What Off Season? First Matches of 2017

This year I’ve been telling myself “there is no off-season.” Last year at this time I was shaking down my new rifle and trying to remember the things I learned in 2015.

This year I’ve been attending my clubs indoor rimfire league, pulling the team score down shooting kneeling on my feet.  

This month, I found a bit of time to attend some walk and paste matches to get my fix of high power.

 

The first of which being a 500 agg at New Holland where, after borrowing some ammo from the club (long story), both my shooting buddy and I posted our first High Master Scores! I came in 3rd for service rifle with a 485-14 in a three-way X count tiebreaker. Lots of good scores that day and a record turn out for the club.

The next weekend we headed out to Langhorne for their “outlaw” walk and paste. Another 500 agg in NRA format, I couldn’t top my 485 from the weekend before, but I was able to post a 481 which I am plenty happy with. I’m felling a little more confident in slow fire, posting a 91 and 198 on both ends. All of my off-hand shots went where I called them and the 9s slow prone were shot 1 and 2 where I knobbed my way right past the X. I cleaned the second string.


I have a lot of XTC scheduled for May and lots to do before then. Including squaring up my zeroes on my new scope and piles of brass to load!

Can I Shoot Hunting Ammo out of A Garand?

A lot of folks new to the M1 Garand look for a way to source ammo a box or two of ammo at their local shop on the way to the range. 

While I know not everyone can afford cases and cases of HXP, the M1 Garand is designed to shoot a very specific round. Exceeding the M2 ball pressure specification puts excessive stress on the op rod and can cause catastrophic failure.

Internet lore might tell you “just shoot anything 150 grain or less” or some nonsense about FPS, as opposed to powder burn rate, well…

The results of heavy hunting ammo shot through a reader’s garand. 

Your call.

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Who Says You Can’t Go Home Again: Dusting off the A2 stock after the Freezer Match.

This weekend was  the 2017 Freezer match at KFGA. It’s a 40 round off-hand match held for charity at my local club.

I shot ok. Dropped a couple of 7s and a whole pile of awful 8s. In the 4 strings I ranged from a gross 85 to a decent 93. Which was enough for 5th.

It was a fun match, I tried some new things and put the first in competition rounds on my new barrel.

There was a day when I considered this the end of the season. But with the Creedmoor Cup and Fleet Week In just 3 or so months it’s not time to hibernate.

After the match I got to thinking, disputed my progress my off-hand has more or less plateaued falling in the 7ish point swing I saw this weekend. Rarely topping 93. My data book tells me back In the A2 days I had less variation and was able to post a couple of 96s.
Blaming the equipment is a lame excuse and I have let my stubbornness tell me to stick with the UBR. Which I had grown to love early In 2016, using a super short off-hand position. As the season went on I found myself sliding the stock longer. By October I was out to A1 length.

So I’ve decided to  come home to the A2 stock.

2015 SAFS. No I’m not going back to the mag hold and hopefully not the extra 40lbs

Why?

A2 stock is heavier. There are some weight options for the UBR but the standard A2 wedge puts 3.5 lbs of additional Donk on the rifle which the UBR really can’t accommodate. Short of a custom-made gold or maybe depleted uranium weight.

A2 buttplate is a cheese grater. It’s made for shooting, not dressing up in an empty plate carrier and playing operator. Sling up and try to make it slip out of your shoulder, if it does, sling up better.

After some practice I don’t need the short length. Being further from the scope seems to help me keep my head in the same sport.

I might change my mind. But this stock feels like an old friend and it seems to me its the safe bet.

CMP 2017 Rules: Want to start shooting EIC? Buy a new rifle. 

The new rules are up for EIC for 2017. 

Read them here: http://thecmp.org/wp-content/uploads/Rulebook.pdf?ver=01042017

Of note CMP describes the new classifications and match rifles, presumably a shot across the bow of the NRA after their last minute location change of the NRA championships.

Personally, I’m disappointed to see further restrictions placed on handguards. It seems now only quad rails or traditional A2 tubes will be permitted for service rifle.

 Under the old rules it was convenient to invite new shooters to EIC matches where they could “run what they  have” with minimal modifications and cost, A2 grip and a 4x.  It was win win, as they got to try out their gear to see how it held up to XTC and it helped get new people involved in the sport. 

This all might seem trivial however in the “AR community” quad rails are fairly uncommon these days, modular free floats such and Mlok and Keymod are all the rage. 

Under the new rules new shooters will need to find a quad rail or A2 tube, borrow a rifle, build an A4 or shoot out of competition.  Because XTC wasn’t already intimidating enough?

Good news, the A1/A2 grip rule hasn’t changed. So my sticker is still relavent.
http://garandthumb.com/store/service-rifle-rules-compliance-device-keepin-it-cmp-legal-sticker/

Armistice Day Match at KFGA

It’s a tradition at my club to shoot WWI rifles at the November CMP match. 

I brought along my Rock Island 1903 and my Old Eddystone 1917. 

I shot the 1917 first. The 17 and I haven’t always gotten along. However I was able to focus on that tiny front sight due to some suprisingly good light. Slow prone went well. In both rapid and off hand I was low. I either moved the sight or changed my cheek weld but it happens. I’m happy I kept them in a group off hand. That had been an issue for me at Perry this summer.

I rarely shoot my Rock Island 1903. Not that there is anything wrong with it, in fact it’s nice to shoot as it has USMC sights and a nice smooth action. 

Anyway, excuses aside, I did okay with that old rifle. I had some trouble remembering how the windage worked and bounced back and fourth across the target in slow prone. Four MOA per 1/4 turn is a little delicate.
I haven’t been happy with my offhand with the wood guns all season, but I managed to post one of my better off hand scores with this rifle. It turns out trigger control is important!