Shooting Prone – No Method For A Gentleman…

I went shooting today. Actually, I mostly did a lot of fetching and carrying and a young man tested some ammunition I’d made up and a new rifle. The weather was beautiful: just above freezing with some sun and very light wind.

We set up in a sand-pit with one target at 100 yards for 22RF and another at 280 yards for 7mm Remington Magnum. The new 22 shot very well getting quite a few bullet-holes touching despite some obvious wind-deflection. To finish off that session he aimed about 8 feet high and had a one-foot group on paper at the longer range. The new rifle is a beauty and so is the scope on it. The 7mm RM is an old rifle with a pretty good scope on it. The young man fired a bunch of groups and held about 3 inches at 280 yards. Not too shabby for an inexpensive hunting rifle and a cheap scope. We decided one batch of propellant I’ve been using for decades is beyond its best-before date and we will dispose it. Another propellant, AA4350, with a moderate load did the job well. He fired many groups until the recoil gave him a headache with 140 grain spitzers at around 2700 ft/s with 55.6 grains of powder. That’s a mild load for that calibre but it’s a lot leaving the barrel rapidly. The maximum loads are around 60 grains of powder. We’ll have to assume a different position to work up to such loads.

I boldly offered to shoot a group. I struggled to get down on the sandy berm and let her rip. On each shot, I could feel a wave of energy travel down my spine and thrash my lower back which has been complaining some lately. My group too was about 3 inches in size but positioned well to the left of his. I quit while I was ahead. I quit while I remained unparalyzed… I wondered what I could have done from a nice solid bench like a gentleman should use with the scope positioned for me and the lenses adjusted for my vision… I felt good. When I was young, that rifle never shot a group that good beyond 150 yards. It wrecked scopes. Now that the Chinese are making decent scopes that rifle has come into its own.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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11 Responses to Shooting Prone – No Method For A Gentleman…

  1. DrLoser wrote, “Remind us all again of the progress you are making with that great Pascal translation of GEBC, Robert.”

    I have it all planned out. I’m busy buying stuff at the moment but after Christmas I should have time for writing what with winter driving me away from my workshop. I tried to create an indoor workshop but TLW said, “NO WAY!” and demanded I clean up my mess, so I will have no distractions from programming when the weather is cold except maybe to document 2015 as far as adoption of */Linux goes. I’m also looking at buying a motherboard with ARMed CPU. There are several that are very close to what I want except perhaps SATA and RAM. I’m sure one will meet my approval in 2016. I could settle for 2gB RAM + NAS but I haven’t decided yet. I’ve just ordered parts for inverters and a new rifle-scope. There’s not much more I need to buy for 2016 except the alternator itself and a mess of peanut butter and jam. My garden is still not meeting my needs so I must depend on some retailers.

  2. DrLoser says:

    Remind us all again of the progress you are making with that great Pascal translation of GEBC, Robert.

    A gentleman would, most assuredly, retire to the comfort of his study and prepare a suitable chart of ballistics, based upon Gnu/Linux/GEBC/Pascal.

    Leaving the small matter of laminating the charts to small children or similar slave-like drones, the gentleman in question would thence send a younger man with sharper eyes into the wilderness, there to bag a deer or two

    I have a feeling that taking advantage of the two years you have spent so far in this particular programming endeavour would save you an awful lot of time and creaky knees and what-not, loitering around in the wild in the prone position.

  3. dougman says:

    I suppose iron sights were ill-advised on the M1 garand during WW2? When I was in the Army, my personal accomplishment was 600M with iron-sights, .223 and a static target. I could hit a 4-00M walking target with iron sights as well, not entirely that difficult.

    When I went Elk hunting in Idaho both rifles I carried had iron-sights. The Spanish Mauser I used was 308 and bagged me a nice size elk at 100M.

    However, having a 4-6X Trijicon with a BDC makes my shots much accurate and consistent grouping.

  4. dougman wrote, “do away with the Chinese scope and use iron-sights.”

    Iron sights for target-shooting are not that useful for hunting as deer don’t come with bulls painted on them. I do shoot iron sights on several rifles I carry around during hunting for the close-in shots.

    dougman also wrote, “With any scope, when you change the bullet, you have to change the scope settings to compensate anyways, so you argument is invalid.”

    I have a system which avoids that. I zero for the longest likely range with the sharper bullet. Then if I’m closer and with a blunter bullet the trajectory has similar height but closer zero. I don’t have to adjust the sights at all. I hold at the bottom edge of the vital zone and all bullets will strike within. This allows me to carry heavy RN bullets for close in work while having some sharper bullets in the magazine for guarding larger openings. This works for me. In 8x57JS, for instance, I put several 150SP in the magazine with a 170RN on top. If I come to the appropriate situation, I can quickly shuck that top round and be ready with no adjustment of the sights. I was banned from one on-line forum for spreading such “lies”… I disagreed with the “moderator”.

  5. dougman says:

    You fail to realize that there are adjustment knobs on the exterior that allows you to adjust the zero. With any scope, when you change the bullet, you have to change the scope settings to compensate anyways, so you argument is invalid.

    Hunters zero their rifles before hunting and use the same bullet, so as to achieve the utmost accuracy. Playing with dials during a hunt is a no-no.

    Better yet, do away with the Chinese scope and use iron-sights. It’s not that hard and 300M is easily achievable these days.

    If Jerry can do it, so can you!

  6. dougman wrote, “Get a Trijicon with a bullet drop compensator.”

    Very restrictive product, that:

    Imagine being restricted to just one type of round to use a scope… [Shakes head] Some rifles fire a dozen or more different rounds very accurately and for different purposes. It’s just silly to have to change the scope to deal with that. OTOH. I can twist a dial and be on target at all useful ranges.

  7. dougman says:

    Chinese scope?? Twisting dials?? *shakes head*

    Get a Trijicon with a bullet drop compensator.

  8. DrLoser says:

    I’ve written them to ask why they haven’t invented decimal arithmetic yet but they haven’t gotten back to me.

    Have you considered an abacus, Robert?

    All-weather, all-purpose, and it’s the correct technological fit for your purchase.

  9. DrLoser says:

    That’s probably the finest brand name I have ever come across.

    caveat emptor.

    Sounds suitably distinguished, cannot be faulted for accuracy, and I’m pretty sure the domain name has not been taken yet.

    Robert — your chance to make millions! Consider it my Christmas gift to you and yours.

  10. Ivan wrote, “Yeah, cheap scopes from China are awesome. Until you hit a bump while transporting the gun and the sights get knocked out.”

    Well, I’ve had that happen to lots of Weavers, Bushnells and Tascos, but not with the Chinese scopes. I guess I’m not talking about the cheapest ones but their mid-priced units, $100-$200, are wonderful. The only gripe I have with them is that many have 7.5 or 8 MOA per revolution on their “counting turrets” so it’s a mind-warp to dial them up. They are just fine at usual hunting ranges because you’re mostly on the same turn but go to extreme range and you have to do some maths or carry a look-up table. Instead of dialing 34.25 MOA, you have to think 4 revolutions and 2.25 MOA… 8-( I’ve written them to ask why they haven’t invented decimal arithmetic yet but they haven’t gotten back to me. What I really like about our recent purchases is that when you twist the dials the thing moves crisply with no creep/backlash and you just shoot the thing. The dials are my only gripe. There’s also some disagreement about what 40X means. I guess it’s lost in the translation. Still, for hunting and a lot of target-shooting, those scopes are a bargain. After all, if you are only concerned with groups, you just get the group on the paper and leave the dials alone.

  11. Ivan says:

    Yeah, cheap scopes from China are awesome. Until you hit a bump while transporting the gun and the sights get knocked out. Caveat emptor.

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