I finally got the new Ron Brown sling, and the problem I was having with the sling sliding down my arm went away. Yeah!
I shot first service rifle match at Fairfax Rod and Gun Club this morning. Sign-up time was 8AM, ugh. I very nearly overslept, but managed to make it on time. The weather was cold, about 32 degrees when I got out of the car at 8, but it was clear and bright with very little wind. I ended up waiting until the second rely to shoot, so the light was behind me a little more than during the 1st rely.
Since I had never fired at 200 yards, the first question was, what's my zero? I ran the JBM Ballistics calculator the night before, and it said to come up about a minute and a half (5-6 clicks). When I got the the range, I ran in to Bob Reynolds, and he recommended coming up 2 minutes. Apparently, there is a rule of thumb that says 2 for 2, 3 for 3, something, something. That's, come up 2 MOA from 100 to 200, and then come up 3 MOA from 200 to 300. I ended up using 1.5 MOA (6 clicks) for standing, 8 clicks for sitting, and 6 clicks for prone. I honestly can't say right now which adjustment was 'correct,' although I'm thinking 8 clicks would have been better.
Alas, a new sling doesn't help with standing, and my shooting was perfectly in line with my previous efforts. I tend to do really well at the beginning, but I start to degrade as I go. Part of this is fatigue, part of it is taking too much time at the beginning and having to rush at the end. I actually ate into my partner's shooting time, but he was able to finish with seconds to spare on a 44 minute stage. The first string was an 85, and the second a 75, for a total of 160. I see a pattern of parallel horizontal strings above and below the black. At least part of the problem is inconsistant sight picture. Sometimes I shooting at a line of white, and sometimes I'm shooting into the black at 6 O'clock. I can also feel it in my back, so I know I need build some core strength.
My first sighter was at 6'Oclock, in the 8 ring, so I came up 2 clicks (I think), and hit the second shot in almost the exact same spot. Hmmm. For the rest of the stage, I held in the black, and came out with a good group a little low left. Even though the group was low-left, I still hit mostly 9s and 10s for a total of 92.
I wasn't exactly sure what I had done on my sites during sitting rapid, so I dialed it back to 6 clicks above my 100yd zero. My first shot was a low right 8. The rest went in to my neighbors target, and his worst 10 hits were a total of 92. So, I worst, I shot a 90. All I'll say is, it's not my fault! For rapids in general, I need to take one shot per breath, rather than trying to hold my breath for more than one shot.
This is where the new sling really paid off. That thing hung to my arm like a python, and didn't go anywhere. I kept the elevation at +6, and I also think I was holding a little into the black at 6 O'clock, instead of my more usual line of white. I felt much more comfortable and shot one of my best groups and scores. I didn't really record what I did (too much going on), but I seem to recall the group being a little low right, but I still managed a 91. That's the best slow prone I have recorded. I picked up a tip that I need to roll the stock into my cheek before I put my elbow down. This is basically what I've been doing standing. I also got confirmation that I need to keep my left arm as far under the rifle as I can during prone.