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RangerTrace

Tips for shooting pistols in the Prone position

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I need them.

 

We had a prone stage at a recent IDPA State match.  While I didn't do great, I didn't have any mikes either.  I had to put together our qualifications and training for the west side of Company "B", and I decided to set up a drill that required going prone to hit a "C" zone steel target at about 40 yards.  While I can easily destroy my co-workers on pistol shooting in the standing position, virtually all of them toasted me on the drill that required us to shoot the pistol prone.

 

I tried another 3 mags of ammo, once we were done and I still couldn't find the sweet spot for my sights.  I'd done this before and remember leaning to the side worked pretty well.  Nothing worked for me today.  I hope I never have to shoot from underneath a car, but just in case I do, I hope someone here has the magic potion answer to shooting prone with a pistol.  (iron sights)

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Do you wear prescription glasses? Are you looking over the top of your frames?

Are you actively pushing your forearms down onto the ground? This can change the elevation of your point of impact.

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No prescription glasses,  I remember a part of Brian's book where he describes laying the arm out on the ground with your cheek on your arms.  Whatever,  couldn't make anything work!

 

 

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What were the restrictions on the prone position? Did you have to be laying head towards the target, or could you lay with feet towards the target and resting the gun hand on one or both legs? 

 

For my own use (not competition with rules, just what works best for me) I lay with feet towards the target. Off hand either supporting/raising my head, or up on that elbow. Right leg (when shooting right handed) is bent at the knee and laying partly over the left, with the gun hand rested in the outside crook of the knee. The shooting arm ends up pretty much straight, and driving the shooting fist into the back of my right calf right at the knee. That's sorta hard to describe, but very stable for distance shots and works well for me. Just don't do that with a revolver unless you use a leather pad between gun and knee. 

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Prone, straight behind the pistol, is hopeless for me: awkward, not much stability, and iron sights end up so close that I can't see them. Given the chance, I want to be at an angle, with the strong side arm on the ground, and head resting on that arm.

 

Even on my side, like standing but horizontal, is better than straight behind the gun: at least I can find and see the sights. I just might need to adjust my aiming point to account for the canted pistol.

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9 hours ago, Yondering said:

What were the restrictions on the prone position? Did you have to be laying head towards the target, or could you lay with feet towards the target and resting the gun hand on one or both legs? 

 

For my own use (not competition with rules, just what works best for me) I lay with feet towards the target. Off hand either supporting/raising my head, or up on that elbow. Right leg (when shooting right handed) is bent at the knee and laying partly over the left, with the gun hand rested in the outside crook of the knee. The shooting arm ends up pretty much straight, and driving the shooting fist into the back of my right calf right at the knee. That's sorta hard to describe, but very stable for distance shots and works well for me. Just don't do that with a revolver unless you use a leather pad between gun and knee. 

There weren't any restrictions.  You just had to be laying on the ground.  I've only had to shoot prone in a match 2-3 times in the last 10 years, which is why I haven't taken the time to see what works for me.  I need to change that.

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google "rollover" prone to, perhaps, gain some ideas.

 

Essentially as I believe Brian described, but maybe the videos will help.

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10 hours ago, RangerTrace said:

There weren't any restrictions.  You just had to be laying on the ground.  I've only had to shoot prone in a match 2-3 times in the last 10 years, which is why I haven't taken the time to see what works for me.  I need to change that.

I tried to put prone in State match last two years and RM frowned upon it as being impossible for many shooters. I love it personally. 

  Use low targets in your drill if you can or go prone on a platform maybe.

  Whatever you do make sure to turn your hat around or take it off.😂

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On 10/18/2019 at 11:42 PM, Yondering said:

What were the restrictions on the prone position? Did you have to be laying head towards the target, or could you lay with feet towards the target and resting the gun hand on one or both legs? 

 

For my own use (not competition with rules, just what works best for me) I lay with feet towards the target. Off hand either supporting/raising my head, or up on that elbow. Right leg (when shooting right handed) is bent at the knee and laying partly over the left, with the gun hand rested in the outside crook of the knee. The shooting arm ends up pretty much straight, and driving the shooting fist into the back of my right calf right at the knee. That's sorta hard to describe, but very stable for distance shots and works well for me. Just don't do that with a revolver unless you use a leather pad between gun and knee. 

Anytime I’ve seen prone at matches they’ve specifically stated you can’t shoot like described. Too much risk I guess, they want everyone to leave with the same amount of toes that they came in with. 😮😎

 

I remember the 1st time I encountered prone at a match and there were 4 steel poppers. Think I emptied a whole mag trying to hit those things. It’s definitely humbling   

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Anytime I’ve seen prone at matches they’ve specifically stated you can’t shoot like described. Too much risk I guess, they want everyone to leave with the same amount of toes that they came in with.


What type of matches were these?

USPSA matches are shot freestyle, legal if you don't sweep yourself. Likely to make people nervous, but legal.


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I too would go with the rollover prone technique. I find a lot of people who go prone try and put their eye to the sight. When you go down, being your sight to your eye when looking at your target. It will feel more natural when you shoot. 

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Either use roll over prone or in line prone. Don't hold the gun off the ground you'll fatigue your muscles. Adjust your support hand grip like a golf club so the bottom of your support hand is in contact with the ground and the rest of the hand is on the grip. Only drop your support hand as low as needed to get a proper sight picture.

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