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Forum Index > Precision long range hunting and shooting > Shooting position, holding the rifleforend

Shooting position, holding the rifleforend

13 Jul 2017
@ 09:43 pm (GMT)

Anders Österberg

Hello, Greetings from Sweden 👋

I have a hard time to deside what shootingpositions I should stick with as a general setup for hunting....
I shoot a Tikka T3X Varmint 308win of bipods

I have struggled with the "stright behind the rifle" , but it feels aqward and the more normal position with a slightly offset feels a lot better but have thoughts on I've doing it wrong, even though I see a lot of... most Americans... Varminters and for ex GunWerks that shoots that way with good quality.

I shoot pretty god groups around 20mm but occasionally get flyers to the double.

I tried Nathans "hold that forend" but get bigger grups around 35mm but more stabile...without flyers.

I just looked on THLR on YouTube and wonder what you guys think of it and what I should focus on....?


14 Jul 2017
@ 08:48 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Hi Anders, welcome aboard. It sounds like you have made a good start by reducing fliers. That is good to hear.

The video you linked is yet another case of the blind leading the blind. There are major flaws in his foundation. I seldom swear on this forum but I will say this here- these shooting videos are total cluster fucks. I hope that each and every one of you are clear on this. Get it through your heads, the folk who teach these methods do not have transferable skill sets. These guys actually make shooting more difficult as the systems fall apart once we get into (as an example) hill country terrain. The shooter loses both time and accuracy with these methods.

I will not go into this anymore here. I have put years into offering free info on this site. If you want to learn solid shooting methods, then please buy and read the shooting book. The book series helps to fund this site and puts food on our table. The 'hold that forend' article is just a stub. The shooting book will build you from the ground up. The shooting technique I teach has nothing in common with your video link. My Tikka video series goes into specifics on the Tikka, but I would prefer that you read the books first and use the videos (or first video) to cement this information.

To my clients- if you watch the video Anders linked (heavy barrel 6.5x55), you should be able to see errors immediately- day 1 rookie stuff. I do not want you to point these out here on this forum. Just take note of them.

15 Jul 2017
@ 09:14 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
This morning when fired up my computer, I was thinking that perhaps I should not be so harsh regarding some of this youtube material. Everyone is after all simply trying to find their own way through life. But when I opened my mail, I saw the following comments regarding the video in question. The tone of the language shows the level of annoyance:

Why bother - its like going into the ring, throwing some kicks which you've never thrown before and saying - 'look they don't work'.

What a f---n joke - did multiple things wrong in relation to the methods. All of those things have a major affect on grouping capacity, a recipe for shit groups...totally missing the point.

Its disappointing, a sloppy attempt to undermine other people's methods (or products) with no consideration for the truth - not educating, just feeding propaganda, and whats really f---d is that a huge majority will buy into it.

His words (I have not practiced this before, so I might miss some finer points) - no shit, that's why your groups are shit. What did your groups using you're benchmark method look like on day 1?

"I'll not invest time to bring those techniques to benchmark standard"- says it all...but ill invest in propaganda.

It is certainly good to see folk who are very passionate about optimal shooting technique.

None of this is of immediate help to you Anders, a 'right fight' argument is certainly a turn off at the best of times. The thing is, I very often have to break many of my own shooting rules to take a shot. Different situations (terrain) can call for different methods However this requires a strong foundation to begin with. Recently, I took several shots that were at such a steep angle that I had the toe of the butt stock touching the ground and had to use my mid to lower bicep to absorb magnum recoil. The range was 300 yards and I needed to take three shots quickly but with great accuracy. To achieve such a thing, it is important to learn the the basic rules before you eventually break them. In this manner, you can adopt a poor position (bicep could be considered a very poor method) but use other aspects of your training (methods) as countermeasures. This is not something that can be covered in one simple online post. Nor can it be covered in a 5 minute blog video.
15 Jul 2017
@ 09:26 am (GMT)

Thomas Kitchen

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
HI Anders
I thought I would just add little bit if you haven't already ordered books.
I have been asked few times how many rounds I can put through my rifles before I get a sore shoulder.
The answer is I don't get a sore shoulder, I shoot decent rounds to but I follow the techniques Nathan clearly spells out in his book.
The main one being a saying about butt stock placement.
There was so many ah ha moments when reading the book.
All the info is there it's takes practice to put it into action but it's all there.
I find the mental side of shooting the hardest part. the relaxing and getting into the zone.
I shoot decent recoiling rifles and I would be lost without the book.

15 Jul 2017
@ 07:36 pm (GMT)

Mike Davis

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
yip get the books and read them twice to let it start to sink in..... at 45 years old I started reading and yip....lightbulb moments started to pop from about 30 pages in onwards.
watched a chap Ive never hunted with before today absolutely smoke some wallabies at 150-300 yards from good prone position over daybag.... and I mean absolutely smoke them...rifle was a lightweight .270 win which has had suppressor fitted..... he killed 5 from 5 straight off, the first three were without moving position at all..... good shooting position and form ( from reading on here etc) led to good results,it was a pleasure to watch through binos from over his shoulder...the sunlight glinting off rear of projectile in flight was a bonus.
keep up the great work Nathan & Steph.
17 Jul 2017
@ 06:16 pm (GMT)

Anders Österberg

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
The E-book downloaded 👌
Beginning to reed tonight 🔜
01 Aug 2017
@ 10:24 pm (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Hi Anders,

I hope you're enjoying the book. Let me encourage to stick with it and practice it.

I have a rifle that is capable of 0.3 and smaller groups with factory ammo thanks to the information found in the book series (accurising and shooting books). I working on my own form. I shot a 0.8MOA group (5 shots) off my field pack this Saturday just gone.

The time and effort you put in will reap much reward. It's a great feeling when guys look at you funny for shooting off a pack but your groups are tighter than theirs on their bipod!

Enjoy mate :)
06 Aug 2017
@ 07:42 am (GMT)

Anders Österberg

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
The book is read.
I have to say THANK YOU !!

After I read it the first time I tried the concept with the backpack but didn't get it all.

Because of the wrong angles, I also got to much tension on the left chest muscle when resting on the elbow insted of the chest, the muscle was cramping when going to bed, ha ha.

The groups were, despite the discomfort, generally better than my average shooting so I know I was on to something.

Read the book 2 more times and practicing at home on the floor, got it.
Was a really new experience, a nice experience!

Next time I took! Rifles with me , a Sako 222,. Husqvarna 1640 kal 6.5x55 with a Boyds Classic stock, and my Tikka T3X Varmint SS 308 win.

First out the 222, I really just wanted to check the sight., 3shots in 10mm.
Second the Husqvarna, tried first some leftover 130gr Hornady sp. I knew that it was in the 30mm range due to previous bench shooting (not Nathan-style), anyway... Shot 8 shots in approx 20mm, amazing!

Then with the same rifle I shot 4 shots of 123gr Lapua Scenar in 11mm.

Next the Tikka T3X with 155gr Lapua Scenar with 44gr N-140 Vitavuori powder.

The first 3shots was in a slightly oval hole and shot 4 and 5 opend it up to 11mm, the best group I have ever shot from a prone position!

Took 20 more shots on paper and I think none got more than 10mm from where I was when the shot went off.

The new shooting position lends to much nicer recoil.., and the consequence was that I got less prone to flinching and could better see exactly where the crosshair was when the shot went off, very nice ;-)

I then shot at 490 meters and there was no bad shots, only bad wind calls, ha ha.


It's very peculiar that YouTube and internet forums have lead to a shooting position that make it more difficult to shoot than necessary.

The trend has even caused rifle stocks to evolve to fit the wrong position.
I had to get my kydex-cheekrest as low as possible to get god sight picture...

This was only the second time I practiced this style so I will probably post more on this forum.

06 Aug 2017
@ 08:05 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Hi Anders, that is great to hear, well done. Your persistence has paid off. I can only lead a horse to water, it is up to you guys to do the rest. Again, well done.

Note, I have edited your English translation above while removing some of the finer trade secrets. Others keyed into this post will however get to read the original. Hope that's OK.
06 Aug 2017
@ 08:18 am (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Anders terrific outcome, another "light bulb moment!!"

Now you will be able to understand the thoughts & passion in the comments listed above, these are from shooters just like you or me. We have been through what you are experiencing and going against many of these supposed experts, trends or writers teachings can be challenging at first.

I had a fella say to me Monday "oh, sandbags & a sling, keeping it old school".
l just chuckled and watched his Bipod bounce all over the concrete table and the resulting 2" groups.

06 Aug 2017
@ 06:12 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Yeah some guys think that a 4 inch group is good enough! They don't care enough to think or think enough to care? If there's No app for it then it obviously can't be done. ......! Seams to be their bipodual thinking ...... Sad to see the skills of old being lost through ignorance and Bullshitters . Maybe you should have to pass accuracy , empathy and Common sense tests as part of obtaining a firearms license?
24 Sep 2017
@ 04:21 am (GMT)

Shawn Bevins

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
I will say this... It takes a longer time to unlearn poor form than it does to learn the right way in the beginning. (been there done that).. I commend you on seeking out knowledge and information but beware the internet (you tube & various forums) is loaded with typer snipers. Cluster fecks for sure..
The books (all of them) were a good read for me and helped me in many ways.
Best of luck to you in your quest for accuracy.
27 Sep 2017
@ 08:50 am (GMT)

Anders Österberg

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
I have used the Nathan metod now for about 2 months and I am still amased how well and natural the method works!

I have now got comfort with the new angels and don't strugles so much as before.

Like Thomas Kitchen said..
Now I don't get a sour sholder like before when the coallarbonejoint have to soak up all the recoil... , And the outcome of that is that I get less recoilsensitive and can get better triggermanegment, very god!

The One thing that I think the "StirightBehindTheRifle" is better at is that it's easier to see what happend on the target or game...
Maybe that I still have some finer points to learn that take care of that...?
It's still nicer to "hit" than "see" when I miss.. ;-)
27 Sep 2017
@ 10:20 am (GMT)

Andrew Murray

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Anders, your journey sounds like it has been overwhelmingly rewarding. More than that, the experience is something you will never lose.

Well done man!
13 Oct 2017
@ 08:04 am (GMT)

Anders Österberg

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
I was looking trough my targetpotofolio the other day and found this target that I'd shot yers ago but pussles me every time that I see it...
The story is that I shot a 100m bipod-group with the ordinary StirightBehindTheRifle and sandsack buttsupport , I shot several... But this was among the best..

Then I got tired of that, and trained on sitting with my back against a tree and a high cross-stick-rest as support, the range was 235meters...
Very surprisingly the group of over the double range was almost half the size...?

But now I have figuring it out... ;-)

I did "holding that forend! " !!!

When sitting and shooting, the riflebutt-position automatical getts out where it should !,
and holding the forend made it perfekt!

21 Nov 2017
@ 09:56 pm (GMT)


Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
I was classically trained with a loop sling and you always held the forend. Then I went to a long range precision rifle training school and was taught straight back behind the rifle with rear hand on a sandbag instead of the forend.

This is a free recoil technique and it works (kind of) only if the rifle you are shooting is very heavy. Many tactical rifles are 15+ lbs. (7kg) for instance. So you can do this kind of sloppy hold not controlling the forend and you can get away with it on flat ranges and no weird angles, and mild/moderate recoil from smaller calibers. But the minute you go to a lighter weight hunting rifle or you get into strange positions then the technique is no good. The forend bounces all over the place and the slightest angle on the ground will send the rifle recoiling away in the opposite direction.You can clearly see and feel this when you don't hold the forend.

I read Nathan's book and went back to how I was originally taught to shoot and my accuracy with lighter weight rifles has gone back up again. Plus, I can now comfortably shoot without a bipod crutch in weird positions and know I will be accurate.

Now when I watch YouTube videos I see so many people not holding the forend. I can't even watch them shoot, I just immediately look at the forend bouncing on each shot. Then they always pass judgement on the rifle saying this or that is inaccurate. But clearly you can see that the inaccuracy is because they are not holding the rifle as intended and the rifle is bouncing all over the place like a ping pong ball.

Nathan is of course correct and teaching classic marksmanship technique applied to improvised field shooting positions. If you follow his advice you will not get a sore shoulder and will be much more accurate than the free recoil shooters in field situations when things aren't perfect (as they never are).
22 Mar 2018
@ 07:05 am (GMT)

Anders Österberg

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Hello again.
Now several months later with hundred of bullets shot from different grounds and rifles I must one more time salute this book ! !

The only negative about the book is that I should read it year's ago...;-) I sold my last rifle because after changing the barrel to a lighter profile , it didn't shoot anymore...only with light bullets...

Naturally it was me that could not handle the extra recoil ...

Happy anyway, the new Tikka is a real shooter .. and now I'm up to the task, with help from "TheBook"

Ditto what CR said about Youtube ... it's hard to look at...
22 Mar 2018
@ 08:35 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Great to hear Anders. You will now be at a point where your technique is so vastly different to others that not only are you seeing how technique effects accuracy but also, you will be noticing that to utilize the poor techniques that are now trending, the rifles have to be set up poorly. For example, you will see how that in order to accommodate the poor methods, optics have to be set right back. Every aspect of the shooter and rifle becomes bastardized beyond any sense of normality.

When it comes to your own shooting, you will now be in a position where you can break your rules. You can shoot using different methods and from different positions with great success, all based on a solid foundation.

If only hunters could understand just how far trends and visual imagery have removed us from any sense of normality. To truly see this as it is, is shocking to say the very least. To see just how much this has effected the industry, how it has dumbed down shooters world wide.

We went to the city yesterday. There was a guy walking in front of us wearing what I call "I just shit myself' pants. These are pants that are designed to look like they are falling off you. The guy was having to waddle to keep them up. It really looked like he was wearing a nappy with a full load, Steph could not stop giggling as he did his side to side shuffle. Perhaps I should have dumped him on his ass and asked him if we wanted changing. In any case, it is surprising how far a young man will go to follow a trend. I mean seriously, you ask any young woman if they want a man who looks like a jobless yob that has just crapped himself and the answer will most likely be no, but somewhere and somehow, these young guys are getting the message that looking like a complete f---g idiot will bring them happiness. The shooting sports are not actually all that different.

Well done Anders, I can only lead a horse to water. The rest was up to you.
27 Mar 2018
@ 10:39 pm (GMT)

Jon Short

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Nappy pants, he he... awesome Nathan! You’ve gotta be a complete nob jocky to waddle around like that.

Cool to read a post where once again someone gains so much from your website, books & sound advice.

09 Sep 2018
@ 11:00 pm (GMT)

bryan long

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
One thing I wonder about is the need to avoid the hand sandwich.

Fairly often I get prone and will hold the forend resting my hand on softground, stones, low walls etc.
But what I'd have almost always done would seem to have been in a sandwich?

it's faster than dropping a pack especially for fast shooting, in situation like that should i go for a sling/monopod like in the book? or just get the pack down and quit my bullSh*T?

10 Sep 2018
@ 06:52 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Hi Bryan, sometimes these shots have to be taken in the manner you mention. What you will find is that by simply being being aware of cause and effect, you will minimize fliers.

The closer the shot, the less time we have for set up and so we have to make do. At closer ranges, some degree of error can be acceptable provided we have enough power to get the job done.

The longer the range, the more time we need to take with prep.

If you want to, try experimenting with a couple of shots over a firm pack with a hand sandwich. But again, the very act of being aware will already limit errors.

I'll hash this out more in upcoming videos.
10 Sep 2018
@ 07:36 am (GMT)

bryan long

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Thanks Nathan, I was thinking a shooting set up and rests video would be class.
11 Sep 2018
@ 03:56 am (GMT)

Paul Leverman

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Yet another testimonial to good technique. While at the range....does this sound familiar? Just look around while cooling your barrel, and you'll see what happens when you don't follow your sensei's teachings. It is sad and disappointing to see such nice rifles handled and shot with such high disregard for the inherent accuracy they could produce. It makes you feel like you should approach them and say something like "You know, these rifles are tack drivers, if you want them to be." Or maybe just slip a piece of paper into their kit with the site's url . But every once in a while, someone will impress you with correct technique, followed by good groups, not the usual 1-1/2" - 3" shot patterns that are "good enough".

Slowly but surely, one problem at a time, Nathan's guidance is giving me the solid foundation to shoot clover leafs. I can't begin to thank you enough, Nathan. Like Anders said, I wish I had this knowledge decades ago.
11 Sep 2018
@ 07:40 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Just a pity not all people see it this way. Still some sit in their armchairs, never put the methods to practice, compare this theory to that. They are like the scholars in Miyamoto Musashi's writings who were never seen on the battle field, the paper-only shooters of the Samurai era.
18 Sep 2018
@ 07:04 am (GMT)

Anders Österberg

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
I follow a youtuber , Jonny's Reloading Bench.
He tests a bunch of different bullets and powders , and the idea/concept of the YouTube channel is realy interesting, BUT.... it feels that he can just not shoot....🤔
Ther is seldom any trends in the test ...just inaccuracy...

I first think it was due to that he often shoots autos..., but sometimes he shoots a Tikka 308 ...., but no luck...

I tryed to inform him on the comments that he should try to hold he rifle ...
But he just didn't want to anderstand...and say that he got some 1/2 groups

In the video in the link he trying a good rifle , a good bullet and a very good cartridge that somewhere in that powdercharge increments should have some kind of trend...

A stiff bipod on a hard bench with
crossed arms and no control of the rifle .... it's sad on a good concept of videos..😪
18 Sep 2018
@ 01:44 pm (GMT)

Anders Österberg

Re: Shooting position, holding the rifleforend
Finaly a video of someone haven't jumped on the bandwagon ...

"This simply works...." 😎


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