Posts Tagged ‘Range’

After deciding to add a scope to my AR, I had to get it zeroed in and see how it worked.  With the local ranges being closed until May and living in an urban area, I had to find another place to go shooting.  My dad’s was the only logical choice.  His backyard is where I did all my shooting when I started this blog and its the place that inspired the name as well.

20140315_170805I took my AR, my SKS, and my SR22, as well as enough ammo to last all evening.  The weather stayed decent most of the time and the only time it caused a problem was when the wind blew the target around.  We ended up shooting for an hour or two and managed to get the AR zeroed in as I had hoped.

I set up my AR using the CMMG 22lr conversion kit so that I could get the scope sighted in relatively close before making more adjustments with the more expensive .223 ammo.  It worked pretty well and everything was going pretty good for a while.  Unfortunately at some point my Millet Tactical scope mount came loose and we spent several minutes and a dozen or so rounds before realizing it.  We then had to undo all the changes we made and it was a mess.  It took about 40 rounds to get it set up because of that mount not being tight.

When we finally got it close I switched over to the .223 and zeroed it in a little closer.  I had assumed that at 50 yards 22lr and .223 would have hit the target closer together but they were about 1.5″ apart.  The .223 was hitting that much higher.  I spent about half an hour going back and forth between 22lr and .223 to find a decent middle ground so the scope will be close for both of them.  I’ve got it set up now so that at 50 yards the 22lr is about 1/2″ low and the .223 is about 1″ high.  For now that’s good enough but once the other ranges open up and I can shoot out to 100 yards or more I’ll probably focus more on just the .223 zero.  I’ll probably zero the iron sights for the 22lr at a range of like 40-50 yards or so.

SKS TargetThe highlight of the day though was shooting the SKS.  It always is.  For a gun with no attachments and few tactical applications, the “peasant rifle” is always a blast to shoot.  Everything about the gun is perfect to me.  While I would love to have a scope on it, its incredibly accurate using just the iron sights.  My dad, his friend, and myself, all shot the rifle from a resting position and we were hitting pretty close to center.  My first two shots were just a hair below the bullseye and all our following shots were equally spaced along the outside of the center area.  If it had been a 6″ plate we would have hit all around the edges and everywhere in between.  I took a picture after the first few shots but after that we let loose with it.  I think with a good bit of practice I could be deadly with it even out to 100 yards.

Overall we had a good time.  My guns are still shooting good and my skills have only deteriorated slightly.  I look forward to many more trips to the range like this.

My resolution for the new year was to get out and do some more shooting this year and I started out strong.  I spent the first Saturday of 2014 out at the Hite Hollow range near Staunton, Va.  My neighbor had a new pistol to shoot so we loaded everything up and headed out.

I was very surprised at how well I did.  Considering I hadn’t shot any of my rifles in months, I was lucky I could even hit the target.  I really don’t like to let skills sit idle for that long, but I guess it was ok this time.  I managed some pretty tight groups with my two 22 pistols and was hitting extremely accurate with my AR at 50 yards with both 22lr and .223.

The only gun I shot poorly was my neighbor’s pistol.  I don’t think that’s a personal failure either as the gun is nearly the size of my head and I could barely wrap my hand around the grip.  At about 7 yards I was hitting the target close enough to be considered deadly, but the time and effort involved in lining each shot up would definitely have cost me dearly in a real-world situation.  I will definitely need more practice with a gun this size if I intend to ever use one, but for now I think I’ve decided that a 45 just might not be for me.

My SKS, as I expected, was the most fun to shoot.  There’s just something about the 7.62 round being fired from a gun with some wood on it that I really enjoy.  I would love to try shooting an AK47, but I’ll settle with the SKS for now.  It doesn’t kick, its very accurate (even with open sights), and it just looks so cool.  I used to consider my AR to be my #1 choice if things got bad, just because it can shoot two types of ammo.  I think I might be starting to change my mind.  After all, that Bayonet will be very handy when the zombies come . . .

 

Its time for us to say goodbye to 2013 and welcome in 2014.  Its time to look back on our lives for the past year and see what we can do to improve ourselves or make life more enjoyable.  Its time for New Year’s Resolutions.

Since I’ve moved out of my parents’ houses and into an apartment with my fiance, things have been fantastic.  Life really is great and I couldn’t really ask for more.  That said, I have been neglecting my firearms and letting my skills wither away.  Its time for me to get back out there and do some shooting and practicing.

For 2014, I resolve to go shooting as often as I can.  I’m going to start out strong by going to shoot with my neighbor this Saturday.  He recently bought a 9mm 45 and has been really looking forward to shooting it.  Depending on where we go I’ll probably bring my rifles along.  I’ve been itching to shoot my SKS some more.  If we go to the indoor range in town however I’ll have to stick with just my .22 pistols.

Either way its going to be fun.  I’ll be sure to share how everything goes and let you know how badly my skills have deteriorated without practice.  Happy New Year everyone!

I’ll be honest, its been quite a while since I shopped locally for ammo.  I tried for a long time to check every time I was in town at my local shops, but I eventually got sick of checking.  The availability hasn’t improved as much as I predicted it would just a few months ago.

Today, after I dropped my fiance off at work at 6am, I decided to get our groceries for the week.  The place was deserted and I had a lot of spare time, so I decided to just browse a little.  Out of sheer curiosity I walked through the sporting goods section and was surprised to see they had reduced the size of their ammo cabinet by half.  One side now contains all the ammo that used to take up both halves, while the other side has been replaced with airsoft guns.

The side that had the ammo was barren and looked like it had been neglected for a while.  But there . . . right there on top was fifteen boxes of Tula .223!  Not only did they have some .223 but they had my favorite brand.  They were only $5.27 a box so I went ahead and bought my limit of 3.

Unfortunately it looked like most other calibers were pretty thin.  Each had pretty much one brand to choose from so it looks like Walmart still isn’t the best place to shop for ammo.  I would imagine local gun shops have a better selection now but I haven’t checked for a while and probably wont for some time still.

Hopefully I can get back to the range this weekend and blow through what I just bought.  I need to get some practice in and now I have some spare ammo to play with.  What is the ammo situation in the rest of the country?  Is it improving at all or is everyone still forced to buy their stuff online?  I’ve been away for far too long so let me know in the comments please.

I received a letter in the mail a few weeks back letting me know that my local shooting range, to which I was a member, was closing its doors.  They were kind enough to reimburse me for the remaining time left on my membership but nevertheless it was pretty sad to hear.

I hadn’t been going as much lately with all the changes in my life, so maybe their closing was partly my fault.  Maybe it was the ammo craze that drove gun owners everywhere to hoard ammo instead of using it.  Maybe it was the economy.  I don’t know.

What I do know is that I will now have to travel at least 45 minutes any time I want to shoot at an actual range.  My dad’s house is only 15 minutes away and I can shoot there whenever I want, but sometimes an actual range is just much better.

If you’re lucky enough to have a range in your area, get out there and show them your support.  Let them know you want them to stay around and that you find what they have to offer very enriching.  And spread the good word to other gun owners so that business can improve.  If the ranges all close and we have nowhere to shoot out guns, how will we maintain our shooting skills?  For some of us, living in isolated rural areas just isn’t an option.

Last week I ran a poll on my blog (its posted below as well to continue the voting) that asked what your favorite type of gun was for recreational shooting.  The choices were handguns, rifles, or shotguns.  At the end of the week there were a total of 30 votes, making it the one with the most votes so far.  Handguns won by far with 18 votes.  Rifles were next with 11 votes.  Shotguns brought up the rear with one lonely vote.

I honestly thought that rifles would have had the most, even though I personally prefer handguns as well.  The reason I thought rifles would be the favorite is because there has been such a fus lately about ARs and tactical rifles.  .223 ammo had been impossible to find for a while, so I just naturally assumed that people were more interested in shooting rifles.  But it seems I may have been wrong.

The reason I prefer handguns is just because they’re smaller and less cumbersome than a rifle. You can load up 2 or 3 pistols and head to the range for the same effort as one rifle. Ammo is smaller and generally less expensive. Rifles are fun as well, don’t get me wrong, but I just love taking my Ruger SR22 to the range and blasting through a bunch of 22s.

Here’s the poll again (over on the right) in case you didn’t get a chance to vote before I pulled it down. Let me know in the comments why you voted the way you did. What makes you prefer a handgun over a rifle or vice versa? Is it convenience or something else? Do you prefer the tactical applications your AR brings, or are you more of a Glock aficionado? Lets get the debate rolling!

Also, be sure to vote in this weeks poll (over on the left) to be part of next week’s discussion.

The poll I ran last week asked the question, “How often do you practice? (Dry-fire exercises included)”.  There were 21 votes during the week it was posted and the results were pretty much what I expected.

11 people voted that they practiced weekly, 5 voted for monthly, and 5 voted for other answers.  The results would seem to indicate that the majority of people practice every week or every month.  That’s about where I’m at as well; I usually get to practice every two weeks or so.

I’ve mentioned this before in a few older posts:  Shooting is a skill that fades quickly when you don’t practice.  Taking only a few weeks off can significantly impact your results.  Shooting a gun is much like riding a bike because you’ll never forget how to do it.  But its also like bowling because it requires precision and consistency.  When you don’t practice, it takes longer to get built back up.  You can’t stay on top of your game without practice.

I’m not suggesting you practice every day.  Who could afford the ammo for that anyway?  I do think everyone should practice though.  Its essential in order to maintain your shooting skills.  Enough time off makes you forget even the basics.  Re-learning them is almost as hard the second time as it was the first time and that’s why my current bowling average is 40 pins less than in was 3 years ago.

So this weekend (its supposed to be very nice if you live in VA or surrounding areas) get out there and practice.  I know you’ve been hoarding ammo since The Great Ammo Drought of 2013 began and so have I.  Since ammo is returning to the shelves and becoming available again finally, its time we get back out there and refine those skills we’ve worked so hard to attain!

What are your thoughts on this issue?  How often do you practice and why?  Do you think everyone should practice every day or every week?  At what point do you start losing what you’ve learned?  I’m interested to hear other peoples’ experiences on this.