Applying NRA/CMP High Power to hunting

Some folks say competitive shooting has no practical application. While no one is going to conceal carry a M1 Garand with a 1907 sling, high power reinforces the basics of marksmanship which can have real benefits, especially for hunting.

A few lessons I’ve learned from high power that have helped me become a better hunter.

1. Trigger control. The difference between Squeezing the trigger and jerking the trigger will be the difference between dropping the deer or watching its tail as it runs into the woods.

2. Breath control. I think this one is especially tricky in the field. A little buck fever makes it hard to remember to take your time and wait for the scope to pause at the bottom of your breath.

3. Sling use. I have a Turner 1907 on my hunting rifle and have practiced, both live and dry, using hasty sling for both sitting and off hand. Taking the time to lock into the sling before a shot in the field can really pay off.


4. Hand loading. I’m not sure this counts as marksmanship but I started reloading so I could have a steady supply of ammo for my Garands. Lessons learned while making consistent rounds for match shooting apply to hunting rounds as well.

All of the practice I’ve put in this year and a fair amount of luck helped me take a nice 10 point at about 150 yards between trees this season.


Practice and Changes to my Slow Fire Routine

Took my Winchester Garand and 1917 Eddystone to the range after work today for some practice. I especially wanted to fire some more of my hand loads down range just to make sure they wouldn’t give me any trouble, they worked very well. I’m still amazed how well I can shoot this rifle compared to the my Springfield. I spend so much time worrying about stance, trigger control and other “soft skills” I guess the “hardware” can improve score sometimes too.

For the 1917 I am going to use HXP because I am still having trouble cycling hand loads in it and I don’t have the time or patience to figure it out before Perry so ill just use what I know works. I found with this rifle compared to a Garand even the slightest thing wrong and my shot goes wild. So it will be important to take my time and focus on the fundamentals with every shot.

For slow fire I have been keeping the rifle on my shoulder while reloading. To look at the scope I simply rock to the left to reload I use my right hand and tuck an round into the SLED then pull back on the handle and fall back into position. This seems to help me stay in position and be a little more constant. I’m not sure how this will play out in a pit match as I “short stock” my hand gets a little fatigued after awhile.

I’m getting awful excited about Perry in a few days, hopefully the weather holds.


Two days of practice

It was a beautiful weekend for shooting and with my wife away I did a cut corner job of mowing the lawn and spent most of it at the range. I brought out the 1917, M1 and my new(ish) A2.

I spent some time working on the elevation for both my 1917 and Garand for both the conversion to 6 o’clock hold and to figure out why I was so low at the York match. I got that all worked out then spent some time working on my prone position, which I am now feeling much more confident in.

I practiced prone with my A2 and raised the elevation a bit so I could use 6:00 hold with this rifle too. I am very happy with it’s performance so far. I tried my hand at shooting sitting which I have literally never tried before. After trying to imitate the “crossed ankles position” I settled into some sloppy variation of it that seems to work OK for me. This has given me the courage up to sign up for the next NRA highpower match and bring my A2 in a few weeks!

Kimberton has a nice new slab for shooting prone.


Think I have enough stuff?


Don’t tell Bloomberg about my assault clips.


Switching to 6 o’clock hold

After years of insisting “point of aim” is a more realistic and therefore better way to aim I am converting to “6 o’clock.”

If you are not familiar with the different sight pictures CMP has a very detailed article with pictures and everything here:

The short explanation is for point of aim you put the top of the post at the center of the black. For 6 o’clock you put the top of the sight post at the bottom of the black, like a “pumpkin on a post.”

I switched for constancy and my worsening vision. Too often I have been struggling to see how much black is at the top of my sight post. Hopefully this will help me get the same picture every time.

I have also made some bold changes to my prone position at the end of last season. I’ve been fighting with cheek weld and “muscling” the rifle in prone. Instead of keeping my hand all the way out against the sling swivel I have pulled it in to where the stock curves down to the mag plate. This allows me keep the rifle a bit higher which fixes my cheek weld. I also get better skeletal support and strain less to stay on target. This should give me a better natural point of aim, more constancy and hopefully better scores.