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 Last string of my first range day since 1993

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Zeiss Ikon



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PostSubject: Last string of my first range day since 1993   Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:13 am

It's been a long time since I've been to a range, and I've never had a range day primarily for a full-power rifle (I've been mainly a handgun shooter since the early 1980s, and my 1943 Izhevsk 91/30 is my first center-fire rifle, if I don't count brief ownership of a .357 Magnum lever carbine around 1983). I fired thirty rounds of Bulgarian light ball (147 grain steel core FMJ), and my shoulder is pretty sore, despite what I thought was good technique and prior installation of one of the readily available Mosin-specific butt pads. The next to last string, on the fourth round I noticed I was closing my eye(s) as I pulled the trigger; a clear sign of an incipient flinch, so on the last string, I concentrated on keeping my eyes open and squeezing the trigger gradually (as well as changing my position to steady the rifle more against the bench, though I think that also contributed to the swelling in my shoulder). Below is the result at fifty yards:

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The two smaller holes in the red are from a High Standard Sentinel Deluxe .22 revolver I bought used in 1987 -- the other three rounds from that string trailed off to the left, but I was happy to get the height right; that gun shoots a good eight inches *high* at fifty yards. The Mosin, on the other hand, was shooting dead nuts for height and a couple inches right at that distance with the original sights (I was holding on the bottom of the red); given the state of my shoulder, I was very, very pleased to see three almost overlapped holes and a total group still under four inches.

True to form, this rifle shoots the best part of a foot high at 100 yards, but I can live with that for now -- I'm just happy to have seen no sign of "sticky bolt" (I gave the chamber a good going over with a bronze brush spun with a drill to remove cosmoline residue before shooting). I don't know whether shooting right is due to not fixing the bayonet, but I can easily adjust that out by drifting the front sight a hair (to the right, to move impact left, correct?).
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SilverTip
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PostSubject: Re: Last string of my first range day since 1993   Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:01 am

Thats physical therapy.... Russian style! [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Keep at it. Sounds like your on track to 1moa.

Yup, if your bullet goes right of the sight, drift the sight to where the bullet is.
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Zeiss Ikon



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PostSubject: Re: Last string of my first range day since 1993   Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:33 pm

Well, I tell you what, that Russian style physical therapy doesn't bode well for shooting the local Appleseed with this rifle in a few months -- I'll only be able to get to the range a couple more times before I have money for a case of rounds and the registration, maybe a third time at most before the actual event, and given how I felt on the drive home yesterday, there is no way I'd be able to hold up for the 500 rounds over a day or two that's expected for Appleseed (between training and multiple 40 round AQT strings).

I did a little reading last night on recoil management, and I don't see where I'm doing anything grossly wrong, but it really doesn't seem like a military power rifle (especially one this heavy) should kick this badly. Right now, I'm trying to recall if this bruising was really incipient before that last string, or if I hurt myself by unslinging and lowering the rifle (and my body) to steady my left hand on the shooting bench. Based on what I feel applying pressure where the butt would go in both positions, that last string does seem to have done a disproportionate amount of damage, though (five rounds, compared to twenty-five in a more upright body position); it feels as if the butt was pinching muscle over the outer end of my collarbone in the lower hold. Must do more homework before I shoot this again; it clearly shouldn't hurt this much. Oddly, in the past, I've fired .300 Win Mag and 7 mm Mag rifles and neither one hurt, but I only fired a few rounds from each and I was a lot younger then...
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SilverTip
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PostSubject: Re: Last string of my first range day since 1993   Sun Apr 29, 2012 7:26 pm

Very interesting. Sorry to hear it caused you that much pain. I cant imagine if you had heavy ball. affraid

I think an appleseed with a mosin would be an endurance challenge for most anyone!

All I can suggest is getting a heavier stock. Or getting one of these recoil reducing shooting rests. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
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Zeiss Ikon



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PostSubject: Re: Last string of my first range day since 1993   Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:23 pm

I found an online recoil calculator that suggested the recoil from heavy ball (174 gr at around 2600 ft/s) should be almost identical to that from light ball (147 gr at 2965 ft/s). Either way, it shouldn't be enough to hurt me like this.

Adding accessories doesn't really work -- first, they cost money I don't have at the moment (I'm just about going to be able to afford the Appleseed and the ammunition to shoot it), and second, a rest isn't permitted at Appleseed anyway -- just your body and your sling. Using a rest between now and then won't gain me anything in learning to shoot without the pain, those are mostly of use in zeroing a rifle that simply can't be shot painlessly (like a big bore magnum). I do read about people shooting Appleseed with AK-47, M-14 and even M1 Garand rifles; I can't see a Garand having a bunch less free recoil than this Mosin (it's a slightly hotter cartridge in a rifle that can't be much if any heavier), but felt recoil has a lot to do with stock design (and I'm just not going to spend more on a stock than I did on the rifle, and then have to modify the stock to make the interrupter work correctly) and shooting technique -- the latter of which I can learn to improve.

I have a plan B, though -- for not much more money than a case of surplus ammunition with shipping, I can get a .22 LR bolt or automatic with a box magazine and a cheap scope, and a brick of ammunition. I'd rather do it with the Mosin, but I'll get a .22 if I have to in order to be able to shoot the Appleseed.
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SilverTip
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PostSubject: Re: Last string of my first range day since 1993   Sun Apr 29, 2012 8:36 pm

lol... well that online calculator is broken. I couldnt make it past 20 rounds of 180gr in my stock mosin, without switching shoulders. I can shoot light ball all day.

If you have a range near you, i'd say screw the appleseed, buy or make you some targets and test/train yourself that way. I admire the appleseeds, but the price (last I seen) was redonculous! Kinda counter-intuitive imo.
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Zeiss Ikon



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PostSubject: Re: Last string of my first range day since 1993   Sun Apr 29, 2012 9:19 pm

What? $75 (plus range fee, some places; the local one, in Ramseur, NC, gets donated range time) doesn't seem that excessive compared to $150+ in ammunition. Especially since it's close enough to sleep at home between days. Big discounts for women and kids, too (women $10, kids free, last I checked). No way my lady could shoot the Mosin all day, though; maybe we'd be ahead to get a .22 at that...

In any case, it was light ball I was shooting, though 25 rounds didn't really seem a problem until I hunkered down for that last string.

Maybe it was that it was Bulgarian? I saw a warning earlier about the recoil of "armor piercing" Bulgarian -- but I'd have thought that was the hot-loaded machine gun ammo, not the silver tip (steel core, yeah, it'll punch 1/2 inch steel, but that's not "armor" by military standards). Anyway, I've got another 170 rounds of it (200 was what I could afford when I ordered it), and it certainly seems to be safe in the rifle; I'll give my shoulder a couple weeks to heal and try to get back to the range next payday (or the one after for certain), with a bag or something that I can use to rest the rifle while I sit upright -- then I"ll be able to see what the rifle can actually do without making myself into an invalid. Targets, yeah, no problem -- the color ink in my printer is out, but I can print targets with black only; the only local, public, outdoor range only goes to 100 years, but I can scale the silhouette for the 200, 300, and 400 yard positions the same way they do at Appleseed (they shoot everything at 25 yards with scaled targets).

I still want to go to Appleseed, but let's see if I can come to terms with this 91/30 before I decide what to shoot at Ramseur.
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PostSubject: Re: Last string of my first range day since 1993   Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:41 pm

$75 is great. I could have swore an appleseed near me one time had some huge fee. I dont remember, but it was ridiculous.
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Zeiss Ikon



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PostSubject: Re: Last string of my first range day since 1993   Mon Apr 30, 2012 8:23 am

SilverTip wrote:
$75 is great. I could have swore an appleseed near me one time had some huge fee. I dont remember, but it was ridiculous.

You probably either saw a quote that included a range fee ($10/hr for range time could add up to a couple hundred bucks for a two-day event) or saw a "Rifleman Boot Camp", which is a much more extensive and intensive course that includes Range Safety training as well as marksmanship. Even better deal -- get a $20 membership in Revolutionary War Veterans' Association (RWVA) through November of this year, and you get a Rifleman Opportunity Card that lets you register for further Appleseed events for free until you either shoot a Rifleman score (equivalent to an Expert score on the full Army test) or your membership expires.

My local range for this is the "home" range for RWVA and Appleseed; they have the full 400 yard range available at every event, and have "pop-up" targets to 500 yards, and no range fee for the Appleseed events (RWVA owns the range in Ramseur, I believe).

Woops, I just looked at the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.], and I was wrong -- pre-registered, it's $70 for the two-day event, not $75, or $45 for a single day, $10 for women, $5 for under 21 (under 18 almost certainly require a parent or guardian present, given firearm restrictions and such), and free for active or reserve military, National Guard, or peace officers (and RWVA members with Rifleman Opportunity Card, after their first event). At the door probably costs more. The only thing that will keep me from doing this at least once this summer is a personal financial meltdown (though I'm thinking more and more I'm ahead to buy a box magazine .22 for the 25 yard side of the event).
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SilverTip
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PostSubject: Re: Last string of my first range day since 1993   Mon Apr 30, 2012 2:16 pm

Heck ya! Sounds great.
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Zeiss Ikon



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PostSubject: Re: Last string of my first range day since 1993   Thu May 24, 2012 5:33 pm

Well, back to the sight adjustment I talked about in the original post -- I'm going to the range again on Saturday, so I grabbed a calculator and figured out how much to drift the sight to correct about eight inches at a hundred yards; that's 8 (inches right of aim point)/3600 (inches in 100 yards) multiplied by 25 (inches sight radius) to get about .056", or just under 1/16". I've now moved the front sight right by about twice the width of the witness scratch, which ought to be pretty close, and I'll take a small ball pien and my punches with me to the range so I can adjust further. Of course, I'll wind up doing it again when I get a Smith Sights height-adjustable front sight (no later than late July), but I can mark where the post is before removing the original sight and get the new one back pretty close to the same place -- should be within a couple inches at 100 yards.
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Zeiss Ikon



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PostSubject: Re: Last string of my first range day since 1993   Sun May 27, 2012 10:55 pm

When I got to the range today, I wound up taking back almost 2/3 of the adjustment I'd made (fortunately, I took my punches and a light hammer with me); in the end, I got the sight adjusted so that the Bulgarian light ball I've been shooting is centering groups on the point of aim in windage. In the end, I made a net adjustment of about 1/32" on the front sight; my 91/30 now shoots essentially where I aim at ranges from 25 to 100+ yards (6 o'clock hold at 100 yards, center hold at 50, should be about half an inch below sight point at 25) -- which ought to put me still within the 6 o'clock to center hold range on out to 300 yards.

Even better, I shot 45 rounds (eight strippers of Bulgarian light ball and one magazine of Silver Bear 174 grain FMJ) and my shoulder doesn't hurt. Next time out, I may try to shoot up all my remaining surplus rounds (125 rounds); if I can get through those without pain, I should be good for Appleseed.
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