Recoil Therapy

I haven’t fed Annie since her first successful range trip, well over a year ago. For the newcomers, Annie is my Savage 111 Long Range Hunter rifle chambered in .338 Lapua Magnum, topped with a Weaver T-series 36X benchrest scope.

During the aforementioned range trip, I got the scope close at 200 yards. My range has three positions that go out to 300 yards, but all of those were all taken by the time I had finished at 200. It had been a fun (and expensive) day already, so instead of waiting for a position to open up, I went home. I intended to return shortly thereafter, but life happened.

Things aren’t much less hectic now than they have been for the last eighteen months. But, for my emotional health, and because I want to, I plan to make range time a higher priority than it has been.

As often as not, recent outings of the shooting variety have been spurred by Shooting Buddy. This is not a bad thing. I am lazy, even when it comes to things that I enjoy. I had an ex tell me once that she was surprised that I wasn’t too lazy to have sex. But I digress.

Like I was saying, SB would get an itchy trigger finger, or have a new toy/configuration he wanted to try out, and off we would go. I would seldom put more than 50 rounds downrange, if I shot at all. I always seemed to have something else on my mind – house, work, insomnia, something. Instead of taking advantage of the distraction, I allowed these potential opportunities for relaxation to be wasted. Things must change.

At least once per month, every month, I hope to be hitting the range and shooting more than 100 rounds. Unless it is Annie. In which case, twenty rounds will cause sufficient trauma to my wallet.

My goals are as follows:

      • Increase my overall handgun proficiency, including both draw and accuracy.
      • Concentrate on revolver reloads, both with speed loaders and speed strips.
      • Develop my rifle skills.

I have done very little rifle shooting over the years. I was always decent, scoring Marksman (defined as getting a minimum of 35/40 hits on a target with reduced silhouetes that simulated 100, 200, and 300 meters) both times that I qualified while on active duty. I have owned several different rifles, but never shot any of them enough to sharpen my skills beyond what I guess is natural ability. I want to change that.My range holds High Power Rifle competitions from time to time, and I had hoped to shoot Annie in one, attempting to come in anywhere but dead last.  However, it would appear that when I heard “high power rifle”, I imagined something very different than what the NRA did when they came up with the name.

They should call it a Service Rifle Competition, or some such shit.  .223/5.56?  High power?  Give me a fucking break.  High power compared to a .22 magnum, maybe.  My primary carry revolver with a 2.58″ barrel generates more muzzle energy, for fuck’s sake.  Oh, well.  I don’t like people anyway.  I guess I’ll create a course of fire and execute it myself.

The only practice rifle I have is my somewhat improved Ruger 10/22. It is much lighter, and has neither recoil nor a bolt to cycle, but I think that shooting it at 50 yards would give me valuable skills. Stance, target acquisition, and breathing control should be very similar. The view through the 4X scope at 50 yards should be close to 36X at 300 yards.  And I can fire either 64 rounds of .22LR or a single round of .338 for the same money.

Despite the extended shortage of 22 ammo, I have a fair amount squirreled away, and with the Volquartsen upgrade, it will feed anything. I just have to rescue it from the ex-roomie’s place, where my gun safe still resides.

I finally got my telescope, and I plan to put it to use on Saturday, zeroing Annie at 300. But you know what they say:

Men plan, and God laughs.

Yes, I know that is a Yiddish proverb, and being the racist piece of shit that I am, I’m supposed to hate the Jooz and all things Jewish. But since when have I ever done anything I was supposed to do?

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8 Responses to Recoil Therapy

  1. Glenfilthie says:

    Spot on Grump! I like the heavy metal, of course, but I want to see how you make out with that spotting scope. What is ammo variety like for the 338LM?

    I had a sweet AR, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with it…but it just wasn’t the right tool for high power rifle work for some infuriatingly unkown reason… So I bought one of those Springfield M1A National Match rifles and I haven’t looked back. That stupid thing is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, I’ve had it less than a month and there are already 300 rounds down the pipe! It is big dollars…but you take it out of the box, you put a top notch sling on it, you dial it in and then start blasting bullseyes and you’re done. The only problem I have now is that when I go to the range everyone tries to hog my rifle and ammo! Everyone just seems to shoot it well. I need a friggin AR again!!! That, or maybe I can borrow your .22…? 🙂

    • alaskan454 says:

      There is a fair amount of ammo available for the 338, as long as one is willing to pay for it. I’ve only bought 100 each of two varieties, one from Dallas Custom Reloads (Lapua brass, 250 grain Sierra Match King bullets) – do NOT order from them, nightmare shared elsewhere on the blog, and Sellier & Bellot, also 250 grain SMK.

      Average cost is $4 each, with Prvi Partizan (poorly rated) at around $3 each, all the way up to Nosler and Remington Secnar Match options that will set you back over $7 each. In quantity, the S&B can be had for about the same per round cost as the Prvi crap, and that is what I bought back in December.

      I have the reloading hardware, a 1000-count box of primers (all the store had in stock, and I figured it would be enough to start), an eight pound keg of Accurate Magpro powder, and 500 each SMK and bulk blemished bullets. I figure I can roll my own for about $1 using SMK or 75 cents using the blems, not counting the cost of the brass. Hopefully, by just neck sizing it, the brass will last a while.

      I will be testing the S&B this weekend. Hopefully, it will perform as well for me as it has for those who have reviewed it elsewhere. I’ll let y’all know.

      I’ve always been interested in the M1A rifles. In fact, I wanted a Socom 16 as my EBR/MBR, but they like them a little too much for my taste, so I bought a 6.8 Franken-AR instead. Been debating getting a .223 upper, and if I ever finish this damn house, again looking into an M1A of some variety, but that would be two more calibers that I would have to feed and build supply stocks for…

  2. Oldawg says:

    Now wait a minute! Your comment “The view through the 4X scope at 50 yards should be close to 36X at 300 yards.” may be correct as far as the view, but holding those crosshairs steady at 300 yards will sure be different! I know you’re aware that it will look like you have Parkinson’s when you’re trying to hold steady at that distance, but I reckon practice at ANY distance is a good thing.

    I’m not sure I could bring myself to pull the trigger on a $4.00+ shot at a target, not to mention the recoil, but I guess you won’t be shooting enough of those in one day to get too beat up.

    I can’t forget the days when we used to buy a box of .22s for 70 cents. I spent most of my hard-earned money on them when I was a young teenager.

    Happy shooting!


    • alaskan454 says:

      Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. You’re right about the shakiness, but that’s what the bipod on the 338 is for, something I should duplicate on the 10/22. And realistically, what other choice do I have? Until I win the lottery, hundred round days will never happen. Plus, I’m too old and shaky to be worth a damn shooting offhand anyway.

      The recoil isn’t bad. Believe it or not, my 18″ barrel Benelli 12 gauge is more punishing with 3″ buckshot. I don’t know how they did it, but Savage got the muzzle break right. You don’t want to stand beside her when someone touches one off, that’s for sure.

      Mostly, I’m excited about honing a skill that I never fully developed, despite my decades of shooting. I know it is extremely unlikely that I will ever take a shot with it outside of my range, but it’s nice to know that I have equipment capable of taking out a grizzly at a thousand yards, if I can get my skill level that good. Realistically, I figure total lifetime round count will never hit 1,000.

  3. lpcard says:

    f’n weather…

  4. LarryP says:

    FWIW, I’m off Fridays and Saturdays again.

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