Shooters/Hunters, give us your best shot.

Considering the wealth of expertise that comes forth here on gun threads, the number of hunters we have and the number of hours some of our military breathren have undoubtably spent on ranges, I’ll bet there are some stories just waiting to be told that many of us who enjoy shooting and/or the hunt would find of great interest.

They needn’t be force fit into any guideline, just if you’ve got a story to tell, good or bad, of skill or blind luck, then don’t be bashful. Target, bird, skeet, sustenance, a long track, even buck fever… it’s all good here.

To get the ball rolling, a dozen or more years back I finally had the opportunity to go on my first deer hunt. It was on some beautiful, oak-covered rolling hills along the Llano River and I was with a very good friend I’d often bird hunted with. Friends that we were, we also were very competitive with each other, in no way more so than with our shooting skills.

As he and I slowly made our way across a mist covered field early in the morning, I saw a buck emerge from the woods about 175 yards away. Never having shot a deer before, I looked around for something to brace against; a boulder, tree or anything sturdy. Friend that he was, Duncan wispered “You p*$$y, just shoot.” I slowly raised the 22-250, drew a bead and squeezed one off. Watching through the scope, to my surprise the deer shot straight up into the air taking my hopes of a hit with him, but then crumpled into a heap on the ground, a clean shot through the bottom of his heart.

I cautiously approached while counting off the distance but after only 30 yards another buck came out from the woods. Although I’d gone over exactly what game management was to be performed with the land owner (another good friend), I still was kinda new to this and agin looked to Duncan with a “shrug”. His reply like the first, I slowly turned, drew bead and squeezed.

I’m not sure I can accuratley describe what it’s like when a minute before you’ve never had the priviledge of a deer hunt, then you walk up to your first one shot buck and a few yards behind him is your second.

I know there’s way better out there. Give us a tale.

Not really a tale of great marksmanship, but what the hell:

Back in high school, I went dove hunting with my brother (this was before I discovered that I like the outdoors, but that guns were just too heavy to lug around for too long… hunting isn’t really my thing.). We were both armed with 12 gauge shotguns and pockets crammed with bird shot shells.

We positioned ourselves maybe 100 yards apart across a corn field. Soon enough a couple of doves flew in front of my brother and he snapped off a shot-- which missed (doves are nimble little bastiges!). I heard the shot falling into the corn around me, however.

“Hey dickhead!” I yelled, “Your shot is gonna hit me!”

“No it isn’t, you pansy!” he replied sensibly.

“Oh yeah??” I pointed my shotgun in his direction, but angled up in the air. BLAMMMO!!

“HEY!” he yelled back, as the shot rained down around him. And it was on.

Our father was less than amused when we returned home without a single dove, and having burned up all our ammo shooting at each other. :smiley:

When I was 19, I did a guy in Laos from a thousand yards out. It was a rifle shot in high wind. Maybe eight, ten other guys in the world could have made that shot. It was the only thing I was ever good at.

Okay, seriously, I hit both targets one after the other almost overhead at station eight while skeet shooting once. Bam bam, just a split second barrel swing between shots. It was great. :smiley:

I and my friends are all a bit competitive, though it’s very low key. Traditionally I do well at first, and then as whatever we’re doing progresses, one in particular gets better. He’s one of those annoying guys who is good at just about everything he does.

So, I set myself up for it, but it was still a great shot on his part.

We were shooting over iron sites with his SKS, just plinking at the local range at, I think, 50 yards. We had just a handful of rounds left, so when the rangemaster called for folks to rest their targets, we walked out and put a couple of aces up on the bullseye.

I took my shot. I hit the card, but nothing spectacular.

He sat there for a minute. Took his time. Then I watched as he hunched over and put the rifle to his shoulder. He was smooth, and moved like water, hand to guard, finger on trigger, BLAM and then he sat back up.

Put that damn round right through the center of the spade. Bastard.

As much as it pains me to admit it, he is a much better shot than I am. I might (barely, if that) have an edge on him for long distance shots, but…

Still, a great shot.


Proudest shooting moments so far were placing 12th in the 2007 All Army Marksmanship Competition. Earning a second place in the Commanding General’s Infantry Trophy Match. Got a nice silver medal for that one.
The other was placing 4th in the Ft Benning Pistol Competition the same year. I earned an Expert in Competition Badge and points toward my Distinguished Marksman Badge.

The most fun I’ve ever had shooting would probably be a few months ago when I made some explosive targets out of half sticks of C4. They blow up when you shoot them. C4 won’t blow up on it’s own when you shoot it, BTW. You actually do need to prep it. I used three blasting caps, 18" of det cord and a bright orange Gatorade cap for each one.

Oooh, I just remembered the one time I won a turkey at a Thanksgiving shooting match. A Glock Turkey Shoot it was called. It was a timed event with like 10 or so bowling pins lined up on a ledge. Whoever shot them all down the fastest won the turkey. There was no limit on ammo, and the only rule/restriction was that you had to use a factory, unaltered, unmodified Glock pistol. It could be any model, in any caliber, as long as it was straight out of the box from the factory.
I happened to be a dealer at the time, and I actually possessed a true Glock 18. People were pretty bitchy when I stepped up to the line and sprayed down all the pins simply by holding the pistol sideways and squeezing the trigger–pretty much letting the recoil do all the work! They tried to cry “Conversion!”, but it said right there on the slide “G18”. It was pretty funny though, and everyone actually had a sense of humor about the whole thing. I also knew the owners of that range, and I declined the turkey anyway. Ha! But I won.

Okay, I had to think about it hard, but probably the best single shot I ever made:
I was a manager at a gun range and it was closing time. I could not find my keys. The more I looked, the more frustrated I got. I went outside and peeked in my car–didn’t see them. Went back inside, closed out the register while my employees swept the lines and kept an eye out for my keys. After everything else was done, and I double and triple checked everywhere, I was really starting to get pissed off! I was rechecking everywhere that they possibly could be… even inside the refridgerator and under ever crevis of every counter. They were nowhere to be found! I wanted to go home, but without the keys I couldn’t lock the store or even drive my car for that matter.
The whole time I’m looking around, I am eyeing my tool box. I had a large, heavy duty, red plastic tackle box in which I kept many armorer’s tools and cleaning supplies for weapons and stuff. It was secured with a Master Lock.
The only thing I can think of, is that I must have somehow locked my keys inside my tool box. I didn’t want to believe I would do something that stupid. Nor did I want to destroy my tool box to get my keys out.
So I kept searching. Growing madder and madder until I was fuming, I finally said “Fuck this!”

I stormed into the Range Officer’s booth, grabbed my tool box, and continued out to the firing line. My employees (friends more like it) and one of the regular gun groupies were laughing and following behind me. “What are you going to do!?” “What is he doing??”
“Fuck this box!” I yelled as I tossed it down range.
Everything from that point happened with Hollywood precision–unbelievable unless you were there. As the tool box was still in the air, I drew my HK USP Compact, a two-toned black beauty with a chrome slide. The toolbox landed about 8 or 10 yards away. As it landed, it slid another couple yards and spun around on the smooth concrete. It landed top up, and after spinning around, it actually came to rest with the latch and Master Lock facing my direction. (Like I said, it all couldn’t have been more perfect)
Just as it was stopping, I fired off a single round, blowing the Master Lock clean off. Everyone was like “Holy Shit!”
My face had the self satisfied expression of “Well of course. What did you expect.” But my brain was thinking “Are you fucking kidding me!?!?!”
We all eagerly ran over to find where the lock had flown to. We picked up the lock to find an intact and still securely locked Master Lock with a flattened 45 caliber bullet now permanently fused to the exact center of the lock. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, or I never would have said “Sure…” when that girl (the local gun groupie) asked “Oh My God!! That is fucking awesome, can I keep it?!” I actually wish I had that lock. It would be a neat niknak. The girl was a friend of ours. I’ve lost touch with her, but she’s still around and she’s a lawyer now. I’m positive she still has that lock. I’d love to see it again sometime.

Anyway… so about my keys. I walked over to the tool box and opened it up. No keys!!! It’s all too funny at this point for me to be any more angry. I go back out to my car, since that’s the only place they could possibly be. We bring some flashlights to try and get a good look inside. As I walk around to the driver’s side of my car, there they are. Still in the freaking door lock!! I had forgotten that I went out to my car to get something and evidently I left them right there in the lock!! FWIW, I did try the key in the Master Lock. The lock was no longer functional, but still… it did its job by staying locked.

Anyway, I had to think about it pretty hard after reading the OP, but that’s got to be my single best shot ever. Not just because of the 1 in a Million perfect shot, but the combination of drawing the pistol while the box was in mid air, taking aim while it landed, slid a few yards and actually spun around to present the lock in my direction. And without taking an additional second, hitting the lock perfectly centered. Hell, it wasn’t even a full sized Master Lock.

This was my father, not me, but he has a really long arrow in the house–it’s actually two, one shot through the other, Robin Hood-style.

Every Christmas my friends and I used to go out to the desert for a shoot. We’d take stuff along to improvize targets and always policed our junk and our brass. There’s nothing more annoying than heading out to a shoot site and finding it littered with 1000s of rounds of empties too exposed to the elements to even bother reloading.

One of the guys had a bunch of flare shots for his 12 gauge. You shoot them at the hillside and they bounce all over hell. Please note we were shooting into a huge barren dirt mound and not around any dry vegetation where this might have started a fire, which is a really concern out here.

He fired one off and it went skittering along the hillside. I drew my 4" S&W .357 and shot it on the bounce. Time to draw and fire was a little less than a second. Like out of some movie, the whole group turned and looked at me like I’d just pulled off the best trick they’d ever seen. It was certainly one of the best shots of my life, basically hitting a 10 ring shot on a moving target.

You hit a moving flare with a 4" pistol? Holy crap! How far away was it??

Back when I was still steady and strong, I hung out with a Criminal IRS agent some. We would go shoot and he helped me go over my S&W Model 66

One night at an indoor range he pulled out a “Clark” .45 he had massaged a bit. Now, I had actually only ever fired a .45 auto once a long time before that … I was a Wheel gunner back then.

Anywho, he handed it to me and said to “Have a go.” Boy, what a weapon. I asked how he had it sighted and he said “6 O’clock” so that is where I put it.

I put 5 in the middle and flinched the sixth. We were both shooting 6 sets since we always were sorta competing.

Hen was looking real serious when I turned to him and he said, “If you have not flinched off that 6th shot I was going to sell that .45 and go back to long guns and never shoot with you again.” Those 6 shots doubled the number of times I had shot a .45 auto.

I have never been that lucky again.

As teenager I was stalking a bunch of jays in the woods, homemade maple flatbow in hand. Soon realizing the birds weren’t going to let me close in on them, I decided to take a long shot. The foot-long birds looked like sparrows at the closest distance they let me approach to, sitting in the crown of a large birch tree.

The only arrow I could loose (and lose) for the improbable shot was an oak blunt, heavy as hell. I raised my lightweight bow and drew the blunt to full draw, taking aim at one of the birds. At the last moment, I raised my bow hand slightly and let go. At 15 grains per pound or so, the arrow was exceedingly slow. I could watch it’s flight, nearing the target in a long arc.

A split second before impact my heart jumped: “It’s going to hit!”, and, sure enough the unmistakable round ‘smack!’ signaling a hit rang in the woods. The bird came down, limp.

Walking to the birch tree I found I had stood 47 long steps away from the perching tree, aiming at a bird some 15 meters up the tree. At any rate, the distance was well over 50 meters. I was exctatic.

It was gun deer hunting season and we were at my aunts. During a rest break in the woods she sees a paper wasp nest about fifty feet up in a large tree. She wanted it, so I said give me your rifle. I aimed for the quarter inch attachment stem to the limb. I shot hitting the attachment stem right in the middle, without nicking the nest or the bark and dropping the nest in one shot. I handed the gun back and said there you go. I don’t hunt deer, because I don’t eat them, but I used to help drive for the families could get the needed meat, so they didn’t see me shoot to often. The aunt was all excited about the shot and her paper wasp nest.

I have two from the same shooting course.

I got put through a course that the PJs go through but it was modified a bit because it was one that would prepare us in case we ever got shot down, but they’d still get a handful of PJs and other spec ops guys.

So we’re lined up (12 of us) and the instructor, really nice guy said, “You will not go home until we all fire at once. I’m going to yell [up] and you will all take one aimed shot, put your safety on and go back to the low ready. By the time we are done it is going to sound like one weapon firing. Line ready.”

[Up]. Bam, bam…bam. Click, click and individual safeties come back on.
[Up]. Bam, bam…bam. Click, click.
[Up]. Bam, bam, bam.
[Up]. About have a mag later:
[Up]. BAM. Click, click.
[Up]. BAM. Click.

That was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. 12 individuals so in sync that they fire at the exact same time.

The next day, same course, we are going over long range shooting with our M-4 Carbine and no scopes, just iron sights, and man sized targets on a berm. First at a 100 meters, then 2, then 3, then for shits and giggles 5.

At the 500 mark our instructor has us put ten rounds in a mag, hand them to the guy on the left, put 5 dollars in a pot and take our respective positions. I’m laying prone supported thinking I just wasted 5 dollars. I’m a fairly decent shot but most of the others were career military who’ve done this a lot longer than I have. And a few of them were Pjs, totally going to get smoked. Hell, I got made fun of because I compared real life to Call of Duty (I remarked how the sound is muffled in real life when you hold your breath as it is in the game).

After given the ok to fire, I took my time and fired. I should have known I was doing well because one of the shots actually scared me when my weapon went off. They tell you not to anticipate the shot because then you tense up and stuff, so being startled was a good thing. Fired my ten, I was one of the first to be done.

They were reading the results. Shooter number one: 2 Shooter number two (me): 5 etc etc. Except that no one else had higher than 3.

I could not believe I won! Quiet, goofy, self-depreciating me (I got talked to about the latter).

“McNally, I heard you did well today.”
“Sir, I’m a precision military instrument of death.”
{laughs} “Took you long enough to start acting like a fucking gunner.”

I did the same thing! In the dead of winter, a friend an I were plinking with his 22L rifle. I wanted to save the nest, but his lab was chewing up it’s sweet honeycomb the moment it hit the ground. I new that dog was thinking “Bird! Bird! Bird!” (It’s easy to read a lab’s mind) and got a surprise when he went to retrieve it and got a mouthful of paper. But as soon as he tasted the honey, there was no taking it from him.

Then there was the time I was teaching my wife to shoot. We had received a nice little .22 Buckmark pistol for our wedding. It was from my best man. And admittedly, was a gift that was pretty much just for me. But I was impressed when she said she wanted to learn how to shoot it. She worked in promotions, so she had a bunch of crappy CDs that would make good targets. So in a gravel pit I lined up a bunch of them as a gaggle of grouse looked on (which was funny, because my pals were hunting them, and I didn’t have a license, and they didn’t see a one) paced off about 20 yards, and went over the gun, etc. Her first shot, ever, in her entire life went right through the eyes of Mel Gibson on the cover of a Ransom soundtrack.

This is not a woman to be trifled with.

There was this one time in '63 when, with my trusty Carcano M91/38 Fucile Corto, I fired a Western Case Cartridge Company one-inch-long copper-jacketed lead-core 6.5-millimeter bullet from the sixth floor of a building. It passed through one guy’s neck and another guy’s chest and wrist and then embedded itself in that guy’s thigh.

25-30 feet, since that was the rough distance from the firing line we were standing behind to the hill. No, I don’t think for a moment I could regularly repeat that, or even in any specific instance.

I hit a target 3 times out of 6 from 100 yards one-handed (which is the way I shoot anyway) unsupported with an unmodified SIG P239. This constituted one more hit than the guy who challenged me did with a .44 Magnum Ruger Super Redhawk in a supported position. That same day I dialed in a H&K USP 9mm for a guy who couldn’t hit anything but the ground and couldn’t figure out why.

The first time I ever handled a M1 Garand I shot a 5-shot group that you could cover with a quarter at 100 yards with iron sights.

The most amusing time, though, is when my friend (who is a good shot in his own right) couldn’t get the iron sights right on his Browning Buckmark. He was putting them well left of his point of aim consistently. From a seated, supported position at 25 yards I put three shots through the same hole and the other two were slightly off to the left. After we walk up to the target and I stop laughing, he says “Well, looks like it wasn’t the sights…”

Yes, it was close range with a .22, but still. That might have been my best group ever.

I do probably as well as the average hand gunner, but my wife is a natural. She can consistently put three shot groups on a playing card at fifty feet with her Browning HiPower.

One afternoon, for the money, she hit a quarter at fifty feet. We had dinner and a bottle of the good wine on the way home from the range

I saw my friend hit a small lizard with one of those trinket crossbow pistols out the window of a moving truck.

You guys don’t disappoint. Great stories, all.

A couple of weeks ago on opening day, we were at a friend’s ranch near Kenedy, an area affectionately known as The Brush Country. It is that, lots of mesquite, cactus and the occasional oak mott. Our first hunt was an evening one and I was in a tripod about 150 yards from a feeder. Unfamiliar with the size of the deer there, I’d gone with a bigger caliber, 7mm Mag in a Ruger #1.

About five minutes after the feeder had spread, the does started coming down. I saw four, then another four and then two more but no bucks. Friend Joe, the owner, had generously said to take the biggest buck I saw or, if nothing else, to help him with his pig problem. The big ferals had destroyed his AC unit and after continually defecating all over his stock tank pier had actually knocked it down. There’s enough work that needs to be done out there without them componding the problem, not to mention the expense.

Still motionless as I waited for a big fella to come out, the silence was broken from behind as something quickly made it’s way toward the feeder. All the does gave warning and scattered and two big hogs, each well over a hundred and a half, ran right under my tripod and began eating all the corn. I wasn’t about to shoot yet, still desirous of the ten and twelve point I knew to be around, but then three more big pigs and a half dozen piglets came running out too. Dusk was nearing, all the deer were spooked and these durn pigs were now obliterating all the corn.

I hadn’t really thought about this before but as I drew on the first big pig I noticed it had lined up with one behind and I adjusted slightly in the hope it would go through the shoulder of the first into the heart of the second. I shot, levered the #1 and slid another cartridge in and dropped another big pig. After the first shot half the group had scattered and after the second only one remained in place. I dropped him with the third shot and saw a half dozen pigs racing towards my tripod, clueless that’s where the lead was coming from. Too close and fast for a scope, I reached down and grabbed the .357 but unable to get a clean one off I let the hammer back down.

I looked back toward the feeder and was briefly confused, then remembered the first line up. I’d shot three times, yet I had four big ol’ pigs all laying within a dozen feet of each other. Cool. I waited a bit in hope of a buck coming out but of course nothing did and started to make my way down from the tripod when I heard my buddies come drive up as darkness fell. I had to chuckle a bit when their headlighs swept the group and Joe, who borne the expense from all the pig damage, excitedly exclaimed “My god, there’s pigs everywhere.”

No buck but a decent hunt nevertheless and this being my first with that gun was plum amazed at the hole a 7 Mag will leave after going through two pigs. Curl your middle fingertip over to your thumb and it’s the outside perimeter of that.

This was my last year in the military and it was time for rifle range qualifications. I qualified expert the previous two years but my one drawback has always been the 200 yard off-hand or standing up position. Prone position, kneeling, sitting? No problem, standing with nothing to prop myself against? arghhh.

My highest score in off-hand had been 14 out of 25 possible points. The Gods must have been in a good mood that day. I scored 22 out of 25 and was feeling damn pleased with myself.

About five minutes later a female Marine who stood maybe 5’0" was next and scored 4 bulls eyes and 1 in the 4 ring for a total of 24 points.

Oh well, there went my five minutes of gloating and glory.

It did make me feel better learning later that she was trying out for the Marine rifle team and that her highest score was 241 out of a possible 250.:eek: