Range Reports

Range Report, it’s a Brand New Year

Got to hit the range for my first session of the year. It was a nice 58 degrees with a steady 6mph wind from the 6 o’clock. I was the only one there, which made things nice. I renewed my membership, and found out that the caliber restrictions have been lifted, meaning that I’ll be able to shoot my 308 again, so Gungnir will get to come out to play again.

I started the session checking zero with the Musket and the TR24G. I found that my shots were clustering a bit to the left. My only guess was that when I zeroed last time, I did it in nearly 30 mph winds. I don’t think wind would have that much of an effect at 25 meters, but you never know. I suppose I could run it through a ballistic calculator. I also moved the target back to 50 meters to check holdover, and found that the center hold put the shots over the top of my 4″ target, but still on the paper. I can only guess that I would have missed the paper entirely at 100.

Anyway, once zero was checked, I set to work with five shots per position using the SAP sling. I wasn’t as happy with my performance today, as I felt that I did better last time despite the wind.

Group number 3 (the first after zero and holdover check) was crossed ankle sit. I scored it as 46/50 with 1 x.

I’m not sure what happened compared to last time. At my last range trip, the same position using the same optic and sling (and 20 mph more wind) resulted in this:

Good marksmanship is about consistency, and I don’t think I had it. But I’m not sure what I did differently between these.

The next group was from a squat. I attempted a kneeling, but I just don’t have the flexibility in my foot and ankle. Score was 46/50 with 2 x

Next group was from standing, which has always been something I struggle with. Score 43/50.

Then, to change things up, I switched slings from the SAP to the FTW and started working my way back down through the positions.

This is standing with a more “tactical” hold, score 43/50:

Next was two variations on squat, one with the same “tactical” hold (score 45/50) and one with a hasty loop sling (score 46/50 with 2 x).

While the scores are very similar, the higher number of ‘x’ in the hasty loop sling does over more stability (well…duh!)

Next group was back to the SAP sling for prone, score 47/50

Lastly, to double check myself, I fired two more groups. One was off the bench while resting the rifle on my backpack. Score was 50/50 with 3x.

Lastly, I attached the bipod to fire one more group from prone and see if some reading on bipod technique would help. Score was 49(ish)/50 with 2x. The one outlier came from me riding the first stage of the trigger (AGAIN) and prematurely squeezing the trigger before I settled.

Something that frustrated me the whole day was unexplained random flyer shots, even at 25m. I would settle into a nice NPOA with a tight sling and everything would feel and look right. I’d squeeze off the shot and hold the trigger to the rear, watching exactly where the reticle was at the time the rifle went off (which was center of the target), only to see the impact show up way to the left. The next few shots would go where I thought they should. Perhaps I have a bad lot of ammo, but it would have to be particularly crappy ammo to have that much of a deviation at only 25 meters.

Most of the groups that show stringing tend to go off diagonally. I’m not sure why that is happening, and will require a bit of research.

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4 thoughts on “Range Report, it’s a Brand New Year”

  1. On those shots that went high left, do you remember seeing the sight lift in recoil and recover back to NPOA? If not, that might have been a shoulder buck, a form of flinch. A right-hander will throw shots high left. So will an upward twitch of your forward support hand.

    1. Hmmmmm….now that you ask, I’m not sure. But I do think I remember my sight picture just slightly jumping up, but no more than I’m used to seeing. I don’t think it was hand position, as I keep that as dead as possible.

      What is a shoulder buck? Shoving my shoulder forward to compensate for anticipated recoil?

      I’m feeling more and more like it may be time to start taking some video.

      1. Yes a shoulder buck is exactly that. It pushes the rifle and throws the shot. Much like a flinch with a handgun. And like that, it usually includes an eye blink – so you don’t see the whole recoil movement expressed in your sights.

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