Most marksmen already know that kneeling and sitting positions are ideal for good marksmanship. And yes, the kneeling position is the fastest intermediate position to assume. However, although kneeling is better than standing, it’s not the most stable intermediate position. But it’s good for low concealment when hunting or low cover in an attack situation.
On the same side as the firing hand, bend down on the knee, with the opposite knee in front of the chest. This gives you three ground contact points, as opposed to two points in the standing position. Also, the non-firing elbow can stabilise itself against your thigh. The caveat is: don’t rest the elbow on the kneecap. Or for that matter: any part of the rifle against bony body parts.
Sitting is by far the most stable intermediate position for marksmen. This is best used for cover or concealment when shooting from prone is too high, but not high enough to necessitate kneeling.
In the seated position, place your buttocks and feet on the ground with knees bent to stabilise the body. You can use several variations such as crossed-legged, open-legged or crossed ankles. For this position, the non-firing elbow should rest on the thigh.
Please note that it’s important to avoid bone-on-bone contact in all positions when stabilising the elbows and knees against other body parts. Also avoid bracing the firearm against these bony or rigid surfaces and structures. Recoil will cause a firearm to shift, resulting in skidding or scraping off hard surfaces.
The importance of grip
A good firing hand grip should have a repeatable position that maintains favourable control over the firearm. At the same time, it should allow measured engagement and disengagement of the trigger finger from the trigger guard.
The support hand
The non-firing hand should be an additional contact point to brace and stabilise the firing hand. For handguns, this will vary according to stance. However, for long-range rifles, the non-firing hand usually secures a grip forward of the firing hand while establishing a third contact point using a stock weld.
For any grip, ensure that both hands are clear of any firearm moving parts, such as hammers, slides and bolt carriers. Otherwise you could do yourself a slide bite or hammer bite injury.
Also remember to keep hands and body parts clear of a handgun’s cylinder gap. The gap between the barrel, frame and cylinder gives off hot gasses with each shot. And these gasses have the potential to cause burns and severe injury.
As a keen shot, practise kneeling and sitting positions for good marksmanship religiously to improve your skills as a marksman of note.
On 29 May 2021, the Western Cape Provincial PRS match kicked off with a bang at Marksman’s Nest Shooting Range. Twenty pros lined up and an explosive vibe prevailed. Congratulations to all the winners.
In the Overall division, Ivan Fourie was first, followed by Schalk Jacobs, Bremer Visser and Mohsin Tajbhai. The winners in the Tactical division were Greg Syes, Hein de Swardt, Kevin Peall and William Gombard. Stephen Cox was the winner in the Classic Division.
A loyal member of Marksman’s Nest and a keen shot speaks out, vehemently opposing the draft Firearms Control Amendment Bill.
Dear Mr M Mtwana, No, I do not support the proposed Firearm Control Amendment Bill. This was published as notice No. 437 in the National Gazette 44593 of 21 May 2021. I hereby reject the proposed amendments in its entirety. It violates my right to life and my right to protect it.
Victim of violence
As a female who has been a victim of violence and crime in this country countless times, it goes beyond my comprehension that government erects road signs such as “Hijacking Hotspot”. This confirms that they know about the criminal elements reigning in this country. However, they aren’t willing to allow citizens to protect themselves. This makes one think whether signs as mentioned is a warning or a suggestion.
As a female having to drive to or from work at night, it has become unnecessarily stressful because of the high crime rates in this country. The fact that we fund our own way to buy a firearm, develop the skills to use it and stay within our rights to possess and carry a firearm, shows our commitment to protect ourselves where our government has failed.
High crime rate
South Africa has been ranked number 3 on the list of countries with the highest crime rate according to the Crime Index Statistics. House invasions, brutal killings, rape, murder & hijackings are daily occurrences.
We as citizens of this country have a constitutional right to defend our lives. At our own cost we arm ourselves and put security measures in place to protect our family and our homes.
In addition, firearm collectors and sport shooting enthusiasts form part of our country’s passion. Strict laws already regulate these disciplines.
I reiterate: a big no to the proposed Firearms Control Amendment Bill.
Published in the government gazette recently, the proposed Firearms Control Amendment Bill has sparked a loaded debate. In a nutshell, the proposed bill states that applicants applying for a firearm should provide a valid reason for gun ownership and that no licences will be issued to civilians for self-defence purposes. The public may comment on the Firearms Control Amendment Bill until 4 July 2021.
The DA said it would vehemently oppose the bill when it came to parliament. Said Andrew Whitfield, the DA’s shadow minister of police, “Should minister Bheki Cele succeed with this draconian legislation it’ll be a victory for the criminals who already enjoy a licence to commit violent crime.”
Bheki Cele’s take
Police minister Bheki Cele said more than 17,000 written submissions had been received since the gazette was published. This number was growing by the day. He said the amendments to the Firearms Control Amendment Bill shouldn’t be interpreted as though government was looking into disarming citizens.
“There’s no right to bear arms in our constitution. The Firearms Control Act in its current form grants no such right to citizens either. Owning a gun in this country remains a privilege made possible through the Firearms Controls Act. Arming citizens won’t solve the country’s high crime rate.”
Andrew Whitfield commented, “Minister Cele has made his views on gun ownership crystal clear on more than one occasion. He wants to disarm law-abiding citizens while his very own SAPS ‘loses’ hundreds of its own firearms into criminal hands every year.”
Petition gaining momentum
The DA has started a petition against the Firearms Control Amendment Bill and 45 000+ people have already signed. According to ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba, “We strongly reject this amendment to gun ownership laws and will oppose this amendment through the appropriate channels. Instead of targeting honest South Africans who are left to defend themselves, SA’s law-enforcement agencies should focus on disarming criminals as part of a holistic effort to turn the tide on violent crime.”
Marksman’s Nest chief range officer Geoffrey Coetzee said, “We at Marksman’s Nest are emphatic about the fact that law-abiding citizens should have a right to defend themselves when confronted by crime. People should not have to live in fear when besieged by crime.” He urged Marksman’s Nest members and guests to have their say on the official participation page of the Firearms Control Amendment Bill and to sign the DA’s petition.
Martin Hood of the South African Arms and Ammunition Dealers Association said they were shocked by the move. He said the proposal was not properly thought through. “This would make South Africans more vulnerable to crime.”