The prone position is the most stable shooting position. The word prone simply means lying down. We are going to discuss how to get into the straight-leg prone position. There’s another form that requires the trigger side leg to be bent and brought up to the center of the body. It’s good to know that one too but straight-leg is easier to assume and is much more common these days.
Face the target and lie down on your stomach. Propping up the back of your support side elbow, shoulder the rifle in your firing side shoulder pocket. Be mindful of where your muzzle goes! Don’t let it wander somewhere you don’t want the rifle to point, and also keep it out of the dirt. Grip the rifle with the support side hand and pull it towards you but don’t muscle it. The support hand can even be open, as if it’s just a platform. I don’t recommend you hold the rifle that way, but you can. Try to get your support hand as close to the muzzle as possible. But the support elbow should be as directly below the rifle as possible. Or you CAN use the magazine as a monopod. Anyone who tells you not to do this is perpetuating a myth. You want your body to be straight behind the rifle to help mitigate the effects of recoil. If using a sling as a support, ensure the front sight does not fall and rise diagonally when you breathe in and out. If this occurs then try to get your support elbow more under the rifle. As you inhale, the front sight should drop, and as you exhale, the front sight should rise.
Concentrate on not using any muscles, just bones as support.
The support arm should not be too flat. It should also not be too bent. Make a slight “V” at the elbow.
Your legs should be spread out a bit and feet should be flat and relaxed, ankles touching the ground, not sticking upward. Spread your legs as much as is comfortable, but no need to spread too far. The idea is to be stable. Shoulder width apart or a little more should be sufficient. Do more if you feel you need to. Your trigger side elbow should be on the ground. You may find it helpful to index your body in reference to the target, just be mindful of your muzzle and the direction you’re firing of course. But remember, keep as much of your body directly behind the rifle as possible. Your middle, ring, and pinky fingers of the trigger hand should grip the pistol grip firmly, pulling the rifle towards your body. Where does the trigger finger NOT go until you’re ready to fire?!?! Remember your safety rules!!! Stick your neck out. Drop your cheek onto the stock and slide it down to get a good check weld. Your nose should be right at the charging handle.
Move your body (NOT THE RIFLE!) to get your sight picture. You should have aligned the front and rear sights first. Keep your support elbow in place as a pivot point, and move your body sideways to adjust your sights horizontally. Then move your body forward or backward to adjust your sights vertically until the sights are on target. (Imagine something similar to doing “the worm” but nowhere nearly as dramatic.) Your entire body should be relaxed now, especially your support arm. Do you have good NPOA? Once you do, proceed with the rest of the taking a shot process we’ve already outlined.
Practice getting into this position and dry firing. See if your sights move off the target when the “shot” breaks. Learn this position first if possible.
And, as always, if you have questions hit us up.