Saturday, June 24, 2023

Range Trip 6-23-2023

 I returned to the range the day following the 6/21 trip because I was unhappy with the performance of the Frontier 75gr ammunition.  My purpose was to see if PMC X-TAC 55 would work better.  I get to the range, post a target, set up my rifle and send one round at the “zero target”.  Low . . . so I reach for the elevation turret to adjust . . . and the scope “wiggled”.  Excuse me????  So, I grab the scope and try to move it around – and I can do this easily.  Closer examination showed that the scope was firmly attached to the rail . . . but the rail was NOT firmly attached to the rifle.  Heavy sigh.  As all good instructors claim – “Why I been shootin’ guns since I was a little kid!!!”  Well, I have been – got my first scoped .22 when I was 12.  Used all types of rifles in the ensuing 61 years.  And I have NEVER seen a rail on a rifle lose.  So, retrieved my target, packed my gear, and headed to the office.

 I disconnected the scope rings from the rail and removed the rail mounting screws.  I applied a bit of Blue Loctite to each screw and then tightened them to the recommended 15 inch-pounds of torque.  I tightened the 4 crews back, front, 2nd back and 2nd front.  Then I ran through the sequence one more time and remounted the scope rings to the rail and tightened them to 15 inch-pounds as well.    I let things set overnight and then headed to the range the next day.

 The course of fire today was to be 5 rounds per target, 20 targets, 5 targets per sheet with the first to confirm zero.  My goal was all rounds within the 3” targets and a group size average of 2MOA.  I posted one sheet with 5 targets at a time then changed out the sheet and evaluated the target I removed. 

 Sheet #1 I dropped 3 rounds and had an average group size of 2.14 MOA.


Sheet #2 I dropped 2 rounds and had an average group size of 2.17 MOA.



Sheet #3 I dropped 5 rounds and had an average group size of 2.3 MOA. 4 of the dropped rounds happened on Target #4 of the sheet.  No idea what happened but I regained my focus for the next sheet.  It was obviously a shooter issue and not a rifle or ammunition issue.



Sheet #4 I dropped 2 rounds and had an average group size of 2.18 MOA.  I also had by best target of the trip – and the last target of the day.  My 5-round group size was .74 MOA.  It was a very nice way to end the range trip.



As you can see from the photo of the rifle and targets, I was using an Armageddon Gear “Game Changer” front bag and a regular rear squeeze bag.  It provided a very stable shooting platform.

 Moving forward I will probably reduce my round count to 50 rounds per trip with the 5.56 ammo with one trip per month.  I’ll probably run the same with the Savage 110 .308 that I chose as my DM rifle.  The high-volume work will continue to be done with the Ruger American 22LR or the Ruger Precision 22LR to maintain the fundamental skill set. 

 It was a good range trip today.  I was reasonably happy with by final result  - an 87.4% on accuracy and an average group  size of 2.2 MOA on precision.  A fine time was had by all!


Thursday, June 22, 2023


6-21-2023 Range Day


The range trip today involved the “intermediate” rifle in my course development for a Designated Marksman Course – the Ruger American Predator in .223.  I don’t consider a .223 large enough to fill a DM role, but it works fine to introduce the concept of recoil mitigation since the .22LR trainers simply have no recoil.  That said, when you move to this platform the goals of precision and accuracy remain . . . 2MOA regardless of the distance and all rounds within a 2” circle at 50 yards and a 3” circle at 100 yards.


At 50 yards I reduced the round count to 3-rounds per target and fired a total of 60 rounds.  I dropped 1 round for an average accuracy of 98.3%.  And I had an average group size for 20ea 3-round groups of 1.67 MOA.  Well within my desired accuracy of 90% and my average group size of 2MOA.


Just a side note, I was shooting Frontier 75gr Hornady BTHP Match bullets.  A characteristic I’ve noted in the past carried through to this session, I had 2 Failure to Fire malfunctions for the 60 rounds.  Honestly, with today’s ammunition, this is unusual.  These were the last few boxes of my stock and I’ve moved on to PMC X-TAC as a replacement.


Moving out to 100 yards, things did open up.  Sheet #1, Target #1 was to check zero so not counted in my average.  For 45 rounds, my average group size opened to 2.26 MOA.  However, my dropped shots increased to 6 out of 45 for an average of 86.6%.  So, I was “out of spec” for both precision and accuracy.  Heavy sigh.  I’m going to go back today and shoot the 100-Yards with the PMC X-TAC and see if things snug up.


Regardless, a fine time was had despite it being pretty darn hot in the low 90s.  Keep shooting, take the time to do some self-evaluation and then fix all the little things that keep you from being the shooter you want to be!

Friday, June 2, 2023


Range Trip 6-1-2023

First trip this year with the Ruger American 22LR.  I was very pleased with the results.  I fired a total of 100 rounds on 20 separate 2” targets, 5 rounds per target.  My goals for the trip were an average group size of 2MOA or 1.0-inches and all rounds with the 2-inch target. 

My smallest group was .42-inches.  My largest was 1.3-inches.  The average group size for all 20 groups was .85-inches. 

My first shot – a Clean Bore/Cold Bore shot was outside of the target (#1 on Sheet #1) as well as one additional round on #10 on Sheet #1.  Otherwise, all rounds were within that target.  This yielded a 98% for 100 Rounds, so pretty happy here.

The ammo was Eley Club (Lot # 3122-30072).  This particular round continues to perform well within my desired specifications, so I’ll probably continue to use it.

As could be expected, I did a “deep clean” before the trip considering the use this firearm took last year.  I suspect that had something to do with tightening things up as well.  I’ll make sure it has a deep clean before each range trip this year and see if it holds.

As I explained last year, this is a “trainer” for a Designated Marksman course I teach.  The actual DM rifle is a Savage 110 in .308.  It’s a very good match in physical size to the Ruger America 22LR and both have the Vortex Scout 2-7 LPVO mounted to them with the triggers set to 2.5 LBS. 

Next range trip will push things out to 100-Yards.  The goal again is groups of 2MOA or less but the target changes to a 3-inch target.  We’ll get that done this week.