Aiming and the shot plan

The second training session for the DURC Squad and I’m quite happy with how it went. We got people more or less organised into one-hour shifts, as we don’t have enough firing points or rifles to handle everyone at once, and people turned up more or less at the right times. I expect it’ll improve as they get into the rythym of it.

Today’s plan called for a simple aiming exercise and to introduce the basic shot plan we’ll be using for the squad. The aiming exercise was the vertical line drill, normally used to work on horizontal hold. It’s simply a card with a vertical line on it. You shoot the line. Doesn’t matter if the shot goes high or low, just so long as it’s on the line. We started seated to let shooters work on their sight picture and not the wobbling of the standing position. Results were encouraging – nice tight groups in the horizontal plane. As we were doing this, we were adjusting cheekpieces for individuals to fit their faces and noting settings as we went.

A few were still working on trigger control though:

When shooters were ready, we moved to the shot plan. This is necessarily simple and basic (though in the “fundamental” sense rather than the “erra, this is shite” sense 😀 ). Simply put, the shot plan goes as follows:

  • Make the rifle ready. Load it, put the buttplate into the shoulder, take the pistol grip, and put the other hand on the foreend in the usual position.
  • Acquire the target. Turn your head and fix your gaze on the target.
  • Raise the rifle to a good angle above the horizontal (about 30-40 degrees), in the same vertical plane as the lines running forward to the target from the target changer. The supporting elbow is still free at this stage.
  • Drop the rifle into position. Your head is still upright and gaze on the target here; do not look through the sights.
  • Check alignment using some external reference marks, such as the foresight ring and the angle between the elevation control on the rearsight and the top of the rearsight. Adjust your position if needed here.
  • Drop your head and look through the sights. You should be at your initial position
  • Breathe and watch the rifle go down the target. Stop when the inner foresight ring breaks the black dot of the target.
  • Hold at this point and let the weight of the rifle slowly drag the rifle down on target
  • Squeeze the trigger slowly.
  • Piece of cake! …

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