Skills Card: Shooting a Rifle
No. 2 on our list of 25 things every hunter should know. Download it below, then print it out, take it home or even hunting.
June 08, 2009
No doubt most of us have shot rifles so long it comes naturally. But it’s another thing entirely to teach someone how to do it. Here’s a primer on the basics (for right-handed shooters).
Left Hand: Place it under the fore-end, with the web of the hand snug against the stock.
Shoulder Pocket: Bend your right arm and grab the pistol grip to form a pocket in your shoulder. Pull the buttstock in tight to the pocket to steady it and lessen recoil.
Right Hand: Exert firm rearward pressure on the pistol grip to keep the butt tight against your shoulder and to eliminate cant in the rifle.
Stock Weld: This is the point of contact between your cheek and the stock (also called cheek weld). Raise the stock to your cheek to position your eye at the same distance behind the sight or scope every time, but keep your head upright (your right eye should be positioned behind the sight or scope). A proper weld ensures your head and rifle recoil as one, allowing rapid recovery.
Muscle on Bone: When sitting or kneeling don’t rest your elbows on your knees—two round plates roll against one another. Instead, think “muscle on bone”—i.e., triceps squashed against kneecaps.
Three Points of Contact: When prone, sitting or kneeling, maintain three points of contact with the ground at all times. In the prone this is your whole body and each elbow. When sitting or kneeling your butt touches the ground and each arm locks to a leg. When standing you need to use a rest (a tree, pack or sticks) to gain the third point.