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Chontkleer
05-23-2012, 9:50 PM
Is this the way most people do it?

After a shot does the spotter usually tell the shooter where the shot went, or how to adjust?

"When you both setup, shooter is in final point of aim (on target) and spotter has his scope focused on target (usually focused just in front of the target so you can see the mirage best), then the spotter starts by saying:
"Spotter is on the target."

Now the shooter knows the spotter is ready to start.

Then the spotter gives the shooter his windage and elevation adjustments or hold-off.
The shooter repeats them back to confirm he has made the adjustment or knows the hold-off.
When the shooter is ready, he simply says: "Shooter Ready".

He stays on target but does not shoot.

Shortly after, after checking wind and mirage conditions the spotter says:
"Send It".

After the shooter hears that he should fire within a few seconds if possible, to ensure he is firing in the wind condition the spotter called.

After the shot is gone, the shooter does a "Call".

He says, "Broke Clean" if the crosshairs were properly positioned.

If he pulled the shot he describes the crosshair situation, for example he might say, "High left" or "Broke Right" so the spotter knows he may have influenced where the bullet hit, not a wind change. We mark the following info for each shot, Elevation, Windage, Call, Hit in a vertical column, plus mark the impact location in a little box. We also note wind, light, temps etc. at the top of the page. I made up a simple 8 1/2 by 11 page that we Xerox to keep track of about 40-50 shots per page. Keep a ring-binder for this."

NewbieDave
05-23-2012, 11:45 PM
Hmmmm, just my opinion but the above may work with a shooter/spotter partners that's been trained in correct sniper/counter sniper or possible HP rifle shooting. Or maybe even bench shooters. But most bench shooters I know spot themselves... while HP shooters only use spotters during some matches.

In general... when my buddy spot for me... this is about what happens.

Me "You ready? Upper right target."
Bud "Upper right, got it... shoot when ready."
Me "Firing. Alignment and pull both good."n (ie crosshair and trigger)
Bud "Impact 2" right, 4" down"
Me "Adjusting..."
Me "Ready, same target."
Bud "Go."
Me "Firing..."

Etc etc.... I keep it clean and basic English cause I may have a different spotter depending on who's there.

Hamstur
05-24-2012, 12:41 AM
What works best for me....

me: spotter ready <-- very specific & simple words
bud: shooter ready <-- reply very specific & simple words
me: wind. 5 mph right. hold half mil left.

... this is my call as a spotter. if he agrees with me I expect to hear...

bud: half mil left

...at this point, he is clear to engage. no "send it" no nothing. we're both aiming at the same point half mil left. I'm focused 100% on spotting. Bud is focused 100% on fundamentals to take the shot...

...if he disagrees with me...

bud: going 1 mil left

...at this point, he disagreed and made his own wind call. Same as above, leave "send it" for the movies. I aim 1 mil left & focus 100% on spotting. Bud is focused 100% on fundamentals to take the shot.

He fires. Calls his shot with one word: LEFT, RIGHT or CENTER

Assume he went with my half mil left call, didn't flinch and calls CENTER. If the shot landed 1/4 mil right of target, that means I should have called 3/4 mil left to have hit ... my job is to spot the miss and quickly call out the follow-up correction. If I didn't see it or lost it, my call would be NO SPOT His job is to have the next round loaded & ready for next shot.

me: 3/4 mil left
bud: 3/4 mil left

...at this point, he is clear to engage. no "send it" no nothing. I'm focused 100% on spotting. Bud is focused 100% on fundamentals to take the shot...

Note:
- Very little dialogue when actually shooting
- We are always aiming at the same spot when he fires
- If his elevation was off, I call elevation correction first, then windage (e.g., 0.3 mil up, 3/4 mil left) ... this means give me 3 notches up on elevation, and aim 3/4 mil left of target
- I give one call, he gives one reply. No further discussion. The moment he disagreed, I shifted to his call. Keep body & mind focused for spotting/shooting. His job is to be ready to fire the follow-up shot within 3-5 seconds. My job is to give him the information for a 'hit' in less than that.

Chontkleer
05-24-2012, 12:48 AM
Do you shoot in the desert? I really have to talk to you about wind. I went out a couple of times to try to shoot long range and there was no vegetation I could read at all. Ok, so let's try this mirage business... I could kind of see it when I played with the parallax, but couldn't really tell what it was doing. Plus after you get past 12 mph or so, it's horizontal anyway, right? So how do you know how much more powerful it is? I think I remember someone saying that some scopes are better than others for reading mirage... I've got a leupold vari-x 4.5-14. If you're shooting long range alone, is it just a matter of looking for the splash and adjusting? If dust gets kicked up... you get an idea, but many times I don't see any indication of where it hit.

Hamstur
05-24-2012, 1:02 AM
Yep -- deserts of AZ. Btw, the communication above I learned thru a brief course with GPS Sniper School (formerly McMillan Sniper School). It worked wonderfully & I stuck with it.

For mirage, this really does work ... borrowing from a Google search:
http://www.letsblocking.com/sniper-weapons/images/4241_41_56-reading-mirage-wind.png

Honestly, spotting good is hard as hell. Try adjusting your parallax like 50YD in front of the target, and completely relax your eye. Don't focus on the target. If you do this right, when your partner fires, your eye will pick up & follow the vapor trail a lot easier. If you don't something to backsplash against and didn't see it -- it's ok to give the NO SPOT call, but make up your mind fast ... he needs the next call. Keep yourself pressured and give him something to work with.

Also, windage ballistics is not easy & only comes with lots of trigger time. One trick that's worked for me is I know my MV and ran expected wind correction thru jbmballistics.com. If I have a target at 600 and know my 175SMK @ 2650 fps drift is 0.9mil for every 10mph, and I hit it with 0.6 mil, i know my wind is pushing 6-7 mph and will take a second to observe mirage after the hit to confirm/learn what 6-7 looks like.

Jicko
05-24-2012, 1:04 AM
Do you shoot in the desert? I really have to talk to you about wind. I went out a couple of times to try to shoot long range and there was no vegetation I could read at all. Ok, so let's try this mirage business... I could kind of see it when I played with the parallax, but couldn't really tell what it was doing. Plus after you get past 12 mph or so, it's horizontal anyway, right? So how do you know how much more powerful it is? I think I remember someone saying that some scopes are better than others for reading mirage... I've got a leupold vari-x 4.5-14. If you're shooting long range alone, is it just a matter of looking for the splash and adjusting? If dust gets kicked up... you get an idea, but many times I don't see any indication of where it hit.

Couple of tips:

1) Build a dirt pile behind the target, or use a bigger target (paper or steel)....

2) No vegetation, mirage is your friend... and/or Kestrel.... ;-)

3) In order to verify you had the wind speed/direction correct, you can intentionally dial less drop (or hold under).... hence your round will be "falling short".... ie. in front of your target.... that should create a "puff" which your spotter can see.... dial/hold your windage dead on first, then put the elevation back to the right distance to get to the target (if you and your spotter both uses the same reticle, you can spot some dirt right in front of your target and tell your spotter that you are aiming .5mil or 1mil low, then he can spot around that area)

4) All of the the above is more for precision shooting.... that means you do have to have a weapon platform(plus your ability) that will delivery consistent, and within accuracy limit shots.....

:)

Hamstur
05-24-2012, 1:05 AM
If you're shooting long range alone, is it just a matter of looking for the splash and adjusting? If dust gets kicked up... you get an idea, but many times I don't see any indication of where it hit.

If you're doing this, you need to make some friends!!! j/k :)

Assuming you're shooting steel, go for a closer target if you're having issues self-spotting far out. Get comfy then move back out.

Jicko
05-24-2012, 1:09 AM
He fires. Calls his shot with one word: LEFT, RIGHT or CENTER

Assume he went with my half mil left call, didn't flinch and calls CENTER. If the shot landed 1/4 mil right of target, that means I should have called 3/4 mil left to have hit ... my job is to spot the miss and quickly call out the follow-up correction. If I didn't see it or lost it, my call would be NO SPOT His job is to have the next round loaded & ready for next shot.


Nice and concise explanation. Very nice. Basically captured the gist of the whole thing.

Only 1 question here.... the above is all good if he call "CENTER".... what if he call with 1 word "LEFT"? Then how would you respond with a supporting "correction" since you really do not know how far "LEFT" has he flinch....

Jicko
05-24-2012, 1:10 AM
If you're doing this, you need to make some friends!!! j/k :)

Assuming you're shooting steel, go for a closer target if you're having issues self-spotting far out. Get comfy then move back out.

Oh... and.... get a good muzzle brake.... ;-)

Jicko
05-24-2012, 1:13 AM
Also, windage ballistics is not easy & only comes with lots of trigger time. One trick that's worked for me is I know my MV and ran expected wind correction thru jbmballistics.com. If I have a target at 600 and know my 175SMK @ 2650 fps drift is 0.9mil for every 10mph, and I hit it with 0.6 mil, i know my wind is pushing 6-7 mph and will take a second to observe mirage after the hit to confirm/learn what 6-7 looks like.

Great tips here!!

Chontkleer
05-24-2012, 1:17 AM
This is fantastic. Thanks, will put this to use.

Hamstur: Didn't have any existing friends who were into shooting, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a fairly sizeable community of long range shooters here in the LA and surrounding area. What prompted the original question was that I helped someone out today with zeroing their rifle by shooting out to the steel targets and afterwards I wondered if we were both speaking the same language.

Hamstur
05-24-2012, 1:18 AM
Nice and concise explanation. Very nice. Basically captured the gist of the whole thing.

Only 1 question here.... the above is all good if he call "CENTER".... what if he call with 1 word "LEFT"? Then how would you respond with a supporting "correction" since you really do not know how far "LEFT" has he flinch....

I called 1/2 mil left. He shot & hit 1/4 mil right.

If he calls LEFT, he is telling me a CENTER shot should have went further right. My next correction should be >3/4 mil left so I totally fked up that wind call! :)

Same call & impact, but he calls RIGHT. If I'm confident in my 1/2 mil left wind call. I attribute the miss to his pulled shot. The next three words out of my mouth are: HALF MIL LEFT

Jicko
05-24-2012, 1:27 AM
I called 1/2 mil left. He shot & hit 1/4 mil right.

If he calls LEFT, he is telling me a CENTER shot should have went further right. My next correction should be >3/4 mil left so I totally fked up that wind call! :)

Same call & impact, but he calls RIGHT. If I'm confident in my 1/2 mil left wind call. I attribute the miss to his pulled shot. The next three words out of my mouth are: HALF MIL LEFT

In this case, why don't you just tell him where the impact is?

Place your cross hair at the COM, and just read out where the impact is... eg. ".4mil left, .2mil high"

He should know exactly where his last aim was and where the crosshair was when the last shot broke...... and he now have a virtual image of where the "hit" was (from your call).... and all he needs to do for the next shot is to put his crosshair back @ where the last shot broke, see the virtual impact location, shift his crosshair to move that impact onto COM... then fire....

Hamstur
05-24-2012, 1:27 AM
This is fantastic. Thanks, will put this to use.

Hamstur: Didn't have any existing friends who were into shooting, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a fairly sizeable community of long range shooters here in the LA and surrounding area. What prompted the original question was that I helped someone out today with zeroing their rifle by shooting out to the steel targets and afterwards I wondered if we were both speaking the same language.

I know the feeling -- took me a while to meet a crew that adopted my sorry butt! Proper communication comes with familiarity and practice.

I can compare it to ... a few weeks ago, I went to dinner with an old college buddy who's a doctor now. His wife was there, along with one of his med school friends. I felt so out of place cause I didn't understand 'their' language. But when we started talking about old school memories, his wife and friends looked lost. Shoot with the same partner long enough, it just develops & you'll find you have your own terms and quirks.

Side comment: you've probably read posts about MOA vs Mil? This is why more and more folks are switching to the international Mil standard -- go spot a MOA shooter while using a Mil scope (or vice versa) and let me know if you don't feel like pulling teeth!

Chontkleer
05-24-2012, 1:31 AM
go spot a MOA shooter while using a Mil scope (or vice versa) and let me know if you don't feel like pulling teeth!

My scope has a mildot reticle and MOA knobs, so with any luck I'll turn out multilingual.

Hamstur
05-24-2012, 1:37 AM
In this case, why don't you just tell him where the impact is?

Place your cross hair at the COM, and just read out where the impact is... eg. ".4mil left, .2mil high"

He should know exactly where his last aim was and where the crosshair was when the last shot broke...... and he now have a virtual image of where the "hit" was (from your call).... and all he needs to do for the next shot is to put his crosshair back @ where the last shot broke, see the virtual impact location, shift his crosshair to move that impact onto COM... then fire....

If you shoot with someone and that works best, I would stick with it.

But IMHO spotter's burden is the heavy thinking. His burden is fundamentals, fundamentals and fundamentals -- and nothing else.

If you want to play around with something, try www.shooterready.com. Play with the sim by yourself and with a buddy. I wish bullet strikes were that easy to see and read! IRL, sometimes when I spot a miss, I find myself utterly retarded trying to give the correction -- sometimes the pressure just gets to you and your brain doesn't want to work.

Chontkleer
05-24-2012, 1:40 AM
If you shoot with someone and that works best, I would stick with it.

But IMHO spotter's burden is the heavy thinking. His burden is fundamentals, fundamentals and fundamentals -- and nothing else.

If you want to play around with something, try www.shooterready.com. Play with the sim by yourself and with a buddy.

I got it a few weeks ago. The frustrating thing was that they *tell* you the wind speed and direction.

Don29palms
05-24-2012, 5:37 AM
I spent alot of money on a top notch muzzle brake so I can spot for myself.

DirtRacer151
05-24-2012, 8:13 AM
I spent alot of money on a top notch muzzle brake so I can spot for myself.

+1

I shoot all the time without a spotter. Sometimes it helps to have someone next to you on a scope as well to help.reassure you of your own calls but you should be making them on your own. Usually the person spotting next to me is shooting as well.

alfred1222
05-24-2012, 8:44 AM
Great thread, I'm learning alot!!

Chontkleer
05-24-2012, 9:22 AM
I spent alot of money on a top notch muzzle brake so I can spot for myself.

Ok, so that leads to the next question. I've got a barrel with a recessed target crown. The rifle shoots like a laser beam. If I thread the barrel and put on a brake, will I be giving up some accuracy for a gentler shot. My guess is no even if it's just because the flinch will go away.

Hamstur
05-24-2012, 9:30 AM
Ok, so that leads to the next question. I've got a barrel with a recessed target crown. The rifle shoots like a laser beam. If I thread the barrel and put on a brake, will I be giving up some accuracy for a gentler shot. My guess is no even if it's just because the flinch will go away.

Caliber? Any 308 and under should easily recoil light & straight back without a brake for a self-spot as long as you load the bipod & square yourself behind the buttstock properly

If you're seeing left/right muzzle flip on a 308, your shoulder may be off-angle behind the rifle or jerking the trigger. If it's flipping up strongly, you may not be loading the bipod enough (light pressure up front + heavier pressure point in back = front flips upward) or you're not positioned squarely behind the buttstock like a linebacker (not squared = creating a pivot point between your shoulder and the rifle) or a combination of both. You might also experience upward muzzle flip if you are really forcing your cheek weld onto the stock (rifle wants to recoil straight back, your cheek pushes strongly down causing the back to drop and front to rise) -- you should be comfortably resting your cheek vs smashing it onto the comb. Just throwing out things that I've done & continue to do self-clinics including dry-fire drills to fix in my form...

zfields
05-24-2012, 9:30 AM
All I know is my girlfriend is the worst spotter ever....

Jicko
05-24-2012, 10:04 AM
My scope has a mildot reticle and MOA knobs, so with any luck I'll turn out multilingual.

You will soon know that you will be dying to change it to a mil/mil or moa/moa scope..... :43:

Dial what you see, and see what you dial.... ;-)

Jicko
05-24-2012, 10:09 AM
All I know is my girlfriend is the worst spotter ever....

Then teach her to shoot while you spot and call the shots for her.

Most of the time, the more experienced person in the sniper-spotter team is the spotter.

:p

Chontkleer
05-24-2012, 10:14 AM
Caliber? Any 308 and under should easily recoil light & straight back without a brake for a self-spot as long as you load the bipod & square yourself behind the buttstock properly

Yes, .308. Fairly certain my position is optimal with one exception. Thinking about it (ouch that hurts) I used to shoot the thing off the table and am now going prone. I find myself fighting to get my eye up to the max eye relief of the scope so I think the stock may be a little too long for me or I need to set the scope back more or both. Puts some undo stress on things and after I shoot the minimal jump often takes me off the target so I can't see hits.

Hamstur
05-24-2012, 10:36 AM
Yes, .308. Fairly certain my position is optimal with one exception. Thinking about it (ouch that hurts) I used to shoot the thing off the table and am now going prone. I find myself fighting to get my eye up to the max eye relief of the scope so I think the stock may be a little too long for me or I need to set the scope back more or both. Puts some undo stress on things and after I shoot the minimal jump often takes me off the target so I can't see hits.

Lay your rifle on the ground, bipod deployed with rear shooting bag in hand. Go prone straight behind it and with your eyes closed, set yourself up as if you were getting ready for a shot. Get that buttstock into your shoulder, get a good squeeze on the rear bag, get your cheek comfortably resting on the comb. Still with your eyes closed, pretend you're looking thru the scope. Your body should be so relaxed you could probably fall asleep in that position!

Now open your eyes. If you aren't squarely looking through your scope with perfect eye relief & sight picture, your position is not optimal. Eye relief wise, I like my eyes-closed drill to place me as close to the middle of the eyebox as possible. imho, the one thing folks seem to be surprised with the most is how far off the centerline height is. If the scope is too high, a good stock pack can fix the issue. If it's too low, you need taller rings.

Trick for me is for my scope to be mounted so I'm looking through it while feeling perfectly comfortable because my body will naturally always seek that comfortable position, which gives me the highest chance I'll achieve the same stance shot after shot ... consistency = accuracy. Usually takes me 3 trips with each rifle with lots of tweaking to find the ideal set up for scope placement, how much padding required under stock pack, trigger hand positioning, etc.

Don29palms
05-24-2012, 10:55 AM
Ok, so that leads to the next question. I've got a barrel with a recessed target crown. The rifle shoots like a laser beam. If I thread the barrel and put on a brake, will I be giving up some accuracy for a gentler shot. My guess is no even if it's just because the flinch will go away.

My setup was the same as yours before I had my brake installed.
My brake did not affect the accuracy of the rifle although it did improve my shooting if that makes sense. Here's my rifle.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg164/don29palms/Remmy308final.jpg

Chontkleer
05-24-2012, 11:34 AM
My setup was the same as yours before I had my brake installed.
My brake did not affect the accuracy of the rifle although it did improve my shooting if that makes sense. Here's my rifle.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg164/don29palms/Remmy308final.jpg

Brake it is. :)

ch3ck5ix
05-24-2012, 2:29 PM
Lots of good info here -- thanks guys!

Guess I've been doing it all wrong all this time: I have my spotter stand next to the target and he yells/points where the shot went...:kest:

Chontkleer
05-24-2012, 3:46 PM
Lots of good info here -- thanks guys!

Guess I've been doing it all wrong all this time: I have my spotter stand next to the target and he yells/points where the shot went...:kest:

Thought about using a camera connected wirelessly to a monitor, but 1) stupid idea 2) stupid idea

pacifico23
05-24-2012, 5:39 PM
Hahaha you guys should hear my friends.

Them- "like diagnol down to the right a few inches"

Me- "Ok....Now when you say few do you mean 3 or a guesstimate? "

Don29palms
05-24-2012, 6:06 PM
Lots of good info here -- thanks guys!

Guess I've been doing it all wrong all this time: I have my spotter stand next to the target and he yells/points where the shot went...:kest:

Wait a minute! WHAT? Is that wrong? That's what I pay a neighborhood kid to do.