I'm not much fun sometimes because I'm not a gamer and I'm far more practical than tactical. At around a half-century on this third rock from the sun, I'm not an operator... just a husband, a dad, a pudgy country boy, and a gun guy. Yeah, I use a timer when I practice with my firearms and when I compete in local IDPA, three-gun, and other competitions, but I don't participate in competition to beat anyone else but myself.
It's not that I'm making an excuse for being a poor shot or for mediocre firearms handling... I think I do alright handling guns and I shoot pretty well, but I'm more interested in my speed and abilities with my everyday carry gear than I am in how well I do with a race-gun or a competition-specific rig while wearing a shoot-me first vest. Along those lines of thinking, I'm always interested in how I perform when I step out on the range taking my "first shots cold" or FSC.
My everyday home and self-defense, kill-a-coyote rifle is our the Ruger SR-556c with an Aimpoint PRO for an optic. I plan to use it for a 100-yard high-power, three position rifle match coming up this Saturday which only allows iron sights or zero-magnification red-dot sights. Now I realize a fourteen and a half inch barrel and a red-dot sight is not exactly standard fair for precision shooting at targets... four and two-legged varmints... yes... but precision targets... no. I'm being practical. This is the gun I bet my life on.... the gun I bet my gals' lives on... so when I grab it and take those first shots cold... it better hit what I'm aiming at.
The target above is from my practice time last Saturday and shows the first three-shot group using Federal .223 Remington GoldMatch with 69-grain Sierra MatchKing bullets shooting from the prone position resting the gun on the Magpul PMAG. The target was at exactly 100-yards and the rifle was set up with a 50/200 yard zero. The 2.5-inches over at 100-yards is pretty much dead on, but the 1.5-nches to the right is a little off, maybe due to taking the Aimpoint PRO on and off and couple of times.
I can't complain about the accuracy and precision... can you ask for anything more than a sub-one-MOA group from a defensive AR? The rifle and I both performed to my expectations for self-defense. By the end of my practice time, I had re-zeroed at 100-yards for the match this coming Saturday with over two-thirds of my three-shot groups at less than one-inch. Will I likely win the match competing against long-barreled rifles with precision peep-sights... not a chance.
Again, I'm not shooting to win or be a gamer, I'm shooting to be practical and the best I can be... call it an excuse if you want... but that is why I'm always mostly interested in testing myself... and whether it's a pistol, rifle, or shotgun... those first shots are what count when your life or your family's lives are on the line.
This Saturday I'll again see how I do when firing those... First Shots Cold... with our Ruger SR-556c.