The Urban Rifleman For the love of shooting Mon, 02 May 2016 21:37:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Walker / Eather Pitch Gauge Fri, 30 Oct 2015 15:54:34 +0000 Here is my design for a propeller pitch gauge for model airplanes.






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Hearts Tue, 24 Feb 2015 04:58:41 +0000 A heart can broken a thousand times.
Like the season of grapes crushed beneath the feet of pretty maidens.
What once saw the sun, now sits brooding, wrapped in oak and steel.
Waiting for the day that it will cause some soul to fall in love again.

For Priscilla Sat, 29 Nov 2014 15:36:23 +0000 There is a hole in my heart. It is a real as any affliction. I can feel the absence there in the same way a veteran of war would feel the memory of a limb long removed. The feeling and function there once so obviously alive is now numbed and ghostly.
There are spaces in my house where only shadows remain. I can see impressions upon everything within it that glaringly show the absence of a long time presence, now gone. Everywhere are footprints left behind that are so deep they do not seem to go away.
There are visions in my mind’s eye so real it seems as though they just occurred only moments ago. Like cinematic reels that play the pieces of the past. From the smallest unassuming beginnings…to the very end. In the feature there was only one actor. A player who performed their part so eloquently and genuinely that we are left wanting at the end of the story. 
Where there once were sounds there are only echoes of memories and then a deafening quiet. For countless hours I wished only for peaceful silence, and now that there is quiet I am captured by the stillness of that wish. A stillness so deep that I am alone. I am alone with the chorus of the memories within my ears.
Who knows what comfort another life brings until tit is gone? No one truly knows. That is the great flaw of our humanity… we simply cannot image the spaces that are filled by those around us. We are blind to the wholeness of ourselves until that wholeness is stripped away. We are left with only the great gaping holes in our hearts, and the forever silent impressions of shadows remain.
We are left only with our memories, and the memories of memories, and someday those too will fade. It must be our resolve to remember. It must be our joy to carry that hole within our hearts like heroes of past battles carry their scars. So we can all remember and be proud to have shared a small part of what was once there.

I will miss my little girl. The little puppy that climbed over all of her brothers and sisters to impress me every time I came to see her. That walked under my feet and tried to work the pedals when I drove my truck. Whose puppy belly would get so big she could not climb the stairs. She was the the great baby snorer and queen of the bed. Life long companion to Elvis the King. The forever camera hog and super model. The beautiful baying bellower and squirrel chaser. Mother dog to the Big Boy. 

We will all miss you my love. I will forever miss my Cilla Pilla Pie. Sleep Cilla, your work is done here and we are all better for it.

Snowy River Priscilla

Chapter Three Thu, 20 Nov 2014 23:19:31 +0000 The first week saw him though reasonable weather and relatively calm seas. The nights were mostly clear and the moon was bright. He could not honestly remember a time when he had such huge masses of ice this far South. It was as if the winter was now constant, and he could see far off icebergs glowing in the moonlight at night. It was cold…. shockingly cold… He was thinking that adding several inches of thick nap of hair to his beard and head over the last year had actually turned out the be very good idea, and at some point it felt like he had twenty pounds of ice frozen to his beard. The thought of his own brilliance made him laugh to himself…
“Ahhh, yes indeed!! You are so smart Chief… and HAIRY… hahahahaha that is some fine hair you have there, laddie… it makes a fine Christmas tree… maybe squirrels will raise a family in there and they will bring you nuts… Nothing like some nice warm nuts in your mouth!!! GRRRRRrrrr… hahaha”
It had been some time since he had made himself laugh. It felt good.
Winds were steady in the morning and his sails popped and cracked and the keel below the oak maiden cut through the layers of ice and salt water. It was a welcome sound. He realized he had sorely missed the groaning of the mast as the sail filled with air. There was really no sound like it. It was the sailor’s song, and those who had never experienced it for themselves, never really understood while the sea always called the sailor back again and again. There is something magical about the simple things in this world. It is always the common moments that touch our hearts. Most people miss that. Often times all it takes is an unexpected quiet second for the most wonderful things to reveal themselves. There was no shortage of quiet. The only sound he was aware of was the wind and his own lungs replacing air. A light snow fell, and he marveled that when the snow is light and soft it does not make a sound when it falls. You can actually see the flakes as they slowly descend and disappear into the sea. He wondered how far they had fallen from where they we created in the clouds… and what an amazing thing that is… He stuck out his tongue from within his icy beard and caught several snowflakes on the warm wetness there, and the cold made him shiver and he shook his face and ice and snow flew from his frozen hair. In that moment he thought to himself that he had at some point transformed into a sled dog…
The winds become light the next day, and then stopped blowing all together. The sea was flat, with barely a ripple… and it was so quiet. Like the inside of a tomb. Breakfast was a handful of jerky and flat biscuits that he had purchased in the market some weeks back. Those days before the journey seemed to be a thousand years ago. And he could not remember one single face from the village. He supposed his absence would not even be noticed.
The sails were collected and lashed down and the ancient oak oars were unstowed from below the packs. Once set in the brass gunnels, they eagerly dug into the salt water as the hairy man in the furry bear coat leaned his creaking back. His callused hands dug into the aged wood and his legs braced, and it felt good. His muscles welcomed the strain and his joints began to pop and snap and free themselves, and after a few moments he felt warm inside his coat for what seemed like the first time in ages. And he listened to the push of the oars of the water, and the creaking of the old boat, and it was peaceful.

Chapter two Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:11:58 +0000 There was very little rest for the warrior over the next few nights. His sleep was filled with vivid dreams. Dreams of the Dragonfly…. Voices spoke to him in soft whispers and told him that he was to follow the path to where the moon touches the sea, and that is where she will be found. And that he must hurry… because time was short. The cold icy veil thrown over the world would soon be permanent and irreversible. The journey would be long, but he had no fear. When the morning came he was filled with new energy. His heart burned, his eyes were bright, and his mind alive. For the first time in a very long time he felt purposeful and important…. And he had no fear. No fear at all.
The morning saw a new layer of snow and ice, but the sun appeared occasionally and the wind was not particularly fierce for the first time in months. Covered in extra furs, and his beard tied up with rawhide, he pushed open the great wood door of his lodge and trudged through the snow toward the dock by the sea at the end of the village. It had been such a long time since he had had made this journey. He arrived at the area where the boats of the village were kept. There in a covered boat house sat his boat. At first glance, you might notice, that it was not a particularly large boat for a Viking. He had found it was best to have a craft that he himself could manage without help if necessary, and he had done just that many times. It was an old boat, there was no doubt, and maybe some would day that it was in the first stages of rot and decline… but others might instead notice the great scars from many horrific battles and epic adventures. He realized that she might need a good going over to be sure, and the sails would need mending, but the Great Oak tree that fell so many years ago to make its strong keel was still alive in there, and the Viking had no doubt that she was ready for a new long journey. He pulled his face close to the face of the maiden that had been carved into the high bow, and her eyes were still serious and seeking the horizon. To him she looked more than ready to lead him once again. He placed his large hand on the maiden’s cheek and gave them a strong squeeze. There was a broad smile under the layers of beard… “I missed you lassie… It’s good to see you…” he patted her hard on the cheek and the bow resonated like the body of a great cello echoing off of the water. He chuckled quietly to himself, “Alright then… back to work.”
The next few days were spent quietly moving about the village gathering supplies. This was the most the Viking had been out in the village in some time, and he slowly began to notice what a great change had come over his home in his absence. Many of the buildings were in disrepair and most of the shops were closed. There were few people out in the square, and the few villagers that were out shuffled about with their heads down, moving quietly without acknowledging anyone around them. No one spoke. No one seemed to react to anything at all, especially to each other. There were no smiles, no laughing, no shouting, and no talking at all. Everything was dead quiet except for the whistle of the wind and the occasional banging sound coming from the blacksmith hut on the far side of the market square. His village had at some point become a town filled with pale faced ghosts that used to be his people. And there was no music… and there was no joy… and for the first time in days he felt despair. He realized that at some point he had become one of these same people, like he had been infected with some kind of sadness disease. He did not know when that had happened. It was like the warmth of the world had been drown in a great tide wave of icy water… and no one was aware that it ever happened. Momentarily, it made his heart heavy… but he knew somehow that his dreams and this new journey were somehow related to this blanket of darkness that covered the land, and it bolstered his resolve… and his focus had never been more keen.
The last day he spent in what used to be his home was spent finalizing his needs for the journey. He broke out the great chest from the secret hiding hole beside his bed. It had been in that hole for many, many years, and the lock was somewhat rusty but it opened without protest. The great hinges on the lid creaked upon opening but it appeared that everything inside was exactly as he had left them. His suit of leather armor was still shiny and supple, his oak shield looked the same as the day he put it away, and his axe was still sharp enough to shave a beard. Seeing these items, and then picking them up from where they had rested, felt like going through the effects of a warrior who had passed away. He knew these were these things but he could not place ever being the man inside that armor, and the handle of his axe felt only vaguely familiar. It was a genuinely odd feeling. Like he could not remember who he was before… no matter how hard he tried.
His seal skin pack was still in good shape. He had designed this pack himself. It had a special closure that made the bag inside water tight. There was not another one like it anywhere and he had only made the one. The pack had never failed him and it had weather many storms, and had proved itself a most vital item in his arsenal. It had held and protected many things, and had shown itself to be unsinkable and nearly indestructible. It was good to know it was still in good shape and could be used again.
Under his pack he found the last of his music boxes. It was always his favorite. The Viking had made many of these music boxes, and given them all away. He no longer remembered the faces of to whom he gifted them… Interestingly. He opened the lid of the jeweled box and in that moment he remembered why this one was his favorite of all of the music boxes he had ever made. The lining of the box was the finest satin, trimmed in buffed leather. The music box mechanism was a thousand little parts of polished brass. In a moment of pride he acknowledged that it was a good piece and worthy of praise. He moved his calloused hand down and began to turn the wind on the side of the mechanism. It clicked quietly and without protest, and after several winds he stopped and he moved his hand away and eagerly awaited the box to begin to sing its song to him… the gears started to turn in the mechanism, he could see it and he could hear the chimes clicking inside but no music was coming from the box. ..
…and then he remembered.
One day one of the women from the village had brought him what she thought was a broken music box. It was one of the many jeweled boxes that he had made and given away. The mechanism appeared to be broken and the music had stopped playing. He spent many hours examining the workings of the mechanical chime inside, but everything appeared to be working as it should… but the music was gone. And no matter what he did he could not make it play. He eventually gave the box back and explained that he could not fix it. The woman was very disappointed, and she told him that the song from her music box was her favorite thing in the world, and since the box stopped playing her life had become less alive, and her home had become less warm. She took the box and took it home… she seemed to be very upset.
Over the next few weeks every single music box he had ever made showed up at his door. The owner of the music box complaining of the same thing every time, they had all stopped playing. Without explanation there was no more music in the village anywhere… and no one knew why.
The day before, in the market, he had made a point to get a bag of candies. He didn’t like to admit it, but these cadies were his favorites. They were peanuts dipped in chocolate and covered in colored candy. This simple treat had always cheered him up when he need it. And he never made a journey without a at least one bag. And now that he was taking a final inventory of his personal effects he found the bag and placed it inside the music box. He wrapped the box tight in a beaver skin and rawhide and stuffed into the seal skin bag in his pack. This was the final item to be packed.
He put on his leather armor and was surprised to find that they still fit him perfectly. His axe was hanging from a loop in his belt and it felt vaguely familiar. His shield, which he had spent several hours the previous night painting with a large green, blue, and gold dragonfly was strapped across his back. He wrapped his great bearskin skin fur over his shoulders and lifted his pack and stepped out the door of his house into the darkness of the night, and made his way down to the water. Quietly, he slipped his boat out of the boat house, took hold of the rough handles of the oars, and leaned back digging them into the water, and quietly slipped into out of the harbor without making a sound. In that moment, he realized no one would even notice he was gone… but he could see the moon, and he pointed the maiden toward it and leaned into the oars.

Chapter one Thu, 23 Oct 2014 20:29:33 +0000 Their once lived a great warrior chief, who lived in a land far, far away.  He was the leader of his village, and they were called the Vikings.  He had spent a lifetime defending and protecting his people.  He had built many great meeting places, farms, mills, and warm homes where his people lived and raised their families.  He kept his people from harm, and had fought many great battles against enemies.  He had many great adventures seeking new lands and new peoples with which to trade and barter.  He was a great sailor, and there was no route that he could not chart or map that he could not read….  And he was greatly respected.
But the winters had gotten colder and longer… and it seemed the very warmth of the fire in the hearth was being somehow diminished.  The great glowing moons of the summer had been replaced with dark clouds and rumbling thunder.  It seemed gardens would no longer grow, and the livestock would no longer produce calves, and his people seemed lost and afraid.  They had grown distant from him, and he spent most of his time alone in his small house.
One evening he sat next to the fire wrapped in a fur blanket, drawing lazily on his pipe…  noticing the fire was no longer warm, no matter how close he sat to it.  The smoke from his pipe was even cold, and the sweet smell from the smoke he used to love so much seemed all but gone.  He looked down at his arms and his hands and took note of all the scars from the many battles he had fought.  His once dark beard was now gray and white, and it seemed his back ached all the time now and it was difficult to stand up straight.  He felt very old.  And he felt very alone.  And he wondered if his life was drawing to a close.  He set down his pipe, pulled the blanket in close, leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes…  The room was cool and seemed to almost have a breeze.  He fell asleep listening to the crackling of the fire.
Suddenly, his eyes snapped open.  He was outside, and the sun was bright and he held his hand up to shield his face from the sun…  and he realized he did not know where he was…  he was in a place that he had never seen before.  He was standing in water, and there were waves slapping against his legs.  The air smelled of salt and sweet.  The was a long sandy beach in front of him and a great green forest beyond that. The water was slapping against his bare legs, and it was warm.  He had never felt the sea so warm.  He reached down to brush the water with his hand and he curiously looked at himself.  The scars on his arms were gone.  His legs were tan and muscular.  The gray and white hairs in his beard were replaced with a thick, dark nap.  The muscles in his hands and arms felt strong again and the bones in his back cracked and stretched as he stood full and ached his back and took in a great breath, filling his lungs with the warm salty air, and every muscle tightened…  and he leaned his head back…  and his mouth opened…  and without knowing why…  he began to roar like bear…  and he roared…  and roared…  until he was spent and out of breath and he fell to his knees in the shallow water.  He lowered his head and began to laugh.  It seemed like it had been so long since he had laughed…  So he laughed…  and the waves splashed around him…
He raised his head and opened his eyes…  and there, only a few inches from his face was a single dragonfly…  green and blue and gold, with wings like tissue paper.  He could hear the little wings beating so fast.  It was simply hovering there in front of his face.  He imagined that it was looking at him…  maybe in wonder of him.  This great big hairy, roaring, laughing man…  and the thought made him smile.  Suddenly the dragonfly turned and lazily circled its way towards the beach, riding on the ocean wind, purposefully steering to and fro…  and there it stopped.  It turned back to look at the Viking, and began to hover in place.  He became aware he could hear the wings beating the air even though the dragonfly must have been one hundred feet away, and it was getting louder and louder.  The sand from the beach began to whip up in rising funnels and water was being turned into a white froth from the wind from the tiny beating wings.  The trees on the other side of the beach were being lashed about like they were in a hurricane…  and the sound was growing deafening.  The Viking raised his hand and covered his face with his arm in surprise….  And then just as suddenly, everything went silent again.
He slowly moved his arm away from his face, and everything on the beach had returned to calm.  The dragonfly was gone… but there in its place was a woman…  a woman, looking curiously at him.  The Viking had never seen a woman like this before…  He was immediately transfixed on her huge green eyes… she was wore a purple and green dress that seemed to be made from tissue paper with a golden jeweled belt around her waist, and it fell about in layers at her feet and hung lazily off her shoulders.  There were small yellows flowers tucked behind one of her ears pulling back the mane of raven black hair that spilled over her shoulders and did not stop until low on her back.  And her skin glowed like it was filled with millions of little jewels, that you could see sparkling in the sun…  and she looked at him…  and her glistening lips pulled back into a smile…  and she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen…
He drunkenly stumbled forward from out of the surf to her, and she watched and waited and seemed to almost nervously fidget about…  “Who are you???”  He barked over the splashing of his boots in the water as he beat his way out of the surf.  “What is the place???  Where am I???”, he said…  But she did not say a word.  She just jittered about nervously, giggling to herself and watched him get closer and closer.  And then he was standing in front of her, and he could feel a new warmth.  Not one coming from the sun or the surf.  It was coming from her… it was the feeling that he had not felt in such a long time.  It was the feeling of a hot fire.  That feeling he used to feel, but had in so many years had faded away.
The woman smiled wide at the Viking and looked up at him from the top of her eyes.  She lifted her closed fingers to him, and her hand turned and opened.  And there was the dragonfly… purposefully sitting in her hand.  The woman giggled… and bit her lower lip with the teeth on the side of her mouth, rocked to and fro in the sand on her bare feet….  And said,
“Find me…”
The Viking snapped awake in his chair…  The fur blanket had fallen away in the night and the fire had gone out.  And the house was cold and dark…  and his back ached, and his scars itched…
But he was warm…
His heart felt warm….  Like it was filled with fire…

A Short Story Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:46:45 +0000 A short story by Brad:

There once was a man who entered a difficult part of his life. So, he decided he would focus on something positive. He decided he would become the greatest trout fly fisherman that ever lived. So he set about to do this. With great care he tied his flies by hand. He found the best bamboo in the land and made a marvelous cane fly rod to fish with. He would wade into the water up to his waist and he would cast for hours. He practiced his roll casting, and could move the line over his head in great beautiful arcs, and eventually he could place his fly line anywhere he wished. He did this day after day.. He suffered the mosquitoes, and the cold and heat but he never quit. Years went by and he fished and fished, but he never once caught a trout. Eventually, he began to lose hope, and he was getting more and more depressed. He was really starting to feel his age, and he was often tired. One day he was wading in the water and casting his line and an old man happened by… The old man said “son what the hell are you doing?” The man said back “why I am going to be a great trout fisherman, so I am out here fishing and casting my line… See the wonderful flies I tied? And isn’t my fly rod nice? I made it myself. I can cast the line right where I want… But I am not having much luck I think I am doing something wrong…I can’t catch a trout… ”

The old man said, “son this is the sewer treatment facility…”

M1 Garand Restoration Project: Final Assembly Wed, 14 May 2014 19:54:16 +0000 Well here it is!!!  All done!!!



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M1 Garand Restoration Project: Part Four Wed, 14 May 2014 19:51:51 +0000 Here is the stock all finished and ready for assembly.  All in all it has about 20 coats of poly…









AR-15 NM Service Rifle Magpul Conversion Fri, 09 May 2014 15:16:55 +0000 This project started as a DPMS National Match Service Rifle upper with a 1-8 NM barrel.  I completely rebuilt the upper and converted the National Match float tube over to Magpul furniture.

The DPMS National Match rifle.



Here we start the conversion.






Float tube goes under the hand guard.







Shown here next to my Derrick Martin National Match.





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AR-15 Upper Receiver Bedding Fri, 09 May 2014 14:46:55 +0000  



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Mini 14 Parkerizing and Restore Thu, 08 May 2014 20:15:57 +0000 CAM00276








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M1 Garand Restoration Project: Part Two Thu, 08 May 2014 19:41:38 +0000  





















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M1 Garand Restoration Project: Part Three Thu, 08 May 2014 18:53:07 +0000 CAM00757














Doing Some Explosive Bullet Testing for the .223 AR-15 (VIDEO) Mon, 12 Aug 2013 18:12:05 +0000 Testing “explosiveness” on water bottles at the range this weekend…  Man we have been having some great fun at the plinking range at the club.  Even serious shooters need to loosen up and blow some crap up!!!

I used several rifles for testing, all functioned well.  Here you see my Mini 14 and SAR 3 AK-47 in .223.


Here are my two zombie slayer Ar-15 rifles that I used in the testing.  Custom made M4 on the left and my old CAR-15 on the right.



Savage Staggerfeed .223 Ackley 1-8 Rock Creek Finally Done!!! Fri, 09 Aug 2013 17:27:35 +0000 CAM00736FINALLY!!!  I have been working on the project for it seems like a year!!!  I started out with a Savage action, barrel and trigger that I got from a friend in Colorado.  It was a Savage staggered Model 10 short action with a Rifle Basix SAV-2 trigger.  The orginal barrel was a 20″ 1-8 twist Benchmark, but it just never shot anything well at all. I decided to have Russell at Rock creek make me a new barrel in 1-8 twist at 26″ length, and the same contour as my new Remmy Nut 700 6BR (also made by Russell at Rock Creek).

I spent some time working on the trigger after I got the DVD and lighter trigger spring from the manufacturer, it ended being a safe 4 oz with a nice break.  Not as good as my Jewel, but very close.  Great trigger for the Savage I think!!!

I actually lucked out and bought the stock from a guy on one of the forums for $350.  It is a SSS Long Range Benchrest (LRBR) and is an incredible stock.  Nicer than even the Shehane laminate on my new 6BR.

I added a single shot follower (which had to be modified with a Dremel because this a staggerfeed…  but after speaking with SSS I was pretty confident I could make it work…  and I did).  I love their follower!!!  I also added an EGW ZERO MOA extended scope rail (I use these rails on all my rifles).

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Keep in mind this is a 223 Ackley Improved…  So any loads discussed are way too hot for a standard 223.


Here is the 6BR on the left, the 223 Ackley in the middle and the 223 on the right.  The 223 Ackley chambers perfectly in the 223 Ackley chamber and will shoot crazy tiny groups even fireforming.  Not need for special cases if you don’t want too.


These are literally the barrel break in shots.  I was fighting a wicked shifting three o’clock and I was still shooting pretty dang small 5 shot groups.  This the Berger 52 Match moly and 27.5 grains of Reloader 15…

OHHH and I screwed up and these were jumping like .060″ but I still shot them because I was breaking in the barrel so I figured might as well shoot them up instead of take them back apart.  Shot pretty good huh???


This is a 10 shot group using the Sierra 80 grain VLD moly and 25.5 grains of Reloader 15.  I think that speaks for itself…  There was only about 60 shots on the barrel at this string and no cleaning.


A bunch of loads ready to go the range for testing…

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Modifying the Lyman M die for .223 Fri, 09 Aug 2013 16:37:26 +0000 This is my Lyman M die.


I love this die. It expands the case mouth and inside sizes the neck after I undersize the neck with a neck sizer with no expander ball. Really irons out the neck nicely and makes he prettiest flare at the top that flat back bullets just sit on the case. The problem is that it is a universal die, and is not self centering for 223 (I use it for 223 on my progressive). If the case does not align perfectly on the expander WHAM!!! Bunged neck opening!!!

The ID is .577″ and the OD of .223 is .375″. So I super glued in a series of O-rings that I glued to together over a bolt. Now it works kind of like a spark plug socket!!! Self aligning!!! No more dinged necks!!!


Note the stack of O-rings.  I used thin super glue to secure them to each other and then to the die.  Worked very well.  Super glue works very well on Buna O-rings.


Here is the die with the case inserted.  You can see now, the case is self aligning!!!  Finally!!  I have ruined a lot of cases with this die (but I use them for 300 Blackout so I don’t get in a twist).


Analyzing Shooting from Position Tue, 06 Aug 2013 21:38:39 +0000 DAN_ANIMATED5

I have discovered a few very simple methods to analyze position shooting. This may seem very basic to an experienced shooter, and frankly, I may be way off base here. Anyway, here goes…

Highpower shooting is comprised of these basic parts:

  1. Sight (what do you see?).
  2. Hold (how still can you hold the rifle?).
  3. Position (do you mount the rifle the same for every shot, and is the rifle moving the same through every shot?).
  4. Break (can you break the trigger without moving?)
  5. Condition (were the natural conditions the same as the last shot?).

Aside from having acceptable equipment, knowing how it works, and good ammunition, everything else is really not all that important.

Sight-  We want to find out what your perception of and x-ring sight picture is, with some of the other variables being equal. I tried this for myself. I started centerfire rifle from varmint hunting, so I have spent some time on the bench.

Using a scope allows you to exactly discern the target.

The optical advantage is significant.

Very light triggers and sandbags make some of the other factors less important. So, to isolate your ability to see an x-ring bull with the naked eye, we will use the bench. Set up your highpower rifle up like it is a benchrest gun. Use front and rear bags. Plant the stock firmly in your shoulder and try to create a consistent stock weld. This ensures that your eye is positioned behind the rear sight the same way every time. Be absolutely sure of a x-ring sight picture and shoot some 10 shot groups. Be sure of a perfect sight picture. Use the bags to do the positioning. Shoot these groups from 200 yards and try to have low wind conditions. These groups will reflect your visual perception of a perfect sight picture. This is the goal for all the other steps.

For example, I can shoot ½ x-ring from the bench (3/4 minute), at this point in my career and with my first rifle, this isn’t bad. Certainly my “visual perception” of a perfect sight picture is good. I think I would be very happy to shoot ½ x-ring in my next match. That would be an 800-80x. Not bad!

My zero does not change from the bench. I can repeat the ten shot groups and the quadrant of the x-ring remains consistent. Zero shifts are not resulting from my visual perception of the target.

Bench results should be somewhere near 1 MOA. If not, I would suggest some more bench time and see if there is the ability to improve. (I know highpower practice from a bench, what a coup!) Here is also the chance to see what your eyes are capable of, and what your rifle is capable of. You might find that glasses might help. There would be no point to move to position practice if you cannot perceive a bullseye with the rifle held in place for you.

This also gives the opportunity to get some trigger time, and practice your trigger “break”.


Hold- If you are satisfied that you are capable of “seeing” tight groups, move immediately to the prone position.

Your ability to “hold” the x-ring should become immediately apparent. If not, switch back and forth from the bench to prone and shoot some groups. Pay attention to the level of your ability to hold. Do you see a 1 ring wiggle, a two ring wiggle, what? What the prone group looks like is really not that important at this point. All things being equal, can you hold the x-ring?

My prone hold is x-ring. I seem to have little problem with pulse and breathing in this position.

My prone hold is x-ring, how come my group is not x-ring? Stay tuned.

Sitting is another story. My “hold” is not as good sitting. Pulse is much more evident, and breathing is much more important.

“Offhand is offhand” and will not be discussed here because we all know.

Hold practice can be done at home, anything less than x-ring in prone is unacceptable. To worry about “position” at this point would be jumping the gun. Try some sling positions and lower and raise your position until you find something that lets you be comfortable. Try elbow pads or high arm sling pads (old mouse pads work great). Your left hand should hang in the air like it is dead.

Position- I see position as two things:

The ability to consistently repeat a good “hold”. From step (2) we know what a good hold is, now don’t we? Exact repetition means exact repetition!  The rifle rides the body the same as a benchgun rides the sandbags. What is the rifle doing through the shot?  Is your “hold” falling apart when it counts?

At this point, I will say that I am losing at least 2 rings (counting flyers), in prone, due to poor position. At 600 yards, this could equate to 4 rings. Just due to me! I have yet to even talk about “condition”!

I am a notorious flincher. I guess it’s just the way my body works. I have to work exceptionally hard not anticipate the “break” of the trigger. Even with a .223 “mousegun”, I have problems. My groups have tendency to fall out of the bottom.

In a nutshell my “hold” is not “holding”.

The gun is pointed in the right direction, but loses this “hold” at the wrong time.

The prime candidates for failure are:

  • During the shot, there is some involuntary movement (flinching).
  • Ones’ perception of a “good position” is tainted from too much movement and adjustments between shots.
  • A poor position is being created from not mounting the rifle the same every time (the rifle is not “riding” like it rides in the sandbags).

What to do for flinching-

  • Shoot smallbore. Shoot air rifle. A lot
  • Use double ear protection, as much as you can get.
  • Drop your M1A for an AR-15. Drop your Garand for an M1A.
  • Try a few sweatshirts under your shooting coat.
  • Too much movement-
  • Be dead from the chest down for the entire string in prone.
  • Learn how to operate your rifle between shots without any movement.

Mounting the rifle-

Work specifically on mounting and remounting the rifle the same way. I hear a lot about dry firing; well, this is not dry firing. Set up your prone position and get a dot for the wall same as dry firing. The purpose of this drill not to focus on the shot, but the time immediately before the target focus. See if you can mount the rifle the same 10 times in a row without making any adjustments. Move the butt into your shoulder and look at the dot on the wall. Center the dot and get comfortable. Dismount the rifle. Remount the rifle, make no adjustments! Is the dot centered in the sights? If not, your position has changed. Don’t worry if you can’t do this, this is freakin’ hard! I would be happy to do this twice in a row, much less 10 times!

I guess this is similar to “natural point of aim” with no emphasis on “aim”. This is more like “natural position”.

I see a tendency for my position to creep back into the right spot. This is a good thing, and can be used to your advantage. During the rifle mounting drill, if you have an occasion where the rifle is not centered on the bull, do not readjust immediately. Instead, relax and let the rifle settle into your body. If you did your work on your first setup, and you are truly centered on your “natural position”, the rifle will begin to creep back into position. You may find that a readjustment is not necessary. Note: There will be no possibility of achieving “natural position” repeatedly, if the body is moving around between shots. Be paralyzed from the shoulders down. Hopefully, with enough of this productive repetition, your positions will become “natural”.


Obviously, “hold” and “position” are closely related. Your “hold” should improve as your “position” improves. I do, however, disagree that they are one and the same. The only way to find your true weakness is to isolate the result.

Follow through– most of the follow through, when you are slung up, is due to position. Some is visual focus, but I would say the bulk is “reaction of forces in recoil” (that there is engineerin’ talk for “where’s the boom goin’”). Pay attention to where the rifle goes to in post recoil. I guess it is safe to say that one would like to see the rifle right back on the bull after shot. I will also go out on a limb and say that it is not as important as the rifle following the same path every single time. The bull is just a good common visual reference. I actually seem to shoot my best strings when the rifle ends up just low and left of the bull every single time. The key phrase here is “every single time”. If you can repeat a natural groove, I say “go with it”.

Break- pulling the trigger without moving. Sounds simple doesn’t it? Well it isn’t. I don’t care what anyone says! Especially offhand and in the rapids. I have heard different philosophies on pulling the trigger. “Take up the slack, don’t milk it, jumping on the trigger, pressure not pull, etc.” This is probably the most individual part of shooting, and I think, one of the most difficult to improve. To isolate that finger on one hand, without allowing any other muscles to creep in is hard!

Again, I say go with more smallbore or air rifle practice. The effects of poor trigger pull are immediately evident with no recoil, especially with a good high power scope from the bench. Hate to bring this up, but a lot of accuracy is required, so I am not sure that the old Marlin in the basement will cut it. Note: A good, inexpensive alternative may be to hop up your Ruger 10-22 with a good barrel.

Shoot a heavier trigger. I think there is a lot of benefit to be had from adding a couple pounds of pull to your practice smallbore gun. If you can break five pounds, you can damn sure break three.

Better triggers, not lighter ones! I will take a 4-½ pound trigger that breaks like glass over one with half the weight that creeps and breaks at different weights every time. I want my brain to know exactly when that trigger is going to break. I have seen a lot of emphasis, especially in highpower and varmint shooting, on lighter trigger pulls. I am not so sure that a lighter trigger helps that much. A better breaking trigger helps a bunch! Of course there are advantages to lighter pull, but only if you can “feel the break”.

Condition- I suck at reading conditions, so I guess I will just skip this one. There is plenty of good stuff written about this subject, so you don’t need any help from me. I think the best thing to do is to get to know your rifle and ammunition. Pay attention to your zeroes and what affects them.

Heat from the ground makes the bullet go up.

Wind close to the shooter affects more than wind at the target.

Better loads with better bullets cut the wind better.

A good coach on the scope is worth more than anything.

Free Target Download from the Urbanrifleman Tue, 06 Aug 2013 20:51:16 +0000

What I have tried to do here is offer my fellow precision shooters a set of targets that can be printed directly from the browser. These targets are formatted in such a way that the shooter can use these pages to form a logbook in a common loose-leaf notebook. These are the pages that I use personally, and they carry all of the data that I deem to be helpful to working up loads (buy a chronograph AND USE IT).

It is also a hell of a lot cheaper than buying targets!

 Included are the following:

The 100-yard standard target. This is a good target for logging load data at 100 and 200 yards. There are data forms for each target, and conditions can be recorded for general info. This also makes a damn good rimfire target for 50 and 100 yards. I copy the crap out of these things!


The 200-yard standard target. I call this the 200-yard target but I find that is really more useful at 300 yards. It is just large enough that even in a blow you can get groups and small enough that it will still fit in the notebook.


The 200-yard g-hog target. I use these for long range practice (as far away as I can get). It is useful to have the animal image. It is very important to learn to “Kentucky Windage” in terms of “hogs” or “dogs”. The images give a size reference. The g-hog would actually be considered to be spring hog sized. A fall hog will not fit on the paper (twice that size).


The 200-yard p-dog target. Also used for long range practice (as far away as I can get). The image is about spring dog sized. This helps to reset my eyes before going to S. Dakota.


Instructions for use:

Click the thumbnail and let the browser open the image full size (these are big images).

Use page set up in your browser.

Set all margins to .25″, the bottom will go to .5″. 

Set your printer to the same margins, most all printers will handle this.

Hit print… Print the image. The image is sized so that it should only require (1) page, and the squares should resemble ½” and 1″ and increments.

Go to Kinko’s and copy the shit out of them… Use the cheapest and best deal you can find for copying. Use black and white. Color is too obnoxious.

Use their (3) hole punch and, “Presto”! Logbook targets!

Buy a loose-leaf notebook and some separator sheets. Get a big one! Keep everything you shoot. Study what you shot when you get home. You’ll be surprised how much your confidence in the field improves when you can double-check yourself while sitting in front of the TV.

How do you think I got all these targets to scan!




large target log target-WITH G-HOGsmall

Doc’s Badass M1 Garands… Thu, 20 Jun 2013 19:41:24 +0000 IMAG0407

These are my buddy Doc’s M1 Garands… He won these for shooting Distinguished in the Navy…  These were UNISSUED weapons…  He did the finish himself.