Shooting Off The Magazine Monopod – Savage Joy!

By John Farnam

Nic Taylor shooting off the magazine.
Pro shooter Nic Taylor shooting off the magazine.
Defense Training International, Inc
Defense Training International, Inc

Ft Collins, CO –-( AR Monopod

When shooting ARs, and most other rifles that accept AR magazines, from the prone position, a thirty-round magazine can be used as a monpod for increased stability. It is just a matter of lowering your body until the bottom of the magazines meets the deck.

This technique enables most shooters to achieve a high level of stability, a level unobtainable via any other posture.

Some will argue that allowing the magazine to thus touch the deck will throw the next shot off target, but we’ve made good use of this technique for some time now, and that contention has demonstrated itself to be untrue, at least at the ranges where we commonly shoot.

I think this technique represents a valuable addition to the Operator’s toolbox, but it will not work with a twenty-round magazine, nor a forty-round magazine. The former is too short, and the latter too long.

For this, and other reasons, I regard thirty-round magazines to represent the best option for ARs

We’ve conducted Urban Rifle Courses in NJ and other states where non-police possession of thirty-round magazines is restricted. Fortunately, there are always sufficient “loaners” about so that all students can experience the above technique.

Precision placement of high-velocity projectiles into targets at ranges beyond what is normally considered effective for pistols is the reason we keep our military rifles close at hand. “Accuracy” is, of course, a relative term, but competent Operators, using their personal rifles, can be extremely effective at any range where a legitimate threat can be perceived and identified.

Maintaining a high hit-probability with every shot launched, regardless of range, is the mark of a competent Operator. Accomplished Operators know or to use sights, run triggers, and decisively employ positioning and every other available advantage to maximize opportunity for victory.

That is what separates the live professional from the dead amateur!

“Only a fool wants war, but once war starts, it cannot be fought half-heartedly. It cannot be fought with regret, but must be waged with savage joy!” ~ Bernard Cornwell


About John Farnam & Defense Training International, Inc
As a defensive weapons and tactics instructor John Farnam will urge you, based on your own beliefs, to make up your mind in advance as to what you would do when faced with an imminent and unlawful lethal threat. You should, of course, also decide what preparations you should make in advance, if any. Defense Training International wants to make sure that their students fully understand the physical, legal, psychological, and societal consequences of their actions or inactions.

It is our duty to make you aware of certain unpleasant physical realities intrinsic to the Planet Earth. Mr Farnam is happy to be your counselor and advisor. Visit:

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2nd Amender

We didn’t have 30 round magazines the last time I participated in a “war”. In fact, that “war was called a Policing Action by many people and politicians who never ducked a bullet in their shallow lives. We loaded out 20 round mags with 19 rounds due to possible jambing.
Nowadays, I keep a full 30 round magazine handy for home defense, but at the range I still run a 20, or even a 10 round mag. Range rules apply! Every shooter needs to be aware of range rules