Marksmanship and When to Call the Pros from Dover

Kind of an up-and-down week.  One of my goals for this year was to get out shooting competitively more often and improve my marksmanship.  With the ammunition shortage going on right now, I’ve had to rely on reloading to get enough ammo to do to practice.  One of the local sportsman’s associations hosts a Civilian Marksmanship Program (www.odcmp.org) shoot on the second Sunday of each month.  I’ve been to these a couple of times in the past year and a half and they’re a laid-back and enjoyable event.  The guys that show up are friendly and very helpful, loaning equipment and giving advice if asked.

Squeezing in some time each night, I managed to get enough 30-06 cartridges loaded last week to be ready for this Sunday’s shoot.  I’m using a single-stage press and don’t have the fanciest equipment in the world, so I have to take my time and be meticulous.  In the middle of this, the drain line for our kitchen sink clogged Thursday night.  It was my fault for running too much down the disposal, so I knew I had to fix it.  Friday afternoon, I was at the local Ace Hardware picking up some Drano and ran into a plumber who is an exceptional salesman.

Now, I’ve done sales before my Navy career, so I can appreciate someone that does it the “right” way.  All this guy did was ask about my problem.  Then he handed me his business card and said if the Drano doesn’t work to give him a call, they only charge $89 to clear a drain line.  No pressure, no dire predictions that the Drano wouldn’t work just a low price and no BS.  I really appreciate that.

Well, the Drano didn’t work, but I wasn’t completely deterred.  I picked up a twenty-five foot drain snake, dismantled a couple of sink drains to get better access to the drain lines and did what the plumber would most likely do.  I found the clog, but only ended up breaking the snake.  This is when I knew I needed professional equipment and a professional to run it.  I pulled that business card out and within a couple of hours the drain was clear.  Will I call a plumber first next time?  No.  I’m still going to try to fix it myself.  Maybe with better equipment next time.

Back to marksmanship! Sunday dawned cold and windy, but thankfully it hadn’t snowed so I drove out to the range and waited for the match.  This CMP match was shot at 200 yards and the course of fire consists of ten, slow fired shots from a standing position, ten rapid fire shots from kneeling or sitting, then ten rapid fire shots lying in the prone position followed by twenty rounds fired slowly from prone.  Out of the three CMP shoots I’ve attended, this was my worst.  I need to get better at discerning the wind’s direction and compensating for it.  The twenty slow-fire prone shots were my worst.  Thinking back on it, I did have trouble getting the sights on the target.  My target picture tended to have the sights low on the target and it was a bit of a struggle to get them high enough.  That and an increase in the wind probably explain why most of those shots ended up low and to the right.

Back to the reloading bench to get some more practice!