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Posted: 12/26/2003 4:47:11 AM EDT

On Christmas Eve, I stopped at the local sporting goods store to pick up my M14S, shipped to me from fellow ARFCOMMER JTB33. Yesterday around 1 pm I took it to the range, along with my Gibbs .303 and Sig P226 9mm.

I learned many, many things yesterday, and I hope that I am in the vast MINORITY hear at ARFCOM in that I spend way more time talking/thinking/writing/staring at my firearms than I do shooting them.

Lessons learned:

1. My Gibbs .303 is inoperable. I bought this rifle close to two years ago, and have been carrying it in a soft case behind the seat of my pickup for a few months. Several months ago, I took it to the range, but every round I chambered would not fire. I figured they were duds from a bad batch, because I recieved a half a dozen stripper clips of old ammo when I purchased the rifle. Then yesterday, I tried running some brand new Win Super X soft points through it, with the same results. I think the firing pin may be too short to reach the primer, but of course I am not sure. I am going to follow up on that one separately, believe me.

2. I have nearly forgotten the fundamentals of good shooting. With the M14, I was not even hitting paper at 50 meters. I had to move to the 10 meter pistol range, just to figure out where the rounds were going. I was shooting 9" LOW AND LEFT AT 10 METERS. I adjusted the sights some, but was basically unfamiliar with the M14 until yesterday, so I have more work to do. I also think that I probably had poor cheek-to-stock weld, which of course affected my aim. I will be working on this in the days ahead, believe me.

3. Cheap reloads are just that. I fired 40-50 cheap cast lead reloads through the Sig 226, and was shocked at the amount of smoke, and general poor quality of the round. What did I expect? I had several FTEs, and a number of cases were only weakly ejected, to hit me in the forehead and top of skull. I assume that they were loaded with insufficient/poor quality powder. I picked these up for free from a fellow ARFCOM member, so no complaints about price, I guess I got what I paid for.

4. I really, really need to take some firearms courses. I have a certificate to attend Front Site whenever I want, and I know there is a pretty good course coming up in a couple of weeks about 90 minutes from here, so I will try to attend both soon. There is certainly no such thing as too much instruction here.

Just thought you guys would like to know. I hope that those of you who don't shoot very often like me will motivate yourselves to get out to the range and burn some ammo. Believe me, you don't know what you are missing.

Link Posted: 12/26/2003 4:55:20 AM EDT
Ye Gods man, that’s scary about the .303! We’re you carrying that rifle as truck gun knowing that there was some sort of problem with it? Hope you had a Plan B.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 5:19:35 AM EDT
I knew the old rounds wouldn't work, but I carried it with a box of brand new soft points, and I assumed the problem was not the weapon, but the ammo. You know what happens when you assume, don't you?
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 5:38:51 AM EDT
I can't tell you how much I admire your honesty! I am so weary of reading about guys that take their new rifles to the range and shoot 1/2 inch groups at 200 yards using military surplus ammo. And your statement:
I really, really need to take some firearms courses.
View Quote
...is correct. This is a complicated, yet rewarding sport. You will enjoy it more after some good instruction. Good luck.
Link Posted: 12/26/2003 8:50:01 AM EDT
I admire your honesty, most people would never admit to being a poor shot. I know some guys that havent fired a gun in years and they brag about being real good with guns, even though all they have ever fired was a ruger .22 rimfire rifle as a kid.
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