I will not be posting about every trip to the range in time It really isn’t that exciting for most people, but aside from working, that’s about all I do anymore; I shoot lead in one form or another out the end of a gun of one type or another. With the variety of shooting disciplines available at ORSA, it is very easy to spend many hours on a Saturday there as I did this week.
Tiff and I woke up Saturday morning to the expectation of a full day of fun for both of us. Tiff had her sewing day with her friends from school, and I planned to go to ORSA and shoot as many rounds of clays as I could take, then do some benchrest with my Savage 340, and I had Emmett’s Marlin 60 22LR to play with on the plinking range.
I ended up shooting 4 rounds of skeet and 1 round of trap. Trap at ORSA is fairly hard. The clays are launched over a ridge that seems to channel the breeze in such a way as it can toss those clay targets in some wild paths. Very, very challenging, but very, very fun. The lowest skeet field (Skeet 1) actually suffers from the same problem to an extent; The high house usually flies the same path, but I saw elevation differences on the low house of ~15-20 feet at the center stake due to the breeze coming off the ridge. Regardless, I’m still more consistent at the low house than high as I keep forgetting to make sure my cheek weld stays consistent on those left-to-right swings. Practice, practice, practice.
Sadly I’ve let my shotgun ammunition stash dwindle. I used to try to buy 100-200 rounds a week to at least keep up with what I was shooting, and hopefully build the stash a bit. Over the winter though I ended up shooting a lot, and not buying much and was down to 50 rounds left after yesterday’s shooting. I thought I was going to go again today with a friend from church, but then forgot that the “Polar Bear League” shoots on Sundays (today was the last week of the league though), so we had to postpone. Regardless, before I remembered that, I bought 200 rounds of cheapo Winchester ammo so I had something to shoot I am being fickle about my reloading plans. I really need to seriously save towards that equipment as it will cut my ammunition cost/box in half. Reloading metallic rounds for my rifle(s) is even cheaper to get into equipment-wise, AND has a higher percentage of savings (about 75-85% cheaper to reload than buying retail).
Meant to shoot the Savage 340, but the benchrest range was pretty full, so I took a bunch of 22 ammo over to the plinking range and ran about 100 rounds through the Marlin 60, shooting some old bottles and other such random targets as people had left out there. I’m impressed with the accuracy of that little gun. Even with just regular open sites, it was trivial to hit a 20oz coke bottle at about 30-35 yards. Made for a fun hour of nailing it, popping it up in the air, then finding it again where it came to rest to do it again… Reactive targets are so much more fun. I think that’s why I like clays so much!
Our small arsenal of guns is about to grow again. I ordered a Savage MkII 22LR Bolt-Action target rifle for Tiffany. She loved target shooting with my SKS even though the 7.62×39 round had a lot of kick. She has not shot my Savage 223Rem at all yet, but she’d probably like it. That said, 223Rem is still pretty pricey ammo to “plink” with at about $8/box of 20 rounds… also ORSA does not allow center-fire rifle cartridges on the plinking range, only benchrest/competition/high power ranges. So the 22LR is much more versatile. And cheaper. And it hardly kicks at all. The Savage is a nice high-quality rifle and the MkII line has the adjustable AccuTrigger for a nice light, crisp trigger pull. Hopefully with a nice scope it will be a tack-driver.
I still haven’t decided what scope to put on it. I just put a Redfield on my Savage 340.
The elevation and windage adjustment “box” on the scope was too large for the original Weaver sidemount, so I had to put a “hi-mount” set of rings on the gun. The problem is (found out after buying the new rings and putting them on….) is that they offset the scope from the centerline of the barrel, so it’s going to be interesting getting it sighted in I think. We’ll see how it does, but my current thought is I might either put the Redfield on the 22LR (overkill) and put a cheaper “thin” scope on the 340, or just accept the non-ideal mount for the time being and maybe trade the 340 for a different bolt-action down the road that allows for normal Picatinny rail mounts for the scope. We’ll see. I haven’t had a chance to do anything more than bore-sight the Redfield on the 340 so far. It’s an absolutely beautiful scope for the money though. It’s definitely going to stick with me no matter what guns get traded/sold/acquired.
One final “project” for the weekend…. I made myself some sandbags for benchrest shooting today. My friend/mentor, Bob Hedrick, from church gave me some empty lead shot bags this morning and I filled them with sand and “sewed”‘ them shut Ruined one of Tiff’s needles in the process… oops. Here’s the result of my $3.64 of sand…
It’s something you take for granted at “commercial” ranges, as they tend to loan them out when you’re there, but being a non-profit club, I’m finding all these little things I’m having to bring for myself. Thankfully none of it is really expensive… like these bags….there’s not $5 in them, and they should last quite a while.
More later when the new Savage comes in
Here’s a few more pics to keep you occupied…