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View Full Version : 1000 Yard First Time - 65 lb. Gun


Phil3
09-27-2009, 7:41 PM
Today, as a guest of an experienced long range benchrest shooter, I fired off in a match, about 50+ rounds from a 65 lb. heavy bench gun at 1000 yards. The round was a 300 Ackely. The rest was as about as heavy as the gun, which is set up when locked in the center, and then separated after set up to comply with rules requiring a separate front and lower rest. A Nightforce scope (up to 42X), sat atop the BAT action, huge barrel (Bartlein?) w/a 3lb. tuner on the end, and solid aluminum stock. The rest was further bedded down on the concrete bench (Sacramento) with heavy bags of lead shot. To say the least, it was solid.

The Jewel trigger was very light and crisp, but the mirage was horrible. The wind was picking up to, but was told not to worry too much about the latter with a 210 grain bullet,, .627 ballistic coefficient, moving right at 3000 feet per second. The recoil still moved the 65 lb. gun rearward several inches.

The mirage was so bad, it was hard to get sighted in well, and my groups were nothing to write home about. There were other guys there shooting 6mm bullets and doing better. Believe me, 1000 yards is very difficult, even with something like I was shooting. The mirage made the target move around at least several inches. Could not use full power on the scope due to mirage.

It was fun to do, and after a while, 1000 yards did not seem so far away. Make no mistake, it is, and even this gun had a lot of elevation dialed in.

Personally though, the entire process seemed rather disconnected from actually shooting, since the gun almost shoots itself. I may prefer F-Class, F/TR, or perhaps some sort of tactical. No doubt, the ability to read wind is critical, and I apparently am not so good at that. The level of experience here was astonishing, with people like Jerry Tierney in attendance. Stu Harvey was there, a guy who has been a gunsmith since 1962. Any one of these guys will forget more than I will ever know.

I thought it interesting that the little 6mmBR and some variants of it, (6mm Dasher), did well at 1000. You just need a good pilot behind the gun.

I am going back out to observe F-Class, and see if that suits me. F/TR Class is for 223 and 308 only, and must use a bipod as front rest. Almost all use the 308 and that bullet is not so good at 1000 yards, though some have had success with 80 grain 223. Even more challenging with these rounds, but then everyone is at at the same disadvantage.

- Phil

CSACANNONEER
09-27-2009, 7:48 PM
but the mirage was horrible.
- Phil


After shooting awhile, you should come to WANT to see mirage. The better shooters use it to read conditions down range. The biggest problem I've found is that it is impossible for me to find anyone who can teach me exactly how they do this. I really think it's something that you can only learn from trigger time.

Phil3
09-27-2009, 8:19 PM
As they say, wind is your friend, and so it may go with mirage. Still, unlike wind, the mirage is showing an image that is not really where the target is. It is one thing to correct for wind, but another to try and hit something that presents an image that is not representative of where it is even at (optical distortion). What we tried to do was to shoot "sighters" where the bullet hole is marked with a golf tee and glued in 2 - 3" pink disk visible in the scope. This allowed us to aim and find out where the bullet went. We adjusted so the bullet was hitting close to center, but during the match, things started to change. Mirage did indicate wind conditions, but the flags did that as well. One guy even had a screw in cap for his scope that simply had a smaller hole for the light to come through. Like a camera, this increases depth of field, thereby giving more clarity on what is going on with mirage. The shooters said today was just terrible on mirage, and it was bad by 9 am. By the time I shot, it was already in the 90s, and even worse.

Still, never shot in a mirage, so quite the experience.

These sites may help with mirage.

http://www.snipersparadise.com/marksmanship/mirage.htm

http://www.longrangebpcr.com/Mirage.htm

- Phil

phish
09-27-2009, 8:24 PM
They're getting ready for the NBRSA championship next month. Tierney has actually been experimenting with a .223 Palma rifle, his initial results have been, surprising to say the least.

p.s. wind is not your friend, especially in Sac, never has been, never will be ;)

Jonathan Doe
09-27-2009, 8:26 PM
After shooting awhile, you should come to WANT to see mirage. The better shooters use it to read conditions down range. The biggest problem I've found is that it is impossible for me to find anyone who can teach me exactly how they do this. I really think it's something that you can only learn from trigger time.

Maybe I can come out to shoot with you one day. Maybe we can work out with the mirage together.;)

Phil3
09-27-2009, 8:32 PM
They're getting ready for the NBRSA championship next month. Tierney has actually been experimenting with a .223 Palma rifle, his initial results have been, surprising to say the least.

p.s. wind is not your friend, especially in Sac, never has been, never will be ;)

Yes, this was the tuneup and practice for NBRSA.

My comment on wind was to mean that it is your friend, if your the person who knows how to manage it better than anyone else. It was readily apparent today, that some people were much better than others.

- Phil

hybridatsun350
09-27-2009, 8:37 PM
p.s. wind is not your friend, especially in Sac, never has been, never will be ;)

I'm with you on that one. I was holding over ~3 mils at 1k last time I was out there. We had something like a 12 mph full value wind and gusting. No bueno!

CSACANNONEER
09-27-2009, 9:05 PM
p.s. wind is not your friend, especially in Sac, never has been, never will be ;)

I think it depends on, how much, how steady and what venue you are shooting at. A year ago August, I was shooting a 1000 yard match at Palimino Valley and there was ZERO wind. I shot back to back .5moa groups and then a thermal caught my 4th shot in the third relay and opened up my group. I ended up with a 29" group. When there is a consistant 2-10 mile an hour wind there, the thermals are gone and the shooting is great! Yea, I know, getting a consistant wind at Palimino Valley is almost impossible but, it does happen for a little while at a time.

I've never been to Sac. Why is any wind a bad thing there?

Ahhnother8
09-27-2009, 9:10 PM
It was fun to do, and after a while, 1000 yards did not seem so far away. Make no mistake, it is, and even this gun had a lot of elevation dialed in.

I am going back out to observe F-Class, and see if that suits me. F/TR Class is for 223 and 308 only, and must use a bipod as front rest. Almost all use the 308 and that bullet is not so good at 1000 yards, though some have had success with 80 grain 223. Even more challenging with these rounds, but then everyone is at at the same disadvantage.

- Phil

Hope to see you there in a few weeks. There will be a 600 yard match on Sunday the 11th. Then in November, I think it will be a Palma and a 1000 yard match. Next March will be the F-class National Championships in Sac.

Lane

Ahhnother8
09-27-2009, 9:19 PM
I think it depends on, how much, how steady and what venue you are shooting at. A year ago August, I was shooting a 1000 yard match at Palimino Valley and there was ZERO wind. I shot back to back .5moa groups and then a thermal caught my 4th shot in the third relay and opened up my group. I ended up with a 29" group. When there is a consistant 2-10 mile an hour wind there, the thermals are gone and the shooting is great! Yea, I know, getting a consistant wind at Palimino Valley is almost impossible but, it does happen for a little while at a time.

I've never been to Sac. Why is any wind a bad thing there?

Palomino is a great place to shoot!! Have shot in ripping (35+ mph) winds, complete calm, while snowing, while 100+ degrees, with sage grouse running around, mule deer behind the impact berm, a scorpion under my mat, millions of mormon crickets, and millions of some kind of caterpillars on the march. Fortunately, not all at the same time.

The wind is not a bad thing in Sac. Bring it on!!

Lane

Pthfndr
09-27-2009, 9:40 PM
I've never been to Sac. Why is any wind a bad thing there?

The Sac Valley range is bordered down the left side by a series of hills and valleys, the right side is open and pretty much flat. So the wind often swirls and makes rapid small switches. Easy to miss if you aren't paying attention or lack experience, and it's enough to to keep you outside the 10 ring.

In addition, being at 200' asl on the fringe of the foothills, as it warms up during the day the wind typically increases as the warm air rises up the hills.


The wind is not a bad thing in Sac. Bring it on!!

Lane

I actually have to agree with Lane. My first few years of shooting HP and long range tactical I dreaded the windy days. Now I kind of look forward to them as my skill increases.

I'm not at Lane's skill level, but for us middle of the pack guys who have some ability to read the wind, it can be a great equalizer when shooting against less skilled people who have better equipment, better eyes, and less age :)

freonr22
09-27-2009, 10:46 PM
Today, as a guest of an experienced long range benchrest shooter, I fired off in a match, about 50+ rounds from a 65 lb. heavy bench gun at 1000 yards. The round was a 300 Ackely. The rest was as about as heavy as the gun, which is set up when locked in the center, and then separated after set up to comply with rules requiring a separate front and lower rest. A Nightforce scope (up to 42X), sat atop the BAT action, huge barrel (Bartlein?) w/a 3lb. tuner on the end, and solid aluminum stock. The rest was further bedded down on the concrete bench (Sacramento) with heavy bags of lead shot. To say the least, it was solid.

The Jewel trigger was very light and crisp, but the mirage was horrible. The wind was picking up to, but was told not to worry too much about the latter with a 210 grain bullet,, .627 ballistic coefficient, moving right at 3000 feet per second. The recoil still moved the 65 lb. gun rearward several inches.

The mirage was so bad, it was hard to get sighted in well, and my groups were nothing to write home about. There were other guys there shooting 6mm bullets and doing better. Believe me, 1000 yards is very difficult, even with something like I was shooting. The mirage made the target move around at least several inches. Could not use full power on the scope due to mirage.

It was fun to do, and after a while, 1000 yards did not seem so far away. Make no mistake, it is, and even this gun had a lot of elevation dialed in.

Personally though, the entire process seemed rather disconnected from actually shooting, since the gun almost shoots itself. I may prefer F-Class, F/TR, or perhaps some sort of tactical. No doubt, the ability to read wind is critical, and I apparently am not so good at that. The level of experience here was astonishing, with people like Jerry Tierney in attendance. Stu Harvey was there, a guy who has been a gunsmith since 1962. Any one of these guys will forget more than I will ever know.

I thought it interesting that the little 6mmBR and some variants of it, (6mm Dasher), did well at 1000. You just need a good pilot behind the gun.

I am going back out to observe F-Class, and see if that suits me. F/TR Class is for 223 and 308 only, and must use a bipod as front rest. Almost all use the 308 and that bullet is not so good at 1000 yards, though some have had success with 80 grain 223. Even more challenging with these rounds, but then everyone is at at the same disadvantage.

- Phil

Really 65lbs?? WOW

50BMGBOB
09-28-2009, 2:44 AM
Palomino is a great place to shoot!! Have shot in ripping (35+ mph) winds, complete calm, while snowing, while 100+ degrees, with sage grouse running around, mule deer behind the impact berm, a scorpion under my mat, millions of mormon crickets, and millions of some kind of caterpillars on the march. Fortunately, not all at the same time.


One of my favorite matches at Palomino we had rain, snow and hail and winds up to 50+MPH! And that was all during ONE relay! Not my best groups but it was a real challenge. I'm not the best shot but I did keep it all on paper and only missed 3rd by one point (had the X's to break the tie) that match.

CSACANNONEER
09-28-2009, 5:58 AM
One of my favorite matches at Palomino we had rain, snow and hail and winds up to 50+MPH! And that was all during ONE relay! Not my best groups but it was a real challenge. I'm not the best shot but I did keep it all on paper and only missed 3rd by one point (had the X's to break the tie) that match.

I think I remember that one. I wasn't sure what to do when a big snow flake hit my round as I was loading it. I guess it didn't matter much since I was still shooting in the area of +20" aggs. I wish I knew where the disk is with a picture of a 500 ft dust devil that was about 1/2 mile SW of the 1000 yard firing line.

NRAhighpowershooter
09-28-2009, 7:28 AM
I stall can't read mirage.. I do a whole lot better reading the wind flags... works for me.......

brando
09-28-2009, 7:39 AM
After shooting awhile, you should come to WANT to see mirage. The better shooters use it to read conditions down range. The biggest problem I've found is that it is impossible for me to find anyone who can teach me exactly how they do this. I really think it's something that you can only learn from trigger time.

Yep, reading mirage is really an art form. You just get a feel for it over time and it's not something that can easily be taught to proficiency. The basics are covered in the Army Sniper Course at Benning and this is further elaborated on at SOTIC, but because there is no real science to it, it becomes a rather subjective tool for reading the wind that some shooters rely on and others hardly factor into their wind calculations. I personally never got the hang of it to where I could rely 100% on it - I've still got to read the wind via other direct sources (blowing leaves, grass, dust, smoke, etc)

Phil3
09-28-2009, 8:50 AM
Really 65lbs?? WOW

Yes, 65 lbs. This is the only photo of it I could find (below). Not very good, but you can get an idea of the size of it. I think the barrel at the muzzle (w/o tuner is 1.45" in diameter. The bottom of the stock up front is about 6" wide.
The bags you see are full of lead shot.

- Phil

X-NewYawker
09-28-2009, 8:56 AM
Excellent report! My CAR won't even go 1000 yards.

CSACANNONEER
09-28-2009, 3:37 PM
Excellent report! My CAR won't even go 1000 yards.

Get a TRUCK then.:D

Ahhnother8
09-29-2009, 7:46 PM
Shot out at Sac today (Tuesday). At the 1000, put on 8 1/2 minutes left wind and fired the first shot. Just wounded the target on the right side. Should of started with 11 or 11 1/2 minutes. :o It went much better after that.

Lane

Pthfndr
09-29-2009, 10:04 PM
Shot out at Sac today (Tuesday). At the 1000, put on 8 1/2 minutes left wind and fired the first shot. Just wounded the target on the right side. Should of started with 11 or 11 1/2 minutes. :o It went much better after that.

Lane

.308 or .223?

Was Jerry there with his .223 Palma rifle? How much did he use?

WeekendWarrior
09-30-2009, 8:25 AM
WWRTW

Ahhnother8
09-30-2009, 8:37 AM
.308 or .223?

Was Jerry there with his .223 Palma rifle? How much did he use?


I was shooting the .308, with some of the leftover prototype/experimental 155's that we were testing for Sierra last year. It's very close to what they eventually decided to produce as the #2156. And they were going out at 3020+- fps.

Jerry was shooting the .223 with a 90 grain Berger, but they were only at 2800+ fps.

With those two loads, we were tracking within 1/2 moa. Next week, he's going to load up 80 grain Hornady A-max's, at 3050+- fps. That will be interesting. I shoot an 80 Berger from my spacegun, but only at 2900 fps, and feel relatively competitive with the .308, with the old Sierra 155's.

Both of us are planning to shoot his .223 at the 600 yard match on Oct 11.

Lane