Irish Olympic target shooting

The big rebuild

Okay, so Geoff called a few days ago to say the adjustable raiser blocks were in, and I went out last night to Wilkinstown for the big rebuild. Traffic was awful, so it was late when I got there at 2030 (after leaving sandyford at 1750!!!).

Took the rifle down and took off the extra set of fixed raiser blocks I’d borrowed from DURC before the Nationals, and replaced them with the new adjustable raiser blocks, cranked up to put the ISSF maximum of 60mm between the centre of the foresight and the bore line of the barrel.

Adjustable Raiser Blocks

And now began the big rebuild in earnest 😀

Firstly, raise that cheekpiece to get the eye behind the rearsight iris again. Now, keeping the butt in its low position on the shoulder, mount the rifle (stop sniggering at the back) and find a new hand position that will let the natural point of aim get back to somewhere in the vicinity of the target. This took a while and I’m still wavering over it. There’s a nearly infinite range of choices here. The most popular seems to be the fist, but that gets my rifle pointing at the ceiling with this new position, so some form of open hand shape seems best.

Tried this first of all. It does work, but puts some strain on the wrist. After a few years of Aikido, my wrists are a bit more supple than normal, but even so, a 60-shot match like this wouldn’t be trivial!

Tried this shape as well, but it’s too much strain on the ball of the thumb and without the hard plastic glove in that photo, it’d destroy your hands in the long term. Plus, it wasn’t stable.

This, despite appearances, was remarkably stable for me. Not the best over the long-term perhaps though. I’ll have to do some training but it seems to be a serious contender. The only other stable and maintainable position seems to have been a modification of that first position with the weight of the rifle on the balls of the fingers, but until I’ve shot for a few hours in each shape, I won’t know for sure.

So now the rifle is sitting lower in my shoulder, and my head is more upright, but we’re still not done. Geoff moved the buttplate out from the seam of my jacket to the top of the arm (in the hollow above the bicep, so it’s sitting on the tendon there which minimises pulse). Feet and hips also got shuffled about, and the end result is a far tighter position, with the shoulder-boreline angle now much more acute than before. This necessitated the glasses being adjusted, but that’s small potatoes.

Overall, the position now feels lower, more stable, and yet more comfortable than before. Of course, I’ll need a month or two of dryfiring and shooting under pressure to actually get a decent idea of it, but it looks good for now. Back again on Monday to do some fine-tuning and further livefiring practise.

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