Ok, while I haven’t resorted to slitting rooster throats over a burning picture of chickens, pigs, turkeys and rams in an effort to improve my shooting skills I haven’t ruled it out as a possible option either! In the meantime I have continued to modify my rifle into the perfect target swatting machine. (At least in my humble inexperienced opinion.) I had forward weighted the stock but found the rifle did not “feel” right sitting in my shoulder so I returned the weight in the buttstock and now she sits at a dead on 8 lbs. and it feels much better. Feels like it “sits” down in the shoulder better. Additionally, I drilled and tapped the rear of the trigger guard and installed an overtravel stop screw. Didn’t see anywhere in the rules that this was illegal so I will leave it until told otherwise. I also polished and softened the “checkering” on the trigger guard which improved the feel and the appearance.
Got her off to the range for some practice Sunday afternoon. I began by shooting a few groups to ensure the glue in the forestock didn’t negatively affect the accuracy. Fortunately it had not. The rifle still shot nice tight groups with Wolf MT ammo. After that, I set up my chicken spinner target at a distance of 40 yds and proceeded to shoot. Out of the first 15 shots I hit 11. Not bad but I had a later string where I missed quite a few in a row. I think I was pulling the shots off the target high, not letting the trigger release be a surprise but trying to pull the shot off. It felt right but I was missing high. Effectively I was not following through, reverting to snapping the shot. I have learned I have to stay with the sights even after the shot is broken, following through visually as it were. Yes, follow through, follow through, follow through! I did not have the time or the space on the range to set other targets. I did notice that after repeated strikes the target lost all of the black paint and became increasingly more difficult to see. I don’t believe this had an effect on my ability to hit the target as I was picking small marks on the target to shoot at, and could see them well through the scope.
Another thing I have decided to do while practicing is after each monthly shoot if I am maintaining my score I will increase my scope magnification. I am now up to 14 X and if I do well with that in the next match I will go to 16 X, then 18 X etc. If I can still hold well at the higher magnifications the easier the “aim small, miss small” proposition will be. I think this will help improve hits as well.
Finally what mods are next? Getting the scope up to 1.5″ above the receiver. I have ordered two risers to achieve this goal and according to the respective product manufacturer’s specs I will be at 1.47″ when all is done. That will be about as high as I can go and still have a bit of wiggle room if measured by an official someday. This should allow my head to be more upright which hopefully will be steadier and also allow me to change my fore-end hold to a different more stable position than the finger/thumb cradle I have been employing. Pics and observations to follow when done.
So that’s about it for now. Continuing to dry fire practice at home and shoot live fire when I can. Hopefully I can maintain or slightly improve my score in the next match. Guess we’ll see!