The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Hide > The Art of the Rifle: General

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 8, 2013, 07:34 AM   #1
Hummer70
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2009
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 120
A Man Has To Know His Limitations

Everyone has opinions on the best sight for this or that and I would suspect that most folks are interested in fast target acquisition in hunting/survival type applications but how do you know what is really the fastest for you?

At Aberdeen Proving Ground such is determined on the “M” Range where there are three fans of targets in front of the shooter at 25, 50 and 100 yards. There are like 15 targets at each line and they are spread out in about 120 degree fans.


The shooter stands at ready position and controller activates the computer progam which raises targets independently and randomly. For instance your first shot might be at 10:00 o’clock at 50 yards and second target at 1:00 at 100 yards and third target be at 2:00 at 25 yards.


Every shooter gets the same number of targets and the computer picks them randomly so shooters waiting to come up observing the test cannot pre plot which target comes first, second etc. When the target rises the timer starts and the timer stops when the sensors indicate a bullet has passed through the target.


When finished the computer prints out the ranges and times taken to get a first shot through the target thusly misses don’t count so the value of a candidate sight system can be realistically evaluated across a large cross section of shooters.


You can get 100% hits and come in last because your time to engage is longer as the average time is calculated at each range.


Obviously this range is out of the ballpark due to its cost and maintenance (or I would have had my own haha) but there is another way to arrive at the knowledge desired which is done with a shot timer.


I have a R U Ready timer (there are others) and you turn it on or someone else turns it on and three seconds later a “BEEP” sounds which starts the timer and the time stops when the shot is fired. I do like a ten shot string at 25 yards and 50 yards recording the time to engage and fire and get a average time to engage.


Then I go down and count the hits in the target and divide the number of hits into the time.


For a target I get a stack of 6” flimsy paper plates at Wally World and staple them up at 25 yards and 50 yards. Realistically your target on most medium game is about 6” thusly you can evaluate your skill and the usefulness of a candidate sight system and have firm data and you have determined the fastest pointing sight system for a given range.


If you go to 75 yards you will most likely find you need a longer time to get off your first shot. At 100 yards it will be longer.

You will quickly realize in order to get 100% first shot hits changes will need to be made like assuming the prone position and using a sling/bipod or some kind of support.


The title of this thread is from a Clint Eastwood line in one Dirty Harry movie, “A man has got to know his limitations.” A speed timer will quickly give you a realistic firm data base of your limitations and the enhancement of or detriment of a given sight system.


http://www.frfrogspad.com/courses.htm will give you some realistic courses of fire designed to measure your ability with rifle and handgunswithout expending large amounts of ammo. I have talked to the Friar and he explained they have competitions and there are some very fast shooters in their competitions. 1.5 seconds sounds like a long time to get off a shot at 25 yards but when you try it you will find that it is much harder than it sounds.
__________________
Distinguished Rifleman High Power & Smallbore Prone
President's Hundred (Rifle) US Palma Teams(2)
US Dewar Team (2),4 Man Natl.Champ Team SB Prone
Cert Test Dir. Sm Arms and Ammo,Aberdeen Pr Ground, Firefighter I, AC4HT
Hummer70 is offline  
Old May 8, 2013, 07:50 AM   #2
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,443
Talked about this a few years ago with a Federal Air Marshall. He said the hardest SIG pistol shooting event they had to pass in training was as follows.....

The clock starts. Seated in a passenger seat, strapped in, the FAM sees a bad guy target appear 7 yards away. The target area was about the size of an apple.

FAM's had to unbuckle, stand, pull out their covered .357 SIG then fire one shot and hit that apple.

All in 1.5 seconds.

One petite female in his class was a "97 pound weakling" that had passed all the physical tasks, aced all the written exams, but her tiny hands weren't quite up to firing that first shot fast enough from her double action SIG. She was set back to the next class and given hand exercising things to build up her hand's strength. Two weeks later, she passed with flying colors. Along with 3 dead "apples" in three times over that course of fire.

Years ago, a USN marksmanship instructor (later, same for the US Border Patrol) said the "numbers" game is a good way for handgun shooting in self defense situations. If you've got a revolver (which he favored), 6 shots at 6 yards inside 6 inches in 6 seconds. With a Browning Hi Power, it's 13, 13, 13, and 13.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former US Navy & Palma Rifle Team Member
NRA High Power Master & Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master

Last edited by Bart B.; May 8, 2013 at 07:55 AM.
Bart B. is online now  
Old May 8, 2013, 07:59 AM   #3
Sarge
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 12, 2002
Location: MO
Posts: 4,896
Good thread. My only comment on paper plates as targets is that for rifles, I prefer a 7" paper cereal bowl stapled so the bottom is toward the shooter. It presents a three dimensional image and is probably closer to the DRT zone on a game animal.
__________________
Visit us at The Sixgun Journal or the archive, at http://sargesrollcall.blogspot.com/
Sarge is offline  
Old May 8, 2013, 08:00 AM   #4
kraigwy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 16, 2008
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 9,367
Sounds good, except:

Quote:
turns it on and three seconds later a “BEEP” sounds which starts the timer and the time stops when the shot is fired
I like a random start time "timer". I'm sure you've shot or been around bullseye shooters where there is a set time from "all ready on the firing line" until the target's turn. Most good shooters have a timer in their head and start squeezing the trigger, having it timed where the first shot hits the target as it faces.

My timer might be 1 second or 8 seconds from the time you hit the button and it beeps.

It's fun to watch people twitch waiting for the timer to beep.

I really like that Air Marshal Drill, I'm gonna set a car seat with seat belts on my range and practice that.

Not that I want to be a FAM (I don't like to fly any more) but it would be a fun drill.
__________________
Kraig Stuart
CPT USAR Ret
USAMU Sniper School Oct '78
Distinguished Rifle Badge 1071
kraigwy is offline  
Old May 8, 2013, 08:20 AM   #5
Bart B.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 15, 2009
Posts: 4,443
For hunting, the best I've seen or heard of was one I witnessed back in 1954 when I was in high school.

Out at a local range shooting my .22 rimfire, this guy comes up to the firing line with a big leather case. He said he was going to do some practising for his next trip to Africa.

He pulls out a Rigby double .470 Nitro Express and hands it to me. "Check this out and if you want to shoot it, I'll let you." That sorta dropped my jaw. But he wanted to do his stuff first.

He took four clay pigeons out to the 25 yard target's backstop, about 28 yards away and stood them up in the dirt about 2 feet apart. Then back on the firing line, he chambers two rounds then puts two more between fingers on his left hand. Shouldering the double, he puts two shots down range shattering two clays. Drops the double breaking the action and as soon as the two empty cases clear the receiver his left hand pushed both new rounds into their chambers. Snapping that double back into battery, he broke the last two clays. All four shots in about 8 or 9 seconds.

I was amazed. Then he did it again. He explained his white hunter had a rule that for elephant, rhino and cape buffalo, clients had to shoot that well else he would not be their guide on the hunt. Shot placement on those big animals when they're up close, angry and headed for you at top speed is crucial. He asked me if I thought someone with a bolt action rifle could do that.

I fired one round myself; it didn't kick as hard as it pushed back. Missed the clay. Jerked it, no doubt.
__________________
US Navy Distinguished Marksman Badge 153
Former US Navy & Palma Rifle Team Member
NRA High Power Master & Long Range High Master
NRA Smallbore Prone Master

Last edited by Bart B.; May 8, 2013 at 09:24 AM.
Bart B. is online now  
Old May 8, 2013, 11:00 AM   #6
L_Killkenny
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2007
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,676
This is all fine and dandy but we're talkin field work right?

Years ago when I started hunting, speed was never a problem. A pheasant could get up in front of me and I'd could have my first shot off before it was 5' off the ground. Hit a few that way too, very messy. I've also "hurried' more shots on game than I've lost due to not being fast enough. In the field speed is overrated, smooth is fast and a shooter is better off taking that split second to get the job done right than worrying about being fast. Let alone talkin about multiple targets .

Combat and/or SD shooting is different........Or is it?
L_Killkenny is offline  
Old May 8, 2013, 03:04 PM   #7
jmr40
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 15, 2008
Location: Georgia
Posts: 5,806
Quote:
Shouldering the double, he puts two shots down range shattering two clays. Drops the double breaking the action and as soon as the two empty cases clear the receiver his left hand pushed both new rounds into their chambers. Snapping that double back into battery, he broke the last two clays. All four shots in about 8 or 9 seconds.
Quote:
He asked me if I thought someone with a bolt action rifle could do that.
I'd think for anyone who had spent any time practicing it shouldn't be that hard. I work on a similar drill quite often with my rifles. I use a paper plate at 50 yards and fire 3 shots. I've had other shooters time me before. Three shots, 3 hits in 4.09 seconds with a Winchester 70 is my best, and I've never gone over 5 seconds. I know my targets are bigger, but at 2X the range. And only 3 shots, but that leaves me 4-5 seconds for the 4th.

Most shooters never think of a bolt rifle as being fast so they never practice with them. With practice anyone can keep up with or beat most guys shooting lever actions.
jmr40 is offline  
Old May 8, 2013, 04:32 PM   #8
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,984
Quote:
I'd think for anyone who had spent any time practicing it shouldn't be that hard. I work on a similar drill quite often with my rifles. I use a paper plate at 50 yards and fire 3 shots. I've had other shooters time me before. Three shots, 3 hits in 4.09 seconds with a Winchester 70 is my best, and I've never gone over 5 seconds. I know my targets are bigger, but at 2X the range. And only 3 shots, but that leaves me 4-5 seconds for the 4th.

Most shooters never think of a bolt rifle as being fast so they never practice with them. With practice anyone can keep up with or beat most guys shooting lever actions.
You left one thing out. The PH was shooting .470 NE loads. A roughly equivalent cartridge available in affordable bolt rifles would be the .458 Lott. Do you think you could still make these shots with the .458 Lott?
csmsss is offline  
Old May 8, 2013, 04:34 PM   #9
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,984
Quote:
Years ago when I started hunting, speed was never a problem. A pheasant could get up in front of me and I'd could have my first shot off before it was 5' off the ground. Hit a few that way too, very messy. I've also "hurried' more shots on game than I've lost due to not being fast enough. In the field speed is overrated, smooth is fast and a shooter is better off taking that split second to get the job done right than worrying about being fast. Let alone talkin about multiple targets .

Combat and/or SD shooting is different........Or is it?
When hunting dangerous game, there is no difference. That shot not taken could result in someone's death.
csmsss is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09622 seconds with 9 queries