AR-308 Part 5

Previous posts in the series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

OK…the rifle is together. If I’d bought one off the shelf, that’s pretty much what I would have gotten. There are still a few odds and ends to add, like a magazine, a scope, a bipod, etc…but those wouldn’t have come with an off the shelf rifle and I’d still have to buy them anyway…so for an apples to apples comparison, what’s the tally so far?

$565. Excellent.

But we still have some loose ends to tie up. There are two components that, although not technically necessary for shooting the rifle, they really make it work better: A magazine, and some sort of sighting system.

I ordered a 10 round Magpul LR-308 Pmag from Midway USA for $18.

The sighting system was a little more complicated. I knew I wanted a scope because I want this rifle to be a tack driver at range. I’d love to be able to shoot it well at 500 or 1000 yards so I wanted something that would work for long range…variable power and a high zoom level.

Another thing I like is Mil-dot reticles. I like the fact that a mil-dot reticle can be used to estimate range. The down-side of that with a variable power scope, however, is that if the reticle is in the second focal plane, you have to adjust your calculations by the zoom level of the scope at the time…that really complicates the math. With a first focal plane scope, the reticle zooms along with the background, so the perspective stays the same, regardless of the zoom level of the scope. That makes the math (relatively) easy.

Adjustable Objective is a must for me. I don’t like having to worry about compensating for parallax. And a large diameter objective means more light, better view.

But, I didn’t want to spend $1000 or $2000 either. After reading review after review and finding scopes that were close, but was missing one or another feature I was looking for, I ended up finding a Vector Optics Counterpunch at Optics Planet for $200. Vector Optics gets mixed reviews, but, again, for the price, I figured it would do for now and I can upgrade in a year or so if needed.

Finally, just a couple of optional accoutrements I ordered from Amazon.

Bipod $38
2 point Sling $10
GrovTec QD bases $8 (needed to add QD sling swivels to the Luth-AR stock)
M-loc QD sling base $12
QD Sling Swivels $9

And that completed the build. I now have a fully operational rifle, customized exactly how I wanted it.

Total cost: $852

A little over my original budget, but very good nonetheless.

I have to admit that I did splurge and break the bank a bit. On the first range trip, the cheap-o FCG I had in there left, um, a lot to be desired. Very gritty, heavy pull and the pins walked loose, causing the rifle to malfunction. This won’t do at all. I could clean up the trigger, reduce the pull and make it smoother, but I’d still have to worry about the pins walking.

Considering I’m hoping this rifle will be a tack driver, I decided that skimping on the trigger isn’t a good idea. I decided I wanted a good match style 2 stage trigger. I was going to buy a Jewell like I had on my National Match AR-15, but alas, they don’t appear to make them anymore.

That’s a right shame…I loved that trigger. Completely adjustable and smooth as glass. I was really disappointed when I checked their web site and they don’t list them any more.

I settled on a Geissele G2S. Not adjustable, but pre-set for a 2.5lb takeup and a 2lb release for a total pull weight of 4.5 lbs. I prefer more on the takeup and less on the release, but that’s the closest I could get to what I want. I had my Jewell adjusted for a 4lb takeup and a 1lb release to meet the minimum 5lb pull needed for matches.

I could have gone cheaper…Rock River makes a similar 2 stage match trigger for half the price, but from what I’ve heard, it’s half the quality as well. The Geissele was $165 at Optics Planet, but after shooting it, I’d have to say, worth the price.

So I ended up at a little over $1000 all in. Sigh. It’s only money, I can make more…

Anyway…I took it back to the range with the upgraded trigger today. It ran like a clock, everything was perfect.

So, what’s the verdict?

I think it’ll do.

100 yards on a standard sight-in target with 1″ squares. That’s a 3 shot group right at 1″.

This was from the bipod with cheap Remington Core-Lokt 150 grain ammo. I got 1″ groups or close to it consistently after dialing the scope in with cheap ammo and a not entirely stable rest. I really can’t wait to see what it’ll do with some match grade ammo. I’m pretty confident that it will do sub-moa.

Mission accomplished. The only question is: how long will the cheap scope hold up? Time will tell.

Final Post in the series.

AR-308 Part 4

Previous posts in the series:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

So, we’ve got all the parts for the basic rifle, now we just need to put it together.

I’m not going to go through the whole assembly process as it’s no different than the standard AR-15 assembly I’ve covered that at least twice here on this blog; also, you can find the process everywhere on the internet and youtube.

What I do want to talk about, however, are the oddities I discovered while assembling. This is related to the weird configuration of the Diamondback lower. As I mentioned in previous posts in the series, the Diamondback DB-10 upper receiver was configured to take DPMS parts, so I assumed I needed DPMS parts for the lower as well. Silly me.

The first clue that something strange was going on was the magazine release. I installed the spring and release, started screwing the button onto the shaft, pressed the button and screwed the shaft into the button until the top of the shaft was flush with the face of the button, released it and…the button wasn’t seated in the receiver. Hmm. Looked like the shaft just wasn’t screwed in far enough.

I pushed the button back in (after lining it up with the hole in the receiver) and screwed the shaft in as far as I could get it to go. that did the trick, the mag release fit now and seemed to operate just fine, but the shaft was sticking out past the face of the button by about 1/8″. It was painful to press the magazine release because the protruding shaft would dig into my finger.

Long story short, I ended up using my dremel tool to cut the extra 1/8″ off of the shaft.

The next thing that hinted something wasn’t right was the bolt catch pin. On AR-15’s and Armalite AR-10’s, the bolt catch is held in place with a roll pin. In my DPMS lower parts kit, the bolt catch pin was threaded on the end. Hmm. Can’t screw a threaded pin into a receiver without a threaded receptacle.

I dug into my spare parts bin and used a standard AR-15 roll pin to install the bolt catch. It seemed to fit fine.

Everything else went uneventfully…but after it was all together, the bolt catch wouldn’t catch the bolt.

After getting a magazine and trying it, the bolt would lock open on an empty magazine, but no matter what I tried or how I manipulated the bolt catch, I could not get the bolt to lock back without a magazine inserted.

In trying to figure this out, I e-mailed Diamondback and explained my issue. They replied very quickly, but told me that a DPMS parts kit should work.

I did some more research and ended up stumbling across a comment from a person who said they used an Armalite A series LPK with their Diamondback DB-10 lower and it worked fine.

I decided to take a chance and ordered a bolt catch from Armalite for $23. It took a week or so to get it, but after installing the Armalite catch, everything worked as it should. I’m guessing that had I also purchased an Armalite magazine release and Armalite takedown/pivot pins, they would have worked as well.

At any rate, with a little trial and error, it went together.

So, if by some chance you ever purchase a Diamondback DB-10 upper and lower set, just know that the upper takes DPMS parts and the lower takes Armalite A series parts…just to keep things interesting.

Still some finishing touches…more to come…

Next post in the series.

AR-308 Part 3

Previous posts in the series:
Part 1
Part 2

So, now that we’ve figured out what types of parts we need, the next step is to figure out exactly what to order.

The goal was to make a custom rifle, as accurate as possible…preferably sub-moa, but also keep it under $800 all-in. A lofty goal.

I had an idea of what I wanted, but I didn’t want to rush because I was planning on getting things as I found sales and deals. The best laid plans…

The first thing I found was a 20″ Socom profile barrel made by ELD for $105. I didn’t know anything about ELD but I looked up some reviews and didn’t find anything bad. They guarantee sub-MOA performance with match ammo so I took the chance. For that price, I figured even if I have to buy a new barrel in a year or so, at least it would get me started.

I bought it from Omega Manufacturing. I did find some bad reviews about Omega manufacturing and apparently it’s owned by a parent company that also runs a couple of other online gun parts retailers. Basically, the reviews weren’t about the parts they sell, but about their customer service…so again, not a show stopper as I was more concerned about getting quality parts than excellent service. Turns out, they actually were pretty good. Got my parts out quickly and resolved the one issue I had.

While I was there ordering the barrel, I looked around at what else they had. They actually had really good prices on quite a few parts, so I ordered several things from them in addition to the barrel:

Omega Manufacturing M-lok 15″ free float handguard – $53
Omega Manufacturing muzzle break – $35
ADK Defense Bolt Carrier Group and charging handle – $110
Ejection Port Door assembly – $9
Rifle Length gas tube – $10
AR-15 Forward Assist Assembly – $10

I ordered a cheap low profile gas block for $6 from Cheaper Than Dirt; I ordered some other stuff at the same time, so call it $1 for shipping.

OK…so I pretty much had everything for the upper on order in one fell swoop…so much for taking my time and buying stuff as I found it…but I still needed the lower parts. I really wanted a Luth-AR MBA-1 stock because of how adjustable they are, but they aren’t cheap. Usually around $160. I finally found one at Schuyler Arms for $120 + $7 shipping and as a bonus, it came with the LR-308 buffer kit and a DPMS LR-308 Lower Parts Kit minus the fire control group.

So the final piece was a fire control group from a cheap $29 LPK I already had.

So, that’s where we are: One AR-308…some assembly required (click to make bigger).

Note: There is a vital component missing from this picture. 100,000 internet points to anyone who can figure out what it is. (hint: It’s a fairly small part, but it’s not a spring or pin or anything like that),

More to come…

Next post in the series.

AR-308 Part 2

Previous posts in the series:
Part 1

So, after getting a great deal on the upper and lower, I needed to start getting the rest of the parts. This is where it got complicated.

It seems there is no “mil-spec” for the AR-10 style rifle because they were never made for the military. Apparently there are two primary styles with different variants and even more “one-off” types from various manufacturers.

The two primary styles are the Armalite style (this is the only style, by the way, that can really be called the “AR-10” since AR stands for “Armalite Rifle”).

Armalite style AR-10’s come in two variants: A series and B series. They are not interchangeable as the receivers are milled differently. The most obvious difference between the two are the magazines. The A series uses magazines that look much like a scaled up AR-15 magazine. This magazine style became the “standard”; it’s used in DPMS lowers and is produced by many aftermarket manufacturers including Magpul. The B series uses an aluminum magazine based on the M-14. The magazine release and bolt catch are also different.

The other primary style is the DPMS pattern. There are a few different variations and many manufacturers that produce receivers ostensibly in the DPMS pattern do so in non-standard ways. Basically, there is no guarantee that uppers and lowers from different manufacturers will work together even if they describe themselves as DPMS pattern or Armalite pattern, and DPMS and Armalite definitely won’t work with each other. It seems to be the best bet to buy the upper and lower from the same manufacturer to ensure they’ll work correctly with each other.

In addition to the uppers and lowers being different, many of the other parts are specific. One of the big differences between Armalite and DPMS style rifles is the barrel nut threads. Armalite uppers take a 1 7/16″ barrel nut threaded at 18 teeth per inch (TPI). “Traditional” DPMS uppers take a 1 7/16″ barrel nut but threaded at 17 TPI. More recently, DPMS has introduced a generation 2 upper that takes a 1 5/16″ barrel nut threaded at 18 TPI.

There are also three variations of DPMS upper height. The two main ones are high and low. The third one is apparently rare and is called “high rise” or “slick side”. This becomes important with railed handguards. If you get the wrong handguard for the upper height, the rails won’t line up.

Whew! Talk about confusing.

One thing that helps is that some of the parts are interchangeable with AR-15 components. I found this handy website that goes through all the parts and what is interchangeable.

Just in case that isn’t confusing enough, it turns out that my Diamondback receivers are sort of a combination of DPMS and Armalite.

The rear of the upper and lower where they fit together (the area between the takedown pin and the buttstock threads) are shaped like an Armalite (DPMS is more rounded there), but the upper takes a “traditional” DPMS barrel nut and matches the DPMS high rail profile.

The lower apparently works best with Armalite series A parts (I figured this out through trial and error). I read in the reviews that only Diamondback proprietary pivot and takedown pins will work, so I ordered them, but then I read later that Armalite A series pins work…I didn’t try those, but based on other discoveries I made, I’d guess it’s probably accurate.

At any rate, here’s what I ended up using:

Upper and Lower: Diamondback

Upper parts:
Barrel, extension and barrel nut: DPMS (traditional) style
Gas block and gas tube: AR-15
Bolt and bolt carrier: DPMS style
Charging handle: AR-15
Handguard: DPMS high
Ejection port cover: DPMS
Forward assist: AR-15

Lower Parts:
Takedown and pivot pins: Diamondback*
Takedown and pivot pin springs and detents: AR-15
Safety, safety spring and detent: AR-15
Grip: AR-15
Fire control group: AR-15
Buffer and buffer spring: DPMS (these are interchangeable with Armalite)
Buffer retainer and retainer spring: AR-15
Magazine release: DPMS (modified**)
Bolt catch, spring, detent and roll pin: Armalite series A
Stock: AR-15

*As I previously mentioned, I bought proprietary takedown and pivot pins from Diamondback, but I read elsewhere that Armalite A series pins would work. My guess is that’s accurate based on the fact that I needed an Armalite A series bolt catch.

**The DPMS magazine release “almost” worked. I’ll go into more detail later, but I had to “make” it fit.

More to come…

Next post in the series.

Latest Project: AR-308

Actually, one project among several this summer, but this is the only one that’s gun related.

I love the AR style platform, but I’ve always been interested in something bigger than a varmint cartridge. I know you can make an AR work with 7.62×39, .300 AAC Blackout, 6.8 SPC etc, but I wanted a true “battle rifle” loading.

So, I’ve been interested in getting an “AR-10” style AR platform rifle in .308/7.62x51mm.

The problem is that they’re kind of pricey, typically somewhere between $1000-$2000 (or more…just for the rifle, not including accessories or scope).

I just happened to run across a sale on a blemished Diamondback DB10 upper/lower set. I got them both for $129…about half what I’d expect to pay. The “blemish” involved a lack of anodizing inside the mag well on the front and rear surfaces.

On the rear surface, there was also a flaw in the machining, you can see it on the left edge of the groove about 3/4 of the way down (as always, click to make bigger).

I doubt that it would have affected the magazine fit, but I didn’t like it so I cleaned up the groove with a jeweler’s file and then hit it with Alumi-Black. This is what it looks like now.

I think it cleaned up nicely. That was the only real issue. The fit between the upper and lower is perfect. The only other very minor issue is that the finishes don’t match perfectly, the lower is just slightly shinier than the upper, but that’s not even noticeable with the rifle assembled.

Here’s the upper and lower mated together, along with a standard AR-15 upper and lower for comparison.

More to come…

Next Post in the series

I won, I won…

Well…unofficially anyway.

Airfield shooting club hosted an “as issued military rifle” match on Saturday.

Not to pick nits, but they did allow a couple of AR style rifle entries, which technically aren’t “as issued military rifles” but it was just a fun match anyway so nobody complained.

I hadn’t been to the range in quite a while.  Considering that I still have half a case or so of .30-06 and the entry fee for club members was only $5, I figured I could spare that and maybe the same amount on gas to participate.

I loaded my M1 Garand (which is too dangerous for us lowly civilians to own, don’t you know…just ask the Brady Campaign…why would anyone want one of those military style rifles anyway?  They’re only good for killing people…or something.  But I digress…as usual) and assorted other shooting paraphernalia onto the bike and hit the range for the first time in a while.


I shot in the third relay.  Another shooter in the second relay was using a Krag carbine.  I’ve seen them at gun shows and places like that, but I’ve never actually seen anyone shooting one…and BOY was he shooting his.  I knew he was going to be a challenge to beat.

I shot pretty well.  I have to admit after shooting my National Match AR for a while, with it’s two stage, four and a half pound trigger, the Garand felt like trying  pull a truck with my trigger finger.   The Garand really does have a good trigger for a stock service rifle…no creep, crisp letoff, but I’d guess the pull weight is around 7 or 8 pounds.  Might be time for a trigger job.

As an added excuse, I lost my reading glasses right before it was my turn to shoot, so I was having a hard time focusing on the front sight.  Interestingly, I realized that my vision is such that, when prone, My eyes are just enough closer to the sights to make the front too close to focus on…but when standing off-hand, it’s a couple of inches farther from my eye, which was enough to make it come clearly into focus when shooting from that position.  I was actually very pleased with my off-hand shooting for the first time in a long time.

Anyway, overall, I was pretty pleased with my shooting…could have been better, but didn’t suck…and after talking to Mr. Krag (also known as Chuck) while scoring my targets, he told me that we had tied on score but that I had beat him in Xs.

The official results were posted today and he was right…except they didn’t post the Xs in the results.  I don’t know why.

So I suppose officially we tied with scores of 261, but I know that he told me he only got 2 Xs to my 3, so I’m declaring myself the unofficial winner.

Not that it’s THAT important to me, but hey, bragging rights are bragging rights…especially because Chuck is a retired Marine.

Go Navy.

Rifle Matches Wrapup

I got busy right after the matches ended, first working on my Son’s graduation gift, and then on a project for  VCDL, and I never got my final wrap up post from the Atlantic Fleet and All Navy Rifle and Pistol matches written.

I ended up not doing as well as I had hoped, but was improving by the end of the All Navy match so I still have hope for the future.

One thing I was very happy with was my rifle.  I didn’t have a single failure of any kind, my actual sight settings were as close to exact as I could hope for (What I mean is, when I put in 8 clicks of adjustment, I got two minutes of angle of change in POI.   What that tells me is that the sight adjustments are calibrated correctly and are accurate), it was putting the holes in the targets right where the sights were aligned (I’ve just gotta get better at aligning the sights with the X in the middle of the target), it was very easy to clean (for an AR) with very little copper fouling.  I’m just ecstatic with how it performed.

One thing that’s interesting is that my other AR…the one for which I purchased a pre-assembled upper that was built by a reputable company…is less reliable than the one I completely put together on my own.

I don’t know why yet, but if the Del-ton upper on my M4 style rifle is the least bit dirty, it starts having chambering and feeding issues.  I haven’t messed with it yet to figure out what’s going on, but I want to change the configuration of it anyway, so I’ll be completely disassembling the upper here in a while and figuring out what’s up with that.

But I digress.

My lessons learned from this match:  I need to practice more.  Most of my problems were related to inconsistency in my positions, and the fact that getting into position isn’t as natural an act as it should be.  The only thing that can fix that is practice.

My off-hand, as usual, left a lot to be desired.  I was calling my shots virtually unerringly…the shots were going where the sights were aligned, but I wasn’t getting the trigger to break when the sights were aligned at the right place.  I need LOTS more dry fire practice in off-hand.

On the plus side, as I mentioned in past posts, I was very pleased with my wind-reading and adjusting.  I think I handled the weird, swirling and shifting winds of Dam Neck as well as anyone and better than most.  By the end of the All Navy match, I had more than a couple people asking me what I thought about the winds before deciding on their final adjustments.  That’s gratifying.

One of the most frustrating things for the better shooters about the rapid fire stages is misreading the wind by just a little bit and making a nice tight group…all in the 7 and 8 ring off to the right or left.   My problem isn’t getting the adjustments right.  Every one of my rapid fire groups was centered perfectly…my groups were just too big because I wasn’t consistent enough from shot to shot.  I basically dance all around the X ring.

So, finally, how did I do?

Overall, about normal.  By the final match of the second week, the All Navy EIC match, I actually fulfilled my goal of moving up in the standings, but leading up to that, I pretty much was solidly in the middle of the pack every time.

How I did in that final match, however, did a lot for boosting my confidence and encouraging me to keep working and do better next time.

Here are my final scores and placing.

Off Hand
Slow 200yd
Sitting
Rapid 200yd
Prone
Rapid 300yd
Prone
Slow 500yd
Total Place
Fleet Forces Command Atlantic Individual Rifle
78-0x 86-1x 87-0x 189-3x 440-4x 78 of 148
Fleet Forces Command Atlantic EIC Rifle
83-0x 83-1x 90-1x 180-2x 436-4x 73 of 133
All Navy (East) Individual Rifle
82-0x 94-1x 90-0x 193-6x 459-7x 49 of 118
All Navy (East) EIC Rifle
82-0x 91-0x 94-1x 185-3x 452-4x 21 of 70

So, as you can see, not terrible, but not great and pretty consistently so.

I did improve my scores slightly from week 1 to week 2 which is encouraging, and improved my overall placement relative to the other shooters pretty steadily as well.

The reason I moved up in the rankings on the All Navy EIC match, even though my score was not as good as the Individual Match, is because the weather conditions were much more challenging on EIC day than during the Individual rifle match.  Because I adapted better to the…um…interesting…wind conditions, I did better with respect to the other shooters, even though my score actually went down slightly.   During both weeks, the winds on EIC day were worse than during the Individual match.  I actually shot better than most at 500 yards in the EIC All-navy match, which helped make up for my typically poor performance in off-hand.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I need to practice more, both at home practicing my positions and dry-firing, and at the range actually putting lead downrange.

I’ve found out that one of the gun clubs in the area has been doing monthly high powered rifle matches at Blackwater in North Carolina, so I’m going to start competing in those as often as I can.  Shooting a regulation match once every three or four years just isn’t cutting it, even if I do shoot reduced range 100 yard matches in between.  There just is no substitute for actually going to a real rifle range and shooting at 500 or 600 yards.

I just wish there were more rifle ranges around here to do that at.   Every time I drive by any of the many golf courses in this area, my immediate thought is “what a shameful waste of a perfectly good rifle range…”

Anyway, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I’ll stop blathering on and boring you about the matches…at least until next year.

Promise kept

I promised you a picture of the targets from the 500 yard line.

I’m going to go one better.

I already showed you what the targets look like from 200 yards, but here’s a reminder of that view.

This is what they look like from the 300 yard line.

It’s the same size target as the 200 yard target, but at 200 yards, the black only covers out to the 9 ring.  On the 300 yard target, the black covers the 8 ring as well.

The black and white ammo cans in the foreground mark the 200 yard line, where the first picture was taken from.

Sorry about the tilt.  I don’t know why, but I sometimes have issues holding the camera level when taking pictures.  I never seem to notice it until I get home.  I usually use Gimp to rotate them back to level but I didn’t bother this time.  Too tired.

And here’s the view from 500 yards.

Again, the ammo cans in the foreground mark the 300 yard line, where the last picture was taken from.

The most important thing about shooting long distance, whether with open sights or a scope, is knowing your rifle’s sight/optics settings and your ammo’s ballistic characteristics.

If you don’t know the correct sight settings to at least get you on paper, or have no idea how much the bullet is going to drop over the distance you’re firing at, there is no way you’re ever going to get hits on target.

After you get that worked out, it’s just a matter of reading the weather conditions, adjusting your sights accordingly, and then employing basic shooting skills:  Proper position, proper use of the sling to stabilize your hold, proper hold, proper sight alignment and sight picture, proper breath control, proper trigger control and practice, practice, practice.

The black appears as nothing more than a speck using iron sights at these distances.  Consistency is the key.  Every aspect of each shot has to be as close as possible to exactly the same as every other shot in order to make good groups.  At this distance, the tiniest difference in your sight alignment, sight picture, hold, etc can send a shot a foot, or even a couple of feet, away from your previous shot.  Even your heartbeat can effect your sight alignment and, therefore, change your point of impact on the target.

As daunting and intimidating as that may sound, the fact is that anyone physically capable of performing the necessary tasks can learn to do it.  Give it a try sometime.  The old hands will help you out, explain the ropes and get you on paper in no time.

Here’s a great article from the US Army Marksmanship Unit (posted on the CMP web site) about what you need to get started in High Powered Rifle shooting.  Although there’s the potential to spend thousands of dollars on fancy equipment, it isn’t necessary to get started and you probably already have most, if not all, of what you need.

Incidentally, that article is one of a series done by the USAMU about High Powered Rifle Shooting.  The articles are a great resource for someone who wants to learn more about the tricks and techniques of the discipline.

It is challenging and takes a lot of dedication and hard work to become one of the top contenders, but even if you don’t aspire to that level, it is also a great way to build your skills as a rifleman and learn more about precision shooting at long ranges.

That’s enough for today.  EIC pistol is tomorrow and that’s the last day of competition for me.   They are having another 500 yard “fun” rifle match later in the week, but I couldn’t get that much time off work so I’ll have to miss it.  I’d have really liked one more opportunity to shoot at 500 (that’s my favorite stage of the matches), but it was not to be this time.

After it’s all over and when time allows, I’ll do one more “wrap-up” post about the matches, how I did, lessons learned and my plans for the future.

I’m Exhausted…

…but I’ve just gotta share.

Today was the 500 yard stage of the Individual rifle match and the President’s 100 pistol match.

We rushed to get it done because it was threatening to storm all day.  They wanted to try to get in as much as possible before the storm, so we were on the run all day.  The storm never materialized so we got everything done, but finished really early…and really tired.

Anyway, that’s not what I wanted to share.

I shot a personal best in the 500 yard stage today.

For those unfamiliar with High Powered Rifle matches, in a standard National Match course of fire, the long line stage is 20 shots in 20 minutes slow fire from the prone position.  The maximum score you can get is 200-20X.  The 10 ring is 12 inches in diameter and the X-ring (still counts as a 10, but also scores an X) is 6 inches in diameter. 

I shot a 193-6X

I shot two 8’s and three 9’s.  The remaining 15 out of 20 shots were within a 12″ circle and 6 of those were within a 6″ circle.

At 500 yards.

With iron sights.

For the really good high powered rifle shooters (like Robert Langham, for example), that’s no big deal, but for me that was a significant achievement.  Success is a great motivator to keep one working toward improvement.

Now I’ve gotta get some rest.  I’m beat.