Shooting Analysis

Early Complications

I used Ascalon during my dry fire session last evening. I primarily focused on the kneeling, squatting (rice paddy prone), and cross leg positions. Cross leg has always been rather comfortable for me, and I would wager is my best performing of the field positions, though I don’t have any accuracy data to back that up.

Kneeling has always been an issue for me. For whatever reason, my right knee feels very ‘tweaked’ when I tuck it up under my glute muscles. This gets progressively worse if I try to do “low kneeling” and rotate the foot sideways. I did find that shifting more of my weight forward onto the support side knee and foot helped dramatically, but I’m not sure if this was any more stable. Having not had any formal instruction in the matter, I’m not sure if this is correct. I could probably hold the kneeling position long enough for one shot, but holding it for any significant amount of time seems as if it would be difficult.

I did attempt open leg and cross ankle sitting positions, but I clearly do not know what I’m doing. Jeff Cooper talks setting up the position and then relaxing all of your muscles. If done correctly, the position will hold. In my case, If I relax my muscles, my knees droop open and my body collapses down the middle as the flats of my elbows no longer have anywhere to settle. I will continue to review those positions and take another stab at it today.

I perceive no problem with the squatting position, it felt very stable and may become a new favorite.

Another issue of note is the VCAS sling. Cinching it tight and wedging my support elbow against it provides plenty of tension, but I don’t think its quite correct. It still requires a fair bit of tension from my firing hand to hold the rifle in place, and this is not correct, as a proper firing position should stay stable without the firing hand touching the weapon at all. The tension between the support hand, sling, and stock should be enough to hold the weapon steady. I also attempted a more traditional hasty sling, and found the VCAS to simply be too long (a known issue with the padded variety, actually).

I also noted that I am using too much force with my support hand. I think years of ‘tactical’ manhandling of the handguard has developed a bad habit in this regard. Today I will focus on making the “V” shape with my hand and just letting the rifle sit in it without interference.

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1 thought on “Early Complications”

  1. Cooper always considered rice paddy prone to be more stable than kneeling. Enough so that I think he said squatting would be preferable in most circumstances.

    I went through the same thought process on tactical slings for supported shooting about a year ago. I discussed it with Rifleslinger and he dropped a dose of obvious on me: Any sling that requires you to add tension with your muscles is unsuitable for use as a shooting support. The goal is to build a position that allows your natural point of aim to remain consistent when your body is completely relaxed. Having to torque your elbow in/down to add tension to a VCAS or VTAC will not allow you to achieve consistent results. (Though I will say that in some cases a short burst of additional sling tension/stability can be better than nothing, it’s not consistent enough for what guys like Rifleslinger write about.)

    I set out to develop a solution that satisfied my desire for both a tactical sling and a QUICK shooting support sling. I worked it out, so if you want to know how to put one together (or want me to send you one) shoot me an email (I need to kick off my own blog about it already…).

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