first day shooting and many stupid mistakes

Walter Haas

San Francisco MAGA fan
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Dec 20, 2019
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Today was my first day shooting and I did some stupid things and learned a bunch of things.

First I hung the target very crooked but I didn't realize it until I was back at the bench. I mean like 20 degrees crooked. The vertical and horizontal tick marks on the target were useless.

Then I decided to clean the rifle after firing a few rounds and I almost got this cotton roll with solvent stuck in the barrel. I thought these cotton rolls get pushed into the barrel and then you push the needle point of the brass thing into it and through the end. But it got stuck a few inches in. In my mind I could hear people whispering, "check this guy out on lane six", "must be from San Francisco". I had to put about 40 lbs of force on the dewey rod to push it through.
Then I come home and find this cotton roll wasn't supposed to go into the barrel. Its for cleaning the chamber.

And the biggest mistake was that when I started shooting to zero the rifle at 100 yards my group was like 14 inches high. When I turned the turret to lower them I found the turret would only go so far below zero because it didn't occur to me I was turning it the wrong way. I was thinking lower the elevation number to lower the height of the hits on the target. It would only go a little below zero and that wasn't enough. I couldn't see how I'm going to lower it enough to hit the bullseye. I mean I did hit the bullseye three times doing elevation holdovers but I decided there is something fundamental I don't understand about dialing in the scope and packed it in for the day after only eight rounds. Of course on the way home I realized I was turning the turret the wrong way.

This is just a fraction of the things I learned so it was still a good day and a fun drive out there west of Petaluma, about an hour from San Francisco.



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Racer88

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Go to Amazon, and order this book tonight. :)


Also... sign up for the Sniper's Hide Online Training: https://forum.snipershide.com/account/upgrades/
 

Reverie Ranges

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Dec 16, 2019
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Go to the backyard, lay out all of your stuff as if you were at the range. Go through all the motions as if you were actually at the range. Every motion that you do has a purpose... Make sure that all your equipment is functional and in it's place (minus the live rounds). dry fire a couple of times for good measure. Just remember to: Breathe, Relax, Aim, and Gently Squeeze the trigger. Have an exact plan for your trip but remember that change in inevitable. Repeat as needed...
 
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Snuby642

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Feb 11, 2017
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Look for a local club and join.
Don't be bashful asking for advise.
Tutorials all over the web, but hands on mentoring is best.

Look for hide members that can spare some time.
 

ShtrRdy

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Oh, man, I wish I could have helped you. Sounds like you did pretty okay. I think you were lucky to be able to get that cotton roll out. I've had cleaning patches get folded over and jammed in the barrel. I had to pound on the end of the cleaning rod with my fist.

I didn't understand the scope adjustment problem. Do you need help on this aspect?
 

Steel head

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Welcome to the esteemed guild of tactical dumbassery.
BTDT.

I don’t clean when shooting unless I stuff a barrel with mud.
Do a dry run at home and make notes of your scope adjustments with a cheat sheet of what the dials actually do.

It’s not so much looking like a dipshit as going somewhere unprepared and wasting your time and money
 

davsco

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you gotta start somewhere. i was at the range last summer one day and a guy (with his gf) was there with a brand new ar15 he obviously knew nothing about. was just shooting it trying to get it on target and sighted in. i showed him how to take it apart, pull the bolt, boresight it etc. went over the basic safety rules (muzzle, trigger, etc). all this is pretty obvious to those of us that do this a lot, but we all started somewhere. don't be afraid to ask for help. frankly, shame on the dealer that sold to this guy to not take 15 minutes and get him up to speed.
 

Racer88

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you gotta start somewhere. i was at the range last summer one day and a guy (with his gf) was there with a brand new ar15 he obviously knew nothing about. was just shooting it trying to get it on target and sighted in. i showed him how to take it apart, pull the bolt, boresight it etc. went over the basic safety rules (muzzle, trigger, etc). all this is pretty obvious to those of us that do this a lot, but we all started somewhere. don't be afraid to ask for help. frankly, shame on the dealer that sold to this guy to not take 15 minutes and get him up to speed.
Nice. On more than one occasion I've helped a newbie who was obviously floundering. Sometimes spending an hour with them (out of my range time). They're always very grateful, and it's gratifying to help someone get off on the "right foot" with guns and gun people.

One time I ended up feeling kind of dumb... A guy showed up with a brand new .300-win mag and a new NF scope he had mounted at home. The mount was the quick-release type. And, he had mounted them backwards. At the range, he realized he couldn't cycle the bolt because of interference with the mounts. Mind you, he was a new shooter, and someone had told him to start with a freakin' 300-win-mag. :rolleyes:

So, we had to unmount the scope (with my tools) and remount it.

Oh, yeah... the shooting line is gravel (not the smooth kind), and he was shooting prone on a BED SHEET! No shooting mat. Ouchie!

We got him bore-sighted and on paper. From there, I was spotting for him and giving him corrections (here's the I'm an idiot part). It was an MOA scope, and I ASSUMED it was 1/4-MOA clicks. But, even at 100 yards, my corrections weren't quite doing it. Then it hit me. 1/8-MOA clicks! DUH!

Finally, we got him zeroed. He was happy as a clam. A rather LARGE clam, BTW. LOL! He let me shoot it. Dayummm.... .300-WM thumps ya pretty hard!

I told him he MUST get a real shooting mat. ANY shooting mat... just not a bed sheet! 🤭 I also mentioned that he might consider starting with a smaller caliber.
 
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Spblademaker

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At least you were safe. No biggie about doing silly shit. At least you learned. But those cotton plugs should be given back to your woman in case Aunt Flo shows up. 😏
 

Walter Haas

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Nice. On more than one occasion I've helped a newbie who was obviously floundering. Sometimes spending an hour with them (out of my range time). They're always very grateful, and it's gratifying to help someone get off on the "right foot" with guns and gun people.

One time I ended up feeling kind of dumb... A guy showed up with a brand new .300-win mag and a new NF scope he had mounted at home. The mount was the quick-release type. And, he had mounted them backwards. At the range, he realized he couldn't cycle the bolt because of interference with the mounts. Mind you, he was a new shooter, and someone had told him to start with a freakin' 300-win-mag. :rolleyes:

So, we had to unmount the scope (with my tools) and remount it.

Oh, yeah... the shooting line is gravel (not the smooth kind), and he was shooting prone on a BED SHEET! No shooting mat. Ouchie!

We got him bore-sighted and on paper. From there, I was spotting for him and giving him corrections (here's the I'm an idiot part). It was an MOA scope, and I ASSUMED it was 1/4-MOA clicks. But, even at 100 yards, my corrections weren't quite doing it. Then it hit me. 1/8-MOA clicks! DUH!

Finally, we got him zeroed. He was happy as a clam. A rather LARGE clam, BTW. LOL! He let me shoot it. Dayummm.... .300-WM thumps ya pretty hard!

I told him he MUST get a real shooting mat. ANY shooting mat... just not a bed sheet! 🤭 I also mentioned that he might consider starting with a smaller caliber.
There was a guy 10 feet away with a .300 win mag and it wasn't helping. :) The reason I couldn't remember how the scope worked is I was stressed with all the firing going on around me. But hey it was still fun. I knew I wasn't quite ready but I was impatient to fire it so I rushed myself out to the range. I was curious about how hard it would be to hit a bullseye from 100 yards and I was curious about how hard my .308 was going to kick. The kick wasn't bad but it still sort of shocks you, like a mini black out. I could tell after a few rounds that the kick was not going to prevent me from sinking into a state of concentration. I was enthusiastic about the fact that it wasn't hard to hit bullseyes at 100 yards. Of course with a $9000 rifle you would expect at least that much, right? :) I only shot eight rounds and the second half were bullseyes. But still, my goal is to be a good shooter out to 600 yards so I thought it was a good start even though there were big problems.
 
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Walter Haas

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I'd like to do that sometime.
I signed up for the online training videos but I haven't watched one yet, I was impatient to go shoot. I like listening to this guy, Frank Galli. I had seen him on YouTube before, I think it was. His self confidence makes him interesting to listen to.
 
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Racer88

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There was a guy 10 feet away with a .300 win mag and it wasn't helping. :) The reason I couldn't remember how the scope worked is I was stressed with all the firing going on around me. But hey it was still fun. I knew I wasn't quite ready but I was impatient to fire it so I rushed myself out to the range. I was curious about how hard it would be to hit a bullseye from 100 yards and I was curious about how hard my .308 was going to kick. The kick wasn't bad but it still sort of shocks you, like a mini black out. I could tell after a few rounds that the kick was not going to prevent me from sinking into a state of concentration. I was enthusiastic about the fact that it wasn't hard to hit bullseyes at 100 yards. Of course with a $9000 rifle you would expect at least that much, right? :) I only shot eight rounds and the second half were bullseyes. But still, my goal is to be a good shooter out to 600 yards so I thought it was a good start even though there were big problems.
Don't blame you at all for being anxious to shoot your new toy! I'd be the same way. On second thought, you're obviously not ready, so you should send the rifle to me. I'll shoot it good, I promise! ;)

PS... did you get that book? Easy to read. Good to have as a reference. Will help accelerate the learning curve. Training videos will make more sense.
 
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Walter Haas

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Don't blame you at all for being anxious to shoot your new toy! I'd be the same way. On second thought, you're obviously not ready, so you should send the rifle to me. I'll shoot it good, I promise! ;)

PS... did you get that book? Easy to read. Good to have as a reference. Will help accelerate the learning curve. Training videos will make more sense.
Not only do I have that book but it was 100 feet away in the car at the time. And I've read it, I just forgot what I read and I forgot I had that book in the car. Like I said, I was so rattled I wasn't thinking straight. I was very distracted with trying to follow safety procedure and trying to mind the rules of the range so I don't get booted out and put an end to my shooting career before it starts. Remember Grimes from the movie Hombre? That's who was running the range. The guy was looking at me like, "I'm going to enjoy making an example of you." :)
 
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