It's just 30 points. You can't make any mistakes. I made plenty and was 10 points away from winning the combined trophy which includes a reproduction 1903A4.
1. Shoot all five sighters. Wood/metal rifles, especially old ones, need to be warmed up to operating temperature. I think the zeros can move enough after they heat up to matter on some of them.
2. Get as close as you can on sights, then dress up the hold. I stopped Julia Watson from moving the ladder rear sight of her 1903A3 with one sighter left. It was shooting low. If she moved it up a click she probably would have shot a seven out the top.
3. Square away the position: Cheekbone on the back of your thumb knuckle, elbow under the rifle, natural point of aim checked and re-checked. It's like a boxing match: you are going to get hit in the face even if you win. Any air between your hand and face and you will get smacked hard. Lip busted by fingertips, et. Cheekbone on the back of the thumbjoint and ride the recoil.
4. I used a suction-cup peepsight on my glasses for the Swiss K31. It sharpened up the ladder sight considerably. That said, managing glasses, stick-on peepsight, the cocking ring of the K31, et is a lot. When we went into the pits it started raining. I'm not sure all those glass surfaces and peeps would have tolerated being wet.
5. Scope the first two rounds in the rapid fire string. I didn't with the Springfield and K31 because I was shooting 5 and 5- reload by stripper clip or magazine. Should have checked. PLENTY of time.
6. Work that offhand. Again, plenty of time. Check NPA and come off if you are taking too long. You can't shoot a bad shot just to get to the next one.
My combined score was 849X17. 859X18 won, so I needed 11 points. I spit up 11 points in the Springfield match alone, firing only a silver. My average score across the three matches was 283. 287 would have won the aggregate 3-gun trophy. I was careless early and my rapids in Springfield and Garand weren't good. Made the difference.
Still very tickled to take home the National Vintage rifle trophy. And the Krieger AR15 barrel. Never had a Krieger.
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