Basic Rifle Marksmanship (BRM) Series- Kneeling

Kneeling, yup, the knee busting kneeling position. It’s the worst of them all. It takes only a second to drop into it and a few minutes to recover from it. Sure, it has its place, just like they all do but it’s certainly the one shooting position that few like and even fewer love. Actually, does anyone love kneeling? If they do, perhaps a case study could be funded in studying the beast that actually loves this limp inducing shooting position.

Shall we begin?

Now I am not a huge fan of kneeling only because I feel it is typically reserved for a quick stop, pop off a shot and run. It is often barely more stable then standing and fatigue usually sets in faster. I come from more of a competition setting where kneeling was required in a brief moment to either fire under a high barricade, over a low barricade or around the side of a barricade. Kneeling in a combat setting will obviously allow the shooter to immediately present a smaller target and allow that shooter to get back up and running faster than going prone, so it obviously has it’s merits.

I will describe 2 versions on the kneeling. What I consider the Traditional Kneeling and the Barricade Kneeling.

Traditional Kneeling– Usually from the same stance as standing.


Depending on how wide your stance is the shooter can either bend at the knees until the rear knee comes into contact with ground.


Sitting on foot

Or the shooter can begin to kneel and bring the rear leg back and down until the knee touches the ground. In both applications the forward leg forms to create a 90 degree bend in the knee.


At that point the forward support arm is bending at the elbow and just like with sitting, creating a Hard to Soft contact with the forward knee. The support arm and body angle should put the line of your barrel over your knee. May not be exact but should be fairly close. Your torso will also be fairly squared to the target.

The rear leg can be used to support the shooters weight by more or less, sitting down on it. You can lay your foot flat on the ground for more stability but I feel the terrain and situation should dictate your foot placement. For me, I usually don’t lay my foot flat unless I need to get lower under a barricade. Often I like to keep my foot up as it allows me to get back up and running faster.




But if your goal is stability, a flat foot that you are sitting on may be best. If you are interested in 3 position shooting a “kneeling roll” is used to rest the rear leg on at the ankle.


Different Hand Positions

At this point we may as well go over some of the different methods for stabilizing the forearm of the rifle.


Crab Claw (C-Clamp)
With use of a sling this method can create a very “tight” hold.

Fingers Forward


Knuckles (Not recommended)

Barricade Kneeling– In this method the rear leg is the leg that forms the 90 degree angle and the rear arm creates the hard to soft contact on that rear legs. This is a good position if you are behind an object or barricade that will allow you to prop the front of your rifle up allowing you to use your rear knee as a brace. This position can help you lean around corners as well in the kneeling position and still maintain your balance. Vtac barricades and similar are commonplace in multigun competition.




A quick note here, when using any position where the front of your rifle is resting on something, ensure it is NOT THE BARREL. Resting your barrel on an object for support can cause major shifts in POI. This is a topic we will cover more in-depth at a later point.






OK, how is everybody’s knees? Good? No? Ibuprofen is good but limit its use. RICE is always the best after initial injury and let this be a reminder that we all need to get back into doing some squats. Or get younger…

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