Saturday, April 26, 2014

Port Coquitlam District Hunting and Fishing Club - Sighting in at the Rifle Range

I’m now a member of Port Coquitlam District Hunting and Fishing Club.  As a family we first belonged to the Fort Garry Rod and Gun Club in Winnipeg.  I was 8 or 9 at the time. I loved the wild game meals.  I got my Bronze Marksman Shooting award there when I was 12.
The next Gun Club I belonged to was the old Barnett Highway Gun Club and Range in Vancouver.  I went there to sight in my rifles when I first moved to Vancouver.   I belonged to Cumberland Rod and Gun Club on Vancouver Island. I loved taking my dad skeet shooting there.  Later I’d belong to the Chilliwack Hunting Club.  There were others I believe but those are the ones that I most enjoyed.  I’ve been coming to sight in rifles at Port Coquitlam gun range off and on over the years. Even sighted in my crossbow here one year.  Now I’m an actual member and I like that.  Looking forward to getting out here more than just to sight in my rifles.
Today was exciting.  I had my new Winchester Stainless Steel 300 WSM Coyote Light with the Zeiss Conquest HD5 scope I’d bought this last week from Reliable Guns on Frazer in Vancouver.  I’ve bought a lot of rifles and ammunition from them over the years and have never been disappointed.
Well,  this rifle is a beauty.  There was a line up at the sign in and it was an hour before I could get a bench.  Gilbert had come with me but stayed in the Miata. Due to the delay he had a little walk around the club area and checked out the deer target at the archery range.
There are several Range Marshalls where the firing takes place. I’d forgotten my targets and the stapler but they sold targets and lent me a staple gun.  When the Range Marshalls closed off the firing everyone had to empty their rifles and pistols, leave them on the table pointing down range then walk back to behind the yellow counter to wait for the green flag.  When the red flag is up and the red lights are on it means the range is hot and people are firing. When it’s green it’s safe.  I was able to walk down the course to the 50 and 100 yard targets. My number was 10.
When everyone was back and the range cleared and inspected we were allowed to go to our bench, the red flag going up.  I shot my first shell out of my new rifle.  A bit of a kick. More than my 30:06 but not unbearable.  I adjusted the scope up and down till I was able to shoot a fairly consistent and reliable pattern. It was 1-2 inches apart but never on the centre exactly. I eventually was satisfied because I was off an inch either side but very close and figured the variation was me and the new rifle and the position.  When the bell rang and we cleared our stations I was able to put up a couple more targets, one at 100 yard and another at 200 yards.  200 yards is a very very long way.   It’s the furthest on this range.
I shot a better group on the new target then shot a few shots at the 200 yard target. It was hard to see the holes with the scope at that distance but I could. I was hitting paper every time.  If it had been a moose it would have gone down.  Everything at 100 yards was within an inch or two of where I wanted it.  It was good for today. Time to shoot cans and then come back and check it out on paper. I’m leaning against a tree or shooting resting on a log when I’m out hunting.  This is good enough for me with 300 WSM shells today.  I was happy to be hitting killing shots at 200 yards.  That all means I’m good to 400 yards for sure, maybe 600 and it’s only going to get better and further.  
The Winchester 300WSM Coyote Light is a very fine rifle and the scope is terrific.
55 rounds later my shoulder was sore and I was tired. I’d been shooting for an hour and a half.  There was all manner of shooting around me.  Every kind of rifle, military and hunting and pistol seemed to be there today. It was a truly multi cultural place. I thought that so many of the people who have firearms and hunt must be people who have come from countries where they weren’t allowed to own a gun.  I was the lone old white guy with the bolt action hunting rife. There were a few women, some youth and children too. The girl beside me was learning how to shoot her partners semi automatic heavy caliber military rifle with a short barrel.  I would have liked to have asked what it was.  I talked to a young preppy white guy who told me he was new to this and hoping to move onto hunting. I liked that.  The Oriental women were really into the Glock pistols.
I enjoyed myself. I enjoyed my rifle. I found out that while the nozzler partition bullets work best with the Ruger 30:06 I shot better with the 180 grain Federal Trophy Copper.  I’m planning on sticking with that, though I tried the nozzler at the end when I was tired, so may give it a go again.
Gilbert was pleased to see me. He could hear all the firing on the range and probably thought I was grouse hunting without him. He loves when I shoot those little birds.  He's even more excited when I shoot big game.  I’m now better prepared for bear and looking forward to coming back to the club for more target practice throughout the year.
I talked to the Range Marshalls and was very impressed with their professionalism and concern for safety.
IMG 5148IMG 5146
IMG 5147

IMG 5150
IMG 5151IMG 5153
IMG 5155