The Ecstasy and the Agony (and a little more ecstasy)


June 9, 2003, 11:05 PM
I shot another Highpower match this Sunday (100 yard reduced course). I felt pretty good going into it, and all three of my sighters were in a decent group in the 10-ring, just below the X.

When the offhand started, I carefully got into position, calmed my breathing down, lined up the sights and squeezed off a round.

A quick check to the spotting scope and I was confused. I looked around for my shot, but didn't see it. I dialed up a smidge more magnification, and realized that my first shot had nearly removed the X. Woohooooo!

I admired the hole for a few seconds, and proceeded to fire the remainder of the string. I've been working on the offhand, and my sight picture was far more steady than it has been. I spread my shots out a little, but not as bad as in previous matches.

The one exception was a single flyer, which I knew as soon as I pulled the trigger. The scope confirmed that I'd missed the scoring rings. Oh well, I figured, still not bad.

The rest of the match went pretty well, with the exception of the rapid prone, which has a nice cluster of five shots in the 10 ring, and then strung out to the right with one actually outside the scoring area. Agony. My reason/excuse for that was that my right contact started to blur like mad halfway through the string, and I was doing good to see any of the target. This happened in the slow prone too, but I had ample time to shut my eye for several seconds and get it back to normal.

Anyway, when scoring time came, there were only 9 holes in the paper (including the one miss). There was one I questioned as a double, but it would have taken too long to question, and I had to leave. At home, it didn't pass the plug test anyway. I still don't know what happened to that round, as I can almost always tell when I miss THAT badly.

I ended up shooting a 400-5X, which was exactly what I had been aiming for going into the match. So, I've been able to add 10 points or so each match, and I learn something each time I do it. Oh yeah, and it's more fun every match.

Thanks again to all those who have helped with tips and advice (Steve Smith in particular)!

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Steve Smith
June 9, 2003, 11:16 PM
Good shooting, dude! Broke 400 with a few misses...that shows some real promise.

Ohh, I wish I could add 10 points each match!!! Waahhhh! :banghead:

June 9, 2003, 11:34 PM
How many points do you think an appropriate Bling-style shooting coat would add? I'm thinking the faux leopard collar has GOT to be worth at least 20 points on its own.

Gotta get me one of those.

And a custom made prone hat.

Yeah, definitely one of those. Do they make them with beverage holders on the side?

Jon Coppenbarger
June 10, 2003, 01:58 AM
that is great shooting and I'am very pleased you are having a great time.
its fun to see your scores go up as it can get addictive.
try glasses next time you shoot as it can do a few things for you.
with glasses you do not have the problem of your eyes drying out so much and as long as they do not move they will not come lose and they will protect you also.
I use them when I shoot or I could never see the target.

it sounds like you are getting your positions down pretty good.
are they approved nra matches were you can get your classification card as if it is you will be moving right on up with the great scores you are starting to shoot.
good luck on your next match and let us know how you do.

Steve Smith
June 10, 2003, 09:39 AM
Jon needs to take a pic of me in my "custom" prone hat with Bling Bling accessories.

The blingin coat can add a lot. It doesn't "hold you in place" like our detractors will assume, but WILL make you much more comfortable in the slung positions. Moderator Justin came with me to a sitting clinic Jon and I were coaching. Justin used someone's coat instead of his normal "shooting shirt." He used to shoot an 85 or so in sitting, but after some good coaching and a good coat, he shot a 95. Makes a difference so get that sling pain off your arm.

June 10, 2003, 09:50 AM
These are NRA-approved matches. I also shoot a CMP match once a month, but I don't think those scores get sent in.

As far as the glasses go, I am planning on trying that next weekend. Normally I prefer my lenses, but I think with the concentration and aiming I tend to not blink very much, which allows the lens to dry up and lift slightly, resulting in everything going blurry.

So far, I've seen improvement during every match, except for one I decided to try with my M1. That match was going very well, and I had shot my best-ever offhand, with an average rapid sitting. However, the last shot of the rapid prone was nearly off the paper, and the shots were stringing out to the left.

When I started the slow prone, I locked my position in, carefully lined up the shot and fired. The hole was about two inches left of the scoring rings. I dialed in an adjustment to the rear sight and fired again. Darned near hit the same hole. I made a very large correction. Another round, another shot outside the scoring rings. I then dialed the rear sight all the way over to the side. Still outside the scoring rings, but at least closer. I found that if I held my POA almost completely off the paper to the right, I could hit the black, but not real consistently.

After the match, I checked out the gun carefully, and found that the front sight had come loose and was very close to having fallen off. Not being very familiar with the M1, and being in the "put rounds downrange" mindset kept me from being able to correctly diagnose the problem before I had completely hosed my score.

Steve Smith
June 10, 2003, 10:01 AM
Dadgum M1s...I tell ya.

Shoot an AR and forget that archaic mess.

June 10, 2003, 11:45 AM
Steve - I do shoot an AR, but I just HAD to try the M1. However, since I've found a nearby club that hosts some JCG matches, I'll reserve the M1 for that.

The funny thing is that I much prefer the M1 for the offhand stage. I seem to shoot about the same sized core pattern, but without the flyers that always happen with the AR.

Steve Smith
June 10, 2003, 11:53 AM
I can understand liking the M1 for offhand, but the AR is a better target rifle in general. I shot an M1 at a local match recently and found several deficiencies. The statement holds true though, if you know how to shoot you can pick up just about anything and do ok.

June 10, 2003, 01:48 PM
Just curious, but what do you consider to be the M1s deficiencies?

Steve Smith
June 10, 2003, 02:50 PM
Stock too short from rear of receiver to butt plate. If it is too short for me (I'm 5'7" on a TALL day) then it is too short for just about everyone. This same issue is what makes the M1 a GOOD standing gun and arguably better than an AR in that respect.

Rear aperture too big! I got lost in it. I have looked though a NM rear sight and it is too big too, IMHO.

Butt plate too slick. I have become coddled by the spikey plate on an AR. I knw why the oldtime HP shooters used stick-um now.

Lock time can be counted with the eon hand on my watch.

That's about it.

Now, remember this is from the point of view of an AR Highpower shooter. There is a reason the AR is kicking butt. Granted, if all I could shoot was a Garand, I could learn to deal with the issues I found, just as the oldtimers did. The point is to use the best equipment for the job, though. When I shot the Garand in a match, I felt like I was riding a Big Wheel in the Tour de France.

BTW, contrary to non-competitive shooter's beliefs, this AR shooter did NOT have a problem with the M1 recoil. A proper position and proper sling use dampen the recoil enough that it is not a problem.

Jon Coppenbarger
June 10, 2003, 03:14 PM
I wil take a shot at that question.

more recoil. th e off hand and sitting will not give you too much problem but the rapid prone and slow prone will give you more fits.

most experience garand and m1a shooters glue them selfs to the rifle and mat with stick-um adhesive as it will bounce you around.

on sitting it will cause minor problems but not as much as you have it pulled more into your meaty part of your should bu tin rapid prone you have a problem of the rifle slipping down your collor bone causing your shots to start to string vertically and open up your pattern also mostly in a down pattern on about your 4th threw 8th shot after the clip change.
it is hard to see it as it will make slight changes untill it really starts to slip.
it will go something like this.
clip change shot #1 x
shot 2 x
shot 3 10 out slightly low
shot 4 now you may be in the 9 ring or worse
shot 5 if you do not catch it and readjust you will really have bad shots after this
shot 6 threw 8 are now way down in the white out of the black or worse.

this is the most common target I see from garand or m1a shooters.
alot of folks get down when they shoot something like this.

this is just for example scores
off hand 10 shots score of 74
rapid 10 shots sitting score of 70
rapid 10 shots prone score of 50
slow prone 20 shots score of 92

it is the classic pattern and to get over this you must understand the causes and fix the problem and not just I need to work on my prone.

a big clue on those rifles is if your off hand scores and sitting scores are higher and alot higher than your prone scores the above is the problem.

I will put it this way to help you with any sighted in rifle for a match in highpower.

if you always on every shot make sure your rear center apeture is exactly in the center of your focus and that your front sight post is also centered with the rear apeture on every shot your impact of your shot will always be exactly where you pulled the trigger and not some lace that you can not explain.

think about it this way in my rapids if I only made 8 perfect shots and did not even ever get off the other two shots and you lost 40 points on those four shots between the sitting and prone rapid you and you did the exact same on the slow fires as you will get them all off you will most likely always be in the sharpshooter or expert class.

sounds simple does it not please try it.
work on your position and timing as that is where you will start to get all of your shots off and hit good solid shots.

please sight alignment.
in your slow shots do this and then work them into your rapids.
#1 build your position
#2 check everything as you build it a step at a time and if you do #1 & #2 everytime
#3 get your sight alignment down as discribed in the above.
#4 check your npa and never pull that trigger on any shot unless your npa is as perfect on every shot as you can get.
#5 now sights, target, sights and trigger.
and ever everthing is right their you go bang!.

I will put it this way if you do the above on your garand and check that sight on everyshot your point of impact will always and I mean alwaysbe in the middle of the target.

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