In shooting sports like NRA Action Pistol you are allowed to shoot from prone. This position lets you to set your handgun directly on the ground, greatly increasing your stability and ability to shoot accurately. The time constraints in action shooting events don’t allow for dilly-dallying though and to reap the benefits of shooting prone, you need to get down to the ground, fast!
There are 2 common ways to get into the prone position quickly. I like to call them low- and high-impact prone. Like its name, high-impact prone has the greatest potential for body slamming as you go from standing to the ground in one motion. This type of prone is ideal for shooters with enough upper body strength to allow them to support and lower their body weight with just one arm.
Low-impact prone reduces your chances of knocking the wind out of your lungs. It is suited for shooters who do not feel comfortable with high-impact prone and lack upper body strength to fully support their body weight with one arm. Because your knees absorb the initial shock in low-impact prone, you may wish to invest in a pair of knee pads.
The first step for both types of prone addresses the importance of drawing your firearm from the holster. In order to go prone safely, it’s very important that your gun has completely cleared the holster. After the start signal, move your hand to your firearm, get a firm grip on your gun, draw it from the holster and then make sure it is pointed down range as you move into prone.
Low Impact Prone
Remember, in order to gain the most benefit from shooting in the prone position you’ll want to rest your handgun fully on the ground. Keep in mind that the closer your are to the targets the more difficult it will be to get into prone, rest the gun on the ground, and acquire your sights. If at all possible, ask the range officer if you can take a sight picture before you shoot to make sure you will be able to acquire a sight picture on your targets from the prone position.
Which is faster? It depends. It’s not a matter of how fast you can hit the deck. The critical part is how fast you can get into a proper firing position. If you’re not sure which prone is ideal for you, you don’t need a range to find out. Make sure you have no ammo around and during your next dry fire session, practice both versions. Choose the prone that works best for you.
This Retro WON post was first published on July 7, 2014.
Julie Golob is one of the most accomplished professional shooters in the world and captain of Team Smith & Wesson. She has won more than 120 championship titles in international, national and regional marksmanship competitions in seven different shooting disciplines. Learn more about the champion, author, veteran, hunter and outdoor television personality at JulieGolob.com. View all posts by Julie Golob