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|Feb 6 2012, 4:56 PM EST (current)||LJ126||44 words added, 11 words deleted|
|Feb 6 2012, 4:52 PM EST||LJ126||8 words added, 1 word deleted|
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The "Chicken's Wing"
I'll be honest, this is a topic that I see get thrown around a whole lot on esteemed mall ninja circles such as the Youtube shooting community and Arf-dot-com, and it's really appalling how little some folks actually know about the topic. There's a lot of misinformation out there, and while I don't claim to have all of the answers, I do have some. I feel there's some clarification needs to be performed on this often misunderstood topic.
What is the "Chicken Wing?" The chicken wing refers to the firing arm of a long-gun shooter, and more directly, it's position in relation to the rest of said shooter's body. If the elbow is pointed more or less down - as many tactical and modern Olympic shooters do - they are supposedly shooting correctly. Now, think of your whole body as a clock - your head being 12 o'clock, feet being six. If your elbow is above what would be the 3:30 or 9:30 position (right and left arms, respectively) the shooter is supposedly guilty of "chicken winging" and often accused of being a novice marksman. The latter, my friends, is not always correct. Note the image above - betcha there's a reason his elbow's up.
In short, the so-called "chicken wing" isn't always inappropriate - sometimes, you might want to be doing it. Depends on the long gun, it's stock configuration, and whether you're going to require rapid fire or "pie" your way around a corner, or if you're going to require a stable, consistent firing position for slow-fire precision sessions. You should learn what's correct for a given situation and do what is most comfortable and consistent for you. Comfort means you'll keep doing it, and consistency means accuracy. Hits count, missing does not - no matter how cool you look while you're doing it.
If the rifle you are firing has a full pistol grip on it (AR, AK, some shotguns, most modern semi-automatic rifles) and you will be required to make multiple, successive shots, your elbow should be down. Not only will the grip be more comfortable on your wrist, this position reduces the affects of recoil due to successive firings and helps prevent "breaking the plane" while maneuvering around a corner. ObviouslyOlympic formarksmen thesearen't situations,worried elbowabout downtactical ismovement, goingbut totheir beweapons are generally equipped with pistol grips - hence why they usually shoot with their elbows down. However, when their stocks looked more like the ones mounted on preferential.conventional hunting rifles, their elbows were up.
If your elbow is up - like a "chicken wing" - several things happen. Put your finger in the shoulder pocket between your clavicle (collar bone) and your shoulder. Lift your elbow, and note that the pocket becomes LARGER. This is good you are shooting a very high recoil rifle, or require consistent stock toe placement when shooting from the standing off-hand or kneeling positions, as there's a little more surface area to mate with the butt of the rifle. Also, if you are shooting a straight-grip or semi-pistol grip stock, having your elbow almost parallel to the ground facilitates a better firing grip, though this will vary from shooter to shooter and from stock to stock.
To summarize, for those too lazy to read the above:
When is the "Chicken Wing" inappropriate?
- During "tactical" maneuvering in the confines of a building -- so that your firing elbow is less exposed
- When the long arm you are using has a defined pistol grip -- for a less awkward wrist position
When is the "Chicken Wing" possibly a good thing?
- When firing a long arm with a traditional semi-pistol grip or straight-grip stock
- Standing off-hand, using a hasty sling
"Hits count, missing does not - no matter how cool you look while you're doing it."