Learning to shoot in the Flint Hills of Kansas


    From sitting position with .300WM(24) and Harris 13-26 bipod. Eight 1/4 inch dots, 25 feet, 2 rows of 4 dots each. Two shots on each dot.

    Trying to make sure I breath without any pause or interruption (still not happening 100% of the time).

    Trying to make sure my eye never comes off the target. I still "auto-jerk" my eye off the target to look for the bipod after many of the second shots, when I need to move the bipod. But, I do not need to look for the bipod. I know exactly where the bipod is. This is just a variation of "Prairie Dog" to be avoided.

    Also trying to make sure I am focusing on the reticle and not the target.

    Using my support hand under the stock, about where the rear bag would be, to help steady the gun during the running of the bolt. This action REM700 LA runs smoother than the new REM700 LA, but closing the bolt still takes a bit of force.

    EDIT: BTW, reading FM 3-22.9 C1, 10 Feb 2011, "Rifle Marksmanship M16-/M4-Series Weapons", figure 4-18 actually shows that we should hold our breath, those words are used, when reaching the bottom of the exhale. Says the shot must be released before the solder feels discomfort. I had forgotten that we were trained to hold our breath! Maybe, we weren't in the Army I was in, but this recent FM says "hold your breath" in plain language! I am trying hard to NOT do that !!! :)


    Trying to NOT do that ^^ ... even though I've been doing it for a looooong time ...

  • 2018-06-06
    10 MPH ESE

    Goal: dot drills 100yds

    Environment: Warm, sunny, Breeze from 30 degrees of bullet path.

    Equipment: 6.5G(18), 4x5rd mags 123 ELD, Atlas Bipod


    First round hit. I already thought the Atlas bipod was making a difference.

    Then neighbor drove up behind me so I got up to talk first cease fire. He thought I was laying in the road/drive way (on my land) dead or in trouble :)

    Around round 5 wife walked into the firing line heading to the green house causing a cease fire.

    Around round 10 guinea walked into the firing line another cease fire.

    I had a tight deadline of 30 minutes (to set up the firing position, in my road/driveway, so I can't leave anything there ... and to setup the targets ... and to shoot and then to take down everything) so I was rushed, then had the interruptions. And those are good also, but not assisting in optimizing the methodical practice I am trying to focus on right now. So these shots were rushed, no breaks, just bang, bang, bang. So in that sense, I would consider this to be the least successful dot drill attempt I've made in the past 2 weeks, since setting up in this way and using the 6.5G(18).


    But the good news is:

    The lo-pro goggles continue to protect the eye. I even see a layer of "stuff" accumulating on the lens, which I need to clean off.

    The atlas bipod seems to help. Even with the rushed shots I got 2 real hits, 5 tags and 15 misses.

    What needs work is the right hand most set of dots 5, 10, 15, 20 .. from day to day those dots get the worst misses. I'm thinking that is position.

    So, need to slow down and setup the position correctly for each shot. That definitely did not happen today. Otherwise, I'm wasting time.

    Oh, those "ragged" hits are due to the number of staples under the target. And a hit near one of those can break the paper.

    And from a strategic perspective, again, getting in to the rhythm of doing this everyday, is perhaps most important. And just that aspect feels good.

  • Ordered a second Atlas Bipod today. It is another "B10", which I think is the same model I already have, which gee, I probably got 5 years ago?

  • 2018-06-09
    10 MPH SE

    Goal: dots at 100yds

    Environment: Sunny, hot, breeze from 45 degrees off bullet path

    Equipment: 6.5G(18), L&S 3-18x T3, 4 mags of 5 rds each, 123 ELD. Atlas bipod.


    Sun in my eyes, trade-off cooler. I could barely see the orange dots. "Barely" means I can see them to an extent greater than "unable to see".


    I didn't realize it until later, but the big problem with this run was the suppressor came loose, at least by about shot 11, so that sort of invalidates the second half of this one. I've gone from one extreme to the other. The suppressors were getting stuck. I was having to use heat gun to get them off. So, it was suggested to use anti-seize paste, which I am. But now they come loose. Though not all of them. I will have to clean off the paste and reapply a smaller amount.

    Score: 3 hits, 3 tag, 14 miss

  • 2018-06-10
    15 mph SE

    Goal: dots at 100yds

    Environment: Sunny, hot, breeze from 45 degrees off bullet path

    Equipment: 6.5G(18), L&S 3-18x T3, 4 mags of 5 rds each, 123 ELD. Atlas bipod.

    Activity: Sun in my eyes bad. Could not see the targets. Went and got a dark light jacket and threw that over my head and the scope. That cleared up the image massively.


    I tightened up the suppressor, but I also changed the bipod. During yesterday's shot at one point I stood up and checked the bipod and the right leg was 2 inches behind the left leg relative to the target. I was wanting to see if the "anti-pan" feature of the Harris would help.

    Today's score: 5 hits, 5 tags, 10 misses. But, I think that might be mostly due to the suppressor not coming loose.

    One thing I was happy about today, was two hits to finish. It seems, in previous efforts, the finish is weak.

    Strategy: Well, I have finished all the 123 ELD. I have 100 x 123 AMAX, 200 x 130 Berger Hybrid and 250 x 123 SST. I think I will shoot up the 123 AMAX and then retire this upper to the parts box. I am getting out of the 6.5G caliber. I like the external ballistics. Pretty close to my old Sig 7.62(16) with the 168 SMK, but on small frame lower. But the depth and breadth of the factory ammo supply is insufficient. I decided 9 months ago to switch to the Berger 130gr bullet with the Federal load. I've been able to get exactly one case of 200 rds. Can't find it in stock anywhere. I always knew that was the weakness of the 6.5G, but it has gotten to the point where I am done. Eventually I will rebuild as a 5.56(18) with a proof barrel. I'm on a "light is good" kick for my dmr-ish rifles right now. And I might build a large frame 7.62(18) next year. With a proof barrel.
    But once this 123 AMAX is done, then I will switch to the 5.56(18) for a while. I want to do an extended bake off between two flavors of 77gr, the IMI which runs 52 cents per round and a custom load for the 77gr which runs 62 cents per round. I have been shooting Black Hills load of the 77 SMK, but accumulating the BH load of the 77 TMK. But those run around $1 per round and I'm not sure they are so great either. Black Hills has a name, but I'm not sure the quality is there any more.
    And then once that 77gr bake off is one, I will finally get back to the 7.62(22) rifle I shot at the class. I have about 225 rds of M118LR left in the case I brought to the class, will shoot those up and then on to the Federal GMM 175gr. That should be around 1 August. Due to the grass in the pasture, I will spend much of the summer shooting dots. My 425-770 yards shooting area is shut down due to the vegetation. All I have left is the 50-500yds area, but off tripod only. And then the 25, 50, 100yd area right near the house, where I can shoot prone, if I lay in the (private) road.
    The Tikka .22lr(18) is still awaiting release, sitting on backorder at Brownell's. The Athlon Argos awaits its horse !!

    On the .300WM(24) I've been shooting 220gr OTM Barnes load and love that ammo. But it is $250/rd. I have 440rds of it, but would like to shoot it more. I've tried the 190 SMK Blackhills load and the same bullet with the Federal GM load. The Federal GM 190 SMK is $1.34/rd so thinking of trying a case of that. At almost half the cost, that would get the .300WM(24) out of the closet and into the field !!

    As to the Barret .50BMG(32) ... thinking of selling that. It is a hecque of a challenge to learn recoil management for the beast. And If I had the time I think it would be the perfect critter to shoot to learn lots about recoil management. If there is ANY crack in your position. That gun will find it !! :D

    But, realistically, I have plenty to learn without trying to add that to the list. I need another scope. I now have 6 rifles and only four scopes, so I will sell the Barrett and get another scope.

  • 2018-06-14
    10 MPH SSE

    Goals: 3/4 inch dots at 100yds

    Environment: Hot sunny, breeze from 60 degrees off bullet path. Sun in my eyes.

    Equipment: 6.5G(18), 4 x 5rd mags of 123 ELD, harris.

    Activity: Used light jacket over head and scope to shield out sun. Used lo-pro eye pro to block suppressor "crap" from getting in eyes. The strong odor of the suppressor crap is almost stiffling under the hood, but that is better than getting it on my eyeballs.
    Could barely see the green and pink dots. The orange dots were easier to see this morning. It is often the opposite. Slight difference in angle of sun can change the contrast !
    I send the 1/2 "official" black dots to wife (the printer) but have not received them back yet. I do believe the black dots will be higher contrast in more conditions and thus easier to see.

    Today, I ran the dots in "normal" order from left to right and top to bottom, ,so I will not number them when I shoot them in this "standard" sequence.


    The score was:

    6 "solids" (center of the bullet hole inside the outer edge of the dot
    5 "tags" (the bullet touched the dot and pushed it in. Note there was one case where the bullet curled the dot outwards a tiny but (#8), I counted that one as a miss .. when in doubt, I rank the shot at the lower score level).
    9 "misses"

    It's too bad that my situation results in sun in my eyes for this activity, but so be it. This is the only spot I can think of where I can get semi-flat and shoot at 100yds and have a decently safe backstop and area behind backstop. And the morning is the least hecque-tic time of the day, since for my day job most of the people I work with are on the West coast. But bad conditions are really the norm, so bad conditions are not bad. I know we would prefer to remove variables for dots and I remove some with this setup, but not all. All variables cannot be removed in my situation. :)

  • Yesterday, I did something different. I've noticed my morning shooting is sometimes affected by the sun as I am shooting to the East and the sun is rising to the East-ish.
    The primary effect has been that I can barely see 1 or 2 of the dot colors.
    So I wanted to test my primary 4 scopes to see what differences I could see between them in these conditions.
    These are:
    L&S Mk6 3-18x T3
    XTR2 3-15x scr-mil
    XTR2 5-25x scr-mil
    NF 7-35x T3

    I added the sunshades onto all the scopes that have the, all but the Mk6.

    I used the light jacket over my head and the rear of the scope as I've been doing when shooting.

    the two aspects I was able to clearly distinguish I will call "clarity" and "brightness"

    Mk6 3-18 clarity (moderate), brightness (high)
    3-15x clarity (high), brightness (moderate)
    5-25x clarity (high), brightness (moderate)
    7-35x clarity (high), brightness (high)

    One variable was that I did this about an hour later than I'd been shooting the previous several sessions and that put the sun higher in the sky and so, I could see the target very well with all four scopes. Today, there were no issues seeing any of the colors of the dots.

    Why was the mk6 less clear than the xtr2 scopes? Possibilities include the mk6 having more "grunge" on the glass. I've been shooting it outside a lot since the class and the others have been sitting in the house after being cleaned. The mk6 was the only scope without a sun shade. Maybe the diopter or parallax are still a bit off for the mk6. The mk6 diopter is the hardest diopter to adjust I have ever encountered. I did adjust it recently, but then adjusted it back. So I think it is as good as I can get it and same with the parallax. So bottom line, I am not sure why the mk6 is less clear, but it was distinctly less clear. I find it hard to believe the mk6 glass is less clear than the burris glass, but that is another possibility as well.

    But again, during this test, none of the scopes had any issues seeing all the dots.

  • 2018-06-16
    15 MPH SSE

    Goals: dots at 100yds

    Environment: Hot and humid, breeze from 60 degrees off the bullet path. Sun rising to the East clear skies.

    Equipment: 6.5G(18), EDL 123, 4 mags 5 rds each. L&S 3-18x T3, harris, jacket over scope and head. lo-pro goggles, 2xtab gear bags.

    Activity: Checked the suppressor, part of each shoot until I get it adjusted to stay on better.
    This was first run of the 1/2 dots. The results were a massive "failure". The issues identified were a great success!


    0 hits
    3 tags
    17 misses

    In all cases, I could see a yellow "film" over the image in the scope, with bright sparkly dots. These were effects from the sun entering the objective, I presume. I'm not shot much directly into the sun, I usually shot to the North with the Sun to the South. But not this summer with the dots. Shooting East in the morning into the sun.

    After about shot 8 IIRC, things "fuzzed up" a lot. The "soot" coming back from the gun/suppressor gets "channeled" more by the jacket acting as a hood. The odor is very strong and I think it builds up on the lens of the goggles. So I took the googles off and wiped them off a bit.

    One pattern I notice is in dots 9, 10 and 14, 15 over on the right side of the target, the "way low" misses are consistent at least for those shots. That looks like NP problem to me.

    After about 2 more shots after the cleaning things fuzzed up bad on the image. I could not see the dots for the whole 4th row, 16-20. I could sort of see a fuzzy line for dots 11-15 and used that line to extrapolate where the 16-20 dots were. By the time I got to 20, all I could see was a white rectangle (the target sheet) so that one was a WILD guess as we can see (barely taged low right corner of paper).

    Also having trouble loading the bipod. I will switch back to atlas. I now have 2 atlas bipods.

    So, action items include switching the bipod, trying to work out a way to mitigate the sun, soot visibility issues and focusing more on NP for all dots.

  • 2018-06-17
    15 MPH SSE

    Goal: dots at 100yds

    Environment: About 90% cloud cover, did not have to use the jacket as a sun shield, could see the dots fine. Breeze 60 degrees off the bullet path.

    Equipment: 6.5G(18), 4x5rds 123 ELD, lo-pro goggles, atlas, 2 tab gear bags

    Activity: Still struggle a bit getting the 2 tab gear bags to work, one if flat, the other rest of top of the first canted back at a 45 degree angle to mesh to the 45 degree to the rear angle of the CTR butt stock. This provides 90 degree angle of mate. I use support hand thru the loop on the upper bag.

    Around shot 8, the image fuzzed up. I finally realized it is sweat/fog inside the goggles !!! I can try anti-fog juice to mitigate that. These are vented lo-pro goggles but they've never worked very well. I need these around here for riding the 4-wheeler, especially at night lights out with NODs on my head. Lots of crap flies up and bangs into my face, like rocks (this is the flint hills) . so the eye pro essential when riding 4-wheeler. So better ones are high on the list!


    Again, I note shots 9,10 and 14, 15 have same offset.

    Results were a little better than yesterday's disaster, but that's not saying much.

    tags count = 3 (shots = 6, 13, 20)

    hits count = 2 (shots 16, 18)

    misses count = 15

    Action items better lo pro goggles. Slow down, rebuild posn for each shot to try to improve the NP issues.

    I have 40 rds of eld 123 left, so then will be putting this upper on the shelf.

  • 2018-06-18
    15 MPH SSE

    Goal: dots at 100yds

    Environment: Clear skies, sunny, hot. Breeze 60 degrees off bullet path.

    Equipment: Equipment: 6.5G(18), 4x5rds 123 ELD, lo-pro goggles, atlas, 2 tab gear bags



    tag 6, 8, 10

    hit 9, 18

    15 misses


    So similar results from yesterday but different circumstances.

    On a scale of 1 to 5 ... if 5 is "Could not have a clearer image of the target" and 1 is "cannot see the target" ... today averaged about a 1.5

    Dots 4 and 5 were obscured by fogging up of the goggles. So I went and got plastic shooting glasses instead. They have some micro scratches, but still much better.

    For the most part, I could see the rows and columns if not the individual dots and I could extrapolate dot position. The yellow "film" with the bright glare dots was present for all shots. I did not use the "hood" today.

    I still see pairs of shots with patterns indicating NP issue. Especially on the right side of the target. This is because I tend to rebuild more went restarting on the left since I am also doing a mag change.

    If I am going to rebuild for every shot I need to wear the knee pads because I am on gravel and it is "bumpy".

    Strategy: I have 20rds of the ELD left, so one more shoot with the 6.5G then I will put that upper on the shelf. I am thinking of switching to the 7.62(22) bolt gun next. The gun I used in the class. I want to see how much difference that scope makes and how much difference it makes shooting a bolt gun versus a stoner.

    I still have reasons to shoot the 5.56(18) ... but I will insert at least a week of the 7.62(22) with the LC M118LR 175 SMK in between the 6.5g(18) and the 5.56(18) for some "non-stoner" practice.

    The Tikka .22LR I ordered back in early April is still on backorder with Brownell's. Hopefully it will be released this year.

  • 2018-06-20
    5 MPH SW

    Goal: dots at 100yds

    Environment: We had rain yesterday, desperately needed. And overcast today and cooler. Barely a breeze from the SW.

    Equipment: 7.62(22), M118LR 175gr SMK, NF 7-35x T3, Atlas, monopod

    Activity: So switched guns today.


    I have decided to go with Greg's standard of just counting tags and hits together. For my goal, "1 moa by end of year" counting the tags as hits on either 3/4 or 1/2 inch dots works.

    So got 5 hits today and 15 misses.

    I rebuilt the position completely prior to each shot.

    In the cases where the shot went thru the dot cleanly I used the "just let it happen" strategy of breathing and trigger squeeze. For the others I used the "try to time the shot to the exhale point of the breathing cycle.

    I think this means trigger control issue, a.k.a. last minute jerk of trigger.

    So, I will separately get some more .308WIN dummy rounds and hide those randomly in the magazines (once I get some magazines :D ) and then randomly select those, in an attempt to detect and mitigate this trigger issue.

    I think the parallax still might not be perfect but I cranked up the magnification to the point where, though I still see reticle movement due to breathing and heart beat, the movement stays within the circle of the dot.

    I checked the Atlas bipod from above prior to round 1 and round 11. At round 11 the legs had gotten off a little bit. So the atlas has pros and cons ... better for loading, but the legs can get off from where they should be.

    There where three times today where after I completely getting behind the gun and touching the trigger etc. That the center of the reticle was pointed exactly as the center of the dot. Three cases of 100% NP preservation. The others required some tiny adjustments.

    At least maybe the diopter is set correctly on this scope. I spent 2 days setting it so it danged well better be !! :D

  • ==
    15 MPH W

    Goal: 100yd dot drills

    Environment: Partly cloudy, breeze from 190 degress off the bullet path. Sun angle causing visibility issues on the green dots. On a scale of 1-5, green dots were 1.5 (barely) visible. Cooler due to a little more rain last night and some clouds.

    Equipment: 7.62(22), 20rd M118LR 175 SMK, atlas, monopod.

    Activity: First round hit for once. But then a bunch of misses. Counting "tags" as hits, there were 7 tags/hits today, 35%, up from 25% for the previous 2 days with this setup. Rebuilding position after each shot. A few shoots had significant left movement of the barrel, which I am pretty sure means right shoulder refused.


    100yd dot drill issues:

    01 - Position
    Are my shoulders squared off at a 90 degree angle to the barrel? That is, am I directly behind the gun? This is impossible for me to tell without either a second person or some sort of special tripod, camera, gun-level display unit that can show me my shoulder position while I am behind the gun. Or else a second person with a camera. Some mornings I rebuild position after every shot, after first setting up gun NPA. Other mornings I rebuild after every 2-3 shots. At the very least, I rebuild after each 5rd mag change. Sometimes the barrel moves left after the shot and that is evidence that my firing shoulder is slightly refused, but it is not something I have learned to detect yet on my own. Sometimes I think I can feel my muscles stretching on one side of my torso more than the other and then I try to "straighten out" to relieve that tension, but I am in the early stages of detecting this. But I am hopeful that over time I WILL be able to tell if I am off center.

    02 - Cheek/stock
    I am not sure the cheek/stock is perfect. I was straining my neck muscles and I could detect that, so I raised up the adjustable cheek piece and now I do not detect that straining. So maybe I am good, but I am not sure.

    03 - Bipod
    The harris is difficult to tell when "the slack is out". The Atlas is great on telling whether the slack is out. But the atlas legs have play in them and the tension comes loose adding the awful "pan" feature. These attributes result in the atlas legs not always being 90 degrees to the barrel and hence contributing to poor NPA.

    04 - Rear Support
    The tab gear bags I've been using (I have two of them) never seem to be at the right height to match the bipod. So I have to compromise them and tilt them sideways (fore and aft) and such and I'm sure that weakens the position. The monopod feels sturdier, but it digs holes in the ground that are not aligned with NPA. Also it contacts softer and stronger pieces of ground (rocks) which also throuw off the NPA.
    I feel like the rear support is a major contributor to misses.

    05 - Diopter and Parallax
    With the L&S mk6 3-18x T3 I really struggle to set the diopter. It is just hard to move at all. I called L&S and they said "try harder". I used a channel lock once and it still would not move though it marred the bluing. Without being able to set the diopter, not sure I can get the parallax right either. I think they are "close" but not sure they are as close as they can be. And to some extent this is true for all my scopes. I am not confident I can set diopter or parallax on any scope. It wasn't an issue prior to shooting dots. I would get the "close enough" and hit the targets. But, in calculating the "moa" size of the targets I've been shooting for the past 5 years, they range between 1.4 MOA and 4+ MOA ... so I've never really tried to shoot sub-moa. Trying to do so is exposing at least small issues on all fronts. I suppose that makes sense, but I am still grappling with it! :)

    06 - Breathing
    I am caught between two directives ... let the shot be a surprise ... time the shot to go at the point of completion of the exhale cycle. I've been taught both, but I cannot do both at the same time. I seem to get better results with "let the shot be a surprise, but perhaps that is because I am "jeriking" the trigger, ever so slightly at the last millisecond. Currently, I am going with that assumption. I think this does not happen when I use the "let the shot be a surprise" rule. So I ordered six more dummy rounds and will try a program that involves mixing the dummies and the live rounds in to the shooting to see if that helps.

    07 - Trigger
    I was getting 50% to 55% "hits" (hole touching the dots) with the 6.5G(18) ... now with the 7.62(22) I am at 25% for the first 2 days at 35% for the third day. That's about where I was with the 6.5G(18) at first. But why do I start from "scratch" with each gun?
    The trigger in the 6.5G(18) is a 3 lb timney "drop in" ... The trigger in the 7.62(22) is a timney 510 but I do not know the setting. It seems stiffer. Several times I find myself pulling on it a long time and nothing happens. And I checked, and the safety WAS off :D ... so this one might be set to 4 pounds. I guess I need to check it.

    08 - Shooting in to the sun.
    Today, I could barely (1.5 on a scale of 1 to 5) see the green dots. That is one advantage of the black dots, they are easier to see in lower visibility conditions. I am shooting into the sun in the morning.

    Not sure what I'm forgetting but these are the ones I thought about today !!!
    And they are not in any particular order !

  • @kansas said in Learning to shoot in the Flint Hills of Kansas:

    06 - Breathing
    I am caught between two directives ... let the shot be a surprise ... time the shot to go at the point of completion of the exhale cycle.

    Not sure who taught you to have it be a surprise, but that wasn't me.

    We teach to release the shot at the bottom of the natural respiratory pause, and I also teach to "let it happen, don't make it happen."

    This takes practice. It goes far beyond the mechanical reduction of "flinch" or anticipation. It has a massively deep zen-like affect on your ability to produce honest shots which are in tune instinctively with your subconscious mind and it's control of the timing as well as the hold of the shot. Conscious thought is the enemy of this process.

  • [quote]Not sure who taught you to have it be a surprise, but that wasn't me.[/quote]

    The Army I was in did ... they told us (when shooting longer distances) to "squeeze slowly and be surprised" ...


    But the current version of FM 3-22.9 C1 tells the reader to hold their breath at the bottom of the exhale (see charts in post several days ago ^^ ) ... that is a new and different idea than what I was trained to do in the Army I was in.


    @orkan do you think it is better to TRAIN with a heavier trigger than you would use when shooting for the record?

  • In re-reading my "issues" list it occurs to me that I might be giving the impression that I am "frustrated" by the dot drills and that is not the case. In fact I feel almost like "liberated" by the process. I am enjoying it and I try to be as relaxed as I can be when out there executing.

    One might wonder why I could be shooting scoped rifles for 5 years and never try to shoot targets outside the 1.4 MOA to 4+ MOA size range? I think it is because I was so focused on learning to see (observe) and move (stealth) in my environment, that I only spent about 1/3rd of my time on "marksmanship" and the other 2/3s on "field craft" ... and I do not think that was wrong. I spend a lot of time stalking critters I never shoot because I enjoy that practice.

    But in the past year, shooting on my land mostly between 500yds and 750yds ... at 12x24 steel and or mice, coons, opossum, yotes ... except for wind .. it has started to get "easy" ... so I finally realized it was time to take the "marksmanship" aspect to the next level and focus more on that.

    So for me it is just a matter of priorities.

    But for the rest of this year ... I think I want to at least spend 50% of my time on marksmanship and 50% on field craft ... I'm currently on track to get a round count of ~4,000 this year, up from average around 3,000 in previous years. But in Q2 I have increased that even farther and could even hit 7,000 if I can afford the ammo. And maybe most of that will be dot drills, though some of it will be wind practice and some of it hunting/critter control. But from a round count perspective I would expect 90% of it to be dot drill at this point. And once the Tikka T1x .22LR arrives round count should increase further on the dot drills.

    One cannot improve except by finding issues and resolving issues and I am enjoying that journey and expect to be doing that the rest of my life ...


  • Well, I finally got over 200rd count in one week ...


    Some extra zeroing related to shooting buddy coming out this week. And it will be a "double" ... he was here Sunday night and he will be back Saturday.

    Things we did Sunday night. I walked him through the class material related to the zero force position. He fired 10rds with the magneto speed, 10rds zeroing without the magneto speed and then one 20 rd dot drill. This was with his .308WIN(20) that I had setup.

    I got him to stand up after each shot, discuss, what he did and then rebuild the position for each shoot. It took a while, but that's basically how we did it in the class, so I was trying to replicate.
    I'm sure one problem he has is similar to mine in "refusing the right shoulder". But he actually bends his spine. So from the center of his back down to his toes, his position his fine, but from the center of his back to the top of his head, his is oriented to the right with an angle in the middle of his back! I don't think I was doing that :)
    I had to correct this several times. He gets down in the right position, but then "adjusted" himself into a non-optimal position. I think he is having trouble judging exactly how much offset to allow for when laying down behind the rifle.
    He got some consistent results (low and left with over half the rounds) with the dot drill. So that was something.
    I think we will repeat this exercise exactly when he is here on Friday.

    We also zeroed some carbines with thermals on them. And we need to do a bunch of co-witnessing of lasers. And I'd like to do some pasture shooting and a night walk with most of the gear. We haven't done one of those for a while.

    Still no sign of the Tikka .22LR being released.

  • Oh, while James was shooting, I was dry firing off the tripod at 100yds with the 7.62(22) bolt gun. I want to try a dot drill like that. I hope I don't do as well with the tripod as I do prone, but watching the reticle while I was dry firing, it might be close.

  • Variation on the dot drill today. Still 20 rds of M118LR 175gr SMK for the live rounds ... but mixed in 7 dummy rounds. I got 4 of the Magpul 10rd AI mags so now have 1x5rd and 4x10rd. So went 5+5+5+6+6 with a total of 27 rds ... 20 live and 7 dummy mixed in. I put them in a box and closed my eyes when pulling one out and loading into the gun.


    Got 9 of 20 "hits" on these 3/4 inch dots ... the best I'd got to with the 6.5g was 11 of 20.

    After each "miss" I would do extra dry fires with how ever many of the dummies I had already fired at least once which were laying beside the gun. So I did a total of about 30 dry fires.

    And I can say that "trigger control/anticipation/flinch" is the number 1 cause of misses. So that was a leap forward in the diagnosis process. Not saying the other 100 problems are not there as well, but in terms of contribution to misses, the "flinch" problem is #1 (I use the nastiest word on purpose :) ).

    The second problem I will call "position". I think it is caused by my difficulty in getting the rifle at the right height. I have been unable to successfully use the tab gear bags to get the right height on the rear. Part of that is me. My neck does not want to "crane" at a 90 degree angle, so I need to be up a little higher than 6 inches on the bipod and aligning height on the rear. So one tab gear bag upright is too low. And one tab gear bag on its side with another on top is too high. And the monopod is probably not very stable on real ground (maybe monopods work fine on benches, but I have found no benches on my land so far). I ordered a "Warhorse Commanche" bag and I will try that soon. But as to contributing to misses, I would say "flinch" is 70% of the problem, "rear support/height" is 20% of the problem and "all else" is the rest of the 10%.

    What does a "flinch" look like? Eyes fluttering is one aspect and barrel moving is the other. And within "flinch" I might carve out another 10% I just remembered. ANd that is actually trigger control. Unless I think about it, I am not pulling the trigger straight back each time. And that matters. Also within "trigger" I need to relax the trigger hand ... and often need to let go, make sure I have NPA and then re-engage with the trigger hand to make sure I'm not shifting the NPA. I was shifting the NPA some today with this issue.

    But I think the big breakthrough was adding in the dummy rounds to detect "flinch" and mixing in the dry and live fire closely together. I think there are two parts of the "flinch" problem. One is the conscious brain and one is the sub-conscious. For the conscious I can just pretend every shot is a dummy round. And that helps a lot. But for the subconscious I think it will take continuous (never ending) mix of the live and dry fire to reduce and keep reduced the issue.

    But that is fine. I already knew I grow my flinch by shooting large caliber rounds and I reduce my flinch by dry firing, but now I know, I can reduce it more rapidly by mixing the two together.

  • If the grass is too high to go prone on the ground. Try improvisation !!!


    That is shooting buddy James on his 7.62(2) I set up for him ... a wally world rem700 with an L&S 6.5-20x TMR a harris and an omega (all spare stuff from my parts box). We had just spent ~2 hours walking him through the zeroing and dots drill process ... for 40rds ... then another 20rds on the steel at 500yds. It was definitely "low light" given that the targets were in the tree line in the shadows as the sun dipped beneath the horizon. Interestingly after the sun actually dipped below the horizon, we could see the targets slightly better as the "sun in our faces" aspect was gone.

    I'm about to go try this myself. Though it is morning now so the sun should be off my right shoulder.

  • 2018-07-01
    5 MPH WSW

    Goal: Steel at 500yds.

    Environment: Forecast has been rain for past 24 hours, though we have only gotten about 30m total in three batches during that period. But this morning we have been overcast. I first measued the wind from "One Tree Hill" which is 1285 ASL and 450yds West of the 500yd FP. One tree hill is much higher ground than the ground to the East or West, so a West wind will be felt more. Our wind mill is aboout level with my eyeballs up on this hill and its tower is 60 foot high. From the Turtle Creek bridge I have to cross to go up this hill from the human area, there is about a 75 foot climb in about 150yds.
    Low: 6.0
    Avg: 7.9
    Hi: 10.6

    Equipment: 7.62(22), NF 7-35x T3, M118LR 175gr SMK, Harris, monopod, kestrel, LRF.

    Activity: Moved to 500yd FP and setup.


    The cows heard me and proceeded towards me expecting some range cube treats, which they often get when I am out. So I altered my expecations such that I would be waiting about 30min for them to be around my location before moving off.



    That's "grandma" and "horns" staying cool under the trees while the others mill around waiting for the treats that did not come this time.


    I did another wind check and got:

    Low: 1.6
    Avg: 4.1
    High: 8.6


    The gun is pointing at the target and the wind is coming from 310 off the bullet path.
    There are trees over about 90% of the bullet apth, but those trees are below the bullet path for about 80% of the journey.

    So, I decided to start off holding 4 mph which is right on the first wind dot.

    I had forgotten the magazines, so I had to single shot the rounds. Nothing wrong with that, it slowed down the pace and gave me time to think more about each shot.

    Shot# / wind hold mph / clock direction of round strike from center of aiming point / distance of round strike from center of aiming point in inches

    1 4 4 3
    2 4 9 4
    3 2 2.5 4
    4 3 11 2
    5 3 3 7 miss
    6 5 3 4
    7 6 3 4
    8 6 7 3
    9 5 4 4
    10 5 4 4
    11 4 3 4
    12 5 2 3
    13 6 11 2


    Switched to shooting for the FACE

    14 5 4 2
    15 5 3 4 miss
    16 6 11 1
    17 6 12 1
    18 6 9 4 miss
    19 4 11 3
    20 4 2 2


    Shots 5 and 15 had flinch issues sufficient to cause miss. I think most of the rounds impacting to the right side of the aiming point were affected by flinch. The aiming point for the first 13 rounds was the center of the black splotch. The aiming point for the FACE was the center of the face.
    I measured the face, it is 6x6 inches as I expected. I measure the rest of the target, it is 11 and 13/16 wide and 23 and 9/16 high.

    This is the first time I have tried aiming for the face only and I think it is a good thing to do. This gives me a 1.146 MOA target at 500yds without having to buy and mount another target !!!

    (I got the idea from Greg shooting FACE at 1,000yds ... that would be a half MOA target at that distance. I think Greg shoots the same sized IPSC-D targets I shoot)

    I was holding 2.9 mils for elevation for every shot as well as for the wind. I'm zeroed at 100yds and shooting "no dial" style.

  • @kansas The C-zone IPSC targets I shoot are 12" wide and 24" tall, including the 6" head. Looks to be similar to what you've got going on there.

  • 0_1530978905846_cf76153b-dacb-4b47-98e2-def9c0500978-image.png

    Since trying to increase my weekly average of live fires from 50 to 200, starting back in week of 25 March ... the average is standing at 96. The average for dry fires is standing at 40. Now that I've integrated dry firing in with the live firing, the dry firing avg should rise. To further increase the live fires I need to do two sessions per day instead of one. And that will have to be first thing in the morning. Cogitating on that.

    Trying to sell Barrett. That will get me another scope. Then I can set that up on the .300WM and dry fire that in the house. So getting a scope that will parallax down to work in the house is a parameter. Believe it or not, the NF 7-35x will do it. Maybe not perfectly (this is at 10yds) but really close ... and close enough. I had no idea it would do that until I tried it.

    Still don't have the Tikka .22lr ... guess that hasn't been released yet. Hopefully by the end of the year.

  • Hum, doesn't look real FAST ... but at least interesting !


    Always interested in seeing people's tripod techniques.

  • I’ve use this technique with a sling before from a tripod to kill two coyotes one time. It actually works pretty good and really steadies up the shot. I just unhooked the rear portion of the sling and then wrapped it around the tripod leg pulling down no the from of the rifle. It really locks everything together nice and tight.

  • Way less convoluted method is to hook up between your belt and the hook on the tripod plate. With the leveling base that guy is running, that wouldn't be desirable... but hooking up to the tripod leg up where it connects to the body would still be a much better idea that the mess I see in that picture.

    Putting all that torque into the rifle rather than the tripod? Uh... nope. No thx.

  • "Still don't have the Tikka .22lr ... guess that hasn't been released yet. Hopefully by the end of the year."
    I inquired about one last week and October was the answer I got. Don't know if there is any merit to that date.

  • Oh boy ... cattle / hay work is really chewing up the time this summer ... we split our herd and put the pregnant females in one pastures (4 miles away) and those headed for the sale barn in the near pasture ... we will also get another 10 adult females for the near pasture.


    25 head in the corral ...

    from left to right ... the crew ..


    Jana, neighbor, horse breeder, cattle worker ...

    Dr. Karl from the vet service preparing his potions and elixirs ...

    JD, my pasture partner ...

    The "chute" ... the blue widget to the right, is where we run the cows for their exams ... they are in the outer pen, barely visible to the right.

    So we moved the 13 pregnant females over to the new pasture ... and 11 calves and "grandma" remain back in my near pasture ...

    And we are trying to bale up as much hay as we can before it fries ... we have had no rain in 2 months ... so between the cattle and the hay, the shooting has gotten reduced ... I've been shooting a bit at night ... doing groups ... comparing the PVS-30 to the UTC-x off the tripod at 100yds ... and the UTC-x is averaging 10% higher scores so far ... this is with the 5.56(18) off the manfrotto.

    Went to the eye doctor ... he says my vision is still 20/20 ... which I find surprising ... I might have higher tolerances than the machine ! :)

    But mostly around here ... it is HOT HOT HOT ...

    Hope everyone else is having a better summer :)

  • We got 61 bales so far ... off about 40 acres ... better than I expected ... these are 1500 lb round bales ...

    After the cattle moving week, have been able to resume shoot some ..


    Mostly re-zeroing the carbines and doing some field practice ...

    Here is the 5.54(14.5) ... my M4-ish ...


    Changes from that pic to now ... the suppressor is removed for day shooting ... replaced by a flash-hider for the SPW556 suppressor ... The SKEET-IR thermal is removed.
    That's a Trijicon RMR 3 moa RDS with a DI Optic flip to side 3x magnifier on back. I'm using IMI (Israeli Military Industries) 5.56 77gr (a Mk262 mod 0 equivalent). My expectations are 400 meters which (rounding) is 12 inches up hold and 18 inches windage hold for 10 mph cross wind, against my IPSC 2/3 steel. I am zeroed at 25 meters.

    This was 276 meters ... (I rolled on the 4-wheeler to a spot, whipped out the LRF and ranged and then fired ... this is a sort of "seated on the 4-wheeler support" position as I put my foot up on the forward running board and my support elbow behind my knee ... so sort of a sitting, kneeling firing position.


    I was holding down 6 inches ... i.e. half way between the black splotch and the target bottom. Problems existed ... despite the fact that it almost has not rained here in 2.5 months ... it was "rain-ish-ing" when I was out and the optics got enough water on them, that I could see the target way better with my mk1 eb, than with the optics. Do I need to work out optics covers for these critters? (more crap to loose)

    And the 3 moa dot is so large compared to the target that I can't see the target when the dot is covering it. So I had to use "dynamic" aiming which I practicing coming from the side and from the bottom and releasing the shot when I thought best.

    That day I couldn't see well enough to take a shot farther out ...

  • 2018-08-12
    05 MPH SSW

    Goals: Light load walk with some wind practice

    Environment: Not too hot, barely a breeze, partly cloudy.

    5.56(18), L&SMk6 3-18x, 2xMags 5rds each 77gr IMI
    Manfrotto M190 + 322rc2 head, plus carry bag
    M1911 .45ACP with two 8 rd mags with 7rds each, SERPA holster and pistol belt
    Bushy arc elite 1600 LRF and Kestrel 2500NV on belt
    Rite Rain note pad and pen
    Pace beads
    Phone with Shooter (also used as phone cam)
    Pack with 3.2L water bladder, first aid kit.
    Comtac3 headset
    Total weight just over 26 Lbs

    Walked out to the 500yd firing point (FP), just shy of 900yds. Setup tripod for standing position, waited a few minutes for cows to clear the line of fire (they came over to me hoping for treats, I had none today).


    Wind estimate was 3 MPH 150 degrees off the bullet path. Held 2.2 mils up and 3 MPH right. First hit was right edge of target. Shots 2-5 held center of wind and 2.2 mils up. I could see all the hit splotches on the target.

    Packed up and headed to 730yd FP ... setup there with tripod for seated position. Wind estimate the same, 3 mph 150 degrees off bullet path.


    First round right 2 inches ... held center for the other shots ... I could see shots 2 and 3 splotches (right side of center, top above center) but not 4 and 5, though I could hear them ping when they hit.
    Packed up and moved to the 500yd target and took target pic.


    Continued on across creek to the 730yd target and took target pic.


    On the way pack I decided to return in the creek. There were pools of water here and there in the creek, but the creek is not "running" ... we have had well below our normal amount of rain since May.


    There are several "isthumus' " in this part of the creek. I saw that "island" and remembered sitting down on that island about 4 years ago, the fisrt time I went in the woods with new PVS-14 and Apollo. So, I went up on the left bank, thinking I would find the trail (deer/coyote trail now expanded by cows) which leads up thru a collapsed bank about 60 feet up and out into the higher South pasture. Instead the bank started getting muddy, I kept going. THen I sank in the mud about 3/4 of the way up to my knees.
    I pulled my feet out, but my muck boots remained down in the mud. I had walked into a seepage area on the bank. Due to amount of exertion I had been putting forth, I had to rest and recover wind, before continuing to extricate myself. So I laid in the mud for about 3 minutes until breathing returned to normal. Then I was able to dig my hands down in the mud and pull out each boot and put them back on. Then I used the tripod and gun to steady myself so I could stand up. Then backtracked until I got to a piece of bank I thought I could go down. I turned and faced towards the bank, away from the creek and laid down and slid down the bank into the water, which was up to my knees. The muck boots flooded, I let them.
    I then walked through that large pool, being feed by that seepage and slowing stepped up out of the pool onto a flatrock bottom of the creek. Oops, slipped and went down. I did a reverse spread-eagle (I actually practice falling :) ) and landed on my back, which means I landed on my pack, which was great, no damage what so ever, except to my "pride" :D ... I laid there and recovered some more ... then used manfrotto and gun to stand up ... and with 4-legs ... moved slowly to a gravel sand bank off the slick flat rock.
    (by the way ... all these things have happened to me before in other creek walks in other parts of the creek :) ) ...
    Then finally I rounded the next isthumus and realized the whole problem was caused by my mis-judging which Isthumis I was at. There is so much vegetation I couldn't tell them apart. Much easier in the winter :)
    So then I again crossed to the South bank, saw the deer/coyote/deer trail in question and proceeded up the 60 foot bank on that trail, out into the South pasture and then home.

    Total elapsed time 1 hr 57 min 23 seconds.
    Total pace bead count 9x3 + 7 = 3,400yds = 1.93 miles.
    Average Speed: Call it 1 mile per hour. That's typical for walks where I stop to mess with the gear and also where I spend time down in the creek. I was probably moving 2.5 maybe 3 in some spots ... I was trying to "step out" when I could ... but the shooting stops and creek really take down the average.

    There were spiders every 6 inches in every direction in the woods by the creek ... but didn't see any brown recluses ...

    I felt "exhilarated" after my return ... missing the queues on which isthumus I was at was fabulous. I consider the most important aspect of training to "take yourself out of your comfort zone" ... and the muddy seepaage ... and sliding down the bank into the pool and slipping on the flat rock ... all did a good job of taking me out of my comfort zone. But if you practice taking yourself out of your comfort zone 100s ney 1000s of times ... it gets easier and easier. Your brain does not panic ... your brain just tells your body what to do next to accomplish the mission. I felt some "surprise" ... at the seepage being there (it wasn't supposed to be ! :) ) ... but otherwise, my brain was calm.

    Good exercise today !!

    The main "black mark" was, I did not bring cleaning rod and patches and some mud did get in the front end of the suppressor. When I got back it took 10s to clear it. Need to bring rudimentary cleaning kit in the back. This exact thing happened to me before ... about 5 years ago ... with the old Sig762(16). Fell in the creek, got crap in the barrel and had no cleaning kit to get it out with me. Need to bring the cleaning kit when you go to the field !

  • 0_1535209645033_3e4d5765-0f72-4d05-a727-a5f7fbcfabac-image.png

    In March, after some discussion here, I decided to try to up my weekly average of live from from 50rds per week to 200rds per week. Over the last 5.75 years, since starting to shoot scoped rifles (and first real sustained shooting since Army in the 80s) with a goal of 2500rds per year, I have averaged just over 3000 per year. The new goal of 200 per week would be 10,000 per year. Thus far since March, I've only averaged 96/week. That's a significant change, but obviously I would have to modify my life further to double that. I'm hoping I can increase it some in the winter.
    About half of the shooting has been dots and groups at 100yds. About 30% has been wind practice at 500-750yds ... and the rest hunting/critter control.

    From mid-May until mid-July, we had essentially no rain here and many 90F+ days. This is the worse drought I've seen and people who have lived in this county all their lives say it is the worst they've seen (hoo lee bat stuff !!!). But in late July it stared raining. Mother Natures behavior since then has been on the positive side of average in terms of rain ... and they have generally been slow steady rains ... not erosion producing gully washers (though I would take a gully washer or three at this point). Lots of people had sold their cattle, but now they are repopulating their pastures. We held on ... with good ponds and springs ... alternate water sources in both pastures we are running right now. The temps have been dropping into the upper 50s at night and lowish 80s in the day.

    With the cooler wetter weather I'm seeing more critters, deer every night .. coons, tree rats chewing on the stairs to our deck and more spiders. In the last week I've gotten a coon near the coop, 2 tree rats that were trying to destroy our deck and today there was a spider (corn spider) on my target so, he became the target. Took 5 rds to get him, but it was blowing pretty good today and I've shooting off the manfrotto still, until the RRS arrives.

    I used up some luck points mounting day scope (the Athlon) back on the .22lr ... I fired a three rd group at 25rds and the bullets all went in the same hole about 1/16th inch above the center of the bull. Good enough for tree rats and I got two yesterday. The deck might be saved.

    I mostly been shooting the 5.56(18) trying to find some ammo I like .. trying to move away from Black Hills 77gr SMK. I tried IMI 77gr ... and I like it for the carbines ... but too much of a verticle string for long distance. I tried a friends reloads ... hum .. .MV was between 2550 and 2800 ... never seen a spread like that. From 50yds the hits were moving up and down on the target by a foot ... and it wasn't me this time!! :D I had the MSv3 on there recording the numbers. The ES was 249, the SD 96. So that isn't it.

    So ordered some FGMM 77gr ... tried that ... got a dimple but no fire. I've put about 2000rds through that DI stoner since I last cleaned it, so decided to clean it. Not sure I've put that many rounds thru a stoner without cleaning it (maybe in the Army but not since). It took 5m to work the stuck firing pin out and another 5m to work the cam pin out ... lots of soot in there. Never seen anything like it. Sprayed it down with brake cleaner. Might take a couple of days to clean this sucquer.

    Now I've never cleaned the new 7.62(22) bolt gun I got for the class, but only have 400rds thru that now. I've been working on a case of M118LR, which is 460rds and there are 60rds left, so I've fired 400. I now have 2 more cases of the M118LR (920rds total) and two cases of FGMM 7.62 175gr (1000). So, I'm planning to try the FGMM after this case of M118LR is gone.

    The .300WM(24) is in inactive status, due to lack of ammo (I have 500 220gr Barnes in reserve) and the 6.5(18) is inactive (can't get the 130gr berger ... have 400 ELD-M and 200 130 Berger in reserve). And the Barrett is now sold. That's it for my "rifles" (except the .22lr). Still have the three carbines (barrel lengths under 16).


  • Trying FGMM 77gr ... 5.56(18)

    20rd MSv3

    Avg MV = 2583

    SD = 21.3

    ES = 75


    Not real good ... I got a 200rd case, so I'll shoot it up ...


    I guess I am going back to Black Hills 77gr for the 5.56(18) !!!

    BH 77gr was

    Avg MV = 2733

    SD = 12.4

    ES = 45

    I assumed i could find something better ,,,

    The IMI 77gr was

    Avg MV = 2808

    SD = 20.7

    ES = 48


    The Sheepdog was

    Avg MV = 2712

    SD = 92.3

    ES = 249

    ( Oh My !!!)


    A second run with the IMI was

    Avg MV = 2790

    SD = 16.0

    ES = 49


    So I guess it is a toss up between the BH and the IMI.

    The IMI is 67 cents per round .. the Black Hills in around 105 cents per round ...

    Maybe the IMI ... and then the good news I can shoot the IMI out of the carbines and the Mk12 work a like ... I guess there is no real "match" ammo for the 77gr ... again we have to reload ! :D

  • 2018-09-02
    08 MPH SW

    Goals: Walk, test VSO

    Environment: Hot, humid, overcast.

    Equipment: 7.62(22) with NF 7-35x T3 and Spuhr mounts with IR&D Vampire SOLO (VSO) Ballistic Range FInder on COAX mount 12 o’clock. Manfrotto (not used), M118LR (175gr SMK)
    Pack with 1.2 gallons of water, 2xrear bags, First Aid, 2xMags with 5 rds each, chest rig with 6xmags with 5 rds each (and 3 mags with 5 rds each 5.56) , Compass, Radio, PTT, Bushy LRF, Kestrel, Note Pad and Pen (rite rain).
    Walking stick. About 39 pounds total.

    Activity: Walked out to 500yds FP, 900yds, left shoulder straining under the weight. Finally figured out it was the pack. Need to add the shoulder pads.

    Decided to try prone. From Prone I could see the top half of the lower target only. But I could see the top of the bull sticking out from down in the grass and that’s enough to aim at.

    Pic from the firing point.


    Measured the wind with the new kestrel .. got spread roughly 3-6-9 (low avg hi).

    Got into posn and loaded and held 2.8 up per shooter and held for 6 MPH. POI center of bull.

    First rd hit! The target was twisting.

    Wind seemed to die, so held for four mph … hit …

    Third rd , 4 MPH hit …

    Fourth rd, 4 mph hit … same for 5th

    bTW I could not see any of the splotches of the hits on the target.

    Walked to target … took target pic … walked back.


    Color code on the circles. The RED circle is a shot from a different day. the green shots are current group.

    Decided to try for the face.

    Wind seemed to be higher … held for 8 mph . first round hit twisting.

    Second rd miss high but centered, could see splash of dirt on the berm aligned with top of target.

    Wind higher. 3rd held for 10 mph … hit

    Fourth round failed to fire. Checked primer looked dimpled … reloaded it, tried again, fail to fire. This is the first M118LR I have had that FTF. And the dimpling was heavy.

    5th round held for 10 mph hit ..

    Fired second 5rd mag continued to hold for 10 mph for remaining shots … got hits could not see splotches of hits on targets.


    The Red shot is different day. The orange shots are prior group. The Green shots are current group.


    Group one at body of target … elevation looks dead on centered on the center of the bull for the group. Center of group was 3 inches right. or just short of 2 mils not enough wind hold. Should’ve stuck with 6 mph.

    Group two at the face of the target. 9 rds center maybe a half inch low. Group center about 1 inch left … 10 mph was a little too much 8 mph now quite enough … I guess 9 would’ve been just right.

    Oh and actually the “miss” was a grazing miss right on top of the target. But two of the hits on the metal were clearly low with respect to the target of the face and hence they were misses.

    So out of 9 rounds that went down range, 7 tagged the face. The face is a 1.2 MOA target (6 inches of 500yds_. Basically a large dot drill at 500yds.

    I think I have 20 rds in this case of M118LR and then I will try a case of 500yds of FGMM 7.62×51 175gr … maybe we will see less verticle spread in the groups ?

    VSO experiments:

    Tried six times to range the target, zero attempts succeeded. Had the LRF on “Forest” mode … and since there was a lot of vegetation around the target, I was thinking “forest” would be good. Tried the target twice

    and clean part of the berm twice and the trees behind the berm twice. No return. There are parameters in the Rangefinder configuration section that I do not understand. Perhaps changing them will help.

    Also, perhaps FOREST is not the right setting for this range finder in this terrain.

    Shooter said to hold 2.8 mils up. That seemed to be dead on. The VSO when I aimed at the target, said to hold 1.52 mils up. I wiggled the aiming point up and down a tiny bit and the amount to hold

    varied between 1.50 and 1.54. I varied the amount a lot and the max I saw was to hold 2.53 mils up. Then I was aimed at a hill 100 foot higher, two tree lines behind the target berm and 600yds

    farther to the NNW.

    Perhaps there is some setting I am missing. Clearly, if I held 1.52 up I would be landing in the dirt WAY in front of the targets.

    Maybe I need to calibrate the level-ometer each time I turn the device on ?

    I’m building my own HPR100 (Heading, Pitch, Roll) and that one remembers the calibration. That’s a $400 device … a $4,500 device ought to be able to do same !

    But regardless, it very well could be me doing somethig wrong for both the ballistics and the ranging. That said, I think all the range finders I’ve had to range those targets .. .the Bushy Ar Elite 1600, the Radius and the RAPTAR.

    Oh I walked 3800yds in 135m … which is just over 1 MPH … of course I was stopped shooting for quite a bit. And again, I need to add the shoulder straps to the pack setup.

  • 2018-09-05
    10 MPH NNE

    Goals: Test VSO and RRS

    Environment: Cloudy, sprinkling, breeze from NNE (a the rarest direction for the wind ).

    Equipment: 7.62(22) 4xmags 5rds each M118LR (the last 20 rds of the first case), UTCx, VSO. 4-wheeler, helmet with pvs-14 and SKEET. RRS + Avil 30.

    Activity: Went out to roll the trash can out to the road, wore the helmet. Saw two deer, they didn't think I saw them, so ignored me and kept doing their thing.
    Both about 75yds away.
    On the way back saw a small critter by my zeroing target ... guessed it was a rabbit, since it wasn't moving (rabbits love the "no move" defese). Went and got the RRS and set it up ...
    then got the 7.62 and loaded up, turned on the UTC and focused. Yup, rabbit broadside right beside the target. Aimed center of mass aimed a smidgin' high and fired.

    Rabbit flew into the air then lay still ... approached and took pic.


    So, the first round fired off the RRS got a rabbit. The RRS is different from the Manfrottos I've been using for the past 33 months ... with the manfrottos you're managing the wobble

    ... but with the RRS, there is so much less wobble, that there is almost no wobble ... a completely different experience.


    Then loaded onto the 4-wheeler and headed up to the top of signal hill. Setup .. saw my cows at 664 across on the East side of the pond. The SKEET detected cows in a pasture to the West.

    Pointed the UTC over there and could see two groups tiered up .. .they are in totally different pastures ... at different elevations ...


    Did a bunch of ranging with the VSO, the closer group is around 1200yds, that's the group the SKEET detected. That's the first time I've known I detected a group of critters with
    the SKKET that far out. I'm not surprised, but now it has happened.

    Ranged the second group a bunch of times and they averaged around 1800. The farthest cow I ranged was 1866. Now I'm trying to range the cows, but I could be ranging the ground around them.

    In general I ranged each "cow" three times.


    Even on the weakest setting for the VSO, able to range over a mile ... the strongest setting is "3000" (not sure what the UOM is for that). And I have it on 100 right now. That's the lowest setting. Testing the edges.
    Belgium told me to turn it up in poor conditions like rain and sun. But it is still working fine.

    The RRS is amazing. The only thing I don't like is I wish I had more support to prevent it from canting when I pan. Trying to figure out which head works for that.

  • Which Manfroto tripod were you using?

  • M190 and M055 tripods ... with 322RC2 heads ...



  • @kansas said in Learning to shoot in the Flint Hills of Kansas:

    M190 and M055 tripods ... with 322RC2 heads ...



    I've got a hog saddle on an 055. I use it only occasionally and when I do I'm in the seated position waiting for deer to walk out in a strip of clear cut under powerlines. I've gotten somewhat used to the setup.

    If I put a heavy rig 20lbs on my setup it seems pretty steady. I only use 2 of the 3 leg extensions and I have the legs spread out at a wide angle. It seems that I get more stability with the legs spread wide and low to the ground. I'm guessing that rig you've got in the PIC has to be close to 20lbs.

    Just wondering what I'm missing with the RRS setup cause mine seems pretty steady with the legs out wide.

    BTW can you put anything else on that AR?

  • I've done the sitting thing also ... mostly when the wind is blowing me around too much ...


    But yes, the RRS head REALLY locks the gun up ... "twice as tight" as the manfrottos, i.e. cuts the wobble in half. At least for me when standing. If you only use your manfrotto(s) as bipods from sitting position, might not make as much difference. But I mostly shoot off my tripods standing. And it makes a HUGE difference.

    When I'm hunting/doing critter control from a set position, I want to be able to pan 360 degrees. That is, unless I'm using a call, which is pretty rare. In my "coop overwatch" ... I am not using a call so I am doing 360s. Funny story, the 2 times I tried a call from coop overwatch, both nights, back to back, what came in to the call ? Owls :D

    But anyway, since I need to do 360s, I can't sit.

  • BTW can you put anything else on that AR? (Just kiddin') You would have a ball down here in February after deer season sitting on an oat patch.

  • I just figured that one accessory out, it's a rear view mirror!

  • As to the RRS versus the Manfrottos ...

    I just got back from some wind practice and VSO practice and RRS practice.

    First 3 shots, 254tds, 251rds, 500yds standing with the 7.62(22), NF 7-35x, last of the first case of the M118LR and the RRS and the VSO.

    VSO ranged those distances and gave me the holds, I kestreled the wind and applied my "adjustments". Base wind was 8 MPH from NE. that was 45 degrees off the bullet path, so held for 6 MPH for the closer targets (bullet path less exposed to the wind) and got first round hits on those two. Then held 8 mph for the 500yds ... and got first round hit, I could see the splotch it was 2 inches low and left from the center of the bull. Moved to a position which looked to be as far as I could get away from the target on the far side of the creek. Ranged it and got 764yds. Wind was still base 8 but spiking to 10 mph, however, I know from prior experience that the creek system deflects East winds so I held for 4 MPH and missed, saw a branch fall to the right of the target. Increased hold to 8 mph and got a hit with rds, 2, 3, 4 and 5. But my first round hit string was broken.

    But I do not think I could've done that well with the manfrottos. The 250 and 500 yd shots yes could've gotten those. But in 8mph wind from 700 plus standing with the manfrottos my avg hit percent on the 12x24 IPSC (2/3) has been around 50%. I think the RRS takes things to a new level. Wobble was not an issue, I never saw the center of the reticle leave the steel while I was aiming. With the manfrotto, the steel would be in the center third of the wobble. The RRS is a clear game changer. One of the few cases where we can "buy skill" :)

  • @kansas said in Learning to shoot in the Flint Hills of Kansas:

    I've done the sitting thing also ... mostly when the wind is blowing me around too much ...


    But yes, the RRS head REALLY locks the gun up ... "twice as tight" as the manfrottos, i.e. cuts the wobble in half. At least for me when standing. If you only use your manfrotto(s) as bipods from sitting position, might not make as much difference. But I mostly shoot off my tripods standing. And it makes a HUGE difference.

    When I'm hunting/doing critter control from a set position, I want to be able to pan 360 degrees. That is, unless I'm using a call, which is pretty rare. In my "coop overwatch" ... I am not using a call so I am doing 360s. Funny story, the 2 times I tried a call from coop overwatch, both nights, back to back, what came in to the call ? Owls :D

    But anyway, since I need to do 360s, I can't sit.

    I notice you only use one of the leg extensions, have you tried going even lower with two of the legs and extending the neck(Probably Wrong term) to make up the vertical difference.

  • Gotta balance being lower to avoid wind buffeting with still being high enough to see the target ... this is the FLINT HILLS not the Bonneville Salt Flats !!! :D


    And my Manfrottos have those "poles" in the middles also. Maybe yours don't have those. I don't need them, I don't shoot straight down, but they are there whether I need them or not :D

  • @martino1 said in Learning to shoot in the Flint Hills of Kansas:

    @kansas said in Learning to shoot in the Flint Hills of Kansas:

    I've done the sitting thing also ... mostly when the wind is blowing me around too much ...


    But yes, the RRS head REALLY locks the gun up ... "twice as tight" as the manfrottos, i.e. cuts the wobble in half. At least for me when standing. If you only use your manfrotto(s) as bipods from sitting position, might not make as much difference. But I mostly shoot off my tripods standing. And it makes a HUGE difference.

    When I'm hunting/doing critter control from a set position, I want to be able to pan 360 degrees. That is, unless I'm using a call, which is pretty rare. In my "coop overwatch" ... I am not using a call so I am doing 360s. Funny story, the 2 times I tried a call from coop overwatch, both nights, back to back, what came in to the call ? Owls :D

    But anyway, since I need to do 360s, I can't sit.

    I notice you only use one of the leg extensions, have you tried going even lower with two of the legs and extending the neck(Probably Wrong term) to make up the vertical difference.

    I didn't describe what I do accurately I don't use the tripod as a bipod. I was referring using 2 of the 3 leg extensions on each of the 3 legs and extending the legs out so they are close to the ground. This seemed steadier to me. Might have to look at RRS at some point..

  • 2018-09-18



    5MPH SE

    7.62(22), NF 7-35x

    FInally shot first 20 rounds of the FGMM .308

    This was technical zeroing so I set up 4 x 50 yds NRA targets with 3/4 inch orange dots in the centers. These are 1/2 inch for the "X" ring and 1 inch for the 10 ring.

    The first 3 rds group was slightly high and right, no tags on the dot, 2 tags on the 10 ring ... all centers outside the 10 ring. I dial down 0.1 and left 0.3 mils.

    Second 3 rds on same target, 2 hits in the dot both centers in the 10 ring, neither center in the X. No change in dial.

    5 rd group on the 2nd target, 3 hits in the dot, 1 center in the X, 2 centers in the 10 other two rds tag the 10 to the left in a ragged hole. Dialed 0.1 right.

    5 rd group on the 3rd target, 3 hits in the dot, 1 center in the X, 2 centers in the 10, other two rds tag the 10 to the left ragged hole, same result as before. Dialed 0.1 right (deciding the very first group gave incorrect windage result info due to poor fundamentals on my part).

    4rd group on 4th target. Now the sin was up high enough over the tree line that I could see nothing thru the scope. Going with the simulation assumption that shots need to be made quickly, I shoulder the rifle and put my left (support) hand up to bridge between my eye and the eyepiece of the scope. That worked and I could see the target. Fut the sight picture was more fluid. Trying to time trigger squeeze and rise of reticle center with the center of the dot, first round I could see was high but 100% in the dot. Second round not, third round dead center in the dot, 4th round not. Both rounds tagged the 10 but not the dot.

    Score: 20 rds fired.

    10 rds on the dots (50%)

    3 rds in the "X" (15%)

    19 rds tag the 10 (95%)

  • 2018-09-20
    10 MPH SSW

    Goals: Wind Practice

    Environmet: Sunny and windy.
    Wind average for 2 min:
    Low: 7.3
    Avg: 9.4
    High: 13.6

    Highly variable. Listened to the sounds and tag to the speeds. For wind dots for 7.62 this is 4 mph per dot. So avg would be 2 wind dots, high would be 3 to 3.5 wind dots.

    Wind direction (two tuffs of grass thrown in the air) 260 off bullet path.

    Equipment: 7.62(22), NF 7-35x T3, VSO(LRF), FGMM 1755gr .308, MV 2633, SD 11.3. RRS Anvil 30. 2 10rd AICS mags with 10 rds each.

    Activity: I had 4 steel targets ready, two on berm at 250 and two on berm at 500yds.

    Ranged the targets with the VSO got 254 yds and 0.67 elevation. And got 497yds and 3.17 elevation for the distant targets. Fired at the targets in sequence, 1, 2, 3, 4, (254, 251, 497, 497) and repeated for 20rds. Missed 3 times. Target 1 is 12x12, Target 2 is 8x8, Target 3 & 4 and 12x24 IPSC(2/3).


    Target - miss analysis
    2 - miss was me forgetting to hold and being low
    3 - miss was me holding 4 mph for wind the first time, out smarting myself. The wind had died where I was, but obviously not mostly along the bullet path, so miss to the right.
    4 - miss was me holding 12 mph for wind the 3rd shot on that target and feeling like wind was high where I was, but again, not on average along the bullet path. Mostly I was holding 8-10 mph on the dots, 2 to 2.5 dots.

    So all the equipment worked fine. I continue to practice wind calling.

  • 44299585175_d9d58e8b96_z.jpg

    Since March, attempting to raise my weekly live fire from goal of 50 to new goal of 200, I've managed to increase the actual from around 60 to exactly 96 ... so slightly more than a 50% increase in actual. I hope to do better during the cool half of the year, now beginning. I've managed to increase my on hand inventory from around 10,000 rounds to 14,500 ... and that's while increasing the live rounds by a greater percentage. So the numbers are moving in the right direction.

    What have I been doing in the past month?

    01 - Groups at or under 100yds with the RRS tripod.
    About 60% of my live fire has been groups from 25yds to 100yds day and night off the RRS. About 30% wind practice and about 10% other, mostly critter control around the coop and the cattle.
    01.01 .22lr(16) from 25yds to 70yds, 5 rd groups shooting at handwarmers at night. The UTCx has a 0.5 up hold offset relative to the Athlon scope in the 30mm ADM mount. I've also used the .22lr with the Athlon scope during the day to take out several tree rats that were gnawing on our deck.
    01.02 Cleaned and rezeroed several stoners including checking the zeros of the ir-lasers. Some of the stoner carbines don't get shot much, but I still like to cycle thru them 1-2 times per year, cleaning and rezeroing, so they are ready.
    01.03 7.62(22) bolt gun with FGMM 175gr and NF 7-35x T3 ... about split between groups off the RRS at 100yds and steel at 500yds and 750yds all off the RRS.
    02 - Night coop and pasture patrols either on foot on 4-wheeler with helmet mounted nods and usually with 5.56(10.3) stoner and trijicon mk3 60mm thermal.
    03 - Weekly ruck walks, 4 miles, 3.0 MPH was goal, but have been beating that for several weeks, need to increase the weight of the load. Between the ruck walks, regular farm/ranch work and nightly weight and stretches, the fitness improvement side is probably the main change over the last month and a half. I think fitness helps us do everything better, so striving to improve in this area.

    7.62(22) on RRS at 750yd FP

    It was raining, so the target was slightly obscured, but not too much to see.


    Got 10 out of 10 hits, though they were scattered over a bit of a wide area on the target, so this is 1.6 MOA and my goal is 1.5 MOA off the tripod, but the end of the year.

    At 500yds off the RRS ...

    6 out of 8 hits on the face - one miss to the right.


    The wobble on the 1.6 MOA target kept the part of the reticle I was aiming with 6.3 mils up and 2 MPH right, within the margin of error for a hit. But for the 1.2 MOA target (6x6 inch face at 500yds) the wobble was slightly outside the target area. The hold was 3.1 MILs up and 2 MPH right. The wind was 0-5mph from almost dead ahead, and I was holding for 2 MPH, and that was good enough (just barely) for the 1.6 MOA target, but not completely for the 1.2 MOA target. All that said, the RRS is magic, with the Manfrottos I was getting about half the number of hits at 750 and wasn't even trying for the face from 500yds.
    So the RRS is one of the most no-brainer widgets I've ever bought !!

  • About a third of my live fire this year has been dot drills. My priorities over the six years have been about 2/3rds "fieldcraft" (as I've learned it is called) ... which is observing and moving ... in the terrain around me day and night. "marksmanship" has been a lower priority. However, this year I decided I'd reached a plateau on "fieldcraft" and wanted to boost up the "maraksmanship" aspect some more. So, the goal is to get to "1 moa" (also called "sub-moa" by some, by the end of the year. And the primary change to help achieve that goal has been "dot drills". About 500rds of 7.62 and another 500rds of 6.5G .. those at 100yds and another 500rds of .22lr at 25yds.

    To shoot the .22lr at 25yds requires a scope that can parallax down that far. I only had one that could do it, the NF 7-35x T3. But that scope is too useful for other purposes to spend most of its time on the .22lr, so I got a crappy Athlon scope just because it can parallax down to 10yds (as can the NF). This Athlon Argo BTR 6-24x doesn't have to do much, just needs to be zero-able at 25yds. Doesn't have to track, either reticle or turrets, just has to zero (and parallax). And it does those things.

    So still using the Eley subsonic hollow point ammo. Which is all I shoot these days. And this is the CMMG upper. I'm using the NRA 50 foot rimfire targets. The bull, the 10 ring is 1/8 inch. There are 11 "dots" on the target. The center one is a spare, I think for "sighters" or "confirming zero" ... which is what I use it for. And I did have to adjust my windage a tad.

    I'm using the "pinch" trigger for these exercises. With this trigger pull, the ball of the thumb rests on the rear of the "pistol grip" and the trigger finger engages the trigger normally.

    So 30 scored shots on three targets max score is 100 per target. There are at least 2 ways to score, the "NRA" way and the "Army" way. Don't know how they score in the Army now, but in the army I was in you scored based on where the CENTER of the bullet struck the target, so I'm calling that the "Army" way. The NRA on the other hand scores based on the highest ring the bullet "tags" (or cuts the paper). Needless to say, the NRA way usually results in a higher score. I use both ways. I'll show the NRA score first as again, it is usually the highest.

    15 MPH ESE

    Goals: Dots at 25yds.

    Environment: Clear, sunny, "warm" and windy. Shooting into the sun, causing some glare issues.

    Equipment: .22LR(16), Eley 40gr HP subsonic. Sig 10rd mags


    Activity: Setup and fired three groups (5 and 8 and 6) to adjust windage. Used the spare center "dots" for that.

    For the dots themselves, I fired from upper left counterclockwise.

    Target #1 (first target fired)
    Dot # NRA Score/Army Score
    #1 9/8
    #2 9/9
    #3 9/9
    #4 10/9
    #5 10/9
    #6 10/10
    #7 10/10
    #8 9/8
    #9 9/9
    #10 8/8

    Total: 93/89


    Target #2 (third target fired)
    Dot # NRA Score/Army Score
    #1 10/10
    #2 9/9
    #3 10/9
    #4 9/9
    #5 10/10
    #6 10/9
    #7 10/9
    #8 10/9
    #9 8/8
    #10 9/9

    Total: 95/91


    Target #2 (second target fired)
    Dot # NRA Score/Army Score
    #1 10/9
    #2 9/9
    #3 10/9
    #4 10/9
    #5 10/9
    #6 10/10
    #7 9/8
    #8 9/9
    #9 9/9
    #10 10/9

    Total: 96/90

    Summary/Results: What is a good score ? Well, maybe 95 is the goal, that's 1/4 inch which is 1 MOA.
    I'm running the scope on 20x, so I can see the circles just fine. The center of the reticle was aimed at the center of the 10 ring every time, except once, when I outsmarted myself. More on that later. So, given that the center of the reticle has no problem being pointed at the center of the bull and I'm using a rear bag and I'm prone bipod, so aiming is not an issue. Trigger pull and position behind the scope are probably the two main issues. You'll notice the shots generally miss by more towards the top of the targets, than towards the bottom. And once, I tried to hold "high" for dot #10 as I thought I was consistently hitting low. Well that time, the bullet when exactly where I was aiming, I was high :D So better to fix the problem causing the issue than to try to hold to offset it.

    I think taking more time and rebuilding the position everytime helped improve the scores for the second two targets. I haven't used the "pinch" technique much, so more practice with that is in order. In fact, I'm going out to repeat this exercise now!

  • Oh I ordered the new Tikka (what is it the "T1x" ??) earlier in the year to be my dedicated .22lr dot driller, but it has still not arrived, so back to using the CMMG upper. Which might in theory be a factor, but I'd still like to blame at least 95% of the issues on me. Certainly every time the Army score isn't at least a 9 should be me. Which was 5 times out of the 30 rds fired for score.

  • 2018-10-21
    15 mph SE

    Goal: .22lr dots at 25yds

    Environment, per above.

    Equipment, per above.


    Target #1 (first target fired)
    Dot # NRA Score/Army Score
    #1 9/8
    #2 10/10
    #3 8/8
    #4 9/9
    #5 10/10
    #6 9/9
    #7 9/8
    #8 9/9
    #9 8/8
    #10 10/9

    Total: 91/88


    Target #2 (third target fired)
    Dot # NRA Score/Army Score
    #1 10/10
    #2 10/10
    #3 10/9
    #4 10/9
    #5 10/10
    #6 10/10
    #7 9/9
    #8 10/9
    #9 9/8
    #10 10/10

    Total: 98/94


    Target #3 (second target fired)
    Dot # NRA Score/Army Score
    #1 8/7
    #2 10/9
    #3 10/9
    #4 10/10
    #5 10/10
    #6 9/9
    #7 10/9
    #8 8/8
    #9 10/10
    #10 9/9

    Total: 93/89

    Summary/Results: Those 8s were all shockers as the reticle was pointed at the center of the bull in each case. My only theory is I am "shadowing" the scope and can't tell due to the glare due to shooting into the sun. That said, I didn't do much different for group #3 (target #2). What did I do different. I slowed down a little more and went thru three breathing cycles while squeezing instead of two breathing cycles for targets #1 and #2.

  • 2018/10/28
    15 MPH W

    Goals: dots at 25yds

    Environment: Sunny, warm, windy.

    Equipment: .22LR(16), Athlon Argos, Eley 40gr subsonic HP.

    Activity: The 10 ring on these targets is 1/8 inch (1/2 moa).
    Using the "pinch" trigger technique.
    Shooting from upper left, counter-clock-wise.

    left target


    center target



    right target


    Results, down from last week. And I can't believe it, but I'm pretty such now that most of the 8s and worse might be the gun. There is a lot of "rattle" between the upper and the lower and also on the butt stock riding on the buffer tube. I wonder if all that rattle matters. My default is to blame myself for all issues until proven otherwise, so I will stick with that diagnosis, but I'm 99% sure my trigger work was consistent and the results were not. An "8" result is a huge miss compared to where the reticle is pointing, which is dead center on the 10 ring.
    I ordered a Tikka t1x back in April, from Brownell's to be my dedicated dot gun and they are starting to dribble in to the USA, but mine has not arrived yet.