narrates.
Here’s Frank proving he knows what he’s talking about.
In the next bit we’ll cover setting up your shooting mat and rifle the way I like to do it and show some hacks that might just make you a better shot.