Shooting the “US Rifle, Cal .30, M1” Rifle

/ / After Action Report (AAR), History

At most of the Indiana Revere’s Riders events, the last point of instruction is nearly always a short lesson on “known distance” and adjusting your sights. The trajectory of a bullet after it leaves the rifle barrel is explained along with the concept of a “near zero” and “far zero”. Before everyone’s eyes glaze over, we head out to the range and demonstrate the concept by setting up targets at 100 yards instead of 25 yards.

Due to bullet trajectory, the “point of impact” will shift from our “point of aim” (assuming we are still holding our sights on target and not “holding over/under”). For rimfire rifles, the bullet impacts will be low illustrating that the bullet is falling after passing the 25 yard distance where the rifle was zeroed. For centerfire rifles, the bullet impacts will instead be high showing that the bullet is still rising from 25 to 100 yards.

One final IMC (“inches, MOA, clicks”) session should get everyone’s rifle on target at 100 yards. Sights adjusted, students are allowed to engage steel targets of varying sizes placed at 100 yards.

At this point, many of our Rifle 125 events will feature the opportunity to put a “clip” through a “US Rifle, Cal .30, M1“; otherwise known as the M1 Garand rifle used by the US military during WWII. Below is a short video clip of a shot being fired from a M1 Garand on a steel target at 100 yards (the orange square target just to the right of the closest yellow flag).

Note the “ping” of the bullet striking the steel and the splash of lead on the ground due to the bullet disintegrating upon hitting the target. Note also that you see the bullet strike the target (evidenced by the splash of lead on the ground) before you hear the “ping”. Why is that? It is due to the 30-06 cartridge producing supersonic bullet velocities! The bullet is traveling at something like 2,700 ft/sec while the speed of sound is only 1,125 ft/sec. The bullet has reached the target before the report of the rifle being fired even makes it halfway…