LongER range benchmarks?

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LongER range benchmarks?

Post by Broken1 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:41 am

I've been slowly picking up fire arms since I joined here, and learned a little bit here and there. I started with a FNP-9 pistol, then a 10/22, then a Remington 870. Dumped the FNP-9 for a Glock 17. Then the saving began. I had the 10/22 that I played around with (I once shot a nickle on the first shot at 50yds draped over the hood of my jeep(me not the nickle)) and felt that I had a pretty decent grasp of the mechanics of rifle shooting and was ready for the next step. For my first real rifle I bought myself an M1A.

I'd never shot further then 100yds until this weekend. My membership in the local fish and game procured, I went over to play with my M1A. First I sighted it in, on sandbags, at 100yds. Irons? Check. Scout Scope? Check. I was really happy with how it grouped. I got the points of impact all good and I was thinking I was golden. I was running short on time and wanted to play around a little bit more so I headed out to their 200-600 yd range. I was not pleased with my performance there.

For my first time at 200yds standing, scoped, with no sling or support I could get them all on a 2X2 piece of paper, but it wasn't what i would call a group. I am most assuredly the limiting factor in the equation. I was surprised at how much my heart beat and hand tremors impacted! I could have done a whole lot to make them better, and I think a part of it may even have been nerves cause it was my first time and all. We'll see next time.

I was wondering if anyone had some numbers for various stances at various ranges, that I could use as some sort of benchmark or what have you. Everyone's talent is different I'm just trying to see where I stand. I know I'm not Gunny Hathcock, and I probably never will be. I'm just trying to figure out where I stand. I'm sure there is a mil standard or something. I was hoping to get some sort of goal to work towards. I mean can pretty much everyone make an X inch group at 200 yards, and I am horribly sub par or what? Am I expecting to much?

Also any tips for shakey hands and the like? I did the breathing exercises I remember from the USAF arms training and it helped a little, but I was still surprised how much it impacted... Starting to wonder if I should go see a doc or something... A budddy mentioned lack of potassium so I am going to look into that a bit.
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by minengr » Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:27 pm

Shooting a rifle offhand with out a sling at 200 yards is not an ideal way to test the ability of your rifle. It’s a great way to test your ability as a shooter.

First, I’d buy a sling. Then I’d shoot from the prone position. A little google-fu and you’ll figure out how to wrap the sling around your forearm they way guys do for service rifle matches. That is your best bet for good groups. I wouldn’t worry too much about the shaking, the sling should take care of most of that.
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by Broken1 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:46 pm

minengr wrote:Shooting a rifle offhand with out a sling at 200 yards is not an ideal way to test the ability of your rifle. It’s a great way to test your ability as a shooter.
My objective was to determine my current ability as a shooter. I figured that standing would make for the worst shooting accuracy. I just am trying to determine if my worst is average or not. At 100yds, on bags, the groups were great. Now I need to work up to the level of the rifle.
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by HHaase » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:27 pm

If you're even attempting 200yd standing unsupported, you're already above average in ability. You would be surprised how many people can't shoot unless they're at a bench or prone. As long as you're consistently on the target at 200yds you're doing fine, but keeping in the black is preferable.

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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by Mr. Warren Peace » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:40 pm

like you, i'm trying to improve my overall shooting. 100 yards is a good distance to shoot: from a bench, standing, squatting, and prone. imo, keep shooting at that distance with controlled breathing as your primary objected, until you become proficient with all of those positions. it takes regular shooting with the same firearm to adjust to a new trigger and different recoil. (oh that, recoil was probably unnotice with the 10/22) after this is mastered (assuming your rifle is centered), increase within functional limitations of your rifle. also, a .22lr is a great rifle to try various shooting styles.

regarding "the shakes", did you ever notice them before you decide to shoot at 200+ yards? if not, maybe nerves, weak leg and/or core muscles, hunger, or many other "things". make a mental note on any future shaking activities.
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by phil_in_cs » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:50 pm

2x2 inches or feet? 2x2 inches and you need to go to camp perry next year....

edit to add that 2x2 feet isn't shabby either. The 200 yard military bullseye is about that diameter. Keeping all your shots on the paper standing is better than most new shooters can do.
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by bgnad » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:31 pm

200 yards?
Free hand?
No Sling?
Open Iron sights?
And you hit the target?

Dude!

Out freaking standing!

Now, GO OUT AND GET A SLING!!!
Do it now! Do not put it off!
You can get a decent standard rifleman's 2 point sling for $20.00 USD or less.

Next, find a copy of the USMC or Army rifleman's manual and learn to shoot that 200 yards prone.

You are on your way.
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by wtr100 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:13 am

get yerself to an Appleseeds Clinic or a Small Arms Firing School

sight picture, trigger squeeze, natural point of aim

http://www.appleseedinfo.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by wtr100 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:16 am

get yerself to an Appleseeds Clinic or a Small Arms Firing School

sight picture, trigger squeeze, natural point of aim

http://www.appleseedinfo.org/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Have your musket clean as a whistle, hatchet scoured, sixty rounds powder and ball, and be ready to march at a minute's warning.

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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by wtr100 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:32 am

check out the folks at Appleseeds - they'll teach you sight picture, trigger squeeze, natural point of aim ... good training from not a lot of money


you can download a practice 50' is target here
http://wtr100.bravehost.com/promo_targe ... rds_v3.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by Organdonor » Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:54 am

I'm doing an Appleseed in two weeks with my wife and son. We're bringing .22's to start out with, then later in the day when the basics are down we'll switch over the higher power rifles. They'll teach you how to shoot in all four positions, and with a sling. The class is free for my wife and son, and cost me $45 for one day. If I was doing the second day of the class it would have only been $35 each day.

It's not a tactical course, and some people scoff at them... but hey, for cheap money and a beginner shooter, how can you go wrong?

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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by Broken1 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:30 am

phil_in_cs wrote:2x2 inches or feet? 2x2 inches and you need to go to camp perry next year....
I wish. It was 2 foot by 2 foot.
bgnad wrote:200 yards?
Free hand?
No Sling?
Open Iron sights?
And you hit the target?
Correction. It was with my scout scope set up. I didn't try irons. I don't really doubt that the results would be comparable. I'll try it this weekend with irons.
bgnad wrote:Now, GO OUT AND GET A SLING!!!
The sling has come up in many conversations with other shooters. Yes, a Turner all weather is in my future. Additionally I was advised to, with the weapon safe, aim at the target and close my eyes for a count of 5 or 10 and look where the rifle ends up being pointed, that may show me that my stance is not right. Bad stance, more muscle strain, more shakes. I'm hoping that a lot of the shakes are things that people have listed here such as nerves, weak leg and/or core muscles, hunger, and dehydration. Legs aren't an issue, i don't think, but the rest are probably pretty valid. I was hungry and dehydrated. I have needed an excuse to get in better shape anyway so I guess this is it.

The sling will have to wait a bit though because the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Defense have just agreed to a "cessation of extraneous spending" period to allow the economy to recover from expenditures by said Secretary of Defense on excessive defensive military upgrades. (My wife and I agreed to no more guns, ammo, or other fun toys until we recover from the most recent spending spree.)
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by phil_in_cs » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:42 am

You can get good results, and learn how to use a sling, with a web USGI sling. I think they are under $10 from CTD or Midway. You can get them for less at a local gun show. The Turner is great, but its a lot more cash and you need to be a real expert to notice the difference.

Getting all your shots on a 2x2 foot square is no small achievement your first time out. Leave the bench behind you and learn to shoot correctly. An M1A was never meant to be fired from a bench rest.
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by Broken1 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:37 am

I think, for me, my pie in the sky goal is to be able to effectively engage a man-sized target with absolute surety at all distances under 300yds from all positions, under all conditions.

My hope is to train in that direction so yes, the bench is behind me, unless I have reason to doubt the zero of the rifle or the rifle's inherent accuracy.

Based on the responses so far I will assume that I am at a decent starting point. I'll definitely try the sling, but I think I'll just wait a bit and get the one from Turner, shouldn't be long. The stance thing is easy so I will probably play around with that this weekend. I guess I'll probably try to remember to eat and hydrate before running out the door too. As for nerves, I was pretty excited and I think that was a contributor, but I'm actually glad about that. It gave me a look at real world conditions. I'm unlikely to be calm in a firefight... There was somebody on here I think that was suggesting running or doing push ups or something before trying to make the shot and I think that the concept has merit. Once I get to the point where i am happy with my performance under normal conditions I think i might try just that.
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by AwPhuch » Wed Aug 13, 2008 11:48 am

bgnad wrote:200 yards?
Free hand?
No Sling?
Open Iron sights?
And you hit the target?

Dude!

Out freaking standing!


Now, GO OUT AND GET A SLING!!!
Do it now! Do not put it off!
You can get a decent standard rifleman's 2 point sling for $20.00 USD or less.

Next, find a copy of the USMC or Army rifleman's manual and learn to shoot that 200 yards prone.

You are on your way.
Dude...the Marines do that all day any day!?!?!?! 200yrds was our bread and butter!

Yes..the sling is the key

I was a rifle/pistol coach...it takes a lot of discipline to be able to shoot effectively in a combat situation from 0-300 yards
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by crypto » Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:19 pm

minengr wrote:Shooting a rifle offhand with out a sling at 200 yards is not an ideal way to test the ability of your rifle. It’s a great way to test your ability as a shooter.

First, I’d buy a sling. Then I’d shoot from the prone position. A little google-fu and you’ll figure out how to wrap the sling around your forearm they way guys do for service rifle matches. That is your best bet for good groups. I wouldn’t worry too much about the shaking, the sling should take care of most of that.
A sling doesn't do anything for you in a standing or unsupported position. It's for sitting or prone unsupported use only. It requires the elbow be sitting on something to get it's intended effect, whether that 'something' is your knee or the ground.
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by Broken1 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:28 pm

I decided to try and kill two birds with one stone. I cut caffeine and cigarettes out of my life. That will hopefully cut down on the shakes a little. Apparently, one pot of coffee a day, two packs of smokes a day, and normally only allowing about five hours for sleep MAY be contributing to the slight tremors i noticed... :)
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by 5.56 Disciple » Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:08 pm

crypto wrote:
minengr wrote:Shooting a rifle offhand with out a sling at 200 yards is not an ideal way to test the ability of your rifle. It’s a great way to test your ability as a shooter.

First, I’d buy a sling. Then I’d shoot from the prone position. A little google-fu and you’ll figure out how to wrap the sling around your forearm they way guys do for service rifle matches. That is your best bet for good groups. I wouldn’t worry too much about the shaking, the sling should take care of most of that.
A sling doesn't do anything for you in a standing or unsupported position. It's for sitting or prone unsupported use only. It requires the elbow be sitting on something to get it's intended effect, whether that 'something' is your knee or the ground.
I respectfully disagree. I find that a sling makes me infinitley more stable when shooting off hand. I have shot hogs off hand with my Remington 700 .223 at 200yd, I'm pretty sure I could do 300 with a sling (didn't know about shooting with a sling untill a few months ago).

Nice work man! For your first time shooting a rifle, that was excellent. I'm willing to bet less than 50% of shooters can do that.
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Re: LongER range benchmarks?

Post by phil_in_cs » Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:07 am

Broken1 wrote:I decided to try and kill two birds with one stone. I cut caffeine and cigarettes out of my life. That will hopefully cut down on the shakes a little. Apparently, one pot of coffee a day, two packs of smokes a day, and normally only allowing about five hours for sleep MAY be contributing to the slight tremors i noticed... :)
I never smoked, but I was banned from caffeine on shooting days back when I was shooting small bore as a junior at high levels. The bounces and wiggles are significant Its water soluble and clears your system in 12 hours. When you get strapped up properly you will see your pulse in your sight alignment.

We used a sling standing. That's now banned, but I think the ban has to do with upping the level of difficulty since a number of international top shooters would regularly clean the course. They've removed butt hooks and palm rests too, I think. They don't show that part of the Olympics on TV too often....

Creedmoor sells a very good DVD called Service Rifle Basics if you are serious about this.
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