Fun shoot

I recently went out with a couple of friends for a fun shoot.

I took my Glock, my .308 hunting rifle, and my AR15 match rifle. One of the other guys brought his .30-06 hunting rifle, and the highlight of the day, his AK47.

Below is a video of my shooting it.

 

 

This video was made the second time I shot the AK47 that day. When I first fired it I experienced a “slam fire” where a second round fired as the bolt closed after cycling. This second shot followed very quickly after the first and midway through the recoil cycle, and as such was not very close to my original aim point.

Slam fire results

Slam fire results

We were shooting at 50 yards and I was aiming at the right hand paper plate (marked by the lower red arrow. The slam fire hit way above the plate at the position marked by the top red arrow. The target frame to the left of the plates is about four feet high so you can see how far off  it hit. An interesting experience.

Shooting Results 15th July 2014

Yesterday for the first time I shot from standing (or offhand as they say over here) and sitting positions.

I attended a 200yd practice at my club. The discipline they were practicing for is NRA highpower which involves shooting from various positions at various distances and at various speeds. So far it has been a lot of fun and yesterday was no different.

The quote below was taken from the Minnesota Rifle and Revolver Association website (http://www.mrra.org/disciplines.htm). It explains the course of fire for NRA Highpower competition.

High Power

In NRA Conventional Highpower Rifle Competition, shooters compete with either a service rifle or a match rifle. The service rifle category is generally limited to either the unmodified M1, M14, M16, or their commercial equivalents such as an AR15 or M1A. Match rifles typically are of custom make, conforming to the desires of the shooter. They are more free of regulations than are the service rifles. All shooting, with the exception of limited long range events, are done only with metallic aperture, or peep, sights. Shooting consists of either across the course or long range matches. Shooters competing over the course are required to fire at distances of 200, 300, and 600 yards. In a typical Regional, or 800 point aggregate match, the course of fire is a total of 88 shots. Twenty record shots are fired in each stage, plus two sighting shots. Each shot is worth a maximum of ten points, with the entire match being worth a total of 800 points.
Over The Course (OTC)…

– The first stage of fire consists of two sighting shots and 20 shots for record in 20 minutes. These shots are fired at a distance of 200 yards in the standing/offhand position. The target used has a 3 inch X-ring, a 7 inch ten-ring. Each succeeding scoring ring is three inches wide. The aiming black is 13 inches wide, consisting of the 9,10, and X rings. The lowest value ring is the 5-ring. X’s are scored a vlaue of ten and are used for tie breaking purposes.

– The second stage of fire consists of two ten-shot strings fired rapid fire from the sitting position with a time limit of 60 seconds for each string. This string is also done at 200 yards using the same target as was used for offhand. The string starts with the shooter in the standing position. Once the clock starts, the shooter drops into the sitting position and shoots the 10 shots. If the shooter is using a semi-automatic rifle, 2 shots are fired then a clip change is required and the remaining 8 shots are fired. If the shooter is using an NRA type rifle, 5 shots are fired then a re-load is performed and the remaining 5 shots are fired.

– The third stage of fire is rapid-fire prone (lying down) at 300 yards. Each of two ten-shot strings are fired in a time limit of 70 seconds. The dimensions of the target are the same as the 200 yard target, with the exception of an additional ring of black to facilitate aiming. The string starts with the shooter in the standing position. Once the clock starts, the shooter drops into the prone position and shoots the 10 record shots. The shooter uses the same re-load procedure as with the 200 yard rapid sitting.

– The final stage is fired at a distance of 600 yards. Twenty shots for record are fired slow-fire from the prone position in 20 minutes. The target used has a 6 inch X-ring, and 12 inch 10-ring. The 9 and 8 rings are each three inches wider. Each ring of value below that is six inches wider. The aiming black consists of the 7, 8, 9, 10, and X rings, which constitutes a 36 inch aiming black.

I didn’t do very well at the offhand shooting. I found it hard to prevent the rifle swinging side to side, although I found I could hold the elevation quite nicely.

The rapid fire sitting was a bit awkward at first. It found it hard to get down into a position where the rifle was naturally supported and I could see through the sights, but after a lot of wriggling and struggling I found a relatively stable position and shooting commenced.

I did better than I expected. My first string went high, mostly in the 9 ring and I scored a 94/100. I dropped my sights a minute and my second string was better, centered on the target and mostly in the 10, I scored 97. My third string didn’t feel as good, but was better still. A 99 with one shot dropped into the 9 at 6 o’clock, which I had called at the time I shot it.

Not a bad start I thought.

A stock that is anything but stock…

So a few years back I decided to take up deer hunting, and since a hunter needs a rifle I got myself a rifle.

When I first met the rifle that would become my deer rifle it was in the form of a target rifle.  It belonged to Kelvinside Academy who were looking to reduce the number of full bore rifles they owned. I had a look through their selection and settled on one with an Interarms Mk. X action chambered in .308Win. I made this choice because it had an internal magazine, I could see the stock was good although in need of modification, and the action was in good condition and already drilled and tapped for scope bases.

Below are a series of pictures of the stock as I found it.

Stock as received left view

Stock as received left view

Stock as received end view.

Stock as received end view.

Stock as received bottom view

Stock as received bottom view

Stock as received side view

Stock as received side view

Thanks to Border Barrels, the Schultz and Larson 1:14 barrel was cut down to 23 inches and threaded for a moderator. Charles (The Oracle) helped me mount my scope and bases. David, my friend from Bearsden rifle club, took the stock to work with him and cut off the excess wood that I didn’t need. That process is documented in the pictures below.

Cutting down the stock 1

Cutting down the stock 1

Cutting down the stock 2

Cutting down the stock 2

Cutting down the stock 3

Cutting down the stock 3

Cutting down the stock 4

Cutting down the stock 4

Cutting down the stock 5

Cutting down the stock 5

I then finished the stock with various planes, shaves, and sand paper, and then coated with Birchwood Casey’s Tru-Oil. Below is a picture of the stock during the long process of sanding.

Finishing the stock

Finishing the stock

The tru-Oil gave the stock a beautiful appearance, as can be seen in the photo below, but the one thing that I couldn’t do, and I never tried to do, was checkering. And so the stock remained plain, but no less successful for it.

Rifle and deer

Rifle and deer

I have taken seven deer with this rifle in the UK, and it is clearly capable of very decent accuracy. The group in the following picture was shot at 100 yards on the Border Barrels zero range in the Scottish Borders (apologies for the blur), the coin is a two pence piece that is around an inch across.

Zero group

Zero group

When I moved to the USA this rifle came with me (minus the moderator). The original scope was damaged in transit, and apart from the one trip out to zero the new scope the rifle has languished in my gun cabinet. Until now…

A couple of months ago I was reading a shooting magazine and happened upon a rifle review. I forget which rifle was being reviewed, but the thing that jumped out at me was the mention of laser cut checkering. I didn’t know that could be done until I read that, and as it happens I have access to a laser cutter through my school and a willing tech who enjoys a new challenge.

So I came up with a design, and although I mention the word checkering I very early on decided that that was not going to be the right description of the outcome. A short internet search came up with some simple line drawings of deer antlers and a few hours battling editing software resulted in a pleasing design.

Antler Interlock design

Antler Interlock design

It is based upon the outlines of a Fallow deer antler and a Whitetail deer antler, and I designed it so it would interlock and repeat. At this point my expertise ran out and I passed it along to the aforementioned willing tech, Anthony. Below is a photo of him working his magic.

Anthony converting the file.

Anthony converting the file.

Anthony needed to convert the file from the jpeg that I provided into a vector file that the machine could understand. Once that was done we performed test cuts on one of the offcuts from when the stock was originally converted (sometimes it is good to be a hoarder). Below are photos of the tests. The first was just the outline as per my original design, but it was clear upon handling that this would not provide any significant grip advantage, which is the point of checkering and one of the immediate goals of this project.

Test One

Test One

For the second test it was decided to fill in the outline, and this proved much more effective as a gripping pattern.

Test Two

Test Two

The third test was the same as the second except we decided to cut it a little deeper and this further improved the grip.

Test Three

Test Three

I subsequently used these test cuts to test the finishes that I might apply. The first and third are highlighted with Chinese drawing ink, and the second is filled with graphite. All three were subsequently coated with linseed oil.

Below is a sequence of images of the machine setup and the results.

Ready in the cutter bed.

Ready in the cutter bed.

First look.

First look.

Grip finished.

Grip finished.

Forearm finished.

Forearm finished.

I decided on the Chinese ink to highlight the etching with a final coat of linseed oil.

I am pleased with the outcome. I now not only have a remarkably accurate hunting rifle, I also have a particularly good looking one.

Complete rifle 3

Complete rifle 3

Complete rifle 2

Complete rifle 2

Complete rifle 1

Complete rifle 1

Complete rifle 4

Complete rifle 4

Shooting report 1st July 2014

 

Today I went to the range. I was there primarily to help repair the electronic targets, but also to take part in the High Power practice that happens weekly during the summer.

 

Selfie on the 300 yd firing point

Selfie on the 300 yd firing point

 

Since we finished the target repairs early I decided to have some pre-practice practice at 300m on the electronic targets, and I am glad I did because I was having difficulty getting consistent groups. I eventually tracked it down to a loose rear sight that was moving about, and once I had tightened that up things got much better.

 

View down range from 300yd firing point

View down range from 300yd firing point

 

At 5:30 I packed up on the 300m house and moved my kit the short distance forward to 300 yards. Shooting was starting on the 200yd point which is out of sight from where I was and so I was able to shoot at the same time from 300yds. I was being coached for my first attempt at a rapid fire detail which involves shooting 10 rounds in 70 seconds with one magazine change.

My first couple of attempts didn’t go well because I couldn’t get my rifle to fire the second shot. The problem was fixed by removing some extra weights that were added to the bolt to ease the recoil, but with the light loads I was shooting meant the buffer spring was unable to cycle the bolt with enough force and it wasn’t chambering the second round cleanly. With the weights removed the action cycled perfectly and I succeeded in completing my first rapid fire shoot…with a perfect score of 100 with one X.

The photo below was taken through the scope and shows my second rapid fire target which was a still commendable 98. My  third attempt was a 97 and that seemed like a good time to stop and shift to slow fire.

You can see the golf tees in my shot holes with the scoreboard showing the score distribution.

 

2nd rapid fire target

2nd rapid fire target

 

For the slow fire I shot with another person taking turns. The slow fire target is slightly smaller but I still shot a very satisfying sequence of Xs and 10s with a couple of errant 9s to get a 198/200.

Next week I have been invited to shoot at 600yds on another range.