standing standing standing... still don't find them easy despite doing a lot of 10m... i need to concentrate 100% to make sure i give myself the best chance and dont make a silly mistake. The difference though between 10m and field shooting is that the target won't be at the same height, you need to think about wind, and the ground for your feet can be less than perfect... but having the core position to work from and adapt to suit can help.
I'll throw in my 2p...
It's all about position and trusting that position... the 4 principles apply (as ever)
In that order.
Most people I see have some fundamental flaws in their standing position, so the rest is always a fight to make up for that deficiency.
Most people tend to get on target then the gun wanders, seemingly quickly (which is a sign of lack of support) and then try and hold using muscle, which tires, and perhaps snatch the trigger in a desperate attempt, which can mean some way off misses... and I still do this, under the pressure of the clock or situation... indeed 2 of my standers this weekend went like that, but fell, only due to my instinctive reaction to the movement.
ok... from scratch
draw a line from the target to you.
place your forward foot at 90 degrees to this (ie along the firing line)... but make sure it's 90 degrees to the target line. Place your rear foot around shoulder width on this line (slightly wider or narrower is fine if comfortable). If you move your rear foot anywhere off this line, make it go behind it, so your toes are on it... if you bring it forward, so your heel is on it perhaps, your hips will start to rotate towards the target... you want your hips inline with the target, otherwise your C of G will be over the line and you will start to fall over to the right and go low. Your shoulders should also not be rotated towards the target.
Your position should be built with as little muscle as possible.
Put the butt in your shoulder, hand underneath the front and bring the gun up to your chest. Your forearm should be able to hold the gun in your shoulder without your trigger hand on the gun. Get your elbow onto your hips or if you can't get it into the side of your chest and let your guns weight drive it in. Don't be afraid of gun weight... it helps, and if you have a strong position you can hold a Barrett standing.
If your elbow slips about, try putting a rubber or top-grip patch on your elbow... and a bit of leather where it contacts...
If you can't, try leaning backwards (over the line through your feet) to get it over your hips more... a hand cranked backwards on the fore-end can often help.
Then place your hand on the pistol grip. Let the gun settle so it's not moving.
You should feel more weight on the front foot than the back. Both legs should be straight, but not locked... just like your standing... don't let those kneecaps fell like their rising. Turning the back foot in or out can help with that... older people often have their knees out of line with their feet.
The front leg should be upright and fell like a pole, support up though the leg, the hips, and the elbow should take the weight of the gun down onto the hips. The rear leg should point towards the front shoulder.
You haven't put your head to the sights yet... dont bother until that gun is just resting there comfortably, without effort. You can watch the muzzle with your head up... does it feel settled and comfotable? Then continue.
Put your head into the sights and look... where is the gun pointing? Is it roughly staying in the same place? If so, that's your natural point of aim... ok, so it's probably not pointing at the target... so don't move the gun, move your body. If it's not aligned in the vertical plane, rotate both
feet so it is. Is it wandering to the right? Pull that back foot back and get the rifle back towards your chest over your C of G.
If it's not settling naturally, then work on your position so it does.
Keep practicing building this position until you rest naturally on the plate.
If your too high, or too low, widening the stance raises the muzzle, narrowing it drives it down. Moving the forehand forward lowers the muzzle, back raises it... but if you have it too far forward you start to use more and more muscle to hold... a bad thing.
Practice by shooting an A4 paper at 10yds... dont worry about where the shots go, just get used to letting your position work for you without worrying about getting it on anything specific... keep concentrating on that position and you'll find you'll get tiny groups... they may not be where you want, so if they're not, move and rebuild. Think of yourself as a bit of artillery that needs to be repositioned from the wheels up rather than a tank with a turret that can swing around from the hips up.
Ok, so once we have that, just take a relaxed aim... think about where you want to shoot before you build... do you want centre, or left or right of kill... make that decision if you can beforehand, then when your on it you wont have to think about it.
Gentle trigger... practice releasing it as slow as possible... and follow through... if you concentrate on following through to the back of the stop of the trigger as slow an smooth as possible, you'll see the shots, and you'll see what's actually happening, and you won't snatch and pull.... that's not easy, it takes confidence, and usually a snatch is a sign of low confidence and usually sub adequate position. But practice your position and work on that, rather than hitting a target, and it will come.
Don't practice on anything hard in distance terms... if you can relax and hit a 5p at 10yds, you can hit a 40mm kill at 45. But practice your groups close, build that confidence up... when you get something happy, stop... leave it.
Work on on aspect at a time. Get someone to look over and see what that is... as i say, i reckon 95% is position problems.
Out in the field it can be tricky on awkward ground, but having a core position you can work with, allows you to adapt the finer details to suit the occasion...
Free standing will tell you more about your general shooting skills than anything else... it's a weak position to shoot from, so under pressure the cracks will appear... you can get away with murder sometimes, and I still do... but shooting standing consistently well requires a good implementation of the 4 principles and nothing else.
A good positive approach helps as well... ok, so if you don't feel like your going to hit it, try missing it well... it's better in the long run to miss well rather than hit by fluke. If you miss well, it can be worked on, if you hit by fluke, it's random, monkeys and typewriters.
If you smoke, don't smoke for about 15 mins before a positional lane.
Simon took a shot of me getting in position at the last GP... i'm setting up for the target that's off to the right (i think)
Look at my feet... the line through the ankles to the target... but you can see how my hips have started to rotate to the target (bad), and so how my knee has buckled (bad) and how if i'd had my back foot so it's toes were on that line and the gun over my chest more, i'd probably be more naturally pointing at the target that you can see in the shot... but my shoulders have come around, which means really i'm loose in the horizontal direction.... looking at all that i would say i should have broken and rebuilt... but it's possible i was going for the target in shot, and that i was still setting up.
perhaps the ground wasn't right though...often i'll get into bad habits in that case... i can't remember.
i've got some shots of me in 10m which are far better example... i'll nag my coach to email them to me so i can post...