6.23.2021

June Range Update!

"I have long had a tendency to tie marksmanship to morality. The essence of good marksmanship is self-control, and self-control is the essence of good citizenship. It is too easy to say that a good shot is automatically a good man, but it would be equally incorrect to ignore the connection."

― Jeff Cooper
Though I know this still surprises readers of this blog, I've taken a shine to the challenges of long-range precision shooting. As I've stated here before, I got on this road when I transferred to Vortex Optics sales after we closed Eagle Optics ― of course I needed to learn firearms optics to be successful in this new role. Well, in just a few years with lots of training and practice, I've become a fairly proficient long-range shooter. Naturally, they're plenty of firearm and ammo topics still yet to learn and master.

At Vortex Optics we do friendly competitive matches. One of my shooting colleagues suggested attending a real Precision Rifle Match. Guess what? I signed up for one taking place in Columbus next month ― the Wisconsin Precision Rifle Steel Challenge. For this match I'll be running my Tikka T3X in 6.5 Creedmoor plus my Vortex Razor Gen II 4.5-27x56 FFP scope. I was using my Razor AMG scope on this rifle, but switched it over to the Gen II ― probably a better option for this type of competition. I took my remounted rig to our 100-yard indoor range yesterday to sight it in. In true Tikka form, sub-quarter MOA groups:
This 3-shot group is .111" — the rifle is very accurate, but not exactly zeroed. I can further dial this in, though. As long as you know how the firearm is shooting, you can hold elevation and windage the requisite angle differential using the scope's reticle and be right smack in the bullseye. 
Last week we held our monthly .22 NRL match at work and I actually finished in second place with my Vudoo and new Venom 5-25x56 FFP scope. For four lost points I knew exactly what I had done wrong almost immediately, which I took as evidence of improvement. When a mistake is made and you have no idea what happened, that's a knowledge deficit. So, I'm getting getting better through mistakes! 
Did you know that the 1937 Pittman-Robertson Act puts a tax on the sales of firearms and ammunition to state governments for wildlife conservation? Given my job, I would probably do this hobby anyway, but it's at least something else that's positive with respect to my interests in conserving habitat for critters and future generations of outdoor enthusiasts.
The center target is a 3-shot 50-yard .14" group, which is pretty decent at that range for a .22 LR setup. This is the discipline of the sport: to repeat the same movements with respect to aiming, breathing, trigger pull, and follow-thru ... several times in a row, group after group. Consistency! But sometimes I'll throw a flier, as most shooters do. See that in the snowflake target on the right? Whoops!
So, there's my update from the Vortex Optics range. Blog posts for the next month or so will be more nature-based, so sit tight because there's always more to come!

All images © 2021 Mike McDowell