At the range yesterday, a few of the shooters were a little...ahh...inexperienced. A short wait and watch from behind the lines until I got tired of them handling their guns when others were down range and ran them off. Why is that so hard?
Another pair of guys, brothers, in their early twenties, were shooting their other brother's (Darrell's?) rifle. He was off serving his country in another land. These two were not well schooled in the art and were taking turns shooting the 300 Win mag BDL. The rifle was getting quite a work out but the target was still in good shape. I intervened for the sake of the glowing red rifle barrel, just to BS a bit. Brother one was sure they needed to adjust the scope, brother two said the ammo was just "bad". Both were complaining about their shoulder hurting. This after a box and a half of ammo was sent down range with only one five minute break.
Trying to save the Remington, I ask if one of them would hold the barrel and count to ten. He looked at me like I was an idiot then grabbed the barrel, no counting just... EEOUCHH!! followed by several expletives. "What the ......"
The conversation went something like this;
Don't you think you should let that cool off a little? Ah...I guess so...why?
Because it is melting the bullets before they leave the barrel. You mean that's why we ain't hitting the target. No. I don't think you would hit the target with a cold barrel, but you're burning up the rifle. Boy, (Darrell) will really be miffed. Just slow down and let it cool, if you cant hold it and count to ten it's too hot.
We go up and move the target to 50 yards, it has a hole in the upper right corner. Have you guys shot this rifle before? No but he (Darrell) said we could shoot it. Ok. I think the scope is off, it hasn't been shot in a while. Maybe I can help with that.
I took the rifle and pulled the bolt out. I could see the anguish in their faces as they watched me destroy their brother's rifle. I layed the rifle on my sandless sand bags and looked through the barrel at the their target, centering it, then holding the rifle still I looked through the scope. The duplex reticle of the 3-9 leupold was about two inches high and two inches to the right of the target center. Certainly close enough to get on the paper. I dialed the adjustments right and up sixteen clicks each, (Yeah, that's the right direction.) and rechecked my alignment. Close enough.
"Do you guys mind if I shoot this once, you know just to see if it is sighted in for ya?" I asked. Brother number one replied, "Is it cool yet?" They're learning. "Yeah, I think so." brother number two said as he held the barrel of the Remington. Here goes. Boom! I could see the hole in the target, I stood up and handed the rifle back to one of them and he said, "ain't you gonna shoot no more?" Nope, it's ok. "Is it ok if we go look?" Oh, yeah.
One inch low at six o'clock. That's where it shoots. We then talked about stopping at SW and getting the appropriate equipment to clean the rifle and how to hold aim and fire without thinking about your girlfriend or your car. How to hold the rifle correctly and press the trigger not yank and get it still and keep it still during the shot. That's all there is to it. You guys try that. I'm gonna hit the road. Take care of your brother's rifle.
I see alot of this, in varying degrees. I wonder why folks don't get the correct indoctrination from someone with a little bit of knowledge before starting out with a gun. I know lots are not receptive to "lessons" due to their ego but down they understand that it will just be a bunch of gun guys talking about guns. How bad can that be?
We all owe it to the upcoming generation to help with this when ever we can. Be it shooting tips, gun care, or especially safe handling practices. Everytime there is a gun handling violation or misuse of a firearm we look bad in the public eye. We must police our own ranks or the antis will do it for us. Helping a fellow shooter at the range benefits us all.
Any others out there who help out even without being asked? Care to add your experiences here for the rest of us.