Is There a Best AR Hold Technique?
Dr. John Woods 12.07.15
For those of us old school shooters, adapting the new rifle holding and shooting positions takes some getting used to. Raised learning to shoot hunting rifles, most of us were taught to grip the rifle’s stock grip or space behind the action and put the offhand under the front of the fore-end section for support. Though this still works, is it the best positioning for an AR?
I started to take note of the new styles of holding and shooting ARs when I surfed the shooting shows on television, watching the 3-gun shoots and other ARs being shot at the range. Then I picked up on it reading some of the shooting/combat magazines off the rack. Now I am trying some of them out firsthand to see if my accuracy improves. What AR holds are working for you?
Though there are some AR shooters still using more or less traditional rifle holds, the new vogue style is to place the offhand well forward on the fore end, virtually as far forward as the shooter can reach. The idea is to lock that arm “into” the rifle to add stability and a faster recovery from felt recoil.
I have seen shooters cup their offhand under the rifle and some over the top of the rifle’s rail if it does not interfere with the open BUIS sights or an optical sight option. Be careful to take note of that. It does seem practical that moving the offhand forward does add forward support to the barrel that should aid in accuracy and moving the rifle to targets or from one to another in a more fluid motion. The hold appears sort of kin to holding a bow at full draw.
Other AR holding options include gripping the forward part of the magazine well. There are even accessory attachments to place there with finger hold gripping surfaces. Likewise there are devices now to attach on the under rail called rail handstops that can be pushed against by the web of the offhand or by the thumb.
There are also vertical grips that can be attached under the rail, too. There are multiple designs of these intended to be held tightly by the offhand to add controllability or stability to the rifle.
The bottom line is to find an AR hold that works for you whatever the style may be. What is your style?