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  • New! – Your Helpful Marksmanship Tip of the Day

    Posted by Jonathan on June 17th, 2012 (All posts by )

    Chicagoboyz like to visit the target range, but after President Obama was elected we realized that guns are bad and so we donated all of ours to schools and hospitals and took a tax deduction. This has caused us some problems as we sometimes get invited on shooting outings, and we have had to resort to borrowing our Uncle Ernie’s old Mauser that he brought back from the Spanish-American War. This is a very fine weapon and in theory we could hit a gnat at 500 yards, with either hand (during legal gnat season, of course). The problem is that we have eyes like an eagle, if by eagle you mean a middle-aged eagle with lousy eyesight, and the sights on old Mausers are very small and probably not usable by anybody older than about 14.

    The easiest remedy seemed to be an aperture on our shooting glasses. You can buy a fancy-shmancy commercial aperture but this costs actual money and we are cheap. So we attempted DIY measures. The first approximation was a short piece of electrical tape in which we poked a small hole with something like a paper clip. This didn’t work well as it’s difficult to make a clean hole in tape, and the hole gets further distorted as you remove and replace the tape in the process of locating the best place on your glasses for the aperture. The second approximation was to put a hole in a piece of aluminum foil and tape it to the glasses.

    improvised aperture on shooting glasses

    We used the tip of a ball-point pen to make the hole, and you can see that it’s pretty rough. Nonetheless it worked well and gave a clean sight picture that enabled us to hit the damn target for once.

    fatally injured paper target

    This isn’t so bad for a worn rifle with open sights and surplus ammo from the bench. (That’s a 25 yard rapid-fire pistol target at 100 yards.) We could probably have done better from prone with a sling or on the bench with a sandbag. Or maybe not. In any case the makeshift aperture helps a lot.

    The next approximation is probably to cut some rectangular blanks from beer-can stock and drill them cleanly at various diameters to accommodate different light conditions. If we stick the aperture to our glasses with a couple of bits of cloth gaffer’s tape it should be easy to adjust or remove without making a mess, but we haven’t tried this yet.

     

    10 Responses to “New! – Your Helpful Marksmanship Tip of the Day”

    1. Dan from Madison Says:

      I’m Dan from Madison, and I approve this message.

    2. Jonathan Says:

      :)

    3. Lexington Green Says:

      Years ago, for some reason, we were emailing about alternative names for the blog if we had to change it. One I proposed was: Groceries, Ammo, Freedom. Over a decade or so, that was pretty prescient. Books, Groceries, Ammo, Freedom would be even more accurate.

    4. John Wolfsberger, Jr. Says:

      Out of curiosity, what kind of shape is the barrel in? An M93 Mauser should be more accurate than that.

    5. Jonathan Says:

      It’s pretty worn but it think it shoots better than I do.

    6. Kirk Parker Says:

      Good grief, for $60 you could probably get a replacement rear peep sight for the rifle itself. That’s exactly what I did for my SKS–a Williams Firesight, and it’s a drop-in/no gunsmithing/no alteration solution that lets you put the original sight back in easily anytime you need authenticity over accuracy.

    7. Jonathan Says:

      Unfortunately not a drop-in fix. Maybe if I use up my surplus ammo I’ll have it rebarreled and a decent sight installed but it’s probably not worth it.

    8. Bill Brandt Says:

      Years ago I saw something at the range that put the fear of God into me.

      It was probably a combination of an old rifle (a Mouser) and badly reloaded ammunition.

      But the action exploded in the guy’s face.

      The guy is running behind us – blood streaming down his face, holding his eyes –

      Fortunately the range master had more composure than us – calls a medivac – they were able to save his eye(s).

      But be careful with old firearms and modern ammunition.

    9. Jonathan Says:

      Always a good idea to be careful.

    10. Bill Brandt Says:

      I think those chamber pressures, particularly in a center fire rifle cartridge, are tremendous. Add to that somebody who doesn’t really follow the re-loader’s cookbook precisely and you can get a disaster.