Friday, September 4, 2015

Firearms Friday: Backyard Family Fun!


These days I rarely have time to head out to the range and practice. This is not something I like to admit but it is simply the fact of the matter. However, there have been a few rare occasions when I have found myself looking down the sights at a small target. One of these instances, at the very beginning of last month, kind of surprised me. Not at first… it was a rather ugly beginning… but I was content with the results at the end of the day.

While my wife and I were visiting my sister’s family (only about 90 minutes away from us) my brother-in-law, who enjoys the same relaxing hobby, invited me to take an older single shot rifle in the back yard for some plinking. I was completely unfamiliar with this 22 rifle (it fires 22LR, 22 Long, and 22 Short) and so the initial results were less than pleasing. After about 20-30 rounds, I had walked in the shots and was fairly satisfied with the results. 22 short at 25 yard off hand hitting a quarter size target… not a bad way to spend part of the afternoon.

It really came down to a remembering the fundamentals. The sights were poor on this particular rifle with little adjustment possible. After all, it wasn’t my rifle and we were trading shots every ten rounds (between a right and left handed shooter). Also, I don’t shoot a lot of 22 short. All of these are minor things if you just step back and keep the basics in mind.

The first ten shots were really just fun rounds and the results (or lack thereof) showed that fact quite clearly. After that I went through my range routine a little more deliberately than usual. Getting a solid, locked, and quiet stance, lining up and stabilizing the sights, controlling my breathing, and slowly pulling the trigger straight back. After that, with little ability to actually zero the rifle, it was a matter of tracking the shot, watching for the impact, and adjusting the hold accordingly on the follow up.

It is with this extra focus and routine that I was back to relaxing at the makeshift firing line. After all, most of the time it really isn’t about what you are shooting but on the shooting itself. When you focus on that the results will follow. After all, that is what many of us look for when we seek relaxation at the range.