2007 was my first full year shooting High Power Rifle. I didn’t set any hard goals at the beginning of 2007 and I think I should have. I did have expectations from match to match during the year, but I don’t think ‘expectations’ really helped me mentally.
Being New Years Day, I figure I may as well declare some goals for this year.
- Make Distinguished Rifleman. This is going to be hard, but possible. I made my first EIC points last year in May, but I fell short in the other two EIC matches last year which would have put me into a better position to go Distinguished this year. I need 22 points. Which means I need make the top 10% in all three of the EIC matches I am allowed to enter this year, not to mention getting at least one gold or two silver LEGs. The first EIC match I plan on entering this year is the US Navy Pacific Fleet EIC match held at Camp Pendleton. It will be the perfect opportunity to get a gold LEG since there will be more than enough competitors to issue a gold.
- Make High Master. My first classification card was Master and it was issued last April. I really want to make High Master, especially with a Service Rifle (as opposed to Match Rifle). I know I can shoot HM scores in the rapids and slow prone stages. I just need to eliminate my mistakes in those stages and continue to improve my standing scores and I should be able to raise my average to 97% (485 of 500 or 776 of 800).
- Shoot a clean sitting string in competition. I’ve never shot a clean string of fire in rapid fire sitting, ever. As amazing as it sounds, I have not be able to do it. I shoot tons of 98s and 99s and for some reason continue to throw a round. I think I can achieve this by actually bettering my hold. I use a 6 o’clock hold in rapid sitting, but I think I shoot a tighter group with a center hold. The problem is, it takes me longer to break each shot in sitting with a center hold because I’m trying to ‘frame’ the shot too long. I will spend some time early this year with center hold in sitting, both in practice and in actual matches.
- Solve my elevation problems in 300 yard rapid prone. The past few months I’ve had problems with the elevation of my group in 300 yard rapid prone. My groups would be either high or low in the 9 ring. I actually met some friends this past month to test fire at 300 yards and sighted in for 300 yards using a center hold and my standard 200/300 short line ammo. Then I shot a couple rapid fire groups which resulted in groups that were holding the 10 ring elevation-wise. So I think I actually did solve this issue, but I will have to see how my groups hold in actual competition before I can say it is truly fixed.
- Improve my average slow fire scores by at least 2 points. Standing is still a bit rocky for me. I have shot some unofficial 97s and 98s in practice at my club’s range. In matches, I’m only posting standing scores around 94%, give or take. I’d like to get those up to 96% or better. As far as slow fire prone, I’m doing pretty good at 600 yards. Last year I developed a knack for detecting wind changes during the slow fire prone stage which eliminated my windage dispersion. I can post a 192 without too much trouble. I would really like to shoot some 195s and higher this year in all my matches.
Anyway, those are my goals this year. If I follow through with 3-5, that should help me achieve 1 and 2.