Showing posts with label rifle marksmanship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rifle marksmanship. Show all posts

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Fiddling With The Problem Child Bolt Action Rifle

So a particular rifle isn't shooting like it should, even slinging Remington Premier Gold Match 168 grain ammo it is grouping like doo dooo. Sunday I sprayed it down with oil then put it away due to general irritation.

Did some reading about common problems n such during the week.

Today I pulled it out of the safe. First I cleaned it because that is just a good thing to do.

Next I checked every bolt that held the rail to the rifle and the rings to the rail. Tightened a couple up. Next I checked the action bolts and tightened them up a bit. It wasn't like they were finger loose or anything but I turned all three a bit tighter. Not a smoking gun but maybe between a variety of not entirely tight bolts it could explain things.

So hopefully a combination of small things fixed the problem. Or maybe I was just holding it wrong and there was not a problem at all and things will be fine next time.  Anyway this will probably be one of those things that gets resolved without a definite answer on what the problem was. Fine by me, just want the darn thing to shoot at least halfway up to its potential.

In 2 weeks I will be back at a range and may have the opportunity to shoot it again. My plan is to bring a variety of ammo such as some 150 grain soft points and maybe some other hunting type ammo and some American Eagle ball to see what shoots best in the gun.

Also I am going to rest the gun a lot closer to the action bolt as the front of the stock flexes like the morality of a liberal. 

Hopefully next time the gun will shoot more consistently. There are things I want to this rifle eventually (nice mil dot scope, upgrade the stock, etc) but don't want to throw money at a bolt gun which shoots like a 30-30 or an AK.

So that is that.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Close Quarters Carbines, Square Ranges, CQB, Weapons Manipulation and Tactics

Max Velocity wrote an interesting post called The Great Tactical Training Con. I agree with him in some regards but disagree in others. This stumbles into something I have been thinking about for awhile.

Over the past few years or maybe the last decade the role of the rifle in close quarters fighting has changed.  What used to be considered almost solely shotgun territory has become dominated by AR's, AK's, etc all. These rifles hold 30 rounds and reload themselves which is pretty handy. Not taking anything away from shotguns but their primary benefits are low cost, legality in non permissive environments and versatility, not capacity or reloading. At the same time these rifles have come into prominence CQB (close quarters battle) has become the buzz word and all the rage. Though really SRM (short range marksmanship) is probably more accurate. There are all sorts of courses, classes, video's and such to teach you to be a super cool Sammy Seal type guy.

We need to realize that firearms training is a business. As a business the firearms training industry wants to sell people on paying money to take classes. They want to be able to offer classes in as many places as possible, with the lowest overhead possible, to as many customers as possible. Many of them are genuinely good people who want to train people to use weapons to defend their selves but they also like making money.

The average American range is probably a hundred meters wide and a couple hundred long. They have a safe backstop but limited capacity for movement and very little capacity for shooting in different directions. These ranges can support shooting from 0 to whatever meters strait downrange. People can move a bit left or right as long as they still shoot downrange. They can move forward and back also but still shooting must be in the same downrange direction.

Shooting in multiple directions while moving or static is significantly more complicated. Instead of needing a relatively safe backstop in one direction for a fairly narrow arc you need a lot of space. I'm talking roughly 2+ kilometers in any direction you will shoot in to support shooting rifles. Of course a backstop like a rock quarry or a cliff cuts that down a but but we are still talking a lot of space. Due to the lack of spaces that can readily support this type of training it is a lot easier to gravitate to what we call the square ranges. Folks do this because there are many more ranges that can be used for training that way.

CQB as the cool kids call it is simply using rifles to engage targets at close range, we'll say under 50 meters to keep things simple. Lots of ready up drills, turn and shoot, etc. Reloads are of course mixed into all of this. There is movement but it is usually limited to a few steps in whatever direction. This is good stuff. If you use a rifle for home defense you have to know this stuff (if you use a shotgun do the same thing with it).

A person who is not trained in this stuff can make huge strides in a day of instruction. Part of the business side of the firearms industry is that trainers can leave people feeling good about what they learned wanting to take another class. They can offer Cool Guy CQB Sammy Seal Classes 1-6 or whatever.

CQB is important. I have heard it described, I think by American Mercenary, as a survival skill set. That is true I think in that it's how civilians are going to realistically fight with a rifle. Joe the Engineer who lives in the Burbs or Frank the Farmer are not going to get into 300 meter gunfights. They are going to hear something that shouldn't be in the garage, grab their gun then check it out. People start moving and a 7 meter fight becomes a 50 meter fight but we are still within CQB ranges.

Like anything it is too easy to get overly focused in on one thing. The Tactical Tommy types can practice regularly andgo to 20 classes yet never shoot past 50 meters with a rifle capable of 400 meter accuracy. On the other end of the spectrum there are some high power types and sniper wanna be's who are hyper focused on long distance shooting.Which one of them is right? Neither of them are right. They are wrong on the opposite ends. The CQB Ninja needs to learn how to reach out and touch someone. Mr. High Power needs to learn to rapidly engage targets at close range.

There have been some interesting discussions by Mountain Guerilla and American Mercenary about how much of each skill set you need. In general I am a fan of balance. Instead of being great at either end of the spectrum focus on being competent engaging targets at close range quickly all the way out to putting accurate hate on folks a few football fields away. However if I had to get pegged into a more specific answer I would lean towards CQB for civilians whose rifle concept of use is defensive. The reason is that they are far more likely to fight up close than far away. Yes if you stand in the middle of the road in front of the house you can probably see pretty far, however the odds of you being there with somebody on the other end 400 meters away shooting at you are low. On the other hand getting in a gunfight with somebody in your house or trying to jack your car is considerably higher.

I agree with Max that most 'tactical training' is a bit square range  focused. However I look at it differently. This training is weapons manipulation. Teaching folks to engage targets, reload and clear malfunctions, etc. While some folks sell it as such this is not IMO tactics. It could be argued this is teaching you how to fight as a civilian in a close quarters situation to which I would agree. However if you want to remove some qualifiers, maybe add some friends and such you get into what I consider tactical training. How to move and engage targets, alone or as part of a team.

The two things are sort of different. Think of weapons manipulations as punching and tactics as boxing. Both are important. Weapons manipulations are essential but they sort of happen in a vacuum.  Tactics and small unit training like the stuff Mountain Guerilla and Max Velocity teach to be able to put use your weapons manipulation skills into the realistic environment of the two way range.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Excellent Linkeage

John Mosby continues the Combat Rifle Craft discussion

American Mercenary talks IED's

Chris reviews a Gen I night vision device

Teotwawki Blog's You Took Away Tomorrow series 

How to spot a concealed firearm. I see a lot of guns. If forced to unscientifically guess I see half to 2/3rds of the guns that are carried concealed in my immediate area. Bulges on the side of the waistline are an obvious one. Right or wrong I assume anybody wearing tactical garb (5.11 pants, Multicam hats with morale patches, etc all) is packing. Obviously folks wearing concealed carry/ photographer type vests who do not have a huge camera are packing. ANYBODY wearing a vest when it is 90 degrees outside is hiding a gun.

It isn't so much that these folks are doing anything wrong in terms of concealment. Just that folks know their own. Potheads can find potheads, gays can find gays, CCW folks can often spot their own. The guns I miss are 1) Particularly small and discretely carried. Hard to tell if somebody dressed normally has a little .22/.32/ .380 in their pocket or 2) The gun is on the side away from me or I just miss it thinking about other things or whatever.




Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Why the 50 Meter Zero?

Rourke linked to an excellent pictorial about ballistic trajectories from different zero's over at M4.com.

Let's look at the trajectory using a 25 meter zero.
If you look the bullet path is 8 inches high from roughly 125m to250m. This is a real problem. This is enough of a problem that folks will miss targets. In fact that is what happened.

My informal understanding of the development of the 50 meter zero is as follows. Dudes were missing Tango's in the 100-150 meter range which was pretty close to the max range guys found themselves fighting at in Iraq (yes there was that occasional long tail fight which was further but lets not get into the weeds). After some consideration, or quite frankly I'm not quite sure what, the SOF community began to transition to a 50 meter zero. This trickled to varying degrees into the conventional Infantry guys and the shooting community at large. That is how the 50 meter zero came about in my understanding. If anybody (John Mosby, K or Lizard Farmer come to mind) has a better understanding of that development through something other than reading on the interwebz I would be interested in hearing it.

So let us look at the 50 meter zero.
As you can see this zero is much flatter. From the muzzle out to 250 yards or so (varying slightly by barrel length, twist, etc) the bullet is at +/- 2 inches. This is what matters. Granted I might need to hold over a little bit at longer distances but inside 250m it's just muzzle on target, relax, squeeze trigger. Since the vast majority of military engagements happen well inside that envelope to me it is a very easy decision to make.

I use a 50m zero for my fighting rifle and recommend it to others. I do not think your choice of optic should affect the zero chosen. The 50m would be my choice for iron's, a red dot or a scope. It's pretty awesome on my Burris MTAC. Really the only reason I can see going with another zero would be a gun with a concept of use other than a fighting rifle. For a DM or varmit gun I might look at a 36 meter zero to keep it within 4" out to about 350 meters.

The way I personally execute a 50 meter zero is to just do a 25 meter zero then back out to 50 and adjust the point of impact down to be on at 50m. The reason I do this is that it's a lot easier to get onto paper at 25m saving ammo then back it out to 50m. I think it's faster and certainly saves ammo by starting closer to zero (due to distance). Suppose I could move the sights sufficiently then confirm but I've been lazy and redneck adjusted (fire a group, move the sights, repeat as needed till on target).

Anyway that is why my rifle is zeroed at 50 meters and I suggest you do the same. That is my thinking on that.
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