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Pursuing Perfection as a Shooter

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October 29, 2012

Pursuing Perfection as a Shooter

By David E. Petzal

Amidst the horror of the recent Olympics, I noticed that a great many of the competitors were not extraordinary talents like Michael Phelps, but simply people of above-average ability whose dedication was extraordinary. There was an Irish gymnast who had sustained a catastrophic injury years before and had been told that he would never walk again, yet here he was. There was a member of the American women’s diving team who had once hit the water wrong, smashed her guts, and nearly died. Yet here she was, back on the platform.

When Vince Lombardi took over the Green Bay Packers, he told them that they were going to pursue perfection. They would not achieve it, he said, but in the process they would attain excellence. He worked them nearly to death, but they became the dominant football team of the 1960s and a good many of the men to whom he spoke went into the Hall of Fame.

Which brings us to my friend Tony M. whom, you may recall, turned in a zero (in a practice round) because he forgot to sight in his rifle. You may also recall my telling you that he was the hardest-working, most meticulous, and best-prepared rifle shooter I know. Just after the zero, this paid off.

One of the events my club shoots is the sheep, a ¼-life-sized target shot prone at 100 yards. The maximum score is 50, plus 25 bonus points which you earn by shooting at a bull’s-eye comprised of fine green lines that you can’t see through the scope. The rings count 1 through 5; the 4-ring is slightly larger than a quarter; the 5-ring is a bit smaller than a dime. You can’t use a scope bigger than 4X or a cartridge less powerful than .243. No shooting jackets, shooting gloves, mechanical keepers on the sling, or target rifles.

In the 60 or so years people have been shooting the event, no one has ever gotten a perfect score. You need an extremely accurate rifle, and perfect shooting technique. The margin for error is not small; it is nonexistent. A score of 50x15 is very good, and the event is often won with 50x17 or 50x18. In the 1970s, one competitor got 24x25, but he did it with a cartridge that would not be legal now, and there was some doubt about the rest of what he did.

So Tony M., a day after he shot the zero, got a 50x23 which, as far as I’m concerned, is the true record. It was not a fluke. He did it through endless hard work that has extended over 20 years, and by refusing to accept that there was a limit to how good he could become.

If our shooting disappoints us, we say that this is as well as we can do, and let it go at that. But the really fine shots don’t stop. Like Tony M. and the Green Bay Packers, they pursue perfection.

Comments (34)

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from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I wish I had more time to shoot....thinking about creating my own shooting bench off my back porch when I have the money.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from josephmrtn wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

me too! ive been thinkin of building one at my hunting camp

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

A true rifleman at work is a thing of beauty to watch.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

@DEP- The scopes have to be fixed power, or can they be variables, just not set higher than 4? Do the rifles have to be stock factory ones, or can they have had work done to them? A full story on the game would be appreciated, it sounds fun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from coachsjike wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

dave,
my son took his hunter safety course and one of the requirements was to shoot a 20 gauge shotgun. he did and unfortunately it kicked him twice. this past winter santa clause bought him one for christmas and he will not touch it. what do you do? he will shoot his .22 with no issues but when it comes to trying out the 20 gauge he won't go there. here in new jersey you are not allowed to shoot anything else other than a shotgun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ITHACASXS wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Hey coachsjike, I know you asked Dave, however, I too have a young hunter/shooter. Take your time, this is no race. If he loves shooting and hunting (and I guess he does), your boy will get there. Its a mistake many make to think 20 gauges can't light you up. Old single shots and many doubles feel like Smoke'n Joe took a swing at you. Mr. Dave and Mr. Phil has written on this and they certainly can help here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I have been think about this a lot lately: "Beware of the man with 1 gun he knows how to use it” - Dave Petzal (at least thats where I heard it). How many of us (me included) rely on technology (scopes) rather than time on the range. We have too many tools (firearms) in too many different calibers (I have 6 rifles) to really get to know our firearms real well (Ok some of you guys are an exception). We should know where they impact at what range, how they handle in the wind. But who has the money and time for all those calibers.

There is a famous story of Daniel Boone’s famous black powder patch and round ball long rifle (old tick licker) once head shot a killed a British Officer who made the mistake of sticking his head out from around a tree in a firefight. The story had it at 200 yards. Old Dan’il knew his gun and how she handled very, very well. On the frontier his life depended on that knowledge. Teddy Roosevelt (and I can’t look this up, as I loaned my copy of “THE WILDERNESS HUNTER" to a friend, Big mistake), had 1 or most 2 rifles and a pistol.

When I was (much) younger (pre-trifocals) and could not afford a decent scope, I practiced open sites. And could shoot my 06; better open sites then many guys on the range with scopes.

Like most of us, I like to play with my rifles and pistols the same as anyone else. But when I get them tuned just right, they go to the back of the closet and when hunting season rolls around and time for some serious work, OLD BETSY (the 30.06) comes back out That says something.

This story proves my point, accuracy is more about persistence then technology. And never loan someone a book that you want back.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Must confess I am one who uses several different rifles. However, I do get to the range a couple times a week. Do not profess being a great shot, but am a confident one. As is often mentioned here, " man has gotta know his limitations". I feel am sensitive to mine. If one hunts a wide variety of animals under a wide variety of conditions he has a responsibility to be proficient with the tools needed for the task , or he should not participate.

Hasten to add, am not a competitive shooter, just work at my task to be prepared for any hunting situation. Sat next to a chap at the range yesterday, have sat next to him before. He is always sitting behind a lead sled holding a 7mm Rem Utra Mag relentlessly firing factory ammo thru it. He is ducking the issue, not learning anything.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Always good to hear from you Mr. Myles.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

In competitive shooting as in many sporting endeavors, the pursuit of perfection is a valued trait. With hunting, my idea of perfection is to make a clean kill every time the trigger is pulled. When the game is hit but not killed instantly, the only acceptable result comes from finding and recovering the quarry, regardless of the species. And the best way to pursue perfection is to practice, practice and then practice some more to increase your confidence in your own abilities. Should a man be convinced that he can or that he can't, he is right in both instances.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Well put, Happy. "he has a responsibility to be proficient with the tools needed for the task , or he should not participate." No truer words could be spoken of archery hunters or gun hunters.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Happy,

I will be having elk tag soup later this week because I did not feel confident shooting offhand standing at 254 yards. Could I have hit a paper plate at that range? Probably so, but not too confident shooting at an animal at that range from that position. No other good opportunities... On the brighter side, I took my backup rifle to the range the day before the hunt and made one adjustment for elevation and hit the center of the 200 and 300 yard gongs with consecutive shots. The range guy at the Bear's Ears Sportsmans Club told me I was not allowed to shoot anymore, so go on, git!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Happy,

By the way, Lead Sleds are about as useful as the U.S. Congress, to borrow a jab from DEP. Like Congress, they offer mere band-aids to shooting problems and cause more issues than they ever fix. If one cannot shoot their rifle without a Lead Sled, time to get a smaller rifle and put the ego in the safe. I'm an old fart, but I also don't own rifles that I cannot handle, including the .300 Roy!

Best,
WAM

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Have to agree about the Lead Sleds and the U.S. congress. When I fail to sight in something from the bench, that is when that rifle is up for trade. Granted, the .338 Mag. and the .375 H&H will shove back somewhat, but I have never noticed recoil very much from either one shooting from the standing position. I would feel confident at 200 yds. with either one.
The .30-'06 or the smaller rifles are all proven accurate well past 200 yds.from whatever position I can get in to shoot.
My pursuit of perfection ends with three shots inside a 3" Birchwood Casey Shoot n See at 200 yds., off the bench.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

WAM,
Welcome back. Have been enviously thinking of all of you the past few days. Anyone who says they feel confident shooting off hand at 250 plus yards is taking an excellent chance of wounding a beautiful animal. I would not do it. Hope you all had a grand adventure. Let us know the details.

The kids bought me a new dangled I Pad for my birthday, prompting me to finally post some photos on my profile. There are a couple of elk and a Marco Polo ram you might enjoy. Kindest Regards To All

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Del in KS wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Happy, That is an awesome ram. My local Cabelas has a full body mount of another huge MP ram. They are IMO the most impressive wild sheep.
WAM, Sorry to hear about the tag soup. I didn't go elk hunting this year but thanks to a friend will be eating from a 6x6 New Mexico bull. Hope he eats as good as your cow from 2 years back. Next week cuzzin Rick and yours truly will make our annual trip to hunt whitetails near Kirksville,MO. My landowner pal has been seeing plenty deer in his pastures.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I'll use any excuse to shoot more often, but like most people I don't have the time. I get to the rifle range, or trap/skeet range, at least once a month which seems to keep me in tune for hunting.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I remember spending hours as a youth sighting in my .22 or my pellet gun to the point where I could hit a squirrel in the eye at 25 yards nearly every shot. If perfection isn't your goal in the first place, then why bother trying at all?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Carney wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

WAM, sorry you had to walk away from that shot. Was it a bull or a cow?

BeeTeeDubbs, Lead Sled is my friend. I don't like people talking about my friends.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Carney, It was a cow elk and I also had a bull tag in my pocket. Regarding Lead Sleds and such; to each his own. Perhaps useful for shooting over a chrony working up loads and getting on paper, but beyond that, no thanks.

Happy, I'll post the details on the Answers page tomorrow so as to not hijack David's thread here.

Del, I will email you tomorrow. Getting late...

WAM

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tonahutu wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Why do you have on your e-mail an ad urging readers to vote for the Liar-in-Chief who is for all-out gun control, i.e., confiscation?

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from nc30-06 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Coach, get him a Remington 1100 in 20 ga. and he will change his thinking and start enjoying a shotgun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RipperIII wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

@WAM,...the lead sled has it's purpose, and that includes sighting in your gun of choice,...once that is accomplished, then I concur, get off the bench and do as Dave suggest, shoot off-hand, kneeling, sitting, maybe even prone what ever you think your hunting situation may present.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I will be the first to agree with you all that "Lead Sleds" are terrible shooting practice. BUT, I often use something a little less refined (25 pound bag of 7 1/2 chilled) when I am doing accuracy and load development in rifle of the the .375 and above ilk. I've found that my concentration to keep the grip, pressure and trigger squeeze runs out before my ammo does.

Actually, I think if your rifle is sighted in and you're still on the bench, you are practicing wrong. I have a hell of a time finding benches on my hunting ground.

Agree or disagree?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Ah, RipperIII, you and I appear to be on the same page. You're just a little faster on the keyboard I guess.

WAM, write your hunting story and post it up somewhere.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

RipperIII - While the LS can certainly be a good tool to filter some shooter variables and get sighted in to zero, your rifle may shoot to a different point of impact due to the way you are holding in the field, less solid lash-up, downward/rearward pull on the forward sling swivel, cheek/eye position, etc.

Amflyer, nothing much to tell, but I will post it in ANSWERS section later today.

Cheers

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Zermoid wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

A photographer's tripod and a milk crate work pretty well as a improvised (and easily portable) shooting bench!

What I'm using in my backyard until I can afford to build a 'real' shooting bench.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

One thing I love about my Garand and M1A, I can visually know if my windage and elevation is right to be dead on!

KEEP THE BARREL HOT,

AND THE TARGET FULL OF HOLES,

TARGETS UP!!!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from T.W. Davidson wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I admit it: In the last couple of years, I have ventured to the range far less often than I used to. Whereas I spent five years going to the range at least three times a weeks, these days I'm lucky if I go twice a month.

Part of it is the distance to the range--about sixty miles one-way.

Part of it is that I am a bit burned out on handloading, since I loaded--and fired--about five thousand centerfire rounds in one eighteen month period alone.

Part of it is the expense of new barrels, keeping the gunsmith employed (nearly full-time there for a while), components, gear, new or new-to-me guns, gas, etc.

Part of it is the sheer amount of time it takes to load ammo, prep the gear, pack and get to the range, shoot for a few hours, then pack everything up, return home, clean weapons and start the handloading process all over again.

But most of it is due to the reality that even when I shot near-obsessively, with the best sporter-hunting (not benchrest) rifles I could afford to have built for me, my accuracy peaked at about 1/2 MOA. Sure, there were days where everything clicked and I would shoot a .3 something. A couple of times there was a .2 something. But usually my best, on average, with my best rifle and my best loads, under optimal conditions, averaged between .485 and .502. And that's if I shot a whole lot, a whole lot often, year round.

But years have passed. And I've discovered that if I go to the range at least twice a month, and if I practice dry-firing at home once a week, I can still consistently shoot a .06 or .07 with any of my good rifles and good handloads in those rifles.

I've also discovered these slightly larger groups are plenty good enough for me these days, when I have so many other interests to pursue and duties to attend to.

Shooting and range time and hunting and being in the wilds--a balancing act with the rest of life.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

T.W.,
Don't get a guilty conscience. I have spoken with a lot of older hand loaders who feel a bit burnt out. As we age we have to learn to pace ourselves. I use a whole lot more factory ammo than I used to. The groups are bigger, but the animals seem to drop just as dead, with a whole lot less hassle , and minimal "buck fever". Kindest Regards

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

At our club we lay a little game we call 5 hole black. From 100 yards you get to fire 5 shots in 20 seconds and the winner is the most shots in the black. all shots are standing only.
scoring is as follows:
1 shot in the black, go home and take up another sport.
2 shots in the black go home and come back next week.
3 shots in the black and I may let you hunt with me
4 shots in the black and you can definetly hunt with me.
5 shots in the black and you can do all the shooting, I'll just watch.
Punching tiny holes in paper and hunting accuracy are like comparing apples to oranges. I have seen a great many shooters that can shoot bullet after bullet into a tiny hole, but if you put those same shooters in hunting situations they tend to miss or wound the animals. like some of you said there are no benches in the woods.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Personally, no brag, just fact!
I "AM" the perfect shot!
Unfortunately, none of my firearms are perfect! Therefore, "they" miss quite regularly! Work as I might, they continue to wiggle uncontrollably when deer appear while being rock solid on the range!
Fortunately, quite often, deer jump into the path of my jiggling bullets!
Any suggestions?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

To Jerry A: You can use either a fixed power or variable scope, just as long as it's set no higher than 4X. As for rifles, there's no limitation on what you can use, except no bull-barreled target guns. A lot of people have rifles that have either been worked on for the event, or built from scratch. Tony M. uses a custom gun. Probably the most popular cartridge is the .243, but I don't think it's the best. If I were getting a rifle to shoot the sheep it would either be a 6.5/284 or a 6.5 Creedmoor.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Must confess I am one who uses several different rifles. However, I do get to the range a couple times a week. Do not profess being a great shot, but am a confident one. As is often mentioned here, " man has gotta know his limitations". I feel am sensitive to mine. If one hunts a wide variety of animals under a wide variety of conditions he has a responsibility to be proficient with the tools needed for the task , or he should not participate.

Hasten to add, am not a competitive shooter, just work at my task to be prepared for any hunting situation. Sat next to a chap at the range yesterday, have sat next to him before. He is always sitting behind a lead sled holding a 7mm Rem Utra Mag relentlessly firing factory ammo thru it. He is ducking the issue, not learning anything.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

T.W.,
Don't get a guilty conscience. I have spoken with a lot of older hand loaders who feel a bit burnt out. As we age we have to learn to pace ourselves. I use a whole lot more factory ammo than I used to. The groups are bigger, but the animals seem to drop just as dead, with a whole lot less hassle , and minimal "buck fever". Kindest Regards

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Happy,

I will be having elk tag soup later this week because I did not feel confident shooting offhand standing at 254 yards. Could I have hit a paper plate at that range? Probably so, but not too confident shooting at an animal at that range from that position. No other good opportunities... On the brighter side, I took my backup rifle to the range the day before the hunt and made one adjustment for elevation and hit the center of the 200 and 300 yard gongs with consecutive shots. The range guy at the Bear's Ears Sportsmans Club told me I was not allowed to shoot anymore, so go on, git!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from crm3006 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Have to agree about the Lead Sleds and the U.S. congress. When I fail to sight in something from the bench, that is when that rifle is up for trade. Granted, the .338 Mag. and the .375 H&H will shove back somewhat, but I have never noticed recoil very much from either one shooting from the standing position. I would feel confident at 200 yds. with either one.
The .30-'06 or the smaller rifles are all proven accurate well past 200 yds.from whatever position I can get in to shoot.
My pursuit of perfection ends with three shots inside a 3" Birchwood Casey Shoot n See at 200 yds., off the bench.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from T.W. Davidson wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I admit it: In the last couple of years, I have ventured to the range far less often than I used to. Whereas I spent five years going to the range at least three times a weeks, these days I'm lucky if I go twice a month.

Part of it is the distance to the range--about sixty miles one-way.

Part of it is that I am a bit burned out on handloading, since I loaded--and fired--about five thousand centerfire rounds in one eighteen month period alone.

Part of it is the expense of new barrels, keeping the gunsmith employed (nearly full-time there for a while), components, gear, new or new-to-me guns, gas, etc.

Part of it is the sheer amount of time it takes to load ammo, prep the gear, pack and get to the range, shoot for a few hours, then pack everything up, return home, clean weapons and start the handloading process all over again.

But most of it is due to the reality that even when I shot near-obsessively, with the best sporter-hunting (not benchrest) rifles I could afford to have built for me, my accuracy peaked at about 1/2 MOA. Sure, there were days where everything clicked and I would shoot a .3 something. A couple of times there was a .2 something. But usually my best, on average, with my best rifle and my best loads, under optimal conditions, averaged between .485 and .502. And that's if I shot a whole lot, a whole lot often, year round.

But years have passed. And I've discovered that if I go to the range at least twice a month, and if I practice dry-firing at home once a week, I can still consistently shoot a .06 or .07 with any of my good rifles and good handloads in those rifles.

I've also discovered these slightly larger groups are plenty good enough for me these days, when I have so many other interests to pursue and duties to attend to.

Shooting and range time and hunting and being in the wilds--a balancing act with the rest of life.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I have been think about this a lot lately: "Beware of the man with 1 gun he knows how to use it” - Dave Petzal (at least thats where I heard it). How many of us (me included) rely on technology (scopes) rather than time on the range. We have too many tools (firearms) in too many different calibers (I have 6 rifles) to really get to know our firearms real well (Ok some of you guys are an exception). We should know where they impact at what range, how they handle in the wind. But who has the money and time for all those calibers.

There is a famous story of Daniel Boone’s famous black powder patch and round ball long rifle (old tick licker) once head shot a killed a British Officer who made the mistake of sticking his head out from around a tree in a firefight. The story had it at 200 yards. Old Dan’il knew his gun and how she handled very, very well. On the frontier his life depended on that knowledge. Teddy Roosevelt (and I can’t look this up, as I loaned my copy of “THE WILDERNESS HUNTER" to a friend, Big mistake), had 1 or most 2 rifles and a pistol.

When I was (much) younger (pre-trifocals) and could not afford a decent scope, I practiced open sites. And could shoot my 06; better open sites then many guys on the range with scopes.

Like most of us, I like to play with my rifles and pistols the same as anyone else. But when I get them tuned just right, they go to the back of the closet and when hunting season rolls around and time for some serious work, OLD BETSY (the 30.06) comes back out That says something.

This story proves my point, accuracy is more about persistence then technology. And never loan someone a book that you want back.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RockySquirrel wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Always good to hear from you Mr. Myles.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Happy,

By the way, Lead Sleds are about as useful as the U.S. Congress, to borrow a jab from DEP. Like Congress, they offer mere band-aids to shooting problems and cause more issues than they ever fix. If one cannot shoot their rifle without a Lead Sled, time to get a smaller rifle and put the ego in the safe. I'm an old fart, but I also don't own rifles that I cannot handle, including the .300 Roy!

Best,
WAM

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Happy Myles wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

WAM,
Welcome back. Have been enviously thinking of all of you the past few days. Anyone who says they feel confident shooting off hand at 250 plus yards is taking an excellent chance of wounding a beautiful animal. I would not do it. Hope you all had a grand adventure. Let us know the details.

The kids bought me a new dangled I Pad for my birthday, prompting me to finally post some photos on my profile. There are a couple of elk and a Marco Polo ram you might enjoy. Kindest Regards To All

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from nc30-06 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Coach, get him a Remington 1100 in 20 ga. and he will change his thinking and start enjoying a shotgun.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from RipperIII wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

@WAM,...the lead sled has it's purpose, and that includes sighting in your gun of choice,...once that is accomplished, then I concur, get off the bench and do as Dave suggest, shoot off-hand, kneeling, sitting, maybe even prone what ever you think your hunting situation may present.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

At our club we lay a little game we call 5 hole black. From 100 yards you get to fire 5 shots in 20 seconds and the winner is the most shots in the black. all shots are standing only.
scoring is as follows:
1 shot in the black, go home and take up another sport.
2 shots in the black go home and come back next week.
3 shots in the black and I may let you hunt with me
4 shots in the black and you can definetly hunt with me.
5 shots in the black and you can do all the shooting, I'll just watch.
Punching tiny holes in paper and hunting accuracy are like comparing apples to oranges. I have seen a great many shooters that can shoot bullet after bullet into a tiny hole, but if you put those same shooters in hunting situations they tend to miss or wound the animals. like some of you said there are no benches in the woods.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from davidpetzal wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

To Jerry A: You can use either a fixed power or variable scope, just as long as it's set no higher than 4X. As for rifles, there's no limitation on what you can use, except no bull-barreled target guns. A lot of people have rifles that have either been worked on for the event, or built from scratch. Tony M. uses a custom gun. Probably the most popular cartridge is the .243, but I don't think it's the best. If I were getting a rifle to shoot the sheep it would either be a 6.5/284 or a 6.5 Creedmoor.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Nathan Ryver wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I wish I had more time to shoot....thinking about creating my own shooting bench off my back porch when I have the money.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from josephmrtn wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

me too! ive been thinkin of building one at my hunting camp

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Amflyer wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

A true rifleman at work is a thing of beauty to watch.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

@DEP- The scopes have to be fixed power, or can they be variables, just not set higher than 4? Do the rifles have to be stock factory ones, or can they have had work done to them? A full story on the game would be appreciated, it sounds fun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from coachsjike wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

dave,
my son took his hunter safety course and one of the requirements was to shoot a 20 gauge shotgun. he did and unfortunately it kicked him twice. this past winter santa clause bought him one for christmas and he will not touch it. what do you do? he will shoot his .22 with no issues but when it comes to trying out the 20 gauge he won't go there. here in new jersey you are not allowed to shoot anything else other than a shotgun.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from ITHACASXS wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Hey coachsjike, I know you asked Dave, however, I too have a young hunter/shooter. Take your time, this is no race. If he loves shooting and hunting (and I guess he does), your boy will get there. Its a mistake many make to think 20 gauges can't light you up. Old single shots and many doubles feel like Smoke'n Joe took a swing at you. Mr. Dave and Mr. Phil has written on this and they certainly can help here.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Tom-Tom wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

In competitive shooting as in many sporting endeavors, the pursuit of perfection is a valued trait. With hunting, my idea of perfection is to make a clean kill every time the trigger is pulled. When the game is hit but not killed instantly, the only acceptable result comes from finding and recovering the quarry, regardless of the species. And the best way to pursue perfection is to practice, practice and then practice some more to increase your confidence in your own abilities. Should a man be convinced that he can or that he can't, he is right in both instances.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Well put, Happy. "he has a responsibility to be proficient with the tools needed for the task , or he should not participate." No truer words could be spoken of archery hunters or gun hunters.

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from Del in KS wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Happy, That is an awesome ram. My local Cabelas has a full body mount of another huge MP ram. They are IMO the most impressive wild sheep.
WAM, Sorry to hear about the tag soup. I didn't go elk hunting this year but thanks to a friend will be eating from a 6x6 New Mexico bull. Hope he eats as good as your cow from 2 years back. Next week cuzzin Rick and yours truly will make our annual trip to hunt whitetails near Kirksville,MO. My landowner pal has been seeing plenty deer in his pastures.

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from Ralph the Rifleman wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I'll use any excuse to shoot more often, but like most people I don't have the time. I get to the rifle range, or trap/skeet range, at least once a month which seems to keep me in tune for hunting.

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from Bioguy01 wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I remember spending hours as a youth sighting in my .22 or my pellet gun to the point where I could hit a squirrel in the eye at 25 yards nearly every shot. If perfection isn't your goal in the first place, then why bother trying at all?

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Carney, It was a cow elk and I also had a bull tag in my pocket. Regarding Lead Sleds and such; to each his own. Perhaps useful for shooting over a chrony working up loads and getting on paper, but beyond that, no thanks.

Happy, I'll post the details on the Answers page tomorrow so as to not hijack David's thread here.

Del, I will email you tomorrow. Getting late...

WAM

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from Tonahutu wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Why do you have on your e-mail an ad urging readers to vote for the Liar-in-Chief who is for all-out gun control, i.e., confiscation?

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from Amflyer wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

I will be the first to agree with you all that "Lead Sleds" are terrible shooting practice. BUT, I often use something a little less refined (25 pound bag of 7 1/2 chilled) when I am doing accuracy and load development in rifle of the the .375 and above ilk. I've found that my concentration to keep the grip, pressure and trigger squeeze runs out before my ammo does.

Actually, I think if your rifle is sighted in and you're still on the bench, you are practicing wrong. I have a hell of a time finding benches on my hunting ground.

Agree or disagree?

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from Amflyer wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

Ah, RipperIII, you and I appear to be on the same page. You're just a little faster on the keyboard I guess.

WAM, write your hunting story and post it up somewhere.

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from WA Mtnhunter wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

RipperIII - While the LS can certainly be a good tool to filter some shooter variables and get sighted in to zero, your rifle may shoot to a different point of impact due to the way you are holding in the field, less solid lash-up, downward/rearward pull on the forward sling swivel, cheek/eye position, etc.

Amflyer, nothing much to tell, but I will post it in ANSWERS section later today.

Cheers

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from Zermoid wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

A photographer's tripod and a milk crate work pretty well as a improvised (and easily portable) shooting bench!

What I'm using in my backyard until I can afford to build a 'real' shooting bench.

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from Clay Cooper wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

One thing I love about my Garand and M1A, I can visually know if my windage and elevation is right to be dead on!

KEEP THE BARREL HOT,

AND THE TARGET FULL OF HOLES,

TARGETS UP!!!

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from FirstBubba wrote 1 year 23 weeks ago

Personally, no brag, just fact!
I "AM" the perfect shot!
Unfortunately, none of my firearms are perfect! Therefore, "they" miss quite regularly! Work as I might, they continue to wiggle uncontrollably when deer appear while being rock solid on the range!
Fortunately, quite often, deer jump into the path of my jiggling bullets!
Any suggestions?

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from Carney wrote 1 year 24 weeks ago

WAM, sorry you had to walk away from that shot. Was it a bull or a cow?

BeeTeeDubbs, Lead Sled is my friend. I don't like people talking about my friends.

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