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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Prone shots are wandering around on me, wondering if there was anything obvious some of you more experienced with position shooting might notice.
The 4" black and one below it are subsequent days, same load (M1Garand) the smaller black was too small for my eyesight, larger is 6" which looks more like 200 looks (shot at 100yds). Only other difference in those two targets ...4" slow fire, (forgot clips)..one below it testing clip function but still taking time to settle in breath, focus on each shot.
Did adjust sling out one set holes from top target to bottom, and tried extending forward arm out further to get contact further behind elbow. I know without seeing position, etc?? just thought some of this might look familiar. I've only shot couple 200 matches and got in half dozen or so range days plus in house positioning so don't assume I already know the obvious, may not be so to me.
While new to irons I've competed in HP silhouette for many years so I do have some grasp of things.
I tend to get a diagonal string from 7-8 o'clock up to 1-2o'clock in rapids, showed up again in some of these targets.
Any thoughts? Insight? Oh yeah...top two loads generally shoot 1.4" -2.5" 5-8 shot groups from bench,,so I'm looking for ideas on what or where I could be so inconsistent while focusing on being sooo consistent.
 

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You mention that your shots are at the same load, but what is that load? If your load is a 168 grain bullet with 46 grains of 4064 or 4895 with a 3.3 coal, that would be one thing but if it's nothing close to that, it could in fact be your load. A Garand isn't the most accurate shooting implement ever invented so, a known good load is a good place to start.

One thing I would recommend is that you use an official target with an official sight black... 6" for 100 yards, 13" for 200, etc so that those who are going go be giving advice will know what they have to work with with. Spray painted blacks are not going to give you solid, consistent sight picture.

Finally, make sure your natural point of aim is solid. Close your eyes for 5 seconds and open them again... Your sight picture should still be good... if it's not, you need to adjust something whether it's your sling or your point of aim... something.

Tell us more about your Garands... barrel, stock fit, trigger work done...etc.
 

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If you are shooting at 100 yards, use the regulation SR-1 target, if 200 use the SR target. Get the targets and shoot from the bench, and show us the pictures that you can clean the targets, meaning all shots inside the 10 ring. If you get the sight picture/sight alignment correct with the proper trigger control you should shoot close to 50 % Xs. If and when you can do this at will move to slow fire prone.

In prone shoot one round at a time, meaning load a round and shoot, adjust the POI for center. Shooting one round at a time most people tend to break down their position, this is a good training to establish your NPA and re-check every before executing a shot. Do this slow fire training till you can shoot clean on the SR-1 or SR target.

Next is shoot with 2 rounds in the magazine till both shots land in the middle, X or 10, them shoot 8 rounds and finally shoot 2 and 8 round magasines simulating the rapid fire. Shooting rapid is just like slow fire, just a little faster and may require a tighter sling. I personally shoot the same sling setting for both.
 

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I suggest dry-fire practice - especially concentrate on trigger control, follow-thru, and carefully watch for movement of the front sight.

If your M1 trigger has noticeable 2nd stage creep, then a trigger job would be worthwhile.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 

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As mentioned above, do definitely check your natural point of aim(NPA) by closing eyes for few seconds and then see where your muzzle is actually pointed. Think of your belt buckle as a pivot point and rotate whichever way you need in order to correct your NPA.
Couple things in prone shooting that creates similar problems as you show is that the sling arm is not as far under the rifle as physically possible for you. If it is angled much and sling pressure overly tight it will eventually cause you to shift your POI on the target.
Rifle is not supposed to be supported by your muscles, but your skeletal structure. Muscles are like springs, and with fatigue they start flexing or permit movement, not good.
For slow fire prone w/ the Garand I highly suggest a SLED(single load enhancement device) which permits you to easily load one round at a time as you would in an M14 from the magazine. Once you have your sling arm as near vertical as comfortable for you and sling tension firm and have checked your NPA, would advise not taking butt off the shoulder to load each time. If sling and sling arm in good position the rifle will move very little by removing trigger hand and remounting rifle 20 times in a match increases odds that the mount will not be where you want it to be. Matter of fact, suggest that you place the trigger hand on mat and see how much movement you see of the muzzle/sight. If there is significant movement, something not right. Should not take more than 5 seconds before you break the shot with holding of breath. More time can cause less acute vision. For me anyway I take 2-3 deep breaths, let out half a breath so to speak and hold your breath in your throat, not your mouth/cheek. That little bit of pressure of your inflated cheek on stock can cause problems. If sight picture does not look good, don't shoot and blink the eyes and look away and get a fresh sight picture. Further point in prone, don't have your boot toes pointing straight down for the leg pointed straight back, slight movement there will cause errant shot placement. I see shooters with the foot wobbling back and forth probably due to nerves but causes problems. Pull your other leg upward to lessen the pressure on your torso where any breathing can also cause errant shot. See some very fine prone shooters with both legs stretch out at slight angle and both feet flat as possible and apparently it works fine, but not the way I was taught to do it, that's just me. In HP matches it is not uncommon to see shooters do very well in rapid fire and loose the match on the slow fire prone position. To avoid groups as you show all to the right side, using a target to plot your shots as you go will tell you that adjustment is need to bring back into center of bulls eye. Simply mark on your target there beside you where the shot actually went on the actual target and you can see a pattern develop to alert you of a problem. You should "call" your shot as to where you think it went and if not there, again correction is needed. Also as others mentioned using a proper target is a big plus. Just some suggestions and remember, "favor center."
 

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The biggest problem I see is your home brew targets. How are you going to get a good sight picture without a proper black circle when shooting with irons. Get some proper targets from national or American
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"Once you have your sling arm as near vertical as comfortable for you and sling tension firm and have checked your NPA, would advise not taking butt off the shoulder to load each time"

thanks for suggestions and links...continued practice. Keeping the rifle shouldered during prone......for the life of my short arms can't figure how to get enough hand up there to depress follower and release bolt without coming out of position..so you may be on to something there. I've read that in one other of your posts and have been running it around the mat for some time now with NO success. I do think I'm overly tight on the sling which is giving a lateral push to right instead of straight up ...might get opportunity to finally get better 200 zeros tomorrow and try ideas out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Went out early this AM to get some sight in at 600 for this weekends match. Prone is NOT coming easy to me but either my old carcass is loosening up or this brute is rearranging my bone structure cuz I'm "occasionally" reaching up, loading and getting a familiar 'feel' when set back in.....me thinks one of the differences between sharpshooter and master is how high a percentage of the shots are fired with consistent position. This could take awhile. GITEN
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Prone update!!
600 prone match with M1...managed a 463-5X, not earth shattering among the 590s shot in Fclass but confidence builder none the less.
168 nosler 47.5 imr4064 BR-2 in HXP cases.
Next round pay more attention to mirage, don't lose track of sight settings, try next notch tighter on sling.....
I'm thinking schuster adj plug, got some 180smk left over from 308 days....maybe drop charge down 46-47gr all else same.

Any input coaches?? Oh yeah, printed me up some SR-1 for 100...DI5

Side note: anyone experienced a Criterion barrel that shot like crap, only to get to 1000rds fired and all of a sudden it's shooting 2moa????
 

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Watch the breathing there is plenty of time too get the rounds down range, this should help the vertical stringing.

Horizontal could be Natural Point of Aim is off, you have moved your left elbow after you have established position or the sling is slipping down your arm.

With the M1 get low. I mean as low as you can go, stretch out like a playboy centerfold. Raise your right leg enough too tilt/lift your right hip this will open up your diaphragm so you can breath. Only use your right arm/hand too load and operate the rifle. Your solid and wont budge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Watch the breathing there is plenty of time too get the rounds down range, this should help the vertical stringing.

Horizontal could be Natural Point of Aim is off, you have moved your left elbow after you have established position or the sling is slipping down your arm.

With the M1 get low. I mean as low as you can go, stretch out like a playboy centerfold. Raise your right leg enough too tilt/lift your right hip this will open up your diaphragm so you can breath. Only use your right arm/hand too load and operate the rifle. Your solid and wont budge.
I noticed different 'feel' with sling pressure as day (fatigue) progressed, mostly getting 'looser'.
Not familiar with match format left me with only 10 shots fired first relay, everyone else done...duh (beginner mistakes).. director says catch up next two relays, no problem. Second relay figure shoot 5 extra then 5 more on third relay but about shot 23 damn rifle starts hitting Xs and 10s so put 30 downrange in 25min....left arm, wrist, hand went from ache to AHH sh*t....hard to stop when it's working. All in all good day, lot of learning. Seeing an 'X' with a M1 at 600 is a HOOT!!
 

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Phil, how low do you get with your left elbow (or non trigger) under the gun?

I've had more success choking back off the swivel, but maybe your arms (and OPs) are longer.
I'm pretty low and I swamp the rifle, my gloved hand is almost into the front swivel. Big hands and a large well padded mit suck up space. The floor plate of the trigger group is about a inch from touching my arm. I've been watched during a large Match in Az, for being low and looking like I'm resting/laying on the rifle, after they've seen me in position the Line Judge has said watch out your almost too low someone protested, so I checked you out and your fine.

If I choke up the front sight moves too much from side too side for my liking, a can pull the sling in a hole too stop it but then the muzzle is pointing into the dirt at about 175yds from the target frames, now my head position has changed and I get a crook in my neck, fixing it.
 

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In slowfire (standing and prone), don't take too much time aiming for a 'perfect' sight picture. If you go beyond about 10 seconds, your vision starts to deteriorate and frustration starts to set in.
Get in your good NPA position, relax and breath, and then begin your careful aiming, when you see a decent stable sight picture - FIRE, follow-thru, and call-the-shot.
If you go beyond about 10 seconds of aiming, relax and start again.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
 
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