Revolver Shooting Position

The following information comes from Manual of Police Revolver Shooting by R. M. Bair. Manual of Police Revolver Instruction is also available to purchase in print.

Before describing the proper Position, it will be necessary to establish two definite lines, so that the proper Position of the feet may be determined. They are namely the Firing Line and the Line of Fire. The Firing Line is the line upon which you stand at the time of firing. It is a measured distance from the face of the targets and runs parallel to the target line. The Line of Fire is an imaginary line from the muzzle of the revolver to the face of the target, and runs at right angles to the Firing Line. Fig. 1.

Shooting position figure 1

To assume the proper Position of the feet, if firing with the right hand, step forward with the right foot, pointing it 45 degrees to the left of the Line of Fire. The left foot is placed 18 to 20 inches to the rear, the heel several inches forward of the Line of Fire and the foot pointing parallel with the Firing Line. Fig. 2.

shooting position figure 2

To assume the proper Position of the feet, if firing with the left hand, step forward with the left foot, pointing it 45 degrees to the right of the Line of Fire. The right foot is placed 18 to 20 inches to the rear, the heel several inches forward of the Line of Fire and the foot pointing parallel with the Firing Line. Fig. 3.

shooting position figure 3

The officer should sketch the two lines (Firing Line and Line of Fire) on the floor and mark the location where the feet should be placed for the right and left hand position of firing. He should now assume the position of Attention standing on the Firing Line at the point the Line of Fire intersects, facing the target. At the command Fire (which he can give himself) he should practice swinging into the proper position until he can assume the correct position, if firing with either hand, quickly and with ease. Should emergency arise or the command Fire be given on the range, by the Range Officer, he will then be able to carry out quickly and correctly the first Principle of revolver shooting. Fig. 4

shooting position figure 4

Figure 4.— Showing proper position of the feet when firing with the right hand. Left arm to hang at side of body. This position makes the body the smallest possible target and relieves Muscle Strain.

Several very good reasons for placing the feet in the proper position at the time of firing are as follows:

  1. It will prevent Body-sway, and it will greatly assist Holding should there be a 9 or 3 o’clock wind blowing, for the reason that the officer has formed part of a triangle by placing his feet in this position and he will not sway very readily over the hips.
  2. It makes the body the Smallest Possible Target to the adversary. This is a very important factor to the officer, for if he faced the adversary fully, he would present a larger target.
  3. By assuming the proper position, the officer will prevent Muscle Strain. If he faced the target or adversary fully, he would cause strain in the back, shoulder and arm muscles, making him very unsteady in his Hold.
Revolver Shooting Position Quiz
  1. Name principles of revolver shooting in their proper order.
  2. What is meant by (a) Firing Line? (b) Line of Fire?
  3. For what purpose are the two lines (Firing Line and Line of Fire) established?
  4. Describe the proper position of the feet when firing with the (a) Right hand. (b) Left hand.
  5. What causes body-sway at the time of sighting and firing a revolver?
  6. Give three reasons for standing in the proper position at the time of firing a revolver.
  7. After the command Fire, what is the first principle to think of if firing with the left hand?

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