There are 3 main positions every shooter should try to master. Each one has advantages and disadvantages, learning these will help you become a better shooter. There are of course more than three positions you can fire a gun from, but mastering the main three is important.
The first position is a simple standing position. Some things are the same no matter if you’re shooting a pistol or a long gun. Your knees should be slightly bent. This will help you move faster, if you have to, and absorb the gun’s recoil. The main advantage of the standing position is mobility. Mobility can help you move to cover/concealment faster or move more aggressively toward your target. A secondary advantage is speed in reloading, it’s much easier to access a pocket or chest pouch while standing than it is while prone or kneeling. The main disadvantage is that while standing you present a large target for whoever is shooting back. I recommend using that mobility to take cover if it’s available. A secondary disadvantage is a lack of support for your gun. If you’re holding your gun yourself your accuracy won’t be as good as if your gun was supported somehow. Standing is by far the worst position to find yourself in when the lead is flying. There’s a reason most fights start standing and end up in either prone or kneeling.
Next is the kneeling position, my personal favorite. There are a few variants of the kneeling position but they all offer a smaller target and better support than the standing position. A smaller target is never a bad thing to be in a gun fight, it’s quite simple really, the smaller you are the harder you are to hit. Whether you’re supporting your elbows on one or both knees your accuracy will be greatly improved. Disadvantages in the kneeling position largely depend on the shooter. An older person can have trouble getting into or out of the kneeling position, especially if they’ve had knee or hip injuries in the past. Heavier shooters can have trouble balancing on one knee while performing reloads or transitioning to another gun. Younger shooters, especially those in the military, can have trouble holding the prone position when carrying heavy packs. It’s not easy for a 170lb soldier or Marine to hold a 70lb pack relatively still and stable while trying to engage an enemy.
Last is the prone position. It offers exception cover/concealment and weapon support. Weapon manipulation suffers greatly while prone, it’s not easy to access magazines while you’re laying on them. Mobility suffers as well, it takes much longer to get moving from prone than it does from standing or kneeling. On hard surfaces the prone position also leaves you more susceptible to shots hitting in front of you and skipping into your face or shoulder. The prone position also greatly limits your visibility.
I want to wish everyone a happy New Year, hopefully you’re starting with a clean slate and a clean police record!