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100 and 200 yard targets

100 and 200 yard targets

My low-rent Romanian AK47 had an awful trigger that was like a pointy stick dragging across broken pavement. Worse, every shot fired would reset the trigger with a smart SLAP on your trigger finger. Not too many shots downrange before anyone and everyone had enough.

Today was its first outing with a new trigger. No slap. Hooray! Smooth too. Way Cool! It has very little takeup against a light spring, a little tension for just a skosh farther, then BOOM. Perhaps breaking around 2 pounds, though I didn’t measure it.

While a very nice, welcome change, it does take some getting used to. It is quite different from the 4.5-pound 2-stage AR-15 or 6-pound handgun triggers I am more familiar with.

Before I began with the rifle, I took out my .40 Springfield XDM 3.8 compact. This is basically a semi-auto snubby with a 2 1/2″ barrel, counting the chamber separate like revolvers do. I took a couple of shots from a kneeling position… one visible hole low right.

I aimed (kinda) for the target’s right ear and launched three more shots… no holes I could see from the 100-yard line. The word “aiming” overstates the case a bit. The front sight is only 6 inches from the rear and covers all but the very edges of the white target.

I walked up and found a hole in the paper low left where the number 5 meets the black circle, two holes in the plywood just left of that and one hole in the plywood just below the paper.

I guess I should mention that it was so windy my rifleman buddy was not interested in shooting anything with me today. Maybe 2 out of 5 at a hundred yards with a snubby isn’t so bad, all things considered. Anyway, off to the carbine.

100 yard offhand target 10/10

100 yard offhand target 10/10

I started shooting the AK from an unslung offhand (unsupported standing position) at a silhouette target 100 yards away. The trigger surprising me most of the time. As I began to understand the trigger, I noticed a rather nice looking group beginning to form in the center of the target.

At 10 hits for 10 shots I quit before I wrecked my record. I know I’m not an offhand shooter and was convinced I couldn’t keep this up.

I’m a bit better in a kneeling position, so I shifted to that and put another 10 in the other 100-yard target. Getting accustomed to the trigger continues to evade me, but I am liking it.

Then I shifted to the 200-yard targets. (Okay so far)

I don’t consider my AK a 200-yard rifle, but it is always fun to challenge myself. I also shifted to a prone position to improve the odds of a hit a bit. (Still thinking)

Then, being particularly silly, I changed from the cheap steel-cased Russian Brown Bear ammo I had been using to the almost as cheap steel-cased Russian Wolf Military Classic ammo. (Mistake #1)

I didn’t have my usual spotter with his high-quality spotting scope and talent for seeing dust puffs to guide me in to the target. (Mistake #2)

My spotter is also a real rifleman who would have reminded me to nudge the rear sight up a bit for the 200 yard shots. (Mistake #3)

I really can barely see one hole through my cheap spotting scope.

100 yard kneeling 25/25

100 yard kneeling 25/25

Maybe there’s more. Maybe I’m imagining one hit at the bottom of the first target out of 4 shots fired. I tossed a miss at a gong, but it is a much smaller target that I really couldn’t line up in the carbine notch-and-post sight.

I switch back to the Brown Bear ammo and start shooting at the middle 200-yard target. Maybe some hits, maybe not. I could not see them for sure through my scope. I didn’t know I was hitting until I went to pick the targets up. (5/5 hits on paper, but one was just a nick at the bottom.) Meanwhile, back on the firing line, I was not learning much and it was definitely unsatisfying shooting.

Bring it back to the 100 yard target whose holes I could clearly see. Also switch back to kneeling as that narrow, hard buttstock was beginning to make an impression on my shoulder from the prone position.

I raised my point of aim dreaming I would see a handsome group forming now that I was getting more familiar with the trigger. I did get a slightly better group, but still was not quite ready for a couple of the shots when they went off. However, every shot I fired from 100 yards landed in the intended paper target. Nice.

I will continue to think of my AK as a 100-yard rifle, but it (and I) can reach out to 200 if it is really important that we do so.

I am quite happy that it now properly fills the niche I got it for… cheap gun, cheap ammo, hits plenty hard, handy in short range carbine territory.