Friday, April 27, 2018

Range running

Really pretty day today and the first really nice weather of the season.

I took the opportunity to go for a bloody hard prairie hike and finish up with some range work.

It's been a long winter, and despite the fact that I spent 40 hours/week on my feet at the cornvenience store, mostly cleaning like a firetrucking white (yes, I are a racist and all the other ists too) tornado, I also spent too much time on by backside and enjoyed too many fine meals. So while my muscles remain strong my wind and endurance are sadly lacking.

Four-and-a-half miles with rifle, chest rig, and 240 rounds in eight mags was a very very hard task. The good thing, I guess, was that as hard as I pushed I only got my heart rate up to 160. I could have pushed a lot harder and really given the old ticker a bloody good gallop, but I didn't want to make myself miserable or even crap out before the finish line. So, you know, pretty good first workout of the season, at least for an old fat guy.

At the end of the hike I did some shooting; 200 and 400 yards, prone, sandbag rest. It's a good challenge to shoot when physically stressed. You really have to concentrate on fundamentals if you want to shoot with accuracy, and when you're tired and sore and breathing heavily and your heart is tripping along at 150-160, tiny little fundamental details are the only difference between hitting and making expensive noise.

The rifle I was shooting is my shorty AR in 5.56x45 NATO. Technically it's a pistol with a 10" barrel and an arm brace, but for all practical purposes it's a short carbine. It's a good shooter and I was running some very good ammo. The combination of rifle and ammo will shoot 2 MOA (2 inches at 100 yards, 4 inches at 200 yards, etc.) easily and I've proven that from the bench. So today, with a properly zeroed optic, I could expect 4 inch groups at 200 and 8 inch groups at 400. As long as I could do my marksman imitation properly!

To help me with that whole human interface part, I set up the camera and shot some video. It's a good technique to help you spot little (or big!) flaws in shooting technique. At 200 yards I managed 5.5 inch groups. Not bad, but there's plenty of room for improvement.

At 400 yards I was 15 inches high and 10 inches right. The group itself wasn't terrible, about 10 inches, but why the firetruck was it shooting way the hell and gone high and right? A real head-scratcher. Until I looked at the video.

And that, boys and girls, is why we train. Who can spot the problem? Free one-year subscription to the blog to the first five correct callers.

Being smart enough to realize that you're really pretty rock-headed stupid can be a real advantage.


  1. Since I know bupkus about marksmanship, I guess I'll have to continue to pay the entry fee to read your blog.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

  2. Did you police your brass? Silly question, I know.


    1. A good question actually. And yes I did.

    2. No, it was silly because I would die of shock if you had not.


  3. Barrel on rest vice handguard

    1. Ding-ding-ding-ding! There's no free lunch; a short carbine is wonderfully handy and in many ways the equal of a longer rifle, but it comes with a number of challenges.