Learning to shoot in the Flint Hills of Kansas



  • 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 ..

    Q1CJmJZh.jpg

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

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

    ufkJiJ7h.jpg

    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.

    xKGRlgFh.jpg

    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
    1000-1200
    70F
    05 MPH SSW

    Goals: Light load walk with some wind practice

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

    Equipment:
    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

    Activity:
    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).

    [img]j6u5AS2h.jpg

    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.

    [img]kpPF1Ugh.jpg

    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.

    [img]I8enLnBh.jpg

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

    [img]BLVSLRph.jpg

    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.

    [img]FoZZKYLh.jpg
    [img]nt0jUqXh.jpg
    [img]fmOfHtCh.jpg

    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.

    Summary/Results:
    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).

    I



  • 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
    1000-1215
    80F
    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.

    42621991500_992f1ba19d_k.jpg

    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.

    30562898618_7b4281e428_k.jpg

    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.

    29493445297_4b00e7d3fd_k.jpg

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

    Results/Summary:

    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
    2030-2230
    60F
    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.

    43786445214_b34988ea47_k.jpg

    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 ...

    44454794112_dc67735042_h.jpg

    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.

    Results/Summary:

    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 ...

    4oZSs1P.jpg

    3yN7glk.jpg



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

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

    4oZSs1P.jpg

    3yN7glk.jpg

    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 ...

    MVr8WW7h.jpg

    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.
    4W1Mq3a.jpg



  • 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 ...

    MVr8WW7h.jpg

    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

    XpWV4tC.jpg

    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 ...

    MVr8WW7h.jpg

    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

    0700-0745

    60F

    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
    0800-0900
    70F
    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).

    Summary/Results:

    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
    30226109327_7f646a1720_c.jpg

    ==
    It was raining, so the target was slightly obscured, but not too much to see.
    45164413621_6a30c2e80d_c.jpg

    ==

    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.
    45165499031_8b93ede8b5_c.jpg

    At 500yds off the RRS ...

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

    44253029825_43600b91c1_c.jpg

    ==
    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.

    2018-10-21
    1000-1100
    40F
    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

    [img]45473446501_9cafc369ae_k.jpg

    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

    [img]45421642682_d8c113b739_k.jpg

    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
    1200-1245
    50F
    15 mph SE

    Goal: .22lr dots at 25yds

    Environment, per above.

    Equipment, per above.

    Activity:

    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

    44561585805_440b89d0f6_z.jpg

    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
    1200-1300
    40F
    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
    8/8
    10/9
    9/8
    10/9
    10/10
    10/9
    10/9
    9/9
    9/9
    10/10

    95/90

    ==
    center target
    10/9
    9/8
    8/8
    10/10
    9/8
    10/10
    10/10
    9/9
    8/8
    8/7

    91/87

    43787653570_f57469aede_b.jpg

    right target
    8/8
    10/10
    9/9
    8/8
    9/9
    9/9
    10/9
    10/9
    9/9
    10/10

    92/90

    ==
    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.



  • 45742566251_c1a1172c6b_m.jpg

    45744042601_f81551154b_m.jpg

    Buck at 70yrds ... It would be too easy at night ... and we do not shoot deer at night in Kansas ! But they are crawling all around me at night these nights when I'm out running off the predators around the coop and the cattle. I had one within 10yds and two within 20yds in the past 7 days. I went out and setup and didn't know they were there until I did my first 360 and my thermal went BLACK ... filled with DEER ... I don't really want them in too close and I whistle when they get to 5 yds ... don't want them get startled and kicking me !



  • Yes once it gets dark they feel safe and aren’t that concerned with you. I was hunting one night in a decent sized field and there was several deer with in 30 or so yards of me. Two coyotes came out and I unleashed hell on them, afterwards I scanned back at the deer and they were still in the field and had only ran about 75 yards or so farther away from me. This was before I had a suppressor at that.



  • 45817028511_ee3278ee92_h.jpg

    Added a new scope base onto #1 shooting buddies rifle ... put my spare Mk4 6.5-20x TMR scope on ... added my Omega and harris and an ersatz sling mount.

    Then I went (10 Nov) and tried it out with some FGMM 175gr.

    44901431905_287eeaa050_h.jpg

    This is RRS tripod from 100yds. First round was off paper ! (And this is a BIG paper ! This is a 500yd NRA target. So moved to 50 yds and (aiming at the green dot in the center of the x-ring) second round, upper left in the 7 ring. I dialed down 4 mils and right 4 mils. That got me to the green dot upper left in the 9 ring. Then down 3 mils and right 2 mils. Next round lowest left in the x-ring. I was supposed to crank up 1 mil but I forgot and next round also low near the bottom of the x-ring. Then I dialed up and hit just below the center of the x-ring. Then I fired 2 more rounds. The wind was blowing pretty hard and I could see the barrel was shifting left for some of these shots which I why I wasn't dialing windage. These two rounds hit just low and left of the center of the x.

    Then I went prone and tried a 4 round group aimed at the orange dot in the 8 ring. It was a 7/16 group, but high and right. I then dialed down 2 clicks and left 1 click.

    ==
    Went out later that day and tried ipsc(2/3) steel at 500yds. It was quite windy and I dialed a couple of clicks left, thinking I was still off on the windage front, but seemed ok on the elevation.

    ==
    Next day 11/11 went back to the same paper target at 100yds prone. Due to snow melting I would've been in a puddle (er, small pond? :) ) if I set up in the quasi flat spot. So I set up on the side of a rise. That meant I was canted a few degrees to the left. But there really is no flat ground around here, so being canted to the sides or inclined for and aft is normal around here.

    So the two red groups at the bottom are attempts to "zero" again on 11/11

    30895696177_02762ce363_k.jpg

    So for reference, the green circles represent zeroing shots from 10/10. The blue circle represents the one group from 11/10. The red circles represent zeroing attempts from 11/11, then I fired, in order the yellow, purple and brown groups on 11/11

    Yellow was 5/8
    Purple was 8/8
    Brown was 5/8

    The main concern was the variance of the centers of these groups from the centers of the dots there were aimed at. The yellow group was high right, the purple group was centered left and the brown group was centered left. Was this position? Eye relief? Or otherwise? I've always had trouble with the ungenerous eye relief on this Mk4 6.5-20x TMR scope, especially on 20x. The yellow and purple groups were fired on 16x, but I was struggling to see the reticle, it is very "fine". So the brown group was fired on 20x.

    ==

    Then on 11/13 went back out. The flatter area was dry, so I could set up there.

    31995910078_eec5c6f598_k.jpg

    So in this pic all the red circle are from prior days. As I was setting up I checked the suppressor and it was loose! I've never used the Omega setup like this before threaded on to the muzzle break, so there is an extra "joint" between the suppressor and the "connector" piece that screws in the back of the suppressor and then on to the break. Things were loose at that point. I tighened down, then backed off then "cranked hard" to give it a little torque. It hasn't come loose since.

    So, given the suppressor action I started on upper left side shooting another zeroing group in the pink circle. Started off high, not surprising and walked my shots on to the pink dot by adjusting the knobs.

    Then fired, yellow, green, blue group and white groups.

    Yellow was 7/8, green was 7/16, blue was 11/16 and white was 9/16.

    And some of the rounds even tagged the dots I was aiming at, so I think I'm finally getting the range :)

    ==
    Mostly I wanted to write about this because shooting my buddies rifle has been more interesting than I thought and it shoots better than I thought it would !

    Issues:

    01 - I had a lot of parallax, I set it to the min setting 50yds and dialed half a "dot" and then checked it and another half a dot and then checked it, etc. Then even switched to dialing quarter dots. Eventually, about a third of the way thru the range, I got it to the point where it was at least detectably lessened. I call it parallax because what I saw when looking thru the scope was that the reticle was moving back and forth from left to right, even when I wasn't doing any movement of my head. And movement was that the center of the reticle (which is actually a small open circle) was moving from one side of the dot I was aiming at to the other. So 3/4 inch of play on the target!

    02 - On 20x, I was having to strain forward to make the shadows go away, so perhaps I need to move the scope back a notch, but I fear this will move it too far back. No strain requireed on 16x, but the eye relief is more generous on 16x.


 

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