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Who's good with their rifle's irons?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Nightcrawler, Jun 9, 2003.

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  1. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    My current range only goes out to 200 yards, and I've only had my FAL for a little more than a year now, so I've got a LOT of practicing to do. I can easily hit a human silouette target (it's what I learned to shoot on in the Army and it's almost all I use) at 200 yards from the prone, easy. Standing...getting there.

    Anyways, my GOAL is this: to be able to hit something the size of a milk jug, at 200 meters, from the standing position. Also, I want to be able to hit a human silouette or similar sized targets at 500-600 yards, RELIABLY, with iron sights. Take advantage of the range and power my 7.62mm rifle offers.

    As I said, I've got a good ways to go (and need to find a longer range; there's one around here, just have to visit it) before I get there. I think it's a challenging, yet achievable goal.

    So who here's good with their rifle's iron sights? Go ahead, blow your own horn! Who can hit targets at 500 meters and beyond with iron sights? Prone position, supported or off a bipod is impressive, prone unsupported even moreso.

    C'mon, fess up! ;)
     
  2. MolonLabe416

    MolonLabe416 Member

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    Laudable goal.

    However, it's very unlikely that you will need to hit a target at 700 yards in a non-military context. Actually, military training notwithstanding, you're unlikely to need the skill in the service.

    I've always thought it a better use of (scarce) time to shoot practical drills from 0 to 300 yards or so. See Jeff Cooper's Art of the Rifle for a very good practical rifle training syllabus.

    And remember the old rifleman's adage, "If you can get closer, get closer, if you can get lower, get lower."

    I.E., kneeling/squating beat off-hand, sitting beats kneeling, prone beats them all.
     
  3. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Not trying to be snide, but so what? Not going to get into the, um, unfortuante state of the rifle training provided by the National Guard, but aside from that, what difference does it make?

    Some people spend their entire lives learning how to hit a ball with a stick or a metal club, or throwing a ball and catching it, and stuff like that. Frankly, I can't think of a less practical skill than, say, Golf, but people do it anyway. Regardless of practicality, it's good to set goals for yourself and work to achieve them.

    Why settle for 300 meters and in? Once I can do that, why not push it even further?

    I have a rifle that has an effective range of somewhere around six hundred meters (that's how far out the sights adjust to). I might as well learn to use it to its full potential, no?

    Oh, and I'm curious as to what a "practical drill" is. I hear people talking about these all the time, and I've got no idea, at least in a shooting context. I mean, you aim your weapon and you fire at the target from various positions. I don't think the range owners would appreciate me low-crawling back and forth across the firing line, or pulling my car around so I can practice firing from cover...

    Anyways, I have a simple plan. Get good from the prone at 200 meters, and I'm about there. Then, after I get a longer range, move it out to 300. Then, when I'm satisfied with my skill at 300, move it out to 400. Then 500, and eventually, 600. After I can hit a full-sized human silouette target at those ranges, I'll start making the targets smaller.

    It's going to take me a very long time, I think, but I believe I can do it.
     
  4. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Depends on what you mean by "good.":p

    I could probably hit a milk jug MAYBE 75% of the time at 200 yd with my M39 (Finnish Mosin-Nagant), assuming I could see it. I shot at a 6" bullseye this weekend offhand w/no sling at 100 yd and hit it 2 for 2. But the M39 is phenomenally easy to shoot accurately, even offhand, so that's not all that much to brag about. With my mini-14, I think I could easily make torso hits at 100 yd, maybe 150, offhand with iron sights, but it seems to "flutter" a lot more when shooting offhand (less inertia than the M39). I don't think I could hit a milk jug 100% beyond 100 yd unless I took a rest, went prone, or braced up against something.
     
  5. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

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    Iron sights are all i use any more. there's a grand total of one rifle in the household that's scoped, and that's dad's model 70.

    most of my shooting is done with either my number 4 mk 1 (chosen because of the sights), my mini-14, or my remington 514 with redfield target sights.


    every longarm I own has aperature sights on it, except for one shotgun, whuch will have aperature sights put on it shortly.
     
  6. MolonLabe416

    MolonLabe416 Member

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    This medium is sometimes difficult to communicate through. I wasn't flaming, it is an excellent goal. I was only commenting that with limited time, which I assume we all have, that practical use of the rifle might be a more valuable skill.

    These drills are detailed in The Art of the Rifle by Jeff Cooper. Highly recommend you get the book. Also recommend that you try to take the 270 General Rifle course at Gunsite, or seek out a three day class from Bill Jeans, Jim Crews, Randy Cain, et al. You'll be amazed at what you learn and the friend's you'll make.

    Here's a brief overview of some practical rifle drills. I'm paraphrasing the text to save space.

    Snap shooting.

    Standard test is conducted at 25 and 50 meters utilizing the IPSC Option Target, which has a 4 inch head box and 10 inch chest ring. At 25 meters, the shooter stands at standard ready, butt on hip, safety on, muzzle aligned exactly between the shooter's eyes and the target. At 25 meters the target is the head ring and the shooter is allowed one 1.5 seconds to mount his rifle and deliver the shot. Not many men can place all five shots in the head ring every time on demand. Repeat at 50 meters with the same time limit.

    Rifle Ten.

    IPSC Option Target placed at 300 meters. Five firing points, one each at 300, 275, 250, 225, 200 meters. Shooter stands ready at 300 meters distance. Shooter may use any position he chooses. On demand, the shooter engages the target with 2 rounds, after which, without signal, he is free to sprint forward to the firing point at 275, where he again fires 2 shots. He then moves to 250 for two shots, and on to 225 for two shots. All firing thusfar is freestyle. The shooter than moves to 200, where a chest high screen forces him to shoot his final 2 shoots standing erect.

    The Rifle Bounce.

    Use Pepper Popper reactive targets. Place one at 100, one at 200, and one at 300 meters. The shooter is allowed 6 rounds only. He may engage any target as many times as he wishes, but may not exceed 6 rounds total. Firing positions are freestyle. His firing points are lateral in line from left to right. At the signal, the shooter engages the 100 meter target. When he flattens the first target, he moves to his second position and engages his 200 meter target. Repeat for the 300 meter target. The object is to knock down all targets in the shortest amount of time. 20 seconds is good.

    Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress.
     
  7. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    See, when you talk drills, I think of battle drills that I've trained on, which are prettymuch team-oriented at the squad level. I, with my SAW, lay down suppressive fire while the other team bounds back, then they lay down the heat while we bound back. With the SAW, I lay down the fire so the riflemen can conserve their ammo.

    That sort of stuff.

    Anyway, I don't have the facilities to conduct those kinds of drills, save perhaps the "snap shooting", though I don't know where to get an "IPSC" standard target.

    As for the snap shooting, other than to challenge oneself, is there any practical reason to aim for the head and not center of mass? Seems to me that if speed is the emphasis, a center of mass shot will be easier than a headshot.

    About these rifle classes. I've thought about them, of course, though most of them seem geared towards bolt action, scoped hunting rifles. I don't plan on using a scope much until I've accomplished my goals with the irons.

    I'm still willing, of course, but don't have the funds. I'm coming into some money this summer, but most of it has to be spent on school, debts, and saving for the big move next year. These classes run into the thousands of dollars, and you have to have the ammo, the motel, the gas, etc.

    I was thinking of someday scraping together the cash and time to go to Thunder Ranch, but apparently they're closing now. :(
     
  8. MolonLabe416

    MolonLabe416 Member

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    There was a gentleman in my 270 who shot an 03 Springfield with a Lyman aperture sight. He was a bit slower than those with the same skill level who had scopes, but not enough less precise to matter.

    One of the reasons to go to class is to see how your equipment works under field conditions under stress. Worth the price of admission right there.

    I agree that the 25 meter head snap shots are really just a drill, that in reality a thinking man would shoot CoM. It's a good drill nonetheless.

    Yes, Thunder Ranch is closing, but Clint is opening a smaller school in OR.

    A 3 day class by one of the instructors noted above is much less expensive. They travel, so it's likely that you can find one nearer home and you don't have to take an entire week off to attend. These guys, and a number of others I don't know, are all current or ex Gunsite Provosts so they are very good instructors.

    The classes are fun and you'll learn more than your monies worth. Plan on going. It doesn't have to be this year, but set the goal. The practice routine you've established will stand you in good stead when you get to attend.
     
  9. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    Used to be, until my eyes started to go.
     
  10. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Member

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    hey I need the money I will only charge you a little over half of what they charge.
    I will provide the weapons and ammo and range for training and at the regular prices.
    bye the time I'am done you will be able to engage a man size target and hit it out to 600 yards with out a problem with open sights with either a ar15 or m1a. the only reason only 600 yards is that this year is all I access to but next year you can use a 308 out to 1,000 yards.
    I can cover :
    loads
    mirage
    wind reading
    position npa
    you name it and we will make it happen.
    I can show you how to empty a 20 round mag in under 50 seconds and get all kills with open sights on a man size target at 600 yards. trust me its fun and we can up that round count once you get better at it as they do make 30 round mags for a ar15.

    you can shoot at 100 or 200 or 300 yards and its great practice but when you get back to 500 and beyond you get alot more things to think about.

    think about it would it not be fun to get down in a unsupported prone position look at the target in a 25 mph cross wind in the rain put the figures real fast into your head and with a quick adjustment on your rifle you are right on target at 600 yards with open sights.
    alot of folks might ask why would you want to do that?
    because you can and it makes 100 or 200 yards seem like nothing but childs play.

    if you think this is a joke just ask the moderator if I'am kidding.
    as the mood I'am in this evening its like a zone and we can play night games as just because its dark does not mean you have to stop playing thats when the good scopes get put on the weapons.
    star light star bright.
     
  11. Feanaro

    Feanaro Member

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    Gonna have to disagree there, with humans. The farther away from the enemy you are the less chance of become a sieve. It's harder to hit them but it's more important to not die, me thinks. ;)
     
  12. Dave P

    Dave P Member

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    Nightcrawler - have you looked into Highpower matches or classes up there? Those can often offer training and instruction for those wishing to become better riflemen (aren't we all?). Class F will allow your FAL to formally compete, if you wanna.

    ANd the Garand matches are a great place to learn good shooting techniques, and put them to the test. You DO have a Garand, don't you??
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    He's not. JC121 and I are practicing for the CO State Rifle Team. One of the matches we're wanting to shoot is the NTIT (National Trophy Infantry Team) match. I have a feeling I will wind up on that team and Jon will be on the NTT (National Trophy Team) team and maybe next year we will swap (the state doesn't want to burn two Camp Perry tyros in the same matches in the same year...have to have a "new to Perry" guy on the team every year.) Hopefully I will be over 25 hits in 50 seconds from 600 in the next practice...that would feel great.

    Nightcrawler, I really don't know of anyone who could shoot well enough for reliable standing shot hits at 600. If that's what you want to do, go for it. I'd suggest you shoot HP for a few years as that will show you that there's a long way to go in standing for almost all of us. Once you start cleaning the standing target at 200 and understanding wind at 600, you could then start your standing at 600. Having the HP experience in your back pocket would be very valuable.
     
  14. Deadman

    Deadman Member

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    Nightcrawler can you elaborate on what you mean by 'bound back' exactly?
     
  15. Dave R

    Dave R Member

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    To answer the question, I routinely shoot 4" groups at 200 yards with my ol' CETME. I haven't tried milk jugs at that distance, but old propane tanks are automatic hits.

    Hitting the target is about sight picture and a steady hold. Iron sights do that as well as scopes.

    What scopes do better at distance is help you SEE the target. I can't get 4" groups without a nice contrast so I can align the sights identically on each shot. With a scope, I don't need that much contrast.
     
  16. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    I used to be fairly decent with iron sights, but now that I use my single-vision glasses to FIND my tri-focals.....
     
  17. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    Okay, you have a squad, made of of two fire teams. They're on patrol, and come under attack from the enemy.

    Now, there are several things they can do, depening on a number of factors, inlcuding whether or not it's a near or far engagement. A near engagement is within hand grenade range, a far engagement is beyond that.

    When the enemy attacks, the squad leader may make the decesion to break contact. If that happens, one team will "bound back", basically, turn and dash away, for 10 to 30 meters, depending on what the team leader says. Then they'll get down, turn around, and cover they other team while they bound back.

    Misunderstanding! PRONE at 600 yards. Heh. I want to be able to hit a milk jug from standing at 200, though. 600 yards from standing...that WOULD be impressive, wouldn't it?

    Don't think there's much. We don't even have a real gunsmith. Fortuantely, I'm moving to Utah next year, and there's more there (not to mention Utah is a lot closer to a lot of the big schools).

    I'm working on it.

    He has a point. If the enemy is in range, so are you. The easier it is for you to hit them, the easier it is for them to hit you. Which is why it can be very advantageous to be a well-trained rifleman and be able to engage targets at the longest ranges your weapon will allow. May not always come in handy, but that level of skill certainly can't hurt.

    And jc121, that DOES sound like fun.
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Nightcrawler, I definitely misunderstood you. Sounds like Highpower would be perfect for you. See if these are near you: http://www.michrpa.com/highpower.htm and http://mywebpages.comcast.net/jesse99/michigan.html and http://www.illinoishighpower.org/2003_highpower_match_schedule.htm and http://mywebpages.comcast.net/jesse99/index.html

    Looks like some of the "Highpower" in MI is actually Highpower Silhouette where scopes are used, and all shots are from standing, I think. "Across the coure" Highpower would be more to your liking, I think, and it is all iron sight.
     
  19. sasnofear

    sasnofear member

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    600yrds with sling :) . a bipods cheating! unsless long range varmint shooting, but thats another storie 4 a another thread.
     
  20. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Member

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    steve post the photo of the guys shooting open sights at 1,000 yard standing off hand.
    it is on the front page of the arizona rifle and pistol ???. I belief you know mids. home range in arizona.

    if you want to do this remember::
    practice! practice ! practice!
    that photo ought to be good for a few laughs
     
  21. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    Nightcrawler:

    Lacking longer range, substitute smaller targets. If you take up HP shooting which has been previously suggested (and I strongly endorse), NRA approves the SR-42 target to simulate 300 yard target @ 200 yds; and the MR-52 to simulate 600 yd shooting @ 200 yds. Arguably, the short range is less difficult than the full range shooting due to less wind/mirrage problems, but the size is caluclated to provide a more difficult target @ short ranges.

    Regards,
    hps
     
  22. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Moderator Emeritus

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    Jon, they took the pic down and replaced it with something else...sorry!


    hps1, the true distance targets are harder for the reasons you state, but technically the reduced course targets are tougher due to line thickness and ring dimensions. If wind and mirage were non-existant, the true distance targets would be more forgiving.
     
  23. Shawn Dodson

    Shawn Dodson Member

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    Last Friday afternoon: 200 yd head shots at an IPSC target with iron sights, prone, military surplus ammo: 3 hits out of 4 attempts with my FN LAR, and 2 hits out of 3 attempts with my AR15.

    I've always been more comfortable with iron sights than optical sights. Got pretty good with iron sights shooting Daisy BB guns as a kid.

    200 yds is the max distance at my local range, and it isn't much of a challenge (at least bench, prone, sitting and braced kneeling positions). I understand where Nightcrawler is coming from.

    Milk carton, 200 yards, standing off-hand? That sounds like that could put a little challenging fun back into shooting, at least at my range.
     
  24. Correia

    Correia Moderator Emeritus

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    Right now, out of all my rifles only one is wearing a scope. I'm just an iron sight kind of guy.

    As for groups, beats me. I don't ever shoot them. :) I'm more of a pick specific rock at unknown distance and hit it kind of guy. I really do need to settle in and practice shooting groups.
     
  25. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

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    I never felt the need to shoot "groups". Other than academic curiosity to see what you and your rifle are exactly capable of, I don't really see the appeal. People always need to quantify things, though. For me, if every round in my magazine hits the target at a given range, I'm happy.
     
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