Range Reports

Range Report, Session 1

Got to the range, finally. I took Ascalon, Gungnir, and Mew-Mew (my bedside FNS-9, named by my wife). Sadly, the 100 meter range has been closed until further notice, leaving me with only a 50 yard range and a pistol range. The 50 yard range has a strict “nothing bigger than 5.56” policy, meaning practicing with Gungnir was out.

I only brought a single 50 round box of Magtech CBC 62gr FMJ for the day. The idea was to force myself to spend more time dry firing in positions than actually firing. But, first up was getting a decent zero on the scope as it has not been to the range since I received it. This proved frustrating. At 50 yards, POI seemed to dance around about a three inch radius. I adjusted and retightened the ADM mount, which helped a little, getting the radius down to about an inch and a half. I suspect that the scope rings need to be tightened up a bit more, but I did not bring my Borka torque wrench with me. There is a possibility that it was ammo, but the Magtech stuff has a pretty good reputation, and it would have to be absolutely terrible ammo to spread that much at only 50 yards. The thought did cross my mind that I could also be to blame, but I did try from multiple supported positions using a caldwell rest, bipod, bench, and any other means I could think of to keep it steady.

Deciding that I could deal with a three inch spread for my uses today, I just pressed on. I burned more ammo than I had intended with the frustrating zeroing experience, which left me with just 19 shots to use for actual position practice. In order to make those shots count, I focused on just a few positions: crossed ankle, squatting, kneeling, slung prone, and kneeling supported. Five shots each position, with five dry fires for every actual shot.

Crossed ankle took a bit of getting used to, as I had never shot that way before. I don’t know if it was because of being the first position of the day, or it is just that much less stable, but it was my worst shooting. I struggled finding my natural point of aim with each shot, and I was constantly fiddling with the adjustable stock in an effort to find a good cheek position and eye box. All the shots came in low and left.

Squatting continues to be one of my favorite positions. It immediately felt better, though the groups were only slightly tighter. They continued to be low, but only slightly so.

Kneeling surprised me. As suspected, the technique I found of extending the top of my foot directly behind me proved uncomfortable when wearing boots. But, I found the ‘low kneeling’ much more comfortable than I have in the past. Despite being noticeably less stable, I put two shots in the bull of the target. The other tended to be just slightly to the left.

Prone and kneeling supported were the most accurate. I definitely put more shots through the bull in these positions than the other, but that should be expected, as they are the most stable. Perhaps I was naturally starting to aim higher, as well. It did feel as though my shots were tightening up from the attempts at zeroing, but I have no real way to confirm it.

Here is the target at the end of the session.

There are only 17 holes because I was interrupted by another individual who wanted to ‘shoot the shit’ about guns for a bit. It took me out of my zone, so I decided to pack up and practice pistol for a bit (this went much better, as I have traditionally practiced pistols much more than rifle).

The center is just under two inches, and the outer ring is about six inches. Note that the picture is also rotated 90 degrees counter clockwise for easier reading of the info at the bottom. It’s not fantastic shooting by any means. But for the amount of “trouble” I was having at the beginning, and having never really shot from field positions before, I’ll take it.

A couple notes on equipment. The Vortex PST 2.5-10×32 FFP is a great little scope. The FFP reticle really shines between 5x and 10x, and I really enjoy being able to pick a setting and always have the mil hashes be accurate. The glass is very clear, and I suspect this optic will be staying around for a long time. Perhaps I will do a formal long-term review in the future. I just need to figure out the mounting issue, if there is one.

The Turner sling worked well, but has so much traction that it tended to twist and roll against my arm. This proved to be no issue accuracy wise, but I know its not ideal.

I also tried to come up with a ‘mental program’ to use for each shot. But it ended up being a little too awkward. I will go back to the drawing board and think of a new way to ‘initiate the machine.’


2 thoughts on “Range Report, Session 1”

  1. magtech ammo is not that great. When you see bad performance and bad grouping, its best to stop and dry fire at this point in your learning process. Seeing bad results,even if not your fault rattles confidence and has you second guessing yourself. Feel free to email me for some coaching if you are interested shawn@looserounds.com

  2. I had a suspicion that the ammo was at fault. I’ve only ever used it in the past for “run-n-gun” drills where accuracy requirements weren’t great. But it’s what I had on hand. I have produced clover leafs with this rifle before at this (admittedly short) range using a TR-24 and SSA 77gr SMK ammo.

    I know that fundamentally, if I’m feeling frustrated then I should just end the day or do something else that I’m good at. I don’t want to reinforce bad habits. But I guess part of me really wanted to shoot, as I hadn’t been to the range for months due to being sent away from home.

    Thanks for the offer, I may have to take you up on it!


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