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A short story about the bottom line, with help from some LR Hunting Regulars

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Unread 02-21-2003, 04:56 PM
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A short story about the bottom line, with help from some LR Hunting Regulars

One thousand, nine hundred and eighty seven yards away a six by six finishes raking a small pine tree and stands broadside, peeing on his back legs for a few seconds.(I put this in for Darryl C.). Five hundred and thirty yards from your blind a huge Alberta whitetail buck leaves the shadows and approaches a scrape (for Dave King...). Four hundred yards away a wary coyote sits on his butt and yaps at you (been there a few times, right Tim Behle). Two hundred and seventy five yards across an arid pasture a gopher stands up and munches on a weed (this probably takes place in sunny Alaska, back of Brent's house...). One hundred yards away your target has four shots in one hole and you chamber shot number five (sound familiar, both Chris's). At forty yards you can hear the pounding hooves as a seven by seven elk gets your scent and charges away through the poplars - in moments he will cross a cut-line and you will get one shot (suspect that this is one of Jerry Teos recurring dreams). At twenty-five yards your target has nine bulls-eyes - you place the tenth .22 long rifle match cartridge into the chamber (Steve Shelp has probably been in this situation a few times). The setting sun hi-lights every whisker on the bloodsoaked face of the huge black-maned lion as he holds down a huge impala with one taloned paw while he pulls the willing lioness into position for a Kalahari-quickie, as Len positions the 600 mm Nikon for the shot of a lifetime...(gotta include something nice about the boss, right!) [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

All of these situations share one simple requirement - a well-aimed shot. All of these situations are doable if the shooter has good equipment and adequate skills. All of these situations can result in a lot of joy, pride and satisfaction. They can also become bad memories in a heartbeat. One miniscule movement, applying a few pounds of weight on the trigger sends your bullet on its way. The result can be a grin or a frown, simple as that.

Trigger control, the process of causing the trigger to release a shot properly, is the final act in the aiming and firing of the rifle (or any firearm). We might describe trigger control as breaking the trigger smoothly and following through. Trigger control is an absolute necessity if we want to shoot well.

How does one master trigger control? One piece of advice is - do not jerk the trigger. Jerking the trigger is one of the most insidious reasons that our shots go astray. Insidious because in the excitement of getting the shot off we frequently jerk the trigger without realizing that we have done the nasty deed. How many times have you heard someone say that he had a good shot but hit "just" over, under, behind or where-ever. He probably jerked the trigger.

I have found that regardless if my target is a steel plate at 1000 yards or a balloon at 100 yards on my electronic moving target system, trigger control makes for hits. ALL types of shots require a smooth trigger let-off and follow-through. There is only one way to achieve trigger control and that is by shooting, the more the better.
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Unread 02-21-2003, 07:18 PM
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Location: Lock Haven P.A.
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Re: A short story about the bottom line, with help from some LR Hunting Regulars

Ian,it's funny you said the 100 yard thing.I shot these group's about an hour ago.The one on the left is ten shot's.The one on the right is 6 shot's.Can you guess which one is number 6?????? [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img] .Did'nt shoot the other 4.No need....... [img]images/icons/mad.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]
Boyd Heaton...
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Unread 02-21-2003, 09:15 PM
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Re: A short story about the bottom line, with help from some LR Hunting Regulars


That makes me want to send afew rounds 1500 to 2000 yds downrange at my property tomorrow.
That is of course, if the weather holds and we don't get the rain we are suppose to get.

Will have to wait and see. I'm getting cabin fever.

Have to haul corn to the deer from the sportsman club tomorrow, may as well include some shooting too?

I'll be sure to work on my trigger control.
[img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

Darryl Cassel
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Unread 02-22-2003, 05:29 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: NC
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Re: A short story about the bottom line, with help from some LR Hunting Regulars

Haven't fired a round since deer season which isn't much being it only took one shot [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] .
I use to shoot an indoor 50ft rimfire league from the offhand postion, to pass those long snowy PA winters, but that's the extend of my competitive rimfire experience.
But it's funny you bring up rimfire with my name, because I'm a very firm believer in practicing with a 22 to keep your edge on trigger control finely tuned. I tried to wear out my dad's 22 growing up and shooting almost daily with it. Where we lived I could shoot almost 360 degrees around our house without a problem. And lord knows I've sent a round or 2 down my own 22 since leaving home.
When I got out of the Marines fter 4yrs, I wore a 4th award rifle and 3rd award pistol expert badge on my uniform and fired on our detachement's rifle/pistol team and went to the division matches one year down at Camp Lejuene's Stone Bay ranges. The reason I bring this up, is because of the big emphasis the USMC puts on your rifle qualification status (or it seems it use to) to even stay in the Corps. If you went "unq" (short for unqualified) on the rifle range in any one year, don't expect to be on the promotion list and you probably wouldn't be able to re-enlist. You were basically on your way out. But yet you only went to the rifle range to practice proper marksmanship and qualify once a year. You got 4 days of dry firing and a couple of across the course matches to get tuned back up from being rusty for a whole year and then it was time to qualify on the fifth day. For an military organization to put such a high emphasis on marksmanship, their once a year marksmanship training lacked big time in my opinion.
Yes we fired our weapons several thousand times in field training for night fire and various training exercises, but it wasn't scored or anything. So it wasn't marksmanship training per-say. Just hit that area target(read as a burned out tank hull or something) out there 300m, learn your field lessons for the day, and get back to the rear for a shower and some good hot chow..... maybe [img]images/icons/confused.gif[/img]
I kept telling fellow Marines that had a hard time qualifying to go out to the local public firing range and rent a 22 and practice. I worked with one Marine doing this and he qualified something like 20 pts higher the next time he qualified with his M16 after shooting approx 1 full brick of 22 shells with my coaching a week before he was due to get out to the range. Was the 22 he practiced with anything like the M16? ......not even close. But the basic principles still applied to both rifles. Breathing, trigger control, etc, etc, should be instinctive when you're on top of your game. And that only comes by practicing correctly and A LOT, just like you said above. It's trigger time and there is no substitute. I think the 22 is way under-rated in this department by the general shooting/hunting public and unfortunetly the USMC as a whole (outside of any of their organized competition teams) in my opinion.

My $.02 worth. But it's time to try and get back in the groove though, because match season is fast approaching. I can't complain about the job taking shooting time away in these tough times though..... I still have a job so I've got to appreciate what I have for now.


[ 02-22-2003: Message edited by: Steve Shelp ]
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Unread 02-22-2003, 07:22 PM
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Re: A short story about the bottom line, with help from some LR Hunting Regulars

I shot a group yesterday, one of the smallest I shot in fact, I pulled on the last shot, only I pulled it into the group this time! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] I know that shot would have opened the group by half an inch at least! I pulled low left and the shot hit high right!

That was the only shot I broke, that I noticed, that wasn't clean in 27 rounds. Sometimes you get lucky. I hate my 3.5# trigger, better than it was but still horrible.

I shot a poor bird at 250 yards with my brothers 10/22 a few weeks ago. He told me he was seeing the bullets through the 32x Pentax and to try it and look for myself. It took a few rounds to see them but I walked them into the "feathers", yep at 250 yards with a 22. They couldn't believe it, neither could I!

I had alot of practice that day with a scope that turned into a giant peep sight when the battery went dead on the Aimpoint 2000. That was fun, not too hard, but definatly challenging.

I agree, without perfect trigger control you're simply wasting your time.

Get the best rest you can get, squeeze without torquing the gun, be surprised but follow through.

I get alot of my practice from mainly working up loads in several rifles, trying to make sure the load is the one producing the error and not me. I've just ended up being a better shooter as a result. If I had always just went out to plink, I doubt I would have learned the things necessary to break a shot the right way. The aim to shoot the tightest groups possible at LR has always made me double my efforts too.

My wife used to always ask me why the groups on my targets (just under moa) I came home with weren't good enough, she sayed they looked fine and asked, what more could better groups do for me. Well needless to say, she can explain to anyone what moa means now, and why a 1 moa gun just won't always do at long range, even on moose. She has a pretty thurough understanding of ballistics by now as a result of my brainwashing [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img], you know I have to explain all this stuff to her so she understands why I need all the new expensive toys. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

Trigger time is what she needs most. Most her time has been spent in Brents classroom [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img], but she applies it at the range and kind of sees things in perspective more and more every time out.

I like your story Steve, that's pretty interesting. You'd defintely think they'd give you all the time in the world to practice shooting, more than most people get to shoot anyway. I never would have guessed it.

Oh ya, Boyd, you want to stop posting groups like those, my wife sees those while I'm on here and she'll laugh even harder at mine! [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

No seriously, she says you're a damn fine shot. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img] I do have target envy though. [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

[ 02-22-2003: Message edited by: Brent ]
Brent Moffitt
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Unread 02-22-2003, 08:02 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Nashville, TN
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Re: A short story about the bottom line, with help from some LR Hunting Regulars

I get to see just how badly my trigger and breath control has degraded since Mid-December tomorrow.

We're shooting a 1K prone/F Class match in the morning and I plan on load testing in the afternoon. I can't wait to be behind a trigger again. It's 308 and 6.5x284 all day tomorrow [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img]

From the little bit of dry firing I've done in the last couple days,, it's gonna be an interesting day. [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

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Unread 02-22-2003, 08:52 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: McNeal, AZ
Posts: 368
Re: A short story about the bottom line, with help from some LR Hunting Regulars


I've been practicing a different type of trigger control the last two days, and it's killing me.

Javalina season opened yesterday. I haven't seen a Javalina in two weeks now. But the danged coyotes the last two days keep walking out in front of me. 4-600 yards most of them. They pose for several minutes, then slowly wonder off.

I almost lost control this morning. I watched a pair of them work their way across the field past me. I held the crosshairs on one's shoulder for several minutes. I even got the safety off and felt the coldness of the trigger under my finger. If I'd had anything else in the chamber but a 162 AMax, she'd be sitting on a fur stretcher right now, but I hate the way those Amax's treat fur, and let her walk away.
If I can kill that coyote from here, Will you walk out to get him?
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