Last match of the season.

This past weekend was the last match of the season “national championship”.

I managed to land the second place in my class despite a low score.

On practices leading up to the last match I had been shooting a decent score 589, give or take 2 points. But on Friday, 2 days before, I somehow managed to get right into my correct position without even thinking too much about it and shot 596.2, which is 0.8 from the next class.

596.2

I was very optimistic about the match coming on Sunday, and after 10 minutes of sight in time I was on target with my shots and was hopeful that I would shoot a decent match.

Match started and I started off great with my first shot a 10.9, and after 5 shots I had 52.6 and 4 inner tens, and then I shot a dreadful 8.2, but managed to recover and shot 10.8, 10.0, 10.0 and 10.2 ending up at 101.8.

101-8

My next series was 98.9, I could feel the stress building up and I could see my pulse getting more and more with the movement of my barrel, next one was 96.9, at that point my arm was numb so I decided to stand up and get the blood flowing back into my hand and get back into a good position. Then disaster struck, and my nerves got the better of me and I began to start shooting bad groups and loosing too many shots into the low 9 and 8’s, 94.2 and 94.4, with no inner tens, and only 4 tens in total of those two series.

I knew I had to do something to get myself somehow into the game again, stood up, at this point I had just under 20 minutes left with 10 shots left. Tried to clear my head and calm my nerves. For the last 10 shots I managed to shoot a 98.1 with 4 inner tens but still shot two 8’s in that series. Not bad but far away from good, and too little too late, and even though it was low it, as mentioned before, still landed me the seconds place in class 2.

isl-meistaramot

With the official season over, many things have come clear and the great support and advice from other shooters have surely made this a fun season. With the summer around the corner and new sights already on their way, one can only hope that next season will start off the same or better than this one ended.

Gear upgrades

I had initially bought my rifle in September 2014 and with no knowledge or experience about the 50m prone shooting discipline I bought a very basic handstop and settled for the sights it came with.

844

This handstop has a very low profile, which for some might be good but for me, it was killing my hand everytime I was shooting, which would not help my score in the long run. After discussing and trying other handstops from other shooters I decided that I should get myself a new handstop, the Centra/MEC handstop was the one I decided on after trying it on a 1913/1918L and reading reviews about it. I could not find anyone that had anything bad to say about it.

I’ve already shot with it at practices a few times now and I must say that my supporting hand/palm is not as tired as it used to be.

Other equipment

I had been debating with myself about replacing the wood stock I have with an anschutz 1918L, MEC Mark1 or even the Tesro evolution 20, but after a good discussion I decided to wait and focus rather on getting new and much improved sights. so on order is a complete rear and front sights from Centra. Centra Spy, Centra Iris, Centra duplex, Centra duo-vario and Centra riser-block. Unfortunately those will not arrive in time for the last indoor match of the season.

That will just give me a chance to train in the off season with them and learn how to use them so I can come through on my New Year resolution, which is 605

New classification

I would miss my fifth match due to prior obligations the same weekend, but that would just give me more time in order to practice and try to up my game.

Sixth match

Over the course from Jan 31st (4th) and until March 21st I managed to improve my shooting and started to maintain a steady score right around 590, and managed to up my personal best twice in that period, once with a 589.4, 0.2 point increase over my 589.2 I shot in December (3rd match) next was a 591.4

And on my last practice before the 6th match I shot a 588.5, so at that point I was rather happy with how my shooting was progressing and becoming more and more steady.

 

My match score was 589.4, with 10 inner-tens, which qualified me up to class 2, class 1 is still ways away at 597.

589-4

Stock changes

After careful consideration and discussion with a gunsmith and a local record holder, I decided that my LOP/LOTP was too long. Took the stock to a local wood shop and had them remove as much as possible while still being able to keep the Anschutz butthook correctly attached.

butt-hook-1inch

Did some shooting with it like this and felt it much more comfortable than before, whether that was just something I was telling myself or not would have to be tested. But the first try with it shortened showed good progress. 583.5

Mistakes were made

After being extremely satisfied about qualifying up to class 3 I tried to see what I could do to adjust my shooting in order to tighten up my groups. Changed my stance, adjusted my angle among other things.

Most of my practices were shooting in and around 575, not close to the 589.2 I shot just 4 weeks before.

jan-prac-2 jan-prac-1

 

Fourth match

With my fourth match coming up last weekend of January I was fairly confident I’d shoot at a decent level, having had about 5 weeks to practice, but to my demise I shot a devastating 568.6

31-jan

I truly wasn’t happy with this score, even though it was within my class, I still felt it was worse than I should have been able to shoot. so I decided to try and analyze what had gone wrong. Even though I had a hold on 10 and tried to be consistent with my shot release, something was happening. Only after searching online I found something that made sense when I thought about it in hindsight.

low-left

 

Given the fact I’m a lefty, “low right” would be correct for me, and as I mentioned in hindsight I do remember pushing the stock, ie. driving the stock forward and down.

This was fortunately a good learning point for me and I have been able to not do it since.

Advancing

Second match

With just a small amount of practice and tips from local guys, including the current record holder I was able to go from 517.3 to 559 within a month. Still have a lot of ways to go.

First thing they helped me with was correct sling placement and propper body placement, including how to have the support arm.

After second match

After the my second match I searched and searched online for various information regarding advises on stance, breathing techniques, shot placement and equipment upgrades.

A good source I found was http://www.smallborerifle.co.uk/ they show in details the ideal prone position, breathing, aiming and trigger control.

Equipment change

After searching for upgrades, the most common upgrades I found were a bubble level for the front sight in order to keep the same tilt all the time, and a bloop tube to extend the sight radius.

Decided to bite the bullet, so to speak, and ordered both from Champion’s Choice.

http://www.champchoice.com/store/Main.aspx?p=ItemDetailOptions&item=ET10
http://www.champchoice.com/store/Main.aspx?p=ItemDetailOptions&item=M750
http://www.champchoice.com/store/Main.aspx?p=ItemDetailOptions&item=001073

Third match

With practices leading up to my third match I was shooting anywhere between 562 and 580. Class upgrade from 0 and into class 3 is 565 so I was semi hopeful that I might be able to qualify into class 3.

3rd-sr

Imagine my surprise when the match was over and I had scored a 589.2 and thus qualified up to class 3. 589.2 would have actually qualified me for class 2, too bad you can only upgrade one class at a time.

3rd-sr-2

Getting into 50m prone free rifle

About a year ago I started thinking about looking at getting a left handed rifle in order to start competing in 50m prone. Last summer I found a left handed Anschutz 1807 in Denmark.

ipp

Picked up the rifle, which was in fairly good condition, and while on my way to the airport in Billund I stopped by at skyttebutik.dk and picked up an Anschutz shooting jacket, basic handstop and a left handed sling.

Showed up for my first competition in October without even having tried it in 50m prone.

Placed last with a score of 517.3 Not bad, given the fact I had not shot it in prone before and my equipment was not even remotely setup correctly. Over the next couple of months and with help from people in my shooting club giving me tips I’ve managed to shoot up two classes and I am now shooting pretty steady around 590.

Mistakes made in the beginning

First thing I did wrong was I had my sling way too low on my arm and way to loose, which meant that instead of having the sling do it’s job I was holding the rifle up with my supporting arm. which caused all of my shot to land high right.

Second, I had my cheek piece too low, so instead of resting my cheek on the cheek piece I was actually propping my head too much up from the stock.