Retesting the Redneck Challenge

I took the opportunity to sneak away to the range and shoot a few rounds.  I hadn’t been up off the bipod a while and thought I should give it a try.  The idea was to shoot just a few rounds while keeping up the frequency of the range trips.

The day’s weather hadn’t been too bad.  Somehow when I got to the range there was sleet falling, but still not too bad.  By the time I made it to the target area it was starting to pick up.  I decided to do a cold bore shot, a separate 4 round group, and to shoot the 20 round Redneck Challenge.  This is the course of fire I first shot last 4th of July at my friend Larry’s place.

The course of fire consists of 5 rounds from 4 positions, standing, kneeling, sitting, and prone (with sling, no bipods allowed [actually he does allow them, but doesn’t encourage them]).  The target is a 4 MOA circle, approximatey 4.2” at 100 yards.  Larry’s target was actually 4″, but I’m a stickler for that extra 0.047″ per hundred yards.  A hit on the circle is 1 point.  A miss is 0.  The time limit is 10 minutes.

 I made a couple changes in the way I did shot the course.  I used a separate target for each position, so I could see what my status of my skill level in that position was.  I made one shot in each position before transitioning to the next position and repeated the sequence 5 times.  The normal way is to shoot 5 rounds in each position at a time.  I wanted to get more practice getting in position and firing one meaningful shot.  The last change I made was to rice paddy prone (squatting) for the kneeling position.  Col. Cooper would have backed me up there, I’m sure (that’s an appeal to authority, instead of saying why the position is better, I just quote a shooting legend).

It was cold and windy, so much so that my assistant decided to wuss out and wait in the truck.  6 year olds…  By the time I made it to the firing line the wind was moving me.  It was 13-15 with gusts at 18-20 from about 5 o’clock.  A five o’clock wind isn’t going to do much to the bullet’s flight at 100 yards, but it sure can do a lot to a position, especially standing.  Rice paddy prone was also affected significantly.

The target array.

I began with bipod shooting.  Cold bore:

It will probably take posting this on the internet for me to fix my zero.

Four shot group:

I basically know what happened with the high right shot.  The one to the left looks like a trigger issue.  The other two make a nice group.

In offhand the rifle was being blown so that my point of aim was drifting left completely off the target board.  The sleet was coming in sideways at this point.  I was lucky to get the one hit that I did:


Rice paddy prone was likewise quite unstable, but I should have gotten more hits than I did:


Sitting was fine.  I should not have missed that high shot.  The higher one was a stray from standing.


Prone was also fine.  It could have been tighter, but my focus was on the big circle instead of the little one for the first couple shots.


My final score was 12.  I believe I tied the record (at least as it was conveyed to me in July; it might have been broken since then).  Not bad for the conditions.  My score from July with the Sako 75 in perfect weather (closer to 90° Fahrenheit rather than 90° sleet) was 8.

I’d like to try offhand again when the weather is better.  My original goal for offhand from the time I started the blog was “to reliably (90%  ???) shoot 4 moa from offhand”.  I actually think I’m more than halfway to meeting my goal in comparison to where I started.

19 thoughts on “Retesting the Redneck Challenge

  1. So, it looks like you finally made your sight adjustment so you aren’t hitting low and right any more. Good deal.
    A couple of comments on the Redneck Challenge. Part of the reason that no one has managed a score higher than 12 (out of 20) is because (despite the attempt to keep this simple) many of the shooters choose to ‘throw away’ their offhand shots. I think this is really counterproductive, and I guess that you can try to take the shooter out of the game, but it’s harder to take the gamer out of the shooter. This does illustrate the overall lack of skill and confidence that most shooters have in terms of offhand position shooting. To desire to improve this is an important part of the challenge.
    I’ve shot a variety of targets on blustery days as you describe. The less supported positions are a tough go when you have significant wind gusting. Just hitting the target is a victory or sorts. Scoring well is really gratifying, if rare. Makes you really appreciate the usefulness of the more supported positions. Shooting on inclement days like this is of great value, if for no other reason than to make you aware of the personal limitations you face when actually out in the field where you can’t simply order up ideal weather. In the field, you face unknown time limitations to make a good shot, and you usually only get one chance.
    I really think that it is a realistic goal to make 15-17 points on the RC. But to do so means that we really need to acquire the requisite ability to make an actual 4MOA group in offhand at least 60% of the time, and to eliminate the poor shots in the other positions. I haven’t done it yet, and haven’t seen anyone else do it. We’ll see how everyone does this year.

    • I do. Having both elbows planted is, in my opinion, quite valuable. I experience a lot of horizontal dispersion with kneeling, perhaps about as much as in standing. That could be mitigated, as Earl suggests below, but planting the elbow really takes care of it. He might be right about wind affecting squatting more than kneeling. I hadn’t considered that before.

      I would like to say that squatting is as good as sitting, but it’s not. For me it’s about midway between kneeling and sitting. Another way to state it would be similar to sitting, with a small amount of significant fliers. On a very good day it can be surprising, and I can usually “hit stuff” (one shot hits on random objects) with more reliable results than I could expect on group shooting.

      Have you read what Col. Cooper has to say about both positions in Art of the Rifle?

    • I got my copy right after it was first released. Haven’t gone back to re-read it in a long time, but I remember him speaking favorably of RPP.

  2. Anonymous – true what you say- RS curious what position you zero from? I always used a hand under the forend on top on of the bag and no butt support. this always give me the closest to a field zero and a pickup hood is as good as bench then. .Curious about that

    • I zero from bipod prone. I sometimes notice a deviation if I use a sling in prone, but the other positions seem to work fine. I think the difference with using the sling in prone is that my eye relief is drastically different in that position. To some degree that happens in sitting as well, but I can center up the image better.

    • If I may toss in my $.02….

      I start with a bench zero on front & rear sandbags, then go to sitting with a very tight loop sling, target at whatever full distance I want to zero, or at 200 yds and knowing where the group center should be relative to aim point at that distance for my desired point blank zero. I try to do this on a calm day (rare around here).

      If several pairs or triples have their group centers where I want them, and I called the bad ones, I’m in good shape.

      While I was typing this, I was interrupted by UPS bringing a box containing 20 copies of my rifle book.


  3. Your Rice Paddy Prone is a solid position, but cold wind will shake it, save it for warmer weather. I think a tight kneeling would work better in wind, drop the chicken wing the sling can be tight enough not to need it.

    I like the idea of one shot on each, five times. When you get a group that way, you are really locked on the shot, very good NPOA.

    Sorry about the weather, but it is Global Warming.

  4. Darn good shooting! Especially like your practice of switching positions each shot. I’d forgotten this drill (back when you first posted it I swore I would make this a regular thing with my .22LR at 50 yards) – talk is cheap eh?

    cheers, jonno

  5. Nice shooting rifleslinger….. A very good drill to practice…..

    Pete your book arrived via my friendly mailman today so will start reading it this weekend during breaks at work.

  6. Pete….. I love the book. Like all books I first read it cover-to-cover…. then go back for areas and sections I want to delve into and try something, etc. To me a good book has lots of those “ear marks” indicating places to now visit in detail….. yeah lots of those here.

    While I do not hunt I appreciate the sections where you go into the ethical hunting and making the right choice and knowing your limits. I was sharing that with my buddy out in CO who does hunt (closest “town” to him is Aguilar) and he liked your views as they really mesh with his thinking on that subject.

    So I will start with the position sections, having just started HP shooting this year with an AR service rifle. Kind of a late start at 50+ but it is a lot of fun and very challenging. So I am going to start in those sections and use your book and suggestions to hopefully start troubleshooting and fixing my problems so I can be more competitive.

    And you are right the sling seems to be a lost art…. was looking at the rifles at the range today and everyone was bench rest with sandbags, other type of bags and vise-like things, sleds of sorts, etc. And I had the only rifles there with a sling and was the only one using a sling.

    So thanks for the book, well done, well written, easy to get explanations, and common sense approach.

    • Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad you found it useful.

      I heartily recommend G. David Tubb’s “Highpower Rifle” book as well as Randolph Constantine’s “Modern Highpower Competition: from Beginner to Master”. Very good stuff there.

    • Oh, if you would be kind enough to do me the favor, could you post a review on Amazon for this book for me? There are none there yet, and it would be nice to have the first one be as positive as what you wrote on RS’s blog!


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