BR SHOOTING, FLYERS, AND TESTING

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joeb33050 posted this 20 February 2020

 

BR SHOOTING, FLYERS, AND TESTING

 I’ve been shooting, fairly seriously, since 1960. Since 2018 I’ve been unable to cast bullets, and moved to rimfire shooting.

 In two years of rimfire benchrest shooting, I learned more than in 58 years of centerfire benchrest shooting.

 During the Jacketed Bullet Test, the normal routine was to fire either two or three sets of 5, 5-shot groups, with a few sighters. Mostly two sets, once or twice a week.

My rimfire routine is 20, 5-shot groups; three times a week, weather permitting. Here’s what I’ve learned:

A substantial contribution to inaccuracy is the inability of the shooter.  

To become a good benchrest shooter, one must shoot a lot of shots, with solid concentration, paying close attention to each shot. Thousands of shots. This suggests rimfire shooting.

The shooter must “call” every shot. A high-powered scope or spotting scope is required. (See “FLYERS” below.)

The shooter must measure all groups, keep comprehensive records, and monitor progress.

It seems that after enough shots, the shooter becomes capable, and the number of shots per week/month can be reduced. Riding a bicycle. Practice is still required, but the group size levels off.

Accuracy varies from shot to shot, group to group, day to day, weather to weather. Good records give clues as to why.

I believe that neither the gun nor the sights matter in becoming a skilled benchrest shooter. 22LR ammo is available for 4 cents a round, a case of 5000 for $200. I buy GECO Semi Auto for $230 a case, and yesterday shot 20 100 yard 5-shot groups averaging .800” even. An open-sighted old time Ted Williams 22 rifle will work as well as any target rifle in learning to shoot benchrest.

FLYERS

There are two flavors of flyers, “called” and “surprise”. As proficiency increases, the number of flyers decreases, the proportion of called flyers increases, and the proportion of surprise flyers decreases.

I enter a lot of numbers from print to the computer. Sometimes a signal goes off in my brain, telling me that SOMETHING happened. A “mistake signal”. The signal doesn’t tell me WHAT mistake I made, only THAT I made a mistake. When I check, I find the mistake-almost every time.

The same thing happens with flyers. There’s the yanked-into-the-bushes, called flyer; and after a lot of practice, the SOMETHING HAPPENED flyer. I get the signal, look, almost always see the flyer.

Most of my flyers, for 58 years, were my error.

TESTING

Any testing of gun, ammo, equipment is pretty meaningless unless the sample size is large enough and the shooter is skilled enough. Skill is as important as sample size, or more.

We maker gun/load/sight decisions based on too-small-sample-size-groups, fired by not-very-competent shooters. Firing a case of 22 LR, carefully, with good record keeping, will reduce cast bullet group size more than a lifetime of weighing/orienting/examining/adjusting.

 

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RicinYakima posted this 21 February 2020

"A substantial contribution to inaccuracy is the inability of the shooter.  

The shooter must measure all groups, keep comprehensive records, and monitor progress.

Accuracy varies from shot to shot, group to group, day to day, weather to weather. Good records give clues as to why.

 As proficiency increases, the number of flyers decreases, the proportion of called flyers increases, and the proportion of surprise flyers decreases.

Most of my flyers, for 58 years, were my error."

Want to shoot better? Practice more.

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Ross Smith posted this 21 February 2020

That's exactly what Ted Williams told us decades ago way back last century. Ted was good at everything he did and the reason was always the same: "practice,practice,practice". 

 

 

 

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RicinYakima posted this 21 February 2020

In a biography, he is said to have said that he had swung the bat at thrown balls 10,000 times before graduating from San Diego HS.

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Ross Smith posted this 22 February 2020

I understand Ken.

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John Alexander posted this 22 February 2020

10,000 comes up in I believe the Freakanomics books.  They point out several examples of masters in their field and all have 10,000 hours of practice in their experience. 

John

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shootcast posted this 01 March 2020

I found Joeb33050 article interesting. A few of our guys put together a 22 rim fire shoot at our club. I called it a dog/ hog match. Paper Silhouette  target 8.5x11 inch of a standing prairie dog at 100 yards. Bullseye target in the chest that basically duplicates the CBA 10,9 and 8 ring. At 200 yards 12x 17 silhouette of a ground hog also with a bullseye 10, 9 and 8 ring. During one match on a drizzling day I fired 20 shots at 200 yards keeping them all inside the 8 ring. That’s under 4 inches. This was with cheap ammo not the target stuff. You could see the rain falling ever so lightly straight down. No wind at all. On  those sunny days that seemed calm enough I had trouble just keeping them in silhouette of the ground hog. Shooting the 22 rf is good practice for cast Bullet shooting. A lot of those flyers are unseen conditions.

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RicinYakima posted this 01 March 2020

I agree shootcast! When we had a BR-50 group, high humidity and overcast was a good condition. I think this falls into the shooter error class, as it has nothing to do with the rifle or ammo.

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hanover67 posted this 02 March 2020

Shooter practice results in technical consistency - one learns to do the same things over and over. But, the same is true for your rifle and ammunition. I shoot .22 rimfire "benchrest" matches on the A 23/5 50 yard target using an inexpensive Remington 511 and iron sights. I call my shots but sometimes get a surprise flyer, often one I can hear that has had a different sound. I'm now in the process of trying to teach a Mossberg 144LSB to "like" cheap ammunition. I've made good progress up to a "pretty good" level but have hit a plateau and may have to accept that result. My range has been closed for a while so I haven't been able to do any centerfire rifle shooting including cast bullets.

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brooksharris posted this 04 March 2020

Thank-you Joeb for your post that is packed with wisdom.  Although your ammo was inexpensive it obviously is quite compatible with your barrel.  I totally agree with your reference to the high number of shots required to be competitive.  I've just recently joined this fine organization and until recently had not shot cast bullets.  One discipline I have had success in is prone SB.  To compete at the state and regional level I had to practice at least 4 times per week.

Ammo:  I used a barrel something over 30K rounds.  Some preferred Lapua and others Eley...despite the reamer used.  But the hard part was sorting through up to a dozen lots before I found the lot that would hold 20 shots under .75" at a hundred.  (This was prior to these two companies opening test facilities here in  the states.)

Flyers:  Shooting in the Louisville Regional in the early 2000's I was clean on iron sight day going into the last target.  I fired a shot that I immediately recognized had less recoil and wasn't quite quite as loud.  My spotting scope showed it was a mid ring 9 at 6 o'clock.  I cleaned the scope sight day for a 3199-271X.  You can sort by weight, rim thickness (pretty much a waste of time with the top grade); and spin them for concentricity, but still not everything is within our control as it almost is in centerfire.

The other flyer you spoke of that I was occasionally guilt of  was the unforced error of looking at the bull or cross hair dot too long; i.e., in my case more than about 6 seconds of intense focus.  It still may find the 10 or X ring...but you cannot call it, so you're behind the power curve on the upcoming shot and that leads to indecision / uncertainty.

Record keeping:  I entered SB prone at age 49.  I had done well in service rifle and long range, but I was definitely behind the top guns in this new discipline.  I attribute some of my success to record keeping as you point out.  When visiting a new range I would sketch or photograph the range indicating N., topography, and trees...even where the cars parked if that might have an effect on the wind coming from  behind.  In Mississippi, N. Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky (I live in Nashville.) I was at a huge disadvantage compared to others who had toured these ranges for years or decades.  But by taking notes on conditions, firing points, sunlight, aperture settings, sling hole numbers, and on and on, by the 3rd year there (upon reviewing my notes) I was winning or at least placing or show.

I observed only one other competitor take serious notes...Paul Gideon...a 2 time national champ at Perry...as a civilian!

Record keeping is imperative!

Blessings to you and yours,

Brooks Harris

 

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brooksharris posted this 04 March 2020

Shucks...forgot to add another advantage of shooting SB (22RF)...it takes that bullet a while to escape my 25" barrel starting at zero and ending at 1070 + or - fps.  Stay on the gun longer than you think necessary...follow through in the extreme.  This is another similarity SB has with cast bullet shooting.

Brooks 

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