Shooting from supported positions fundamentally changes how you use your body to stabilize your rifle. Dave Luu, founder of the Mid-Atlantic Rimfire Series, knows this very well from his experience in Precision Rimfire Shooting competitions with .22 rifles. These competitions require shooters to shoot from kneeling positions that offer physical objects to support the rifle while shooting. However, this poses a challenge for traditional kneeling positions.

Standard, unsupported kneeling is a traditional shooting position for marksmanship. The technique requires the shooter to support the weapon with only their body in a kneeling position, normally with one arm braced on top of the raised, non-shooting-side knee. This traditional type of shooting is designed to test the marksmanship capabilities of the shooter.

Marines participate in Table One of their annual marksmanship qualification at Camp Pendleton, California, April 20, 2016. (Photo: Cpl. Asia Sorenson/U.S. Marine Corps)

But this method isn’t terribly well suited for precision shooting that involves dynamic movement and barriers that mirror the more practical shooting scenarios found in PRS competitions. In fact, even the Marine Corps' Annual Rifle Qualification – nearly unchanged since the early 1900s – is now moving away from the old, unsupported shooting techniques and more toward practical marksmanship similar to PRS – enter “reverse kneeling.”

Reverse kneeling is particularly effective when you are able to use objects to support the rifle. Tree branches, barriers, windows, and a host of other objects can provide more stability by supporting the front of the rifle. This shifts your need to support the rifle with your body to the backend side of the gun.

The ability to support the front of your rifle on other objects provides additional stability while shooting, but it shifts how you support the rifle with your own body. (Photo: Don Summers/

Reverse kneeling switches the knee that is placed on the ground to the non-shooting side of your body. This allows you to raise your knee on the shooting side of your body to stabilize your rifle when supporting it on another object. 

Reverse kneeling changes which knee you place on the ground for stability. (Photo: Don Summers/

Your shooting arm can now rest on your raised knee. This allows you to change the height of your kneeling position in many different ways while still providing a lot of stability to the rifle itself. You can change your arm position on your knee to raise or lower your position, and you can now add support accessories, such as bags, to your rifle. It also makes it easier to maneuver around obstacles. 

By resting your arm on your knee in reverse kneeling, you can easily adjust your position without losing stability. (Photo: Don Summers/

The end result of reverse kneeling is faster, more accurate shots when shooting from non-traditional, supported positions. In PRS, that allows the shooters to quickly navigate obstacles and use them to their advantage when engaging small targets at long ranges. Give it a try when you get a chance to shoot from a supported position. You’ll quickly discover the benefits it offers for adjusting your body and supporting your rifle at the same time.

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