4 Standard Rifle Shooting Positions Shooting positions every hunter should know!

When it comes to rifle shooting, the first thing you need to master are the fundamentals. Each time you take a shot, you perform a series of actions that are the building blocks of a perfect shot. These fundamentals include finding your initial shooting position, aiming, controlling your breath, maintaining a steady hold and mastering trigger control.

In this article, we'll take a look at the four standard rifle-firing positions:

  • Prone position
  • Sitting position
  • Kneeling position 
  • Standing position

In any particular situation, one of the positions will be the most suitable. When shooting from any of the four, the shooter must be steady, relaxed, and confident before firing. 

It is very important you practice shooting from all these positions because your "effective range" for a one-shot kill will change! It is your responsibility to know your limits with each position.

Standing or Off-hand position

Standing position - Shooting

Prone position is a common position used in rifle shooting. This position is very practical for hunting but offers the least amount of accuracy. Standing position is the least steady position and requires excellent hunting skills. This shooting position is not stable because one arm and elbow are not supported The use of a sling while shooting off-hand will improve a person's aim. 

Kneeling position

Kneeling position - Shooting

This position is less stable than sitting and prone position, because one arm and elbow are not supported. Consistent accuracy is more likely when prone or sitting.

Sitting position

Sitting position- Shooting

Often the most practical and reliable shooting position while hunting, it is the second most stable position after the prone position, particularly when grass and shrubs make the prone position unsuitable.

Prone position

Prone position- Shooting

The prone position offers the most body support and stability. The prone position is considered to be the steadiest position. It is the most accurate for long-distance shots. It's the most stable shooting position. However, if the grass is long or if there are many small bushes, it could obstruct your shooting vision.

Using a rest

Using a rest position

Rifle shooting accuracy is vastly improved by using a "rest." Look for a rest before deciding what shooting position to use. The shooter's forearm can be rested on a rock, a fence post, or against a tree. To obtain maximum accuracy, don't let the rifle barrel touch the rest.

Hunter safety course

To learn more about hunting positions and all the knowledge you need to go hunting safely, our hunter safety course meets the Safety Course Standards set forth by the Department of Natural Resources and by the International Hunter Education Association (IHEA).