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Shooting 101

Old 07-31-2009, 03:51 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 60
Default Shooting 101

Hey Guys

Forgive me if these questions have already been asked.
I had done a search and didn't find what I was looking for.
I have some questions.

First question: I would like to become a better gun hunter.
I think that becoming a better shot would help with this.
How do you guys practice shooting to get ready for hunting season?
How much do you practice?
What is considered a good group?

I understand that practice would make me a better shot but do you shoot offhand, from a bench with a rest or how?

When I am hunting I try to find a rest to use to take a shot (tree, steady stix, stuff like that) but sometimes it is not possible. How do I become a better offhand shooter?

Also, I have some rifles that the shells are expensive so shooting these shells all the time would be pretty costly but I also have a .22 rifle which I think you can get the shells pretty cheap. Is it possible that I can start with the .22 and work up to the bigger caliber rifles. Can anyone give some advice. What is a proper shot sequence?

The next thing is my .22 is a semi-auto and the range requires people to pick up their empty casings after they are finished. Do any of you know a way that I can stop the empties from flying all over the place and staying in a group?
I appolgize for such basic questions but I don't think I ever learned the basics of Shooting.
So I'm trying to fix that starting now.

Thanks for any and all replies.

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Old 07-31-2009, 04:47 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Last edited by Ron Duval; 01-21-2010 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 07-31-2009, 04:56 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 107

Practice will get you to more places than Carnegie Hall.
Shoot and then shoot some more. There is no substitute for rounds downrange - if those rounds are "thoughtful".
IMHO - the only purposes for "the bench" are the testing of cartridges that are new to your rifle and sighting in.
For the purposes of becoming a better hunting shot, you should spend the majority of you time shooting from field expedient positions: standing, sitting, kneeling, from a hiking staff, from cross sticks, leaning against a tree or a branch (kinda hard to do at the range), shooting braced on the shoulder of a willing hunting partner ( a friend of mine took a doe across a hay field last Fall resting the rifle on her husband's shoulder.).
Another worthwhile way to spend time and become better at shooting game is to study the anatomy of what you are hunting - and study it from a variety of angles. Where exactly is the heart or spine or shoulder, etc. when the animal is quartering away? Moving directly at you?
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Old 07-31-2009, 06:18 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,320

Hunting is 99.9% patience and scouting and .1% shooting.

To learn to be a shooter I shoot prairie dogs at long range and focus on the mechanics of the gun and how it should look as the shot is fired. Shooting in field positions helps alot as it prepares you for the unexpected. Here we hunt from the ground so i really like shooting sticks. As was said practice is the only way to learn to shoot.

Hunting is a whole nother matter. Finding game and either getting them to come to you or you go to them is a skill in itself. Not to be confused with shooting. A mentor is helpful assuming they have some skills themselves. First learn to hunt safe, then learn to hunt well.

I don't shoot much paper as I prefer reactive targets. A good group is when there are enough prairie dogs on a mound to shoot the whole "group" and none of them dive.

Starting with a smaller gun is always a good idea. Working up to larger guns conditions you for recoil and muzzle blast.

Proper shot sequence ? While hunting ? Shoot once and collect dead beast. Sequence is over.

Lay a cardboard box on its side next to the ejection port of your gun, it will catch the majority of the empties.
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Old 07-31-2009, 05:00 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Rivesville, WV
Posts: 3,192
Default Shooting

The real beauty of a rifle in a pistol cartridge is the fact that they are much cheaper to shoot. Pick up a rifle(with open sights) that is similsr to your big game rifle(in action), but is chambered in a pistol cartridge. If you reload then great, it will be even cheaper, but if not then buy inexpensive hardball. Then go out in the woods and shoot. It is that simlpe. I do a lot of stump shooting in the woods. Pick out a stump and figure out the most accurate-expedient way that you can put lead into the stump. Then do it.

Groups are for bench rest shooters, and to brag about on the internet. But groups have no place in the real world for the hunter. For the hunter--putting the bullet where it belongs is the challenge.

I cast my own bullets for my 357. 44 magnum, and 45 Colt rifles. I can put about 1,000 rounds down range for about $100.

After you shoot a few thousand rounds down range in the woods then you will "feel" it.

Figure out a way to get cheap ammo and shoot.

22's are fine. But they are not the real thing. Get rid of that semi-auto and buy a single shot, bolt, or lever action(open sights). It is that simple. Tom.
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Old 07-31-2009, 07:03 PM
Giant Nontypical
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Posts: 5,130

hope this helps.

You'll do fine....................Interested parties always seem to do well.
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Old 08-01-2009, 05:02 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Last edited by Ron Duval; 01-21-2010 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 08-01-2009, 05:13 AM
Giant Nontypical
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Texas - BUT NOW in Madison County, NY
Posts: 6,270

Practice shooting offhand is very good practice. IF you get good shooting offhand, you can use any position better. I use kneeling whenever possible hunting, and prone is even better if you can still see the target from a prone position.

I use a bench rest for load development and for zeroing. A bench rest is also a good place to practice trigger control, since you can concentrate on that and not have to worry about holding the rifle still while squeezing the trigger.

In the field, take advantage of any rest you can find that you can put the forward hand on then rest the rifle on the hand or a rolled up jacket, etc., anyhting soft that the gun won't shoot away from.

Last edited by eldeguello; 08-01-2009 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 08-01-2009, 10:18 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 60

Thanks for the replies guys. I think everyone is in agreement to spend time at the range. I will need to start doing that.

I never thought about using a box thanks for the recommendation.

Pete I agree with you 100% it is very important to know the anatomy of the animal.

Ron does dry firing a rifle hurt it? I appoligize for my ignorance.

Sheridan thanks for the link I'll be sure to look at it.

When I asked about shot sequence I was referring to breathing do you guys take 2 deep breaths and then let out half of the second and start sqeezing the trigger?

Thanks for the replies.

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Old 08-01-2009, 01:00 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: west central wi USA
Posts: 2,249

In my opinion, the best practice for deer hunting is squirrel hunting with a .22. It teaches practical marksmanship in the field. You need to have patience, deal with being excited, and be able to hit a small animated target, and you're hunting in a deer woods. Range time is not wasted either.
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