Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Thinking About Rifles - IX

We've pretty well defined it at this point, but we haven't done the most important thing.  Whether your practical rifle is a semi, or a lever,  a bolt, or even a pump rifle, there is one other thing to consider.  Can you shoot it?

If it's properly fitted, with good sights, odds are that you can shoot it.  Many joff-the-shelf rifles are very accurate these days.  Back when I started shooting rifles, the rifle that would put three into a one inch group at 100 yards was rare.  Now, the minute-of-angle rifle is fairly common.  Modern manufacturing methods have made accurate rifles easier to manufacture, so the simple truth is that many rifles nowadays come out of the box ready to shoot that benchmark one-inch group.

So, the question becomes; can you shoot the rifle?  There's only one way to find out.  Take it out to the range and shoot it.  Fortunately, folks have been doing this for years, and it's easy to test yourself against an easily definable standard.  Fr. Frog has laid out some of the tests they use at Gunsite, but I've used my own test for years.  All that's required is a safe backstop and a common paper plate.  Because that paper plate (9-10") represents the heart/lung area of a whitetail deer, I require my grandsons to hit that plate with one shot, on demand, with no warm-up or sighters.

If you need to sight your rifle in, then do so at leisure.  But, there comes a time when you must make the shot.  There are time limits on everything, whether you're shooting a target match, whether you're on a qualification range, or whether you're in the game fields  That deer isn't going to stand there forever, so you have to make the shot now, or not.  Time stands still for no one.

Practice makes perfect, and while no one is a perfect rifle shot, those of us who profess to enjoy the art of rifle shooting should make time to practice  Learn from every shot, seek out the advice of knowledgeable shooters  Take a class if your time and finances allow it, but above all, practice

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

Yep, keep a stock of those plates in the truck for range trips... Good for rifle AND pistol practice...