5 Tips to Make Your Rifle Standing Position Better

Rifle Standing position - tips to help you shoot gooder.

One of the most common positions that people use when they go to the range, whether it’s for competition or training is the standing position. There are a few things you can do with your rifle standing position to make you faster, more accurate, more consistent, and maybe even reduce fatigue. Here’s a GunMag TV video lesson that can help you keep your shots on target in a more consistent way.

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This article originally ran in December 2019.

Rifle Standing Position

Like Shaw demonstrates in the video above, there are a couple of things to check

  1. Pull the buttstock back tight into your shoulder and push down with your face for good cheek weld.
  2. Avoid squeezing the pistol grip too tightly, because you want to maintain trigger-finger dexterity.
  3. Get better control of the pivot point by placing your non-firing hand thumb on the top of the handguard.
  4. Leaning slightly forward of the centerline of your body weight.
  5. Load most of your body weight on the left leg.

Trigger Finger Dexterity

“I don’t have too much squeezing happening in my middle finger because I want some dexterity in that trigger finger. If you make a fist and stick out a finger, squeeze that hand really tight, you’ll find that you lose a little bit of dexterity…If I release these fingers a little bit, I get a lot more dexterity in the trigger finger. It allows me to manipulate that trigger finger a little bit faster.

Rifle Standing Position - don't squeeze the grip too hard because you want to maintain trigger finger dexterity.

Don’t squeeze the grip too hard – remember, you want to maintain trigger finger dexterity.


Control the Pivot Point

Shaw says that even though you can shoot with the non-firing hand on the magwell, handguard, or foregrip, you’ll get better control of the pivot point if you hold it by the handguard with your thumb on top.

Rifle Standing Position - Get better control of the pivot point by placeing your thumb on the top of the handguard.

Shaw demonstrates how to get better control of the pivot point by placing your thumb on the top of the handguard.


Stand up in a tall natural stance, abdomen tight, with your body slightly leaning forward. Load most of your body weight on the forward leg. The taller you stand, the more information you gain which is key for better performance in a competition or a fight.

Shaw says, “I’m standing up tall. I’m not in some Groucho, super-duper swat stance, which is unnecessary—it’s actually counter-productive. The higher I am, the more information I get…I can see into and over dead space.”

Try out these tips next time you’re at the range and let us know what you think.

GunMag TV

GunMag Warehouse is developing a badass YouTube channel. Take a minute and check it out.

GunMag TV: the GunMag Warehouse YouTube channel

Check out other shooting drills, tips and hints to promote accuracy, and techniques for shooting more accurately on GunMag TV. It’s like the Hallmark Channel, but about guns and gun magazines (and it isn’t painful to watch).

It probably wouldn’t hurt you to follow Gunmag Warehouse on Instagram either. That’s “@gunmagwarehouse“.

Check back frequently to see more videos about shooting good guns even gooder (or for that matter shooting bad guns and even ramen noodle guns even gooder).

More Handgun Skills from GunMag TV

Watch the next video to see why you need better AR-15 magazine followers.

Rifle Standing Position - Lead to next video: Why you need better AR-15 followers.

Watch the next video to learn why you need better AR-15 followers.

Reminder from the beancounters: If you’re looking to make a change (or upgrade) your firearm, we have several varieties of pistol sights available at GunMag Warehouse.

Stephanie Kimmell is the firstborn daughter of Missouri’s Pecan King, worthy scion of a Vietnam veteran sailor turned mad engineer-orchardist-inventor-genius. With a BA in technical writing, she freelances as a writer and editor. A Zymurgist greatly interested in the decoction of fermented barley and hops, she is in many ways a modern amalgam of Esther Hobart Morris, Rebecca Boone, and Nellie Bly. She hunts, fishes, butchers, and cooks most anything. When not editing or writing, she makes soaps and salves, spins wool, and occasionally makes cheese from cows she milked herself. Kimmell is a driven epistemophilic who loves live music and all sorts of beer.

1 comment

  1. reaganisashamed 13 January, 2020 at 22:53 Reply

    Good article and video… I have found adding a thumb rest to the fore grip greatly increased my control when firing my AR.

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