Doing it in odd positions

in The Pew7 months ago

Sometimes doing it in the same position gets boring and at other times it's just not possible. A little variety can go a long way towards keeping things interesting, and at those times when there's no real choice changing things up gives one better results.

I'm referring to shooting positions of course; Shooting in odd, awkward, uncomfortable or confined positions...All of which bring their own unique set of challenges to the shooter, process and the end result.

As a long range shooter, one who shoots to kill when culling on the farm, and also in competition around the country, I'm constantly seeking accuracy. However the process of placing a projectile onto a target at long range, being accurate, isn't as simple as taking the time to aim and trigger-pull. Many, many factors come into play when shooting at long range (shooting in general really) and one of those is having the ability to adapt to, and deal with, varied shooting conditions and positions.

Whether clinging onto the side of a mountain, laying prone at a range or in tall grass, curled up in a crevice between rocks, kneeling in the open, resting on a tree, a window sill, fallen log...No matter where one happens to be shooting, being able to work around the obstacle, the shooting position, is paramount to an effective shot.

In the events I shoot in, practical competitions, the event organisers go out of their way to create barricades and obstacles to challenge the shooters ability to adapt to, and overcome, difficult shooting positions.

Some of the obstacles are diabolical, and some not so bad, but all present a challenge. Add in some distance to the shot, in competition it could be 300-1500m or so, and it all adds up to a massive challenge.

Below you can see me shooting a stage at an event; This is actually mid-stage and if you look carefully you will see three spent cases on the ground. I'm sitting on the obstacle and to my left there is another, with a gap between.

The stage was three shots from three positions: The taller platform to my left, the standing position (which is the wooden beam directly above my head) and the seated where the image shows me. The range was about 600m, 490 and 420m and the targets about the size of an adult human head or slightly smaller.

Each position was specifically designed to be odd, uncomfortable and awkward. The seated position was too low to comfortably sit, the taller position too tall and the standing position also too tall. To make matters worse when using the left and right platforms none of the body was permitted to touch the ground. (You can see my left foot almost touching, but not.)

It was a pain in the ass, but typical for a competition; In fact it was one of the easier ones I've shot, but I got mixed results. The time for the stage was 60 seconds...That's just under 7 seconds per shot plus the moving, getting into position, aiming, reading the wind conditions, the actual breathing and shooting process, acquiring new targets, reloading etc. It all comes together into a pretty challenging thing.

The event organisers have no shortage of diabolical challenges but I won't go into them all here. I might outline some at some later date but considering no two are ever the same there's a long list of them.

Working around these challenges is critical to event-success (and the mitigation of potential embarrassment). So, I spend time training and practicing shooting it odd and stressed positions and conditions.

Above you can see me at one of my training locations, resting on a fallen log. I go to this spot which has some ruins on it, some 150-170 years old, and with a mate we practice all sorts of shooting positions challenging each other with more complex and difficult ones and shooting out to pretty decent distances. A day here would normally see 150-200 rounds sent and could be some 5-6 hours of training. It's actually a lot of fun though.

We typically video some of the runs which helps highlight areas for improvement and what we may have done really well also. I keep all the videos and some time in the future will show you a few of them.

Like anything one wants to do well, shooting takes practice and effort. It's not as easy as the movies make it look and adding in obstacles, odd shooting positions, a timer and longer ranges all adds to the complexity. For me this is just fun though; I don't compete for prizes or money although that's certainly there and I've taken my fair share. I do it for the enjoyment.

Having said the above, I'm not the sort of dude who wants to come in second place and if I attempt something I apply effort and hard work with the view to do it as best I can. That's why I'm always practising doing it in odd positions.


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What is that written on your scope cover in one of the pics?

Well spotted.

That's DOPE, (Date of previous engagement) elevation adjustments required for different ranges. I write them there for each stage when in competition. Remembering them can get difficult. I determine what they are then write them on a little laminated card I made. I can see them at a glance and make the adjustment as required throughout the stage as I transition from the different targets.

When I'm done I wipe it clean and move onto the next stage.

It works with known distances in competition and when we have the time to do it, which is not always. I simply do the ballistic calculations and write them on the card as above. (I use a velcro dot on the back of each to stick it to the cap.)

Below is a different variation...This is a DOPE chart though with ranges from 200m t0 1200m, not just the stage. Of course the data changes with the environmental conditions (temp and humidity) so that's why I went to the small disc on the cap as I can get the ballistics calculation done right before each stage begins, only minutes.

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Were you a hunter, in the military or a wildlife ranger? Looks like you were in a uniform in the comments.

That picture? That was at a shooting event actually. A long range practical shooting event. It was a load of fun.

Damn those are challenging positions! Have to stretch out before them for sure lol. It does look fun though, I didn’t do much with different positions but we did lay prone to shoot at some stuff years ago. It was fun but a bit challenging if what you want isn’t right in front of you. Adjusting position prone isn’t straight forward as it seems, while hitting the target!

I think most forms of shooting can be difficult as many things have to come together to make the shot, and that's unstressed or pressured. Add in those elements and it get's much more complicated...Greater range, difficult shooting positions...It's not a matter of pointing and pulling a trigger huh?

one of the weapons i fear most is sniper because of that long shot target without been noticed

Yeah, I know. Quite often the round hits its target before the sound of the shot does. Snipers have been an effective element on the battlefield for a long time. I don't call what I do sniping though as that's a military thing. I am a long range shooter...It's really all the same though, just a different name.

yea same to me also

Well you sure tricked me with that title, and then I got to read about something I knew nothing about, so thanks :-D

Haha, yeah I do that sometimes...It's fun to catch out people who make comments without actually reading the post. I find it amusing.

Basically sprint, get into an uncomfortable yoga position, shoot, sprint and repeat. Looks like fun to me. I would need to get into shape!

That's actually a legit way of putting it. They stress us with running, carrying, moving etc. One time they had a rowing machine that we had to row on, carry some 30kg kettle bells a distance then get behind the gun. Take one shot go back to the rower etc. Was hard. They try to recreate stressed situations and have us problem-solve around them.

I actually am one of a small group who runs a .22LR version of the same thing. We get some 100 people at our shoots and run them all over the place. I've written about that before. Might do another one sometime.

Awesome, man! I have missed a lot by not following you more closely for the last couple of years. I'd love to read about it. I'd also love to go to Australia and join you on one of those 100 people shoots, but I don't see that happening any time in the near future. :)

Yeah we have our borders locked down to anyone who is not Australian...I wonder if anyone has tried to fool the border patrol with a dodgy accent. I'll do a post on the rimfire competition sometime. It's pretty cool as we ad IPSC (comstock) scoring to it rather than just timed stages. It makes speed and accuracy equally important.

I would never try the dodgy accent thing. It just seems wrong all-around, but it would make a great video to watch, I guess! There's probably one out there somewhere.

We love it when people attempt the Aussie accent...It's so funny...Especially when Americans do it. I reckon it'd be great to do a video post asking people to do their own video reading a pre-written script in an Aussie accent! If I thought people would jump on board I'd do it. I did a couple videos here in which I spoke. Not many though as I don't like being in front of the camera.

Oh, that's good to know. It would be hilarious to watch people attempting it.

I reckon I'd be good at designing those courses, I'd make everything for something about my youngest's height which would be pretty comfortable for me XD

The gun decal is cute XP

Videoing yourself definitely helps, my daughter uses it to good effect, she's constantly asking me to video stuff she's doing so she can have a look and see what she needs to fix up. I should actually be doing the same thing and sending things to my sifu but that's how much I hate being on the business end of a camera x_x

Anyway would be great to see you in action if you ever feel like posting them :)

I reckon I'd be good at designing those courses, I'd make everything for something about my youngest's height which would be pretty comfortable for me XD

Is this you? Lol.

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The videos work really well as we can film in slow motion...That's great for catching trigger-pull issues and seeing if a shooter flinches. (Flinching is bad).

I have some videos and will post them sometime, I think I have already back in the day but will get around to doing some again.

P.s. WTF is sifu? (Probably something simple and obvious right?)

I showed JJ and he responded "the resemblance is uncanny" XD

I'd be a terrible shooter as I would flinch 100% of the time, don't like sudden loud noises x_x

Sifu is someone that teaches kung fu.

I knew that was you! Lol

Yeah, flinching doesn't make for a good shooter at all. Ah ok, sifu...That makes you grasshopper?

Shaolin webmonkey.

Or perhaps just monkey now as I only webdev for myself and I was never good xD

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can't precisely remember the context of this but had something to do with choogirl saying something about upgoat being my spirit animal or something to that effect

I can actually do this pose though it's one of my favourites

Actually more just little tryhard XD

I do try really hard >_>

I wish I could draw...Well I can, but am shit at it!

Also, I did that pose once...Still suffering 22 years later. Lol.

RoFL! I hope it was because you were training and not because you were drunk/decided to try some move you saw in a kung fu movie XD

Could be the latter what of it yo?

Nah, was training...Over-extened my skill-level...Haven't been the same since. Lol.

Just joshin'.

 7 months ago Reveal Comment