I managed to get out to the range Friday after work, and played with my new (to me) rifle.
I got out there late (about 6:00 or so), and there were two or three other people there. They were all pretty flexible about going cold so everybody could adjust/replace targets as needed, so as soon as I got my target stand assembled I was able to go put it up.
I set up at what I estimate is the 100 yard line (there are no markings – I may “donate” a fix to that one day, if I can get a decent rangefinder) to work with the rifle, and set four targets on the cardboard, one in each corner with about 3-4 inches between each. Dad and I had previously gotten it very roughly sighted in at 50 yards, but I wanted to get it dialed in at 100 yards.
Well, I got an idea of exactly how “rough” that previous sighting in was. I couldn’t tell where I was hitting until about the 8th round or so, but it wasn’t anywhere on the target. Finally, I realized I was going over the target into the berm, but couldn’t really tell by how much. Finally, aiming just under the cardboard, I could tell I was actually hitting the cardboard but not the targets, but at that range I couldn’t see well enough to know where. We went cold about that time for someone to change targets, so I went to take a look and realized I was hitting between the upper and lower targets. (You can see the .308 holes in the image below, between the right hand targets.) Unfortunately, I only had 2 rounds of .308 left with me, so I gave up and dragged the target stand to 7-8 yards away for some pistol work.
I ran a box of 50 rounds through the .45, and I can say I’m getting a better idea of the sight picture I need with that gun. You can see that, especially on the upper targets (note- what you see here is the second set of targets taped over the first set, so this is not all the shots I fired). I’d still rather get sights that are right for it, though – I don’t want to depend on not defaulting to a normal sight picture if the SHTF. If anyone from Taurus is reading this, please take note! An offer to fix this serious issue would not be turned down!
I then spent the rest of the time with my Ruger Mk III, practicing basic technique. I did a little one handed (left and right) shooting, as well.
What did I learn?
- I need to take the .308 out again to finish sighting it in. I should have taken more than the 14 rounds I had left in the first box, in the first place.
- I need more practice with the Taurus PT-145, to get used to the sight picture.
- The PT-145 likes Blazer ammo. I only had a couple of FTF’s, and those were both my fault (limp-wristing). With American Eagle and Winchester white-box I tend to get FTE’s and jams.
- I need to get to the range more often, period. I find that after a long hiatus I tend to develop a flinch that I have to work through, and I end up wasting most of a 10 round magazine when I have to do that. Plus, it’s irritating.
- A range finder and a spotting scope would be nice things to have.
- Shooting is fun!
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Update: Bob S. in comments links to an image of what Heinie says is the correct alignment for their Straight Eight sights. I have to agree with Bob that it’s total bunk, at least as it applies to the Taurus PT-145. What they say is correct is this (sorry for the picture quality – it’s harder to get a good one than you might think):
But what actually gets me on target is lining up the top of the rear sight with the top front edge of the slide, like this:
If I put the front dot on the center of the target at 7 yards using that alignment, I hit the target. If I use a “traditional” sight alignment – like what Heinie recommends and what’s in the first picture above – aiming for the top target, I end up shooting completely underneath the cardboard and hitting the ground only 10-15 yards behind the target stand.
Now, I know someone will start saying things like “you’re flinching” or “you’re anticipating the recoil,” and ordinarily I might agree, as much as it would sting my pride. But every other person who has fired this gun has had the same problem. That tells me it’s the gun, not me, and that it’s probably the sights.
I need to find better sights, because I’d be willing to bet significant amounts of money that in a crisis I’ll instinctively go for the traditional sight picture that I’ve spent most of my life using, rather than the one I showed here that’s unique to this particular gun. That is really not acceptable in a carry gun, but I’m stuck with it for the time being.