First off, thanks for the kind words but I want to make it clear that I am in no where near the same class as Shawn is at long range shooting and instructing others at it.
I can make a good rifle, I am confident in that, I can also shoot pretty well, in my element that is. When I went to Idaho and hunted with Shawn, I had to deal with issues that this flat lander never had to deal with much before and I was very thankful Shawn was there with me which leads me to another point.
No matter how experienced you are at shooting, no matter what quality of gear you are holding onto or plugging data into, your first shot hits will ALWAYs increase in % with the addition of another set of eyes there with you to discuss the conditions. That is not always possible but it is always a help if you can have it.
I also want to clearify that when dealing with big game hunting, there is no other option that first shot kills. Will it happen everytime? If you hunt enough, you will always miss from time to time but thats at anyrange. If you have a bit of doubt in your mind that you can make the shot, you better clear that chamber and either pass on the shot or move closer, there is no shame in either, in fact there is more shame in not being honest with yourself in the field. That is just disrespectful of our sport and more importantly the animals we intend to harvest.
So as far as big game hunting, I am of the same idea that the first shot is the critical shot. There should be no such thing as walking a bullet into a big game animal.
Now as far as varmint hunting and just flat out extreme range shooting, I have no problem with this to some degree. I get a bit unimpressed when I hear about varmint hunters qualifying for the down range clubs in the Varmint hunters association when you read someone qualified for the 1000 yard club using a 223 Rem loaded with the 40 gr Ballistic Tip because if it happened at all, you know full well there was either 100% flat out luck involved or a salvo of bullets sent down range that would impress anyone!!!
I wish this data was included with the Down Range club qualifying shots. It would not make any difference, it would just tell you more about the actual shot and if it was expected by the shooter or a flat out suprise when the P Dog fell over.
Now in testing the extreme range of my 338 Allen Magnum, I will walk shots in to a target. I have not done alot of testing at 3000 yards but what I have done has shown me that the current Ballistic programs leave some to be desired at ranges much past 2500 yards. I think we have alot of learning to do at these ranges. Hell, we are just getting started to have rounds that can reach that far with super sonic velocity.
Will say with conventional bullets such as the 300 gr SMK, even the 338 AM will not get to 3K super sonic, not at my 3500 ft altitude anyway, well, probably not at any altitude.
the new 265 gr AT RBBT however pushes very close to that range limit with super sonic velocity at 3500 ft. THe ballistic programs tell me this and more importantly, the consistant bullet impacts at 3008 yards tell me this more then anything. again, if they drop out of super sonic velocity, your done with consistancy.
As far as the comment about Shawn and I being the Tiger Woods of this sport, I think we both have the desire to offer all we know to others and want to push the limits of our sport to new levels but I personally am no different then anyone else out there. I have been long range shooting for about 1/2 as long as Shawn and there are MANY on this board alone that have much more to offer then I do. The way I see it we are all working together, why not offer what we all know for the purpose of nothing else but to save time and money for others wanting to test or try the same exact thing over again. That is how you make great gains in performance limits, not by hoarding information.
That is one thing I feel we have over the competition side of shooting. I have been to many local BR shoots, the atmosphere is not warm and relaxed, its often a bit edgy especially with the upper end shooters.
Tactical style shooters can also be a bit edgy, if its not a 223, 308, 300 Win Mag or maybe the 338 Lapua, your doing it wrong and they will tell you as much.
In out sport, everyone is welcome to come, everyone can use what they want and there are very few that will not offer to help anyway they can. The 50 cal shooters association is much this same way, that is why I am happy to be part of both.
STill, a fair amount of realistic thinking needs to be used in our sport when talking with new comers. More damage can be done giving them partial trueths about long range shooting then any good will come of it.
Luckily, it seems eventually, if someone wants to get into long range shooting, they come across someone like the members on this board and they get a realistic point of view.
I just do not like to see an upper rung gunsmith saying its certainly within your grasp to shoot out to 3600 or 3800 yards to a bunch of shooters who think their 220 Swifts are the hottest, flattest shooting rifles on the planet.
Again, thanks for the kind words, I will not speak for Shawn but I know for a fact there are dozens of shooters on this board alone that have as much or more experience then I do. As far as Shawn goes, he is closer to Tiger then I am!!! Course, i think Tiger has alot more hair then either of us!!!