Sunday, May 31, 2015

Shooting in Squamish at 1,050m

I got a text message Friday night from my pal Jay telling me that he found a spot to reach out to 1,000m and asked me if I wanted to go with a few of our pals on Saturday.  The weather was going to be great and I had nothing else planned so why not?  I had two rifles that had the potential, but neither were sighted in so I didn't have high hopes at accomplishing a positive hit at 1k. 

When we rolled into Squamish to get gas, I'd found that I was the only one with rifles that needed to be zeroed, everyone else was already set up.  Haha, I felt even that it was probably unlikely I would hit anything at all, let alone 1k.  It takes up valuable time to set up at 100m, and get everyone's rifles zeroed, then tear down and set up for further ranges.  Of all the times we'd gone out, we'd blow at least two hours or more to get dialed in before we were shooting at the distance we wanted to.  The last time we were out here, I maxed out at 625m and Arthur managed to make hits at 700m.





Anyway, it was decided we would not set up at 100m today as there was plenty of room to find a 100m patch up at the new shooting spot, now dubbed "Overwatch".  The previous location got the nickname "Sniper's Nest" because it was a nice cleared spot, very flat, and there was enough space for at least 4 or 5 guys to be shooting at different targets at once.

When we rolled into Squamish to get gas, I'd found that I was the only one with rifles that needed to be zeroed, everyone else was already set up.  Haha, I felt even that it was probably unlikely I would hit anything at all, let alone 1k.  It takes up valuable time to set up at 100m, and get everyone's rifles zeroed, then tear down and set up for further ranges.  Of all the times we'd gone out, we'd blow at least two hours or more to get dialed in before we were shooting at the distance we wanted to.  The last time we were out here, I maxed out at 625m and Arthur managed to make hits at 700m.



So, I’ve been leaning heavily on my Savage 10TR because I’ve had the best luck with it.  I’ve been using 168gr Noslers loaded by a company called Atomic, using military brass and I had little trouble hitting a 16x16in gong at 625m, and balloons at 475m.  The reason this rifle needed to be zeroed was because I installed a new scope mount, the American Defence Recon-S Quick Release, model AD-RECON-S-35.



My other rifle, the Remington 700, probably the most expensive firearm in my collection,  I have not had the best of luck with.  It did okay up to 300m, hitting 3 inch targets at ease, but when I reached out to 475m, the rounds were all over the place, missing the target by distances of 4ft or more.  I was not impressed, but since I’m so new at shooting at these distances, I had not considered a lot of different variables.  One of my buddies Roy suggested it was likely ammo.  I’d been using 175gr Sierra Match Kings, also loaded by Atomic and it was perfect out to 300m, but got weird at 475m.  Anyway, I bit the bullet and coughed up $47.50 per box for 175gr SMKs loaded by Federal to see if my 700 was worth the money I paid. 



A shot of the line up that day, some pretty serious gear.



When we rolled into Squamish to get gas, I'd found that I was the only one with rifles that needed to be zeroed, everyone else was already set up.  Haha, I felt even that it was probably unlikely I would hit anything at all, let alone 1k.  It takes up valuable time to set up at 100m, and get everyone's rifles zeroed, then tear down and set up for further ranges.  Of all the times we'd gone out, we'd blow at least two hours or more to get dialed in before we were shooting at the distance we wanted to.  The last time we were out here, I maxed out at 625m and Arthur managed to make hits at 700m.



The weather was hot, it was a bright, sunny day with little wind, and it was really dry.  That didn’t stop the little black flies from coming after us, but it did cause some problems with our laser range finders.  We were hard pressed to get a positive reading, and at 913m, it was a struggle and it only gave us a reading occasionally.  At 1,050m, my Bushnell G-Force DX ARC 6x21mm maxes out at 1,300 yards which is about 1188.72m.  Jay had the same range finder and neither of us could get a reading at 1,050m.  T had his Leica which also wasn’t able to get a reading.  Someone had a pair of Binos with a laser range finder and it read 1,050m on a few different occasions so we went off that reading.  We were also positive that it was at least that because that target was set up further than the one Jay set up at 913m.

 Jay set up a target at 350m so I ended up using a hold over to zero at 350m.  So basically, I put in the figures into Strelok+ (the online ballistic calculator APP I downloaded for my phone) and looked up where my hold over should be at 350m, then zeroed with that, knowing that if I did zero at 100m, it should theoretically be dead on.  It seemed to work because when I looked up where my hold should be at 1,050m, it was pretty close, though not dead on.  I’ll have to go back and validate the trajectory with Strekok when I get the chance.



It didn’t take long to get both of my rifles zeroed at 350m, and I was still confident with my 10TR so just to get it out of the way, I went at 1,050m with the 700 first.  It did take a few rounds, but eventually I got a positive strike.  It was definitely the ammo that had this rifle do weird things the last time I was out.  A costly price to pay for accuracy, at $47.50 plus tax for 20 rounds, I was reluctant to open a second box to play with this date.


I think we did have some limitations with the spotting scopes we brought with us.  At 1k, it was really hard to see splashes in the dirt, let alone hits on the gong.  With even a little breeze, the sound of the gong was pretty much washed away.  We even resorted to my Nikon super-zoom point and shoot camera by filming and playing back the video to see if there were hits and even then it was hard to see.  Later on, when Jay and the crew took a short drive to the targets, they’d discovered a few more hits than expected, so there may have been hits when we thought the round just disappeared into space.





























I was happy that the 700 was able to perform at this distance so my focus went back to the 10TR.  I’d only brought Atomic loaded Noslers so I was curious to see if this cheaper factor “match” ammo was any good out to this range.  Once I got it dialed in, I managed to nail three hits in a row.  Not sure if it was just luck, or maybe there was no wind whatsoever, but when we looked at the gong afterwards, there they were.  It’s a shame I didn’t film it....unfortunately when I did decide to go back and film, lady luck had left me and my groups were all over the place, lol!  I managed to record one hit, but hey, it’s better than nothing.





Recording of my hit at 1,050m





Recording of Jay's hit at 1,050m








The three rounds I managed to hit all in a row.







Anyway, good day overall, everyone that tried, made hits at the 1k mark.  We wrapped up the day when the sun ducked under the hill and the bugs looked at us like a buffet





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