Hip-Shooting a Rifle or Shotgun

Yesterday, I described a “sightless” shooting technique that can be combined with quick-draw.
Today I will briefly look at hip-shooting with a rifle or shotgun.
Truth told, I dislike both the terms “hip-shooting” and “snap-shooting”.
Many of the shooting techniques that do not require seeing the sights are not from hip-level, so I prefer to think of them as “sub-shoulder level shooting”.
The term “snap-shot” conjures images of a rapid shot from the shoulder.
Snap-shots, to me at least, seem more akin to the firing techniques of Quick-Kill or the shotgun-inspired methods in “Shooting to Kill”. Such techniques are described on other pages I have written, and are also described in “Survival Weapons”.
Also, I have become aware that in some previous eras the term “snap” was used for dry-firing a firearm.


For the modern user of shotguns or rifles, the low-ready position is often used. It has a number of virtues:
• If you are going through a door, it does not leave a weapon sticking out that can be grabbed and pointed heavenward. If someone does grab you or your weapon, putting a round in his legs is still possible. Not something you can do from high-ready!
• The low-ready allows an firearm to be rapidly shouldered, allowing a fast sightless or sight-aimed shot, as appropriate.

Low-Port Carry

Low-port carry in WW2

The widespread use of the low-ready is apparently a relatively new innovation.
I came across this interesting article, discussing how soldiers in the Second World War actually carried their rifles.
If you have a Mauser, Arisaka, Mosin–Nagant, Garand or Lee Enfield, a low-ready carry will place the muzzle quite close to the ground. Add a 10 to 17 inch sword bayonet and you can see the low-ready is less useful than with a modern weapon.
The carrying methods most often seen in wartime photos are the high-port, trail-arms and a position modern reenactors call “low-port”.
Low-port had the rifle held approximately horizontal and often part of it was at hip-level.

Hip-Shooting from Low-Port


With this information in mind, it is clear that the “snap-shooting” method the marine advocates in the 1944 article above is literally hip-shooting with a rifle.