Last week I hounded Kirby about going out this past weekend and "makin' some noise". Well, he kindly condescended to take me out on Saturday to shoot a couple of his rifles. I was as excited to go shooting with him as I am on the opening day of general season here in Montana. Saturday dawned cool and windy, but he already had all the paraphenalia loaded up in his truck, so off we went, in spite of the wind. The high prairie was beautiful in a late winter sorta way and the scenery made it awful hard to concentrate on hitting his new gongs.
After setting the gongs out we drove to a point where we could see them and ranged the suckers. I'll tell you now, I thought I knew what long range was, I was WRONG. The little gong 12" diameter was at 1320 yds and the big gong, 18"X 29", was at 1620 yads. Wow, that is a long way to think about trying to hit something. Kirby took all the appropriate data down and entered it into his PDA. I was anxious to watch this operation, it certainly allowed me to better understand what you all are doing now. The wind was around 20 mph and variable in direction, mostly in our face and from the left slightly. It wasn't cold, but the wind did make it a bit uncomfortable. After setting the bench up and getting the PDA all loaded up, Kirby had me shoot his 30 Allen Xpress at the "short" target. He was shooting 200 grain Accubonds and I forget the velocity, but I did manage to luck one into it out of about five. Then I got to shoot the big 510 Allen Mag at the short one. I didn't hit it once, but Fiftydriver got on the big girl and proceeded to hit the gong and tear it off of one of his chains holding it. Dang showoff! Here I am behind the big girl!
Then I settled in behind his beautiful .375 Allen Mag.
I was to shoot at the long gong this time. Kirby wanted to see how this girl acted at distance and in the wind. Well he told me the values to crank into the Nightforce and I let one go. The dirt exploded low and right off the gong. He gave me another correction to make and I let another one go. This time the dirt exploded centered, behind the gong and between the edge of the gong and the legs holding it up. Kirby gave me another windage correction and wonder of wonders a black spot appeared just left and slightly above center of the gong. Wow, I hit that thing at almost a mile away. I was on cloud nine, he said shoot again. Who was I not to listen to him so I let the 375 speak again. This time Kirby said I just barely missed over the top edge in line with the first shot. Danged wind, whoever said it is your friend is full of it! He said give it another, so I did, and would you believe it, not only did I hit it again, but that shot was within less than 4 inches of the first one on the gong. Kirby said that was picture worthy,
so here it is:
Now Kirby was mentioning some kind of silly Group MOA numbers for that range but my math was not working well at this point. He did say that my last 3 shot were well within 3/4moa at that range I feel confident that they would have slayed a deer.
Now, I'm not telling you all this to brag , I am telling you this to illustrate what a genius of a gunsmith Kirby is and what a wonderful and patient teacher he is too. And a kind and generous person as well, And the moral of this story, you really can teach and old fart, I mean dog, new tricks.
AWESOME! Man am i jealous you got to spend shooting time behind those kind of rifles (That 510 is a beast), with that kind of an instructor. And that's some incredible shooting in those conditions. Really cool man, thanks for sharing.
Hey, I thought we discussed this thing before about badmouthing old farts, old dogs etc. etc.;);)
You know you're not making very many friends by showing stuff like this and telling us about it. We're stuck at home and you're over there with 'ol smiley shooting all his fancy stuff.
GOOD for you and it looks like you had a great time and did some pretty good shooting to boot. Glad you got to do it and hope you get to do it again some time. There's a method to his madness you know. He lets you shoot the big stuff and then you want one and then he just chuckles to himself and slowly starts to adjust his bankroll up another notch.;)
It was a pleasure taking you out. I only apologize for the shooting conditions. When Jim and I got out to set up the shooting bench I told him this was one of those days when you leave the rifles in the truck and wait for another day to shoot.
Jim mentioned this was a windy day. That was correct. I will only add to that that in this area, when it is calm, the shooting is great, wide open clean air.
When its windy, well for example during our shooting session, 30 yards off the muzzle we had an updraft of around 20-25 mph from our right up at around a 45 degree angle from the lip of the rim we were shooting off from. Then from around 200 to 800 yards, we were dealing with a 15-18 mph wind from our 10:00.
At around 1000 to 1300 yards, there was a roughly 10-15 mph wind from our 7:00 position. THen from around 1300 to the farthest target at 1620 yards, there was a 10 to 15 mph down draft. TO say judging these conditions is difficult is an understatement. That is why generally this is not our preferred shooting area when its windy. That said, Jim did very well, he dialed in the corrections perfectly and shot very well in spite of the very bity wind.
While I was unpacking the gongs I noticed a slight dent on the cross bar dead center above the two impacts on the gong. That was the second shot Jim referred to that missed the gong. CTC, the three shots went into 12.5". Roughly 3/4 moa with two of them landing in a very tight 3.1" ctc pair!!! I am sure the high shot was simply shift in wind, probably the updrafts we were playing with. It does not take all that much change this close to the muzzle to effect the bullet impact 12" at 1620 yards.
All in all, with a rifle that I have not fine tuned the drop chart yet for, I think you did very well, extremely well considering the conditions. If it had been calm, you would obviously gotten board ringing that gong. Well, not board but it would not have been difficult for you.
As far as the 300 AX with the 200 gr Accubond, we were just shooting in conditions more then that bullet could handle at these ranges. It was fun to shoot however.
Anyway, we will do this again when it warms up a bit more and the wind dies down. THen we will push well past 2000 yards and you will suprise yourself again at how well you will be able to shoot at these ranges.
Again, good shooting, and it was a pleasure to spend the morning with you.
Allen Precision Shooting
Home of the Allen Magnum, Allen Xpress and Allen Tactical Wildcats and the Painkiller Muzzle brakes.
Thanks again, I am still on cloud nine! Like ss7mm said, you have a method, and now I'm schemeing. Let's see, if I cut down the amount of milk and eggs we use, quit driving, and stop taking my meds, how long will it take to save enough ........... Oh well, I'll just have to wait until we get a nicer day to fuel that fever some more. Thanks again for a morning of shooting I wont soon forget.