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The Well Armed Woman, Prescott Chapter, meets the 2nd Sunday of the month at the Prescott Gun Club at 1200 Iron Springs Road, Prescott.
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Our 9th NAZC match is in the books. It was extremely successful.
There were 201 shooters, from Calif, Nev, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and of course AZ.
The stages were superb and challenging with lots of variety, thanks primarily to Brent Callen.
Registration, squadding, scoring, and all things electronic went without a hitch, thanks to Geoff Ferrell.
Special thanks to Terry Pilcher, Ann Baugh, and Regina Younger for a very well run registration on Fri and Sat.
Our RO staff performed efficiently and without issue. I heard only compliments from the shooters.
The T shirts and trophies looked terrific.
Whiskey BBQ provided breadfast and lunch-lots of kudos from the shooters.
Our Quartermaster, Dave Bankhead. went above and beyond the call of duty.
Our new raffle team, Bill and Patty Casale shattered the old record and set a new record for our raffle, in excess of $4000!
Special thanks to Ralph Turnbull for successfully acquiring our raffle prizes.
And of course our range and parking areas were in perfect condition and “match ready”, thanks to Jess Pilcher and his crew.
Thanks to all our club members that helped us run another stellar match.
Check Your Shotgun’s Zero
I was brought up quail hunting, where I was taught to never aim a shotgun. As it turns out, there are plenty of times when a shotgun should be aimed—one of them is in the home, where ranges are measured in feet and patterns are measured in inches. However, shotguns are still predominantly designed for wingshooters, and that’s the reason most factory shotguns come with a non-adjustable front bead. The bead is meant only as a reference while focusing on a distant target, and most shotguns come without rear sights at all. This doesn’t mean your front-bead-only shotgun won’t work well for home defense—it will—but it also doesn’t mean you can assume point-of-aim (POA)/point-of-impact (POI) alignment is dead-on. You should check it before depending on it to save your life—just like any sights.
A line must have at least two points, and it’s the same with line-of-sight. So, if your shotgun only has one bead for a sight and no rear apparatus by which to align it, your eye becomes that second point by default and, therefore, must remain in the exact same place relative to the bead from shot to shot. If you don’t consistently weld your cheek to the stock, accuracy will suffer. Recreational shotgunners rarely worry about this, because at distance a shotgun’s spread negates slight disparities in POA/POI. Additionally, guns were built with full-contour stocks that would naturally align the eye directly down the rib of the gun to facilitate consistent alignment.
But, times have changed. Some new AR-influenced tactical stock designs force shooters to keep their heads up off the stock to shoot, inviting inconsistency. Others are so uncomfortable shooters subconsciously raise their cheek off it to avoid pain. Likewise, aftermarket sight systems sold on tactical guns can arrive off from the factory. So, the first thing you should do with your home-defense shotgun is not assume it’s dead-on. Instead, grab the loads you plan to use for self-defense and hit the range.
From a standing position 7 yards away, aim at a cardboard target with a quarter-size bullseye in the middle. Shoulder the shotgun naturally as if in a real defensive situation. Be careful not to flinch or slap the trigger. Shoot the shotgun as if it were a rifle. Then shoot several more times at the same target to find your average point-of-impact. Don’t shoot from a benchrest, as doing so can invite unnatural shooting positions and skew results.
If the pattern’s center is within a couple inches of the bullseye (your POA), you’re good to go. But if it’s off, you have several options. If it’s a name-brand shotgun and it’s off by more than 6 inches, consider calling the manufacturer, as the gun is likely defective. But first, verify by having an experienced friend shoot it, too. If it’s only slightly off zero, measure the POI relative to your POA. If your shotgun has adjustable sights or an optic, make the necessary corrections. But if it only has a front bead or the sights are non-adjustable, follow these steps.
If your point-of-impact is low and you need to raise it, you either need to raise your eye consistently while aiming the bead, or consider buying an optic or adjustable sights. (Lowering or filing a small front bead is usually not feasible.) If you buy adjustable sights, make sure they are robust and not thin metal or plastic, as I can’t count the number of times these cheap fiber-optic sights have failed during routine use.
In order to raise your head and eye consistently, check if your shotgun came with interchangeable shims to adjust stock fit. Plenty do nowadays, including Benelli, Remington and Beretta variants, among others. The basic rule of thumb is that a 1⁄16-inch stock adjustment will result in a 1-inch POI shift at 16 yards. If you have shims, use them. If that’s not enough, consider installing an aftermarket cheek pad like Beretta’s Gel Tec Cheek Protector. It sticks on and is available in various thicknesses. Before purchasing, experiment by taping cardboard shims to the stock’s comb to see if it fixes the problem.
If your POI is high and you need to lower it, first make sure that you’re shooting with your face tightly against the stock. Next, if your gun came with stock shims, install one that results in more drop at comb. If you have no shims, consider buying a taller aftermarket front sight like that from XS Sight Systems.
If your point-of-impact is left or right, you’ll most likely need to install aftermarket sights or an optic, since most guns suitable for home defense do not come with target-style stocks that are adjustable for cast-on and cast-off. (A few of the shim kits include one shim for cast adjustment.) But before doing so, have a friend observe you to make sure you are aligning your gun shoulder-side eye directly in line with the shotgun’s rib and not off to one side.
Nine times out of 10, your bead sight will be close enough for duty right out of the box, and I prefer them for home defense over ghost rings or optics due to their inherent speed and simplicity. Most beads are perfectly accurate, cannot be knocked out of alignment, don’t depend on batteries and don’t overly impede vision. Whatever you go with, know that your shotgun prints to your point-of-aim before trusting it with your life.
Thanks to Shooting Illustrated for this post
• A new mailbox with a sign-in book has been installed at the rifle and pistol practice bays, next to the range flag. Please use this sign-in book and range flag when using these bays.
• All members may use practice bays at any time. You may also use these areas on match days during regularly scheduled matches. Please, as always sign in and obey all range rules.
• Please check the club calendar for range maintenance or events that require the practice area to be closed.
• There is no restriction on the time of day you may use the range.
• The speed limit on the dirt road to our facility is 15 MPH. It's one lane in and out.
• No incendiary, tracer or explosive ammunition allowed at any time.
• Be sure to lock the gate after passing through on non-event days to make sure the range is secure even if you or someone else is there.
• ATV's are not allowed on the range without the express permission from the Range Master.
• PractiScore electronic scoring tutorial video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYQAEDfdndw
• Range Safety is Everyone's Job. See the video here
• Thanks to Dave Bankhead, here is how to use the Nook with Practiscore. How to use the Nook