Analysis of Supported Sitting

I don’t know if I’ve ever actually shot in live fire from this position.  I allowed myself a little bit of range experimentation to find what seemed to work the best with the support I could find.  I started out with a variation of open leg sitting, as it is one of the more practical variations of the unsupported variety of sitting.  Here are some photos of my experimentation in that position.




I was using my support hand to pull the rifle back into my shoulder from the forward sling stud.  Looking at the photos, I think I would have been better off using my firing hand for that and planting my support elbow on my leg for better steadiness.

After some experimentation I ended up preferring a cross leg position with the support.  This afforded me the ability to plant both elbows.  Note that I was squared up with the rifle rather than bladed, and that I did not use a sling for support.  I find it unnecessary to use the sling for as a shooting aid when using actual support under the rifle.  Ideally the bipod would be loaded, but there’s not much give in a Harris bipod on a smooth wood surface.  A pack, bag, or other rest probably would have been about as good.



The distance to target was 203 yards.  It was approximately 77 degrees and the density altitude was approximately 4000’.  Keeping in mind my previous elevation correction and point of impact, my correction this time was 0.5 mils.  There was almost no wind and my wind correction was 0.0.

Slow fire (approximately 30 seconds per shot):

Supported Seated Slow Group

Time Stress:

2- Supported Seated Time Stress Group

Time Stress Exerted (77 jumping jacks in one minute immediately followed by 20 pushups in 16 seconds).

3- Supported Seated Time Stress Exerted Group

In terms of distances to hit my 4” target, if I allow for what I would consider a reasonable margin of error in most circumstances, my distances are as follows:

Maximum Distance 86 supported sitting

If I reduce my acceptable margin of error, my effective distances are reduced accordingly:

Maximum Distance 99 supported sitting

I simply added the results for this position to the chart that I had for bipod prone.  I will continue to add them as I analyze new positions so you can compare the positions.

The Time Stress group deteriorated to 87.88% of the slow fire group’s precision in this position.  The Time Stress Exerted group was 75.13% as precise as the slow fire group.

The average split time excluding loading and reloading for the Time Stress Group was 8.30 seconds.  The average split of the Time Stress Exerted group was slightly faster at 8.04 seconds.  The overall average split time for this position was 8.17 seconds (fastest 5.60, slowest 13.16).  This is slower for the average split time of all the positions, which was 6.53.  I take that to mean that the lack of control at the forward end of the rifle cost me some leverage to operate the bolt more vigorously.  A slow split could also mean that obtaining an acceptable sight picture was more difficult than average, but that was not the case with this position.

Beginning with this position I took the time to load both mags prior to firing the first shot in the Time Stress and Time Stress Exertion strings of fire, and I think that it’s worth it to note the time of the first shot.  It’s a good indicator of how ‘fussy’ the position is in the acquisition of natural point of aim.  My first shots in those strings of fire respectively were 52.94 and 50.0, averaging 51.47 seconds.  The average first shot time for the nine positions tested was 57.33.  My total times to load the magazines, load the rifle and fire the ten shots were 130.7 and 127.4, with the times averaging 129.05.  The average total time for all positions was 134.48.

What the above seem to show is that this position, compared to other positions, lends itself to slower follow up shots, but allows for faster first shots on average with close to average ease of other gun handling, such as loading.

I thought the precision of this position was decent especially considering it’s a seated level position and I had not shot from this variety of the sitting position before.  If prone is not an option this position is good, but there are better.  You’ll just have to wait and see on that.

2 thoughts on “Analysis of Supported Sitting

  1. As usual, your approach to practical riflecraft is sound- I really find it useful how you have expressed your max range at 86% and 99%- would help with shot planning and decision making.

    Everything I used to carry had to have at least two uses- the drag strap from my drag bag also served as a shooting strap in the open legged sitting position, ankles together, uncrossed. The strap wrapped around the outside of my knees and across my back at about the level of my lower ribs. This gave me a sitting position that was comfortable and stable enough that I could hold it, but without a lot of extra gear to hump around. ( its a little tougher to hold these days, I seem to be a little less “all round athlete” and a little more just “all round”…)

    • Ben,

      Thanks. I’ve had a lot of help getting the stats squared away and I think it’s really filled in a blank space as far as knowing what I can and can’t do (with a bold, static target).

      Your approach to gear redundancy makes a lot of sense. I think one of the keys to being able to use it is to have a way to deploy it quickly and efficiently, as Mr. Winderweedle pointed out in his comment about my gloves.

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