Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Owning the First 300, part 1 of many

We all have seen that guy, you know the one, the guy who you see in the gun store, holding a large heavy barreled rifle, talking about how he is going to go shoot 1000 yards.  This also applies on Internet forums, although there is a lot more BS, and considerably less money involved. This also applies to the classic, "What should I buy to shoot 1000 yards" or "What sub $100 scope for shooting long range" and my personal favorite "I have shot rifles since I was six, always from the bench, and always at 100 yards, so I can shoot 1000".

I have a better plan, one that can be used to better yourself, and help bring those Internet Commandos into the world of reality.  A simple reality that, shooting is hard, and takes practice to develop those skills.  Several months ago, Clint Smith wrote an article for GUNS magazine (I cant find it now, and I apologize), in the article he talks about people who show up, buy a precision rifle and expect to be able to shoot 1000 yards.  His advice, go learn how to hit everything out to 300 yards first.  His article resonated with me, and I spent some time pondering a new training regimen. One that I could refine for myself first, then pass on to my friends.

For simplicity's sake, we are going to do this with your standard 16" AR-15, with iron sights.  You can do this with any rifle, and any sight configuration.  I chose the AR because it's the most common rifle in the US, ammo availability, and most importantly, it's my three gun rifle (and I need the practice).

I am going to break down the shooting portion into three parts:
0-50 yards
50-200 yards
200-300 yards

Other topics will include:
Zero range
In flight ballistics
Rifle shooting basics
Shooting positions

First thing we need to do is establish a standard, saying that you want to hit a target out to 300 is great, but leaves much open for interpretation.  I can shoot at a barn from 300 yards away and say I met met my goal. In the spirit of that, all our targets will be something we are all intimately familiar with. We will be shooting at 8" paper plates.  This will be our standard, hit an 8" paper plate, with iron sights from 0-300 yards.

Now, everybody calm down, because I know what y'all are thinking.....Sigboy, anybody can hit a paper plate at 5 yards.  Well, your correct, so I will add smaller targets inside the paper plates to establish a higher standard, 1" dots for >25, 2" dots for 50, etc

Several resources have been to used to help design this.  Special credit has to be given to the late Jeff Cooper and his book, 'The Art of the Rifle', and is a must read for any aspiring rifleman.

Speaking of rifleman, next month there is an Appleseed match close to home.  I plan to attend, and hopefully get my rifleman tab. But that's another post or two.......

Hopefully, by the end of this series, we will all have a better understanding on how to "own the first 300".  It will make you (but mostly me) a better shooter, whether it be in USPSA multigun, 3-gun, hunting or even plinking with your buddies. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, feel free to use the comment section below.  Even if there is something you want to see me do, let me know and I will try and incorporate it.

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