Confirming Drops

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by Ernie, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

    Jun 18, 2007
    For the past few weeks I have been out confirming and reconfirming my drop chart for a shoot where I will be responsible on targets out to 1k.
    I have enjoyed doing this so much with this XP-100.

    I am shooting on steel that is placed 100 yards apart from 200 yards to 1200 yards.

    I start at 500 yards after I get the close drops confirmed the first time, as anything closer is sort of boring.

    Here is some thoughts from the different times out.
    The first date posted was the first time to shoot at these targets and getting a sense of the lay of the land.

    How many of you spend time confirming drops?

    Where I am shooting there are some 7", 8", 10" and 12" circle targets and then some square ones (12x12 and maybe one or two is 14x14?).

    Using my center-grip XP-100, chambered in 7mm SAUM, with 162 A-Max's @ 2759 fps.
    Shooting was prone off of a bi-pod.
    Optic is Leupold's Mark 4 FFP 6.5-20 with Holland's ART reticle.
    I started at 300 yards and made all first shot connections except at two distances. I missed at 1200 yards (wind) and at 800.
    Had a weird wind going on at 800. Found out later there was a stream bed that was fooling me.
    My main goal was to confirm my drops for the International Tactical Riflemans Championship.
    Most pleasing shot of the morning was at 1100 yards, where I made a center hit-first shot.
    Target is a 7" circle.
    I plan to go out a couple more times and make sure everything is fine tuned.
    Match is 3 weeks from today.

    Went out again today. Wind and mirage was not nearly as friendly.
    In other words-more misses.
    I was able to see the impact difference between sunny and cloudy though.
    There will be a POI change from cloudy to sunny or sunny to cloudy.
    Feeling pretty confident out to 700 even with goofy wind.
    Did okay at 1K too.
    I was spotting for myself, so that was more challenging, as I cannot get back on target to see impacts when I miss.
    I knew I was hitting at 1k, but couldn't see where because of the mirage. I assumed I didn't have enough wind. Corrected for more wind then shot one more time. When I went down range, my first two shots were perfect for wind (more vertical than I wanted though) and my third one was toward the left edge.

    Went out again with the the 7SAUM this morning.
    No misses (100 yard increments, starting at 500 yards) until I got to 1000.
    Then I missed multiple times.
    Wind was swirling, changing directions, letting off etc.
    With the target being a little larger than MOA, it can humble you quickly--And It Did!

    Moved to 1100 and 1200 and did just fine.
    Started back at 500, on again.
    Then I jumped to 1K and made 2 hits in succession.
    The weirdness of wind.
    From the shooting position today we had wind from four distant angles while we were shooting.

    Here is a picture of the specialty handgun I am using.


    I know there is a lot of talk about confirming drops, but I am curious how much time do we really spend actually doing it?
  2. BillR

    BillR Well-Known Member

    Feb 28, 2002
    As always you make me feel bad. :) Awesome shooting. Your always raising the bar for me. To answer your question, not near enough, not near enough. One day I will retire and then I will need a second job to keep my ammo supplied.

  3. long450

    long450 Well-Known Member

    May 5, 2007
    I do confirm drops, but rarely shoot past 600 yards due to the ranges I have available. I can shoot 1000 yards, but it is hard to find the range available when I have someone that can go and pull targets. All paper. Reading the wind without flags is interesting! I can get dialed in pretty good during a single range session, but coming back and repeating it is a bit tougher. I wont be far off, but would find it difficult to hit a 7" plate even at 600 yards on some days if I had to start there.

    Try starting at 1000 first shot and see how well you can read the wind on an average day, it ain't easy. Perfect practice makes perfect!

    Thanks for sharing!
  4. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

    Jun 18, 2007
    Very true.
    Main goal at this point was to get the drops down.
    Most of my shots will be under 600 yards this week (some will be out to 1K though), and there will be no wind flags or sighters, and I will be shooting prone.

    After this weekend I will spend more time choosing a distance, doping and shooting on steel.
    Practicing one shot without flags and sighters is what I do more and more after the drops are confirmed.
  5. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    May 2, 2001
    You're doing that great shooting with a HANDGUN?????????????????????
  6. MT4XFore

    MT4XFore Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2005
    Ernie, I believe a "wiseguy" recently called you the "best handgunner in the world". Now I believe he may have been right! It was nice meeting with ya, look forward to doing it again sometime.

    Take care, good luck, and God Bless

  7. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

    Jun 18, 2007
    Thank you for the kind words.
    I enjoyed the visit.
  8. ss7mm

    ss7mm Writers Guild

    Jun 11, 2005
    Ernie, great looking country, great looking gun and as usual, great shooting.:)

    I often wonder how many guys just shoot their gun at one or two ranges and think they are ready for any range? Sounds like you had some fun.
  9. Ernie

    Ernie SPONSOR

    Jun 18, 2007
    It has been fun-Way Fun!

    My guess is that more people rely on ballistic software and shooting at a few distances, than spending the time and money to be thorough.

    Also the sad thing is, that many people do not have access to the land or targets to shoot like what I have described.
  10. kiwi3006

    kiwi3006 Well-Known Member

    Aug 1, 2007
    Nice shooting! After the shooting I just did on the weekend I can appreciate how good your shooting was.

  11. jmden

    jmden Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2003

    Exactly...I'm feeling pretty puny here...
  12. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2009

    Sorry, this is a late reply to your thread and sorry to be so long winded, but I've personally witnessed the change in drops/relative to the programs just recently.

    I've never fully trusted these ballistic programs and now I know I don't!

    I recently witnessed (as the spotter) as much as 2 moa higher impacts than the program stated at 950 yds. At this point we're still assuming the rifle/scope is ok (box testing and more shooting will determine) and thinking the variance was due to sunny vs cloudy days, mirage boil, or even a combination of the above plus the possibility of a 5yd error of the range involved.......?? Even using the Kestrel and a PDA with the NF ballistic program, our vertical varied from day to day (easily up to 1/2 moa at 700 yds). Hard to believe that the ammo's velocity was changing by enough to make these differences on sunny warm days vs cool cloudy days, but possible??

    The rifle was grouping sub 3/4 moa from prone positions and a bipod rest, regardless of who was shooting, and even at 950 yds, but drops didn't match the charts...........on one day, off the next.

    I've never done any shooting beyond 700 yds until recently, and now am seriously wondering how in the Heck anyone that doesn't practice/learn from actual field practice at the intended distance ever manages to connect on game?? I don't think the programs can be trusted enough to make that call.

    Perhaps I am all messed up on this, but would like to talk more with you on the subject of light and mirage if/when you get a chance. We're not too far away from each other, and I've got a 1000 yd range right off my driveway. I'm very anxiously awaiting the tight neck 6 Long Dasher that Chuck is building and a 300 WSM from Kirby Allen. Would love to get together with you sometime. I think you have my number still??

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2010
  13. 4xforfun

    4xforfun Well-Known Member

    Oct 1, 2007
    The biggist problem I have seen to date is starting with incorrect velocity and wrong bc numbers. I used to shoot every distance. About 10 years ago I started using the Sierra Infinity program. Now, my currant LR guns are my 1k match gun and a custom that I have had for 15 years.....I know the balistics inside and out. BUT...... a couple of the guys that I load for said that they are consistantly hitting high/low at extended ranges when they dial up. I finaly took the guns away and am going to do some testing in the next two weeks.

    First, all shots will be over my new chrono. I will zero the guns at 300 EXACTLY!!!. Without doing any adjusting I will shoot groups at 500 and 800 and measure actual drops. I will then shoot each gun at 100 and dial up 30 min and make sure that the scope is actualy doing what it's told. I will take this data and adjust the computer perameters to match my actual findings. Both of the said guns are shooting Berger 210 VLD's and i know that the older BC's were not right, so I will play with both velocity and BC.

    I will then to to the range and conferm at 600, 1000, and 1200 yards.

    My luck I will need to start over because I screwed something up!!!:D

    But what the hell, I get to shoot on someone elses dime!!

    Anyone have anything to add that may help me out??

  14. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2009

    Curious what you would use for a target when measuring actual drops at 800? I would need some sort of target that was 9 or 10 feet tall to do that with a 300 yd zero.........I don't have any cardboard or posts that tall, LoL.

    On another note, if when you shoot at 100 you discover that 30 moa is actually moving poi by 32 moa (just as an example) would you replace the scope or send it back? Or, would you try to tweak the program to match your true click values?? I am curious, because the rifle I mentioned may have a scope issue...??...too early to say for sure.