I made a mistake today. Better at the practice range than shooting at a spring bear!
I was FINALLY able to get to my long range shooting spot today. After a very very long and frozen winter, enough snow and ice has melted in the river bottom for me to make it out there.
Early this winter I traded my NP-R2 NXS for a new NXS with MLR. I set up today at my zero range for a quick zero check. Man was it rough. The mirage was horrifec as well as the wind. All I could do was watch the bullseye move in every direction in relation to my reticle. I fired a shot and after verification, I dialed up 3 clicks. I fired another and nailed the 1 minute target.
I drove out to 600 yards and set up. According to my software I would need 2 mils even for a correction. Now bear in mind I am used to using my Mark 4 on my 308 with a Mil-dot. I layed down. Lined up on my 2nd mark and touched one off. Right after I fired, probably before the bullet even hit the paper, I realized I was no longer using a straight mil reticle and was now using a Mil reticle with 1/2 mil marks! I drove down to the target to see where I hit. Sure enough, I was 1 mil low. I drove back to 600 yards and let another one rip. This one found the mark. I drove back to 725 and set up at 3 mils and let her rip again. Both shots were 1.685" apart well within the 9.5" target I was shooting at. I drove up to 400 yards and landed another bullet right with them. All three bullets made a group of just under 3.3". this group was just a tad high and a tad left. After shooting one bullet at 500, it didnt find the group rather it found the dead center of the target. I really wanted to sqeeze some off at 1K but a very busy channel in the river prevented me from getting past the 725 mark. I set up again at 300 yards (my zero) for verification and a velocity check and went home.
Now I sure am glad I went to shoot LR before actually going out bear hunting. I very easily could have made that mistake in a hunting situation. This is a good reminder to ALWAYS be very familiar with new gear no matter how similiar it is to old gear BEFORE going after critters. It doest take much to screw up a shot in this sport. I am just glad I did it on a stupid peice of paper and not fur.
I still wont sleep any better.
Long range shooting is a process that ends with a result. Once you start to focus on the result (how bad your last shot was, how big the group is going to be, what your buck will score, what your match score is, what place you are in...) then you loose the capacity to focus on the process.
Last edited by Michael Eichele; 05-03-2009 at 01:59 AM.