Sunday, January 2, 2011

Precision Rifle Competition Post #1

     This is my first post of 2011. Happy New Year!! (and all that stuff) This year I have resolved myself to compete in at least 3 Half Marathons (with the 3rd being the Las Vegas Marathon in December). And to shoot in as many rifle matches as I can afford. But enough about all that...
     The first match I have signed up for the Score High Rifle Challenge 2011 in Albuquerque, NM in May. This being my first rifle match, I am beyond clueless on how to train for the match. Better yet, how to use my training time to the fullest extent possible. I know that the shooting veterans that read this blog are going to say "Shoot, Shoot, Shoot some more, then Shoot again." That is all fine and good. I got that part. I fell in love with shooting the first time I held a M1 Carbine in my hand when I was 8 years old. It became an addiction when I joined the Army at 17, and now an obsession since I took the North Texas Rifle Precision course in July. I have no problem going to the range, getting square behind the rifle, and squeezing off rounds into a target. But I know to be competitive, there is more to it. There has to be or else more people would do it.
    Right now, my training consists of, 6 Days a week:
30 minutes Dry Fire from the prone supported position
30 minutes Dry Fire from the kneeling unsupported position
30 minutes Dry Fire from the kneeling supported position
30 minutes Dry Fire from the offhand position.
    The focus of the Dry Fire practice is trigger control. I ensure that I grasp the rifle with the firing hand the EXACT same way every time. Second, that my cheek weld and eye relief is the EXACT way every time. Third, my scope reticle is focused on a small point and when I break the trigger, the reticle does not move off of the point, even the smallest bit.
    Range Practice (at least 1-2 days a week) I take my backup rifle (Savage Model 10 FCP-K .308) :
Execute the Sniper's Hide Dot Drill 3x at 100, 200, 300 yards respectively. Focus is on centering the dot on each shot. The rifle is capable of .6 MOA using a Bushnell 6500 4.5-30x50mm Scope (MOA/MOA)
The second drill I run is the 36 Dot Drill. The target is 6x 1in Dots in 6 lines. I begin by shooting 1 round into each dot from the Prone Supported. Second line, 1x round into each dot from the kneeling unsupported. Then Kneeling supported, then offhand. The last two rows are for make up shots where I did not center the round from a certain shooting position.
    Within the next week I will be receiving a Shooting Chronograph. When this item arrives I will begin to develop a load for my primary competition rifle, a customized Remington Model 700 .260, in McMillan A-5 stock, with match barrel, and Badger M-5 Bottom metal that accepts Accuracy International 5 and 10 round magazines, all under a Nightforce 5.5-25x56mm NXS Scope (MIL/MIL) with Milradian Reticle. I have chosen the Lapua 139 Grain Moly Coated Scenar Bullet, Remington .260 Brass and based on a recommendation Hogdon 4350 propellant. When I get my load developed, I will dope my scope based on the Knight's Arms Bulletflight Ballistic Computer and make adjustments from there. Once I have the dope for my scope, all I have left is training, training, and more training.
    There you have it. This is the best I can do as a Noob-tastic Competitor. For those who have Practical or "Tactical" Precision Rifle experience, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, e-mail, comment, or hit me up on Facebook and give me pointers, drills, or comments. My goal is to finish better than dead last. But the higher I finish, the better I will feel, and the better I represent Team NTRP Shooters. Thank you in advance for all your help. Keep your eyes peeled for more to follow as my training progresses and I introduce more drills and techniques.