Konrad's journal of Highpower Rifle Competition

"Mental Focus. Not Equipment Hocus Pocus."

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The 2010 Season

Date Location Offhand Sitting Rapid Prone Slow Prone Aggregate
April 18 Bonfield 93-0 100-6 94-2 194-6 481-14 96.2%
April 25 Bonfield 97-0 99-6 99-3 194-7 489-16 97.8%
May 1 Milan 193-5 199-10 199-5 191-7 782-27 97.8%
May 16 Bonfield 99-1 99-4 100-3 198-8 496-16 99.2%
May 21 River Bend 192-4 200-5 196-6 194-3 782-18 97.8%
May 22 River Bend 193-2 200-10 198-7 198-8 789-27 98.6%
May 23 River Bend 193-6 200-14 193-4 198-8 784-32 98.0%
May 29 Lodi 96-1 100-3 100-5 189-5 485-14 97.0%
May 30 Lodi 192-4 199-12 198-7 387-15 976-38 97.6%
June 5 Milan 96-2 100-6 99-6 200-10 495-24 99.0%
June 6 Milan 192-4 197-5 200-6 197-3 786-18 98.3%
June 13 Bonfield 95-2 100-6 97-1 199-15 491-24 98.2%
July 11 Bonfield 98-4 100-3 99-3 195-8 492-18 98.4%
July 24 Van Meter 94-3 - 99-3 97-3 290-9 96.7%
July 24 Van Meter 96-0 96-1 100-5 198-6 490-12 98.0%
July 25 Van Meter 196-5 198-7 197-8 198-9 789-29 98.6%
August Camp Perry 96-1 - 100-3 97-3 293-7 97.7%
August 3 Camp Perry 93-2 98-5 100-3 196-12 487-22 97.4%
August 5 Camp Perry 94-1 100-4 97-3 188-3 479-11 95.8%
August 8 Camp Perry 95-1 100-8 98-2 192-6 485-17 97.0%
August 9 Camp Perry 92-0 99-6 100-2 197-8 488-16 97.6%
August 11 Camp Perry 191-5 200-14 198-4 196-7 785-30 98.1%
August 12 Camp Perry 189-4 200-9 198-13 194-3 781-29 97.6%
August 13 Camp Perry 190-1 200-8 196-8 194-7 780-24 97.5%
September 4 Milan 197-7 199-9 198-9 196-6 790-31 98.8%
September 5 Milan 199-5 200-14 192-4 194-5 785-28 98.1%
September 12 Bonfield 97-2 100-5 100-1 195-9 492-17 98.4%
September 25 Bonfield 189-2 200-13 198-11 198-10 785-36 98.1%
September 26 Bonfield 193-2 200-15 198-4 197-11 788-32 98.5%
October 3 Bonfield 196-4 200-14 191-2 198-9 785-29 98.1%

I was hoping to get a jump on this year by working on my positions early in the year. Some household projects interrupted that and I was only able to dry fire standing a little before the first match. That meant that the season snuck up on me a bit and I started off feeling unprepared. I am hoping to have time to practice during the year more than I have in the past.


There are no major rule changes that affect me for this year. Remaining in position for the rapids will probably help me more for sitting than prone just like last year. As in the past offhand will still be my focus for improvement during the year.


In years past I summarized each match in one paragraph. This has made it difficult to pull out the details of what went right and what went wrong with a particular stage of fire. This year I will separate out each stage and summarize it individually. I feel this will help me focus on each stage and it will be easier to see what is working and what specific things I need to improve upon. 


Offhand: 93-0
Sitting: 100-6
Rapid Prone: 94-2
Slow Prone: 194-6
Aggregate: 481-14

I was surprised that we even got this match in because the weather forecast predicted rain for the day. It turned out to just be a fine drizzle which succeeded to dampen everything down but you still had to try to keep the pasters dry.

Offhand: 97-0
Sitting: 99-6
Rapid Prone: 99-3
Slow Prone: 194-7
Aggregate: 489-16

Clear skies today and a good day to shoot. I have been working on my prone position during the week trying to get more relaxed so I can focus on the front sight and break the shot clean.

  • I had to come down even more for my standing zero this week. The targets at Milan seem to be low compared to the firing point which causes me to have to bring the sights down to the target. This shows up on the target as multiple high 10's. After a rocky start in the beginning with several 9's and one 8 I settled down in the back half and only had two 9's. I still need to work on turning my face outward more which slows the rifle movement.

  • After shooting sighters that were above my call in sitting, I fired my first string with too much cant and not enough support underneath the rifle. This caused the sights to tilt too much to 4 o'clock and that's exactly where the group was in the 10 ring with one nine. I got my left arm under the rifle better for the second string and had an 8x clean.

  • Historically my sighters at 300 are always higher than my fired group. I think this is because I take less time between shots during rapid fire and need to see more of the black than with the sighters. Today the first sighter was just off the 10 line at 12 and the second was just inside. The first group however, contrary to past performance, showed up in the same place as the sighting shots. I came down two clicks and shot a group that wasn't as good but it was better centered and wound up a clean.

  • I've had some problems with slow prone in the first two matches this year so I was eager to put my tweaks from this week to work. I found that I was trying to get my left elbow too far under the rifle and that was causing me to roll on to my left side. This causes me to get too close to the sights. I have been working on getting my chest slightly flatter to the ground and tightening my sling so I can ensure that my arm isn't supporting the rifle. This wasn't the best day to try this as everyone was having problems at 600 even though getting the front sight in focus was pretty easy. While my score wasn't very good I did fire a 4-gun 600 the next day I did much better and was able to get more comfortable behind the gun.


Offhand: 193-5

Sitting: 199-10

Rapid Prone: 199-5

Slow Prone: 191-7

Aggregate: 782-27



This was probably the first relatively warm day of the shooting season. For some reason my concentration level wasn't where it should have been today. It seemed like I was along for the ride rather than driving my performance.

  • After a week's worth of dry-firing I was eager to give things a try on the range. My position was closer to what I have been using at home and things felt more stable. Shot calls weren't as good as I had wanted but the good thing is that the shots were inside of call. I called several shots right on the line and they wound up being mid-ring tens. The worst one was the second shot which seemed to slide out to the right as I pulled the trigger. My call was a mid-ring 9 at 3. It was on the right but just on the edge of the black. After that I just took my time and cruised through the string.

  • At the end of my second magazine in sitting the rifle stopped firing but it felt like I hadn't shot enough rounds. Sure enough the bolt started to strip the last round but the bullet tip went downward into the magazine instead of the barrel. That gave me an alibi. Both the regular string and the alibi string had some side to side movement so the groups were wide but not very tall. I couldn't keep my clean since I put a shot out on the right. I need to do something to limit that horizontal movement.

  • Today's 300 rapid group was a bit taller than I would have liked. This was probably due to not slowing down and taking the time to fully focus on the front sight. Another close call was the width of the group which stemmed from trying to favor to the left as my coach was calling shots just on the right hand side.

  • My slow prone has come around from the first matches of the year. I spent a lot of time in this string shooting at 2 o'clock and losing two shots on the right side. Still, things were fairly comfortable and I couldn't believe how well I could have the front sight and target in good focus.


Offhand: 99-1

Sitting: 99-4

Rapid Prone: 100-3

Slow Prone: 198-8

Aggregate: 496-16



I have always wanted to get away and shoot some larger and better known matches so I went down to Georgia to shoot the Confederate National Matches. This three day tournament is made up of three 80 shot matches.


The first day brought rain in the morning so the start was delayed. The temperatures were moderate and relatively comfortable.


  • Standing had a slow start with the first two shots being 9's. Then I settled down and cleaned the rest of the front half. After another two 9's it became more of a struggle. On one shot I was bringing the sights down and let the shot go before I could even see the black which resulted in an 8.
  • My two sighters in sitting were X's but as I shot my first group I was breaking shots high even though I knew they should be better centered. The second group was just way too big.
  • With not much wind to correct for I shot my sighters and first group with no wind on. The first string had one shot where my focus went downrange and that netted me a shot out the bottom. The second string was fired with one click left but I was muscling the gun so much that the sights were drifting all over the place.
  • The overcast was getting worse as we prepared to shoot 600. When I looked through the sights things were a little dark but not too bad. Things got even better when my first sighter was a pinwheel X. Of course I started my record shots with a 9. I continued the string and did fine but by the time I got on the back half the sky got darker and it became increasingly hard to see. Then the elevation and corner shots started. By the end I was spending lots of time on each shot trying to see as well as possible and to discern my number board.


Offhand: 192-4

Sitting: 200-5

Rapid Prone: 196-6

Slow Prone: 194-3

Aggregate: 782-18



    I didn't feel like I performed very well yesterday but over a multi-day aggregate it's the consistency that is important. The weather was better today with overcast in the morning and a couple sprinkles and then clearing and warm in the afternoon.


  • It was another rocky start in standing with 9's on shots one and three. Then I cruised through the next eight shots. On the back half it got more difficult and each shot became a struggle to get the sights to settle. Most shots were inside of call and I found that I need to get the rifle more across my chest and turn my face into the stock.
  • Today's sitting had big groups like yesterday. While these strings turn up as cleans, I feel I'm lacking control over the group size and where they are centered.
  • My first string of rapid prone didn't feel comfortable at all. It was like I was muscling the gun up to the target. To make things worse I rushed some shots and didn't breathe or focus on the front sight.  I took more time to breathe and focus on the front sight in the second string and wound up with a sloppy clean.
  • There was plenty of sunlight for 600 so at least I wasn't worried about yesterday's darkness. The position felt alright and it was much easier to focus on the front sight. My NPA seemed to be pointed just off the x-ring at 10 o'clock because the top of the front sight was elevated somewhat and to the left when I broke my shots. I was tempted to come down a click but I was too afraid of putting some out the bottom.


Offhand: 193-2

Sitting: 200-10

Rapid Prone: 198-7

Slow Prone: 198-8

Aggregate: 789-27



    Today we would shoot an 80 shot match but with no sighters and no alibis. The weather was also going to be hotter than the previous two days and there was plenty of humidity in the air.


  • There would be no string of 10's in standing today. I would shoot several 10's then a 9 and repeat the process. The points would bleed away during the match as I got lazy and gave up on some shots. These were the ones that just stopped in the nine ring and I broke the shot anyway or the sights were centered and I pulled the trigger with my whole body.
  • As I was shooting my first string of sitting I thought to myself that I was being pretty sloppy. There was a slight wobble in the front sight and I didn’t think I was cleanly pulling the trigger. Despite that it was an 8X clean. I felt even worse about the second string. While it did have shots toward the outer third of the 10-ring there were still 6 X's in the middle.
  • 300 was the most disappointing part of the day. By that time you could really feel the humidity. I had lots of pulse and it was hard to hold the sights on the target. When the target came up for the first string there were four mid-ring nines out at 2 o'clock. I couldn't even come back strong on the second string as that had three shots just out on the top. This performance frustrated me since I couldn't put my finger on why the group was so uneven.
  • After rapid prone I had someone blacken my front sight with some carbide. This made the top of the front sight easier to see clearly at 600. As yesterday there was plenty of light to see. My first shot was just off the 10-ring at 10 o'clock and I wound up coming down two clicks during string. My only other nine came about shot 15 and was on the right side.



Offhand: 193-6

Sitting: 200-14

Rapid Prone: 193-4

Slow Prone: 198-8

Aggregate: 784-32

Weekend Aggregate: 2355-77




Today's team match had good weather but my motivation really wasn't at a high level.


  • I kind of rushed through standing and my score showed it. Although I had plenty of time I rattled the shots off and didn't take the time to make sure that each one was going in the middle. I should have cared more about each one.
  • Sitting was uneventful but my position didn't feel as good as it should have. The group was a little wide but nothing past mid-ring.
  • After last week's problems with rapid prone I was concerned about performing well here. There was only a slight bit of wind that was only worth about a click. As I was shooting my coach was yelling "good at 12" so I started holding a bit lower to compensate.
  • With the range facing west the afternoon sun settled behind some trees and cast the 600 yard targets in shadow. Still, it seemed like I could see the sighting black somewhat. My first shot used 60 clicks which should be my zero. That was way out the top. Over the course of the string I was plagued with elevation problems, mostly out the top. I wound up coming down five clicks by the time I was done. Even though my score was embarrassing, everyone else on my team had trouble holding elevation.


Offhand: 96-1

Sitting: 100-3

Rapid Prone: 100-5

Slow Prone: 189-5

Aggregate: 485-14



    The temperature rose for today's NRA Regional as we started on the 600 yard line and moved forward. As the day wore on the grind and the heat sapped my energy and made it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand.


  • I was eager to put yesterday's 600 behind me and start fresh in these calm morning conditions. I felt confident as I started shooting with my 60 click zero working just fine. The wind seemed steady and was worth about 5-7 clicks. I lost a nine out the left in a letup and another at about 4 o'clock. I broke one shot that didn't seem any different and it came up a seven. That threw me as I couldn't come up with a reason for it.
  • The second 600 yard match started out with a little bit more wind than the first one and it gradually decreased over time. My concern though was my elevation. I had three 8's that were straight out the top and I thought I was focusing on the front sight correctly.
  • My first sighter at 300 had 4 clicks of left wind and came up just off the 10 ring at 3 o'clock. I put on three more clicks and shot an X on the left side. I couldn't see any indication that I should have seven clicks of wind on the gun. As I shot the first string I took my time and tried to focus on the front sight. It seemed like the shots were going in well and my support arm was relaxed. I cleaned the first string but the wind let up for the second one.
  • The afternoon wind made offhand more challenging than normal. Despite this there were more lulls than there were gusts. This allowed me to use a strategy of shooting a series during the calm parts, having a tight hold on the pistol grip, and taking the gun down as many times as I needed to when things didn't feel right. The position felt good in the first half and the rifle would come into the middle long enough for me to break the shot. The tight grip with my right hand gave me good trigger control but fatigued as time went on. By the middle of the string I felt like my hand would fall off my wrist. The calls got a bit worse but nothing went outside the black.
  • I kept breaking several shots high during my first sitting string. This happens fairly often to me as the sights settle above the X-ring and I break them anyway. Sure enough the group was clustered at 12 o'clock with six x's. I also noticed that my position seemed to be more to the left of the gun than normal. This may have been because of the firing point that I had. By the second string I was tired and my pulse was elevated. There was more detectable horizontal movement in the sights and I put one shot way out on the right side.


Slow Prone: 195-7

Slow Prone: 192-8

Rapid Prone: 198-7

Offhand: 192-4

Sitting: 199-12

Aggregate: 976-38




    Saturday's planned match was rained out but we found a window of sunshine at mid-day. To make the day worthwhile we decided to shoot a 50 shot match on 200 yard reduced targets.


  • While my firing point may not have been ideal, there was more wrong in offhand than that. The first few shots were breaking alright but by the middle of the string it seemed like it took more effort. I was also looking through the left side of the aperture instead of the middle. More straining was needed to push my head over so I could look through the center of the rear sight.
  • Not much to say about sitting except that I saw more wobble in it than I have recently. I feel that was coming through my support arm but it was impossible to get rid of in the time I had.
  • I wanted to get better support and elevation under the rifle for rapid prone so I slipped my mit over my glove like I do for slow prone. Adding a slightly tighter sling position meant that the rifle was locked in better and I could isolate my left arm from the rifle and not try to muscle the gun. I did get lazy and broke a couple of shots without good focus on the front sight. It also occurs to me that the combination of the mit and glove act as a kind of adjustable handstop. This pushes the sling swivel, and the whole rifle, forward away from my face.
  • Most of this past week was spent working on slow prone since I've been having problems with it recently. I wanted to get rid of the wild elevation and corner shots and felt that I was steering the gun with my forward hand. To mitigate this I tightened the sling and brought my face down on the stock from the top instead of approaching it from the left side. Once in position I put more force on the pistol grip from my right hand. During each shot I breathed and let the sights slide into position.


Offhand: 96-2

Sitting: 100-6

Rapid Prone: 99-6

Slow Prone: 200-10

Aggregate: 495-24



The weather for our state championship was quite mild. Temperatures were cool but the skies were clear and it was a great day to shoot.

  • As I mounted the gun in my prep period for offhand I noticed that the sights were settling quite well. Movement decreased to a point of little wobble then opened up like normal. Once I started shooting though the hold went back to my unpredictable, high frequency movement. Each shot felt different but the biggest problem was trying to contend with the targets being lower than the firing point. This meant that it was difficult to get the rifle low enough and my vertical NPA was at the top of the black. Most of the shots I broke were at the top of the 10 ring or slightly higher. On a few shots I moved the pistol grip as I fired and pulled the sights into the 9 at two o'clock.
  • As I was shooting my first sitting string the hold was bouncing more than I have been used to this year. This resulted in two 9's, one just out on the top and the other on the bottom. Also adding to the frustration was a magazine that improperly jammed the last round so I had to shoot an alibi. I cleaned the second string but lost a shot on the alibi. That magazine will be relegated to slow-fire duties.
  • The mit and glove approach to 300 rapid felt good again as the beginning of each string felt solid. I did notice that as I worked my way through the string I felt like I was dropping lower and lower. The first string was a good group in the top of the 10-ring. I came down one click and shot the second group in the middle with a few 10's on the left and one at the bottom.
  • Since my work in slow prone seemed to produce good results I was confident and looking forward to 600 yards. My only worry was a wind moving downrange which would go from left to right and back again. The skies had clouded by this point and that took away a lot of the mirage so I was left with just two flags forward of the firing line. My first shot with my usual elevation was an 8 out the top. I came down 3 clicks by the time I shot my first for record. As I was firing I would watch the flag in front of me just to gauge wind direction. Since it was moving downrange the magnitude of the correction was pretty small (2-3 clicks). My focus was more on watching which direction it was going in to be able to keep the correction in the opposite direction of the wind. My elevation was pretty good as I kept the spotter on either the left or right side of the 10-ring.



Offhand: 192-4

Sitting: 197-5

Rapid Prone: 200-6

Slow Prone: 197-3

Aggregate: 786-18




    No rain today but the clouds were pretty thick. This made things a bit dark at times. After the match I noticed that my concentration level wasn't where it should have been. I wasn't working on controlling my performance, I was just "there".


  • There wasn't any one thing that I could put my finger on that explained my poor performance in standing. The movement may have been a little bigger but it was more of when I was breaking the shot. On some shots I fired when the sights were clearly not in the middle. On other shots I decided to pull the trigger in the 10-ring but I pulled the shot out with my body as I fired. There was one shot that sailed out to the left and I was hoping it would make the black. No such luck.
  • In sitting there seemed to be a disconnect between what I saw through the sights and my right hand. I would see the sights line up with the target and my hand would pull the rifle and then I would fire. It was a long multi-step process to fire the shot and I wasn't being very smooth in squeezing the trigger. The fact that it was a clean was just luck.
  • As I prepped for rapid prone things felt alright but during the string I shot too fast. Things looked a little dark through the sights but I gave into the temptation of getting the shots off quickly. I should have taken more time on each shot because it was difficult to focus on the front sight and make sure that it was in the correct position vertically.
  • I can't say too much about slow prone because it was working pretty well. Lot's of X's and it seemed easy. The key seems to be that I am keeping my eyes open while firing the shot. I think my problems earlier this year were from closing my eyes coupled with trying to steer the gun from the support arm.


Offhand: 95-2

Sitting: 100-6

Rapid Prone: 97-1

Slow Prone: 199-15

Aggregate: 491-24



    A little warmer than comfortable but still a really nice day to shoot. Clear skies gave way to some clouds by afternoon but little wind and no chance of rain.


  • The rifle was holding well during prep for standing and my sighters were an X and a 10. As I started my calls weren't the best but the shots were still inside of where I thought they were. I was still clean through seven record shots but by then there was more of a pulse in my hold. My vertical NPA put the sights above the target and I had to bring them down. I couldn't get them down far enough for shots 8 and 10.
  • My sitting didn't feel natural as I hadn't practiced any of the sling-supported positions for a month. I had a side-to-side wobble as I shot the string and couldn't really control the rifle as well as I wanted to. The target had a good 5-shot group at 10 o'clock which surprised me since I thought I was spraying bullets all over the 10-ring.
  • The goal in today's 300 rapid was to be more deliberate and slow down the shooting. Over the course of this season I have had to bring my zero down because the groups keep forming high. Today's was no exception as all of the 10's were high and there was one 9 out at 4 o'clock. I hate to keep moving my zero down but I will to see what the result will be.
  • Slow prone had me a bit confused. I felt like I spent my time wisely getting set up and I thought the position felt natural and comfortable. As I started shooting one shot felt the same as the next but I couldn't get into a rhythm and get a centered string going. Looking back I think I could sense my eyes closing before the shot went off. This would explain not seeing the bad shots. Three out of the five 9's were just off the line and real close but a better performance wouldn't have even put them that far out.


Offhand: 98-4

Sitting: 100-3

Rapid Prone: 99-3

Slow Prone: 195-8

Aggregate: 492-18



    Right before Camp Perry I travel to Des Moines, Iowa to shoot in their Regional. Although it's a long drive I enjoy coming to this match and usually have a good time. This weekend's weather was warm but not nearly the oppressive heat I have experienced here in the past. It had rained on Friday and there was lots of humidity in the air. Saturday morning was a 2-man team match over the 30 shot President's course.


  • Plenty of distracting wobble in standing that I couldn't seem to get rid of. On one shot I was bringing the sights up to the target from below. As I pointed in the middle and decided to shoot my support arm, or my torso, relaxed and the gun went off as the rifle fell below the sighting black netting me a 7 on that shot.
  • My 300 yard zero has been dropping click by click during the year. What started out as 19 clicks up is now around 16. My first two shots were at around 5 o'clock so my coach had me come up one at the magazine change. I pushed one a bit high and had a nine just off the line at 1 o'clock.
  • Slow prone started with an X and conditions were good. During the string elevation was fine except for an eight that I pushed out at one. The same place that I lost a point in rapid prone.


Offhand: 94-3

Rapid Prone: 99-3

Slow Prone: 97-3

Aggregate: 290-9



In the afternoon after the team match I shot my first leg match of the year.

  • Because of the team match we started the Leg at 600. Once again the first shot was an X and I stayed mostly in the middle. The wind was going downrange and it wasn't too hard to stay in the 10 ring but X's were a little harder to get. I did wind up finishing two clicks lower than the team match though. The varying elevation in slow prone has been a recurring theme for the year.
  • Next we moved forward to 200 to shoot standing. After 600 I was more nervous about offhand and it showed with my typical high-frequency wobble. It was like I had the shakes but I tried to muddle through as best as I could. Most shots were on call and I didn't have anything out of the black but the points that I lost were just off the line and would have been 10's with just a bit more luck.
  • I tried to practice at home this week for sitting knowing that we would have to stand up. The ability I had from years ago to stand before sitting seems to have deserted me. A good position in my preparation period evaporated as soon as I stood up. I racked the charging handle, looked through the sights, and begun a string-long effort to muscle my way back to the target. To say the group was large was an understatement. Surprisingly it wasn't very wide but quite tall with all four shots out the top. The only explanation I have for this is a buttplate that was not high enough in my shoulder or my support arm didn't allow my vertical NPA to be high enough.
  • Unlike sitting, 300 went pretty smooth. The 17 clicks of elevation worked well with a centered group. I took my time as I fired and concentrated on breaking good shots.



Offhand: 96-0

Sitting: 96-1

Rapid Prone: 100-5

Slow Prone: 198-6

Aggregate: 490-12



As the Van Meter range faces east, Sunday's Regional had the morning sun in our eyes. The skies were clear with pleasant temperatures but still plenty of humidity in the air.

  • I brought the brim of my cap down but there was still some glare and specular highlights in my shooting glasses. While the front sight wasn't as clear and dark as I would have wanted it was good enough. My hold felt fine and overall rifle movement was slower and more controlled. I attribute this to my position which has my chest and shoulders more square with the target and the rifle crossing me more than before. As I fired the shots that were not on call were usually inside of it. I took my time and was deliberate with the shooting. On several occasions I stopped and started again if things didn't feel right. My first nine came on shot six and it was on call. After I finished the first half I only had that one nine and was feeling good about my performance. Shot 12 had another nine and I kept on going. By shot 15 I was becoming more deliberate but I made a mistake on shot 18 and had an eight. I felt like all that hard work was thrown away with one shot.
  • My hat was able to block out all the offending sun in sitting but I still had a group that was too big. The first string had a shot out on the right. The second string had a nine just out at 5 o'clock and a liner ten at 11.
  • To fully explain 300 rapid I have to say something about the previous relay. A teammate of mine was blowing primers out of his cases so I lent him my lower to use. When his relay was finished I got my lower back and prepared to shoot. The mirage looked like it was moving to the left so I put on two clicks right and had my first sighter as a mid-ring nine on the right. I came back to no-wind and shot an X for the second one. Didn't seem to make sense but I shot my first string with no-wind. The problem I had there was a front hand that kept slipping on the handguard. As my arm became further and further extended I would have to muscle the gun back up to the target. This was the reason for the nine out the top and one out the bottom. On the second string I fired my sixth shot but the trigger would not go forward and that meant I would shoot an alibi. Splitting my rifle in half and looking in the lower exposed a primer cup sitting behind the trigger. The primer wasn't a color that I shoot so at least it didn't come from me. I cleaned my alibi string.
  • Slow prone felt fine and I found that a tighter sling helped my position better than in the recent past. I did concentrate on keeping my eyes open during the shot and I felt that this helped me focus on the front sight. Everything else felt fine I cruised through the string.



Offhand: 196-5

Sitting: 198-7

Rapid Prone: 197-8

Slow Prone: 198-9

Aggregate: 789-29



Now it's time to head for Camp Perry and two weeks at the National Matches. I'm going out there this year with a pretty decent year under my belt. This helps me to be confident in my ability to perform. While some stages are better than others, I feel that my shooting is more consistent now than it ever has been. That's why I feel better prepared for the Nationals than I have in the past.



    A really nice day to shoot a good score at Camp Perry. I was squadded on target 8 of Viale range which happened to be the lowest working target today. The temperatures were warm.


  • Another President's match and I can't seem to get calmed down stepping up to the line to shoot standing. The hold was decent but in 10 shot matches I get worried about taking too long and running out of time. This makes me rush my shots and I don't remain disciplined. The first shot was a nine which I just didn't bother thinking about. Then I shot two more nines that were so close to the line that I briefly thought about challenging them.
  • While I may have been in the Viale tunnel and the wind was out of the west, I still saw some mirage moving to the right. I shot my 300 string with one click left and had a good group on the right side of the 10 ring. One of the shots looked like it was outside looking in.
  • By the time we shot 600 the wind was not running right to left. The mirage made it look like it was moving faster than it was but based on other shooters coming off the line, I went on with 7 clicks right. The crown of the firing point was at about my waist so my upper body was on a downward incline. This dropped my left elbow and I had to slide my left hand back a bit to get the muzzle elevated. The position didn’t feel comfortable and I didn’t know how to fix the firing point. My first shot was a 10 on the right and I started to take windage off during the string. A 9 out the bottom followed and then I was in the middle. Later on I shot an 8 at 4 o'clock which really cost me but I was fighting a bad position that I couldn't control.



Offhand: 96-1

Rapid Prone: 100-3

Slow Prone: 97-3

Aggregate: 293-7



    There was heavy overcast all day today which put a bit of a gloom on the day. It wasn't too warm but you could feel the humidity.


  • I was on the second relay and when I looked at my target the overcast really made everything dark through the aperture. I don't think my hold was any bigger but the sighting black looked much smaller and that gave the illusion of faster movement and bigger wobble. I broke some 9's early on  and then shot a 7.
  • I analyzed my ability to start sitting from a standing position and noticed that, as I stand up, I twist in a certain way so that I don't face the same point when I sit down. Now, I'm placing my slow-fire magazine on the mat between my legs as a reference point. This helps me retain my NPA when I sit down. This part of the sequence worked today but the darkness of the sight picture meant that it was difficult to see where my post was inside the black. The final group was pretty good with two shots pushed out the top because I didn't know where to hold the elevation.
  • My wind call at 300 rapid was perfect with the group centered left to right. As I shot the string the sling was tight and the rifle recoiled solidly in my shoulder. I took my time and concentrated on making the front sight focused and squeezing the trigger. The group was about four clicks wide by three clicks high. It could have used a click or two down but it was still a clean.
  • I under-doped the wind a little at 600 and got a nine for my first shot. After getting caught for another nine a little later I got into a rhythm and stayed in the x-ring for a while until I did something that pushed the rifle into an 8 at four o'clock.



Offhand: 93-2

Sitting: 98-5

Rapid Prone: 100-3

Slow Prone: 196-12

Aggregate: 487-22




    I normally enjoy shooting team matches but it seems like I had to do more running around and deal with more hassle this year. The weather was fine with a breeze running from about 8 o'clock all day.


  • While I've been nervous in offhand this week, today that was on a new level. The rifle was actually holding pretty well and the wobble was pretty small. My problem was getting the sights to the middle and getting a clean break. I felt very tense and the whole shooting experience was one of anxiousness and pressure. As I muddled through the string each shot took lots of exertion with poor results. I broke several shots even though I could see the sights hadn't centered yet. By the time I stepped off the line I was exhausted and drained.
  • The magazine on my mat is really making re-acquiring my NPA in sitting much easier. I can go back to my position without a lot of extra adjustment. While this was still a clean the group size was nothing to write home about. I feel that this was because my support arm was giving the rifle a slight push upward.
  • We underestimated the wind for 300 and I had two 9's just off the line on the right. A correction during the magazine change brought me back in the middle but a position that was a bit too low and loose meant that I was trying to muscle the gun back up to the black. I didn't do this on one shot and dropped a nine out the bottom.
  • The wind was really moving across the range for slow prone. My position felt comfortable but I had an easier time early on. Since pair firing takes more time it was harder to get into a rhythm. As the string progressed I began to get more elevation shots which also may have been caused by the scattered cloud cover.


Offhand: 94-1

Sitting: 100-4

Rapid Prone: 97-3

Slow Prone: 188-3

Aggregate: 479-11




    Another gorgeous day to shoot with clear blue skies. This was a two-man team match. I shot it last year and it was fun.


  • The wind had picked up by the time our relay stepped up for standing. It wasn't too bad as there were lulls and it didn't throw me around too much. I started shooting and tried to be selective about when to fire the gun. The worse shot came when, as I broke the trigger, the sights slid to the right and I saw white above my post. That netted an eight.
  • Sitting felt very comfortable and solid. The hold was good and it was just a case of squeezing the trigger.
  • My sighters at 300 were slightly on the right side but that was on call. Once I started shooting the string I tried to take my time but I felt like the I didn't have as good of a hold as I have had before. We were a bit light on the wind and had two nines straight out on the right side.
  • 600 was a bit rough as the wind was changing quickly. Since the velocity was high, the mirage was running a bit flat and hard to notice changes. My position had a fairly tight sling which pulled the buttstock into my shoulder better. The rifle had a solid recoil feel and I was focusing well on the front sight. While the score wasn’t great, it was alright for the conditions and I was happy that I didn’t have any elevation shots.


Offhand: 95-1

Sitting: 100-8

Rapid Prone: 98-2

Slow Prone: 192-6

Aggregate: 485-17




    This is the NRA 4-man team match. In the past this has been a pretty laid back day for me and I have shot some good scores. The weather was fine but I didn't seem to have as much focus today.


  • If standing was a jigsaw puzzle then today there were a couple of pieces missing. The hold was a little bigger than normal and there was too much effort necessary to get the shot off. I tried to be selective and only let the shot go in the 10 but I had a lot of movement during the trigger break process. I only shot four 10's during the string as the sights seem to always be dashing out of the middle when I fired.
  • I was on my way to another clean in sitting when my entire body tensed as I fired. This gave me a nine added to an otherwise centered group.
  • While rapid prone was a clean, I needed the entire 10 ring to do it. The front sight seemed to be in focus and I expected a better group than the one I got.
  • The wind at 600 didn’t change as fast as yesterday. Initially I had to come down a click since I had nothing below center for several shots. There weren't any really bad shots or wild wind changes, just three 9's.



Offhand: 92-0

Sitting: 99-6

Rapid Prone: 100-2

Slow Prone: 197-8

Aggregate: 488-16



August 10

    The first day of the NRA Championship. Warm with a lot of humidity in the air.


  • I was on first relay and there was still a lot of moisture in the air. This haze made the targets a little hard to see but it wasn’t a problem. As I was shooting there were a lot of bugs flying around and I would see them and feel them crawling on my hand. My hold wasn't great even with the still air but I had a bigger problem with trigger control. I would either tense or relax just as I fired and the sights would move out of the 10 ring.
  • The first string of sitting felt pretty good and I anticipated a good result. I got that with a 7x clean. The second string didn't feel as good and I broke some shots that seemed to be on the limit. I got another 7x but with three of the 10's pretty far out.
  • For 300 there was mirage running from right to left so I put on two clicks and then shot my first sighter out the right. I took off a click and then shot a 10 at 11 o'clock. I decided that I was still good and shot the first string. It came up a clean with only one X. The group was well centered but it went out to the middle of the 10 ring which is certainly bigger than what I want. I felt that the mirage picked up speed and put on an extra click of right for the second string. This gave me a tighter group but on the right side with two nines just out.


Offhand: 191-5

Sitting: 200-14

Rapid Prone: 198-4



    Nice weather this morning with a pretty calm breeze coming in out of the east.


  • I'm starting to lose confidence in my standing. I don’t want to start changing random things but my performance is so underwhelming that I can't just keep flailing around. Each shot had my high-frequency wobble where the sights dart around, then stop, then dart around again. I can't tell where they are going to move to next. It feels like I'm straining to get the rifle to the middle. My only guess as the cause of this is that my NPA is off. Unfortunately, I have never been able to get a consistent NPA in standing. I need to be confident of my offhand but I can't do that because I'm not performing at the level that I expect. As it turned out today would have been a great day to make up ground on others whose standing wasn't up to expectation.
  • Sitting didn't feel as good as yesterday's. My position felt a little lower and as I was shooting the first string I called several shots high. That group only had 4 X's with a cluster of shots at mid-ring in the 10 at 12. The second string felt fine and I was pretty confident it would come up a clean.
  • The skies had gotten darker for 600 and the wind died down a bit from the previous relay. I put on 12 clicks of right and got an eight at 2 for my first sighter. I took off some wind and came down a click and was in the nine ring. After that I took some windage off during the string and finished with 7 right. I was only caught twice, once on each side, for my only lost points. While there was less light to see by, and the sighting black was hard to see, the front sight was quite clear. I placed the top of the post in about the middle of the target and squeezed each shot off. My elevation was pretty good and I didn't have to struggle with up and down shots.


Offhand: 189-4

Sitting: 200-9

Slow Prone: 198-9




  • My final sitting match of Camp Perry and I knew if I shot a 200 here I will have cleaned all the sitting of the NRA championship. I've never done this before. Not much to say about these strings. I put on three clicks of left wind and shot two X's for sighters, then fired a rather large group but it was centered. The second string had plenty of sloppy shots as there were two 10's closer to the line than I would have liked.
  • The first string at 300 was shot with 9 clicks left and was very well centered with 7 X's. But I had an outside 10 at 3 and a nine just off the line in the same direction. Had the same wind on the second string and still had 6 X's but now the three 10's were at 4 o'clock and a nine slightly out at 4 as well.
  • I had a hard time staying in the middle at 600. Most of the bad shots came early on as I was losing points out the side. Trying to shoot fast and focus on the front sight is proving quite a challenge.
  • Because of the rain delay for two relays yesterday it was decided to throw out the scores of the people who shot yesterday's 600 yard match. I wasn't too happy about this since I shot a 198. The light conditions were about the same with some overcast but the front sight wasn't as easy to focus on.


Sitting: 200-8

Rapid Prone: 198-13

Slow Prone: 194-3

Slow Prone: 196-7



  • My standing performance at Camp Perry this year has been a disappointment. My hold has been a little larger and I still have unpredictable movement in the sights. This morning I wanted to make sure that my vertical NPA was as good as possible although it was difficult to gauge that. When I started shooting things were working fine. I took my time on each shot, the rounds were breaking well, and I only had three bad shots in the first half. Then I dropped four points on shots 11-13. At that point the shot sequence got much harder and I feel like I lost control over my performance. I walked away from the firing line shaking my head at all those lost opportunities from the last two weeks.
  • Today's wind at 300 was actually coming from out of the right. Both sighters were in the 10 ring and I fired my first string with 4 clicks of right windage. The group was centered left to right but I had three liner 10's between 10 and 1 o'clock and a mid-ring 9 at 1. The second group, with the same wind because I didn’t see anything change, had three nine between 2 and 3 o'clock. I lost half of my points in the entire rapid-fire aggregate in these two strings.
  • While I wanted to really perform at 600 to try to salvage as many points as possible, it wasn't going to happen. I lost too many points early on as I kept taking wind off the gun during the string. The first half had an 8 and two 9's. I was better centered in the second half with only two 9's and most of my X's.


Offhand: 190-1

Rapid Prone: 196-8

Slow Prone: 194-7

Championship Aggregate: 2346-83



Pleasant weather for our state Service Rifle Championship. Since I run the tournament as well as shoot in it, my mind tends to flip back and forth between my shooting performance and making sure things run smoothly.

  • After the sub-standard offhand performance at Perry I have spent this past week trying to analyze my problems and coming up with possible solutions that I can take into next year. I wanted a way to get a more consistent N.P.A. for each shot since I seem to have to fight too hard to get the sights to the target on some shots. Normally I do not fasten the bottom buckle on my shooting coat so I can get more back bend. Over the years I have had some back problems and I don't think I have as much back bend as I used to. So I am starting to latch that bottom buckle and it feels very confining around my hips. As I started shooting this morning I had to adjust my sights no only down but also to the right of my zero. My second shot for record was a nine and then I cleaned the next 11 shots. I was thinking a little about the score as the string progressed but the hold was no only good but my shot breaks were very clean. There was almost no movement in the sights as I broke the shot and that gave me confidence in getting the shot off as the sights settled in the middle. I also spent quite a bit of time thinking about shooters that live in environments with other good shooters. I thought about how they expect good scores because that's what the others around them shoot.
  • My first string of sitting was probably the sloppiest feeling group that I have shot in a long time. It felt like I was all over the place and I felt like I was forcing the gun to go off. There was one 9 but my performance should have given me a worse score. The second string was a clean but it was still a group that was way too big.
  • I over-corrected for the wind on my first sighter at 300. I put on six left and had a 9 out the left. I came back over three and shot another 9 out the top. The first string felt alright and wound up a centered clean although I would have liked the group to be smaller. The second group was about the same overall size as the first one but had two shots just off the line on the left side.
  • Slow prone was uneventful with all four 9's being corner shots.



Offhand: 197-7

Sitting: 199-9

Rapid Prone: 198-9

Slow Prone: 196-6

Aggregate: 790-31




This was a no-sighters team match and I felt very relaxed about the day.

  • I normally don't look forward to pair-firing when each shooter has to shoot 20 shots but I have always like the communication dynamic between the two shooters and the coach. Once shooting began I tried to get into a rhythm of confirming my N.P.A., settling in on the target, and cleanly getting the gun to go off. If the process wasn't working well then I would try to have the discipline to start over. I was breaking most of the shots high in the 10-ring but that was probably because the firing line was elevated in relation to the targets. As I shot I was well aware that I hadn't dropped any points. By the time I was going to shoot the 10th shot no matter what happened later I just wanted to have that 100 for the first string. That was a 10 and I relaxed since I could just cruise along now. The 10's continued though and although I could feel more pressure on myself I also felt a lot of confidence as well. I was a little nervous about dropping a point but I also felt that I could get the job done. I dismounted the rifle a couple of times for the last shot and when I broke it I didn't have a good call. It turned out to be straight out the bottom. I was disappointed but still confident in my performance until I was picking up my brass and noticed my hands were shaking.
  • The first sitting string was really easy. The rifle recoiled and came back down on the target and I would squeeze the shot off to begin the cycle over again. There were nine X's and one 10 just off the line at 11. The second string had a slightly larger group but it was shifted to the left.
  • Even though it was a sunny day, my sight picture seemed dark for rapid prone. The first string didn't feel good and it came up as a huge group with six 9's scattered all over the place. The second string was a much better group but it was high with two 9's out at 12 and 1.
  • Right before slow prone I realized I left my 600 ammo in the stat office. Oops. I borrowed a team-mate's ammo who loads about the same amount of powder as me. My first shot was an 8 out the top. I wound up coming down 5 clicks during the string to get centered up. Five of the six points I dropped were on the front half as the wind was brisk and there was little mirage to watch.



Offhand: 199-5

Sitting: 200-14

Rapid Prone: 192-4

Slow Prone: 194-5

Aggregate: 785-28



Team match on a really nice day to shoot.

  • The sighters in standing were good and I began the string with confidence. I would let the sights wander into the middle and then squeeze the shot off. Nothing out of the 10-ring until the sixth or seventh shot. In the first half of the string I was inside of call but that changed in the second half. I'm struggling for explanations but it just seemed harder to execute as time wore on.
  • Sitting felt uneventful although I did put three shots near the line at 4 o'clock.
  • I kept my sling on the tight side for rapid prone and the string felt pretty good. My coach was giving me some "good at 10" calls so I started favoring to the right side. There were two distinct groups on the target. One was an almost perfectly horizontal group across the top of the X-ring. The other was wide and short at the bottom of the 10.
  • I expected more out of my performance in slow prone. The sights looked pretty decent on most shots but it seemed like as soon as I was in the middle, a nine would pop up just out of the 10-ring.



Offhand: 97-2

Sitting: 100-5

Rapid Prone: 100-1

Slow Prone: 195-9

Aggregate: 492-17




Autumn has arrived as the air is chilly with clouds rolling in later in the day. Temperatures never got in to the 70's today as I was doing stats for the match and shooting. There was some breeze but it wasn't constant and the lulls were there.

  • The thing I remember most about standing was just not concentrating. I got through the preparation period fine and my hold was alright but as soon as I started shooting my mind wandered. Thoughts of how the match was running and whether the correct scoring system was being used were overshadowing the thoughts that I should have had. After a 10 for my first sighter the next three shots out of the barrel were eights. There was brief recovery after that but I still couldn't get my head back in the game. I would send the rounds down range even though I wasn't quite ready to take the shot. They were rushed and I didn't have the discipline to wait for the good shots.
  • Since I finished standing with two clicks right I started sitting with this correction as well. The calls were good for the sighting shots and I fired my first string trying to just squeeze the shots off. That one had a 10 on the line at 12 and two more just off the x-ring above center. There was one X at the bottom with the remaining six in a crescent along the top of the x-ring. The second string had another 10 way up high and two distinct groups in the x-ring.
  • For 300 the clouds had come in and it was much darker looking through the rear sight. The first string was a challenge to see and focus on the front sight because it was so dark. It was a decent group though with one 10 on the left side and a 9 out the bottom. The second string may have been a little easier to see but it was on the right side of the x-ring with a liner 10 at two and a 9 just off the line at four.
  • Slow prone started well with more X's than 10's. I felt like I was getting into a groove until my 8th shot was a 9. I came back with an X and then cruised until another 9 popped up on the 19th shot. Even though it may have been dark for slow fire I at least had time to get front sight focus unlike rapid prone.



Offhand: 189-2

Sitting: 200-13

Rapid Prone: 198-11

Slow Prone: 198-10

Aggregate: 785-36



Today was a little cooler than yesterday but this was due to almost constant cloud cover. The breeze may have been a bit stiffer but it was more in our faces. This was a team match and since we had two extra people, I shot on a firing point with one other shooter and the two of us just fired by ourselves and kept score in the pits.

  • Because of the block time I could afford to wait for lulls in the wind and take the rifle down if the shot didn't want to go. My concentration and discipline were better than yesterday and I didn't drop my first point until the seventh shot. There were some bad decisions after that and I dribbled the points away as I went on. The chill in the air made me want to finish sooner rather than later.
  • In my first string of sitting it felt like I was breaking shots high. I would fire with the post pushing up higher than normal and tell myself to keep it centered better. Then I would fire the next shot with the same sight picture as before. This happened for about half the shots but when the target came up the three 10's were just of the X-ring and it was a good group. The second string looked alright but I did call a wild shot. That group had a mid-ring 10 at nine and an almost mid-ring 10 at ten. The rest were X's.
  • Not much wind correction at 300 and the calls for my sighters were right on the money. The first string felt alright but had a lot of shots low in the 10-ring. It was a clean but with only one X. The second string was on the right side like yesterday but had two 9's that were just barely out.
  • Another good start to slow prone and things felt comfortable enough to shoot six X's in a row. An opening in the clouds covered the target with sunshine and it was much harder to see the front sight in focus. I had a 9 out the bottom when I fired then. As the clouds came and went I would be in the X-ring during the overcast and dropped 9's at six in the sun. I came up a click since I would rather turn X's into high 10's than have the 9's but it really didn't help.



Offhand: 193-2

Sitting: 200-15

Rapid Prone: 198-4

Slow Prone: 197-11

Aggregate: 788-32



The morning sunshine wasn't enough to keep out the chill of mid-50's temperatures.

  • I had good focus and concentration for standing this morning. There was a little breeze that would gust for a while and then die down. My calls really weren't in the X-ring. I would call the shots on the line at 10 or 2 and that's where they would end up. The sights would fade to that direction when the rifle fired and I didn't feel like I could do anything about it. I dropped a nine early on and spend the first 10 shots feeling like this was more work than it should be. For the second half I found that by keeping the butt higher in my shoulder I could get more cheek pressure on the stock and that allowed me to control the rifle better and only needed one try to bring the sights into the target. I cruised through the back half only having dropped three points. The last shot didn't feel that bad but it came up a 9.
  • I've really been impressed with my sitting groups. The majority of the group is centered and the X-counts are decent. I feel confident as I shoot the string and the rifle doesn't move very much. Today's first string had seven X's with two mid-ring 10's on the bottom and another 10 almost on the line at 5. The second string was also a 7-X clean but the three 10's were scattered out a bit wider.
  • The light for rapid prone has really been affecting my groups. The first string only had one 9 but the group was almost as big as the 10-ring. The real shock was the second string. As I fired everything looked fine and I tried to get a good focus on the front sight and squeeze the shots off. The target came up with a great group where seven shots would fit into half the X-ring. The problem was that this group straddled the 10-line at 4 o'clock. Only two shots made the 10-ring. The wind may have come up a little but that doesn't explain the low group.
  • Started slow prone pretty well as I came up a couple of clicks to hedge my bets against the bright sun.



Offhand: 196-4

Sitting: 200-14

Rapid Prone: 191-2

Slow Prone: 198-9

Aggregate: 785-29





End of season reflections



If I had to summarize my shooting this year in one word it would be "consistent". There were days when I would have a bad stage but overall my aggregate held pretty steady. This, in itself is positive as it is something I don't think I accomplished in previous years.

I went out to Camp Perry confident that my consistency would carry me to some success as I feel that the Nationals reward a consistent performance. Unfortunately while I was mostly consistent from stage to stage my level of performance in each of those stages was sub-par.

Regardless of performance I was finally able to shoot a match outside of my normal circuit as I travelled down to the Confederate Nationals in Georgia. This was fun as I got to shoot at a new range and see people that I normally only see at Camp Perry.



  • My average standing score this year was the highest I've had since 2006 but I still don't feel like I performed the way I should have. I think my problems with wobble size are actually due to not getting a correct NPA. Since I'm not pointing at the right place I tend to force the rifle to the target which means I'm fighting my own body and that enlarges the wobble. By buckling the bottom of my coat it seems like I was able to keep my NPA from wandering around.

  • While I did have a better average score in sitting back in 2007 I feel that this year's sitting performance was the best I ever had. Out of 43 strings fired, I cleaned 31 of them. A lot of it was due to not having to stand before the string for NRA matches but I also feel that my position was good. When shooting a string I had confidence that I was going to clean it as opposed to getting just lucky like in previous years. My x-count seemed to be up as well.

  • If any stage had it's ups and downs it was rapid prone. My groups would sometimes be small with tight elevation and other times they would open up to be mid-ring 10 size. I need to stay disciplined in this event by keeping my sling tight, shooting at my pace, focusing on the front sight, and only steering the gun from the back.

  • Slow prone was the big disappointment this year as it was last year. After making steady progress in this stage for years my scores were consistently lower. For the most part getting good focus on the front sight wasn't difficult. In fact on some days it was pretty easy. It was the multitude of corner shots that were the problem.