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Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others

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Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« on: January 05, 2016, 03:41:14 PM »
 

29aholic

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This happened to me a while back.

Well I finally got to shoot past 300yds and I thought I would share a couple of rookie mistakes I made.

 1. Don't dick with your rig the night before a shoot and not check your zero. I had zeroed the rifle Thursday night and everything was GTG. Friday night in preparation for the trip to the range I decided I needed to check my rings for some unknown reason. Front clamp was alright, but the back clamp took a little over 1 turn.  I had a chance yesterday to check my zero before going out to the long range, and thought to myself "Nahh, I am good". Wrong answer!! I was dialing for elevation (see mistake #2) and holding for wind (there was none). Well by the time I got to 700 my mysterious windage really reared its ugly head and I was holding completely off the left side of the target to get a hit. At first I thought my scoped had taken a crap, but the more I thought about it I realized "Dumbass you added windage when you tightened the rings!"

 2. Know which way to turn your dial! I had my data and knew approximately how many MOA's I needed to get to 300. I dialed it in (the WRONG WAY) had sent the round. Spotter called low (Really??) so dialed in some more (again THE WRONG WAY!!!!). Well the R/O came over and figured out what I was doing and once I started dialing the right way I started getting hits (up until mistake #1 and recoil started showing up).

 Perhaps some of you seasoned veterans could share some of your mistakes (and maybe Jeff can sticky it) in hopes to save future newbies some embarrassment (and ammo).
 

Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2016, 09:02:12 PM »
 

Kurt

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I once started a stage with my objective scope cap down, took me way too long to realize what the problem was.
 

Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2016, 10:47:41 PM »
 

Jeff M

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To avoid dialing elevation wrong, use a scope with zero stop...

I've made a lot of rookie mistakes.  Too many to list - again.  Check out my blog for lots of laughs:  www.RoadToPRS.com
Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 

Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2016, 09:58:06 AM »
 

29aholic

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Jeff
Your blog was great, thanks for sharing.
 

Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2016, 10:28:11 PM »
 

doggin223

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In case you don't want the rest of the story, if you are going to shoot with a particular pair of glasses on, practice with them on. Also, have at least an ounce of situational awareness at all times.

What follows is my recount of events from earlier this evening. There is a video to prove some of this idiocy!   :-X

I had just got off work and saw three does at the edge of the field south of my house. Knowing the field edge is 525 yards I figured I'd crawl to within 300 yards of the deer through the grass along the field and get one, maybe even two of them! As I was crawling closer and closer I was so confident I had my wife start the camcorder to record this stalk. As I got to within approximately 400 yards of them, I noticed more deer starting out of the creek bed and it appeared that one doe had seen my movement. I decided I was close enough. I got next to the closest "T" post, ranged again (405 yards) and reconfirmed dope at 19.2" (it's a standard duplex reticle so I held approximately 6" over her back). I waited until the deer went back to feeding and steadied for the shot. As the trigger broke I knew I had made a good shot, until I saw the puff of cattail fluff behind her. I immediately thought that I must not have re-zeroed my scope after the last shooting session. Checked, nope zero on the elevation had been turned back and so had the windage. Must have pulled the shot after all.  >:(

The deer had only run 200 yards or so away and were looking to the west. The report echoing off the trees must have changed where the shot sounded like it came from. Perfect, I've got another chance and I'd already crawled this far, I just as well crawl another couple hundred yards. I started crawling back through the grass only to realize the deer had now crossed onto the neighbor's ground. I called my wife and whispered to call the neighbor to see if he cared If I shot a doe off his stalks. She text me back a couple minutes later, just don't shoot the bulls was his response. Yup, already saw they were towards the south end of his stalks but were on the west end of the section. As I neared the end of the grass strip I realized I would run out of grass before I got back within my comfortable deer range, damn. I stopped and weighed my options. Genius struck, I'll crawl until I'm behind a pivot tower and use it for cover. As I started moving again I heard it from my left, two snorts and the sound of running deer. Two does had come out of the creek bed about 150 yards from me. I was so focused on the other deer that I forgot to scan the area before moving again.

There were only 12 minutes left of shooting time and since I had successfully scared all the deer towards the bulls, I stood up and started the walk of shame. I hadn't made it 50 yards when my phone started ringing. Oh ya, my wife was videoing. "Did you see those deer to your left?"
"Yes, after they started running."
"They had to be close. How close were they? I thought about texting you to let you know they were there."
"Ya, they were close. Probably 150 yards or so."
"You think you could have hit one that close?"  >:( (ya she's a bigger smart alec than I am)
"Did you get any of it on camera?"
"Yes. The miss and the scare."
"Thanks." I hung up.

After getting my coverall and boot off, I grabbed the camera and started the playback.
"Don't watch that one first, the second one's funnier," was the comment from over my shoulder.
Then, "Daddy why'd you miss?" Crap, she's got my three year old son in on it now.
"I didn't miss, I hit the cattails."
"Were you shooting at the deer?" he asked.
"You want to watch the video or what?" He nodded his head yes.  "OK, then no more commentary." We started the playback. I got to 6:18 in the first video and saw the bullet's splash in the cattails near the creek. Hmmm, that had to be long by about 230 or so yards.
"Daddy, why'd the deer run."
"Because he missed, Wyatt." Gee thank sweety.  :o
"Yes, Wyatt. The deer ran when I shot."
"Why?"
"Would you run if someone was shooting at you?"
"We don't shoot people, Daddy?" Hey the kid does pay attention once in awhile.
"No Wyatt, we don't shoot good people."
As I'm pulling my halves back together after being split by my wife's eye lasers, I overheard her telling Wyatt, "NO, we DON'T shoot ANY people." *Note don't say things which will upset an eight month pregnant woman.
"Wyatt, we'll have that talk when you're older." Another dirty look, I conceded and headed off to do some dry fire drills.

I picked up my rifle and focused on driving the crosshairs through the corner of a window. As I'm getting ready to squeeze the trigger, I notice the window frame looks broken at the point where my glasses stop. The drill stops and I start moving my glasses up and down while looking through my scope. My point of aim changes 3/4" at 15 yards!!!! 400 yard shot/15 yards*3/4" elevation change=20" at 400 yards. In case you hadn't followed along hold over of ~15" from the center of the doe's vitals + ~20" of elevation from glasses=35" of hold over. If my app is correct for Hornady's 154gr Interlocks. The round fired would have impacted the center of a deer's vitals at approximately 655 yards.

Two lessons learned: 1) don't become so focused on your intended target that you miss the obvious and 2) don't use equipment on your hunt you haven't been practicing with. The attached image was pulled from the camera for your entertainment. Oh and a third, don't mess with your pregnant wife.
Keep your mouth shut, ears open and eyes down range.
 

Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2016, 02:20:32 AM »
 

Jeff M

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Please link to a hosted image, such as photobucket or imageshack.  Trying to keep storage size down.

Thanks!


PS - great story!  :)
Every time you make a typo, the errorists win.
 

Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2016, 01:54:18 PM »
 

Les308@rem

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I think the worst rookie mistake I have made, is when I got my new stock in. I installed it, then loaded up my gear and went to the range, but I didn't torque the stock to the right number of inch pounds. I didn't bring any tools to fix it, so after wasting ammo and time and a range fee I had to pack up and go home. Live and learn. 
 

Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2016, 12:04:49 PM »
 

Parnelli19

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The biggest rookie mistake that I have made.... 
Not going to the match!! Don't keep saying I'll go next month or I'll go when I get whatever piece of kit you think you need to compete.  Just go to the damn match.  I learned more from my first match than I ever thought possible. Although part of that could have been Rick Reeves was in my squad and I followed him around like a puppy dog.  I learned so much shit from him I don't even remember it all.  Everybody is super nice and helpful if you are willing to listen. 
 

Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2016, 09:49:16 PM »
 

Shotdown

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1) Forgetting to dial your scope.

2) Removing the chamber flag before the clock goes off.

3) Not loading your mag after shooting the last stage and then trying to shoot the next.

4) Not adjusting your parallax

5) ...I'm sure there are more.
 

Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2016, 10:34:44 PM »
 

sp01jjones

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Some things I've learned from shooting PRS. 

Try and get your bipod legs the right height before a timed stage.  Or at least higher,  not lower.  I use a big rear bag for the reason.  Easier to adjust the rear bag on time than a bipod.

Know your targets.  I carry binos with me and watch other guys shoot.  Not only does it allow you to keep track of wind,  etc but it gets you into a good mental routine.

Stick to your routine.  Don't change it up at the last second because some guy smoked a stage in a position you're not used to doing. 

Know your gear.  Get used to using packs for support,  getting into positions with it. Just because you don't use it often doesn't mean you shouldn't practice from it.

Bring a backup scope/rifle.  Equipment brakes. 

Bring extra ammo.  You never know when you might have to reshoot a stage. 

Bring extra parts along if you can.  Helped a buddy change out a broken extractor first stage of a weekend.  Would have been a looong weekend if I didn't have some AR parts on me. 

Always check your windage every stage. Especially if you never touch it like me. Zero out your scope after every stage. 

Load your mags immediately after shooting.  Don't go chit chat and then find out its your time to shoot and you have to load mags.  Screws with your mental game. 

That's about all I can think of right now. It's a lot like golf, 90% mental. We can all pull triggers,  our brains know how, but don't let your head get in the way.  Think positive and stay cool.


Sent from my SM-N920V using Tapatalk

 

Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2016, 08:51:04 AM »
 

DarksideSix

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Always return your scope turrets to 0 after every stage.  I made the mistake of not doing that and screwed up an entire stage. 
 

Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2016, 01:18:00 PM »
 

sp01jjones

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Some things I messed up on last weekend. 

Decided to try my big pillow when I always clean rooftops with my backpack. Stick to what you know. 

First stage forgot to look at the ground and wasted precious seconds adjusting bipod.  Missed last target due to time.

Forgot how to shoot a boat (floating platform).  Easiest way I have found is to line yourself up at the top or bottom of a swing with the rear bag so the next swing you're right on it.  Don't try and shoot it as its going by.  That's what I get for not practicing. 

Make sure you know if you can skip targets.  Wasted 4 rounds on a target tucked into a shadow that I couldnt see misses on because of vegetation. 





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Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2016, 12:53:27 PM »
 

JamesLFlowers

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Mental Mistake from the deepest darkest reaches of Hades....

So....
I shot Woody's Spring PRS Match like I was blind and stupid. Not even blaming the wind or shivering in the cold. Just could not hit targets! So when I got home, I started double checking everything in preparation for the Kestrel Precision Match at Peacemaker this weekend. Well, some really stupid person fat fingered the velocity when they entered data into the ballistic calculator throwing their newly printed DOPE charts completely off and didn't catch that the charts were different from the master copies.

Yes, I feel like an IDIOT!

Lesson Learned .... DOUBLE CHECK EVERYTHING....
 

Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2016, 10:08:38 PM »
 

Rymart

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Mixed up my wind data with my elevation dope and dialed my wind correction on the elevation turret on a stage last weekend. Took a couple easy misses before I caught it. Didn't help that the wind dope was > than the elevation dope :-\
 

Re: Rookie Mistakes-Let's share for benefit of others
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2016, 08:21:39 AM »
 

Roddy

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Won't have much to add until next week as I have not shot a match yet but this is a really good thread. Thanks to everyone for the tips.