Mirage - Why don't you want to see it???

Discussion in 'Long Range Scopes and Other Optics' started by royinidaho, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Mirage - Why don\'t you want to see it???

    Inspired from another thread:

    Why would one NOT want to see mirage (from a shooter's view point)? I tho't it was/is the most reliable "wind flag".

    However, for seeing bullet holes at a distance I can see where not seeing it would be of benefit.

    I'd think, though I have no idea of correctness, the shooter would want to take advantage of mirage for shooting and the spotter would want to not see it at all for calling shots on the paper. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif

    Am I making any sense at all. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     

  2. Jimm

    Jimm Writers Guild

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    Re: Mirage - Why don\'t you want to see it???

    Roy , Roy , Roy ,

    How can you not see it ? Ok Ok Ok ! I got it , you're b..b..b.. bored .!! Nothing to kill but time eh ?

    I like to see it when it is running constant . I dont like to see it when its boiling . Simply because I dont have the exp to understand it .

    What I really like is when it is barely wiggling side to side and going straight up [image][​IMG][/image]
     

  3. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Writers Guild

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    Re: Mirage - Why don\'t you want to see it???

    Roy,

    Mirage is a double-edged sword. It can help you judge the wind conditions for a first round hit but it can also provide you with an unclear or "dancing" target or what they call a phantom target. This is a target that looks like it is here when it is really over there. Like when you see a car coming down a black top highway a few miles away in the summertime and it looks like the car has no tires and seems to float above the blacktop. You know the car has tires and it is probably driving straight down the road but it doesn't look that way.

    I like to have a little mirage but sometimes, when it looks like you're shooting through chicken soup, things get tricky.

    I really like to see mirage at upper levels above the target and see less at the target. At a match I shot in last weekend, I managed to take home more than my fair share of winnings but not necessarily because I was the best shooter or had the most accurate gun. I simply paid more attention to the mirage than most the other guys. They were intent on watching mirage, but they watched it in the wrong place. They were concerned only with mirage in "line of sight to target" and then would watch where the dust would blow from the bullet impact. Well, the target was on a hill that was sheltered from the wind fairly well and the mirage straight to the target just showed a little wiggle and the dust confirmed it when it just hung in the air. But what my competitors didn't realize was that during it's flight to 1000 yards, most bullets are as much as 20 feet or more above the line of sight. So I simply looked above the target where the bullet was flying and could see that the mirage was SCREAMING right to left. So I dialed in 3 minutes of wind and held on the right hand edge of the target (which in this case was an 8" dinner plate) and I nailed it with one shot damn near every match.

    But, that being said, here's where mirage became a hinderance to me: During one match, there was a three way tie between me and two other guys. We all went 9 for 9 plates at 1000 yards so we decided that was too easy and set out a clay pigeon to brake the tie. Well, the mirage was still showing me how to dope the right to left wind, but now I was aiming at such a small target (about 1/3 moa) that the mirage was distorting the target vertically. The bottom edge of the pigeon was going up and above my crosshair and then the top edge of the pigeon came down below my crosshair in an up/down bounce. So I would look to see where the image would "snap" back to and try to time it so the crosshair was over the majority of the pigeon when I touched the trigger. Well, it proved to be too much mirage for that small of a target as we all shot circles around that dang thing and no one ever hit it. I had three shots that went so close past the target that half the divet in the dirt behind the target was hidden by the pigeon!

    Mirage at 100 yards can be ugly as well. When it gets real bad, it will turn my 1/8 moa 6ppc into a 1/4 moa to even a 1/3 moa gun.

    Here's a fun way to test mirage. Get your crosshair set up on a distant target. The farther away the better. Do this on a dead rest so that you can not touch the gun but it will still stay on the target. Do this in the early morning before the sun comes up or the mirage sets in. Then wait for a couple hours until the mirage gets really, really bad. Then go back and look through your scope and see if the crosshair is still on the target. Bet you'll think the gun got bumped off!

    So mirage can be your friend and it can be your enemy. Clear as mud right?
     
  4. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    Re: Mirage - Why don\'t you want to see it???

    jimm and GG, thanks for the responses.

    GG, From my BR days (100 and 200yds) I'm with every thing you said. Instead of the steady rest thing, I went to the range with the 40X 222 light rifle and just as the sun was coming over the mountains, hopefully before mirage even existed (or so I thought), 3 shots went into the center ring. Shot again every thirty minutes there after. It was 30 years ago so I can't recall precisely but the groups did get larger and climbed up the paper. I held for horizontal mirage but you have no idea of what is going on up and down w/o shooting sighters.

    And Hey! you let your secret out of the bag. I bet there aren't many of us that have though of watching mirage at the highest point of bullet flight. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif

    They say that what you learn first you learn best. Well, hmmm, I always looked along the line of sight out to the target (again 100 or 200yds) for the largest mirage influence. I guess that doesn't do squat for a fella when going to 1k and beyond.

    Its a good thing that that new range has some hills behind it. Blue sky sux as a back drop.
     
  5. goodgrouper

    goodgrouper Writers Guild

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    Re: Mirage - Why don\'t you want to see it???

    I hear you on that blue sky but I never curse it! That's bad karma. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif