Okay, I didn't take any pictures this time (which is a pity, really, for all of you, considering the scenery) but my buddy (Chris) and I spent a lot of time shooting yesterday and I thought I'd share our results with you.
First, we had one of the best times ever! I took a friend out yesterday afternoon for some pistol shooting. This was her first time shotting, ever, and I wanted to get her acustomed to shooting a pistol so I had her shooting my P22 most of the day. She put about 200-300 rounds through it and, overall, did superb. She was completely safe, listened well, asked all of the right questions and had a really great time. Next time out, she's gonna bring her .380 and spend some time getting familiar with it.
I really should have taken some pics. For a gun with such a small amount of recoil, it's surprising what that little 'jump' can do to the female body. The wife, I'm sure, would have confiscated the pics anyway so I guess it's no real loss
Anyway, I let her put a few rounds through my AR before she had too leave. Much more recoil than a P22. Sweet God in heaven...
but I digress...
What I'm shooting:
16" Midlength RRA, stainless steel heavy barrel, 2 stage RRA trigger, standard peep sights right there on my carry handle.
What Chris is shooting:
16" midlength RRA, stainless steel bull barrel, 2 stage RRA trigger, Bushnell Elite 3200 rifle scope.
My first shot of the day, standing, using that very inexpensive Norinco ammo ($5.00 per box) that I recently purchased... I brought my rifle up, took aim at a 12" steel plate @ 200 yards and nailed it. The round actually penetrated the plate completely, which surprised us both. I'd placed a bright orange traffic cone at 500 yards and put a full water bottle, neck down, in the top of the cone. This gave me a great point to aim for through those peep sights as anything past 400 yards, for me, is just a blur. It took me about 15 shots, sitting, to hit the bottle but I finally did, and that was refreshing.
There was another guy at the range yesterday morning. He shoots 1000 yard competition and was testing some new hand loads out. After he'd spent quite some time doing that, he started having fun, shooting hanging water bottles @ 500 yards. The whole time he's shotting these, with a rifle that he easily has sunk 10,000+ bucks in, Chris kept whispering to me "Man... I wish I had a rifle that could shoot like that!"
After the rich dude finally packed up his stuff, I looked at Chris and said "you're nuts! You've already got a rifle that can shoot like that and you don't need to spend 10 grand to do it."
Chris setup some water bottles at 200 yards and got out his 68 grain match ammo he'd got from GA Arms. He was all over the place. And it seemed like, each time he pulled the trigger, he was more and more dissapointed and disgusted with the performance of his rifle. I told him to try some of the 55 grain cheap stuff I had just to see what would happen. It took about 10 shots for him to get his scope set and the following 3 shots, one right after another, resulted in a water bottle bursting open. Needless to say, he was much happier.
He needed to take a run to the store so it was my turn. I took aim at a hanging water bottle @ 500 yards and, after about a half dozen shots, I figured out that the third mil-dot on his reticle was dead on at 500 yards. This is what I should have expected, but I was trying to figure his scope out for myself. After I nailed that hanging bottle, I took aim at a much larger bottle and nailed it on the first shot. I then took aim at a slightly smaller bottle and nailed it on the third shot. The mil-dot covered the bottle completely @ 500 yards and I kept trying to see what I was shooting. Had I just placed the dot on the bottle and taken my shot, I'm confident I would have gotten it on the first shot. I then took aim at a very small bottle, which was pointing right at me, and had the same problem. I kept trying to see the bottle and I kept hitting everywhere around it. Had I just placed the dot over the bottle and squeezed the trigger, I'm confident that it would have suffered the same fate as the others At this point, the barrel was so hot I decided to let it cool down and took a break. The rest of the day was spent chatting with the range owner about guns and, well, guy stuff (i.e. "When you gonna bring that little honey out with you again?" )
And all of this shooting was done using that Norinco 55 grain ammo. That stuff was so freakin' consistent, and so predictable, I'm considering buying up some more of it. The "match" ammo that Chris spent so much money on was all over the place. I gave him 40 rounds at the end of the day, just so he'd have some for his next time out. He's planning on picking some up himself, and he and I are both going to get back into reloading so we can work up some decent, consistent loads.
That scope... good Lord that thing was a dream to shoot. For such an inexpensive piece of glass ($150.00), you wouldn't expect it to perform so well. Take a look, however, at the latest Barrets magazine on your grocery store rack. The .50 BMG on the front cover has the exact same scope mounted on it. In fact, there's a write-up of that scope in that magazine comparing it to a Leupold. That very scope is shown mounted on the majority of the rifles in that magazine. If you're looking for a scope, I highly suggest you take a look at the Bushnell Elite. I'm getting one for my first AR build. Awesome, awesome, experience.
Anyways, that was pretty much it. Cheap ammo, inexpensive scope, an AR-15 with about $1,000.00 bucks in it (scope and rings included) and it performed just as well as rich dudes $10,000.00 rifle with his specialty ammo.
What range ??
I have an Elite 3200 2>7x on my 6.8 and it's a pretty nice scope. I am going to get a bit more power on my Savage 6.8.
It's a private range, owned by a friend near Warrenton.
It's not 'private' as in "your yearly dues are $xx.xx..." it's 'private' as in, this is his private property with a 500 yard range that he lets people use on a regular basis. I go out there every chance I can because, when it comes to shooting, reloading and firearms in general, the owner is the most knowledgable person I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. He's also very generous with his time and that knowledge.
I'll be spending some time out there in the near future learning the art of reloading all over again. I say 'art' because, when he does it, that's what it seems like. I've never seen someone so meticulous and precise.
By spending time with him I've learned more about shooting in the past 6 months than the previous 19-1/2 years of shooting. My form and my accuracy have improved dramatically and my confidence level has increased substantially.