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Shooting and practicing from a shooting bench is the best way to get comfortable with your rifle. However, you should also learn to be comfortable from a standing position. Here are some tips on stance and grip that will help you become a proficient rifle shooter.

When shooting a rifle standing, you should stand perpendicular to the target with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart.

Person in tan sweater standing shooting rifle

Photo by NSSF

For a right-handed shooter*, the left hand holds the forearm, with elbow pointing down.

Instructor demonstrating proper rifle holding

Photo by SIG SAUER

The right hand holds the rifle grip, elbow pointing out but not exaggerated. The butt of the rifle should be snug resting in your shoulder pocket. The grip on a rifle is the area of the rifle stock allowing you to safely position your right hand to manage the safety mechanism and pull the trigger. It allows you to place your thumb over the top of the stock with your fingers underneath holding tight to the vertical portion of the stock and your forefinger along the trigger guard.

Side view of rifle shooter with blurred rifle's fiber-optic sights

©2020 Krasula/Shutterstock

Note for MSR (modern sporting rifles) that have a foregrip, the left hand holds the foregrip instead of the forearm.

When shooting from a bench rest, the shooting-hand grip is the same, but the rifle forearm arm could be supported by either your hands with your elbow resting on the bench or from a shooting bag or rest.

*Note: Left-handed shooters use the same position and grip but with opposite hands from the right-handed shooters.

Person shooting from benchrest looking over the top of the rifle

Photo by NSSF

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