Improvements in shooting

Yesterday and today I did a little more shooting with a .22 bolt action rifle. I was using 'five targets' sheets, with 10 shots in total, plus two or three to let me adjust the sights. Hitting the bull scores 10, the next ring out is 9 and so on.

Yesterday I scored 87 and 90 (from a possible 100). Today I scored 94 and 95.

On the first target of my second run today I got the bull dead on (after adjusting my sights) - and the second shot went through the same hole! (It's possible to tell).

This was a nice start. On each target my pair of shots are grouped, but there is variation as I move from one target to the next - I may have to graduate away from the sandbags soon and move into the jacket.

All of my shots are close enough that I could score 99 or 100, if I could eliminate the variation as I move from one target to the next.

Rapid Fire Practice

Some more shooting this week, with a rapid fire exercise. First we had two shots to adjust the sightings (one of these was dead-centre, so that was encouraging). Then we had a group of 5. I got a half inch grouping all slightly right of centre, and so scored the maximum of 25.

It was downhill from there.

The next drill was up to 10 shots in a minute upon 2 targets. I only got off six. There were two main reasons, I had problems reloading in time (the bullet would occasionally jam instead of being pushed in by the bolt) and also my glasses went askew, meaning that I had some problems with the top rim of my glasses obscuring the view. The spread of shots was wide horizontally, and they were all low. I only had three in the black. This scored 6.

Then the snapshoot. This is a three second exposure of the target, with varying intervals between exposures (from 5 to 20 seconds). Each interval is represented once. I had three shots on the snap, with one visibly hitting the backing card (off the snap) - and one nowhere to be seen. There were the same problems that I had with the rapid shoot. I found the snaps harder to use with backing paper!

My overall score was 46 out of 95, which was, frankly, pants.

On the positive side, it's only the second time I've ever done any 'timed' exercises, the first was last week, so no big deal - the initial grouping was encouraging!

Snap Shooting

I had a go at snap shooting today. Snapshoot

The central target was a grouping I did today after zeroing the sights. The two 'paddles' are snapshoot targets. They pop up five times for three seconds. The intervals are randomised, and the intervals are 5, 10, 15 and 20 seconds.

In that time one must reload.

The left hand target scored slightly better (as the shots are closer). The right hand target was a better grouping (but the sights were not adjusted!)

Continuing the Rifle practice

My eighth ever groupingThis is my eighth ever grouping. The sighting is a little off and needed adjusting, but it's a half inch group (i.e. pretty good) - and at the moment I'm mostly concentrating on the grouping. I'm really very pleased with things so far, it's good fun, and it's something I appear to be taking to!

My largest grouping to date is 1 inch, all the other seven are less than three quarters.

First Shoot

This was my first ever attempt at bolt action rifle shooting - I'm really pleased with it. It's a half inch group (i.e. good). The actual aim is less important, as one deals with that by adjusting the sights, if they're grouped it means the shots are repeatable and reliable.

First Shoot

The subsequent groups were less good, the worst though was one inch - still pretty good for a beginner. The other two were three quarter inch.

Dick Cheney and the Shooting Incident

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past week... or perhaps not getting past the fifth story in the news (in the UK)... you will know that Dick Cheney, the Vice President of the USA, shot a man last weekend.

In this channel 4 article, Cheney said it had been one of the worst days of his life. Considerably moreso for the other guy, no?

Reports say that, unbelievably, Cheney was handling his gun whilst intoxicated (okay, a beer which isn't really intoxication, but the claim was that nobody was drinking - all of these claims rely on the word of the people involved in the incident).

I learned of this story last week - and like this article, I find it amazing that the White House is only just (yesterday) commenting after four days of silence - indeed, it initially looked like it might have been a cover up.

I can't help wondering, if Dick Cheney were not in the position he's in, would he not be at least having a conversation with the police by about now? Would this conversation not have been had on the day? At the very least he did not have the appropriate licences. I'm not suggesting for one second that this was anything more than an accident, but find it hard to believe that in any accident involving firearms the local police would not get involved immediately - and there should be no double standard.

Unsurprisingly, the blogosphere is in a whirl.

For example, firedoglake has this comment regarding the (lack of) immediate and independent police investigation: [via WB42]

Salinas called Ramiro Medellin Jr., a former sheriff who lives on Armstrong Ranch and works as a ranch hand. Medellin called Salinas back and confirmed the incident was an accident.

It was at this point that Salinas decided to wait until the next morning to send an officer to investigate the incident....

every police protocol that I've ever seen after a hunting incident. Why didn't you immediately go to the scene and observe the shooter yourself -- or send a deputy? Because he was the Vice President and he and his friends and your sheriff predecessor told you not to worry your pretty little head about it?

The Comedians are inevitably having a field day (that is, they are whenever the medical condition of the shootee is on the up.

The website 'Join the Party Party' have released the mp3 'Dick is a Killer'. It's not work safe if you have an uptight boss.

Not the wittiest thing ever produced, especially given that the shootee has just had a heart attack, but certainly a clever bit of editing to get the desired statements from Shrub's utterings over the years.

The comedians had better be careful though:

Lafayette resident Josh Kayser chuckled Monday afternoon when he read about Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shooting a friend during a quail hunt over the weekend.

A few hours later, paramedics rushed Kayser, 21, to the hospital after his girlfriend accidentally shot him while they were trailing a raccoon.

... and the Americans wonder why the Europeans look upon the right to bear arms without comprehension!

Further Reading:

The Carolinan carries my favourite quote of the whole affair:

...because quails can't fight back, you all got what you deserve.