Monday, November 27, 2017

The Practical Rifle

Wirecutter leads us to a post on practical rifles. It seems that the discussion continues,  it is instructive to think about such things, to revisit the discussion.  The author of the linked article makes a good point, that confidence is supreme.  The fundamentals of marksmanship must be there.  BRAS, breathe relax, align, and squeeze.  Once the fundamentals are second-nature, hitting becomes easier.
The fundamentals are there, along with my confidence. The foundation is laid. Optics of any type are a tool to enhance one’s capability, not a shortcut in training. If Joe knows he can ring steel with irons on his weapon at an average engagement distance, then an optic of any type enhances his capability. He now has confidence in himself and his weapon. And confidence is the difference maker above any piece of kit.
The author makes the points that rifles are better now than ever, and I've said repeatedly that we live in a golden age of riflery.  Better materials, better CNC machining, more manufacturers available, the simple fact is that we have much better rifles now than we had 40 years ago.

Still, confidence with a rifle is the main thing.  If you believe that you can make the shot, you'll probably make the shot,  And confidence comes with practice and training.  Get away from the bench after the rifle is sighted and practice position shooting.  Learn to make an expedient rest.  Get to know the rifle by shooting it.  A shooter who shoots a hundred shots a year will be more confident than one who only shoots ten shots per year.

I still think that my criteria on a practical rifle is valid.  If you recall, I defined it like this:
1. magazine fed repeating rifle
2. weighing between 2.5 and 5 kilos
3.The cartridge must be capable of striking a single decisive blow on the target likely to be encountered at a distance where the operator is capable of placing the bullet in the vital area of the target.
4. Maximum length of 43 inches, with the length of pull properly proportioned to the individual
5. Robust sighting system, properly fitted to the rifle and instantly available to the operator.
Once a shooter has a proper rifle, I'd recommend spending additional disposable monies on ammunition.  And, rather than stockpiling it, go the range and turn it into confidence.

1 comment:

Retired Spook said...

#1. Check. Savage M-11 Scout (sorta) in 7mm-08.
#2. Check. Weighs 8.1 lbs with scope, sling, loaded magazine.
#3. Check. I've seen this rifle deliver a 4-inch group at 300 yards from prone. And I'd be confident in it going after anything in North America (but I'd want back-up if I was going after big bears!)
#4. Check. It's 39.5 inches OA.
#5. Burris Scout scope, 2-3/4X, and good irons that are already zeroed at 100 yards.

Did I miss anything?

I know it's not really a "scout" rifle, since it's sorta pudgy, and isn't what the cool kids play with, but it's accurate, reliable, and has more than enough power to deal with anything in my AO. And it's really lots of fun to shoot from field positions!