Global Skywatch

Ted’s essays

my first 1K

I thought of myself as a 600-yard rifleman. In DCM, CMP and NRA High Power competitions, the 600 yard target we shoot at is labeled “MR1”. That stands for “medium range”, standard target. Thus I don’t get an inflated ego from hitting that sucker on a known-distance course of fire. Upon selling The Gentleman Farmer business I owned/operated for 22 years, my gold watch was a nice trombone and a nice rifle. Two tools I had long wished for but never afforded (best boss I ever had). My AR-10 and I are awesome at a known distance of 200 yards and quite clearly effective at measured and marked 600 yards. Of course only paper targets are going to present themselves […]

reloading 300 Blackout

I had to knock a couple years’ worth of dust off my reloading gear and a lot of cobwebs out of my reloading brain, but I reloaded a test batch of 300 AAC Blackout ammo up today. This is a new cartridge for me. It is somewhat young to the shooting world, but hugely popular already. Wildcatters cut down a .223 case, opened it up to .30 caliber and stuffed various weights of bullets into it. As often happens, gun and ammo factories saw a good thing and adopted it for commercial production. It is definitely a strange thing with big, fat, long bullets filling the top half of shortened little 5.56 cases while the bottom half is full […]

when low is high

I do not take it seriously … certainly when compared to those for whom Practical Pistol is LIFE. It is a great sport. It has wonderfully useful real-world application. And I do admire those folks who can SMOKE the course. A handgun you do not practice shooting is not much better than a pocket full of stones you don’t practice throwing. If you expect your pistol to be useful in a dire self-defense scenario, you dang-well better shoot it often enough to KNOW you can hit what you want to hit with it, and not hit what you want to not hit with it. It is fun. It is a great skill set to have in your quiver. But I […]

no magic bullets

I have recently been looking into subsonic rifle loads for full-sized bullets. By full-size I mean enough power to be considered adequate for hunting and defensive purposes. Less recoil and less noise are attractive, but I have found that sub-sonic rimfire (.22LR) can’t even clean-kill whistle pigs. One way to go, of course, would be to just get a carbine that shoots pistol ammunition for the purpose. The popular handgun loads all come with subsonic options or, as in .45, never do go supersonic. The speed of sound is about 1,130 feet per second. That varies a bit depending on conditions. I feel comfortable working with 1050 and below as subsonic and figure 1200 and above to be supersonic. The […]

gun control

Gun control is hitting your target. There is no simpler, more concise way to say it. Those who pass laws, or those who refuse to repeal laws restricting possession and use of self-defense weapons are either not thinking clearly or have evil intent. Laws against killing people do not stop knife attacks, bomb attacks, acid attacks, brutality against women, baseball bat attacks, gang violence against innocents, or any other violent crimes. Restraining orders are flimsy pieces of paper. Violent criminals are stopped by superior force. Period. Armed citizens prevent violence thousands of times every year. Most of the times without firing a shot. In a state as liberal towards personal freedoms and individual liberty as Montana, one as rich in […]

bullseye

As I mentioned last week, I ordered in a good training rifle. The Weihrauch HW77K arrived yesterday. It is even better in-the-flesh than it was in theory. The heft is that of a real adult rifle, in fact more weight than a whole lot of hunting and defense rifles. I will call it just about right. Reading the specs of – Overall Length 39.7″, Barrel Length 14.6″, Weight 8.7 lbs – is not quite the same as hefting and shooting it. HW77K feels comfortably solid, well-built, and well balanced. And shoot it does. I was initially disappointed it did not have the standard 10-meter peep front and rear that makes 3 concentric circles out of the rear sight, front sight […]

practice rifle

Weihrauch HW77K I got around to picking up a GREAT training tool, not to mention something fun to do when weather makes outdoor shooting less fun. BONUS: good pellets are very inexpensive to shoot. According to Weihrauch: Internationally recognized for its outstanding field accuracy, the classic HW77 is the most successful under lever spring-piston sport rifle ever made. Complete with adjustable open sights and the well-known Rekord trigger. Model HW77177, Caliber .177, Overall Length 39.7″, Barrel Length 14.6″, Weight 8.7 lbs, Velocity up to 950 fps Note: velocity will vary depending on pellet selection. According to Airguns of Arizona, this is a bargain in 10-meter air rifles. It will hit the 10-meter 10-ring (the thickness of a pencil lead) every […]

shooting range grand opening

The Bitterroot’s premier indoor 10-meter international shooting range had its grand opening today. That is to say that I finally figured out how to hang my spotting scope in the sally port. I had previously conquered hanging the pellet trap and a cover for the window in the East Door. I have yet to install an electric target light, but the plastic lets the afternoon sun in marvelously. The spotting scope is just a lean back from my shooting position when I’m at the prescribed 10-meter distance from the target. Thus I can take my shot, call my shot (where I think it went), then lean back and confirm my shot, before loading the next round. That is one of […]