I am constantly befuddled.....


Oct 16, 2016
in the fact as to WHY many people who wish to shoot farther than 100 yards wish to make it difficult as if by magic they don't know the voodoo words to make it happen! The real challenge as a matter of fact is that of finding a place to shoot for the wannabe long shooters! The guys that live west of the Big River usually don't have this problem but east of the Big Muddy...another story! Marksmanship comes down basically to just a few things:

1. Position

2. Sight Alignment

3. Trigger Control

4. Follow through

5. Mental attitude

For the previous 60 years I've taught marksmanship to many people...a few have gone on to be able to bring home a little junk from shooting matches. Most all of these guys were either competing in Service Rifle events and a few eventually changed over to the NRA Match Rifle category. Teaching iron sights and scopes are basically two different ballgames but the same rules apply to both.

An accurate rifle with proven ammo is a must and generally the term 'proven ammo' means a handload that has been tested to give the best accuracy possible. Factory ammo can be accurate but as a general rule each rifle will perform best with a specific load. Whether or not someone wishes to spend $4000.00 for an accurate rifle is up to the individual but the fact remains that $$$$$ won't automatically make a consistently accurate shooter at any distance! It takes a lot of shooting and paying attention to detail.

Today is my 77th birthday and starting as a young man of 18 I was most fortunate to have had the best marksmanship instructors in the world; the Service Rifle coaches at the USAAMU at Ft. Benning, Georgia! I'm typing this little piece because if possible it's my desire to give something back to any younger folks that might find it useful. I don't need any atta boys or thank yous from anyone. I've won lots of junk over the years I competed; beat some of the best and got beaten myself quite regular as well! No matter how good you may think you are....there's always somebody that will beat you! You'll have good days and days...not so good! It's how you handle those 'not so good' days that's important! If you're serious about shooting...it becomes work. But like sweat....it can be very rewarding!

Being very fortunate I don't have to worry about a place to shoot. My 1000 yard firing line is right out the back door. Old habits are hard to break and by that I mean that I was taught to keep and accurate DATA BOOK! I record everything as per whatever day I'm shooting on. Zeros, wind, time of day, sun position, Barometric Pressure, temperature, starting zeros, finishing zero if different, and then I critique my shooting session...and I have been known to talk pretty badly about myself! Nothing gets my dander up more than to make a bad wind call on my first shot! No matter how much you shoot or how many years on the line....the wind is gonna beat you from time to time! Accept it...or take up bowling! Here's something to think about:


Equip yourself with the best rifle/scope or iron sights that you can afford! After I accomplished what my goals were shooting the Service Rifle I switched over to the NRA Match Rifle category and I did well shooting a left hand Remington M700 action in .308 Winchester. I used the same action shooting long range aka 800/900/1000 yards in Palma competition! I have no gripes with Remington as they made the only LH action available at the time!
If you wish to gain the most from your rifle in my opinion if you don't know how to handload....you need to learn! After you've got yourself along the way keep accurate data! Pay attention to conditions and if you visit a lot of shooting forums you may possibly need to install a BS filter on your computer! A lot of what you read ain't necessarily so! There are several books on the market that give good and solid data, written by guys that have seen the elephant more than once! READ READ READ!

There is NO MAGIC to becoming a good or great shooter; no voodoo words make it happen! Marksmanship consist of an iron-clad set of rules that are non-yielding in their nature and unless these rules are adhered to, the results will not be rewarding! Shooting requires work...lots of practice! I have guys come to my range every year to check their rifles before deer season and I'm often amazed that many cannot keep their shots on a 32" x 35" target backboard from 200 yards distance! These guys won't shoot 20 rounds a year in their deer rifles but.....they kill deer every year! Most are within 100 yards distance I might add. These guys are hunters....NOT shooters! There is a big difference between those who shoot 20 rounds a year and those that will maybe shoot 6000 rounds on a yearly basis! Lots of difference betwixt hitting a deer-sized target from 100 yards and on the other hand....a 5" X ring from 1000 yards! And the latter doesn't happen over night!

I leave you with these thoughts...the ruminations of an old man that is most thankful for the many blessings that the Good Lord has granted onto me and tomorrow I think I'll have three of my grandsons here and if the weather fitting we'll shoot some long range!

Adios my friends!
Excellent words of wisdom. I've done a little shooting at distance, but I realise I am a hunter and not a shooter. So long as I am able to bring home some game, life is good. Thanks for the thought-provoking words, Muldoon. Happy birthday and enjoy tomorrow!
You are a blessed man sir. Wisdom hard won from long practice and effort, still young enough to enjoy it and grandsons to share it with! Enjoy! :) CL
Outstanding write up I wish I could convey my thoughts nearly as well. Congratulations on your shooting career.
Whats that Randy Travis song?
" Its not what you take, when you leave this world behind you, Its what you leave behind you; when your gone.

Enjoy those grandsons......... Happy Birthday.
Three of my grandsons came out today and we shot from 800 yards and had a great afternoon! I forgot to take photos so none to show. I have one 15 years age, his brother is 17, both belonging to my son, and the older grandson is 20 which is my daughters child. Yes...I've been blessed as all three are great kids, good grades in school and all will be good businessmen eventually! The older grandson found out that he had the wrong equipment for shooting at the longer ranges as his scope was a regular hunting scope of Zeiss quality but without the movement in elevation for the ranges we shoot at. He hasn't spent as much time with me on the range as the younger guys as they are well versed in the quality of equipment needed for this type of shooting. Their Dad has had them a few custom rifles made and all are equipped with NF long range scopes. The next time Joel shows up I can rest assured that he'll be equipped in the right manner as he picked my brain about what he needed. I told him to tell his Dad that he'd like for Christmas a NF 5.5x22x56MM and I wouldn't be surprised if he had one on the way this coming week! Joel showed up with a 270 Mag and after shooting my .308 Winchester with heavy barrel he discovered that it did quite well for him shooting a Sierra Palma bullet of 155 grs. with 47 grs. Varget powder. These kids absorb instruction like onto a sponge; the younger kids are a little more 'hep' on the rules of marksmanship than Joel but once Joel gets the right equipment he'll develop rather quickly!

If you have grandkids.....teach them marksmanship; both rifle and pistol! They may need the know how some day! (y) :grin: