Author Topic: Rifle Skills  (Read 2358 times)

Offline David in MN

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 691
  • Karma: 64
Rifle Skills
« on: September 18, 2017, 05:11:00 PM »
I'm a pretty good shot with pistols and shotguns but there's a big hole in my gun game. I've never really developed the "rifleman" skill. Yes, I have an AR with a red dot and I can make hits. But I want to be the guy who has pinpoint accuracy at range.

I plan to (later this year) buy a target .22 bolt action with a scope and set it up to do some basic work indoors over the winter and next year buy my .308 bolt gun. I don't need rifle recommendations (though I don't mind reading them) because I get a discount at Savage through a friend. So I'll train up and make my mistakes on the 22 and hopefully step into the 308 a jump up on the learning curve.

What I could use is a book or books about developing the skill of shooting. I'm not looking to be an expert shooting a .338 Lapua a mile (though I respect you guys). I need something to get me off training wheels and strong in fundamentals. When I did shoot pistols a lot I did drills and dry fire daily. When I got into shotguns I did changeover drills and sight picture work. I want the drills and practice that will make me solid with a rifle. And I want to avoid bad habits.

Any ideas? I'd love to hear them.
Livin on a thin line, tell me now what are we supposed to do?

Offline LVWood

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1012
  • Karma: 78
  • Old Fart
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2017, 05:48:54 PM »
Check out the Leupold Academy if you wouldn't mind traveling to Oregon for a week.
https://www.leupold.com/leupold-core/core-communities/optics-academy/precision-scoped-rifle-1-psr-1
1944:
18 year olds storm the beaches of Normandy and brave almost certain death.
2016:
18 year olds need a safe space because words hurt their feelings.

Offline David in MN

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 691
  • Karma: 64
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2017, 05:57:47 PM »
Check out the Leupold Academy if you wouldn't mind traveling to Oregon for a week.
https://www.leupold.com/leupold-core/core-communities/optics-academy/precision-scoped-rifle-1-psr-1

I would but this pesky wedding ring.  ;D Seriously, I have a 2 year old to take care of so I doubt I can commit to travel. Would love to, though.
Livin on a thin line, tell me now what are we supposed to do?

Offline bigbear

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1291
  • Karma: 75
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2017, 07:41:15 AM »
I'm in the same spot...   :popcorn:

This guy seems pretty good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwG-D0HjCBQ
"The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom."
- Isaac Asimov

Offline armymars

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 715
  • Karma: 20
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2017, 10:00:32 AM »
When it comes to town try the Apple Seed program. Everyone I've talked to who took the course said it was good.

Offline iam4liberty

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1680
  • Karma: 128
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2017, 10:05:54 AM »
When it comes to town try the Apple Seed program. Everyone I've talked to who took the course said it was good.

Yep.  Appleseed (www.appleseedinfo.org) and Revere's Riders (https://www.reveresriders.org/) are great starts for the fundamentals.  See Massad Ayoob's Backwoods Home review here: http://www.backwoodshome.com/the-appleseed-project/.

After understanding safety, position steady-hold factors, six-steps to the shot, NPOA, talking targets, and IMC (which you would learn in either course) it becomes a matter of specialized training.  This can include practical rifle, precision rifle, distance rifle, and even platform specific training.  But understanding and becoming competent in the underlined is the key.

If you would like some reading on it, find a copy of "Fred's Guide to Becoming a Rifleman".  You can also watch the military training videos for some ideas like: https://archive.org/details/Rifle_Marksmanship_with_M1_Rifle_Part_1 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ligUEAJH25E

Offline David in MN

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 691
  • Karma: 64
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2017, 10:49:15 AM »
Thanks, guys. Regrettably the Appleseed project isn't as popular in my neck of the woods. I've been begging my gun club to host one for years but there is little interest. Everything up here firearms wise is about deer hunting.

I'd actually like my father to teach me. He's a vet with marksmanship medals from the army. But he just doesn't like guns these days. There are some older guys at the gun club I could probably bribe to coach me up. Might go that route.

I'll look up the book. Maybe a good starting point.
Livin on a thin line, tell me now what are we supposed to do?

Offline Smurf Hunter

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6536
  • Karma: 306
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2017, 11:44:03 AM »
I attended an appleseed shoot about a decade ago.  You cannot overstate the importance of fundamentals like natural point of aim and follow through. You may nod your head in agreement, but until you apply these basic things, you won't "get it".

Right now my favorite "fun" rifle that I also use for marksmanship practice is my Savage Mark II FVSR.

It's "tactical" looking, which I'm indifferent about.  But it had some cool features, like the famed "accu-trigger", solid scope base included, threaded muzzle and medium contour barrel. I run it with a modest Nikon 4x32 scope with low profile burris rings.  It's .22lr, but from a bench I can shoot through the holes in Life Savers at 25 yards.  It's a ton of fun for the money.


Offline MJWitt

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 27
  • Karma: 7
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2017, 11:53:56 AM »
Quote
I can shoot through the holes in Life Savers at 25 yards

... don't Life Savers already have holes through them?  ;)

Seriously though, thanks for the recommendation on the Mark II FVSR.

Offline David in MN

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 691
  • Karma: 64
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2017, 01:31:43 PM »
I will add that rifle to the (short) list I'm considering. Thanks.
Livin on a thin line, tell me now what are we supposed to do?

Offline trekker111

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 908
  • Karma: 70
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2017, 04:25:33 PM »
If you think you may want to do long range shooting, or may eventually want to get a suppressor, and since you get a discount on savage, I would look at the savage 10BA stealth for your 308. I have the 110BA stealth in 338 Lapua mag and love it. I've been impressed with the 10BA and 110BA rifles, factory blueprinted actions, suppressor ready, Drake chassis, good stuff. I will end up getting one myself once the barrel of my 10FP is worn
out.

Offline David in MN

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 691
  • Karma: 64
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2017, 04:45:38 PM »
If you think you may want to do long range shooting, or may eventually want to get a suppressor, and since you get a discount on savage, I would look at the savage 10BA stealth for your 308. I have the 110BA stealth in 338 Lapua mag and love it. I've been impressed with the 10BA and 110BA rifles, factory blueprinted actions, suppressor ready, Drake chassis, good stuff. I will end up getting one myself once the barrel of my 10FP is worn
out.

OK, that is a darn cool gun. I'm probably looking for something with a Monte Carlo type stock because it's my 'back to the basics I missed' project. I am actually leaning to something like the 10 FCP-SR or even the 11 Scout to start and then if I enjoy it move into the long range models. I kinda want to go slow and develop the skill. I'd love to shoot a .338 but it's baby steps at this point. Remember the vast majority of my shooting lately has been shotguns and the point quick and shoot close is detrimental to rifle skills. I gotta slow down and make good breaks.

I basically get 2 guns per year at cost. So there is room to grow. The employee pricing is awesome but not always available for new products.
Livin on a thin line, tell me now what are we supposed to do?

Offline Smurf Hunter

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6536
  • Karma: 306
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2017, 05:08:09 PM »
OK, that is a darn cool gun. I'm probably looking for something with a Monte Carlo type stock because it's my 'back to the basics I missed' project. I am actually leaning to something like the 10 FCP-SR or even the 11 Scout to start and then if I enjoy it move into the long range models. I kinda want to go slow and develop the skill. I'd love to shoot a .338 but it's baby steps at this point. Remember the vast majority of my shooting lately has been shotguns and the point quick and shoot close is detrimental to rifle skills. I gotta slow down and make good breaks.

I basically get 2 guns per year at cost. So there is room to grow. The employee pricing is awesome but not always available for new products.

I have my eye on the Savage hog hunter.  It's a model 10 with a medium barrel, threaded muzzle and iron sights.  Cheapish stock, but it retails for $500-600 in my area.  Heck of an action and barrel to build up from.
You can practice irons if that's of interest and of course mount any full power optic later.

Offline David in MN

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 691
  • Karma: 64
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2017, 05:51:54 PM »
I have my eye on the Savage hog hunter.  It's a model 10 with a medium barrel, threaded muzzle and iron sights.  Cheapish stock, but it retails for $500-600 in my area.  Heck of an action and barrel to build up from.
You can practice irons if that's of interest and of course mount any full power optic later.

Yeah, forgot that reco. It's an interesting blend of options and I am loving that barrel. OK, it's in the running.
Livin on a thin line, tell me now what are we supposed to do?

Offline trekker111

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 908
  • Karma: 70
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2017, 06:09:59 PM »
OK, that is a darn cool gun. I'm probably looking for something with a Monte Carlo type stock because it's my 'back to the basics I missed' project. I am actually leaning to something like the 10 FCP-SR or even the 11 Scout to start and then if I enjoy it move into the long range models. I kinda want to go slow and develop the skill. I'd love to shoot a .338 but it's baby steps at this point. Remember the vast majority of my shooting lately has been shotguns and the point quick and shoot close is detrimental to rifle skills. I gotta slow down and make good breaks.

I basically get 2 guns per year at cost. So there is room to grow. The employee pricing is awesome but not always available for new products.

I definitely wasn't suggesting a 338. Not a learning gun in any way, shape, or form. Also way to expensive for learning ($3 to $5 per round)

Offline David in MN

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 691
  • Karma: 64
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2017, 08:11:23 PM »
I definitely wasn't suggesting a 338. Not a learning gun in any way, shape, or form. Also way to expensive for learning ($3 to $5 per round)

I did not misunderstand you. Sorry if I was confusing. If I get way too into it I have the option of joining a range locally that has a one mile target. So it lurks in the back of my mind as a skill to develop. But I'm years out at best. But that rifle in many calibers still makes me grin.
Livin on a thin line, tell me now what are we supposed to do?

Offline Smurf Hunter

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6536
  • Karma: 306
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2017, 08:44:09 AM »
If I get way too into it I have the option of joining a range locally that has a one mile target.

I felt blessed to belong to a range with a 600 yard range.  If you live any where near a metro area, those are exceedingly rare.

Offline David in MN

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 691
  • Karma: 64
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #17 on: September 20, 2017, 09:00:26 AM »
The club I currently belong to is near our fishing cabin so I do virtually all my shooting between Mother's Day (fishing opener) and mid September when we take the dock out. I might choose to join a more local range but time commitments are prohibitive. My neighbor shoots almost daily so I have a good connection.

To follow up on 'gun talk', I'm almost ready for purchase #1. I'm about set on the Savage Mark II BRJ.

https://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/MARKIIBRJ

And a Weaver 3-9 x 32 rimfire scope. Should get me up and running. I tend to like heavier barrels on .22, my father in law shoots a CZ bull barrel I love.
Livin on a thin line, tell me now what are we supposed to do?

Offline Smurf Hunter

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6536
  • Karma: 306
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #18 on: September 20, 2017, 09:03:32 AM »
The club I currently belong to is near our fishing cabin so I do virtually all my shooting between Mother's Day (fishing opener) and mid September when we take the dock out. I might choose to join a more local range but time commitments are prohibitive. My neighbor shoots almost daily so I have a good connection.

To follow up on 'gun talk', I'm almost ready for purchase #1. I'm about set on the Savage Mark II BRJ.

https://www.savagearms.com/firearms/model/MARKIIBRJ

And a Weaver 3-9 x 32 rimfire scope. Should get me up and running. I tend to like heavier barrels on .22, my father in law shoots a CZ bull barrel I love.

My brother has a couple model 10 variations, as well as the mark II.  The triggers are nearly identical.  I have to give Savage a lot of credit for doing that.
So it could be a great marksmanship training tool from an ergonomics point if you had a .22 and .30 setup similarly.

Offline David in MN

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 691
  • Karma: 64
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #19 on: September 20, 2017, 09:11:21 AM »
If only they didn't use the most confusing symbols. As bad as S&W. You need a decoder ring to figure out what you're buying.
Livin on a thin line, tell me now what are we supposed to do?

Offline David in MN

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 691
  • Karma: 64
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2017, 01:37:46 PM »
I've learned a lot the past few days. Prior to that I knew nothing about scope shooting. If you're into this then try to understand how a newbie with no experience would feel. I mean, there's scopes, rings, bases... Some work with some but not others. Why on earth do there need to be 700 kinds of rings? Confusing. And everybody has an opinion.

I'm not new to guns. I could put a 1911 together from a bucket of parts. But I didn't know how much I didn't know about long range shooting.

Youtube, the NSSF, and my brother in law have been big helps coaching me up. I'm starting to understand.
Livin on a thin line, tell me now what are we supposed to do?

Offline David in MN

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 691
  • Karma: 64
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2017, 02:36:08 PM »
I'm in the same spot...   :popcorn:

This guy seems pretty good.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwG-D0HjCBQ

Holy crap, I'm something like 25 videos into the series. I have to say that as a nube it's really valuable information. I've totally changed plans. With the .22 on the way I now definitely want to build the scout rifle as a do-all next and then build a purpose built long range rifle. I went through the exercise in the videos to select the caliber first and based on my criteria I settled on the .260 Remington. Cool. Start looking at rifles and right away I see the Savage model 12 long range precision. Still working on the scope.

I never thought I'd get in to "long range" but I have to admit this is really sucking me in. Probably because it's super nerdy.
Livin on a thin line, tell me now what are we supposed to do?

Offline Smurf Hunter

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6536
  • Karma: 306
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2017, 02:44:21 PM »
.260 specifically and 6.5mm have a lot going for them.

Logistically you get all the benefits of mass produced .308 bolts/actions, but the superior ballistics of the .260 bullet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.260_Remington

Offline machinisttx

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 802
  • Karma: 47
  • yay
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2017, 09:05:50 PM »
.260 Rem and 7mm-08 are both ballistically superior to the .308, with less recoil and shooter fatigue. The downside is that neither are as readily available, or have as wide a selection, as .308. If you load your own ammo, it's not an issue, but if you don't it is something to consider.

You might think it to be a strange recommendation, but I suggest training your offhand shooting with a lever action rifle. The lock time is extremely slow compared to more modern bolt actions, and thus you must hold steadier for a longer period of time to be more accurate. Go for the Savage rifle that suits you, they make a good product. If you find a deal on a used short action savage and it already has the right bolt face, you may find it easier to swap barrels than track down the exact new model you want. The Savage 10/110 are the legos of the bolt action world.
The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.

Aristotle

Offline Smurf Hunter

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6536
  • Karma: 306
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #24 on: October 18, 2017, 10:51:48 AM »
.260 Rem and 7mm-08 are both ballistically superior to the .308, with less recoil and shooter fatigue. The downside is that neither are as readily available, or have as wide a selection, as .308. If you load your own ammo, it's not an issue, but if you don't it is something to consider.

You might think it to be a strange recommendation, but I suggest training your offhand shooting with a lever action rifle. The lock time is extremely slow compared to more modern bolt actions, and thus you must hold steadier for a longer period of time to be more accurate. Go for the Savage rifle that suits you, they make a good product. If you find a deal on a used short action savage and it already has the right bolt face, you may find it easier to swap barrels than track down the exact new model you want. The Savage 10/110 are the legos of the bolt action world.

So if I had a short action .308 savage model 10, how feasible would it be for the at-home enthusiast to swap barrels?  assuming no front sights or muzzle devices, there's no "timing" to deal with, but you need to make certain of head space with the bolt face

Offline armymars

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 715
  • Karma: 20
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2017, 09:02:04 PM »
Brownell's has a kit just for that. You buy a go gauge and a wrench. They also sell barrels such as 30/06.

Offline machinisttx

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 802
  • Karma: 47
  • yay
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #26 on: October 27, 2017, 04:28:39 PM »
What armymars said. You'll need an action wrench, a wrench that fits the barrel nut*, your new barrel, and I would recommend buying both "go" and "no go" headspace gages.

*It is my understanding that there are at least two different barrel nuts, possibly three.

You don't need to have a short action, or the correct size bolt face, or the right size magazine. You can put a short action cartridge in a long action, or swap the bolt head for one that's the right size, or swap the magazine...or even eliminate the magazine with a cartridge tray. Obviously it's almost always cheaper to start with a rifle that's got the majority of the parts you need. The savage 10/110 is the AR of the bolt action world. You can't put an accutrigger on a non accutrigger action though.
The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.

Aristotle

Offline trekker111

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 908
  • Karma: 70
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #27 on: October 28, 2017, 11:19:48 PM »
If you are going to swap barrels once and stick with the new barrel until it's shot out, instead of switching back and forth, then a person is better off renting a set of head space gauges, and the wrench.

Last time I looked it was like $40 to rent a set of gauges and a savage action wrench for 3 days, including postage both ways. Buying the same would be close to $200.

Even most gunsmiths rent things like go/no-go gauges and chamber reamers for anything other than extremely popular cartridges.

Offline Smurf Hunter

  • Survival Veteran
  • ********
  • Posts: 6536
  • Karma: 306
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #28 on: October 29, 2017, 09:40:35 AM »
If you are going to swap barrels once and stick with the new barrel until it's shot out, instead of switching back and forth, then a person is better off renting a set of head space gauges, and the wrench.

Last time I looked it was like $40 to rent a set of gauges and a savage action wrench for 3 days, including postage both ways. Buying the same would be close to $200.

Even most gunsmiths rent things like go/no-go gauges and chamber reamers for anything other than extremely popular cartridges.

True.  And if you changed cartridges back and forth, you'd need head space gauges for each.

Offline Davew223

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 95
  • Karma: 10
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Rifle Skills
« Reply #29 on: October 29, 2017, 02:03:15 PM »
The two biggest parts of shooting a supported rifle are trigger control and establishing a natural point of aim.  For trigger control, a decent trigger and dry firing while looking at your target to watch for movement and with your eyes closed to learn the feel of your trigger.  Both with follow through.  After the trigger breaks, do not move for several seconds and imagine the full recoil cycle and re-acquisition of your target through the optic.  Most will tell you that the trigger pull should be slow and steady and it should be a surprise when it breaks.  WRONG!  (with a good trigger that you have learned through dryfire)  For new shooters and people that have not done the dry firing and learned to relax instead of flinch, sure, but if you learn the trigger and break the shot exactly when you want to, you will shoot better groups. 

Establishing a Natural Point of Aim.  You can't "hold" a rifle on target.  The trick is to place the rifle on target and place you where your body is in line with the recoil and you are not having to push the rifle to the target.  If you have to apply force to the rifle, you need to adjust either the support for the rifle, your body position or both.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noGN55b-kVI  This guy is spot on on everything except for when he says to load the bipod. 
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 02:26:58 PM by Davew223 »