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 Newbie in need of training incoming! 
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Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2021
Posts: 5
Real Name: Fredric
Hi! I just discovered this forum exist and hopefully I can meet some good people and get some help here.

I’m a 19 year old living in Bellingham, having moved from Phoenix, AZ back in November. I’ve been a gun owner for a little over a year now. In that time I’ve acquired 3 guns: an absolutely beat-to-s**t Mosin M91/30 that was rusty as all hell when I got it (internals are great though!), a Diamondback DB-15 with a SIG Romeo 5 red dot and some cheap BUIS, and an actually nice looking Arisaka Type 99 (not a last-ditch model).

My main problem is that I don’t really have what would be considered “good” guns - I make very little money (part-time minimum wage) and struggle to pay my bills every month, let alone buy ammo and go to the range. Secondly, I have never had any formal training or marksmanship classes, but I do have excellent trigger discipline and know the 4 basic rules of gun safety by heart, stuff like that. I have the KNOWLEDGE aspect of firearms down, and in their operation, but in terms of actually owning and shooting - I’m absolute garbage.

I can barely hit a target consistently at 100 yards with iron sights, and I have very scattered groupings. Even at distances closer or further than that, especially with my AR, I’m lucky if I hit the target at all, even with an optic. Maybe because my sights aren't properly zeroed, I don't know. I have very scattered groupings across all my guns. I have a very strong tendency to flinch/jump/startle easily both from the noise and recoil (I have very sensitive ears in terms of the first point mentioned) and I really don’t know what would make me better at getting anything that even resembles a group, let alone hitting the target consistently.

I’ve always been afraid to ask for help or try talking about guns because I’ve always gotten a very hostile, elitist vibe from a lot of the community where if you don’t have a decked-out Aero Precision AR with a Trijicon ACOG or LPVO with a dozen mags full of M193/M855 brass, and don’t get dead-center 1 MOA groupings, you’re a poor and should be ridiculed. I mean, to be fair, I am poor though.

I would love to find somebody or someplace that would be willing to help me with basic shooting exercises or classes, whether it be in person or online. It would be greatly appreciated despite what little money I have to offer.

I really hope that this is a safe place and I can get some good advice. Thanks!

Here's an image gallery of my guns and a picture of a target I shot at with my Arisaka at 100yds.


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Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:19 am
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Wow, that last rifle is a beauty! An intact 'mum? That is somewhat of a rarity, no? And it looks super clean.

also: :wagwoot: elcome

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Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:24 am
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Location: Bellingham, WA
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Real Name: Fredric
jukk0u wrote:
Wow, that last rifle is a beauty! An intact 'mum? That is somewhat of a rarity, no? And it looks super clean.

also: :wagwoot: elcome


Haha, thank you! She's a 1940 Type 99 manufactured at the Nagoya arsenal. Got it for $450 which, considering the condition it's in with the intact chrysanthemum and the bayonet, was a steal. I don't shoot it that much because of the rarity of 7.7 Jap ammo and the condition the gun's in. It's more of a collector's piece than anything, especially if I can find the dust cover, monopod, and AA sight wings :wink05:

But other things come first before splurging on those things! ;)


Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:31 am
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Location: Maple Valley, WA
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Welcome to WaGuns!

As for training - I would say focus. On one gun. One sight picture.

The cheapest is typically recommended but these days cheap is relative to what one can find. Plus cheap in comparison to function and accuracy.

The older guns used to be cheap - both rifle and Ammo and at closer distances 50-100 yards were great for the above (cheap and accurate) but not these days. But another component is recoil. These were main battle rifles so they have significant recoil compared to modern design rifles shooting smaller calibers.

For rifles - breathing and take your time. Get into a slow rhythm. Don’t rush for pure accuracy (marksmanship). Reduce your variables (Ben great the rifle - aka prop up the gun on sandbags or bracing of some kind) as much as you can and at a point you get to understand what one needs but that takes a lot of practice. Even follow through is somewhat a big deal - meaning don’t lift your head hockey after shooting. Keep your head down and in the shooting position after taking the shot. I find a lot of folks want to quickly transition to seeing where their shot hit right after taking the shot and for a beginner that rush can make you mess up the shooting part.

One last point... consistency and accuracy are two different topics. As a new shooter your focus is consistency. The accuracy part comes later to adapt your consistency to adjust fire to the specific gun and ammo. Don’t change your sight picture until later on as you become more proficient in your shooting.

Having an instructors eye does help to get you on track. They can point out a lot of things one doesn’t even know that they are doing. Or at least an experienced shooter watching.



Just for reference (pre ammo prices) - the old recommendation would be to get a .22 conversion kit for your DB-15 and shoot .22LR for training.

Rationale would be ease of ammo and cost for training. If you can source somewhat cheaper .22 in quantity. Say less than $0.04-$0.08 per round for .22 it still maybe a viable choice.


Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:58 am
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Welcome! As mentioned, that Arisaka is a beauty. Oldkim is a firearm's instructor and gave you good advice. If you have the means to pickup a decent .22 rifle, i would also suggest that as a way to practice more affordably to get the basics down.
We have some members up your way, maybe one of them could hit the range with you and help you out.

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Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:01 am
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AkaiTheOrca wrote:
...I’ve always gotten a very hostile, elitist vibe from a lot of the community where if you don’t have a decked-out Aero Precision AR with a Trijicon ACOG or LPVO with a dozen mags full of M193/M855 brass, and don’t get dead-center 1 MOA groupings, you’re a poor and should be ridiculed.


Ha! Well, for me, the two "old beaters" that you own are far more interesting than any decked-out AR. :thumbsup2:

Welcome, Fredric! A couple of thoughts come to mind:

1) You need to overcome the tendency to flinch when you pull the trigger. This is essential to accuracy. You can do this with dry fire practice, and also by shooting a gun that's not going to recoil as much or be as loud. Perhaps the Mosin and the Arisaka (which is awesome!) should stay at home for a while, and you should practice with the AR, and consider buying a .22. Recognize that the noise and the recoil will NOT hurt you, do some dry fire (yes, even at the range), load ONE round into the gun, and then slowly squeeeeze the trigger . . . telling yourself that it's going to go "click." Yeah, it'll go boom, but teach yourself to ignore that.

2) Be realistic about your expected accuracy. You are using iron sights, and you are using commercial ammo. Yes, there are some circus freaks out there who can shoot 1" groups at 100 yards with iron sights . . . but most of us cannot. That target pic you posted is about what I'd expect most of us to do with a Mosin; you can probably do a little better with your AR.

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Tue Apr 27, 2021 11:58 am
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You need a mentor. There is no other way around it and preferably a mentor that also reloads and yes you do need a .22 so you can practice your basics but even a Crossman 760 air rifle would make a difference in your shooting. The Crossman 760 will shoot bbs which are in stock whereas the lead pellets not so much. Even a Red Ryder would make a difference in your shooting and you could set up a cardboard box bb trap inside where you live. You could even go with an inexpensive air soft. Here in town I borrow my dad's Benjamin Silver Streak when the black birds become a problem as I have it set up with a telescopic and have used it to remove many wood peckers before they do damage to their house.

Once you have a mentor to correct your technique you can practice. I had many years of spring bb gun shooting and Crossman shooting before I started with the Junior Marksman Ship program as I was given my first bb gun around age 7 a Crossmam pistol which could be another option for you as 1.77 caliber darts are made so you can shoot at a dartboard.


Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:47 pm
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Welcome Fredric!

Don't expect marksmanship level accuracy from either of your surplus rifles. While fun to shoot, they aren't the most inherently accurate.

Nothing wrong with a Diamondback DB-15. One of my favorite home builds sits on a DB-15 lower and I love it! Like Madpick said, if you're wanting to practice accurate shooting with any of the 3 long guns you mentioned, the DB-15 is your best bet. Red dots (like the Sig Romeo 5) can be great for fast target acquisition and are a big step up from BUIS, but a 2-3 MOA dot will completely obscure the bullseye on most targets at 100 yards. Personally, I'd start at 50 yards and work on trigger press and learning to accept the recoil and report of the rifle. Once your groupings at 50 yards start to tighten up then you can move out to 100 yards.

When I take my accurate rifles to the range I really prefer to be in as quiet an environment as possible. I'll sit down behind the rifle for a couple minute with no mag inserted and just look downrange through the scope and watch the target, listen to the wind or the rain, try and tune out any external distractions and just relax. It's pretty calming and personally really helps me to shoot my best.

If I were to offer any limited advice on rifle shooting it would be to focus on 4 things:

Breathing- slow down, try and send your shot in the natural respiratory pause
Posture- learn a good/comfortable support posture where none of your muscles are tensed holding the rifle on target
Relax- kind of encompassing of the first 2 suggestions. Relax your muscles, relax your breathing, relax yourself
Trigger press- slowly and gradually press the trigger while holding the rifle on target until it goes off naturally. Don't yank that trigger, just let the rifle go off when it wants to. To practice this pull the trigger slowly then hold back the trigger for a couple seconds after each time you send a shot. Slowly release it and feel the trigger reset.

That's all I've got. What works for me may not work for you. Stick with it, you'll improve with every trip to the range. And what the other guys said about getting a .22lr rifle is dead on! Most .22lr rifles are very accurate and a great way to practice your accuracy without burning through $$$

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Tue Apr 27, 2021 3:47 pm
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Only about $1100.00

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“A return to First Principles in a Republic is sometimes caused by simple virtues of a single man. His good example has such an influence that the good men strive to imitate him, and the wicked are ashamed to lead a life so contrary to his example. Before all else, be armed!” ~ Niccolo Machiavelli


Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:05 pm
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A good suggestion on a .22 Rifle is a Marlin Model 60, their is one posted here on this forum right now for 200$ and that is about the going rate of them.

In my honest opinion they are great little plinker and for what they are dam accurate, the best part is you dont need to buy any mags for it as from your post you seem to be on a tight budget.

Dont worry about the high speed tactical crap now and get down the basics.

Learn how to use irons and you will be set for life....


Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:25 pm
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The vast majority of us shooting now were exposed to shooting as a younger person. Some as children... some as teens and many as young adults. We had the exposure from family or friends.

Now days a very large section getting into the shooting population doesn’t have that access or resource to draw from (no family or friends that have enough shooting experience to actually hand down knowledge).

So for those that grew up - we also had the luxury of ammo costs and availability. We could be self taught and waste all those rounds to “learn” over years.

Now several bad things happen is that one develops bad habits. Habits that take literally thousands of rounds and years to unlearn... flinching (anticipation) being the biggest impact to ones true shooting ability.

There are several things starting out one should consider.

It’s an investment in you...
for skill and also for time and money in the long run.

The old method of self teaching or limited sharing of knowledge (blind leading the blind effect) is spotty at best. What you don’t know but you should know because you have totally no clue to know it phenomenon.

Investing in some good instruction (small classroom or even 1:1 is ideal). True - It comes at a cost.

I know you don’t have tons of money but looking at it as an investment is the best way if you want to be good and be on the path to improving your skill - not wasting your time and money to learn those skills the hard way.

In light of limited Ammo and high cost - that equation has so much more meaning as wasting rounds is wasting more and more money.

Learn it right the first time. Shoot well. Improve your skills after that with good practice.

I have seen so many people shoot poorly and they have been shooting for awhile and never really understanding what they are doing wrong because they just lack the knowledge to know better.

Sorry long winded... bottom line.

Invest in yourself. Go attend a few basic classes and then seek a 1:1 instructor. Set aside some money and just know in the long run... you will be way ahead of the curve.

And if you take free advice... remember it’s free but most times biased as the person telling it telling you from their perspective and experience. Meaning take it with a grain of salt. See what works for you for your application or type of shooting.

Even paid instructors - ex cop versus ex military etc. they are drawing from their experiences. Their delivery style or focus maybe a bit different.

My example of this is a rifle instructor teaching a pistol class and talking about breathing as an important part of the shooting formula. It’s not (for pistol - it is for rifle).

*disclaimer - breath control for pistol only for those shooting Olympic or Bullseye type pistol shooting at distance.


So budget a gun... is a good rule of thumb.
Cost of attending class and Ammo for that class.

Finally - lots of good advice. Glean what you can. Make sense of it and apply it to make it work for you.


Tue Apr 27, 2021 4:37 pm
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Ya, Ok...I live in Bellingham, new to the area...but not Washington.
Not a member of any range, (Thinking about Custer) but I have an outdoor spot I go to...About half hourish out of town.
Last 3 miles are dirt/rocky/holey road. I have taken my car there, but just once...NOT RECOMENDED.
Not really a spot to sight in a rifle, but can be done, if you get there early enough. I am a morning person so the crack of Dawn, turns me on. I still need to sight mine in. I can hit a barn door, that is about it.
I am heading out there this Sunday morning, weather permitting, (with a friend) to do some function tests...new guns/set ups.
Let me know if you are interested in going out there one day, I can show you where it is at.
If you have a truck of some sort, that would be good...I might be able to shove you in my Bronco, but it would be tight (I usually have my friend and his stuff) and would be at the mercy of a (semi crazy) older person (55) and his not so crazy friend (30..daughters ex boyfriend for 10 years, like a son)
I have some revolvers and pistols that you can try out...22lr to 460 mag. 10/22 and ruger charger. Savage 17 hmr semi.
I have ammo, so no worries there...as long as we don't waste it.

Lemme know...send PM

-Jason-

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Wed Apr 28, 2021 6:54 am
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Real Name: Fredric
hartcreek wrote:
You need a mentor. There is no other way around it and preferably a mentor that also reloads and yes you do need a .22 so you can practice your basics but even a Crossman 760 air rifle would make a difference in your shooting. The Crossman 760 will shoot bbs which are in stock whereas the lead pellets not so much. Even a Red Ryder would make a difference in your shooting and you could set up a cardboard box bb trap inside where you live. You could even go with an inexpensive air soft. Here in town I borrow my dad's Benjamin Silver Streak when the black birds become a problem as I have it set up with a telescopic and have used it to remove many wood peckers before they do damage to their house.

Once you have a mentor to correct your technique you can practice. I had many years of spring bb gun shooting and Crossman shooting before I started with the Junior Marksman Ship program as I was given my first bb gun around age 7 a Crossmam pistol which could be another option for you as 1.77 caliber darts are made so you can shoot at a dartboard.


You're right, I need a mentor to help me. The problem is, since I'm new to the area, I don't know anybody up here, much less who to reach out to. Perhaps here I'd be able to find someone that could be willing to take up the role.


Mon May 03, 2021 9:57 am
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AkaiTheOrca wrote:
hartcreek wrote:
You need a mentor. There is no other way around it and preferably a mentor that also reloads and yes you do need a .22 so you can practice your basics but even a Crossman 760 air rifle would make a difference in your shooting. The Crossman 760 will shoot bbs which are in stock whereas the lead pellets not so much. Even a Red Ryder would make a difference in your shooting and you could set up a cardboard box bb trap inside where you live. You could even go with an inexpensive air soft. Here in town I borrow my dad's Benjamin Silver Streak when the black birds become a problem as I have it set up with a telescopic and have used it to remove many wood peckers before they do damage to their house.

Once you have a mentor to correct your technique you can practice. I had many years of spring bb gun shooting and Crossman shooting before I started with the Junior Marksman Ship program as I was given my first bb gun around age 7 a Crossmam pistol which could be another option for you as 1.77 caliber darts are made so you can shoot at a dartboard.


You're right, I need a mentor to help me. The problem is, since I'm new to the area, I don't know anybody up here, much less who to reach out to. Perhaps here I'd be able to find someone that could be willing to take up the role.


I'm in Burlington, and a member at Custer Sportsman's Club. The WGO smelly hippy, Ohshoot is in Bham as well and asnwers to Joshua.
I'm not saying I'm the guy you want to help you, but I'm around and am offering some help for what its worth.

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Mon May 03, 2021 10:13 am
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Location: Bellingham, WA
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Real Name: Fredric
MadPick wrote:
AkaiTheOrca wrote:
...I’ve always gotten a very hostile, elitist vibe from a lot of the community where if you don’t have a decked-out Aero Precision AR with a Trijicon ACOG or LPVO with a dozen mags full of M193/M855 brass, and don’t get dead-center 1 MOA groupings, you’re a poor and should be ridiculed.


Ha! Well, for me, the two "old beaters" that you own are far more interesting than any decked-out AR. :thumbsup2:

Welcome, Fredric! A couple of thoughts come to mind:

1) You need to overcome the tendency to flinch when you pull the trigger. This is essential to accuracy. You can do this with dry fire practice, and also by shooting a gun that's not going to recoil as much or be as loud. Perhaps the Mosin and the Arisaka (which is awesome!) should stay at home for a while, and you should practice with the AR, and consider buying a .22. Recognize that the noise and the recoil will NOT hurt you, do some dry fire (yes, even at the range), load ONE round into the gun, and then slowly squeeeeze the trigger . . . telling yourself that it's going to go "click." Yeah, it'll go boom, but teach yourself to ignore that.

2) Be realistic about your expected accuracy. You are using iron sights, and you are using commercial ammo. Yes, there are some circus freaks out there who can shoot 1" groups at 100 yards with iron sights . . . but most of us cannot. That target pic you posted is about what I'd expect most of us to do with a Mosin; you can probably do a little better with your AR.


Thanks a lot for the friendly advice, and for the compliments on my milsurp guns, lol. I'm already trying to track down a .22 rifle, maybe one of the gun shows around here would give me a good deal on one. Also, are there any beginner rifle classes in this area that you know about (Bellingham, Mt Vernon, Everett, Seattle, Snohomish, etc)? Many people, both here and elsewhere, say that a rifle course would greatly benefit me.


Mon May 03, 2021 10:30 am
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