Saturday, September 23, 2006

Take me back... shootin

Recipe for an excellent day: Perfect early autumn weather and the opportunity to do some shooting.

I started out on the paper targets at ranges out to 50 yards to confirm my zero and then I started plinking, methodically disintegrating dirt clods and bits of busted clays into smaller and smaller bits. Once my lane became target depleted, I posted more paper targets and practiced shooting from the prone, sitting and standing positions.

Satisfied with the results but not ready to call it a day I took out the steel reactive targets. The challenge, hit four paddles and then the reset and repeat without missing as fast as possible. Suprisingly the Mountie kept pace with the autoloaders for aimed shots and not suprisingly outperformed the autoloaders accuracy wise. Good clean fun and it took me back a few decades. A day later and I'm still grinning. Life is good!

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Beyond the Scope

I have resisted scoping any of my Marlin leverguns but was always curious how much better they would shoot if scoped so yesterday I mounted a Leupold 1-4x shotgun/muzzleloader scope on my Mountie and tested three brands of ammo.

At 25 yards:
Federal 550 bulk ammo: groups all could be covered with a quarter and some with a nickle.
Aguila SE subsonic: all groups nickle and two with a dime
RWS Target: All groups nickle or smaller, one was 3 in a hole with two not quite touching.

I wasn't able to shoot at the longer ranges due to hunter sight in.

Before I left I took the scope off and put the ol' factory sights back on and shot a few groups. While the scoped groups were superior, the open sight groups were close to as good. I would say within a 1/4" and probably closer to 1/8" on most. The difference was most evident in the RWS ammo and least so with the Federal.

I also scoped my Guide Gun to experiement at longer ranges. While I didn't shoot my best ever groups with it at 100 yards it was slightly more consistent. I think with practice I could get five in <1" with a scope. I believe that in low light conditions the scope would be superior but I prefer the handiness of an unscoped rifle in the field. Luckily, my eyes are still good enough for the factory open sights and I will continue to hunt with them in this configuration as long as I am able.