To be confident and competent enough with a rifle to be able to hit anything I can see in a Jovian Thunderbolt kind of way.
The standard I am measuring myself against here is set by Jeff Cooper. He beamed over his daughter going on safari with him in Africa, and he had trained her to be able to “Hit anything she could see” with a sporterized Springfield 1903 (.30-06 is fine for Africa on game smaller than Buffalo, so says the Colonel). When Cooper lamented the unavailability of 4 or 6 power fixed magnification scopes, he said you didn’t need more than that to “hit anything you can see” and that more magnification than that was superfluous for far targets and WAY too much for something close by. (I agree with this sentiment, and would love to get just a Leupold 6x scope for a future lefty Remington 700… But there ain’t no such animal. They are all 3-12x variable… More stuff to break and extraneous stuff to pump the price up.) If I need a binoculars just to SEE a target, then I have no business trying to shoot it. Though there are some shooters out there that CAN. I am in awe of them. Those types can realize the improvement switching from a 1.5 MOA rifle to a 1 MOA. I will almost certainly never reach that level of skill, and that is not my goal. Hmmm… I could score Expert on a Marine course, I think I could check off this box. Arranging that could be difficult.
Anyway… When I wrote those lines for the Goals, I had a Garand that I had fired a few boxes of ammo out of, and that was the most used rifle. I have added a Scout scope to the Garand (low power, fixed, and long eye relief mounted ahead of the receiver,) and I have acquired a M1A. I have shot quite a few more rounds, too. I love them both and would shoot every weekend if ammo was cheaper and a range was closer. I was shocked, over time, on how easy it is to hit Minute of Deer, even for a novice, with a rifle at pretty decent ranges. I’m not truly satisfied with my skill, but I am pleased that 100 yards away, paper targets tremble in fear. Not just the white part, but the 9 and 10 ring black center, too. I kept one target, after getting the elevation dialed in, I went to the fresh paper and hit the X ring, about half inch from dead center. The paper is otherwise free of holes. A bit of luck, but still pleasing. AND confidence building.
Before my eyes go with age, I want to try a bunch more at a 200 yard target with iron sights. If I scare the black part of the paper then, then I think I am getting close to where I want to be with this goal. After that it’s just tightening the groups so deer 100 yards away can get hit in the heart rather than merely the heart and lung ‘area.’
To be able to defend myself with a handgun.
You saw my range report. I can hit center mass reliably at 25 feet. Certainly closer than that. I took a training course with a great instructor and that got me a Utah CCW. I carry where I can. I have pistols for this purpose. I have pistols instantly available to me in my home. I am looking to get one more to fill one last niche. Maybe one or two after that for fun, but also to make some redundancies.
I need to get OFF my BUTT and get more training. More range time wouldn’t hurt either. More dry fire and draw practice is good, too. Progress towards this goal continues apace.
I have not been tested for real. Thank the Lord. I’d rather go my whole long life dying peacefully in my sleep at that advanced age, without that test.
To perhaps harvest some tasty venison with either a rifle or a shotgun, any skin or antler is just a nice bonus, here.
I’ve gone afield in two separate seasons and got a hunting license. I’ve sat in the cold for hours. I’ve had deer around me in no-shoot situations so they got away. I’ve cleaned and butchered someone else’s kill. All that’s left is to get one myself.
And, if necessary: To Defend the Ramparts of Democracy from a Level 4 Zombie Outbreak or against the Jacobin, Rampaging, Godless, Red-Commie Hordes (or their modern equivalent.)
A few more cans of baked beans, a better backpack to didi-mau with, always more ammo and a few more mags are needed. Don’t need any more guns for this goal. 5 gallon containers filled with water, and a few of rice required. A decent wireless communication device and a dead microwave to hide it in (someone in range to talk to is another matter…). I need boots. But all in all, I am further along on this goal that 95% of the population when it comes to Jacobins. 98% when it comes to zombies.
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