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Sorry about the uptime issues ... my new machine is humming along nicely, the problems were with a hardware failure of the firewall. Not hard to fix, just hard to find the time to do so.

On Sunday, Nate and I went down to Serenity Valley and enjoyed the Haas' extremely generous hospitality.

I go far too long without shooting, so I'm always a little rusty when I go out again. Nate and I started out plinking with .22LR rifles and handguns. After some work at 50 and 100 yards, I pulled out my new Springfield 1903. Keep in mind that this rifle only has iron sights. Good iron sights, to be sure, but no optics. My first shot at the 50 yard target was just to be sure I was on the paper. Somewhat misleadingly, the shot was perfect. Too perfect. I nearly plugged the 0 on the IPSC target I was shooting at - the bullet hole was just barely outside the number. This is misleading because the 0 is located slightly above the center of mass that I was aiming at, but it was certainly heartening. Now sure I was at least on the paper, I tried a shot at 100 yards. Sure enough, It was only a slight change from my original point of impact.

I fired a few more shots from the -06 and then Nate tried out his Marlin .44 Magnum lever rifle. It took some time since his optics had never been adjusted, but before long he was putting down some extremely respectable groups.

We transitioned back and forth between rifles, .22LR and some handgun work for the rest of the day. One moment I was particularly proud of was when I lugged the Springfield to the 300 yard range. I wasn't expecting to even hit the target. I know there are people out there who scoff at 300 yards as child's play for an iron-sighted .30-06, but having actually seen how small an 8" circle is when it is 900 feet away - and how much smaller it looks when you try to put the blade of an iron sight on it - I can't do any scoffing myself. That's why I was proud when out of my first three shots, I put two on the paper. I got better after that as I worked on my breathing and hold, but after a few rounds of shooting I started to tire and when I moved over to the partially obscured steel target, I didn't do quite so well. When we went downrange, we found that I had actually done a substantial amount of damage to the tree that was in front of the steel, so that's my excuse for the misses there.

For some reason, I tend to shoot well-made steel targets in such a manner that they break long before they should. I snapped another steel target (this time with a .22). Sorry, Mr. Haas.

Anyway, we had a fantastic time, and I'll put some pictures of some groups and maybe a video clip of me taking one of my 300 yard shots. Later.
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