Custom Turret Systems Review
For the purpose of this review I used a custom 6.5 Creedmoor with a Sightron SIII 6-24 LRMOA2 scope. This scope has extremely repeatable tracking and plenty of internal adjustment to allow for shots well past 1000 yards. Two different loads were developed for this review; one used the Hornady 140 grain BTHP Match and the other used the Hornady 123 grain A-Max. Both loads shot around 0.5 MOA on the range and were excellent candidates for testing out the CTS labels. The loads were shot in the field and ballistics data was adjusted in Shooter (ballistic program) until drop values for both loads were spot on from 200 to 1000 yards.
Armed with accurate ballistics data, I created three different BDC labels. These labels represent three different options that should appeal to a large number of shooters. All three labels were set up for 30°F and were tested in 20-40° weather. The labels performed flawlessly, providing perfect elevation adjustments all the way to 1000 yards. This is proof that my ballistics data and turret labels matched up perfectly.
The first label I created was for the 140 grain BTHP Match load. This label has yardages marked out to 1000 yards and corresponding 10 mph wind holds for each yardage mark; it uses all the available space on this turret.
To reach 1000 yards with this shooting system it is necessary to use more than one full revolution of the turret. The lower row of yardage numbers is used during the first revolution of the turret and the upper row of numbers is used during the second revolution. A third row of numbers could have been added and the label could be set up for even longer ranges. However, slight changes in environmental conditions began to make a big difference at these extended ranges and I did not believe it practical to create a turret for more than 1000 yards with this system.
This label also features a MOA scale at the bottom of the label to allow the shooter to use their favorite ballistics app and dial to a specific MOA value. Many people will like this option because they can use their ballistics app to dial a particular MOA value but have a quick reference for shots that don’t allow time to compute an exact solution. The BDC marks also provide an excellent back up plan if the battery in your ballistics calculator dies!
Figure 1. Label 1 before installation on turret
Figure 2. Label 1 installed on turret
The second label I created was for the same 140 BTHP Match load but it was much shorter and had smaller numbers. To create a “short” label you simply need to change the turret height value in the software to whatever value you want; this field could more appropriately be called label height.
This label was designed so the user can see the MOA marks on the turret but still have yardage markers out to 1000 yards. This style label may be more beneficial for someone who plans on mainly using the MOA scale but wants the option of having a BDC turret as well. While it was demonstrated that the same task can be accomplished with the first label, the MOA scale on the label is smaller than the MOA scale on the turret and may make it difficult to see for shooters who require reading glasses.
Figure 3. Label 2 being applied to the turret (It was difficult to get the label to stay perfectly straight for the picture)
Figure 4. Label 2 installed on turret.
The third label is the most unique of the three. It has a MOA scale and two rows of data, but each row is for a different bullet. The bottom row is for the 140 BTHP and has marks out to 650 yards; the second row is for the 123 A-Max and has marks out to 700 yards. This label was used in the opening paragraph to make two consecutive hits in a row at 3/8 of a mile using two different loads!
This style label gives the shooter the versatility of having two loads and being able to use either of them without switching labels. This versatility could be beneficial on hunts where the shooter may want to use a lighter bullet for deer and switch to a heavier bullet for elk, or use a mono-metal bullet for close shots and switch to a more frangible bullet for long shots. Predator hunters could also find this label useful as they test different bullets for fur damage. This will be the label I use in the coming months as I further test these two bullets on various varmints and predators.
Figure 5. Label 3 before installation on turret
Figure 6. Label 3 installed on turret
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