Warning: If guns bore you, don’t read this post.
It was not the best day I ever spent at the range.
I took two weapons up to Reno with specific purposes in mind: my Taurus .357 revolver with the Crimson Trace grip laser safety, and my KelTek SU-16CA sporting a new red-dot scope. The idea was to zero in both sighting mechanisms.
As it turned out, I failed at both efforts. The grip laser site dot was invisible in the sunlight, and I could never get the reticle to appear in the red-dot site on the rifle, even after much fiddling and changing out the battery – twice. Then, to add insult to injury, the bipod forestock of the KelTek’s lock spring broke, which caused the bipod to fly open with every shot. I finally taped it closed with some of the masking tape more often used to hold targets to target stands.
In the end, I took off the worthless red dot scope and put back on the glass scope I’d zeroed last year. It was, of course, out of zero after I reinstalled it. I got it pretty much zeroed and then ran thirty rounds or so downrange, with the following horrible result:
This was after zeroing, firing from a bench rest, with a scope, at 25 yards. By rights, every single shot under these conditions should have been in the ten ring. As you can see, that is not the case. It was windy, sure, but not that windy.
The only thing that happened all day I was truly happy with was when Kevin of The Smallest Minority let me shoot his Remington 700-5R. I was shooting for a steel target 400 yards distant with a gun I’d never fired before, of a caliber I’d never fired before. My first shot was a bit low and to the left, but I hit steel with my second shot.
All things considered, I felt pretty good about that, since I had never before in my life shot at anything that far away. So I stopped right there, guaranteeing that I would have at least one good memory of this range trip. My handgun results were okay at ten yards, although for some reason I was shooting a tetch low all day, with everything I fired – my own .357, and a pair of .45s (XPD, Kimber) Kevin generously let me shoot.
For me the takeaway was: I need to get a really good optical scope for my SMLE .303. That’s my only true long distance gun, and the cheap scope I have on it now doesn’t really do it justice.
Tell you what, though: Even a lousy day at the range is still a pretty damned good day!