General, Shooting Analysis

Another Look at the Kneeling Position

While researching rifle positions the other day, I came across this video from the NSSF. It features Matt Emmons from the US national rifle team in the 2012 Olympics.



Most of the video is pretty standard fare. I went back and watched the applicable portion of this old WWII training video that I posted last year. The relevant portion starts at 16:55.



In the first video, Mr. Emmons takes what I would call a more traditional “high kneel,” with the toe dug into the ground and the heel pointing up vertically. The difference from how I’ve seen this done before is that the toe remains straight, or even slightly flexed rather than extended. This is an interesting technique to me, because it means that the weight of the shooter is not resting on the extended toe, but rather it is taking advantage of the shank of the shoe. Using boots, I feel like this would actually work as a very stable platform. Now, Mr. Emmons is wearing running ghoes, and I don’t think I can do that due to prior injuries with my right foot. In any case, here is my approximation of the position wearing and older pair of my uniform boots.






I have not gotten to try this at the range yet, but it does seem quite a bit more stable. In comparison, here is the toe rolled under:




I find this to be the least comfortable variation, but that probably has a lot to do with various foot injuries I’ve had over the years (sprained toes, in particular).

In the second video, the instructor talks about sitting down on the heel, but having the foot flat to the ground. This is what is commonly called the low kneeling.I have a picture of this as well, but I already see what might be a potential issue with what I did versus what the video directed.




With my foot rolled slightly like this (I’m sitting more on the insole than the top, which means that I am susceptible to recoil forces or wind pushing me around. This will be something to fix, if I can (again…sprained ankles have reduced flexibility in my right foot).

My next range trip is scheduled for this coming weekend. I want to push the sitting position out a bit further, but I will be spending more time on the kneeling positions to compare these variations.


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