Off Axis Shooting

Aaron Cowan of Sage Dynamics discusses and shows a slight variation of off axis shooting. I usually see off axis shooting in 3Gun competitions where the shooter has an angled sight zeroed differently than his or her main sight. This way you can stay zoomed in for longer range targets and rapid transition to the angle sights for close range targets.

Aaron Cowan uses dual red dots on one of his rifles. But the second angled red dot is not for different distances but rather for better concealment and ease of use when shooting prone.


Traditional Prone shooting

Off axis vs prone 1

Off axis prone shooting

Off axis vs prone 2


The determining factor of off axis shooting is usually shooting underneath concealment, There is a problem that arises and that is the bullet trajectory of a canted rifle. For those not familiar with with off axis/canted shooting this may be helpful.

Off axis cant

Off axis cant 2


Here is a screen shot of the target from 100 yards. Circled in blue is from the traditional prone position. Circled in red is from the canted prone position.

Off axis target

Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

Any questions please email him at


  • Orion Quach

    He always seems like a cool cop.

  • JumpIf NotZero

    More articles like this.

  • RealitiCzech

    A little over a half-century, and we’re finally realizing that the Brits might’ve had a point with the side-mounted magazine. Not to mention the Germans, Italians, and Japanese.

    • Don Ward

      So the side mounted magazine on the Sten in World War 2 made it easier when you’re… *wait for it*… Off Axis Shooting?

    • S O

      Side-mounted mag doesn’t reduce the profile much unless the grip is on the side as well.
      I remember there actually were a few rifles with a grip angled to the right. Some FG 42 prototype maybe?

  • Core

    To further clarify this method was developed by NSW and Fleet Training Activity Instructors. I was trained to utilize this method with Pistol and Rifle by what was then Blackwater FTA. The proper method is to make a fist and anchor the back of your support hand on the ground and rotate out to fortyfive. The method varies between pistol and rifle, where you place the magazine base plate in the lower palm of your support hand. The rifle method utilizes fist planted palm up on foreand. Anchoring the hand is critical, the above video instruction does not emphasize anchoring the hand properly. This method was designed to address shooting from under shipping pallets, raised containers, vehicles, and from hull of small boats in maritime environments. The same method is used for shooting under vehicles, it allows the operator to gain line of sight on standing targets from under cover. I remember during a 300 second qualification we were required to take down numerous tangos clutching hostages with both rifle and pistol using iron sights under a pallet. If you try it for the first time ensure to anchor the support hand on the ground and exercise strict muzzle control especially around steel and concrete barriers! Safety first.

    • Nicks87

      Sound advice but… C’mon, “take down numerous tangos” ? Nobody cares how tactical you are, bro. It sounds pedantic.

  • S O

    One problem of angled sights for shooting in anger situations is that you need to expose yourself more when shooting around a house corner.