Monday, August 15, 2011
Thoughts on Long Range Shooting
I had the chance to spend the day at the range with my son and my brother-in-law last week. When we arrived at the range, there were a half dozen or so other groups there shooting, and we had to wait for a lull in the action - a cold range - so we could go put our targets out to shoot. Normally, we use zombie targets and bullseye targets at 25 yards or closer.
But since we got impatient, I took out my reborn Ruger 10/22 and started shooting at targets on the berm, 100 yards away. Using some pieces of paper, I was able to dial in the scope within a few shots, and soon we were making those pieces of paper dance.
Soon, we broke out the AR-15, and found out that it was already sighted for 100 yards, and we made the paper dance with 5.56x45. My son's grin as he made shot after shot at 100 yards was a big as his face.
Then, out came the Browning Buck Mark with the Tasco red dot sight. Within a few shots, I was able to adjust the sight on it to hit the paper at 100 yards. My brother-in-law Mike, the new shooter, thought this was very cool. He was right.
I was able even to get good long range shots with my Glocks, once I tried it, and held over the right amount.
After a while, the range went silent, and we put out the zombies and bullseyes at the 25 yard target holders. Then, on a whim, we put out a few clay pigeons out on the berm.
Then we started shooting the zombies, but, after a few minutes, we went back to shooting the long shots. On the 10/22 I dialed the scope out to 6x, and I was able to break clay pretty consistently. Even the AR-15 and SKS made good hits. We chased pieces of paper all over the berm.
For most of my shooting "career," the long distance shot has been a mystery. Frankly, sometimes even a 25 yard shot is a mystery. I know why - bad shooting fundamentals. Near perfect sight alignment and trigger control are essential. And I know why I haven't been able to improve these - I don't practice them enough.
So, a day of fun - discovering that I, and a first time new shooter for that matter, can make 100 yard shots with a .22LR pistol - had led me to a commitment to practice the long shot more. One range near me has a 300 yard rifle range with steel targets. I see a lot of ringing steel in my future.
Lord knows, my USPSA and GSSF scores will improve, without the Mikes on the 25 yard targets. Plus, I suspect my shooting will be even more fun, because I know that when I improve on the long shots, those shorter shots will be a lot more fun, too.