The progression of positions I tested started out from low to high, all supported in the beginning. The next logical step in the progression after shooting from supported reverse kneeling was supported standing. An issue with this position is that there are some variations of the position that depend on what’s available for support. I decided to shoot it with two different types of support. The first will be the subject of this article. The second will be in the next article. 2 + 2 = 4, etc., etc…
The first type of support in standing that I used was horizontal, and it allowed me to rest my body against it. My support was an automobile, specifically my sweet first gen Toyota 4Runner. I have had excellent results with this type of support in the past, and my general results with this automobile have exceeded my expectations, although it can be a little slow to get up to speed and passing must be carefully planned.
There are a couple of issues to be aware of with the hood of the car. First of all, muzzle blast will plant hot black junk on the hood. Knowing that I was going to be doing this ahead of time, I put down some nice linen over the hood (only the best right?). Secondly, if your steering wheel is on the left of the vehicle, shooting from the driver’s side will send the brass at the windshield. In my case this meant that it came back down and wanted to burn me occasionally. I ended up putting a tarp over the windshield as a protective measure for the car. I don’t mind the scars because they look like ringworm and people want to stay away from me (I call this a conversation non-starter).
I couldn’t use a bipod due to the height of the target relative to the vehicle. This would have been a perfect application for one of the front bags I used to sell, but I didn’t have one with me. Sometimes it’s necessary to improvise. I had a wool watch cap in my pack (nights are starting to get chilly) and a boonie in there too. I would have rather have had the boonie on my head because the sun was bearing down, but I needed a front rest. I folded the watch cap in two, put it inside the boonie, folded it over and put my fist on top of the ball I had made. I was not aware of Mr. Winderweedle ready to gun me down with his .275 Rigby at that point yet, so I took my time preparing my impromptu rest. During the excruciatingly slow “slow fire” portion of the test, the hats needed refreshing every few shots to keep them tall enough. The butt of the rifle rested on the car hood.
The one idiosyncrasy of this position that stood out was that being so low on a flat position put my firing hand and arm in the same position as it would have been with an extreme elevated elbow (chicken wing). This is not very comfortable with a vertical grip, such as that on my A5. It altered my grip position, but it didn’t really seem to matter.
This means of support allowed me to really rest my whole body against it. The height of the hood is basically perfect for me, and I encourage you, when shopping for a car to make this the primary attribute you use to choose your vehicle, unless you’re one of those sissies who won’t like all the scratches and powder burns. I used the front wheel to brace my legs on. Yes it looks ridiculous, like maybe I like my car too much (I do like it a lot), but it works and I go with function over form at least 57% of the time.
My target was approximatley 214 yards away from the location I parked my 4Runner. At 200 yards 0.5 mils of elevation had worked nicely for me. Shooter on the ol’ iPhone was telling me that I needed to increase it to 0.6 at 214, which didn’t really sound right, but since a computer said it I should probably listen. Maybe not. I think I need to check some of the inputs to make sure my sight height isn’t wrong on it or something.
My slow fire group was pleasing:
Adding time stress did degrade the quality of the group. It was actually very similar to my prone group with time stress. My notes indicated that it was harder to obtain a steady (non-shaking) hold, and that the rifle from this position has a slight tendency to shift unpredicably, although none of my shots were affected by this:
Adding exertion to the mix really took a toll on my group. I completed 83 jumping jacks in the one minute and it took me approximately 16 seconds to get my 20 pushups in. I felt during this stage as though it was becoming easier to manipulate the ammo and magazines under the time stress and exertion.
Those groups translated to distances on my 4” target as follows:
The big surprise to me was that I shot in this position better than prone in the first two phases of the test. My time stress exerted group was 91.74% as precise as my slow fire group. I think it’s understandable that adding exertion took a greater toll in this standing position than it did in prone, and the toll was significant. The exerted group was 54.96% as precise as my slow fire group. This was the biggest degradation of any of the positions I tested.
There is a little bit of a problem in the predicted distances, in that some of them are greater than the distance that the position was shot from. I’m not really too concerned with anything in the 99% circle chart, but in the 86% chart, my 4″ slow fire circle was predicted as 340.58 yards. This is so much farther than the actual distance tested that I would need to retest the position at that range. It’s likely I would end up with a lower number in terms of the distance. If I wanted to extrapolate the results to a larger target I’d need to go much farther out for testing.
My average split time between shots, excluding loading and reloading was 5.86 seconds (low 3.90, high 8.96) versus the average split in of all positions of 6.53. The large deviation from low to high in this position was caused by having to occasionally ‘refresh’ my front support or reacquire my point of aim. The time to fire my first shot after loading my magazines was 46.04 and 47.00, averaging 46.52 versus the average of all positions, which was 57.33. This position had the second fastest first shot of all positions, approximately a half second slower than the fastest. The total times from loading all magazines and single loading two rounds to my last shot were 121.15 and 107.09, average 114.12, versus the average total of all positions of 134.48. This was the third fastest position of all positions, behind standing and bipod prone, first and second respectively.
The times indicate a very easy to use position in most respects, near the top in most measures, and above average in split times. Combined with the precision and it’s a g-o-o-d position.
A drawback to this position is that the range of elevation is limited. In this case I needed a couple hats to get me on target, although I think the Atlas bipod would have worked with the legs in the 45 degree position.
This position has a lot going for it. This was the most precise for me of all that I tested in the slow fire phase and was as accurate as prone under time stress. Exertion really impacted the precision, so that’s important for me to keep in mind. Your results may vary. Talk to a qualified auto mechanic before trying this test with your own vehicle, yada yada yada.