Introduction to Alternate Positions

Shooting from a supported, or alternate position is mainstay for the tactical shooter. We are more akin to an across the course shooter, where one rifle has to fit every situation we could potentially encounter.

In the field the prone shot is the rare shot due to terrain and obstacles. So with this in mind we have to be able to adapt to our surroundings in order to make the shot.

This is the first in a multi-part lesson on alternate positions. There are some key elements we want to look at start the lessons rolling.

  1. Shoulders, we need our shoulders in front of our hips. We have to have a good “fighter’s stance” when engaging targets from a support. Regards of the type of support we want our shoulders in front of our hips.

  2. Maximum contact. This equals stability, the more contact you and the rifle have to your support platform, the more stable you will be. When using a support platform be sure to stabilize both the rifle and yourself against to the best of your ability. The situation will dictate, so don’t put yourself into a box thinking there is only one right answer. There are several.

  3. Support the firing elbow whenever possible. If you cannot support the rear of the rifle like we do in the prone, we are best served if we can at least stabilize our firing elbow.

  4. The Fundamentals of Marksmanship. We need to make sure we hone those skills to fine point. Natural point of aim, like in sling shooting is very important. The rifle will move to where it is pointed under recoil, so set up your NPA as fast as possible. Get square helps this. Trigger Control & Follow Through are key elements as well as this is our point of human contact with the system. Sight picture, make sure the rifle is set up for alternate positions and you have edge to clarity. Finally, breathing, don’t hold your breathe but rather move in a predictable way as the rifle will move as you breathe. Especially under stress.

  5. Use everything and anything available to stabilize your shot. There is no wrong answer if it works, however getting lucky once and a while doesn’t means you correctly solved the problem. We want repeatable solutions.

  6. Dry Practice, Dry Practice, Dry Practice…


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