Scope Positioning & Mounting

The purpose of this article is to teach you how to check if the scope on your rifle is mounted in the correct position to fit you, and to adjust/remount the scope if it’s not.

This article applies to:

  • only rifles that already have an optic mounted – mounting optics on a rifle not currently set up for them is a separate topic and frequently requires gunsmithing.
  • only rifles using magnified optics – unmagnified red dot and holo-sight optics do not present the same issues and generally give a lot of freedom in mounting.  Some of the ideas here will be useful to you if you have a 1x optics, but much of what I say will not apply.
  • both variable and fixed power magnified optics.  When a step tells you to adjust your magnification, if you have a fixed power scope you can just skip it.
  • only rifles using optics that mount with rings over the receiver.  Some rifles use forward mounted, long eye relief (LER), or “scout” optics that mount on the barrel forward of the receiver.  These types of optics are rare, generally are not problematic in terms of positioning, and are not covered.

Now, like me at my first Appleseed shoot, you might be thinking “I can see through my optic just fine when holding the rifle – what’s wrong with it?”.   Unfortunately just being able to see through your optic while holding the rifle up at the gun store counter doesn’t mean everything is set up right. Continue reading ‘Scope Positioning & Mounting’ »

Project Appleseed Range Report Part 3: Sunday + Afterwards

IMG_20160427_2110037538:30 Sunday morning, and we’re off!  The weather was chilly for April and windy, with the wind increasing as the day went on.  A couple of participants from day Saturday were MIA, and we had a new shooter with a nice CMP Garand on the end of the line.

First off we shoot a redcoat.  I shoot 300y plus the shingle.  This is where I’m starting to have some minor misgivings – after a day of Appleseed instruction, and doing my best to faithfully do whatever the instructors ask, I’m now shooting worse than I was the minute I arrived.  Bletch.  Maybe I needed more coffee.  Or less.  I’m not sure.  Frankly I feel sort of tired and stressed which is not helping.

With the redcoat out of the way, the first order of business is a review of the prone, sitting, and standing position, and more squares.  I’ll admit, I’m about sick of squares.  Reading AARs of other appleseeds, it seems odd that we’re at Sunday lunch and still haven’t shot the AQT.  Maybe this is normal.  I don’t know.  I do shoot some of my better groups of the weekend during the prone review which is nice.  I also tweak the zero I got after moving my scope on Saturday.

Dave’s lunch presentation of the 3rd strike is the best history lesson so far. Continue reading ‘Project Appleseed Range Report Part 3: Sunday + Afterwards’ »

Project Appleseed Range Report Part 2: Saturday

I arrived at the Boulder Rifle Club a little early, and found many other participants already there.  BRC is our local “unobtanium” private range – it’s members-only and the wait list is reportedly decades long.  They hosted the event for a range fee of $10 for both days, which seems reasonable to me given that their facilities include permanent toilets and the like.  A big thanks is in order to BRC.

IMG_20160423_182902020Once we got paperwork filled out and completed the safety lecture, we uncased the rifles and shot our first redcoat of the day.  I found myself starting the day feeling rather wobbly and like I wasn’t shooting my best.  Thanks to being able to warm up on the 100y and 200y targets, I got down to business and cleaned the target (barely), the only shooter to do so.  I was also the only one to hit the shingle.  This feeling of not shooting well would persist with me through the day, even though by most objective measures I was shooting just fine.  Some days you just wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

Continue reading ‘Project Appleseed Range Report Part 2: Saturday’ »

Project Appleseed Range Report Part 1: Preparation

“The measure of the rifleman is to achieve first-round hits, on appropriate targets, at unknown ranges, from improvised firing positions, against the clock.” – Jeff Cooper

Over the past year I’ve been working hard at improving my field rifle shooting.   In order to speed that process along I’ve decided to take a two day Project Appleseed class in rifle marksmanship.  On April 23rd and 24th I’ll be attending an Appleseed shoot at Boulder Rifle Club in Boulder, CO.  As best as I can tell, these classes are unique in the firearms training world.  First off, they have volunteer instructors who are members of the whimsically named Revolutionary War Veterans of America.  As a result the classes are remarkably inexpensive – $60 for two full days of instruction, possibly with an additional range fee depending on where the class is held.  Prices are further reduced for children, military/LEO, and those who take advantage of coupon deals through Groupon or other sources.  Those who have taken both Appleseed classes and NRA or CMP classes have indicated the Appleseed ones are somewhat better, so hopefully this really is a case of getting more than you pay for. Continue reading ‘Project Appleseed Range Report Part 1: Preparation’ »