Sighting in a weapon is a task that many of us have encountered in our lifetime. Knowing the logistics and fine tuning details of the weapons we are sighting in always helps, but for the most part we tend to guess at it until it looks about right before we take that first shot. If you’re sighting in from 150 yards away it can be a long walk back and forth until you’ve got it right, so spotting scopes are useful for judging where the last one hit. And now with the brilliant invention of self-marking targets we can easily see the bright spot where the last bullet went through.
Why am I telling you this?
I’ve had many proud moments in the field. But my proudest moment came during a typical day of sighting in a weapon on a range. It was a gun that hadn’t been shot in a while, and the owner of the weapon was shooting at a target while we all gave our respective opinions about each shot placement. I watched through a spotting scope while the others either took photos or video of the occasion. After quite a few shots we thought the scope was on, but there was still a shadow of a doubt in our minds that it could be slightly off. The gun was pulling to the right during recoil, and it was obvious if you watched the gun go off from behind the shooter. Stabilizing that particular gun while touching the trigger would be the key.
My proud moment begins here.
My husband, seemingly satisfied with how the weapon was shooting, told me to take the gun and make a final shot to determine the accuracy. In front of my peers I was singled out to help determine how the gun would perform. Instead of taking it upon himself, or trusting a more experienced shooter than I, he told me to take one shot to make the decision.
I switched spots with the shooter, and took my time reveling in the gift of confidence that had been given to me.
It wasn’t pulling the trigger, or the fact that my shot was good and entered through an already existing hole in the bullseye, or even the look of satisfaction after we recognized that the gun, scope, and bullet all shot straight… But it was the fact that someone else asked me to perform such a simple task, and they trusted my skill.
I’ve had the good fortune of traveling the world and harvesting many animals over the years, but right there on that shooting range in the middle of nowhere I realized that having someone believe in my skill and ability means more than any accolades that I could ever give to myself.
I hope that everyone out there can give that gift to someone else along the way. Let your kid take the final shot when you’re sighting a weapon in, or have your spouse check your work after you clean a gun together. Instilling that confidence in another person is a gift that can never be repaid.