The Reports of My Demise Have Been…


…nonexistent.  I don’t think anyone realized I stopped posting.

I apologize for having been gone so long. Things have been really busy for me, and I thought it better to avoid a meltdown and drop a few activities rather than to go full burnout. Usually when I take a break it’s just because I run out of things to write about temporarily due to some lull in my shooting. This time I had plenty of things to write about, I just had no opportunity to sit down and organize my thoughts. The fact that the doctors wouldn’t let me out of the straight jacket and restraint chair didn’t help much either. The sling sewing is still a ways out before I can resume, I’m sorry to say.

I haven’t let up much on my shooting, although I haven’t kept up with my hopes for making full use of the new property. I’ll give a quick rundown of the high points of what I’ve been up to and will elaborate in the near future.

As of this moment I have shot approximately 1236 rounds through my Noveske uppered AR since mid-January. Most of that has been in preparation for my scope tests that I’ll be going into more detail with later. I’ve completed testing of the U.S. Optics SR-8 and have the Swarovski Z6i 1-6×24 mostly done (although my rifle has hit a snag for the time being). I will also explain at that time why I don’t recommend the Rock River 2-Stage match trigger.

I also suffered a broken bipod foot on the Atlas. I figure it must be like needing a new set of tires occasionally.

I experienced a measurable decline in performance in a particular facet of shooting with a particular rifle, which I’m pretty sure was a result of a dry-fire routine (yes, a particular one). It was an interesting experience. What was more interesting is what happened with my performance about two months later after little or no practice in that same drill.

Saturday I shot the 3rd annual Sportsman’s Challenge shoot put on by Caleb Hallett near Spokane, WA. The shoots just keep getting better and the prize table more impressive each time. On this occasion the shoot turned out to be a wind reading clinic for anyone who cared to pay attention, which is to say that ostensibly it was a rifle match, but the big opportunity was to learn about wind and share information with other shooters.

Not a picture of me, but of someone else, because it’s easier to take pictures of other people shooting.

She was dirty after the Sportsman’s Challenge.

One week ago I got my FN back from the gunsmith. New barrel, bedding, trigger work, etc. She shoots. I’ll elaborate later.

The first five shots after getting the rifle back. 0.487” at 104 yards.

Lastly, and more importantly, the due date for my goal statement was the 1st of May. It was overly ambitious by quite a lot. I’m sure I fell short of ‘arriving’ at the goal, but within the not too distant future I’ll give it a test and see where I’m at so I can set the goal for the next phase.


33 thoughts on “The Reports of My Demise Have Been…

  1. I actually did miss your blogs. I was very interested in what you had been writing about and ate through most of your older posts. I was also at the Sportsman’s Challenge it took everyone helping but I finally dialed windage at 3.2 full mils for most shots with my .243 using a 100 grain bullet with 34.5 grains of Varget. The strange thing was that it didn’t seem to matter if it was only 250 yards or 500 yards it was still about 10 to 12 ft to the left. I can’t believe that you were there and I didn’t get to meet you. Looking forward to your next blog. Don’t give up, I AM learning from your posts.

    • Steve,

      It’s possible we did meet. I had the orange jumpsuit on and was constantly scanning the road watching for… something. Actually I had a green jacket on and carried around a camera case like a yoke around my neck and my rifle in a bulky desert tan drag bag that I carried up and down that $%&* hill twice. I came in last and won the “Most Improved” award.

      On a serious note, I’m glad you like the blog and that it’s doing something for you. 3.2 mils sounds huge. I was shooting a .308 with 155 Palmas at about 2850 on the big game, and 168 Matchkings on the small game at about 2650. I think I needed 2.5 at the most, but more frequently around 1. On the big game I dialed for an initial correction, then held on the second shot for most. I only got one or two first round hits on the big game. On the small game I held on all of them.

  2. Hey Rifleslinger, great to see you back! I came close to sending out a search party but then figured you probably just had some other stuff going on (what! you have a life outside of the blog?!) and needed a little space. Sometimes less is more eh? Anyway, I hope all is well and returning to some kind of balance.

    Oh, and sorry that first group out of your bolt gun was so disappointing – you’ve really got to practice shooting more 😉

    Take care mate,

    • Yeah, that group was crap.

      You should have sent the search party with a return ticket so I could get a vacation! It’s good to hear from you.

    • New stock = undisclosed trade item
      New Bartlein barrel = ~$370 (with shipping)
      Gunsmith work = classified (there’s a slim chance my wife might read this).
      Sanity from having a predictable rifle = Priceless

      Good to hear from you SLG.

      • Ahh, more than meets the eye. Well, a good stock is worth it, but a good stock with a Bartlein is indeed nice peace of mind. Can’t wait to hear more.

  3. Howdy stranger! What brings you to these here parts with that there fancy rifle? Oh, wait a minute….
    Welcome back!

  4. Welcome back. 1236 rounds through the Noveske and a rifle match? That should equal about 12 posts. I’m looking forward to it.

  5. Always life and life has priorities. Then there is the blog… which comes right after the shooting… which comes right after the …. yes, all priorities. Everyday different and a challenge. The nicest part of the life, is finding out great things about people you once knew better but never enough. Glad to see you back, for a bit. Used your sling just Saturday night, again, so I thought of you and wondered. Take care out there.

    • Yes, this was a good lesson for me that the universe won’t come to a stop just because I’m too busy to do something. It gave me time to think about why do things and what is important.

      I’m happy to hear you are using the sling, and to read about you being out on the trail.

  6. The slinger rides again -ye haaw
    I am surprised you had any wind correction or even knew the the term wind ,what year did they have a dead calm day there on the prairie – Who was your ” Smith”
    and where, or has that been declassified ?
    You still have your sense of humor and got your firearm rights restored so the therapy was successful – Good on Ya

    • There was a bit of wind. There always is, but the magnitude this time was more than normal and the directions are always numerous. Each different firing position presented shots through 2-4 different wind “systems”.

      The smith was Mark Ployhar. His answering machine says that he’s not taking any new business right now.

      They said the therapy was modestly successful. They think they know everything, those doctors clicking their thick tongues and suggesting oh so delicately that “people” need to remain under supervision. But they don’t know everything, no, THEY DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING!!! Yes, I’m perfectly back to normal.

  7. Glad to see you back. I was concerned that you might have slipped into a coma. Happy they were able to resuscitate you, and am looking forward to more posts.
    I’ll be interested in your experience with the RRA trigger. I’ve got a couple of JARD single stage units in mine. Really like them.
    Shot at the Boomershoot last weekend. LOTS of wind to work with. 5 MOA correction at 650 yards. I was able to keep hits on IPSC shaped steel, but many of the exploders escaped. I found that a 1.5 MOA rifle (with a 2 MOA shooter) are not quite adequate for .5 MOA targets at distance. It was fun though. This was my first exposure to team (shooter/spotter) type shooting. It’s a different critter.

    • Larry, if you ever get a chance to do some long-range prairie dog shooting out west, the teamwork approach works great there too. And gives great experience, not to mention fun…

      • I think that is what I have enjoyed the most about my experience at the Sportsman’s Challenge shoots. With an experienced spotter, I have been able to learn how to drive my bullet. I know that sounds bad when you say it, but yes it took some else’s spotting to teach me how to shoot…lol

      • Pete, we’re too far north for prairie dogs up here. I used to shoot them east of metro Denver when I lived there. The ranchers were always happy to see us coming. Right now, I’d like to just see the porcupine that my dogs got into so that I could expedite his demise. Sigh…

      • Originally I was trying to shot my Dad’s 7mm mag. But some one was kind enough to explain to me that I needed to learn form and to do that I should shoot a smaller caliber. So I got the Ruger American in .243. I bought all the glass I could afford, Vortex Viper HS-T 6×24-50 in Mil/Mil. I loaded a hornady BTSP 100 grain with Varget 34.5 grains. Seems to be the best bullet I can find right now.Good results at 200 yrds with no wind. I defiantly got schooled at the match.

        • The .243 is a good round. At least you went out and got schooled. It can be humbling, but the alternative is to be proud, untested, and incapable.

  8. I was checking the site every day. I figured you were pretty busy with your move, but rest assured, your posts were missed! Ed

  9. Glad to see you’re back! I kept checking your blog just to make sure my reader wasn’t skipping posts or anything, lol.

    It sounds like you may have run up against the very thing I was warned about with RRA two-stage triggers. At some point, the two stages turn into one mushy single stage that can be unreliable or unsafe. You’ll be happy with a Geissele (or a Wilson TTU). I’ve been running a SSA, SSA-E, and SD-E for a while now (with an ALG ACT as a backup).

    • I’m considering the SSA-E. I’m assuming you like it since you have it on Ascalon? The SD-E is also in the running, but I really don’t want to move my point of contact with the trigger forward at all.

      Do you have any opinions to share?

      • I like them both about equally. Ascalon actually had an SD-E in it, which I moved to a 308 project that is sitting in the safe. They both share the same internal mechanics, the only difference is the trigger bow. I only went back to the ‘traditional’ style trigger bow of the SSA-E in order to keep it replicating a military shape.

        Another option that may save you some money is a G2S-E. Brownells just released them. Same trigger and machining as the SSA-E, but they are only batch inspected rather than individually inspected.

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