How To Hold A Rifle Steady Standing

Are you improving your skills as a rifleman and expanding into the standing position? Are you trying to increase your accuracy while maintaining this stance? Maybe you’re used to a certain position and want to explore different positions while standing that offer more support and more accuracy?

Whichever brought you here, we got othe answers on how to hold a rifle steady standing. It’s important to understand this stance in full detail so you can ensure you are practicing correctly. If you practice right and often you’ll increase your accuracy and results higher than you ever thought possible!

Essentially, the important aspects to focus on are how you’re going to hold the rifle while standing. You will train yourself to be aware of your body posture and the best way to hold each body part to reduce the use of your muscles having to cause a counterweight to maintain your balance.

It’s important to keep in mind certain aspects of how you hold your body like your shoulders, your head, your neck and of course your arms. By the time we’re through here you’ll have all the minor aspects in the back of your mind to work on over time and also the overall positions that you can utilize based on your circumstance.

how to hold a rifle steady standing

The Three Positions

There are three standard positions in which you offer different levels of support to your rifle through the way you hold your arms. There are a few different methods and the names of these positions are not concrete and differ between different groups of gun enthusiasts.

The first position involving, free arm, involves having your arms with no support and the ability to bring the rifle to your target quickly to fire a shot. Both your arms are extended as you are using this position to save time and won’t have time to move into the other two positions.

The next is considered an action position. You could assume S.W.A.T or military would be using such a position. This includes your trigger arm to be set aside your torso to give support to the weapon while you’re support arm is outstretched and holding the weight of the rifle.

The final position, the resting arm position, allows your support arm to be crouched onto your chest for additional support and steadiness. This takes the most time to acquire the stance but will give you the most support and accuracy in your shot.

All of these positions require you to be mindful of how you hold your body as a whole to hold your rifle stead while standing.

Your Feet

To allow you to use the above positions we will now show you how to place your feet and soon move into your hands and the rest of your body! You’re feet should be placed shoulder width apart but know that the further you hold your feet apart, the lower the aim will be on the rifle.

Your weight should be above your feet but with a slight lean forward. Leaning forward will help reduce the recoil of your gun and again, improve your accuracy. You want to keep your left foot, or right foot if you shoot left handed, pointed towards the target.

Remember, the rifle aims where your body aims as a whole.

Placing Your Hands

When you are concerning yourself with your hands you will want to place your non-trigger arm up at the length of the rifle, supporting the barrel. It’s good to consider using a sling when in the standing position with a rifle.

A sling, when used properly, will push the rifle back into your shoulder and allow you to use your support arm as just support without having to actually grip the rifle. You can watch here to see how to properly use your rifle sling.

Your trigger arm will be held in the shape of a chicken wing with your elbow pointing out from your shoulder. This will allow you to have a proper space on your shoulder for the butt of the rifle to sit in.

Make sure that when you are holding the rifle like this your finger will only be able to touch the trigger. This will lower any chance of the rifle moving as you take the shot.

Your Legs

This part of your body is generally easy to maintain, but very important that you do maintain. You want to keep your legs relaxed and not locked.

Locking your knees can restrict blood flow and even cause you to faint in extreme circumstances. It also good to keep relaxed from a shooting position as this will keep all of your motions steady and fluid.

Upper Body

The upper body of your person will want to have a slight lean forward for the recoil and also to adjust for the weight of the rifle. In combination with this, you will keep your shoulders aligned to stay in line with the target to allow the butt of your rifle to rest on the ball of the joint at your shoulder.

The support elbow should be underneath the rifle to give it the added support and stability. You will keep your elbow rested against your body if you are not doing a free arm standing position for a quick shot, as well.

Using these tips will help you advance along into the Master Class ranking more quickly and also with more knowledge to be able to share with others and also help them improve.

Finally, Your Head

You will hold your head vertically. This is the natural position of your head when standing even without a firearm. It is key here to adjust the rifle to your head position and not vice versa.

If you attempt to train your head to be able to rest a different way to match better with the rifle then you will find that you might have a harder time keeping your balance. It will at least be slight enough to interrupt your accuracy of a good shot!


Now you have it! You are fully informed on how to hold a rifle steady standing. With this information, you will be able to bring more game home from hunting and raise into a master class sportsman if you desire! You understand the different positions in which to hold the gun and most importantly how to hold your body when firing from the standing position. We wish you the best of luck and remember – stay safe!

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