On a Field Target course there are likely to be several compulsory kneeling shots. These often cause problems for shooters who regard the kneeling position as relatively unstable in comparison to their usual sitting position. In fact a properly constructed kneeling position is almost as stable as sitting (or indeed prone). The ISSF shooting disciplines involve shooting in the kneeling position and whilst the Field Target style may have grown from this it differs in many ways.
The kneeling positions of many successful Field Target shooters may outwardly seem to differ a
great deal. No other shooting position is so dependent on the relative lengths of the various limbs of an individual. However closer examination will reveal that fundamentally they all share the same underlying features.
The main difference in the Field Target kneeling position is the fact that it is often set up without the use of a sling. This means that if the position were adopted in the ISSF style with the elbow on or over the knee joint, the rifle would be very unstable laterally. To combat this the elbow is positioned behind the knee joint to allow the forearm to lie along the line of the thigh. This gives more lateral stability and allows the leg to bear some of the weight of the upper body to enable less muscular effort to be used.
Upper body :
With the majority of the body weight on the right heel the upper body can be relaxed so that the remaining load is taken on the left forearm. The back takes on its natural curvature and the shoulders are relaxed. The left hand supports the gun without steering and the right hand holds the pistol grip with a moderate pressure. The right arm is relaxed but does not ‘hang’ from the grip. The head is basically upright and tilted forward to give best balance. With the muscles in this ‘neutral‘ position the gun must point naturally at the target.
Supporting the Rifle :
The most stable support for the fore end of the rifle is if it lies in the flat of the palm with the weight on the heel of the hand. However because the left elbow is often well behind the knee joint a higher hand position is required. These hand positions are often an adaptation of those to be seen in the standing position.