I got back to work this year a little later than planned (long story...) but I'm already making up for lost time. The first task on my list was breaking in a shiny (well, matte black) new .308 barrel on my Tempest action, putting the first rounds through my Maverick suppressor, and checking my form and fundamentals.
When you're a new shooter, it's easy to get an experienced shooter to check your fundamentals. They watch while you shoot, and they tell you what you're doing wrong. When you've been at this a while like I have, it's really easy to take your time and practice good fundamentals without really thinking about it. So how do you force your flaws to come out?
Stress. We're not talking about the 'I wanna pull my hair out' or 'I need a drink' kind of stress, though. I just needed something to make it to where, as a shooter, you're either not thinking, or don't have time to think too much. In my case, I ran through some mini stage drills and mixed in running to my rifle, dropping into a prone position (or building a barricade position) and getting off a shot as quickly as I could. While I did this, I asked my wife to film me, with attention being paid to body position and trigger control.
First, body position. From a standing start, drop prone and engage two rounds at a full size IPSC at 800 yards.
Honestly, if I am making any gross errors in overall body position, I am not seeing them. I'm not quite getting my hips perfectly in line with my shoulders, but I also don't think it's a huge error, and honestly doesn't seem to be affecting my recoil control either. Still, it's something I need to keep in mind in the future.
What about my hands?
This one is a little uglier. I've always struggled a little with follow-through (namely keeping the trigger pinned to the rear until I see the impact) and it shows in this video - especially the second shot. I think some of it comes from a semi-conscious desire to roll the bolt quickly to get the next shot off, and some may be from too much time on pistols and carbines before I got into precision rifle. It's something I have been concentrating on during dry fire practice in hope of getting the habit corrected.
Next up: Some equipment check-out and updates.