I went to the range recently just to shoot an M1Garand and enjoy it. The rifle and ammunition were performing well, producing small groups at 100 yards. The samples are in the photos in this post. My M1 is an old warhorse made in July of 1942 and rebuilt in 1952. I assume it was used in combat in WWII and maybe early in the Korean War. The rifle shoots better than I do, its finish is worn, but it’s mechanically sound as good a weapon as it ever was.
As I was enjoying my range time, the predictable thing happened. Another shooter shows up, he unpacks a very tricked out M1A SOCOM II 7.62 NATO rifle. This rifle had all the rails and some very expensive looking aftermarket stock and an Aimpoint sight, it looked pretty top end also. To complete the picture the shooter is dressed like a Blackwater agent, with all the expensive clothes and jacket.
Of course, being a nosey person I walked over and checked out his gear from a distance. I wondered if this guy was some sort of executive protection guru or high speed shooting instructor. I should have known better. He seemed unable to hit a target at 50 yards, the same at 25yards. He had “Maggie’s’ drawers”, meaning no hits at either distance. He seemed to be understandably upset by these events. When I last saw him he was at the pistol range trying to hit a 7 yard target with his $3000 rifle. Now you know where this is going. This guy was clearly gear collecting “wannabe” He had made the classic mistake, thinking expensive gear can compensate for practice and sound techniques.
That usually ends badly in bitter disappointment. A certain level of equipment is necessary. However, the BEST investment an aspiring marksman can make is investing in proven equipment, practice, and instruction. If a shooter must spend money, buy ammunition!
Good training does not have to come from an expensive shooting school, the Appleseed program, NRA High Power Rifle clinics, or help from local gun clubs does not cost much and can greatly benefit a shooter. Don’t fall into the temptation of trying to buy better scores. Simple, good equipment works the best, I learned this in combat.
As it turns out, my iron sighted old school M1 Garand, shot the pants off his fancy junk loaded rifle. I does not matter how much it costs, but it does have to work, just like the magnificent M1 Garand.