Prone Position Techniques & Tips - You gotta see this

It's getting closer to the end of the shooting season, and most of us wait until the end of the summer to complete the Swiss shoots. So in this issue of the newsletter, we had just a few things to make life easier for new and old members: the Swiss Competition Guidelines, the Calgary Championship Shoot, and a few shooting tips to round things out.

Swiss Rifle Competition Guidelines

Before we begin, I just thought I would clarify the rules when competing in a Swiss medal shoot:

  • All club safety rules apply;
  • You must use either the K31 with the original open sight or an approved diopter sight (the original Wysse diopter or by Swiss Products in the USA) or the PE90 semi automatic rifle, with the original diopter sight;
  • Range is 300 meters;
  • You must use factory ammunition (GP11 or GP90); no reloaded ammo;
  • You are permitted to wear any shooting clothes you want (jackets, hats, gloves, your favourite PJs etc)
  • You cannot use a rear bag;
  • In the Obligatorisch and Feldschiessen shoots, everyone can use a front bag to support the rifle directly, or your front arm, as in this photo:
  • In all other Swiss shoots, if you are you are younger than 60 years of age, you cannot use a front bag to support either the rifle or front arm
  • If you are 60 years or older, you are permitted to use a front bag to support the rifle or front arm.

Swiss Club Calgary Championship Guidelines

In case you were not aware, our club has it's own competition. It consists of the Obligatorisch, Feldschiessen, Einzel and Calgary shoots. In order to qualify, you must compete in each event. There are awards for each individual shoot, and the combined aggregate of all shoots. All you have to do is show up on any scheduled shooting day to do any or all of these shoots. Don't wait, there is still time to get this done!

Prone Shooting Techniques

So here are a few tips for people looking for some different things to try out while shooting in the prone position. Really there is no 'correct' way to shoot; do what works for you and that gives you the best results. However, when starting out it's good to have some sort of framework you can begin with, then make changes from there. In my case I may have started out developing some habits that worked against me and didn't realize it. Recently when doing the Obligatorisch, Theo tapped me on the shoulder and told me to stop turning my head right away to check out my score on the monitor; it was throwing my shots off. Tried it and my scores went up right away. When making changes to anything, do one thing at a time and test it out. If there was any 'rule' in precision shooting it's to make everything exactly repeatable from shot to shot.

Basically there are two ways to shoot prone; unsupported (that is with no front rest supporting the rifle) and supported (with a rest).

Prone Unsupported Position

The prone unsupported position is the one you would be using when shooting the K31; no front rest and no bipod. While the production quality of this video may not be good enough for Hollywood, the content is first rate, and it's fun to watch! Here is Ken Roxburgh, retired NCO who was in charge of the precision shooting teams in the US Marine Corps. I use some of the methods myself.

Prone Supported Position

In the prone supported position, you would be shooting a rifle with a front rest or bipod. Things are different when using a rest. Remember that in a Swiss competition shoot there are no rear rests, and in some of the video footage you might see that happening, but these are meant for general shooting, so learn what you can and apply it. This is an excellent video to demonstrate consistency on a bipod, and how to achieve it. Aaron Davidson (Gunwerks) demonstrating shooting from a bipod: