Range Experience and Forest and Trees

Had an interesting story from the Range yesterday.
Frankly it was a bit embarrassing but I was not alone in not seeing the forest for the trees.

We started out shooting many old war dog rifles and taking turns with the different rifles we had.
These were at 100 yard targets and four of us were shooting to see how well we did.
No competition between each-other because we all are different skill levels just enjoy shooting.
The rifles we were shooting was as follows:
Swedish M-96 (Open Sights)
Enfield #1 (Scoped but newly mounted and were zeroing it for the first time)
Arisaka Type 99 (Open Sights)
SKS (Open Sights)
Well shooting 100 yards with open sights with three of us being older and fair eyesight was a challenge anyway.
We did pretty damn good I must admit with the open sights and did get the Enfield scope zeroed in eventually.
The Swede did the best by far with three of us shooting 3 inch groups at 100 yards.
The fourth shooter didn’t shoot it enough to actually call a group size as he was there mainly to zero in his 22-250 Hunter rifle. But he did want to experience the war dogs so shat a few from each and had to leave early.

So now we had one more war dog to shoot.
My VZ-24 8mm.
This is the 1 of 5000 produced Romanian Contract Rifle and it’s first trip to the range.
We had no idea how this would group and were shooting Turk Mil Surplus ball rounds from 1943.
I have shot many of these rounds in my Yugo M-48 and they do tend to be a bit hot, but shoot as expected.
So I am up first to shoot.
I took aim at 100yds center target and let her fly.
Nobody saw where it hit.
So a couple more rounds and still nothing on paper and nobody saw the hit in the berm.
So at that point I chose a 50 yrd target and took the shot.
This time we see the hit well beyond the 50 yrd.
So next I try to walk the rounds up to the 100 yrd target.
To hit the 100yrd target I had to aim at the top of the berm in front of the targets.
That would be about two or three feet below the target itself.
What the hell???
So next my buddy who is the real experienced shooter took it up.
Aimed at the target and and Nothing.
A few more rounds and we saw the hits.
Way above the target into the area where there is a 200 yard target but way to the left of our targets and there is only two because nobody sights in at 200 yds and they were well shot up
In the meantime a Deer wandered into the range in the area above the 100 and 200 yd target.
The 200 yd targets are higher than the 100.
BTW all the shooting going on that Deer could care less and just kept grazing and wandering.
Now the third shooter gave it a try.
He aimed at the berm below the 100 yd target and hit somewhere on the paper above it.
It was pretty shot up and we at this point were just trying to figure out how such a well made rifle could be so far off with open sights.
We were thinking the rounds could be the issue being hot rounds, or perhaps a slightly bent barrel.
This was after all a well war scarred rifle.
But the barrel is still pristine and shows zero signs of being warped at all.
Open sights are really tough to knock out that far.
Some more rounds sent at the 100yrd target and by now the Deer was above our targets.
So we stopped in fear of ruining the deers day.
We are all dumbfounded at this point.
So then our most experienced shooter looks at the rear sight to figure out how we could adjust it.
Here is the Tree’s in that damn forest.
The lowest setting on the ladder sight of this Rifle is 300.
Seeing that we turn to the 200 yd target and let er rip.
Target every time (or at least dirt flies behind it.
We have no idea where on the target because it is pretty shot up already.
All three of us take turns at the 200 yarder and hit every time.
I don’t know if this a peculiarity to this 5000 Romanian contract VZ-24’s or not.
Perhaps someone here has a VZ-24 and they can let us know if they have 200 yd starting sight.
But talk about Forest for the Trees!!!
And that Deer was one lucky SOB his or her day didn’t get ruined.


At that point, maybe some old school bore sighting would have been the ticket.


If we hadn’t been at the range and had not discovered the sight was 200 or more that was the next step.
The Deer was never in danger as we did keep a good eye on where it was.
It was going somewhere (the shot) and we just needed to get a good spot on it.
We had good mountainside in front of us so no chance of overshooting the range.
Otherwise we would have stopped a lot earlier for sure.
But when was the last time you saw a Mauser sight that its first increment was 300?
That threw us.
No excuse not discovering that earlier though.
Like I said…
Embarrassing and Forest for the Trees effect.
As Homer would say.


You’re not alone. We’ve all said that a few times.


I use this in the basement before we go shooting. Quick and easy works great, saves ammo.



So here is an update.
The lowest setting was actually 300 so I corrected the posts above.
Anyway I got all anal retentive again wondering where I should aim this rifle at the 100 yard range.
So I got into the trajectory calculators on the net and then the ammo I was shooting.
Luckily Ian McCollum at Forgotten Weapons had done some testing on this Turk ammo year range.
That guy rocks as well as his buddy over at InRange Karl Kasarda.
Average velocity was 2950 making the Turk stuff 40- 43 year range rather hot.
I pulled a bullet and it weighed 155.8 grains.
Back to the net to find the ballistic coefficient of the bullet (.428) and then to the Trajectory Calculator.

And here is the graph:


And the Data:

So to hit the 100 yrd target I need to aim the sight at the 100 and then drop the muzzle 4.45 inches.
That equates to 13.28 inches below my intended hit.
Just about where we were hitting the top of the berm.

We were hitting the 200 yrd target somewhere near the lower half.

Mystery Solved, and Anal Retention episode dealt with.