Saturday, July 31, 2010

Is that a bug I see on your nose?

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Shade tent

I put this shade tent together for the cows a few days ago. I had to stake the back end down so it wouldn't get knocked over, but the front posts are just planted on the ground. At least it makes me feel a little better about leaving them out in the paddock when it's 90+ degrees out.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My Red Hat

Hello! I'll just finish the story of the boot camp real quick here.

The last two days of the week long RBC were conducted like a normal appleseed shoot. The shooters of the boot camp were to instruct other shooters that came for the weekend in the skills they had just practiced.

Jonathan and I have been Instructors In Training for the appleseed project for about a year now and have passed the tests for each different level of IIT. This appleseed was our 4th one that we had instructed at.

While we were eating our lunch on Saturday, Jonathan and I were surprised to find that we were going to tell the story of April 19 1775 to the five new shooters as they finished their lunch. We hadn't prepared for telling it this time, but we had recited it once before to a few other instructors that told us it needed work. I told the first strike, and Jonathan told the second and third strike later on in the day. My part came out better than I expected it to, but I left out a few important parts that I forgot all about. Jonathan did better than me and it all worked out fine. The other more experienced instructors added a few things to help wrap up the story and apply it to today.

Then, Saturday evening as we were about to end the day, the shoot boss for the weekend pulled out of his box, two red RWVA hats and handed them to Jonathan and I as he explained that we had earned our Full Instructor status. Now we are on our way to becoming Shoot Bosses!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A lesson from the Boot Camp

Hello again,
We were thankful to be able to come home for a shower and to do the chores in between each day of shooting. We left in the morning right after I milked and we got to the range about 8:30. Mom strained the milk for me and did the milk dishes for the morning milking. Thank you everybody for keeping things running after we were gone!

One of the most important things that I learned was how to apply the bullet trajectory to long distance shooting. Every bullet drops as it goes out the barrel and it drops more as it goes to farther distances. So even if you fire a good shot, you are going to miss the target unless you adjust your sights to compensate for the bullet drop. After I understood what I was doing, it was an easy matter to figure out the drop of the bullet for my caliber.

I'll quickly explain how to chart the drop of a bullet as it leaves the barrel so you can do it on your own. Zero your rifle at 25 meters and make sure you can get all your shots in about a 1 inch square. If you try to collect information from a random group, then you will get incorrect data and plot your bullet drop wrong.

Then move out to 100 yards and fire 5 rounds from prone at the center of the target. Check your target and measure the distance that the center of the five-shot group is from the target. Write it down! But don't adjust your sights. Make sure you convert all the inch measurements into Minute Of Angle measurements before you write it down. Otherwise your numbers will confuse you like they did me. (if you don't know what a MOA is, go to an Appleseed shoot!)

Then go out to 200 yards and collect the same data as you did at a hundred yards. The groups might be high or low, depending on what type of cartridge you are firing but don't make any adjustments on your sights. At the RBC we were shooting at 20" wide silhouette targets that had a backer that was about five feet square so it caught any stray shots or groups that ended up being low or high.

Then move out to 300 and 400 and as far out as you have room to shoot. You should be able to draw out a chart like this that shows how the bullet drops. Each of the verticle dashed lines is 100, 200, 300, 400 yard marks. The little squares represent each MOA up or down that the bullet traveled at each distance. As you see, at 100 yards the bullet hit 3 MOA high, then at 200 it was 1 MOA lower than before, at 300 it was right on and 400 it was 1.5 MOA low. With those measurements I can adjust my sights from where it was sighted in at 25 yards, up 1.5 MOA and make a hit at 400 yards without firing a shot! If I didn't adjust I would hit 6 inches low with this caliber.

We were told that we need to make up a bullet drop chart for each different ammunition that we own, and for each different rifle, and store the charts with the ammo so you always know the sight adjustments for it.

I have more to tell, so stay tuned for the next post!


Monday, July 12, 2010

Rifleman Boot Camp Completed!

What an exiting week! Jonathan and I were gone all day for 8 days in a row attending the Rifleman Boot Camp organized by the Appleseed project that was held in Rolla ND. We couldn't camp out there because of all the chores that need doing at home so we drove back and forth about 45 miles to the range. We started out shooting rimfire rifles at 25 meters and in two days all of the 9 shooters had scored "Rifleman" on the army qualification test at least once so we moved out to full distance. The main instructor for the boot camp wasn't able to get there until Monday night (we started Sunday morning) so the first two days were run by a different master instructor and we all learned a lot. That instructor was Don D. and he drove all the way from Kentucky to help instruct.

On Tuesday we sighted in our centerfire rifles at 25 meters (the closer set of cardboard targets in the picture above is the 25 meter line) and learned to tighten our positions and make our slings "as tight as humanly possible" to put it in The Guy's words. The Guy was the main instructor for the boot camp and kept us all learning. Nobody seems to know what his real name is because he goes by The Guy. He was kind of different, to put it nicely. He put us through a few drills like "ball and dummy" and helped me cure my flinch which started to be a problem after I used the bigger rifle for a while. Ball and Dummy is where another person (The Guy did it for me and was really good at it) helps the shooter by loading a dummy or a live round in a random pattern and watching the shooter to see that all the shots are fired "by the numbers". I was flinching for quite a few times and then he would surprise me with a live round when he thought I did everything right. My groups started out at about six MOA (inch and a half @ 25m) and after the drill, four out of five shots were in a 2 MOA group (half inch @ 25m). I even broke positions after two or three of those shots to put on a jacket and still the shots were good!
I can't remember what happened exactly on what day, but on one of the days we learned about bullet trajectory and reading the wind and the next day we went out to the full distances. Without changing our sights from the 25 meter zero, we moved to 200 yards and charted the MOA drop of the bullet there and then went out farther and so on. It confused me for the first day, so on the way home we looked closely at the targets and figured out the adjustments that I needed to make for my rear sight.

I will finish up the story sometime in another post.