Discussions on this and other web forums have given me a new outlook on what my focus with my IronSightAction project should be. Much of the work I have been doing on this target system has been focused on keeping shooting fun and innovative. So the system and scope of myproject has grown. The trouble is, there are too many who need help with the basics. Fundamentals of marksmanship.
So I went back and revised an older target system I have done. These are really quite simple. They are ring targets. One set based on 2 & 4 MOA, the other based on 4 & 8 MOA. The purpose of these is to help build skill in shooting. Its geared towards the newbie as well as the seasoned shooter.
Here is the Basic MOA Ring Trainer. It is geared for building iron sight shooting skills.
This target system is geared towards bench and prone shooting. Please feel free to adapt it to your needs. Tell us about it in the forum.
The purpose of this target is to get the mil-surp shooter out of the NRA Bullring style target shooting midset. Most of those with interest in my website are not precision scoped varmint hunters. They are old-school style shooters who often find enjoyment in shooting rifles in their stock configuration. This is what these targets are geared for.
The scoring is different than the scaled torso targets I have used. In the graphic above, any round striking the edge of the black ring is considered a miss.
The focus of this target series is to teach the shooter to develop their rifle sighting to integrate the "MOA Cone" that a rifle shoots.
This is now a basic target which can get you to learn a new real world shooting technique, which is adaptable for out of position shooting. For the next month plus, shoot this all from the bench.
Start at 50 yards. The 2"/1" circle combination is a 4MOA/2MOA target simulator. At 50 yards, aim your rifle so the front sight post touches the bottom of the inside white 1" ring.
The biggest thing I have found in teaching people how to shoot, is to unlearn many of the ideas which many have on how shooting is conducted.
Too many take the sight approach that you should align your sight where the front post covers half of your target. This would work if you were shooting a laser beam. But you are not.
Covering half of your target limits what you can see. Plus in rapid target acquisition, its easy to over compensate, and not find an aiming point. In out of position shooting its even harder.
Firearms work under the MOA idea. This is reality. Instead of simply thinking of your rifle as a linear beam laser, think of it as an "MOA cone". By learning and reinforcing by doing, you can learn the range of deviation of bullet flight as it compares to your front sight post. By understanding the MOA capability of your rifle/ammo combination, you have sighted your rifle to be the bottom edge of this "cone" So your shots will be in the perspective field dictated by your front sight.
Now, this technique is not the NRA match bullring target way of shooting. That is not the goal. The purpose of this technique is to get you to master the MOA cone, and use and apply it for consistant shooting at man sized targets. Quick and consitantly.
Now whether your rifle/ammo combination can pull this off is a different story. By starting with the 4&8 MOA targets, you can begin evaluating what the rifles you have chosen can do.
If I was selecting an SKS, AK, or other used C&R with surplus ammo, I would definately start out with the 4&8 MOA rings. These rifles are not known to be tack drivers. I am not saying they cannot be, for a VEPRII or Chicom SKS with Factory 31 ammo and a little sight and trigger work can do alot. But its best to start with reasonable, and obtainable goals. Then achieve them and set the bench mark a bit higher.
Begin with the 4&8 MOA target at 50 yards. I start there with all of my rifles. This is because I can sight in quickly, then the close ranges allows me to evaluate and correct quicker.
But there still is no substitute for 100 yard (or more) shooting. I start and sight in my rifle at the 50 yard line. Over the weeks I am training with the firearm, I will move out to 100 yards. Make the final sight corrections to dial my rifle in at that range. It is important to have your rifle sighted where it jives with your elevation settings on the rear sight.
I have found that it is best for building skills, to focus on 2-3 rifles at a time. Two is ideal, but in Texas during the Summer time, it takes awhile for rifles to cool down. So I may bring an additional one. With the Two rifle choices, the AR-15 is a great option becuase it will not beat you up. The recoil is manageable.
For a C&R colector this can be difficult. At the same time reflecting why many collectors have marksmanship problems. Every time they go to the range they bring something different. This means they have to relearn the rifle every time they go to the range. My outlook is different. Select a pair of rifles which you will focus on for a few months.
I like to mix up a larger bore rifle with the AR-15, Vector V-93, or other lighter calilber rifle. It will allow you to lengthen your shooting session with less fatigue.
Ammo selection is important. Consistant ammo to carry you through a period of training over time. By consistant, I mean the same type and manufacture. For the 7.62x54r ammo, I like the Albanian. Its not match ammo, but does pretty well. Its cheap, brass cased for easy cycling, and I have alot of it.
When shooting, take (4) of the 4&8 MOA targets and space them out at 50 yards. Shoot 5 rounds at each. Check your performance and hits often. Do not rush. Do not load more than 5 at a time. You want your rifle to cool down between sets. Take your time.
The location of the group after 5 rounds will tell you what direction your neew to move your sights. Do not deviate from this. If you are shooting with lower grade surplus ammo, I have found that 1 out of 4 to 1 out of 5 will be a flyer. Its older surplus ammo. Its to be expected. Don't beat yourself up about it. By using the 5 shot system, you can get a far more accurate judge of how you are doing. Ten round sets will work as well. Once you start punching more that ten holes in the target, you have no idea of evaluating your performance.
After shooting five rounds at each of the (4) targets. Go check them, take them down... put up new and switch rifles if your barrel is getting hot.
For a Garand obviously, I would shot in 8 round sets... its easier. The issue being consistancy to evaluate yourself on.
If you went every week... or every two weeks.. you would be best served working on the two rifles you have chosen of the bench first.
Once you are able to get all of your rounds consistantly in the 4 MOA white ring on the 4&8MOA target, switch to the 2&4MOA targets. Some rifles can handle this raising of the bar. The K-31 with the GP-11 7.5mm Swiss ammo can do it, as well as many AR-15's with good ammunition. However, please note that some rifles may be reaching their limit at the 4 MOA barrier. I do not wish to discourage trying in any way or form. Its just important to understand the the limitations of the tools your are working with. For example, I would be very pleased to break the 4 MOA barrier with a Turkish M1938 Mauser using 1940's Turkish Ball FMJ. But consistantly breaking the 2 MOA barrier with the same rifle and ammo choice would be towards pushing the limits of the rifle. (Or would it :D, Hmmm.... add a match trigger, imporve the sights, recrown the barrel....)
So my point here is to start with obtainable goals. Most good condition firearms with good surplus ammo can do 4 MOA from the bench. So this sounds like the place to start. Get rid of the "X-ring" and the bullseye. Those are not important. Consistant groups on what you are aiming at are. That is the sole purpose here.
Here are the Targets for download: 4&8MOA Target Rings for 50 Yards (33k)4&8MOA Target Rings for 100 Yards (33k)2&4MOA Target Rings for 50 Yards (33k)2&4MOA Target Rings for 100 Yards (33k)
Typically, I print out master copies of the targets. Then I go to Kinko's or other photocopy shop and have a bunch copied. If you work in an office setting with a copier... you are in luck :D
I have found that using the "Photograph" setting with 2-3 additional darkness shades work the best.