Konrad's journal of Highpower Rifle Competition

"Mental Focus. Not Equipment Hocus Pocus."

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The 2008 Highpower Season

The Scores

Date Location Offhand Sitting Rapid Prone Slow Prone Aggregate
4/13/08 Bonfield 90-1 96-2 86-0 197-9 469-12 93.8%
4/27/08 Bonfield 96-2 99-5 98-5 198-8 491-20 98.2%
5/10/08 Bonfield 191-4 200-10 199-6 198-8 788-28 98.5%
5/18/08 Bonfield 95-1 97-4 99-5 197-10 488-20 97.6%
5/24/08 Lodi 96-1 98-2 92-1 197-5 483-9 96.6%
5/25/08 Lodi 188-4 197-3 196-5 392-13 973-25 97.3%
5/31/08 Milan 193-3 197-7 199-7 198-9 787-26 98.4%
6/1/08 Milan 96-2 98-4 97-3 199-8 490-17 98.0%
6/15/08 Racine 188-0 198-5 194-4 188-7 768-16 96.0%
6/28/08 Racine 182-1 199-11 193-6 198-7 772-25 96.5%
6/29/08 Racine 98-3 98-2 97-1 190-7 483-13 96.6%
7/13/08 Bonfield 98-3 97-2 97-2 200-7 492-14 98.4%
7/19/08 Van Meter 93-0 100-6 99-5 199-11 491-22 98.2%
7/19/08 Van Meter 91-0 98-2 100-7 198-9 487-18 97.4%
7/20/08 Van Meter 190-4 198-11 190-2 197-8 775-25 96.9%
7/28/08 Camp Perry 94-1 - 96-1 98-3 288-5 96.0%
7/29/08 Camp Perry 94-1 99-4 96-2 195-7 484-14 96.8%
7/31/08 Camp Perry 94-2 98-2 99-3 196-9 487-16 97.4%
8/4/08 Camp Perry 96-2 99-2 99-4 194-3 488-11 97.6%
8/6/08 Camp Perry 186-2 198-7 199-8 194-2 777-19 97.1%
8/7/08 Camp Perry 192-3 197-10 191-3 194-7 774-23 96.8%
8/8/08 Camp Perry 186-3 200-10 195-3 194-5 775-21 96.9%
8/30/08 Milan 195-5 200-13 195-5 196-6 786-29 98.3%
8/31/08 Milan 193-3 198-10 197-3 188-5 776-21 97.0%
9/7/08 Bonfield 97-3 99-5 98-4 196-7 490-19 98.0%
9/27/08 Bonfield 193-2 198-7 197-7 199-5 787-21 98.4%
9/28/08 Bonfield 190-3 200-9 198-8 200-13 788-33 98.5%
10/5/08 Bonfield 189-2 197-7 198-7 200-11 784-27 98.0%


The Stories

Last year I shot less than I have previously. This, combined with better match performance towards the end of the year, gave me a lot of enthusiasm for Highpower at the end of the season. This enthusiasm continued over the winter and made me look forward to 2008. We have had a snowy February which just made the winter seem longer than usual. The arrival of spring means that it is time to get ready to shoot again.

In gearing up for 2008 I have to see where I need to improve over 2007. At the end of last year I felt that my sitting performance (not to be confused with score) wasn't where I wanted it to be. I felt like I was getting lucky with the cleans and the groups were not as small as they should be.

It seems strange that I am looking to my sitting for an improvement in my shooting but it's increasingly difficult to make sizeable gains in my scores. The end of last season showed me that I am tantalizingly close to taking the next step in my performance (i.e. shooting at the 99% level). This step is something that I've been thinking about for a while but haven't been able to figure out a way to make a transition. I understand that I probably won't be able to shoot at that level all the time, but I want to bring my expectations into the 790's.


April 15

There are two constants to the first match of the year. The first is that the weather is marginal and the second is that I'm trying to get zeros. Today's temperatures were in the upper 30s with a stiff breeze that brought wind chills into the 20s. We even had snow falling! These conditions didn't help in trying to get zeros for my new barrel. The wind was putting movement in my offhand so it was very difficult to get a good call. One thing I noticed right away is that my rear sight was bottomed out at 200 yards and I was still shooting high. In retrospect I should have just shot my normal hold and let the shots go where they may. This would have given me a slightly better idea of my zeros than holding lower and stringing the shots up and down. There's not much more that I can say about today other than it was a complete write off except for the fact that I learned my front sight needs to come up one revolution. I can't wait for warmer weather.

Offhand: 90-1

Sitting: 96-2

Rapid Prone: 86-0

Slow Prone: 197-9

Aggregate: 469-12



April 27

It's still chilly. Spring doesn't seem to want to show up. I raised my front sight and extrapolated my zeros from my groups at the last match. This worked out pretty well and my standing shots were mostly on call. I did notice that I had a tendency to center up the sights and pull the rifle to the right as I shot. A solution to this might be to pre-load my right arm with a little rearward tension. The lost shot in sitting was called since I broke that one by using my entire arm and shoulder to pull the trigger. This is a mistake that I've made countless times before but I have yet to come up with a system to permanently rectify it. The five X's in 300 rapid were in a knot between 9 o'clock and 12 o'clock. Loss of concentration on the front sight gave me two nines out the bottom. Slow prone felt natural despite the slightly dark sight picture, although I found myself trying to find the optimum spot for my shooting stool so it catches all of my brass. The aggregate score was alright for this point in the season, but there were so many places where improvements need to be made.

Offhand: 96-2

Sitting: 99-5

Rapid Prone: 98-5

Slow Prone: 198-8

Aggregate: 491-20



May 10

I've spent the last week working on an altered offhand hold. I am facing away from the target more in an effort to bring my left elbow higher up on my rib cage. My dry-fire tests have shown a decrease in the frequency of sight movement with this. I tried implementing it this morning but it was more difficult than at home. Things started off fine but then I had back to back nines on shots 4 and 5. Then another nine on shot 10. The string became more like work as I got further into it. My calls weren't as good and the movement size increased. The worst part was in the last four shots where I dropped 5 points. My sitting felt good since I extended my legs out forward just a little bit. This allowed me to rest my support elbow in a more stable place on my left leg. The first string had 7 x's with nothing out further than mid-10. On the second string I was breaking shots low in the 10-ring even though I knew I shouldn't be. The sights would settle there and I would squeeze the trigger anyway. After my second magazine of my first string in 300 rapid I noticed that the sights had a slight cant to the left side. This is a result of the magazine pushing against the side of my arm. This didn't cause any shots to go out but I had separate groups on the target. I pushed one out the top on the second string to mess up my rapid fire aggregate. My elevation was off by one revolution when I started slow prone so my first sighter was a miss at the bottom of the frame. Perfect for wind though. I spent the beginning of the string just clicking down from my estimated zero since my shots were at the top of the 10-ring. By the third record shot I had already shot both of my nines and just cruised to the end.

Offhand: 191-4

Sitting: 200-10

Rapid Prone: 199-6

Slow Prone: 198-8

Aggregate: 788-28



May 18

With the amount of work I've been putting into my offhand recently, I was hoping for better scores than this. I can acquire a pretty steady position at home but it's not quite repeatable at the range. My hold is just too big to allow for good trigger decision making. None of the shots were really disastrous but there were two nines that were right on the edge of the black. There was some wind in sitting that moved me around a bit but there was still too much bounce in the position. My sighters in 300 rapid were high, which they always are. The group was high as well with the bottom being in the ten ring and the highest shot showing up just above the 10 line. I was comfortable in slow prone and thought I was putting good shots downrange. It may have been the light changes but I would shoot a string of X's and then be all over the 10 ring. Not quite the score I was expecting but it's the standing that really needs to improve. Next weekend I hope to get a 600 yard zero.

Offhand: 95-1

Sitting: 97-4

Rapid Prone: 99-5

Slow Prone: 197-10

Aggregate: 488-20



May 24

The first team match of the year and I have yet to get a 600 yard zero. Oh, well. Today is the day. The light conditions were great for most of the day which allowed me to get a good focus on the front sight. Worked too hard in offhand for the score that I shot. Should have known that this might happen after X's for the two sighters. I was shooting sitting when I pulled the trigger only to hear a "click". It turned out that I had no primer in that case. The alibi had a nine in it just like the normal string. 300 seemed alright through the sights. Nothing special but my coach was calling several "out at six". I was holding closer but I wasn't doing it very well. When the target came up it was a huge group with an eight in there as well. Things worked out pretty well at 600 with a good guess at a starting zero and then trying to stay in the middle with good coaching. Not a good day for X's.

Offhand: 96-1

Sitting: 98-2

Rapid Prone: 92-1

Slow Prone: 197-5

Aggregate: 483-9



May 25

100 shot Regional championship starting at 600. The light wasn't as good today as yesterday so I had to spend more time trying to focus on the front sight. In the second 600 this caused an eight and a nine out the bottom. Three points that I didn't need to give away. Rapid prone was certainly better than yesterday with a pair of 98's. One pair on the left and another pair on the right. The wind was moving for standing but nothing that made me throw something way out. Just a bunch of nines because I was taking things for granted. Sitting was very disappointing with another alibi because of a mis-feed. In addition to this, the groups were just too big and I had way too much movement in the sights as my position was unstable. My x-count shows this.

Offhand: 188-4

Sitting: 197-3

Rapid Prone: 196-5

Slow Prone: 196-7

Slow Prone: 196-6

Aggregate: 973-25



May 31

Surprisingly enough, this was the first really nice shooting day that we have gotten all year. In my prep for standing I realized that my modified standing hold wasn't going to work since there was too much wobble. So I went back to my normal hold from before. There was still too much movement and I had to work too hard for the seven 9's that I got. Still, I was encouraged since the second half only had two of them. A good sitting continues to evade me. The shots that were out were just off the 10-ring but the groups are still way too big. The first group at 300 was slightly low which allowed one shot to get out. I spent extra time breathing between shots on the second string and found the group to be much better although not centered very well. Things started off well in slow prone with the front sight being very clear and easy to focus on. I was clean until around the 16th shot when an eight popped up straight out on the right side.

Offhand: 193-3

Sitting: 197-7

Rapid Prone: 199-7

Slow Prone: 198-9

Aggregate: 787-26



June 1

Another clear, sunny day with almost no wind. Offhand was a bit difficult because I had too much movement in the sights. I also found myself coming further to the left than yesterday. I'm still playing with the zero. None of the shots were out of the nine ring but a couple were pretty close to the edge of the black. Speaking of the sights moving around, this year's sitting is still very rough. I'm wobbling around with lopsided groups and it seems almost impossible to clean it. After yesterday's 199 I had some high hopes for 300. I took my time, breathed between shots and tried to focus on the front sight. The result was one group at one o'clock in the 10-ring and another group of three mid-ring nines at five. My saving grace for the day was 600. It almost seemed easy with the front sight coming into focus and the shot going downrange.

Offhand: 96-2

Sitting: 98-4

Rapid Prone: 97-3

Slow Prone: 199-8

Aggregate: 490-17



June 15

I have been trying to get into the rhythm of shooting but it has been difficult because of the weather and the schedule of matches. Today's forecast had scattered thunderstorms but I had to get out and shoot to avoid a long lay off. While it was windy for standing I wasn't staying as disciplined as I should have been. There were several times where I should have delayed pulling the trigger and come back again but I didn't. There was only one eight but lots of nines. I am still dealing with shifting groups in sitting although the group sizes were better today. The second string was even a clean and I haven't seen one of those in over a month. 300 rapid groups seem to have most shots in an x-size group but with two or three shots out somewhere else. I'm not sure if this is front sight focus or trigger squeeze. 600 was difficult not only because of the wind but also because I found the light conditions hard to deal with. There seemed to be haze in the air and everything was bright but lacking definition. This was also compounded by the fact that I wasn't as comfortable as I should have been. The grass on the firing line was long and created a soft cushion underneath my mat. Because of this I couldn't get firm placement of my left elbow.

Offhand: 188-0

Sitting: 198-5

Rapid Prone: 194-4

Slow Prone: 188-7

Aggregate: 768-16



June 28

While the skies were, for the most part, blue, the wind picked up for standing. With it blowing at my back I found myself having to push the muzzle back up to the target. It wasn't enough to throw really bad shots but I put a lot of nines downrange. Sitting was quite refreshing since my first group was great with 7 x's but one nine. The second was the clean but I had opened things up a bit. Rapid prone had the first group pushed out on one side and the next group out on the other. This season has been so windy that it's hard to hit a string of matches to confirm a true no wind zero. After a rain delay we started 600. The wind had calmed down and the light was good. I went to the line with a goal of cleaning this stage. I got to shot 13 and lost one nine and then lost another one a few rounds later. The frustration with my shooting and the long day was beginning to show in my outlook.

Offhand: 182-1

Sitting: 199-11

Rapid Prone: 193-6

Slow Prone: 198-7

Aggregate: 772-25



June 29

A team match today started at 600. Since the range faces east, the sun was in our eyes and there seemed like there was a haze in the air. The front sight looked alright but it was still tough to get centered up. We even had some eights in the string. Not the performance I was looking for. 300 rapid wasn't much better since the group was off-center and tall. By time we got to standing, dark clouds had rolled in and there were sprinkles in the air. Pair firing was actually quite enjoyable and I was concentrating on centering my hold on the target and letting the sights work into the middle. This worked well and I want to experiment with this in the next couple of weeks. While shooting sitting, I had a round get stuck in front of the bold as it came out of the magazine. During the alibi string, at the magazine change, I found out what the problem was. As the empty magazine came out a large piece of the bolt stop came out after it. I threw the second magazine in the rifle and kept on going. With one nine on the truncated string and another on the alibi, my net score was the 98.

Offhand: 98-3

Sitting: 98-2

Rapid Prone: 97-1

Slow Prone: 190-7

Aggregate: 483-13



July 13

I'm trying to get into some kind of a groove of shooting before the Nationals but it's difficult. Each match seems like it's own separate season. Today's offhand went alright. I've been working on my hold recently trying to get that smaller. This has worked well but I still need to be more cognizant of my NPA and get the center of that hold centered on the target. The first nine was shot because the rifle stopped in the nine ring and I pulled the trigger anyway. The second one was centered when I decided to shoot it but my trigger control slid the sights out to the right. I've also been trying to improve my sitting position but this is not going so well. There is just so much movement in the sights that it's difficult to center things up. It's like I'm aiming a rifle that is vibrating all over the black. I shot sitting today very fast. Probably too fast. In contrast I shot rapid prone very slowly trying to be deliberate and focusing on the front sight. The net result was the same for both rapids in that I lost three points each with large groups. My confidence in these stages is fading fast. I blackened my sight for slow prone since there was some glare on it. In retrospect I should have done this before rapid prone instead. I took my time for each shot for slow fire making sure I was relaxed and focusing on the front sight. It was a good result but I feel there were many shots that were too close to the 10 line and not enough x's for that kind of score.

Offhand: 98-3

Sitting: 97-2

Rapid Prone: 97-2

Slow Prone: 200-7

Aggregate: 492-14



July 19

The range in Van Meter faces east so the sun is more or less in our eyes in the morning. Combined with this was haze from the humidity in the air which made the target difficult to see. My offhand shots were outside of call for the whole string and I had to give the gun some left windage. Nothing was out of the black but I kept shooting lots of nines. Sitting actually felt pretty good. I noticed that when I drop down into position I tend to scoot backwards a bit. This extends my legs and makes it harder to drop my left elbow on my leg. Rapid prone also worked well with only one shot out at the bottom. I was eager to shoot slow prone after the clean last week. With calm conditions the lack of sighters wasn't an issue and I was on my way and clean through 14 shots. I had one lone nine and the finished strong.

Offhand: 93-0

Sitting: 100-6

Rapid Prone: 99-5

Slow Prone: 199-11

Aggregate: 491-22



July 19

It's hard to believe that this is my first Leg match of the year but I just haven't done as much shooting as in year's past. The rifle held really well in prep for standing with very little movement as the wobble shrunk down. As soon as time started the wind began moving. It was really weird. I kept trying to snatch the trigger as I scooted across the target but that wasn't working very well. On one shot I even shot a seven even though the wind wasn't strong enough to push me that far out. My sitting group was good but high. There were also two shots even higher and out in the nine ring. Rapid prone had a great group on the left side of the x-ring. This was one that I took my time on and broke good shots. For slow prone I wasn't all that motivated after not shooting to expectations and it showed in the two bad shots that I fired.

Offhand: 91-0

Sitting: 98-2

Rapid Prone: 100-7

Slow Prone: 198-9

Aggregate: 487-18


July 20

Today's Regional started warm and humid and just got warmer. When I was dry-firing for standing it seemed that the sights would settle high in the 10 ring. When the string started I would have to expend effort to try to bring the rifle down to the middle. This wasted time and I was fighting my vertical NPA when I should be using it to help me. Instead of fixing the problem I took a good hold and squandered it by trying to add vertical movement to a very still rifle. This was one of those things that I knew was a problem but I did nothing to fix it and it cost me lots of points. My first string of sitting was clean with a good group. The second string didn't feel as good and I knew that I wasn't going to get a clean out of it. While half the shots went in the x-ring I had too much movement in my position and let two slip out. I set up for rapid prone with a situation that has caused me all kinds of problems before. My left elbow was in a depression in my firing point. This meant that I was pushing the rifle up with my support hand and there was no way I was going to shoot a good score. Both strings had almost identical groups with the shots fanning out from the center between 12 and 2 o'clock. After a bad 300 and some steamy conditions, I just didn't have the will to try hard for slow prone. I was putting the rounds downrange but the fingers in my glove felt like they were burning and I just wanted to get out of position. Both my standing and rapid prone had position problems that should have been solved in the preparation period. Due to lack of concentration, I let things go and paid the price by throwing away a lot of points.

Offhand: 190-4

Sitting: 198-11

Rapid Prone: 190-2

Slow Prone: 197-8

Aggregate: 775-25



Well, it's now the end of July and time to head for Camp Perry. With the rainy, windy season I seem to have arrived at this point without the security of a full season of shooting. I have confidence that I can shoot some good scores but each stage of fire has had it's ups and downs this year. This is causing me to have lowered expectations and difficulty in motivation. Still, I think I can produce a good performance provided I keep my head in the game and focus on the task at hand.



July 28


Because I made the President's match shoot off last year, I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform today. That pressure manifested itself in standing with the sights shaking back and forth. The wobble was not only large but I also had a hard time getting the wobble centered on the target. With a bad hold it was difficult to make the decision of when to let the shot go. I was guessing the wind at 300 was worth 4 or 5 clicks. I put on 4 and started shooting. My sight picture looked a bit dark and I felt like I was putting some muscle in the gun with my support arm. When the target came up it was a large group with shots out at 4 o'clock. The wind was stronger and more full-value for 600 but it did seem to be steady for the most part. Regardless, I wanted to shoot fast and avoid any changes. I started off but really didn't hear my scorer. Once I had fired ten rounds I was getting out of position when my scorer told me that she only had me down for eight shots. Since arguing would have been useless, I dropped back down on my mat and loaded up an extra round. Checking the scope confirmed that the wind was about the same as for my last shot and I let it go towards the target. When that one came up a 10 I was ready to go for the last one when I saw the mirage die into a boil. Since I wasn't keeping a timer I didn't know how much longer I could wait for the condition to come back. I counted off my windage and came back to zero so that I could dope the last shot from scratch. After waiting for a minute or so I saw that the boil wasn't really changing and the clock was ticking. With only one shot to go, my chances were good that I could shoot straight away and still be good. Of course, that would be fine if I could actually dope the wind. I made a final scope check and fired the final round. The target came up with an X to my relief.


Offhand: 94-1

Rapid Prone: 96-1

Slow Prone: 98-3

Aggregate: 288-5




July 29


My offhand shakes didn't stop when the President's match completed. Even for the NTI the rifle didn't want to hold still. The wobble was just as bad as the day before, so I shot the same score too. Sitting was actually not too bad considering how I have been shooting it. The group was centered but I of course put one out. My correction for 300 really didn't matter since my position felt loose. It was like I was forcing the rifle back on target after each shot and this didn't help to close up the group. I had a round not fully strip from the first magazine but I cleared it and kept going. That magazine will now be taken out of rapid fire usage. At 600 all I could do was to shoot fast and hope for the best. I can usually read the wind alright but I can't look through the scope and the sights at the same time. This causes me to send the rounds downrange quickly and keep up with any changes. My performance here was not that great but others around me were having problems here as well.

Offhand: 94-1

Sitting: 99-4

Rapid Prone: 96-2

Slow Prone: 195-7

Aggregate: 484-14



July 31


I'm proud of being able to step up my performance in team matches. After handling all the paperwork for the NTT I still had to deal with block official issues. This had no bearing on my shooting and things just wouldn't start off well. I still had that excessive movement in offhand that would not go away. With that same wobble, I shot the same score. In sitting we came left two clicks during the magazine change but still lost two on the right side. The group was larger than I would have liked but there was nothing to the left of center. My 300 rapid group was no wider than the x-ring with one shot at the top of the 10-ring and one straight out the bottom. Things were uneventfull at 600 with a few elevation shots and others lost to wind. My last four shots were X's but that couldn't make up for all the points I dropped during the day.

Offhand: 94-2

Sitting: 98-2

Rapid Prone: 99-3

Slow Prone: 196-9

Aggregate: 487-16



August 4


After several days off it's time to shoot another team match. The Rumbold has always been an easy day for me since I can concentrate on shooting and have fun. Offhand actually started off fine with a couple of 10's for sighters and then a 9 for my third record shot. The last four shots had three nines and I just couldn't break a good one. The sitting group wasn't too bad this time but there always seems to be that one shot that strays. Same situation with 300 as in the NTT, one shot straight out the bottom. While the position felt good, it was the front sight focus that was lacking. We started out at 600 having a hard time getting centered. I helped the wind by pushing some shots out the top or the bottom. I feel like I'm moving or flinching when I shoot slow prone nowadays.

Offhand: 96-2

Sitting: 99-2

Rapid Prone: 99-4

Slow Prone: 194-3

Aggregate: 488-11



August 5


Standing for the first day of the championship was pretty mild. The slight breeze didn't push me around but it got into my head. I was accepting bad shots and just sending them downrange. I managed to clean my first string of sitting and then put two shots just off the 10 at six on the second. I shot my first string at 300 with 8 clicks of left and was rewarded with a 6x clean. I outsmarted myself on the second string by trying to gauge the wind and put on one more left. The result was a group on the left side with four shots right on the line and one just out.

Offhand: 186-2

Sitting: 198-7

Rapid Prone: 199-8



August 6


I was much more disciplined in the Navy Cup this morning and didn't let so many bad shots just go into the target. I tried to stop and start my shot routine but there were still too many nines. Like yesterday, I cleaned the first sitting string with 7x's. Of course, like yesterday I screwed things up by putting three shots out on the second. One of them was even in the outer third of the nine ring. I couldn't get the wind nailed down at 600 today. I tried to keep up and watch for changes but the nines would leak out anyway.

Offhand: 192-3

Sitting: 197-10

Slow Prone: 194-2



August 7


On what is the easiest day of the championship, I was finally able to put two decent sitting strings together. This was offset by some very sloppy shooting at 300. I think I tried to put the buttstock too high on my shoulder and blew most of them out the bottom. The 600 was like yesterday with a mediocre performance and a feeling like I wasn't comfortable.

Sitting: 200-10

Rapid Prone: 191-3

Slow Prone: 194-7



August 8


We couldn't go an entire championship without the wind coming out to push us around. The temperatures were cool with the wind blowing in our faces and a bit to the right. My wind offhand performances were never very good but today I actually started off with some good shots. I held onto the rifle harder and soon had a sore hand from gripping the pistol grip so hard. I tried to control the rifle with my forward hand as well. In the second half things got away from me with more nines than I cared for along with a seven and an eight. I had over two minutes to shoot my last shot but still threw it out for an eight. I continued to struggle with my rapid prone and the size of the groups. The shots go all over the ten ring and I have a hard time getting centered up. Not much to say about slow prone with the score being the same as the other 600's in the championship.


Offhand: 186-3

Rapid Prone: 195-3

Slow Prone: 194-5

Aggregate: 2326-63



August 30


I have been too busy to do any training or practice since coming back from Camp Perry but I was able to squeeze in two dry fire sessions this week. I found that dropping my right elbow in standing has slowed the movement that I see in the sights. This is how I've been shooting since changing to the AR-15 but I have had a higher elbow this year to try to gain better trigger control. This morning the sights seemed steadier and I was able to break better shots. Sitting felt alright and I felt like I was further back on the stock than normal. The wheels fell off at 300 with my inability to put the post in the same place on the target. The first magazine felt like it was high and the second magazine low. Sure enough, the first string had a group that was 10 clicks high from top to bottom with four nines. The second string had a better contained group but there was still one out the top. Things started rough at 600 with my first sighter being an eight. I had a nine and another eight early on and then settled down until I threw another nine on my last shot.

Offhand: 195-5

Sitting: 200-13

Rapid Prone: 195-5

Slow Prone: 196-6

Aggregate: 786-29



August 31


In the team match I tried to get the same feeling for offhand as yesterday. I was relaxed and competing with my pair-fire partner for x-count. It was all tied up by my last shot so I wanted to shoot an X to finish things off. I stopped and started several times but in the end I just hurt myself by sending a nine downrange. The first sitting string was a clean  but I followed that up with a misplaced group and two nines out at 10. I tried not to roll over on my left side so much in rapid prone. This is because I felt like I wasn't balanced well in position. The groups were still big. 600 was my worst performance of the year. I had shots going from 8's out the bottom to 8's out the top with several nines thrown in for good measure. I certainly held better windage than I did elevation.

Offhand: 193-3

Sitting: 198-10

Rapid Prone: 197-3

Slow Prone: 188-5

Aggregate: 776-21



September 7


I'm still working on getting the same offhand right elbow position as before. By dropping the elbow, I am trying to find the best way to grip the pistol grip and get control over the rifle.. Otherwise I try to get control using my support arm. My calls were good but I had one shot that was a bad decision and two shots that moved when I pulled the trigger. The sitting group was fair with one shot that was awfully close to the line. 300 rapid used some muscle to support the rifle. In addition it was a little difficult to focus on the front sight and so I had one shot out the top and one out the bottom in a group that was five clicks wide and nine clicks high. I had difficulty starting out in slow prone with three nines coming in the first seven shots. The trigger didn't feel right and it was like the sights were moving around when the shot went off. I felt my grip on the pistol grip was too loose so I tightened up and the shots broke a lot cleaner.

Offhand: 97-3

Sitting: 99-5

Rapid Prone: 98-4

Slow Prone: 196-7

Aggregate: 490-19



September 27


Standing had a bit more movement than I would have liked. I still have my right elbow down in a more relaxed position but I think there was too much tension in my support arm. Early on I fired three nines in a row which killed any chance of a good score. I cleaned my first string of sitting but jerked two shots on the second. For the first string of rapid prone I felt like I was trying to reach around the rifle from the left side instead of being behind it. This resulted in my group being on the left side. I tried to make up for it by cleaning the second string. Slow prone had a decent score but I was all over the 10 ring which concerns me. My hold on the pistol grip was firm but the sight picture was not ideal because of light conditions.

Offhand: 193-2

Sitting: 198-7

Rapid Prone: 197-7

Slow Prone: 199-5

Aggregate: 787-21



September 28


This was the team match but the offhand just didn't click. It seemed like the shots broke on their way out and I was putting a lot of them at 4 or 5 o'clock. My sitting position today felt more relaxed than it usually does. I just concentrated on breaking good shots and not jerking the trigger. With both of my sighters in slow prone being X's I felt I had things dialed in. As I worked my way through the string the target kept coming up with X's. There was a stretch in the middle where I shot six in a row.  This was done in a pair firing situation which really slowed me down. The pace didn't feel right but maybe I need to be more deliberate with my slow prone.

Offhand: 190-3

Sitting: 200-9

Rapid Prone: 198-8

Slow Prone: 200-13

Aggregate: 788-33



October 5


Today's offhand problem was just movement. The sights were wandering around and I had a hard time getting the hold smaller. I had four nines in the first half but then hit a streak of about five in a row. My sitting shots were breaking a bit low on both strings. I think this was because I would bring the sights to the target and then wanted to see more of the target above the post than usual. Rapid prone had narrow groups and my position felt good with my left leg straight behind me and the rifle secure. Elevation was the problem here since the groups were no more than four clicks wide but they were 7 or 8 clicks tall. I really need to slow down my cadence and breathe between shots. Slow prone went faster than last week since this was an individual match. I got relaxed in my prep period, and for each shot I focused on the front sight and kept a firm hold on the pistol grip.

Offhand: 189-2

Sitting: 197-7

Rapid Prone: 197-7

Slow Prone: 200-11

Aggregate: 784-27



End of season reflections


This season never really worked out the way I hoped. The whole year felt "off". This was due to the crummy weather we had in the beginning and seeing less of my shooting friends during the year.

There were some high points like starting off with some decent slow prone scores. I let these slip away as I picked up some bad habits but then I figured things out at the end of the year.

I never really got into a rhythm in standing and my scores were up and down because of it. I am targeting this for improvement even before next season starts. I need to bring my hold size down and make sure I have my NPA set better.

The rapids were far from what I was hoping for. Although I had a few cleans in sitting the other strings were sloppy and sometimes had more than one nine. The groups were large and would shift position. Rapid prone had the biggest drop from last year. I spent the whole year with a position that never felt right and it seemed like I was muscling the gun all over the target. It turned out that I was too far to the left of the rifle instead of being behind it. Once I figured this out the groups would narrow but I still need to take my time and focus on the front sight.

I plan to train with the service rifle over the winter which is different than in past years. I usually don't think about highpower until March but for 2009 I'm going to try to get an early start.