I must confess, things have been a little slow around here. After revealing my grand plans for where to take The Everyday Marksman next, I haven’t made much progress on those lofty goals. Instead, I’ve been soaking up the dad life and diverting my attention to my family and professional life.
Why am I admitting this to you? Well, it’s because the theme of the month has been accountability. I think it’s important to own up what we have and have not been doing with our lives without excuses or equivocation.
That’s not to say that it’s been unproductive. On the contrary, I’ve been very active with my fitness and nutrition routines, and we’ve done a lot with making the Discord server a fun place to gather and talk. If you’re interested in that, be sure to subscribe to the list as there will be announcements coming soon.
With all of that, I’ve had time to think and plan what comes next for me at a personal level.
Establishing a Line of Departure
In the spirit of accountability, a huge reason that I haven’t been writing as much about shooting is that I simply haven’t been getting out and doing it. In total, for the year of 2020, I went to the range four times for a grand total of four hours. Nearly all of it was restricted to 22LR. While my radio skills and knowledge have improved a lot, my marksmanship skills are lacking.
Well, fear of the virus is subsiding. Supply lines for things like ammunition and gear are starting to open up again, even if at a higher price point than we’d like. Let’s do some work.
In the military, when the mission is planned and it’s time to set off towards the objective, the point at which units transition from movement to maneuver is the line of departure. I means we’re going on the attack.
What better way to go on the attack about refreshing my marksmanship skills than signing up for a match and putting in some focused training?
Back to Peacemaker National Training Center
I signed up for the Lapua PRS Long Range Rimfire Tournament at West Virginia’s Peacemaker National Training Center. This is the same place I shot the NRA America’s Rifle Match in 2019.
This match takes place September 4th and 5th. This was the soonest rimfire match that they had running, so I jumped on it. This date is good for two reasons:
- It’s far enough out that I can work on some serious drills for position building and managing my gear (two things that pro PRS shooters have told me are overlooked)
- It’s far enough out that readers like you can also sign up and join me if you’re nearby at all. If you can make it, then definitely sign up and I hope to see you out there!
I picked a rimfire match frankly because match grade centerfire is still too expensive for me to get enough of and practice with. I have a lot of 22LR on hand, and can reasonably expect to get more as needed without breaking my budget.
Naturally, my rifle for this match will be the Noisy Cricket. One key change from its original configuration is a switch in optics. This rifle originally had a Vortex Strike Eagle 5-25×56, but I’m planning on running my Athlon Cronus BTR 4.5-29×56 for this one.
Aside from the rifle, I spent 2020 acquiring additional gear and trappings useful for precision shooting. I haven’t really done any reviews or writeups yet, but now that I’ll be entering a training cycle, you should expect to hear more about these things:
- Wiebad Mini DRC fortune cookie
- Cole-tac boss bag
- Tyr Tactical low profile arm board (for dope data)
- Short Action Precision positional sling
None of this is sponsored or anything, I’ve just been accumulating stuff.
The Training Plan
As of this post, I have about 73 days until the match. While September sounds like a good distance away, 73 days isn’t really all that much when you factor in everything else going on in life- so I have to prioritize.
The things I’m most concerned about with my own skills are quickly building unconventional positions and managing dope.
By far, I’ve spent the most time focusing on traditional marksmanship positions at relatively close ranges due to facility limitations. That’s ok for fundamentals (even if they are rusty right now), but that’s just not how these matches go.
As for managing dope, the best thing I can do for myself is develop a rock solid zero, know my ballistic data, and document it for quick reference.
I fully plan on sharing more information about this progress as I work through it, so stay tuned.
Over to You
My line of departure was signing up for a precision rifle match on a whim and “figuring it out” en route.
What’s yours going to be? What are you doing to get yourself back on track?
Sounds fun Matt! Great process (committing to tournament) to get some serious trigger time with the Tikka. Ranges finally fully open hear in AZ but a little warm for lengthy sessions. Forests all closed to shooting due to fire restrictions. I’ll be intensifying (modifying to keep it interesting) my dry fire training routine until I can regularly get outdoors. Thanks for the motivation!
Hey Paul! I’m looking forward to it. The Tikka has been great so far and I’m excited to wring it out for what I built it to do.
Another on AZ here. Thanks for the update. Hope to hit the NC Scout course in November. Debating on going for extra class, and doing my 30-45 min dry practice are what’s on my mind. Work has me unable to attend a few other local classes.
That sounds great, Joe! I’d love to get to an NC Scout course someday.