Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday at the bench....


'Tis a rainy Saturday morning, and the first pot of coffee has almost shot it's bolt. Soon I'll be sniffing around for something useful to do.... and I suspect it will be found in the shop. Either hand loading or jewelry bench work, but one twer the other shall be.

Yesterday I put 200 through the 15-22 at 25 yards. Benching it to get the sights set squat on the itsy bitsy one inch bull, and then offhand practice to see what slinging the little .22 accomplishes. A few notes I made while putting in this practice:
  • My aging bifocaled eyes simply are not up to tiny targets with open sights. I KNOW the rifle will make a wide hole in the paper at 25 yards when I have an Eotech mounted on it, but aperture sights yielded 1.5" groups even on the bench. That one inch target dot is a hazy inconsistency with my eyes, and worse.... so is the front sight. I have a choice to make, it seems... stay with the aperture sights and muddle through with the handicap accepting it will be the best I can do under the circumstances, or pull the iron and remount the Eotech, giving way to my advancing age.
  • Slinging the M&P 15-22 does interesting things. Yes, it shrinks group size, but only in one dimension. The barrel is not free floated from the hand guard, and the downward pressure throws the whole group down.... a lot. I had to add four clicks at 25 yards to counter the effect of the slings downward force on the end of the barrel. Add to that, ANY change in sling force has the group strung vertically (Big Time). This brings 'Know Your Weapon' into a whole new realm.
  • Looking at the Appleseed courses of fire (4-500 rounds over two days) I was drawn to the .22 for the same reason any sane person would be. Cost of ammunition and lack of recoil. Once I was in rimfire land, I had two choices from the stable, and only my M&P 15-22 had everything needed on hand for the shoot. Now that I am getting deeper into prep and practice for the shoot... I am reconsidering. Perhaps... just perhaps.... I may go with the full size AR for the whole weekends shooting. I know the cost will be WAY higher in ammunition, but maybe I can swing it (The recoil factor is nothing for a fat old boy like me). Sometime this week a thousand ss109 bullets will show up on my porch, and I easily have 3-400 cases prepped and ready to load. That would just leave me buying some more powder and maybe a few hundred 5.56 to round up the stack. Advantages to the AR? Better sight radius, heavier rifle, better reaction to wearing a sling, and more realistic training. Also.... more fun (g).
  • Also noted yesterday... I need to work on concentration and stamina. I found my focus drifting after the first 100 rounds or so. I'm used t0 58 round high power matches, not hundreds of rounds of precision (HAHAHAHA) shooting at one sitting.

So, to the bench I go!


Oh... a side note. As I was struggling to place hole to paper in the correct manner yesterday, my mind wandered to a bit of ancient history. A boy of sixteen, teaching himself to master a .22 Ruger Single Six across the vastness of our barns central corridor. I recalled being disappointing with myself till I could consistently hold one inch groups at sixty feet, from a weaver stance.

Son of a bitch.... that was a long time ago, and a lot of water under the bridge.

1 comment:

ZerCool said...

Bad eyes are nothing to be embarrassed about. I tried shooting the 25m targets with irons and the 400m line just disappears. Nothing there. Gray silhouette on light beige paper. So, I went on back to the scope and keep it dialed down to 3-4x.

The vertical stringing ... I've got nothing. Keeping the sling at constant tension is the only advice I've got, and you already knew that.

I haven't seen round counts from Appleseeds lately, last few I went to were north of 600 rounds for the weekend (with one that had a small number of very motivated shooters kissing 900 rounds).