Rifles Hot or Not - Show us yer kit!

... Mornington Crescent!
 
Single shot rifle smut from Canada.

First three are "working rifles" used annually at the Black Powder National Championship at Connaught in Ottawa:
-Ruger No.1 in 45-2.4". Thirty-four inch Green Mountain barrel, Jim Kelley LR Soule rear, Distant Thunder (Jim Kluskens) long range front.
-Ruger No.1 in 45-2.1" (throated to yield -2.4" case capacity). Thirty-two inch Douglas Premium, Frank Zika Soule rear, Distant Thunder mid range rear.
-1873 Springfield. As issued but fitted at some point in it's life with the rather ridiculous Buffington rear sight. Ex-Michigan State Militia, surplussed through Bannermans after WWII when the US decided Japan, Germany and possibly us were no longer a threat.
-and finally the off season trainer, a BSA International MkII Light Pattern. now 64 years old but still capable of putting ten rounds into 3/8" at 100 yards if I do my part. Drift and drop are similar enough at that range to that of the big rifles at 300m to make economical practice a reality (and avoid getting pounded). Probably my favourite rifle, ever. Nothing these days comes close, IMHO.

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While on the range yesterday I noticed that the bloke to my right was firing a Garand M1D, now you don't see many Garands at all these days, never mind the sniper version. I swung my glass round to his tgt to see how he was doing, I felt a bit smug when I saw that his groups were arguably worse than those that my Garand produces with just open sights. Even better was his answer when I asked him afterwards how it grouped. "oh" said he and cupped his hand together indicating impossibly tight groups, oblivious to the fact that I had already had a quick gander. Anyway here it is:
 

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While on the range yesterday I noticed that the bloke to my right was firing a Garand M1D, now you don't see many Garands at all these days, never mind the sniper version. I swung my glass round to his tgt to see how he was doing, I felt a bit smug when I saw that his groups were arguably worse than those that my Garand produces with just open sights. Even better was his answer when I asked him afterwards how it grouped. "oh" said he and cupped his hand together indicating impossibly tight groups, oblivious to the fact that I had already had a quick gander. Anyway here it is:

Is that his actual shooting position? If so, how is he even getting a sight picture? Those M84s have about an inch of eye relief, and even then its a challenge to get a consistent picture shot-to-shot.
 
Is that his actual shooting position? If so, how is he even getting a sight picture? Those M84s have about an inch of eye relief, and even then its a challenge to get a consistent picture shot-to-shot.
Yes, that is how he shot, didn't do a lot better with the other rifle either.
 
While on the range yesterday I noticed that the bloke to my right was firing a Garand M1D, now you don't see many Garands at all these days, never mind the sniper version. I swung my glass round to his tgt to see how he was doing, I felt a bit smug when I saw that his groups were arguably worse than those that my Garand produces with just open sights. Even better was his answer when I asked him afterwards how it grouped. "oh" said he and cupped his hand together indicating impossibly tight groups, oblivious to the fact that I had already had a quick gander. Anyway here it is:
Good grief...I'm surprised he could see the target, let alone hit it.
 
Good grief...I'm surprised he could see the target, let alone hit it.
I wouldn't care to count the number of times I have seen people show up with all kinds of fancy gear and who haven't really go a clue. Not that an M1D is exactly cutting edge technology, but in this case the scope alone costs more than the rifle, namely around € 1100.00.
 
I wouldn't care to count the number of times I have seen people show up with all kinds of fancy gear and who haven't really go a clue. Not that an M1D is exactly cutting edge technology, but in this case the scope alone costs more than the rifle, namely around € 1100.00.
One trend I've witnessed over the years at Connaught among many newcomers to competitive shooting is the increasing belief money can buy happiness (and win matches). This invariably backfires on those unwilling or unable to accept that owning a tool that costs as much as a good used car (or following the trend de jour in bits and pieces, powder, or bullets) won't put them in the winners circle if they won't learn how to shoot in the first place. It's a particularly common affliction among the F-class fraternity, and watching the hard of thinking having their asses handed to them by a slung-up grizzled TR competitor wielding a battered rifle with irons brings a smile to my face.

A more unfortunate consequence is many otherwise capable young shooters loose interest and quit after being assured by the anointed hardware snobs that the true path to fame, glory and gongs requires expenses in equipment they can't justify. I've warned the F-class mob on more occasions then I can recall that if they aren't very, very careful (and consider introducing a Production-class alternative) they'll price themselves out of a sport.
 
One trend I've witnessed over the years at Connaught among many newcomers to competitive shooting is the increasing belief money can buy happiness (and win matches). This invariably backfires on those unwilling or unable to accept that owning a tool that costs as much as a good used car (or following the trend de jour in bits and pieces, powder, or bullets) won't put them in the winners circle if they won't learn how to shoot in the first place. It's a particularly common affliction among the F-class fraternity, and watching the hard of thinking having their asses handed to them by a slung-up grizzled TR competitor wielding a battered rifle with irons brings a smile to my face.

A more unfortunate consequence is many otherwise capable young shooters loose interest and quit after being assured by the anointed hardware snobs that the true path to fame, glory and gongs requires expenses in equipment they can't justify. I've warned the F-class mob on more occasions then I can recall that if they aren't very, very careful (and consider introducing a Production-class alternative) they'll price themselves out of a sport.
I am just getting into TR shooting but have started with a .22 target rifle (Walther to be precise) as it is far cheaper throwing .22 down the range than .308, especially as I come to grips with the joys of target sights. As an aside, it is the cost of the peripherals that I am finding eye watering; all the bits and pieces to be legal these days. However, that pales into insignificance when I see the massive feats of engineering those if F Class are using as fore end rests. Bloody hell! Some of it looks like second mortgage territory .
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Bloody hell! Some of it looks like second mortgage territory .
When F class was mooted there was a lot of discussion about a standard out of the box class, however you dont need to spend big, start small and work on improving your own scores, remember F Class were the ones who whinged that Bench Rest was too specialised and restrictive. It doesn't take much to start winning if you are competing against yourself and others using similar kit.
I once used a 1960's 7.62 rebarrelled P14 with PH7 sights to wipe the floor with everyone at 1000 yards. I was using very heavy handloads and had the best wind coach in the business. Having 1/2 minute adjustable sights didn't matter, the coach knew when to call the shot release and how good the load was at bucking the wind.
 
Before I’m accused of derailing a thread intended to be devoted to pretty (or ugly) rifles further, some final comments.

Many shooting sports have turned into the money pits they are as participants searched for a then-legal competitive edge in terms of equipment, and as people followed the thundering herd of trends influenced by what winners were using (often with complete disregard to those winners abilities and past records otherwise) and felt the need to “improve” their kits for no reason other than “so-and-so won such-and-such using one”. The path of least resistance that might obviate a lack of skill otherwise is often an attractive one.

I use F-class as an example since, as a former DCRA Executive Committee and National Council member, I wound up enduring many meetings where the need to product improve their game was argued by it’s proponents and usually met with an exasperated shrug allowed to come to pass. A game (which BTW is a Canadian invention), that began simply as a means of enabling TR shooters who were no longer competitive with iron sights to continue playing by adding optical sights to otherwise rule compliant target rifles using TR compliant cartridges and loads, was gradually transmogrified into a virtually anything goes free for all. Two Classes: F-TR, which was supposed to limit allowable cartridges to 7.62 and later 5.56 with their attendant TR legal maximum service cartridge bullet weights but now endorses heavy bullets that bear no resemblance to what’s legal in TR, and F-Open, which is basically the sky and your wallet are the limit (although there is a graph in our rulebook that limits utterly ridiculous things that would transcend the range safety template here). I distinctly remember one of the early F-heros standing up in a meeting and trumpeting that the advantage to their rulebook from a newcomer’s perspective was “we have no rules”. To some extent, the state of the sport now is the result of that thinking. I suggested at one point they expand that attitude to it’s logical conclusion, allow anything safe, and call the result F-Unlimited. It took a few minutes for the fact it would be abbreviated to “F-U” to sink in….

The game as it stands now is what happens when a sport governing body lets a minority opinion trample common sense, largely due to fear that minority will pack up and take their toys (and membership fees) elsewhere. I don’t begrudge those who participate; F-class has expanded our competitor base and attracted many who, if limited to choosing classic TR-style competition would likely have found other pastimes. But by the same token, as mentioned previously, many, many other people, upon seeing rifles, ‘scopes and peripherals that cost up to CDN$ 12,000.00 on the mound (no, I’m not kidding) lose interest, too. Some games have seen the light and introduced cost limited classes to promote participation. Sadly, F-class and to a lesser extent TR, haven’t.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Then you have to forget about entering the open with your grandads battered sportered P14 and look at entering the comps where you can compete in divisions so that those with the best kit (biggest wallets) will be buying their attempt on the prize. Remember that Quebecois TR man winning the Queens prize at Bisley with a slightly modified No4? I do, Alain something, he practised and didn't go on the lash the night before the finals. The opposition was using Musgraves, Parker Hale M85's and Barnard/sportco's.
You can rise to the top but even the best kit will only help the best shots, most kit being disparaged on the point is capable of shooting far better than those doing the disparaging!
 
Then you have to forget about entering the open with your grandads battered sportered P14 and look at entering the comps where you can compete in divisions so that those with the best kit (biggest wallets) will be buying their attempt on the prize. Remember that Quebecois TR man winning the Queens prize at Bisley with a slightly modified No4? I do, Alain something, he practised and didn't go on the lash the night before the finals. The opposition was using Musgraves, Parker Hale M85's and Barnard/sportco's.
You can rise to the top but even the best kit will only help the best shots, most kit being disparaged on the point is capable of shooting far better than those doing the disparaging!
Not only do I know of Alain Marion, we consider each other friends and shoot alongside at our bi-weekly practices here. A true gentleman, who's won just about everything there is to win in shooting. At the risk of compromising PERSEC and revealing my true identity to those who frequent Connaught, a personal Alain story that emphasizes the fact that it's not the tool being shot but the tool using it and the importance of practice:
Back in 2004 I shot alongside the regional Victoria Day TR matches using a BPTR. There where two of us shooting Black Powder (the other being a now departed friend from upstate New York) and the fact we were doing so with smoke poles was viewed by most as a stunt. When the dust settled after the 900m Ottawa match stage, it transpired that had been won by none other than your's truly with a 49-7V/50 (I blew the ninth shot, knew it at the time, and have regretted it ever since).

The runner up was Alain (albeit by count back, and of course with a 7.62), which I didn't realize at the time.

My friend and I departed to the clubhouse for beverages and a part mortem, and although pleased with our scores I thought nothing more about the matter. Until I got a 'phone call a couple of days later from Alain.

"When are you going to come to the club and pick up your prize?"
"Huh? What prize?"
"You beat me in the Ottawa match!"

He thought it was funnier than hell. I thought he'd be pissed off but but he was very gracious and has pointed out ever since that my successes then and later have all been due to practice, practice and more practice and learning from mistakes, a work ethic he repects enormously.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
He thought it was funnier than hell. I thought he'd be pissed off but but he was very gracious and has pointed out ever since that my successes then and later have all been due to practice, practice and more practice and learning from mistakes, a work ethic he repects enormously.
Says it all really!
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
And he doesn't "go on the lash the night before". I've never seen him drink anything harder than Diet Coke. A lesson that some I've seen wobbling onto the mound the morning after the night before might consider taking to heart!
Indeed, it was considered unsporting to be sober. However for those of us on timetables staying for the ball or in fact any after match party is usually fraught with domestic dramas regarding time spent away from home and work!
Well that and the party animal seems to escape from where he has been securely locked away.

My problem is final matches or classics seem to be n the weekend. I rarely take the week off to shoot (especially when younger) so driving over on a Saturday (early start) shooting all day then partying to celebrate qualifying for Sundays match is a normal thing. Somehow for me even being an RO/coach is a challenge on a sunday!
 
Indeed, it was considered unsporting to be sober. However for those of us on timetables staying for the ball or in fact any after match party is usually fraught with domestic dramas regarding time spent away from home and work!
Well that and the party animal seems to escape from where he has been securely locked away.

My problem is final matches or classics seem to be n the weekend. I rarely take the week off to shoot (especially when younger) so driving over on a Saturday (early start) shooting all day then partying to celebrate qualifying for Sundays match is a normal thing. Somehow for me even being an RO/coach is a challenge on a sunday!
Another benefit of being a teetotaler. ;-)
 

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