Posts Tagged ‘marksmanship’


October 17, 2011

MONTE VISTA, Colo. – Hunters looking to brush up on their marksmanship skills heading into the upcoming rifle seasons can get some pointers at a two-day class in Monte Vista on Thursday, Oct. 20 and Friday, Oct. 21. The Colorado Parks and Wildlife marksmanship class will include information on ballistics, effect of wind, adjustments for terrain and a range training session.

“This class is perfect for the intermediate hunter,” explained Rick Basagoitia, Area Wildlife Manager and course instructor. “We want people who have experience hunting but might be looking for that next level of training to get them familiar with the dynamics of marksmanship.”

There is a $20 registration fee and the class is limited to ten participants. To register for the class or to get more information, contact Colorado Parks and Wildlife in Monte Vista at 719-587-6900.

The Thursday, Oct. 20 session will run from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and be held at the Monte Vista office of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 0722 South Road 1 East. The second session will be held at an area shooting range from 8 a.m. to noon on Friday, Oct. 21. Participants will need to bring their rifle and 40 rounds of ammunition for the range session. The range session will include custom ballistics charting for participants’ rifles. As well participants will learn practice techniques and various shooting positions.

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to:


August 28, 2010

MONTE VISTA, Colo. — Hunters who are interested in sharpening their shooting skills and improving their chances of harvesting big game this fall are encouraged to sign up for one of three upcoming marksmanship classes.
Rick Basagoitia, area manager for the Colorado Division of Wildlife in the San Luis Valley, is teaching three classes during the next month: Sept. 7-9, one evening classroom session and two evening range sessions; Sept. 23 and 25, an evening classroom session and a morning range session; Oct. 4, a full-day class.
“Good shooting is not a natural skill,” said Basagoitia. “By learning more about your rifle and ballistics you’ll be a better shot and a more effective hunter.”
There is no charge and each class is open to 10 people.
Class participants should bring their rifles and know the caliber, barrel length, action type; specifications of their rifle scopes; and the type of ammunition that will be used while hunting. For the range session, participants should also bring 30-40 rounds of ammunition; appropriate clothing,  lunch and water; shooting sticks, backpacks, bipods or sandbags — whatever is normally used to shoot off of in the field. Participants will not use the shooting benches.
For more information or to register for the class, please call the Monte Vista DOW office at (719)587-6900.

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to:

Range report: Marlin XL7 270 Winchester Stalkingbear Arms Semi Custom

February 8, 2010




It is not all that often that I write about personal things but on this I simply had too.

Some time ago three things all coincided that in nearly an instant transformed me into a person that I had never before been in my entire adult life. Gun poor! Those things were pretty much well beyond my control but that is not what this is about. Neil Stalkingbear, whom I call “Brother Bear” was not happy when I told him about all that had happened. Right after that he himself faced a life threatening illness, and recovered thank almighty God. I had posted at Hunters Central at Yahoo Groups about Marlin Rifles a few times, and, Bear being the man that he is asked one evening if I would like a Marlin Rifle. Since younger people sometimes read here let’s just say that my reply was in the affirmative.

Now, anyone that knows Neil at all knows that he just has to, shall we say tinker? It doesn’t matter, cars, trucks, stills, I mean guns…! So, basically, I received a Stalkingbear Arms©® worked over Marlin XL7 in Winchester 270 topped off with a Nikon Pro Staff Scope. Neil had did a traditional job on the barrel and action, hand lapping it to, a level that I had not seen on a rifle since I’d spent nearly a thousand dollars on my model 700 280! He also worked his magic on the trigger, and yes, I went to a couple of stores and tested the triggers, all of which were very good, on several XL7’s. Neil’s was far superior. It’s is light, crisp, and now I don’t even remember that thing called “creep.” No, it isn’t a smooth as a newborns bottom. It is smoother! I guess you just can’t have everything…

Like everyone, I have had to deal  with the shortage of ammunition brought on by the “Gun Salesman of the Year” / “Ammunition Salesman of the year” and getting any fodder at all was just about impossible… (See Conservative Libertarian Outpost about that!) But, one day while up in Sheridan while shopping at Shipton’s Big R store, it happened! They got in a boatload of ammunition! Yes, they restricted my purchase, but, with my better half along we were able to purchase four boxes of Federal 270 Winchester ammunition, 130 grain Power Shok® to be exact. No, it’s not the best that they make, or what might be available, but it was there! Not to mention that it is outstanding ammunition for our local Deer and Pronghorns!

Now back to the rifle. Bear had told me that I would have to clean the heck out of it, and yes I did. It got a rather thorough scrubbing, and was re-lubricated using first Break Free, then, after letting that dry and set, a general wash or Rem Oil© I then rubbed up all that with a gun cloth and loaded it to check the functioning… SQUAK! Then I remembered that Bear said that it liked grease. After lubing that bolt up with Montana Gun Grease® it was quiet as a lamb with a Cougar nearby.

The shipping necessitated that the scope be sent separate from the rifle so I set about that chore and all that that entails. I should have left it alone… My BSA calumniator had me more than two feet off, but, we will get to that! The effects of global warming had me cooped up for weeks, or so the Climate gate people say. In any case once the snow drifts had subsided it was off to the range!

I set up at the one hundred yard shooting station. Took a rest, put three downrange, and..? I was not pleased, not at all. I sent three more, same results. I moved to the fifty yard range.

It took some serious twisting of knobs but I finally made paper. I then did the single shot sight in maneuver, and put three right on top of each other after that. Back to a hundred yards.

I sent three, and then tweaked the scopes knobs. It looked good through a fellow’s spotting scope after that. So, we all went down and put up new targets. Right about then some guy got a bit lippy, and said something along the lines of not bad for junk… he kept it up, and we got back to the firing line. I got a tad bit upset, after all, it is not good to diss another mans firearm. Mind ya’ now, he is a good shot, kept them all in the black, and fairly tight too. He was shooting a rather nice rifle, it looked to be a custom model 70 topped with Swarovski glass at that. He sent five down range, an X two sevens, and two nines, not bad, not bad at all. The he looked at me and asked if I was going to shoot, my piece of trash… Note: he had shot from the bench. I got hot, after all Bear had put in some serious time on that rifle.

I stood up, slung up, and put five downrange, three in the X, two nines… I looked at him and asked, let’s do five more. For the rifles! He gathered up his things, and left.

I’d sure love to own a rifle like his. Oh well… I can’t wait to see what I can squeeze out of this Marlin with some worked up loads!

The picture of the target is posted at Hunters Central at Yahoo Groups. It may be the best that I have ever shot in my life.

Credit goes to Neil


September 14, 2009

If you are new to hunting a course like this can save you years of frustration. Hat tip to the Colorado Division of Wildlife!

MONTE VISTA, Colo.–The Colorado Division of Wildlife will host a Hunting Marksmanship Class in Monte Vista on Sept.  26-27. The class will take place at the Division of Wildlife Monte Vista Service Center, 0722 South Road 1 East.

The purpose of the class is to teach adult big game hunters how to refine and apply their basic marksmanship skills to become better hunters.  Topics include proper zeroing and marksmanship techniques, range estimation, shot placement and equipment.  This class will include a shooting session at the Rio Grande Sportsman’s Range.  Hunters of all skill levels are welcome to attend.

Participants must bring their own centerfire rifle (preferably the rifle used to hunt big game) and ammunition with a minimum of 30 to 40 rounds. This class will be limited to 20 participants and filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

There will be three sessions: morning classroom on the 26th for all participants, a range session during the afternoon of the 26th for half of the class, and a range session on the morning of the 27th for the remaining participants.

To register, please call the DOW Monte Vista Service Center at (719) 587-6900.

For more information about Division of Wildlife go to:

A day at the range, new rifles…

October 29, 2008

The other day I meandered out to the local rifle range. There were four people there with brand new rifles that ran the gamut from very low cost entry level rifles, to the latest issue of “The Rifleman’s Rifle.”

Let’s start with Jim and his very first big game rifle. Jim is fourteen years old, and has been shooting rim fire competition for several years with the Junior NRA. His rifle was a gift from his grandfather after he had earned the rank of Second Bar Sharpshooter. The rifle? A Remington model 700 ADL chambered in 243 Winchester a proved deer and Pronghorn caliber. It was topped with the excellent Sightron SII 3 X 9 scope. His grandfather was there and told me that he had lapped the barrel, action, and rings. He is a gunsmith and gone through the rifle completely before giving it to Jim. Bearing in mind that his grandfather purchased the entire set up at wholesale and that there were no labor charges involved the cost was estimated at just over $900. That, is quite a savings! The ammunition being used that day was Federal one hundred grain soft point. A proved yet economical deer stopper. Grandpa used his laser bore sight, not only on Jim’s rifle, but on all that were tested. I have to believe that helped save a lot of money!

Jim shot from the bench with the rifle resting on sand bags, the target at one hundred yards. He shot strings of five rounds, and the barrel was swabbed with Hoppe’s Elite between each string. The results were astounding, at least to me they were. The first group was roughly one and a half inches, centered on the seven ring at five o’clock. As noted the barrel was swabbed, and adjustments to the scope were made. String number two was centered on the nine ring at six o’clock and measured just under one inch. Another swab job, and scope adjustment and it was on to string three. That Jim was settling in and getting the feel of his new rifle was pretty apparent. String three was dead on the “X” and measured less than three quarters of an inch! This was not using match ammo, as noted above! Both myself and grandpa are advocates of the “zero point aiming” theory, and he adjusted the scope accordingly. Jim was instructed to hold at six o’clock, and the fourth string was fired. Yet another swab job, and string five was fired down range. We walked out to the target (It was not changed between string four and five.) Everyone was more than a bit impressed. All ten rounds grouped together, and were covered by a dime! I can only foresee better things for Jim and his new rifle as the barrel further breaks in, and he builds even more confidence.

Tomorrow we will cover Diane’s new rifle.

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