Oct 30

For the Love of Jake….

DSC_5192 - postAs most you know, my prized competition rifle is named Jake.  How did I come up with that name you ask?  I absolutely love the State Farm commercial where the Husband is downstairs in the middle of the night talking on the phone. The Wife comes downstairs and demands to know who is talking to. The Husband says “Jake…from State Farm”. The wife grabs the phone and says “Who is this” and the Husband says “Jake…..from State Farm”. The wife asks him, “what are you wearing Jake…from State Farm” and he replies “Khakis”. The wife hands the phone back to the Husband and says “Well she sounds hideous!”  Not only is this one of my favorite commercials, but I wanted to be respectful to my Husband, and since I had never dated a guy named Jake, this name stuck!

Jake is a custom built Ashbury Precision Ordnance (APO) 6.5 Creedmoor with a Pinnacle series fluted barrel, AAC blackout brake, Xtreme titanium action, Huber concepts single staged trigger set at 2.5 lbs all wrapped up in an APO SuperSport alloy series chassis. My optic is a Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5 x 30 with a G2 reticle, in Spuhr mounts. I have Jake outfitted with a sniper skid plate on his foreend that helps with shooting off barricades and also keeping him from getting cut and scraped. I utilize my Armageddon Gear precision rifle sling to carry Jake from stage to stage and also use my sling on different barricades and in the sitting shooting position. I keep Jake well cleaned and lubed with Froglube. I have never had any problems with Froglube and would highly recommend to everyone. It’s biodegradable so for those adventurers, I hear you can eat it and not die!

I started shooting for Ashbury Precision Ordnance last year. We worked together in fitting the best rifle for me. APO took my body size into account, as well as other measurements to make sure this rifle was “the one”. By taking my size into account, they wanted to make me a “lightweight” rifle. You see in the tactical precision rifles matches that I compete in, you are given a certain time limit to complete the course of fire and within this course of fire you are moving with your rifle. So having a lightweight rifle was paramount for me. A lot of thought went into Jake as in the type of metal to use when building him. Take for example his action. It’s made out of the lightweight metal titanium. Jake’s weight, without his optics and bipod, is around 10 lbs. When you add the optics and bipod, he comes in around 13 lbs.  CAGE2

One of the great features of this chassis is the push button system. You can adjust the shoulder stock up and down by the push of a button. This comes in extremely handy on some of the obstacles in my matches. It allows the shoulder pad to be in a comfortable position everytime you shoot no matter what you are shooting off of. This is probably my most favorite feature and one I use A LOT. Another push button feature is the adjustment of length in the stock. When I let someone shoot Jake, we adjust the length so that whoever is shooting is getting an accurate shot. The stock folds by the push of a button.

Something that is also worth mentioning is the adjustment of the grip. You can move the grip forward and backward. You want this perfect so you have just the right trigger to finger alignment when breaking the trigger. Also you can adjust the angle of the grip. There are three different angles to choose from.

Jake eats, well um, shoots, Hornady match grade 140 gr AMAX. I have tried other ammo, but my best groups come from this Hornady load. If it ain’t broke, why fix it? Ah hem……don’t even get me started on my Husband “breaking” Jake a few months ago. He’s gaming me you know.

At 100 yrds, my rifle consistently shoots ¼ MOA. Jake is extremely accurate and I couldn’t be more proud of him. I shot this past competition season with only my Jake. He and I have had some great times and some not great times. None of it being his fault of course, I will take the blame for my mistakes.

As you can see, Jake is more than just a rifle to me. This is very cliché, but he is a part of me. He has been with me from the beginning of my competition season and we’ve shared laughter, tears and a lot of traveling. I feel comfortable going into a match with him because I know how he is going shoot well. I’m the one that still gets the jitters and he’s the one that always calms me everytime the RO yells impact. It’s a great relationship.10592731_710579022369632_6273609169569896004_n

 

Permanent link to this article: http://thelifeofmissy.com/2014/10/30/for-the-love-of-jake/

Oct 04

Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5-30 with G2 reticle

bushnell3Is it possible to shoot with an optic all season and then suddenly, fall in love with it all over again? Why yes, yes it is! At the beginning of the precision rifle competition season, Bushnell sent me the Bushnell Elite XRS 4.5-30x50mm with the G2 reticle. The XRS (Extreme Range Scope) is sleek in its design and is one hell of a scope. I have this scope mounted in a Spuhr mount on my Ashbury Precision Ordnance custom built 6.5 Creedmoor.

A great feature about this scope is the adjustable zero stop and locking turrets. The turrets are large and easy to maneuver. Again, the locking turrets are a plus. Once you have your wind and elevation dialed, just push the cap down and you are Locked. I zero my rifle and then keep my windage turret locked. My Husband has taught me to hold for wind, so this is why I never mess with the wind turret once it is zeroed. During competition, if I’m on a stage that has multiple targets that I need to dial for, I will leave my elevation turret in the up position which allows me to dial. If I’m on a stage where the target is at one distance, I will then dial my DOPE and lock down the turret. One big reason of why I love the zero stop, is so I know exactly where my zero is (I actually have it set around .3 mils below the zero, for just in case). This way, I won’t be second guessing if I didn’t dial back down after a stage and then being a whole revolution off (& yes, this has happened to me in the past). The XRS has 10 mils for a full revolution. So far I haven’t gotten past a whole revolution but came mighty close at the 2014 Snipers Hide Cup!

In past competitions, I have used scopes with a TRMR2 reticle and just loved it. So getting used to another reticle, well, I wasn’t so sure about. Enter the G2 reticle.g2 I loved how it was…..just simple. I didn’t realize how much I would fall in love with this reticle. I thought I needed the windage dots and all the glamour that went with the TRMR2 reticle. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the TRMR2 but after getting to know my G2, I just adore it! The G2 reticle is the brain child of George Gardner, who owns GA Precision. George is no stranger to the firearm community. With George’s years of shooting experience, added with his mastery of building precision rifles, it is a perfect storm for him to know how to place the mechanics with the arts. My G2 is in the first focal plane. For those unfamiliar with first or second focal plane scopes, in first focal plane your reticle size changes as your magnification changes. This is extremely helpful in the tactical precision rifle competitions that I compete in. Your reticle stays true to the correct mil size no matter what power you are on. This is more than helpful in ranging multiple targets and for use in holdovers. In a second focal plane scope, your reticle remains the same size no matter the magnification, which means you have to remember at each power what your “would be” mil holds are and correct them per power. In competition, I have always dialed my DOPE for all targets. I know, yes it takes more time to dial thus, reducing the time you have to engage your targets. I was extremely timid in trying holdovers, not because I didn’t trust my reticle, but I really didn’t trust myself. I had practiced using holdovers in training, but when it came to match day I resorted back to what I knew and that was dialing. When using holdovers, you rely on your reticle. With the G2, you have hash marks at every ½ mil and mil. This makes using this reticle extremely easy and this is where my love for my scope was reignited at a recent match. There were several stages where you had targets that were at least 100 or so yards apart at each one. On one particular stage, you had three targets at three different distances. With these three targets, I would dial in my DOPE for my second target, and then use holdovers for the first and third target. My holdovers were accurate, I engaged my targets and then I got excited! I was really doing holdovers and they were working. I did holdovers on several other stages and did extremely well. I wish I had trusted myself more in other matches to utilize my reticle in these holdovers. It would have been very useful and saved me a lot of time.

The low power of the scope works out extremely well when there are multiple targets close up. You can go to one of the lower powers and have a great field of view to pick them up rapidly. On a distance target, or more importantly for those 100 yrd extreme accuracy drills like the Accushot card or shooting dumdum suckers, the 30 power of this optic really allows you to see EXACTLY where you want to put that round. The lens are clear and crisp and did I mention the objective and ocular lenses have a water-repellent coating called Rainguard HD? I have shot in a few matches where we had downpours. I worried a little at first, but my lenses remained clear and the rain beaded right off.10257978_1478780939049668_4266725124784947193_n

Overall, this has been the best scope I have shot. I love all the features I have mentioned, plus Bushnell is a household name. If you would like to know more about this scope or other Bushnell products, visit Bushnell at www.bushnell.com.

Specifics of the XRS 4.5-30:
Power/Obj. lens: 4.5-30x50mm
Reticle: G2
Lens coating: Fully multi coated and extra wide band coating
Tube diameter: 34mm
Weight: 37oz/1049gr
Length: 14in/356mm
Focal plane: First

Permanent link to this article: http://thelifeofmissy.com/2014/10/04/bushnell-elite-xrs-4-5-30-with-g2-reticle/

Sep 26

2014 Bushnell GAP Grind Pro/Am

cage4The 2014 Bushnell GAP Grind Pro/Am is in the books. This was really the first match of its kind in the Precision rifle community. It was a brilliant idea because it opened the door for those who wanted to compete in a tactical precision rifle match, and was a great match to be a part of. The match directors, Shannon Kay, Bryan Morgan and George Gardner are all no strangers to this sport. All three men, respectively, have dominated this sport in one match or another (might I say several hundred matches!). Shannon Kay and Bryan Morgan own a facility in Baker Florida, K & M Shooting Center. This shooting center, located on approximately 80 acres+, is one of the most sought after places to shoot. Matches and firearm training runs extremely smooth here. The Bushnell GAP Grind Pro/Am was no different as the match directors as well as all the RO’s, made sure it was extremely smooth. Misty Morgan and Julie Kay, wives of two of the match Directors, were there and were doing a lot of behind the scenes, which I’m sure helped make this match be as smooth as possible. On Friday, the day before the match, the zero range was open as well as a few stages. It allowed you to do a little one on one with your amateur as well as make sure you had a good zero on your rifle. My competition rifle is my custom built Ashbury Precision Ordnance 6.5 Creedmoor. Jake, as I fondly named him, has a pinnacle series fluted barrel, AAC Blackout brake, Huber Concepts single stage trigger set at 2.5 lbs, Xtreme Titanium action all wrapped up in an APO Supersport alloy series chassis. I run the Bushnell Elite series XRS 4.5 x 30 with the G2 reticle. My scope is mounted in Spuhr mounts and is very sturdy. For shooting off barricades and protect the forend of my rifle, I have a Sniper Skid Plate (designed by Phil Hagoes of HTI). I use Wiebad bags to help me stabilize in awkward positions. These bags really help fill the gap between your elbow and knee, not to mention they help you be more stable when shooting off barricades. I also use the Armageddon Gear precision rifle sling. This helps me when shooting on other type barricades as well as sitting/kneeling position. I also utilize my sling when carrying my rifle from stage to stage. 10257978_1478780939049668_4266725124784947193_n

This match was different from other matches that I have shot. This match was focused on the amateur. The way I felt coming into this was, this is their first introduction to a match of this caliber. Not only did I want my amateur to do well, but I wanted her to see the comradery among the competitors in this sport. Everyone is friendly and will bend over backwards to help you. It is less intimidating when you come to a match and are not afraid to ask questions. I wanted her to see that if she attended a match, anyone and everyone would be there to help her.grind15 No question is too small or stupid. We all had to start somewhere. I wanted Maxine to have a positive experience. The stages in this match still had time stressors, barricade shooting and a lot of moving. A lot of the stages the amateurs had to shoot first. Maxine got frustrated on some stages and would apologize profusely because she thought she took too long to get a comfortable shot or at times I would only have 10 seconds to shoot all my targets or we would time out. I assured her that it was okay that I was here for her. I didn’t want her rushing a shot, I wanted her to slow down and pull the trigger when she was ready. If she would’ve rushed her shots and then missed, all that does is get someone so flustered they wind up missing all other shots. As a Pro, you were there for your Amateur. Some Pro shooters got to engage more targets than other Pro shooters. That’s why at the end of the match I didn’t look to see where I placed, because it was an unfair assessment of me as an individual.

The Pro shooters were there for the amateurs, and I was proud to be a part of this. Going into the match, I was excited that I was paired up with another female. Maxine had never shot a “big” match of this caliber before. Though I feel that I am still learning the “how to” of these matches, I was excited to share my passion with Maxine and to hopefully inspire her to keep attending. Maxine is just full of life! grind10She was a blast to be around and always had a big smile on her face. Over those two grueling days, we grew close as a team. And it turned out, Maxine actually inspired me. You see, unaware at the time, I didn’t know the obstacles that Maxine had faced and conquered. Maxine suffers from Type II EDS (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome). With her type of EDS, you bruise easily, joints become dislocated and your skin is fragile. In February 1996, she was involved in a serious automobile accident which led to over a dozen surgeries. Maxine has had 2 spinal fusions of L3 to S1, a non-mechanical fusion and a mechanical fusion. Maxine was told she probably wouldn’t be able to walk after her mechanical fusion surgery. Her home was made handicap accessible, anticipating the use of a wheelchair. After the surgery, she demanded a walker so she could take a few steps, to prove to herself she would walk again. She had little non-pain sensation in her legs and was unable to function normally. Maxine has had multiple fall related and spinal cord stimulator surgeries. As Maxine says “I could not function without this miraculous device”. The Medtronic Spinal Cord Stimulator overrides the pain sensation in her legs caused by nerve damage. She went through 8 years physical therapy to improve her quality of life. As she tells me “I do not remember what it is like to wake up and not be in pain, or walk without thinking about each step. There was a time when I couldn’t brush my own hair” While Maxine was in the wheelchair she started to look for things that she could do, so she taught herself how to sew and shoot a .22, and she got pretty good at that! Maxine’s body cannot tolerate recoil, so she thought she was stuck shooting .22’s the rest of her life. Until her Husband had her shoot his 6mm. I love Maxine’s words on this “I was terrified! It was a revelation! I felt powerful for the first time in a long time” And then it began, Maxine’s love for long range shooting. She is quite the competitor and like I said before, Full of Life. You go into shooting a match thinking about each stage, your rifle, the mechanics, the setup, the wind…..Maxine goes into it, thinking how lucky in life she is and that she is able to live another day, behind a rifle. I hope that we all can look deep down within ourselves, and find our inner Maxine.grind12

Permanent link to this article: http://thelifeofmissy.com/2014/09/26/2014-bushnell-gap-grind-proam/

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