A long-long time ago in a far off land, the post I was stationed at had a private range that solders could go to in there off time, check out weapons and ammo in order to help improve their marksmanship.
They had I believe it was the colt woodsman .22 cal pistol, a standard government models .45 auto, a .22 cal target rifle that I dont remember the brand of, and M-14s. The ammo was free and so was the weapons use and range. So taking advantage of something free from Uncle Sam I went there sometimes to improve my marksmanship and enjoy shooting.
One of them days I checked out the M-14 got some on hand training about it and a few boxes of ammo. I set up outside sense they would not let us shoot that rifle indoors and went to work shooting it. This is when I fell in love with the M-14.
A few years later I had the pleasure of trying out for a unit marksmanship team, they wanted me on the pistol team and I wanted on the rifle team. So I gave it a try, and got to shoot one of the other sweetest rifles in the world. An M1 grenade re-chambered in .308. This was so sweet that the only reason I would of choose the M-14 over it was due to the use of Magazines, for quick loading and they hold more rounds.
My attraction to .308 really took off then and I have never regretted it. A few years later my now ex-wife wanted to get me something for my birthday that I really wanted and she asked what I wanted so I told her a blot rifle chambered in .308. She said ok and we loaded into the car and went to the local gun store where I ended up getting a Ruger M77V in .308 for $260 new with rings.
Needing a scope I went to a department store close to the house to get my first scope which was to be a 3-9 Itasca for $29, the clerk bagged it I paid for it and when I got home he had put a 4-12 Mil-dot in the bag. So I took it back because it was a mistake and I was fairly honest back then and told him he gave the more expensive scope instead of the one I had paid for, and he told me that it was his mistake and to keep the more expensive one so I was real happy.
This is the time I started reloading my own ammo, sense match grade ammo back then was very hard to come by, and if you found some it cost 3 arms and 4 legs per box. So I ended up working up a load that my Ruger M77V actually liked and believe me each rifle has a deferent taste in ammo it will digest. I ended up with once fired Mil brass, which I had to ream the primer, pockets out, CCI large rifle Primers, BLC-2 powder (which I dont remember the powder load of) and Hornady 168gr HPBT match kings.
But back them I did not know my ass from a hole in the ground about ballistics, or weapons really and ½ MOA was unheard of for me. (We did not have the internet back then), I was just happy hitting the 12 gong at 300 yards 9 out of 10 shots. Nonetheless I was happy with my set up and greatly enjoyed shooting and ringing that gong.
We had some shooters there that were into long range competition and oft times they would let me shoot there custom rifle and I would let them have at it with my off the shelf Ruger. They seemed to like the rifle but not the scope, and would oft times tell me I needed to get one of these, what they would show me at the time reminded me of a telescope mounted on top of a rifle that always seemed to have a barrel long enough to reach out from the bench and smack the target down range without having to fire a shot.
I know I am making light of a time when I was ignet (Ignorant) of actually shooting. In reality if I did not have a wife and children back then I could of saved my pay for 3 to 4 months and bought one of them scopes they had. But life is life and it must go on, and we do with what we have.