I've had some great commenters lately, discussing ways to improve shooting accuracy. Random Acts of Patriotism had a good suggestion - shoot a .22 with iron sights at a reduced target at 25 yards. Seems this is one of the ways the military trains (or trained) recruits before putting them on a 300 yard range.
So #2 son and I went to the range yesterday, with new targets. Same size, but with three different pictures on each (thus, the reduced target size). We shot a sweet Ruger M77/22, just like the one shown here. 10 round magazine, bolt action.
This is a great gun, and is one of #2 son's favorites. It's light, has a great trigger, no recoil at all (it's chambered in .22LR, remember), and good iron sights. This is a great gun to start a kid on - you can load it single shot when you open the bolt, rather than using the magazine.
Now we don't actually own a gun (yet, long story), so we go to a range where we can rent. It's fun to try lots of different ones, and has been great finding which we like best. The downside is that you never get used to any one gun, so the first couple of targets are often pretty pathetic. Offered for your consideration, target #1.
High and to the right, all the time. Prairie Dogs do not ph33r me, even after 150 round of practice. So, correct left and down. This is probably not how you should do it - like aiming 20 degrees left on the golf course because you have a slice, but it gets me on target, at least more so.
The odd thing is that the only one of the pictures that I could see even a little was the middle one. I'm not sure if I'm getting old enough that my eyes can't get a picture of the smaller targets, but I was pretty dead-on for the middle varmint. Just couldn't locate the other two.
I'd hate to have to get prescription shooting glasses. #2 son had no such problem, as you can see from his target. While it may not look too impressive, it was with a pistol.
Ruger Mark II, also in .22LR. Nice pistol, great trigger.
So any thoughts out there? When you reach my advanced years, is unscoped shooting not as practical?
UPDATE 4 Aug 2008 0845: Random Acts of Patriotism has a really information-rich post in reply to many of the questions here. Boy, Al Gore's intarwebz may turn me into a good shot yet!