The Proper Ways on How to Hold and Shoot a Rifle

The best shooting experience and skills do not only depend on the equipment and accessories you have. It also requires discipline and proper body positioning. Thus, it is still best to learn the proper ways on how to hold and shoot a rifle.

A true sharp shooter displays proper forms and habits which help him gain a steady and accurate position while shooting. This article aims to provide you the needed information for you to develop good holding and shooting techniques. So, read on and learn how to do it, the professional shooter way.

The Proper Posture

Aside from learning the basics in handling and cleaning your gun, part of being a responsible gun owner is learning how to handle the rifle steadily to ensure safety and protection. However, it would be best for you to learn the proper posture when aiming and shooting as this will help you have a steady rifle handling even without a shooting rest.

Balance is one of the most vital things to gain a proper shooting technique. It is very essential that one has the most stable position of having no balance adds movement to your rifle while aiming and shooting.

For you to achieve such proper posture, you have to keep the weight of your body and rifle vertically and directly over your feet to prevent being off-balance which will directly result for you to force your muscles to make the adjustments and hold your balance.

1. Proper Position of your lower body parts such as the feet, legs, and hips

These body parts can do the trick in achieving the proper posture required to have a balanced and powerful shooting experience.

  • Feet

Your feet should be positioned well; it should be shoulder width and make sure that your right foot is 90 degrees from the direction of the target. The left foot should be slightly twisted towards the aim.

  • Legs

Make sure that your legs are not in locked position by making them straightly relaxed.

  • Hips

To assist your elbow and allow it to rest against your full body, your hips should be marginally forward. However, this adjustment may not apply to everyone as it depends on the size and the shape of the person.

2. Correctly position your upper body

For you to fine-tune the weight of the rifle, it is best to lean your upper body slightly towards the rearmost foot. One thing that you should remember is the extent of lean that you should perform on the shooter’s height and weight. So, always take into consideration that your upper body and weight of your rifle need to be balanced comfortable.

  • Shoulders

Your shoulders should be aligned with your target to allow the rifle’s butt part be handled more on the ball of the shoulder instead of inside it.

  • Left Elbow

Your left elbow should be placed just under the gun, and it should rest touching your body to support the rifle’s weight directly and to gain stability.

3. Head Position

To ensure that the sense of balance is maintained, it is important to keep your head in an upright position.

Handling the Rifle Steadily

Once you have already assured yourself that you have the capability to achieve the desired and steady position, it is about time that you learn to hold the rifle steadily without the aid of a shooting rest. The following are the steps to achieve satisfaction in handling the gun.

  • Shooting with Two Hands

Using the two-handed grip technique is one effective way to shoot correctly and accurately. So, take the weapon with your dominant hand since this offer an extreme degree of security when shooting. Your middle, ring and pinky fingers are recommended being wrapped around the base of the rifle just beneath the trigger guard.

Then, on the uncovered portion of the grip, the heel of your non-dominant hand should be placed so that it fills the spaces. Place the thumb of your non-dominant hand just under your dominant hand’s thumb making sure that it is resting against the frame. The four fingers such as the index, middle, ring and pinky fingers should be wrapped firmly around the base of the grip.

Shooting with two hands may be uncomfortable for beginners, but it is best to be reminded that the goal is to fill the open spaces around the grip since this will reduce the gun’s recoil and increase control of the game.

  • Apply the proper posture techniques discussed above
  • Determine your dominant eye

Extend your arm while holding your index finger below your target in the distance using your both eyes to know which one is your dominant eye. Then, do the same things previously indicated while closing one eye at a time and when the object moved from the original position when both eyes were open, you are using your non-dominant eye.

  • Be in your ready position

In your ready position, prepare your aim using your dominant eye while extending your arms without locking it.

  • Pull the trigger then fire

To have an excellent trigger management, your distal phalanx (or commonly known as the center of the first part of your index finger) should be in contact with the entire trigger. Then, press with direct pressure.
Then fire once your front sight is clear and is focused on the target. Always remember to press the trigger controllably and not to anticipate the shot as this means dropping your front sight and see where the bullet lands.

Now that you are now more equipped with the best ways to hold and shoot a rifle, you should be more confident and comfortable now. However, there is nothing more realistic way to be better at this venture than practicing regularly.  So, practice more and apply what you have learned in this article and do not forget to enjoy your every shooting experience!


Author Bio:
Kevin Steffey is an avid hunter and freelance writer. He loves spending time in the field with his rifle more than almost anything else, and occupies his off-time discussing deer and their habits online. He is a founder at

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1 comment
Wendy Duckworth says January 22, 2018

Thanks for the very straight forward directions, tips & terminology used in your article on how to hold & shoot a rifle. Needed to know due to hubby giving me my first rifle for my birthday.

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