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Mirage and 80.5 v 77

VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior MemberPosts: 8,000 Senior Member
Shot a 3x600 mid range on Sun. Again, it isnt really my thing, but shooting at 600 is shooting at 600 and I can do that out my back door. Mixed F class, match rifle, palma rifle, and service rifle on the line. I had some 80.5gr Bergers loaded, 16 in one box, and about 30 from a different loading, and some 77gr Nos CC loaded long. It was probably the hottest day we have had up here so far into the 80's
I mentioned before that my mirage reading is completely inadequate, so getting snuggly with the spotting scope is now a thing.

First match. 80.5gr Bergers over 24 Varget. Flags were doing nothing, leaves were doing nothing, and mirage was moving l to r. I put a 1/2 on and the first sighter was a 9, put another half on and shot a 10. Kept checking the scope and a flag on my cart and shooting. The 8 was 100% a loose trigger nut doing a complete dumb move. I honestly let it go before I was ready. Either way, that was the best 600 score I had ever shot.

Second match. 80.5 gr Bergers over Varget, 2 separate lots. No real change between them. My position was ganked up. Couldnt get in like I wanted to. Still shot OK. Got a little wind I missed on shots 7-8. I owned the second 8 with a "Why did you do that?" had a lot of pulse.

Third match I started with 5 80.5 and swapped to 77 on record shot 3. Had a little wind. I like the 80.5, but the 77's will do if I must. They react more badly in any changing condition and there were lulls during it. I used that match and fired in a boil just to see the difference and tried to NOT shoot the same condition to learn a little when the mirage was doing X, how much will it mess with me.

Learned some, shot pretty good, I need to bring more water. I had some but i didnt put enough in me early enough. New glasses should be in soon so that may assist.
It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.

Replies

  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 8,000 Senior Member
    High match winner was a lady shooting F class. 599-37x on a F class target. 10 ring is about 6 inches? I shoot the MR-1 where the 10 ring is about 12in, 9 is 18in
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • Ernie BishopErnie Bishop Senior Member Posts: 8,530 Senior Member
    Good for you.
    Shooting different loads mid-match would drive me nuts personally.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 8,000 Senior Member
    Well, the idea was to get rid of some odd lots, and I was kind of interested in a head to head same everything else test, and even more so, watching the mirage.
    Mid range aint my thing. It is 600 yd practice and testing. If I shoot well, great, but I dont have easy access to a 600 yard range. If this was a service rifle match, I would have been going buggy. However I did learn that if, for some reason, I run out of 80.5's loaded for 600... 2-3 days of range alibis, dog eats my ammo... I can throw 1/2 min up on the scope, an extra click or 2 of wind, and still shoot ok with the 2 and 300 ammo so I dont have to go all that buggy..
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,831 Senior Member
    VM, good job.  Not a bad score for "almost-Mexican match" ammo and an AR.  When I was shooting SR, I used 75 A-Max at 600 at first and then went to 80 JLKs.  But that's ancient history now.

    BTW, the measurements of the rings are not "about", you are correct, and they are "exactly" what you said.

    So, who is the lady that shot the 599-37X?  Or, if you tell me where this match was, I can perhaps guess who it is.  Perhaps.

    Mirage is a b*tch and can also be your friend, when the flags lie.  We get quite a bit of mirage year-round here in south Texas, except in the early morning or when it's very cloudy.  Reading the mirage is an acquired skill..., which I hope to acquire in the next 10-12 years.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 8,000 Senior Member
    It was the lady who does the news for the Reade Range home page. First name Gwen. My error, it was 39X

    I thought that the sizes were correct for the MR, but I guessed the F class.

    It is pretty interesting watching the mirage. I picked up "Reading the Wind" a while ago, but reading it wasnt sinking in. I needed to put some practical application in place. I am also learning that it is only one piece of the puzzle.

    I got bit for 4 points at the last EIC by watching mirage and not the flags where the flags started running right to left, and the mirage was still running left to right. I shot the mirage and landed 2 8's to the left.
    So while my mirage call was correct, I am assuming that the flags were of more importance because the flag was denoting wind at the line where there is more affect on the bullet than the 200-300 line where I was seeing mirage. The range was bracketed by pines so my guess is that it was tunneling most of the time over the east side 2-3 oclock, and shifted to a more 4-5 oclock from the open south side.

    I have watched people adjust to mirage while shooting, that is witchcraft to me at this point.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,831 Senior Member
    The F-class targets are based on the regular NRA highpower targets.  What the NRA did is to add an extra ring in the middle and then move all the ring values up by one.  So the 10-ring on the highpower target is essentially 2 MOA wide and the 10-ring on the F-class center is one quarter the size at 1 MOA wide.
    (I can hear it now:  but Peg, 1MOA is half of 2MOA, so how can the F-class 10 ring only be 1/4 the size the HP 10-ring?  Answer:  do you score on the target in one or two dimensions?  There's a square in the formula.)

    Back to mirage.  It is both a blessing and a curse.  When I'm on the 1000 yard line, I watch the flags and use my spotting scope to watch the mirage at about 600 yards downrange.  The mirage is usually more in tune with the wind as it doesn't take much to affect it.  You have to figure out the relationship between flags and mirage.  At some ranges, the flags are far from your lane and so what the indicate may be something that has already happened or something that is coming to your lane.  When I decide to take the shot and I have a "firing solution", I move away from the spotting scope and I transfer to my riflescope.  In it, I see the mirage at the target line.  If it agrees with my solution, I press the trigger.  If it does not, I factory that in and may either go back to the spotter, stay on the riflescope and wait for a bit, or take the shot as planned.  And live with the results.

    When the mirage slows down and goes into a boil; abort and get back on the spotter.  Sometimes, when I detect a boil and I have been holding on the target according to the mirage, I'll just aim dead center, favor a tad low and quickly fire.  Sometimes it works out.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 8,000 Senior Member
    I was scoring for a guy who was #3 overall. I tend to watch what other people do and if it makes sense, give it a try. One thing he did that mad a lot of sense, was he had a flag on his scope stand like most of us, which is outstanding for seeing changes at the 600 while you are waiting for your time, but he also had a flag on a a cleaning rod. The cleaning rod rides in a tube attached to the right side vertical of his cart with a small binder clip on it. Before prone, he pulls the cleaning rod up, and puts the binder clip on it. Now he has a flag at his point that he can see without rolling over on his back. Guess what is on my cart now.
     

    I have set my scope to be focused at about 300 and that seemed to give me the best mirage. I am still kinda goofy about how I was seeing l-r mirage when the flag ran r-l but I take it as a sign that I need to do all of the math.

    I sent one in the boil just for kicks, I was hitting 10-9 at 3-4 oclock reading the mirage, the boil dropped it as an 8 at 7 so I think I explained my occasional odd shots.

    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,831 Senior Member
    Yeah, that's about the only thing I would use a Dewey rod for.  The first thing you should do is fet a CF rod from Tipton.  Don't ask, just do it.

    I find that what happens at the line, a 0 elevation has zero relationship with the conditions 600 yards down range at 11-12 feet in the air.

    But, that said, if it works for you, then I'm all for it.  Plus, I  don't have a cart like that any more.  The cart I use at the big matches us horiz, large and behind me on the line.

    Shooting in a boil is always iffy.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 8,000 Senior Member
    Isnt it true that a change at the line is going to affect the bullet more, simply because any affect at the line is going to have the most affect on the POI? The whole Newton thing and all that?
    Providing of course you are not dropping subsonic and we not talking miles through a valley.

    I thought about the 0 elevation thing and agree. I had seen people take their top section off of the scope stand and stick it on the cart with the streamer right next to them.... at 16 inches off the ground right next to the cart. The flag on the rod is 6' + the elevation of the FP. Granted it isnt 11 feet, but then again the flags are normally 10 feet over the target, likely where the flight path is closer to at least at the apex of the bullet flight, but not for the first 40% or last 15%..
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,831 Senior Member
    That's an ongoing debate.  My view is that you need to be aware of as much as possible along the trajectory and place a weight on each distance.  Wind comes in gradients; the higher you are, the more wind you get.  When shooting at 1000 yards, the wind at the line is usually not representative of what's happening further downrange.  Also, the bullet is going very fast and it's low to the ground.

    I try to guage the conditions at about 600 yards downrange, where my bullet is at the apex of its trajectory and then make minute adjustments depending on what I see at the target line in my riflescope.

    That said, if the wind in my face changes dramatically, I will hold fire until it goes back to what it was before, or I can poach on another target.  I am also always mindful of the flags.

    The whole wind reading thing is essentially a story that evolves in real time and you try to stay in tune with it.  When I can do that, I can score very high, but if I lose the story, or skip a couple paragraphs, I will post some sorry scores.

    When I was calling wind for the team, I was always totally focused on the story, and that's easier to do when you're not pulling a trigger.  I would call the firing solution and continue saying the correction so the shooter could track and when I would start repeating the same, the shooter knew I was close to saying "fire."  So when the firing command would come, it was not a surprise.  The team got so good that when I would say "fire", the shot would usually be taken within a second or less.

    Sorry for rambling.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 8,000 Senior Member
    One thing the E targets are doing is making you own your own wind calls. You cant wait for a wind pig to launch, or if the guy who is 2 FP's next to you cusses, you dont get his spotter to verify a shift.

    I am thinking along those lines, however with the service gun at 600, the bullet is in no danger of dropping way off in speed. Yes it drops, but it only has to go 600. I am going to keep playing at it. One of the things with a cart flag is that when you cant see the 500 yard flag, you still have one that is closer to you than 300, and it is the wind on your FP.

    Ramble away. There are a couple service gun, mid and long range shooters on here. If they are like me, any thing that can be gleaned to use wont hurt.




    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,831 Senior Member
    With Etargets, you can definitely see the results on other targets.  Granted it's not quite as handy as with pulled targets, and it has the issue of getting your attention diverted from the field in front of you to focusing on a little screen in your hand or on the side.  I have a small tripod to hold my smartphone.

    When I call wind for a team, I do better with pulled targets because I have fewer distractions (dealing with a recalcitrant smartphone or table connected to an iffy network, etc,) and looking at the target line also presents the flags as part of one big, overall picture.

    In the mid 2010s, I formed a team with shooters from the local club with the goal to compete in the F-Class Worlds in Ottawa, in summer of 2017.  We collected various medals at national and state matches in the interim and then went on to win bronze at the 2017 Worlds, out of 14 teams from around the US/Canada and other countries.  I was wind coach all the time and learned some things along the way.

    There were times when I called wind for an entire match without ever looking at mirage; all flags, all the time.  I would only look through my spotting scope to get the score.  I remember this one time when I had the flag combo down cold and didn't even look through the scope after the first few shots.  I just listened to the scorekeeper calling out the score and concentrated on my 3-flag combo. We dropped one shot, a squeaker 9 at 2 o-clock. The next shooter was another 199-somegodawfulhighXcount.  There wasn't any mirage I could detect on that occasion.  It was up north in the fall.

    In F-Class, mirage can get very difficult to deal with because at high magnification, it will adversely impact IQ (Image Quality) in your scope and mess up your shot placement.  A lot of folks will reduce magnification to try to deal with mirage but the aim becomes coarser.  I don't have that issue because my scope deals with mirage better than any scope out there and I can remain at 50X, when others dial down into the 20s.

    I get to watch the "river" that the mirage makes in the image and now I am trying to identify the angle, if any, the mirage might take and that will temper the amount of correction change I may do in response.  The scope will show the speed of the river flow so you can detect a change in strength.  Maybe.

    Depending on the range, you have to take into account the distance from the flag or flagline to your lane and figure out how long it would take a change in the flags to actually get to your lane.  The mirage is the indicator that it is happening in your lane.  The problem of course is, how long will that be there and since your bullet takes 1.5 second to get to the target, can you sneak your shot in there in time?


  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 8,000 Senior Member
    I pretty much shoot north eastern matches. NC match is a nice change and the time of year is right so I can get there.
    I definitely understand not using mirage. Most of my shooting up to this point has been flags. Flags are only one spice in the mix though and to get better, I need to pick up on more subtle changes.  In the fall or spring at the range I frequent, you are reading flags. I shot my best 600 score when it was blowing and under 40F ambient. That comes with different sets of problems though. The nationals are dead middle in summer and mostly.... pretty breezy. The Eastern matches are warmer, and a lot more south than the beginning of the year. I shot a mid range in snow, then a EIC in 80+f in 2 weeks where mirage got me.
    I did that and when I got points by watching the flags and shooting my condition. For the most part that works.
    How do you use a wind pig on E targets? Dial in his target? That would work as a coach. In fact having a tablet and a phone standing by would be a good idea. Uncoached, I cant see that happening. On target 5, if you hear a cuss word 2 FPs down, you have to change your tablet, start a phone, to look at target 7 by the time you do that your NPA is smoked, the condition has changes, and the shooter on 7 has fired again.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,831 Senior Member
    Yeah.  E targets really took away full "situational awareness".  Changing your focus from target line to tablet/smartphone and even having to touch the screen to see things is a pain, especially in position.  A big screen helps a little bit with the ShotMarker display, because it shows the targets on either side of yours and place the latest shot on it.  You at least get the direction of the shot, which is sometimes good enough.

    In south Texas, mirage is the main way to drive.  But you need to keep an eye on the flags, just in case.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 8,000 Senior Member
    I have only shot Hex and Kronsberg. I see the value to both pulled and E targets. I think in XTC it breaks even. You cant get a wind call off of the spotters, but you can get a fast look when changing mags at 2 and 300 rapid. You arent waiting for pit service, even good pit service takes time and poor pits can ruin your day just like a balky tablet can.  The time saved in the match is a great help to getting more people on the line. When Perry shut down for Covid, Reade borrowed more hex targets and ran a full line. They moved people on and off for 4 days all day long. I dont think it would have been possible to accommodate that many people using pits unless you shot dawn to dark.

    I keep kicking around buying a Shotmarker. With component shortages, I might as well save the money at this point. Getting out and shooting is a lot more rare than I would like. The dam just broke on the 80.5 gr bullets though. I will have about 1200 by the end of the week so I will be ok for a while.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,831 Senior Member
    The ShotMarker targets really do move things along.  In the heat of summer, we can get a full match (3 20X1000) done around noon, after starting at 8:00AM.  That's with 3 relays but we infiltrate.  The folks who usually slow us down are the slingers.   :D 

    The component shortage has really hit the competitors quite hard.  I'm keeping afloat for now, but I'm certainly not shooting as much outside of competition.  Plus, I've had to rework my favorite load because the guy who made my bullets upped and died on me, Varget is unavailable since they closed down Australia, and primers are stuck on the Moon.  I have switched to Vihta Vuori and I'm now developing a load with that powder and the Hornady A-tips.  I have primers, it is hoped enough to tide me over to the next administration and perhaps some relief at that time.  Brass has not been an issue, just pricier.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 8,000 Senior Member
    I loaded up on brass before this latest mess because I just got tired of keeping track of 50 round lots of 1-2-3.... times fired. I got 2500 and so far the "once fired" box is getting full.
    I did the same with primers just to have them and ran across some more so I'm OK if I dont live fire practice much.

    Powder is still on and off. I found a bunch of TAC and so far it seems to work ok. I wanted to try Vihta Vouri 140 but havent seen any for sale, same with Reloader 15.

    Nos 77 have treated me well and they have been available. The Berger's I had just started to use and they dried up for a year or so.


    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member Posts: 1,270 Senior Member
    Pegasus said:
    The ShotMarker targets really do move things along.  In the heat of summer, we can get a full match (3 20X1000) done around noon, after starting at 8:00AM.  That's with 3 relays but we infiltrate.  The folks who usually slow us down are the slingers.   :D 

    Smile, when you say that, partner.
     ;) 
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,831 Senior Member
    Hello 41magnut, I'm not just smiling, I'm outright laughing out loud.  I ran the TSRA LR match earlier this month and I paced the whole thing on the slingers.  We had 4 relays, but thankfully we put all the slingers on one relay, so only that one was "slow."

    I kid of course, some of the F-Openers like to take the full 30 minutes.  There were several instances where it was down to the wire.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 8,000 Senior Member
    You paid for the time, you can use all of the time.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,831 Senior Member
    Exactly.

    However, as a strategy, it can leave much to be desired.  F-Class is somewhat different from prone with any/any.  The targets are one quarter the size and that leads to different decisions at times.  Let's just stipulate that a 10 is a 10 and you don't get hurt with that.  In F-open, the race is for Xs because the HMs will essentially clean the target in decent conditions.

    But when conditions get tricky, I've noticed that the F-openers stay focused on the Xs and because it's only 5 inches in diameter at 1000 yards, there'e little room for error so they wait for their condition to return instead of continuing on and going to the solid 10.  When the mirage roams and the wiind is twitchy, stuff can happen when your focus is too narrow.  It's a little difficult to explain but if your focus is only that X-ring and things are moving on the range, you're more liable to get a 9 than you would think.  Remember that the 9 ring is only 2.5 inches from the X-ring.  If you're holding to be in the X-ring by holding say 3 lines left, and you get caught by an increase in wind just as you press the trigger, your shot that was going for the X, can easily drift out to the 9 on the right.  If you had been more focused on the 10-ring, you would have held 3.5 or even 4 lines left, and you would have caught a fat 10.  Fat 10s are still 10s.

    When you wait out the 30 minutes and you have 7 rounds to go and 2 minutes remain, you are praying your pullers are fast and you're chasing the spotter, and 9s pop up.  Or worse.

    But if you get your condition back, and everything works out, you can do fine.  I just didn't see it work out really well most times.
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member Posts: 1,270 Senior Member

    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member Posts: 1,270 Senior Member
    edited May 29 #24
    Pegasus said:
    Hello 41magnut, I'm not just smiling, I'm outright laughing out loud.  I ran the TSRA LR match earlier this month and I paced the whole thing on the slingers.  We had 4 relays, but thankfully we put all the slingers on one relay, so only that one was "slow."

    I kid of course, some of the F-Openers like to take the full 30 minutes.  There were several instances where it was down to the wire.
    I know you are having quite the laugh. All comments made in good fun. 

    I got no problem with the F guys or anyone else, shooting fast. i've been surprised at how fast bench rest guys will shoot when they get a condition they like. They don't have to deal with pit service, but I swear a self loading rifle couldn't be much faster. 

    In exceptionally challenging winds, (Raton, Byers, & Phoenix) I have seen some Palma guys & gals just lay there, watch, wait & wait & wait, not even in position. I was scoring for a USRT shooter, he got up, pulled his coat off, walked back to the ready line, stood there & watched. All of a sudden he says, "OK now is the time" (more to himself than me or anyone else). Leisurely put on his coat on, got in position, and shot a very good score, and had time left over.
    The lesson I took away from that was there are no points for finishing early, but at some point jump in there and break centered shots.  

    I think having all the sling shooters on one relay worked out quite well for all parties involved.  

    I have found that if I'm struggling with the wind, or whatever demon, has taken up residence in my head, taking time beyond recover from the recoil, reload, check conditions, get back on the gun, rarely helps me recover. 


    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • 41magnut41magnut Senior Member Posts: 1,270 Senior Member
    edited May 29 #25
    Varmintmist,
    You mentioned buying a Shotmarker,
    If you got a place to store it and home club has carriers and what not to accomodate the frame etc. I think you will find an electronic target quite helpful.

    I'm very happy with my Silver Mountain Solo. I have to haul the frame back & forth to the range, and depend on my fellow club members understanding when I'm setting up, but it's great not having to run back & forth to check my scores quite the bee's knees.
     
    I think the SMT Solo & Shotmarker are close to the same price. Is one better, I can't honestly say, I shot on Shotmarker targets in Houston, during a match (2018 maybe 19) with no issues, and when I compare my paper target v what my SMT says I've not found a discrepancy.      
    "The .30-06 is never a mistake." Townsend Whelen :iwo:
  • PegasusPegasus Senior Member Posts: 2,831 Senior Member
    I loved that story about the guy who got up, took off his coat and sat for a while.

    Some years back when the team was shooting matches as a precursor for the 2017 Worlds, we went to Phoenix for the Nationals.  We shot in a block time of 63 minutes for 2 shooters.  At one point the wind was so bad, the entire line went quiet for over 30 minutes.  We had shot 10 rounds from the first shooter, picking and choosing each shot; there had been no "condition", or rather it was just crazy.

    Anyway, with about 20 minutes to go and 10 shots on the first shooter and 20 on the second, I took the decision that even a string of 8s was better than 0s.  Just as we were getting ready, there was a lone shot on the line.  You could actually hear all the spotting scopes swivel over to the target that had just gone down.  It was funny.  It came up a 6 way to one side; nice waterline.  That had been our rabbit.

    Within a few minutes the entire line was blasting away. I was just chasing the spotter at that point, and poaching on the other targets.  Every wind coach was doing that.  
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