PDA

View Full Version : Offhand rifle shooting for newbies.


sammy
05-23-2011, 5:09 PM
I consider myself a good shooter. A good pistol shooter but I have had very little interest in rifle shooting. Most of what I have done is from a bench, 50-100 yards and an occasional tactical rifle shoot.

Well, I picked up a VEPR AK type rifle in 7.62x39 on Friday. Saturday a buddy and I shot pistols getting ready for an IDPA match Sunday and then moved over to the rifle line. Shooting the rifle at 50 yards the only adjustment needed was one turn down on the front sight to adjust for a 6 o'clock sight picture.

Work called and I missed the match Sunday but had time to shoot the rifle that afternoon. Bench shooting is a bore to me but I have never done very well offhand so my new goal is to keep a full magazine in a 6" target. On the bench with Wolf ammo I can get a full 30 rounds in a 2.5" group without much effort. Keep in mind this is using iron sights.

Taking my sweet time I shot about 60 rounds and kept 75% of them in a 12" shoot'n'see at 50 yards. Keep in mind this rifle comes with a thumb hole stock which I filled in and no sling. The outside shots were still fairly centered on paper but all over the place.

To you good shooters, what can I do to improve on this? A couple of questions.

Should I try using a sling and if so how should I use it? I have used a hastey (sp?) hold in the past with decent results but never with an AK.

I see right hand high power shooters use their left palm with the fingers to the left of the rifle. When using this hold on the rifle the magazine touches my left forearm and controling the rifle in recoil is not nearly as easy. What I have been doing is putting my left hand under the handgaurd just touching the magazine. This is the most comfortable but should I put my hand more foward?

If you can think of anything else that I should address that I am not asking please let me know.

brando
05-23-2011, 5:41 PM
There are many ways to shoot offhand and it depends on how you were trained as well as the purpose of the shooting. In my early Army years I was taught shooting from prone, kneeling and standing. Both prone and kneeling give you stability, allowing your elbow(s) to have contact with support, be it the ground or your knee. Tactical shooting while standing is the least steady because of the lack of support.

When I started competing in high power matches I learned a betting kneeling position - sitting, where both elbows contact the legs for support. For standing, it was all about leveraging the sling to gain support and the non-firing hand acts as a rest. Some shooters use the palm or even a fist to rest the handguard on.

So it really depends on what you're doing. For tactical shooting, I just keep my elbows in and try not to focus on keeping the rifle up for extended periods of time. For precision shooting while standing, you can't do that otherwise you'll start shaking, so you need to create a support structure.

Here's some info to study...
http://www.armystudyguide.com/content/army_board_study_guide_topics/m16a2/four-fundamentals-of-mark.shtml

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KTmc7-C0kV8

9unknown
05-23-2011, 5:41 PM
Definitely pick up some sort of 2-point sling and takes some classes, learn how to use it properly. Some people teach you to grip the magwell with both elbows tucked in, some teach a more aggressive outstretched grip towards the front with thumbs pointing forward, all depends on what you're comfortable with and what the application is. There's probably a million different answers to your question, you just have to start experimenting and see what works best for you in terms of your equipment, grip, and stance.

Gunsrruss
05-23-2011, 5:45 PM
Get yourself an AR and start enjoying precision shooting. When you start getting your groups under 1 1/2 MOA you'll be excited and want to do more. Step up to the table and lets do some shooting. I had an SKS once ( Russian ) there was nothing accurate about it. The gun was questionable and so was the ammo. My M1 before it was tuned turned in better groups

SixPointEight
05-23-2011, 5:46 PM
Interestingly enough I've started working on this too. Mostly because I want to take up hunting and doubt a deer will give me enough time to set up a nice rest haha.

As for tips, I don't have any, I'm here to steal what people leave for you.

pennys dad
05-23-2011, 6:13 PM
Definitely pick up some sort of 2-point sling and takes some classes, learn how to use it properly. Some people teach you to grip the magwell with both elbows tucked in, some teach a more aggressive outstretched grip towards the front with thumbs pointing forward, all depends on what you're comfortable with and what the application is. There's probably a million different answers to your question, you just have to start experimenting and see what works best for you in terms of your equipment, grip, and stance.

9unknown is right on the mark. pick up a 2 point sling, not a fancy tactical something, but a USGI Sling Nylon or Cotton sling. Take an Appleseed and you will be taught how to use it in prone, sitting, standing and loop, Hasty and Hasty/Hasty.

sammy
05-23-2011, 6:18 PM
Thanks Brando for the links. But what about offhand? Their is no doubt a shooter can tighten up groups using a neeling or prone position but I want to start with the most difficult position first. My club does not have an area to shoot neeling or prone anyway. Anyone know if Richmond allows this?


Get yourself an AR and start enjoying precision shooting. When you start getting your groups under 1 1/2 MOA you'll be excited and want to do more. Step up to the table and lets do some shooting. I had an SKS once ( Russian ) there was nothing accurate about it. The gun was questionable and so was the ammo. My M1 before it was tuned turned in better groups

My father taught me to drive on a 1973 Fiat 124 Sport with 200k. It taught me 2 things. How to drive a very difficult car and how to work on a total POS. Once I learned how to drive it everything I drove was a peice of cake. My logic is if I can master a less than precision rifle I should be able to pick-up a match rifle and shoot it very well. I do have a match 20" Ar with a Jewell trigger in the safe. If I can get decent groups with the AK I should do great with the AR. Money is going to be in short supply in the coming months so the AK is all I can afford to shoot for a while which is OK. Wife is having a spinal fusion in a month. :(

Thanks all for the help! Sammy

SuperSet
05-23-2011, 6:29 PM
Assuming you're not talking about the HP guys and are talking about a dynamic situation where you are called upon to make offhand shots on demand.. this might help.

About 6:18 in..

hfU1B0R28Cw

choprzrul
05-23-2011, 6:39 PM
A foundation in the fundamentals never hurt anyone: (http://www.appleseedinfo.org/)

http://www.appleseedinfo.org/pics/banner.gif

brando
05-23-2011, 7:30 PM
Thanks Brando for the links. But what about offhand? Their is no doubt a shooter can tighten up groups using a neeling or prone position but I want to start with the most difficult position first. My club does not have an area to shoot neeling or prone anyway.

In my post I talk about standing offhand shooting too.

killshot44
05-23-2011, 7:34 PM
My club does not have an area to shoot neeling or prone anyway. Anyone know if Richmond allows this?

Unsure about Richmond - but members of one of the clubs associated with USI in Concord* can use the 200yd multi-purpose range there where you can shoot prone, kneeling, standing, sitting. Range has target lines at 50, 100, 150 and 200.

* PM for details

6mmintl
05-23-2011, 7:49 PM
Come to Chabot Gun Club (Castro Valley) the 1st sunday of each month at the 200 yard range, we shoot 200 meter offhand silouette at chicken sized steel targets, we have some of the best offhand shooters in the western U.S. in the silouette game.

Everyone helps out.

CSACANNONEER
05-23-2011, 7:58 PM
Come to Chabot Gun Club (Castro Valley) the 1st sunday of each month at the 200 yard range, we shoot 200 meter offhand silouette at chicken sized steel targets, we have some of the best offhand shooters in the western U.S. in the silouette game.

Everyone helps out.

I was thinking about suggesting metalic silloutte to him until I read further and discovered that he was shooting an AK. It'll still knock down chickens but, I doubt it'll knock down most of the rams it hits at 500 meters. But, it sounds like 200 yards is all you've got there so, it would be a perfect place for him to learn and get some good trigger time in.

To threadjack a bit, can you explain what you guys do a little more. Is it some sort of match or just general semi organized plinking? If it's a match, what's it called? Do other ranges hold the same matches?

Eljay
05-23-2011, 8:14 PM
I was thinking about suggesting metalic silloutte to him until I read further and discovered that he was shooting an AK. It'll still knock down chickens but, I doubt it'll knock down most of the rams it hits at 500 meters. But, it sounds like 200 yards is all you've got there so, it would be a perfect place for him to learn and get some good trigger time in.

To threadjack a bit, can you explain what you guys do a little more. Is it some sort of match or just general semi organized plinking? If it's a match, what's it called? Do other ranges hold the same matches?

It's a real thing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallic_silhouette_shooting - at 200m they'll be using scaled targets.

For the OP - I question the urge to learn the hardest way first. It's better to learn skills in isolation and you can get a lot of stuff nailed down in prone where you can really see the effects of your breathing, etc. Nail those fundamentals and you can pick up the details of shooting any style quickly. And, yes, Appleseed does a great job of getting those fundamentals down.

Dannicus
05-23-2011, 9:42 PM
My club does not have an area to shoot neeling or prone anyway. Anyone know if Richmond allows this?



I've never gotten crap for kneeling going prone @ Richmond between benches. Just make sure the guys next to you aren't going to toss hot brass down your neck.

Btw, you can get decently steady offhand leaning back to your right with your left elbow rested on your ribcage like in brando's links. Not the hunched over tactical stance; that'll get tiring quick.

SixPointEight
05-23-2011, 9:54 PM
I've never gotten crap for kneeling going prone @ Richmond between benches. Just make sure the guys next to you aren't going to toss hot brass down your neck.

Btw, you can get decently steady offhand leaning back to your right with your left elbow rested on your ribcage like in brando's links. Not the hunched over tactical stance; that'll get tiring quick.

+1 on this. The Magpul/tactical stance has a purpose, recoil reduction and quick follow ups. It's not a precision shooting stance really. So time to learn yet another method of shooting.

popeye4
05-24-2011, 12:49 PM
Thanks Brando for the links. But what about offhand? Their is no doubt a shooter can tighten up groups using a neeling or prone position but I want to start with the most difficult position first. My club does not have an area to shoot neeling or prone anyway. Anyone know if Richmond allows this?




My father taught me to drive on a 1973 Fiat 124 Sport with 200k. It taught me 2 things. How to drive a very difficult car and how to work on a total POS. Once I learned how to drive it everything I drove was a peice of cake. My logic is if I can master a less than precision rifle I should be able to pick-up a match rifle and shoot it very well. I do have a match 20" Ar with a Jewell trigger in the safe. If I can get decent groups with the AK I should do great with the AR. Money is going to be in short supply in the coming months so the AK is all I can afford to shoot for a while which is OK. Wife is having a spinal fusion in a month. :(

Thanks all for the help! Sammy

Not necessarily. The AK has a tough trigger and a good trigger is important to good offhand (a.k.a., "awful-hand") shooting. You may also devleop bad habits trying to compensate for the AK's limitations, and you'll never really know if any "inaccuracies" are due to the gun or your technique. I haven't bought ammo in a while (I handload my competition rounds), is .223 that much more expensive than 7.62 x 39? If not, put the AK away and get the AR out of the safe.

In Highpower, it is all about getting a solid, reproducible stance that is bone-supported, doesn't rely on muscle strength/tension to keep on target. Trigger control and breathing is also important. There are David Tubb videos on Youtube that will give you a good idea of what is involved. But that is a very specific application of offhand, being good at that probably won't translate into a good, quick snap shot at a deer bounding through the brush (though it won't hurt!).

sammy
05-24-2011, 3:27 PM
Thanks everyone for all the help. I guess from the responses the AR should be the go to gun for learning the proper way to shoot offhand. My AR does have a sling and a hooded match rear sight. Luckly it likes the PMC (3/4" 10 shot group was my all time record) and I have some on hand. If anyone wants to meet up and give me some tips I can come out to USI, Chabot, Richmond or Livermore on Saturday.

popeye4
05-25-2011, 12:33 PM
Take a look at this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dgrU5ydWyY

wooger
05-25-2011, 12:43 PM
I think that for HP or Silhouette you must shoot offhand without a sling, is that true?

Dannicus
05-25-2011, 12:45 PM
Take a look at this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dgrU5ydWyY

Interesting how he loads one round at a time and isn't concerned with placing the sling and or his gloved hand in the path of the ejected casing.

sammy
05-25-2011, 4:58 PM
Take a look at this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dgrU5ydWyY

Wow, he is steady. More gear than I thought you needed but High Power matches are not my goal at the moment.

killshot44
05-25-2011, 5:57 PM
A Shooting Coat is nearly a must.

The Slow Fire strings require single-loading, the Rapid Fire strings utilize the magazine with mandatory mag-changes.

Diablo Also hosts a 200yd Steel Silhouette match every other month at USI. Next one is at the end of June.
We also allow shooters to use a bench with tripod/scoped rifles (Varmint class), makes it MUCH easier.

See you Saturday, Sammy.

Pthfndr
05-25-2011, 6:57 PM
I think that for HP or Silhouette you must shoot offhand without a sling, is that true?

That is true

SixPointEight
05-25-2011, 8:45 PM
Take a look at this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dgrU5ydWyY

That dude puts the aperture pretty much IN his eye. Epic