“Wow, good shooting!” he exclaimed to his daughter.
I was at the range of the gun club to which I belong. I had put new grips on a revolver I carry, and I wanted to see if the recoil reduction and grip were the solution I had been looking for.
Next to me was a family, and others, who had come out for a day of shooting with rifles. Shooting at a range is a great family outing. The one thing that I noticed, however, was that everyone was using a Caldwell Led Sled.
These mechanical devices are great if you are testing out the accuracy of either factory loads or hand loads. They help remove the inaccuracy introduced by the shooter. However, using them isn’t the same as “real” shooting. You won’t have your rifle locked in one when you’re either hunting or fighting with a rifle.
In the particular case noted above, a girl, perhaps 14, was seated at the shooting bench next to the rifle. She put her cheek on the comb and peered through the scope at a target 50 yards away. Her dad began to move the rifle around, locked in the Led Sled, and said, “let me know when the crosshairs are on the bullseye”.
When it was set up, she placed her hand on the rifle and pulled back the trigger. Her father was watching the target through a spotting scope. He praised her with each shot. After 4 shots, he pronounced, “Good shooting! All four were either in on around the bullseye!”
As they should have been. They were using factory ammo, they were only 50 yards away, and the rifle was locked in a machine which was designed to produce accuracy.
But it wasn’t “good shooting”. And it was boring. I noticed that she wandered off to play basketball with her brother and never came back for more “good shooting”. In the meantime, her father and his friends, who all had Led Sleds holding their rifles, continued to praise one another’s “good shooting” as they each hit on or near the bullseye of their respective targets. She was right to be bored, it all bored me.
Unless you are testing the accuracy of ammunition, the whole point of shooting is to test
yourself, and to improve yourself. In the real world of rifle shooting, there is only you and the skills you’ve honed through practice, there are no mechanical devices. Quit bringing those things to the range, and start shooting your rifles.
As a side issue, I was using a revolver at 7 yards. My targets were 8 1/2 X 11 sheets of copy paper with a blue cross made by masking tape. I was practicing shooting from concealment, from the draw, with 3 shots on one and 2 on the other. My goal was to shoot as rapidly as possible while still hitting paper. I was all over the paper, but on it, so I was satisfied.
I imagined that after I left, “dad” might have remarked to his daughter how much better she was than me, since she could shoot 1 inch groups at 50 yards, and I was unable to “group” anything at only 7 yards. He would not have rewarded me with “Good shooting!” Do they make Led Sleds for handguns? Perhaps I should get one.