…..and Ray Charles saw it coming. The other day I saw that YouTube personality Sootch00 had uploaded a video called “I shot my Truck!” which showed him putting 3-4 rounds of 7.62×39 into the hood of his truck during a range session. Since I first posted this, Sootch has pulled the video. Thanks to the wonders of the internet I was able to find the video again though. Take a look at the video and then we will talk about what happened to Sootch some.
So why did this happen to Sootch? Was it a training issue? A momentary lapse in memory? Perhaps someone fired a government model 1911 chambered in 45 ACP nearby thus creating a rip in the time-space continuum just as the shots were being fired. In reality, what happened was a failure to remember the principle of bore-sight relationship, aka mechanical offset.
So what is bore-sight relationship? Simply put, it is the height of the sighting system you are using (iron sight, scope, red dot, etc) over the center of the bore of the firearm you are using. When we fail to remember this while shooting around some form of a barrier, we will inevitably have a round or 4 impact the barrier we are near. This obviously results in missed shots and could possibly cause injury due to debris flying off the object that was hit.
So how can we work to eliminate the chances of us repeating Sootch’s mistake? First, we have to stay conscious of the fact that just because we can see what we want to shoot with our sights; it doesn’t mean that the muzzle isn’t pointed into what we are using as cover/as a support. With AR and Ak variant rifles/carbines; we are looking at an offset height of typically 2.5″-2.6″. This can change with different optics, mounts, and gun types so it is important for you to know the offset for your particular set up.
Next, if we are shooting over the top of an object, we can use our hand as a support under the hand guard, near the muzzle, to make sure that the muzzle is elevated enough so any rounds fired will strike their intended target(s).
Next; instead of shooting over the top of a barrier, we can shoot from the sides. This will greatly decrease the chances of us launching a round into a barrier as long as we keep the gun vertical. If we start to introduce any kind of lean in our upper body, then we are moving back into a situation where the sights might be clearing the barrier while the muzzle isn’t. Again; use of the support side hand near the muzzle can help to limit this from happening.
Finally we can change the orientation of the gun. Simply put, we rotate the gun from the normal position we shoot it from to one where the ejection port is facing up or down (depending on if we are right or left hand shooters). By changing the orientation of the gun, the sight(s) and the target are now on the same plane and the offset issue is greatly minimized though it isn’t eliminated. As before, support hand placement further helps to limit bad things from happening.
Also, keep in mind that offset issues can happen with handguns too. Especially now that we are starting to see optic equipped handguns becoming more mainstream; off set issues will begin to creep up and bite handgun shooters as well.
In closing, make sure you pay attention to your sights and the muzzle of the gun and everything will be good to go. Oh; and if you don’t shoot your cover at least once, you aren’t using it effectively 😉
Until next time