Two of the most important maxims in the tactical world are “maximize your distance and minimize your exposure”. You cannot always control these conditions, but when they are present you want to exploit them big time.

Get Behind Something

When we look at typical scenarios in an urban setting where you might respond with a defensive rifle you quickly realize the distance is short. Shorter than you might think. The approximate distance of an intersection is 100 feet and most full size trucks are 20 feet. These approximations give us a visual interpretation of distance. The point I’m trying to make is distance is well within the performance capabilities of a good aggressive standing or off-hand position. At these distances using a position for stabilization seems a bit overkill, unnecessary and time consuming. Why then would I still want to develop my shooting positions. The answer has to do with minimizing your exposure or taking advantage of cover and concealment.

Improve Your Position

In an urban environment it is far more likely shooting positions will be used for protection from enemy fire or detection. When we understand the terrain, we use the terrain to our advantage. Not everything will stop projectiles from striking soft targets, but anything is better than nothing but air. The next series of maxims would be to “improve your position and/or improve your weaponry”. Getting behind something is a great example of improving your position. However, once you are there being able to return fire to stop advances and flanking maneuvers becomes critical.

The Laundry List of Positions

Get behind something or get small

We break shooting positions into three heights; high, medium and low. When it comes to a high position there is standing and the high squat. Standing is pretty obvious, but the high squat gets overlooked. It is nothing more than a 3/4 traditional squat. Of course any shooting position will be dependent on the situation and the height of the object. When the high squat becomes to strenuous for long term use we move to medium heights. You have the high knee, supported kneeling, hunters kneeling and double kneeling. When double kneeling is too high or strenuous you move to low height. Here we have sitting, prone, supine and urban prone positions. That’s a lot of different positions to practice. If I had limited time to practice all of them, I’d pick five to do really well. Standing, high knee, double knee, prone and urban prone would be my picks. Between these positions, you should be able to address most scenarios in an urban environment.

Is The Juice Worth The Squeeze

We spend so much of our training and practice shooting standing the other positions get little attention. Having a familiarity with them is one thing, being able to drop into the position ready to fire is a whole other problem. On top of that, being in an urban environment typically means things are developing quickly. Positions that take long to assume and recover from may not be worth the squeeze. Even at the extreme ranges of urban environments such as 50 yards you can return accurate fire quickly from a standing versus taking what little time it would take to assume a kneeling, any kneeling position to return accurate fire. So going prone is even worse.

Go Kneeling For The Win

In an urban environment, I put more stock in kneeling and various adaptions of kneeling over prone. The key is being able to adapt each of these positions to best accommodate the shot required and the type of cover or concealment present. You may find the height or angle is off just enough to increase muscular fatigue and decrease stability. Adjust, even if it is not the textbook position if it solves the immediate problem that is what matters. What I try to do is take each position and further adapt them to hybrid positions. I take the advantages from each and exploit them. What allows me to do this is a deeper understanding of each position. With this deeper understanding you know where you can push and pull.

Urban environments call for quick thinking and aggressive action. If you can take advantage of the terrain it greatly improves your survivability rate no matter the type of encounter.

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Trident Concepts
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