Shooting Analysis

Practice Notes, 17 Feb 2014

Unfortunately, I didn’t make it out to the range over the long weekend. I lost Saturday and Sunday while writing papers for my master’s degree. I was hoping to get out there today, but I became rather ill this morning during my workout at the gym. I decided it would be better to just take it easy for the rest of the day.

But, I did use the downtime to put in a very thorough practice session with Heimdall, Ascalon, and Gungnir. I practiced with and without slings, just to compare the perceived differences. Iron sights and magnified optics were used, but I spent the most time on irons since that is the focus of the upcoming match.

Targets ranged between two to four inches and were between 50 and 100 meters away. Compared to the first few practice sessions when I began this journey last month, this felt worlds better. I can tell a distinct difference in the stability of each position. I can even feel myself ‘relax’ into the position and it ‘hardens up.’ However, this is still not entirely the case with open leg position, as totally relaxing means my legs will drop open and I lose the platform for my elbows to rest.

Focusing on the front sight at the moment of trigger break is proving very effective. So long as I carefully set up natural point of aim (NPA), it feels far more effective to focus on the front sight and wait for it to be stable before breaking the shot. Previously, I had been focusing on the target and waiting for a blurry front sight to cross at the desired POA.

I did lose a bit of feeling in my finger tips after a while with the 1907 sling, I guess that means I did it right. The TAB sling doesn’t do this quite as badly, but it does tend to ‘pinch’ on the back of my arm. I typically don’t notice it when shooting with a jacket or long sleeve shirt, but today I was wearing only a lightweight t-shirt.

I did run into a problem with prone, however. Ideally, the flat of the support arm’s elbow will rest on the ground, and not the point of the elbow as I had always believed. But this seems challenging for me to do, especially on the hardwood floors of my home. Getting the flat of the elbow down meant really opening up my arm, which felt very unstable. The other way I found was to get into position and ‘pull’ the elbow back towards me, causing the skin behind the elbow to ‘lock in’ against the floor. But this doesn’t seem right, either. There must be I will have to keep working on this position next time.

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1 thought on “Practice Notes, 17 Feb 2014”

  1. You are correct about the front sight focus.

    As far as open-leg sitting goes, the trick to keeping your legs from collapsing open when you relax is to have the inverted “V” of your leg bones pointing straight up. When you place your arms on your legs, do so in such a way that the weight of your arms and rifle is straight downwards and not at an inward or outward tangent against the bones of your shins. You can then relax and your legs won’t tip over. At times I have found that angling my feet and pointing my toes inward (one foot towards the other) very slightly creates a muscle tension that helps stabilize things. I prefer not to, since any muscle use invites tremors, but if I am in a big hurry to make the shot, this little bit of “cheating” can help.

    Good shooting,
    Pete

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