Range Reports

Range Day, 21 Feb 2014

Finally got out to the range today after work. Focused on getting a quick zero with the carry handle sight, then working kneeling, crossed ankle, and prone position.

Heimdall

I took Heimdall with me today at around 4:00 PM. Sun was to my 7 O’clock and there was a 25kt wind coming from my 10 O’clock. This made things a little interesting with the kneeling position. I got about an hour of shooting in between set up, dry fire, and actual shooting. 10 shots each for kneeling and crossed ankle, and 15 shots for military prone. I used thirty rounds of Federal XM855 and ten rounds of CBC Magtech.

First up was kneeling. I took these shots immediately after getting a quick zero. I did adjust my front sight two clicks up when I first got to the range, and it felt right at the time. But, as you will see, almost all my shots were high for the rest of the day. I may have to adjust it back down for the next time. I took these shots from 25 meters. Kneeling in gravel with 25 kt winds blowing form the side is a very different experience than kneeling in my living room. I had a lot of trouble keeping stable laterally when aiming at the target. I also had trouble finding a comfortable foot position. Going for a low kneeling, with my right foot turned sideways, was more comfortable but moved my natural point of aim too high. Propping up my right foot beneath my glute muscle put me on the right level with NPA, but was exceedingly uncomfortable on my right toes. This might have been my footwear, though, and a different pair of boots may work better in the future.

The target is a diamond with 2″ internal diameter and a 1″ border surrounding it.

Kneeling 25m

The second set of shots was in the crossed ankle position. These were taken from the 50 meter line. This position feels much better than it did on my first attempt a few weeks ago. Having just done leg day in the gym yesterday, my quads and hamstrings were not too happy about being stretched in this manner, but it eventually got more comfortable as I continued to hold the position. I am really coming to like this position. I plan on working with crossed leg position next time and comparing the results. I noted that the first five shots are the ones clustered in the top of the black border. I took a short break and then took the second five shots, which had a larger spread. I’m not sure what I did differently between these two groups.

Crossed ankle 50m

The last fifteen shots were taken from military prone position at the 50 meter line. This is my first real attempt at slung prone in…well…ever. I took the first five shots, and then a short break, and then the last 10 shots. I was getting a little anxious to get home for the last 10 shots, and I think that affected my mindset. I was also having trouble choosing a sight picture. Half the shots ended up with a type of 6 O’clock hold below the ~2″ center dot, the other half were a center hold on the middle dot. This wasn’t intentional, its just where I happened to call the front sight when the shot broke (a new development for me, as I’ve never been able to call shots like that in the past). You can tell the difference in the ‘hold’ based upon the shots that ended up in the black center dot and the ones that ended up above it. This brings me back to my hastily established zero at the start of the day, I may have set it too high.

Prone 50m

Now, I wouldn’t call any of these groups fantastic. I would maybe call them ‘ok.’ But they are drastically better than what I’ve done in the past. My last range trip produced about the same size groups, and I was using a 10x optic. The dry fire practice is paying off. I need to just continue working them and refining the positions. At some point I need to get someone to take a picture of me in the position so I can actually see what it looks like.

I did note some difficulty with front sight focus. When focusing on the front sight,the relatively small diamond targets just blurred out of view. The round target was slightly better, but only slightly.

I also noticed that my mental program changed slightly. Rather than repeating the phrase “aim small miss small” as originally planned, I started saying, “Shoot 10s.” I think this is related to some advice I picked up recently, in which some experienced EIC/CMP/NRA shooters were talking about mindset.

Next trip I want to work on offhand, crossed leg, and more prone. Either way, it felt good to get out there again and see some pay off from the home practice.

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2 thoughts on “Range Day, 21 Feb 2014”

  1. Regarding your positive self-talk, a master-class highpower rifle shooter and junior-team coach I knew years ago used to tell the kids: “X’s are what you want. Tens are okay, but nines indicate you’ve got a problem.”

    He also quoted what a champion shooter told him: “Good shooting is good execution of the fundamentals. Great shooting is great execution of the fundamentals.”

    Persistence is the key.

    Good shooting,
    Pete

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