Today I learned a few lessons at my private range. I went out with a friend and we shot my Remington 870 12ga (8 shot), Savage 111 30-06, Ruger 10/22, and Rock Island 1911. He brought his Mossberg 20ga (which I love), and his Remington 770 .270.
I save milk jugs, fill them with water and freeze them. This makes for a very fun reactive targets.
While shooting my 870 at a coke bottle thrown in the air. I was trying to see how many times I could hit the bottle while it was still in the air. I got to to three and on the fourth the gun fell apart. Needless to say this scarred me greatly. After making sure I was not injured, I don’t have a scratch. I then observed the pieces of Shotgun on the ground. Nothing blown up, nothing damaged. Best I can tell the magazine screw worked its was loose and the spring pressure of the extended tube combined with recoil caused it to come apart. I was able to reassemble the shotgun, I used channel locks to make sure that this would not happen again. I test fired it a few times with no further issues. This concerns me because I leave this gun loaded and available at home for defense, but I don’t think I’ll have another issue.
Now for Rifle shooting
Now most of my fellow shooters know that ammo has been hard to come buy. I actually just got a reloader, and will do a post once I get everything set up. So all I had for Kazeshini were some 180 grain Remington Corlokt. My preferred load is 150 Federal Fusion for hunting. I honestly haven’t shot any premium target ammo. I only shot one three shot group and it wasn’t my best, about 2-inch at 100 yards. I want to say I pulled that one shot, and that if I hadn’t I would have easily had a 1moa group. But oh well.
You will notice on this target that there are two bull’s-eyes. This target is set up for maximum point blank range for game hunting. My 150grains hit 2inches high at 100yards which is where I want it. The 180’s hit dead level with each other at about 3/4 inches above POA. So I just recorded it in my data book so I know where a particular load hits, and I don’t try to re-zero my rifle every time I take it out. I’ll do the same when I work up my own handloads. I’ll make my primary load shoot exactly where I want it and everything else will be based on that zero.
So what did I learn. One, I need to practice more. I know what my gun is capable of I just don’t have the skills to get the most out of it. And my wife out shot me the other day with her Remington 788 .222. And that is just not OK.
The second thing I learned is that my rifle shoots like crap with a bi-pod. I borrowed my friend’s Caldwell Bipod and shot about 5 times and my group was about 4-5 inches. I felt solid behind the gun with the bipod so what was the deal. Well Kazeshini started her life as a cheap rifle. A cheap scope, bad trigger, and a flimsy plastic stock. I have upgraded the scope and trigger, but I have yet to upgrade the stock. So what was happening is that the bipod was torquing my forearm and putting pressure on my barrel. It was twisting and turning all over the place. I have a sporter contour barrel that is very susceptible to heat and any kind of pressure.
Having learned all this, getting a bipod for myself is moved down the list until I get a new stock. I’m torn though, I want to spend my money wisely. I can get a laminate stock for about $100 from Boyd’s Gun Stocks or continue saving for a Manners stock that is about $400. I prefer wood and blued steel. The issue is that I one day want to upgrade my barrel to a Shillen or an equal quality brand. If I get a standard replacement stock it may not accept a larger barrel. Also the ergonomics of a Manners stock will be better but I’m still torn. I may compromise and get a hogue stock with a full aluminum bedding block, and do my own camo job on it.