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Barricade Shooting: How to Build a Shooting Platform

Often, during competition shooting, a match designer sets a barricade somewhere within a stage. As a competitor, it’s important to know how to shoot from various ports and steps. For successful barricade shooting, a shooter must build a sturdy shooting platform for the firearm. 

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Gear Up is sponsored by Springfield Armory

The Barricade

Although there are numerous barricade designs, they all contain various ports and steps. One of the most common designs is the Viking Tactics (VTAC) Barricade, which is what I used for the following demonstrations. Note: An UNLOADED Springfield Saint Victor was used in all the photos. 

c clamp 1

The C-Clamp

One of the easiest ways we (at Cerino Consulting & Training Group) teach to mount the rifle to the port or step is with a C-clamp effect. I try to get a few fingers over the top of the hand guard while my thumb wraps around the bottom (creating a “C”).

c clamp 2

Then, I grasp the surface I’m shooting from with my other fingers, clamping the hand guard into it as tightly as possible. I try to C-clamp into the corner of a port or step for even for contact. 

c clamp 3

Building a Shooting Platform

For the most stable shooting from any type of barricade (or other object) with a rifle, it’s important to create the most points of contact possible. Also, depending on the barricade’s stability, I may either push into it, or pull on it. 

barricade standing

Standing

When approaching a barricade where I must shoot from an upper step, I first get square to the barricade. My feet are flat on the ground and I push into the barricade as much as possible. With my support hand, I find the easiest way to C-clamp the hand guard to a surface. 

cerino 1 knee

Kneeling 

Depending on the height of the area I need to shoot from, I may choose to kneel on either 1 or 2 knees. If the height is low enough, my first choice is to kneel on my front knee. This is the knee on the same side as my support hand, the one that holds the hand guard. I get my rear foot flat to the ground and use my rear thigh to support my rear elbow. When possible, I also try to sit on the foot of my front knee to add more points of contact. 

cerino barricade 2 knees side

If the surface is too high for 1 knee, I then go 2 knees down. This is like standing, with my body square to the target, but I’m on my knees. Again, pushing into the barricade helps with stability. 

Cerino barricade 2 knees

Other Rifle Shooting Tips

Don’t rest your barrel on the surface you are shooting from. Your bullets will not impact where you expect. Instead, the bullet will impact in the opposite direction of where the barrel is touching. 

Keep your fingers away from the muzzle brake. I’ve witnessed what happens when someone placed his thumb close to the blast. The gasses coming out are extremely powerful. It was not pretty. 

If you end up in a position that doesn’t seem stable, it takes a moment to adjust yourself. Don’t waste time struggling and making up shots that don’t hit the target.

Real World Barricade

Some may think shooting from a barricade is just part of competition shooting … I beg to differ. For those who are hunters, the same concepts apply to trees, branches, logs and any other objects you may shoot from in the woods. And then there are also self-defense situations or the zombie apocalypse. 

  • About Michelle Cerino

    Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, is the managing and social media editor at The WON. Michelle is the president of Cerino Consulting and Training Group, LLC, a firearms training company she built with her husband Chris in 2011. Her path in the firearms and outdoors industries is ever progressing. She is writing, hunting, competing and doing contract work for major manufacturers.