As we approach the ASSA Smallbore Championships some of our new shooters will experience something they have few opportunities to do during their normal shooting season. That would be shooting at a distance of 100 yards.
For those who normally shoot indoors or 3-P only there is no reason to shoot beyond 50 meters. But for American Prone shooting, 100 yards is part of the course of fire. Each day there will be 60 shots for record fired at 100 yards.
To shoot American prone, a smallbore shooter who competes at 50 feet indoors or 50 yards outdoors will very likely have everything they need in their gear bag. Jacket, sling, glove, ammunition, scope and scope stand for spotting shots, maybe a hat to shade their eyes, and clips to fasten the target to the target frame.
The image below is a typical target frame at the Wa-Ke-De Range in Bristol IN. The target paper wrapped around the top of the backer board is a good idea because it helps illuminate sighting shots at 100 yards. Because the backer target that is clipped to the backer board is only as long as the two scoring bulls, the sighting shots at the top of the target can be hard to spot through the scope. Especially if the mirage is heavy. And since we shoot the 100 yard targets last, the temperature will be high and very likely the mirage will be too.
The bull dog binder clip is probably the very best method for clipping the target to the frame, especially on the Bristol frames. It is not the least expensive method, but 4 clips will keep a target fastened to the frame when I have seen 8 binder clips allow a target to be blown loose.
Another critical item to have figured out before you arrive is the elevation change between 50 yards and 100 yards. If your rifle sights are zeroed for 50 yards, and you shoot at 100 yards the bullet impact will be approximately 7 inches low. This is cause your shot to hit below the sighting shot line by about a 1/2 inch. If you don't see this shot in the white, and take another sighting shot that goes close to the same place, now you have just lost 10 points with a miss into the white.
How to avoid this: Prior to even coming to the range it would be a good idea to check how much elevation you have on your rear sight. Most of the junior shooters are probably using a European rear sight where each click is either 1/6th or 1/12th of a minute of angle. What this means is you will need to move the elevation knob 6 or 12 clicks for every inch of elevation to move your bullet strike. If the change in distance is 7 MOA (minutes of angle) this is 42 or 84 clicks. 4 revolutions on the rear sight. If you don't have 4 revolutions of travel left in your rear sight you are going to be hitting below the center of the target. The solution to this is to add a rear sight riser block to your rifle. Depending on the sight radius on your particular rifle this can make the problem worse. A long sight extension tube will cause the bullet impact per click to be even less than what is published in a Anschutz or Walther sight set instruction. If you are shooting with a canted rifle the problem will be even worse.
Figure this out before you arrive at the range to prevent losing points at the 100 yard line.
What happens if your first shot is below the sighting line on the first target of a numbered match or a change of distance during the Dewar match? Answer: Immediately get the attention of the range officer and inform them your first shot is below the sighting line. This is your one and only freebie for that card. You have to make the corrections to your sights to get above the sighting line into the sighting bull. This applies at any distance. If you fail to notify the range officer, your shots below the sighting line will be counted for score.