So I took myself off to the range yesterday, accompanied by these two other old guys:
Here’s the final five-round string for the Mauser, at 100 yards, bench rest (elbows, not sandbag), shooting Sellier & Bellot 195-gr FMJ:
I’d noted in earlier targets that the gun was shooting high, hence the low hold. However: while I could sort of make out the front sight, the back V sight (tiny, as all Mauser shooters know) was simply an amorphous blur, and I had absolutely no idea whether I had the sight picture properly aligned, or not. Here’s a rough idea of what I’m talking about:
…only the rear V was even more blurred than that, making it impossible to get a clear and consistent sight picture.
It’s not the rifle; it’s me; although I am a little concerned that it’s shooting so high, it might just be that I was shooting with sight pictures #2 or #5.
I need to get my eyes fixed, pronto.
Anyway, on to the (post-’64) Winchester 94. This time, I set the target at 50 yards, and figuring that it would shoot high, I held the same point of aim. These were all fired offhand (standing, unsupported), because I doubt very much whether I’ll ever benchrest it. Ammo was Winchester Super-X 170gr SP:
Unlike for the Mauser, I fired no “warm-up” shots, just loaded some rounds into the tube and let fly: I know how to shoot a lever rifle.
Just not this one. The first five shots were all over the place because I discovered that there’s absolutely no take-up in the trigger: once the hammer is cocked, apply about 3lbs of pressure, and off she goes. So I took my time with the last two (#6 and #7) and was amply rewarded.
For some reason, the little “buckhorn” rear- and brass bead front sights were a lot easier to line up properly, compared to the Mauser’s V/conical setup. Also, the Winchester’s sight radius (distance between back- and front sights) is 17″, compared to the Mauser’s 20″, which means that when I’m focusing on the front sight, the lever gun’s rear sight is a lot more in focus than that of the K98.
I should also admit that twenty rounds of 8x57mm took quote a toll on my shoulder, whereas the .30-30 was an absolute breeze by comparison. Next time I shoot the Mauser, I’ll use either a shoulder pad or a removable rubber pad to help my ancient shoulder handle the recoil.
Note: Ammo for both rifles came from J&G Sales. I paid a small premium for the S&B for two reasons: I hate shooting corrosive ammo, and I trust the Czech ammo to be consistent (as it has been for me in the past). Likewise, I bought the Winchester ammo because the thought of shooting Winchester ammo through a Winchester rifle gave me a warm & fuzzy feeling.