Monday, November 13, 2006

Pendleton - Nov 11, 2006 - Creedmoor Cup Match

Making It Come Together
The Creedmoor Cup match is when all the hot shots come out. To be able to shoot in the company of the very best is a reward in itself. To be able to count among that crown the smiles, hellos and jokes of friendships is icing on the cake of life. The Creedmoor Cup did not dissapoint.

Nov 11 was the day to bring the week of shooting together. It's an NRA match which means you get two sighter shots at the beginning of each stage, not nearly as daunting as the EIC match. And you compete in divisions based on your NRA classification and the type of gun you are shooting. I'm in the Service Rifle Sharpshooter Class. My objective for the day is to win this division.

Me and my mouse gun enjoying the outdoors.

Offhand Stage - 20 shots for record plus 2 sighters in a time limit of 22 minutes at a range of 200 yards. I use an 80 degree stance with my AR-15. It puts the gun in front of me. The reason is because I have an A1 buttstock on it. My friends ask why don't use the 90 to 100 degree stance and the answer is because the A1 butt of the AR-15 is shorter than the butt of the A2. I made the mistake of not resting the gun on the stool between shots. I got tired towards the end of my string and dropped more 8's than I wanted to. I shall have to practice a change in my routine to lower the fatigue factor in my offhand stage.

Rapid Sitting - 2 sighter then two strings of 10 rounds with each string fired in a time limit of 60 seconds at a range of 200 yards. This is one of my stronger stages and I've learned a few things that will make this even stronger. I'm still getting too much heartbeat effect in my shot pattern. The reason is my feet in position. I need to change to a feet out sitting position to get the gun lower and less vulnerable to heartbeat vertical stringing. My 2007 goal is to improve this stage to the point that I can deliver cleans, that's all rounds scoring 10's or X's.

Note: I need to modify my dope sheets to list different sights pre-sets for Offhand and Sitting. The vertical hold difference is about 1 MOA. That's just the way my eyes perceive the most comfortable way to aim at the target. I lost points on the sitting stage because my sight picture favored the lower half of the bullseye for the first portion of my Offhand stage. Separate pre-sets should help bring the scores up.

Rapid Prone - Move back to 300 yards and shoot two strings of 10 rounds in 70 seconds each plus 2 sighters. Both wind and light begin to become factors at 300 yards. Not so much that it'll take you out of the bull but it will take you to the outside edge of the 10 ring and if you do that you'll leak out a lot more 9's. It works out to a judgement call of about 1/2 to 3/4 MOA. Get one wrong and the pattern is up/down/left/right. Get both wrong and the shots group in to the diagonal quadrants. Get everything right and you print holes dead center. At yeaterday's EIC I was too timid and caught the upper right quadrant. Today I was aggressive and nailed it dead center both strings. It felt good. I think my rapid prone can be improved further by adopting a lower front arm further out position. It's worth exploring. I want to clean the targets at this stage also.

Slow Fire Prone - Move back to 600 yards and shoot 20 rounds plus 2 sighters in 22 minutes. There's everything to be said for underdtanding the physics and theory of shooting when it's late in the day and the sun is going down. Wind becomes less challenging as it dies down but light becomes more challenging as it gets darker. It's important to do things like take advantage of yellow glasses to amplify the contract as the light turns to gray. Today's 600 stage went pretty well I was able to balance out good combinations a couple of times and get some runs of 10's and X's going between wind shifts. Adjusting elevation every 5 shots for the light is a must at dusk. Also it seems better to use a center hold at this time of day to minimize the light down sight down effects of the image bloom.

An the Winner Is ...
Yup it all came together and I won my division today. One more match and I'll probably get my Expert card. Then I can start climbing the ladder all over again.

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