I haven’t been to the range on my own accord in a while. Darn this ammo situation. Making up for it with dry fire, but dry fire doesn’t simulate recoil and other things (like reacquiring sight picture). So I went with the point of not just “shootin'” but ensuring there was solid purpose to every round downrange. Really, every practice session should be like that, but some times it’s just fun to throw lead. That said, it was off to the Lone Star Gun Range.
Zero, my hero
Started on the rifle range. Given I’ll be going on my first (hog) hunt soon, I wanted to ensure the M1A was zeroed and solid for the hunt. I recently picked up one of Karsten’s cheek rests, installed it a couple days ago, so I wanted to recheck the zero @ 100 yards. I started out using my Prvi Partizan match ammo to get things back in the ballpark, had to do some adjusting of the scope, but once things seemed to be dialed in I let the rifle rest and cool off (did something else, below), then came back and shot my hunting load to see how it did. I’m going to try out the Federal Premium Vital-Shok .308 Winchester 165 grain Barnes Triple-Shock X-Bullet (load P308H). I chose this because given the constraints on M1A ammo, the biggest of which is that you shouldn’t use soft points, I needed something that was still an expanding “hunting” load but with a solid tip. These Barnes bullets are well-regarded, and here it’s offered in a factory load that’s readily available. Plus using the “ammo selector” in Federal’s website, this was one of the ones that came up as appropriate and of those it was the only “hard nose” so let’s go with it. I think it will work well. I did have to fine tune the scope settings slightly, but I think at this point the gun and the loads will shoot better than I can so I should be good enough to go.
While I let the M1A cool down, I had brought another AR out to check its zero. When I did the Revised Improved Battlesight Zero on the one AR that gave me a better feel for the technique so I wanted to ensure this other AR was cool with the RIBZ @ 50 yards. I did have to adjust the front post 2 clicks (1/2 turn) to bring it up just a bit. What I really need to do now is some more work with the AR, more shooting both just accuracy stuff but also defensive shooting tactics. That will have to wait for another day.
100 Round Drill
After I got the rifles zeroed I moved to the pistol range. I’m wanting to move back to basics, not worrying about speed but focusing more on being smooth and precise. Consequently, I felt doing the KR Training 100 Round Practice drill would be a great exercise for today.
What did I learn? I need to do more 25 yard shooting. 🙂
I also reinforced that speed comes, especially if I stop focusing on it. If I think “gotta be fast” then maybe I’m fast but I’m also sloppy. If I think “be smooth, be accurate/correct/precise” and make no effort to even care about speed, then I’m those former things but I also notice that my speed isn’t bad. Sure I’m no IPSC Grandmaster, no Todd Jarrett, no Rob Leatham, but I’m a lot faster than I think. In fact, I noticed that during the drill’s 2-target portion that I could have gone faster! I was applying techniques from the AT-4 class and found myself amazed at how quickly I was on the next target. So this was good. Helping to reinforce that speed shouldn’t be the focus. Be smooth, be correct, speed will be there.
I did also notice I was going a little low left. Not sure what that was due to. I did notice while picking up brass that my right hand was shaking… muscles were tired. So I’m not sure if I’m yanking the trigger because I’ve got some technique to work out or if the muscles were just tired and fine motor skills were suffering. Something for me to look into. I can say that some of the 100 Round Drill can be done as normal dry fire, so I probably should work on those specific parts in my dry fire practice to see what it turns up.
Oh, remind me never to go on their trash burning day. They were burning their trash this morning, 55 gallon drums, stationed behind each pistol shooting bay (maybe 10-15 yards back), but the wind was blowing right up the bay so the whole time I was pistol shooting I got lung-fuls of acrid smoke (they weren’t burning oak wood here… trash, and obviously plastics were in there). It was pretty ugly. I understand a need to clear out the trash, I don’t hold it against them at all. It’s just how the wind was blowing today. Of course, it’d have been nice if they could have done it somewhere other than right by the shooting bays, but oh well.
So what did I take home from today?
- Don’t go on trash-burning day. 🙂
- Continue to work on smoothness and precision, ignore speed as a skill to work on but let it come as it does.
- Take the dry-fire portions of the 100 round drill and work on them at home
- Work on longer distance pistol shooting, 15 to 25 yards.
- I’d like to look into a dedicated hunting rifle. Not sure what or why, but the thought occurred to me and I’ll have to ponder it for a while. Some sort of magazine-fed bolt-action in .308, specifically for hunting. Don’t know. Will think on it.
- I know where all the .380 ACP ammo went… there was .380 brass all over one of the ranges.
It was a good morning. Weather is great. Range wasn’t busy. Got some things done. Life is good.