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Monday Gunday - Offhand paper plate fun

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Monday Gunday - Offhand paper plate fun

Old 05-28-2018, 10:13 PM
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Nontypical Buck
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Default Monday Gunday - Offhand paper plate fun

Anyone wanna try this one out? On another forum, there's an informal "challenge" going on right now, 10 rounds on a 10" paper plate at 200yrds, offhand standing.The premise, as silly as it might be, is to be a test of pre-season preparedness - a 10" paper plate representing the vital zone of America's favorite hunted game. If you don't have access to 200yrds, 5" circle at 100yrds instead but the CoF is 10 rounds at 200yrds on a 10" paper plate, see how many we can keep on the plate.

After I visited my Uncle this morning (purple heart, Army during Vietnam, since deceased) and having lunch with family, I did some positional shooting practice this afternoon. I practiced the PRS Speed Skills and Barricade Skills stages, so I had 3x 12" squares hung, and a 10" round. After practice, I did a quick repaint then took a stab at this Offhand Game. Think I might revisit it a bit this summer as standard practice - probably bring out one of my AR's instead.

I shot my 22LR at 150yrds first, starting on a 12" square, first set was 9 out of 10, second set was 8/10, then I moved over to the 10" round - 10 on. Savage Mark II BSEV, restocked into an adjustable Pro-Varmint, shooting CCI Mini-Mags, Bushnell LRHSi 4.5-18x44mm G2H, Nightforce Rings and base. Think I'll try this again at 200yrds with Eley Club or Black, fired with the sling, with a Wiebad Fortune Cookie in my armpit to support against my hip.



I walked back to 200yrds with my 6 creed, threw 9/10 at the other 12" square, then went 10/10 on the last 12" square. Given a little more daylight, I'd have repainted and shot the 6 creed on the 10" gong, and wanted to walk the 22LR back to 200yrds as well. Maybe next week. Seekins Havak 6 creedmoor, Rock Creek barrel, McMillan Game Warden, Vortex/Seekins rings, Bushnell DMR II 3.5-21x50mm G3, 105 Hybrid over 40.0grn H4350. Fired with a sling, again with the Wiebad Fortune Cookie under my arm for support/elevation.

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Old 05-29-2018, 12:29 AM
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I wish more people would get the hell off the bench rest tables and learn too shoot from field positions,and properly use a sling or buy and use a bi-pod
I get so pissed at times listening to guys who swear their hunting rifle shoots 1/2" groups all day,and shoots laser flat to 500 yards,
most of those who have near zero ability to accurately place shots under real field conditions,
especially when I've seen many of them shoot in the field
Ive won plenty of $10 bets that most guys could NOT put a hole in a soda can at one hundred yards with their first shot from a sitting or standing field position, using the rifle they hunt with.

most of my big game rifles are sighted in to hit 3.5" high at 100 yards
as range estimation can be tricky and must be done rapidly in some cases
the sighting in trick, of sighting in 3.5" high at 100 yards allows good centered chest hits on deer and elk with many common rifles out to at least 250 yards with a center chest hold behind the front leg.
Id bet there would be a big increase in sales of slings and adjustable bi-pods if guys were forced, by yearly testing,
to be able to shoot a 6" group at 100 yards from a rapidly acquired field sitting position before they were to be allowed to buy a hunting licence.


Ive used a 340 wby and 375 H&H on most ELK HUNTS, you might not want to use those calibers but the same basic trajectory can be had with a 30/06 or a 270 win/
you simply sight in at 100 yards off the bench on the yellow dot and have all the shots print over the smaller red dot,
when you get out in the field, hold where the light green dot is it will produce a fatal wound out a bit past 300 yards,
you sure don,t have to use this method or even agree but I can assure you its resulted in a bunch of dead elk

years ago I saw a game department survey made where they asked hundreds of hunters at a western BLM check point, to look out at 5 different colored flags placed at random but carefully measured distances and write down what each person estimated the distance too be from the check point, they were handed a pen and a survey card, they were told NONE of the colored flags were at an even 100 yard multiple but that was the only info , each flag was a different, color, placed in a
different direction and at a different distance.
the survey taker pointed out each colored flag and asked them to write down their estimated range!
they tabulated the actual hunters field estimates being made on the spot, vs the carefully measure actual distances.
.
.
the results were about what Id have expected..after decades of listening to guys claim they killed deer & elk at 400 and 500 and 600 yards.......
the vast majority were very VERY bad at estimating distances correctly past about 150 yards...some estimates that were over 70% wrong were not uncommon

most people are pathetic shots if forced to shoot any place but on a bench rest at a shooting range where they get to practice,from,
simply because, if your only practice is done off a concrete bench rest, at the local range , they get the absurd idea, that if they could keep a couple shots within an inch or so, of the paper targets center, at 100 yards that most ranges are set up at, that under those conditions they are great shots, and will continue to be so out in the field.


a bi-pod can improve field accuracy noticeably
https://www.midwayusa.com/product/22...-2-to-27-black


having to learn to shoot from field positions is hardly a new required skill.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1st_Un..._Sharpshooters

Last edited by hardcastonly; 05-29-2018 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:00 AM
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Sure enough, offhand shooting isnt anything new, but alternatively, it certainly seems to be a lost art.

I cant recall the last time I took an unsupported, offhand shot on game - especially past 100yrds. I use a monopod as a walking stick, and I shoot from a monopod or tall bipod as my overwhelmingly predominant position. The only time Ive shot offhand in recent years has been action games where the precision requirement is very generous, and Service Rifle matches - although I hardly consider the shooting jacket to be truly unsupported. My small game hunting is done with a sling, typically on the monopod, and all of my coyote and big game hunting is supported.

So this was a fun one for me. I dont often shoot at 200yrds, so that was an interesting twist as well.

Of note - I also dial my ranges, and dont typically use an MPBR zero any more. I ran the numbers on that 6 Creed pictured above, a 3.5 high impact at 100yrds puts me peaking at 4.7 around 163yrds, zeroed at 290, and doesnt drop to -4 until 330yrds. I dont personally like an 8-9 vital zone, and use instead a 6 MPBR, never outside of +/-3. But I grew up holding over in mil-dot reticles, and these days, I typically dial, and if I cant dial, I still hold over for exact POA, no MPBR shooting.

And of course, I havent had to estimate range on game for 20yrs or so. I do practice range estimation and milling range regularly, but when we start talking 500-600+, no eyeball or reticle is really refined enough to get close enough for heart shooting, so I only take estimated shots at 400 and under. In fairness, most of Kansas is broken into square miles with 40acre parcels divided within, such if a deer is 3/4 the distance to the hedge row, you know they are 300yrds out, or if they are halfway to the irrigation pivot hub, theyre at 200. Sure makes range estimation and confirmation a lot easier.

Hopefully a few other HNI members will take the time and go shoot some paper plates off hand and post pictures. Ive always liked forum games like these, but theres usually some competition group with an unfair advantage because of their gear. No way to cheat here - its all trigger discipline!
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Old 05-29-2018, 07:14 AM
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You've inspired me, but having never done much offhand shooting, I'm sure to be disappointed. Still will be better for it.
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:56 AM
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Offhand shooting is incredibly humbling. That Seekins rifle shoots about an inch to inch and a quarter for 5 round groups at 200yrds when fired prone or from the bench, but thats a 12 target!

With the 22LR, I walked myself back on a 12 target. I was surprised how stable I was at 100, I could tell the game was really starting at 125, and Im not 100% sure I could have kept them on the plate past that 150yrd mark without a LOT of practice (and maybe a shooting jacket!).
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:29 AM
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I do something roughly similar before a trip that might require unsupported or semi-supported field shooting (Africa, etc.). When I book such a hunt I usually take a light and a heavy rifle that are shot both offhand and from sticks. I shoot ten rounds at each of the four targets at 100 yards and five rounds at each of the other four targets at 200 yards and use each target again for five weekly range sessions. What I end up with is two 100 yard off hand targets and two 100 yards from the sticks, each with fifty rounds fired, and the same with the 200 yard targets with 25 rounds each. The targets are taped on my wall for inspiration and analysis. This is done for about three months and hopefully the groups shrink to an acceptable level. Of course the targets shot with the lighter rifle look a little bit better than the ones with the heavier rifle. Unsupported shooting can be very humbling but with proper practice it can be improved.

For North American hunts I can always find or improvise some sort of rest or solid sitting position so I do not use much range time shooting unsupported.
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Old 05-30-2018, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Nomercy448 View Post
I was surprised how stable I was at 100, I could tell the game was really starting at 125, and Im not 100% sure I could have kept them on the plate past that 150yrd mark without a LOT of practice (and maybe a shooting jacket!).
Why do you say "and maybe a shooting jacket"? I never knew they were much more than a fashion statement/convenience.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by younggun308 View Post
Why do you say "and maybe a shooting jacket"? I never knew they were much more than a fashion statement/convenience.
A good Highpower/SmallBore type shooting coat, especially a hardback, is a tremendous support for offhand shooting. Even the quilted light coats are incredibly stiff, such it locks a guys spine to integrate their shoulders and hips. With a cuff sling and a Creedmoor jacket, standing offhand shooting is a completely different game - Im more confident and stable in a shooting coat than I am with most standing bipods/shooting sticks. I just lean against the jacket, which levers against the hips, let the sling bear the weight of the muzzle against my upper support arm, crane my support wrist, and relax everything above my knees.

Such is why youll see rulebooks including no hardbacks, or unbuckled shooting coats only.
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Old 05-30-2018, 10:59 PM
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Every year at thanksgiving people bring pumpkins out to the house. After dinner we always have an offhand pumpkin shooting competition.

I believe this started "back in the day" when some of the old timers would shoot a pumpkin to verify their rifle was ready for the buck opener on the following Monday. We all shoot more often than that now, but the pumpkin shoot has stuck around.

Some good recent shoots involved a .45-120, lever actions only, revolvers, and using a water balloon launcher to launch small pumpkins and shooting them with shotguns.

The pumpkin shoot is always a good time and can be eye opening for those who have never shot off hand.

Off hand shooting I think is becoming a lost art. More and more eastern hunters are spending their time in a tree stand or tower stand (Shooting off a rest).

Most of the people I hunt with still primarily still hunt or put on drives throughout the week. So off hand shooting is still an essential skill.

Obviously practice can help improve your ability to shoot off hand. But I've found shooting squirrel and rabbit off hand with a .22 is great practice and really makes shooting deer allot easier..

Of course some would call it unethical to take an off hand shot at game as well. It's always best to find a rest. But that's not always possible.


-Jake
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:17 AM
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I agree offhand shooting is not for everyone. It takes practice. Even various field positions should be practiced. I can still hold my own but I must admit I was a much better shot back in my younger years when I shot NRA smallbore 3 and 4 position matches.
Shooting a 10" round offhand at 200 yards is great practice but I would never shoot at a deer at that distance offhand. IMO at that range there is normally enough time to get into a more solid shooting position. Even shooting off sticks would be better then offhand.
NoMercy that is some mighty good shooting. Seeing those pics you're going to make me get into trouble with the wife for not finishing her "honey do" list and go shooting!
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