As planned, I hit the range early Saturday morning and spent 3 hours shooting. I did some more prone, sitting and standing drills at 50 yards with the 1-6x scope. As usual I was dead-on while prone but still have trouble with sitting and standing because it’s hard to support the rifle properly. I think before I make my next trip out I’m going to look into straps for the Mossberg, and also the CZ. The NSSF has a great video up on YouTube that goes over the practical shooting positions, and how to properly set up your strap to use as a support aid. It always amuses me to see people show up at the range and do nothing but sit on the bench with a rifle rest to shoot. One of my sitting shots completely blew away the pigeon holder, I found it about 10 feet downrange when I went out during cease fire and had to look around for a minute or so before I found it. The shot below shows the holder completely gone, and below that you can see I cleaved another post as well. I think I need to aim a bit higher when shooting from sitting or standing. At least I know I’m dead center!
After a few rounds of the 50 yard pigeons with various positions I moved my target back to 100 yards and put on the 6-24x scope and zeroed in. I had to make a few adjustments since last time, which always puzzles me because I never touch the scope while its in the case and makes me wonder if it’s not getting jostled around too much while stored away. But pretty much from the start I was on paper, just a little high and had to work my shots down. Eventually I was grouping them within the biggest black diamond, which is approximately the diameter of a clay pigeon, as illustrated below by a red circle. I even manged to nick the bull, the white space of which is smaller than a dime.
To give you an idea of just how important good trigger control is, check the target below, which was a clean one to the right of the one above I shot up first. I put three rounds in it without coming off the scope. The one on the center I know was a good shot, I could feel myself give a smooth squeeze and take the recoil straight back into my shoulder with the scope not really moving off the target. I could also feel when I threw the one shot way up right. And this is only at 100 yards, it’s that easy to miss. It really gives you an appreciation for how difficult it is to really hit something you’re aiming for.
After I was on target on paper I started to play a new game. I set up 10 pigeons in a row and sighted in on the one to the far left. I opened my left eye so I could see my iPhone lying in front of me and press Start on the stopwatch. Then I got my left arm into support position and sighted in as fast as I could and fired off a shot. If I connected, I moved to the next pigeon, and continued until I missed. As soon as I missed I stopped the clock. It’s not great to be doing this myself, since it means I take a second to sight in after I start it and a second to stop it after I miss. I’d prefer to have a spotter on hand to start the clock as soon as I fire my first shot and end the clock as soon as he sees me miss. Actually I think I can make the beginning better by starting standing behind the gun, and have to lay down, chamber a round and sight in – that way I can start the clock myself and always have the same start conditions. Anyways the best streak I could pull off was 5 clay pigeons in a time of 27.6 seconds. My goal is to get a streak of 10 while prone, 5 while sitting and 3 while standing. I like this game better than the 3 of each position I was doing before, and next time I’ll do it at 50 yards with the 1-6x scope as well.
The last thing I want to mention is I played around with the CZ .22 at 100 yards and discovered that
the start of the thick portion of the top cross hair is dead-on. I was wrong, it’s the bottom off the cross hair post. This is awesome because it means I don’t have to adjust the scope elevation if I want to shoot at 100 yards instead of the 50 the scope is zeroed at. I can just lower raise the sights and be on target. Why am I lowering raising the muzzle to shoot the gun at a further distance? If you don’t know then you should read up on bullet ballistics. Long story short, a bullet actually rises as it leaves the barrel of a gun, up to a point where gravity finally starts yanking it downwards. It’s a parabolic arc. So a bullet will can be higher at 100 yards than it would be at 50 yards! How much higher depends on the bullet, of course. In the case of the .22, it’s just enough to line up with the bottom of the thick post on the cross hairs the bullet is already falling by the time it reaches 100 yards. So this is how I would line up a clay pigeon shot at 100 yards with my scope set to 50 yards:
I know, took me a while to wrap my head around the parabolic arc behavior of bullets as well. You’d think a bullet exiting a barrel would go straight, not up! I’d like to find out someday if aiming the bottom of the cross hair at the top of the clay pigeon will be dead-on for 150 yards.
Also, since I had both 5.56 and .223 ammo with me on this trip, I loaded a 5.56 and .223 cartridge one after another and fired them both off BANG BANG! I couldn’t feel a difference. I didn’t expect to, but I wanted to see.
So yea, I probably won’t make it back to the range until mid-July but that gives me time to look into rifle straps, and I still have to get my P22 looked at as well. The Federal .22 ammo was great, I hardly had any residue to clean out of my barrel after getting home and cleaning out the CZ. I am all out of .223/5.56 as well besides the rounds I have for my clip and few in the stock compartment, so I need to restock on them – my friend reminded me of gunbot.net for finding ammo to buy online, but that’s more expensive that getting it locally from Dick’s thanks to hazardous material shipping charges so I’ll only be using that as a last resort.