Sunday, August 31, 2008


I went shooting with a friend last Thursday morning. I had tried to invite another friend but he's booked with the beginning of the school year. What follows is an edited version of the range report I sent to him:

Howdy, J -

I neglected to save your phone number, and I hate just dropping in on somebody.

We had a clinic day. E brought his P17 Enfield and I shot my Remington 700. His rifle began life as an infantry rifle but was later 'sporterized' and he is in the process of restoring it to the military configuration. He's been a plinker and casual shooter for a long time, but we've got him down to about seven inch groups from open sights at two hundred yards... which is a lot better than 'not bad' considering he's shooting full power .30'06 loads.

Shot the Remington (scoped with the famous Bushnell Game Friendly Variable) with two lots of ammo - one Winchester, one Remington, both in 180gr elk loads. Groups were consistent at a fat four inches, with the Winchester hitting on point of aim (which is what I had zeroed with, two years ago - same ammo ) while the Remington ammo grouped well but about three inches below point of aim.

We closed with two twenty round clips each from my Bushmaster. I wanted to see if my gun show tacticool scope would hold close to the zero I had put on it a few months ago, and the answer was a resounding 'hell YES'; I attached the scope, put the rifle to my shoulder and asked E to watch beyond the target stand and tell me where the impact was - and that I was shooting at the water filled 160z energy drink can we had put on top of the frame. Adjusted the stock, gave a tug to the scope to make sure it was firmly attached, shouldered the weapon, and shot the can off the frame first shot.

We worked through the stuff we'd stood up - four more water-filled targets, some paper targets - well before we ran out of bullets. The reticle absolutely sucks for fine work...but I bought it as a straight tactical option for two hundred yard work on man - sized targets and it's absolutely all of that. I might be able to see a coyote; the can I shot was completely occluded by the vertical reticle. I hit it by putting the horizontal reticle about two inches above and parallel with the top of the target frame. I'm well pleased. I haven't tried those heavy loads you bought for me, nor the ones I already had. All our shooting was with Russian steel case ammo or LE reloads, both in 55 grain.

The pictures are both of E with the Bushmaster. (edit - one of E, the other is The Wall of Old Rifles downstairs) Pardon the lack of quality, they are just from my cell phone. The one looking downrange actually shows him hitting the two liter bottle on top of the target frame; it just looks like a white smudge.

The Nephi venue is actually two hundred yards deep and about fifty feet wide, and bounded by berms on three sides. There is a welded steel frame at the end holding a couple sheets of plywood on which to hang targets. There are benches at one and two hundred. I have one free standing target holder and I think I may actually have yet another one buried in my garage somewhere.

So I take it you picked up the rifle? Please call at your convenience and this time I promise I'll add you to my phone book. We'll get out before the winter gets too foul. I may have a coyote shooting venue in the works, and will let you know how that turns out.

Hope that school has started well and that you and yours are enjoying what comes your way -


PS - I'm not sure how smart John McCain is, but he's proven to possess buckets of crafty. At least I can vote for him with a clearer conscience than I could before last week. aj.

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