i am looking at my little ammo box, and it shows 14 fired/empty cases, and 36 loaded rounds. those empties were fired at a silhouette target, 888 yards from where i lay prone in the shade of my trusty little s-10 blazer. i hit the target once, and that one probably "skipped in."
am i disappointed? really, not in the slightest. 900 yards is a long way away to hit something 18" wide in a variable quartering wind, with velocity on the ground at from 5 to 10 miles an hour.
the shooting area is a patch of c.r.p. (e.g., "welfare for farmers"), nestled out between the wheat fields just harvested. drive off the county road. stop by an old derelict combine and seed drill, lay out the blanket, and go put the targets up, roughly 1,000 yards away, ... , and, up the hill, which has about a 300 "foot" (as we say out n.e. oregon way) rise over the 1,000 yards to the summit of the hill.
back down, set up the rifles, and learn all over again why shooting prone from the ground at a target steeply uphill is not so very much fun. and, why it presents difficulty getting a good hold on your rifle.
so, blang away we did, firing from 3 to 6 rounds apiece before going up the hill to check the targets. coming down the hill, just put the rig in 4-low, in low gear, and coast down against the engine's compression at a comfy 5 mph.
as usual, the exercise reinforced something i am learning more and more. getting the "elevation" component of aiming a rifle at targets over distance is science, but getting the "windage" is art. my shooting friend and mentor did pretty well the first ten rounds or so, until the wind changed direction and increased its intensity. then, hitting the 18" wide silhouette became as much mystery to him as it was to me.
we'll be back at it in a couple days. great sport.
john jay @ 08.07.2014
p.s. shot yesterday, but doped the wind pretty good. the target was "only" 600 yards away, and i shot a 7.437" group, more or less just where i wanted it, which is just "a hair" over the mystical 1 "minute of angle" group which has become de rigueur these days in rifle shooting. (1 moa @ 600 yards ='s 6.282". 7.437 divided by 6.282 ='s 1.18385864374 minutes of angle. splitting hairs, as it were.)
again, elevation is pretty much a calculation dependent upon muzzle velocity. and, pretty predictable.
doping the wind, ... , well, it is kind of like reading chicken entrails to "dope" the future. it can be done by adepts, but, it is a skill learned by experience.