11-26-2010 08:30 AM
Friends and Sponsors
If you are using a club or another member's rifle it will be pretty hard to do much in the way of preparation before you arrive at the range.
That being said, I always prep my kit the evening before, pretty simple stuff - just making sure i run a clean patch trough the bore to remove any excess oil. Check the bolt and chamber. Check any scopes (on rifle or spotting) are clean and functional
At the range (unless I have a reason to recheck zero) and prior to moving to the firing point I will re-check that the bore and chamber is clear of any obstructions that might have got in during transit. Set the rear sights according to the distance to be shot. make sure windage is at 0 (if your rifle has windage), put a safety flag in the bore and replace the bolt (open) in the rifle. I seldom use a "Turkey Truss" (shooting jacket and tied on sling) but now wouldbe the time to make sure everything is as it should be - no-one wants to be held up on the firing poit whilst you wrestle your way into it or fiddle with your strap/buckles.
As you get more experience or your own kit a lot of the pain can be removed by marking your positions on slings and spotters etc. so it is more of a visual check than having to reinvent the wheel.
Move to the firing point with everything ready to use so all you have to do is put your mat down, lie on it put up your spotting scope, sling up and shoot.
That way you will be more relaxed and can concentrate on (and enjoy) the reason you are there without stressing about ettiquette and making the old hands even grumpier than they usually appear to be
if you borrow someone else's kit - try to buddy up with them each time so that you are at least consistent and familiar wit the kit.
I'd suggest (if you have to wear one!!) you buy your own jacket and sling so that at least is a known quantity.
Last edited by OxfordAndy; 11-26-2010 at 10:00 AM.
god dayum! I've just lost 15 minutes of typing as my last post dissapeared somewhere into the ether
Thanks for your reply and support Andy.
The problem is I don’t get any chance of checking someone elses gun prior to it being removed from the case and plonked down in front of me on the firing point.
As a probationer I am very concious that my every move is being watched the whole time and presumably will be part of my end of year assessment for full membership and certification.I am acutely aware of safety naturally and anxious that I’ll have a miss-feed or send one over the butts or some other cockup.
I think this weekend I’ll practice on the living room floor with a deact and set up a routine I can practice.
I’ll set out my mat , set up my scope, set out my rounds in an ammo box 2+15 and my partners score card in a weatherproof clipboard. Set up my own recording sheet ,windage elevation etc ,put my cans and glasses to hand , Set my windage and elevation on the gun,record on sheet, Check the sling fit . Check the sight picture and adjust my position on the mat. Last check of scope.
I think that covers it. Then I just have to wait for ‘shooters fire when ready’ to put the cans on and place a round in the chamber.
Then it all goes pear shaped when at some point I realise I have got out of sequence with scoring one of my partners score card and tipped the ammo box out on the grass and adjusted the windage the wrong way and theres not even a puff of sand at the butts for feedback . happy days.
Any practice is good practice.
If you are witihn travelling distance of Bisley I can recommend the NRA SC - very relaxed and informal and Charles Perry (NRA Instructor) and his team are always on hand and happy to help/advise everyone including new members/probationers. And it caters to breeds other than the "TR" crowd - milsurps, sporting rifles, "scoped"/"tactical" rifles, gallery rifles pretty much everything (including a couple of guys with old Sharp's rifles) from 25yds on the Gallery side to 100yds out to 1000yds.
There is none of that time constraint or pressure that you seem to be experiencing (despite being a very busy club).
My concern is that if you feel under pressure and stressed and do not have an instructor or at least a member assigned to "babysit" you during the shoot (please do not take this as an insult, it is not meant as one) you are more likely to make a mistakes and have no-one available to mentor your progress and correct either etiquette ro technique.
IMHO shooting should be safe and disciplined but also FUN. I don't get the feeling your club is big on fun?
Last edited by OxfordAndy; 11-26-2010 at 11:33 AM.
Thank You to OxfordAndy For This Useful Post:
thanks for the suggestions Andy they are taken as meant thank you.
I agree safety is paramount and fortunately I have previously completed several safety courses at Thornlands in my pistol days. I was a member of the UKPSA and frequently shot pistol at Bisley from 1992 to 97 .
My club is small and very laid back but a tad disorganised it has to be said. All the shoots thus far this year have been well attended competitions shoots (predominantly F class shooters .)
I was very fortunate that another member was willing to mentor me and lend me his rifle . Unfortunately he is scatty as a Dulux dog . He is usually mentoring someone else at the same time and responsible for the butts and never stops telling jokes . Nice guy but bluddy opeless as a mentor.
I did consider Bisley . The NRA run an excellent certification course over 5 days I think but as a full time carer for my Father and living 250+ miles away it would never be possible.
Now that I have my own gun and have made some other friends at the club i'm sure i can find someone to buddy me and show me the ropes properly . Gun safety is not an issue to me its more a question of etequette and proceedures .
It will come in time . The range has only been available 5x times this year so thats not much time for on the range learning.
I think I have sorted my sighting problem. I have found that using off the shelf (Boots) under magnification glasses allows me to see middle distance clearly ! If they work on the range I will go get some prescription glasses just for shooting.
My prescription is about 2.75 but that is for about 14" .. hopeless for seeing the foresight blade clearly. Using a 1.5 magnification allows me to see the fs blade ok but I'm not sure if I will also be able to see the target clearly as well.
I have managed to source a PH-5C sight now and may fit a tunnel fore sight too . That may prove to be sufficient by itself. I shot well previously with that setup on the borrowed rifle. Its just the standard ladder backsight with thin bladed fore sight on my own rifle that proved to be a problem last week.
I think I will join LERA and the NRA and think about booking a cert course at Bisley next spring.
Last edited by peanuts; 11-26-2010 at 03:26 PM.
Really Senior Member
For what its worth, I would recommend
(a) don't use a jacket and sling - use a rest. The sling etc will just make you hot and bothered.
(b) don't shoot when there is a competition going on
(c) don't bother with a spotting telescope, binoculars are fine
(d) shoot at 100 and 200 yds
(e) use your own gun
(f) if you have 50+ yr old eyes, an aperture rear sight gives invaluable pinhole-effect benefits. If its a No 4, you can make the hole a bit smaller to suit, for example with a bit of black card, or by painting the inside of the hole with matt black paint. When the sight picture just starts to dim, you have gone far enough.
(g) if you need to zero any sight (whether telescopic or iron sight) which you have not used on that rifle before, and if you can't use a zeroing range, then bore-sight it. By which I mean: prop the rifle up on cushions looking out of your lounge window, remove the bolt, and peer down the barrel until you can see a prominent distant object down the bore. Then, without moving the rifle, adjust the sight so that it fixes on the same thing. Then re-check and so on. Amazingly good at getting the sights adjusted to the correct setting for approx. 200 yds.
Hope that helps.
Last edited by RobD; 11-26-2010 at 05:28 PM.
I don't think I could enjoy shooting in that sort of atmosphere. I'll stick with going out to the middle of nowhere either alone or with a buddy and spending the day shooting without interruptions.
Here's my take on it, and I've been there too.
Until you have your own rifle you're on faith as to how the rifle shoots, nothing you can do so don't worry about it at all.
You're not going to win anyway as you're learning so start by focussing on the basics, position, breathing, consistency of trigger pull, consistency of cheek weld, consistency of sight picture.
There are lots of good articles on this site about marksmanship, read them and apply what you can.
What you absolutely can control regardless of whos rifle you're using is your position, sight picture, breathing and trigger let off. If you get these under control your scores will increase. If you don't worry about what you can't possibly control and focus you preparation and efforts on what you can control, you may be less flustered and more able to do the business.
One technique that I've found helpful in the past is to run through the shoot in your mind the day before in detail... go to the mound, lied down, adjust the sling, find your natural point of aim, take 2 dry fires, organize you ammunition, is my scope set up?, load a round, breath in, out , in, out , in, half out, find the sight picture, take the first pressure, squeeze off the round, watch for the fall of shot , relax, make adjustments, breathe... for the entire shoot, then you feel really mentally prepared for the shoot as you've kind of done it before.
Thank You to tbonesmith For This Useful Post:
Thanks Rob but the only times the MOD range is available there has been a competition shoot. They may be mostly club comps but they are still quite competitive .
Originally Posted by RobD
I cannot use bins because my eyesight is probably not good enough to see a tiny 4" disk at 600 yds regretably. Its important to see the patch position in otder to guage windage and elevation and adjust my sights.
I cannot use my own gun as I do not have one (which is why I am borrowing a gun lol)
You cannot shoot at 100 and 200yds at an MOD range when the rest of the detail are on the 400, 500 and 600 yd firing points.
I don't think gun rests are allowed with vintage .303 in a competition shoot ?
Re the aperture rear sights yes the PH-5C sight that I have previously used worked very well so I have ordered one for my No4 Mkl which I purchased last week. Until I get my FAC however it will be held on a dealer's certificate who will bring it to the range and supervise me.
Thanks for the ideas
---------- Post added at 09:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:48 PM ----------
In the UK we are not allowed to go out into the 'country' and blast a few .303 rounds off lol there would be little point really as I'm not interested in plinking ,only interested in shooting competition vintage target .
Originally Posted by Baal
ps where exactly do you go to shoot .303 in the country ? I'll avoid the area lol
thank you Tbone this is exactly the sort of advice I was looking for. As you say I have little control over a loan rifle so pointless worrying about it especially as I now have my own gun for the next shoot. I have arranged for a shoot at a private range to sight the gun in at 100yds. I'll fit my PH-5C aperature rear sight and perhaps a larger front sight blade. Once the gun is shooting where I'm aiming and I can see the front sight clearly I can then start thinking about improving my marksmanship . perhaps a good book for xmas