There is often questions asked regarding the positional quirks of shooters as well as why equipment is placed in a certain position. The easiest answer to these questions is “is there because that shooter has found it better for them”. But what does that really mean.
Shooting is an individual, closed skill sport. Everybody is unique in their body composition and what works for some people, won’t alway work for others. This is valid for both extrinsic and intrinsic factors (or the inner and outer position). For example, many shooters choose to use a fist on the support arm in the standing position. I personally cannot use that position because my forearm is comparably longer in proportion, than my neck. This results in the rifle pointing really high and when I attempt to balance the rifle back out, my head doesn’t sit high enough to see through the sights (yeah, complex I know). This knock on effect, affects me mentally because I have this constant battle ongoing which distracts me from concentrating on the shot process. Next time you have an itch, try not scratching it when it appears, its the same thing!
For this reason I use a flat hand as my support point for the rifle. Yet other shooters don’t have this problem.
For every part of the rifle and the shooting position, there is an optimal position that will be unique for you. It’s your job (and a task of effective training) to work out what needs to go where, so that you can shoot with minimal interference and distraction.
The example that brought about this piece was relating to a foresight that was positioned midway along the foresight rail. That shooter had most likely spent a couple of training sessions testing the position of the foresight along that rail to ascertain what looked best, and did it perform. Now they had found that position, they have the confidence to know that they no longer need to worry about if it was right. In turn this allows them to spend their valuable time concentrating on the more uncontrollable factors of their shooting performance.
It is easy to find optimal positions of any part of the shooting position. Set the part you are working on at one extreme, shooting some groups (also rate how it felt, we need to consider the intrinsic here too!). Move the part along and shoot again repeating until you have travelled from one extreme to the other. It’s usually a great idea to re-test your findings the following day/session to confirm your results. Don’t forget to use your training diary to note down your results and any comments/observations you had during it.
And there we have it, the reasons why shooters sometimes have quirky anecdotes to their shooting positions/equipment, and how you can be quirky too!