When you couple all the high-speedo new sighting systems out there today with the latest in bolt-on bells & whistles you get some bad ass looking (and hopefully performing) rifles. In the past ten years I have seen a lot of people shelling out inordinate amounts of cash for optical sights. They do this in the hopes of making the system (shooter, rifle, ammo, optics) more accurate. I mean, after all, isn’t that the goal? If accuracy is the goal, I think a lot of people would greatly benefit if they pressed pause on the current tac-t-cool trend and went back to the basics.
When I was in Junior High and High School, I spent years participating in local, state and regional service rifle competitions. I learned at an early age how accurate iron sights could be. It took a lot to be able to lay down at the 5/600 yard line, sling up and drop rounds into a small target on windy days. No scopes, no bipods, and no big ass pillow hanging off the rifle. It was pure form marksmanship at its finest. The ability to correctly position your body, properly grip and apply pressure and maintain mental focus to keep fixed on the front sight all the while allowing enough mental processing power to allow the body to adjust itself in order to provide the most stable front sight was critical. I wouldn’t say I mastered the basics in my teenage years, but sure as shit had a good idea how to apply the basics correctly to get results downrange.
These days very few people take their M4’s out for long walks on the range. For the most part, they shoot at spitting distance, with inordinate amounts rounds, and enough optics on one rifle to outfit two. Some try to spend their way into performing, while all they need to do is go back to the basics. Take all the shit off your rifle and put some GOOD iron sights on it. Grab an old M1903 sling and seek out proper training. NRA/CMP service rifle clinics would be my 1st choice because they are held all over the US, and they are cheap to enter ($20-$60). If you know of some DISTINGUISHED riflemen in your area, pick their brain as well. You can’t earn those gold shields without mastery of the basics! I think some of you will find that if you went back to the basics for a while, when you eventually add on all the modern toys your effectiveness will have increased tenfold.
This spring/summer I’m taking the time off to once again sling up and chase leg points. I haven’t done this for 5 years and am looking forward to getting back into it. Thanks to Keystone Accuracy my rifle will not be a factor in any poor performance on my end… that blame lies solely on the 3rd screw behind the butt.
Remember- there are no “advanced” shooters out there. There are just those who have mastered the basics and can apply them faster than others.