About the Blog

Educating fellow Jews about the sporting and defensive use of firearms. Especially Jews in North America, too many of whom are instilled with the belief that guns aren't for nice Jewish boys and girls.

If you know of notable Jewish shooters that should be documented on the blog, even if it is only at the local club level, I am happy to report and profile them. And don't be shy if that person to be documented is you! Please drop me a line at jewishmarksman at gmail dot com. Also follow me on twitter @JMarksmanship.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Smallbore Prone Match Progress(?)

This weekend I shot another NRA Smallbore Prone match. Going in, I was feeling confident that I had ironed out some position issues and would improve on my disastrous last outing.

The first course of fire consisted of 20 shots at 50 yards, and 20 and 100. I finished with a 394/400 (98.5%) with 16x. I even cleaned one of the 2 100 yard targets. The momentum continued into the next course of fire, 40 shots at 100 yards. On my second set of 20 shots, I almost cleaned both the top and bottom targets, but somehow an 8 (gasp!) appeared on my target out of nowhere...still not sure if it was me or a flyer. I finished the 100 yard stage with 397/400 (99.25%) with 16x. At that point I was shooting an 98.875% with the possibility to make an Expert class score! The NRA small bore outdoor prone classifications are:

Master........................................ 99.50 and above
Expert ........................................ 98.50 to 99.49
Sharpshooter ............................. 96.50 to 98.49
Marksman.................................. Below 96.50

The final stage of the match consisted of 40 shots at 50 meters. Unfortunately, the wheels sort of came off at that point. I imploded with a 386/400 (96.5%) with 18x, finishing with an aggregate of 1177/1200 (98%) 50x.

So what happened? What didn't! Primarily a failure to plan and prepare.
  1. The prone match moves slowly, starting at 9am and finishing around 1pm, which means it goes through my normal lunch hour. I didn't bring any snacks, and really found myself hungry and tired by the time the final leg rolled around. I should have brought healthy snacks.
  2. It was also super hot, and I probably should have drank more water.
  3. Also, the sweatshirt I wear under my coat was soaked by the last leg, which kind of makes you feel like you are moving inside the jacket and sling (not sure if you really do or not, but it sure feels that way) and is sort of distracting. I should have brought a second dry sweatshirt.
  4. Also, for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to re-wet my eyes with the moisture drops I like to use 15 or 20 minutes before a match. I wear glasses not contacts, but I feel the drops keep the eyes lubricated and supple throughout a match. So I did this just seconds before time started, used 2 drops per eye instead of 1, then had to wait 10 minutes for my eyes to dry to the point I could see anything but a blurry sight picture. So I felt rushed to get my 20 shots off in time. I should have remembered if it ain't broke don't fix it after I had just shot a phenomenal (for me at least) 100 yard match!
  5. After my first bad shots, I should have recognized the signs of anticipating recoil. When I shoot high power, I visualize myself just absorbing the recoil. I remind myself before every shot at the end of the match where 60 shots and explosions inches from your face start to take their toll and bait your anticipation/flinch reflex. But shooting smallbore, I didn't think about it. But after 80 something shots of .22LR, even that whippersnapper of a cartridge will start to cause anticipation. I didn't recognize the problem until too late, and should have used visualization at the end of the match to avoid it. I discovered the problem on my last 5 shots of the match, visualized absorbing the recoil and proceeded to shoot a 50 with 3x.
  6. Although it wasn't a huge factor, up until the last leg of the match there was a bench rest shooter on the range who had a flag set up, and I was using that flag to read the wind. I don't have much experience reading mirage, and just prefer flags. Well, that shooter left for the day and took his flag with him, so I was screwed for the last leg of the match. I need to practice reading mirage.
There are a few more things I could improve on, for example I seem to end up shooting 9's on the first shot transitioning to a new target. Unlike high power where all shots are on the same target, in a small bore prone match you move between 4 targets at 50 yards and meters, and 2 targets at 100. I don't like moving, and the position change distracts me from just taking the shot. I need to not think about that so much and just change and shoot.

Otherwise, I'm happy with the performance. I had zero practice with that rifle for a couple weeks, and still came in and improved on last month's score. Next month it would be nice to shoot an Expert score!

No comments:

Post a Comment