Observations and Impressions!
I've been a member of this forum now for quite some time and quite often, from a lot of questions and statements that have been made I am left with the impression that many of the posters that come here have very little experience in the shooting game and a minute or total lack of knowledge within the field of ballistics. Please don't take this as a 'slam' against anyone...for this is not the intention of this posting I can assure you, rather it is an attempt to offer assistance to help clarify what can be done to make a person be more self confident within the world of long range shooting. Many of us have been fortunate enough to have military backgrounds, and as such, a lot of us have also been fortunate in that we have had the opportunity to have competed in NRA High Power events, either at the military or civilian levels. And without a doubt...this gives one a 'leg up' so to speak above those with less experience. First off...become proactive; GET INVOLVED! It doesn't make any difference whether the game be NRA High Power, Bench Rest Shooting, Palma, Tactical shooting, etc., just GET INVOLVED! Find where some events are being held and attend, join any nearby local shooting clubs, introduce yourself to various people and ask questions! One doesn't get anywhere in life by being bashful! Reading can cure a lot of ignorance and with the data out here in the real world today with computers there isn't much hidden data! All one has to do is a little research and it's out there! In my opinion, one of the best ways to learn the game of long range shooting is by having an 'old head' teach one the game..a mentor! Early on my Dad was my mentor; later on I had lots of mentors, the instructor cadre of the United States Army Marksmanship Training Unit at Ft. Benning, Georgia where I was a member of the Service Rifle team. And for anyone that happens to know possibly any ex-member of one of the military teams that is actively shooting and willing to offer instruction, take the opportunity of his/her help! Basically there are two categories of long range shooters; those that wish to learn the art for improving their chances of taking game afield and that segment that wishes to just be able to punch holes in paper or to clang steel! I am lucky in that I partake of both segments! All of my grandchildren are hunters and shooters and the first rules that I taught them were that rifle marksmanship consist basically of four basic things to wit:
2. Sight Alignment (Whether irons or scope)
3. Trigger Control
4. Mental Attitude (Most important 6" of shooting lies between the ears)
All four of the above work in concert with each other and the rules governing their usage are ironclad in nature and totally unyielding in the demand for adherence to each and every segment thereof! Perfection in each of the four are required; nothing less! Of the four if I had to site one as the most important it would be POSITION!
So in order for those wishing to learn the art of long range shooting, please be advised that it's not like it's shown on TV! It's a game that requires a lot of mental preparation and training and it's not something that's learned overnite! Rather...it may take years to become proficient in the art of wind reading alone, not even counting learning to master the IRONCLAD RULES OF MARKSMANSHIP!
HOLD HARD & STAY CENTER!
Ralph L. Ermey