i thought that i would give you a view of the terrain over which we shot at 900 yards (888 to be exact), reported in another post.
where we did it.--
caption: doesn't look like much (hint: that's the reason that distance is hard to judge, by the way), but, it is about 300 higher than most the area immediately adjacent.
this is the firing point, with the targets on the horizon. more about that in the caption.
caption: just on the right hand side of the road we put a wool blanket down, and set up the rifles. the targets are at the top of the far ridge. now, before any of you get your panties in a knot over that, we traveled up the hill to set up out silhouettes. we checked out the top of the hill, and the slopes extending away from it for people, working farm implements, and the like. there were none, and there are no road approaches from the other side.
and, besides which.-- at 1,000 yds, the trajectory of a 168 grain round from a .308 at about 2600 fps is described fairly succinctly by one word, and that is "down." even a shot aimed "high" is going to impact the ground within just a few yards of the target. i missed a shot low, and the ground strike was about 7 few behind the target. it wouldn't have been much different if i'd missed high. well, actually, maybe i did.
this is what where we shot from looks like from the area where we set up the targets. (go back to the first picture, and establish in your minds what the old derelict wheat combine looks like. get a good image of it.)
caption: o.k., the combine is at the bottom of the hill, just to the right of the road. it's a long ways off. well, over 800 yards, to be exact, as established by rangefinder and a gps unit.
doesn't look very big, does it?
to the southeast of the hill we shot on, lies the confluence of the north and south forks of the walla walla river. it's not a very big river, probably 50 miles in length, and most years it has a modest flow. but, it makes for some pretty rough terrain. i think it is kind of pretty.
caption: the north fork lies on the side of the big wedge close to the camera, and the south fork the other side of that. if the ground looks steep to you, than you are seeing it correctly, because it is steep. not terribly high, but respectably deep, and steep.
i will show you another couple random shots of the terrain, without much explanation. but, notice much of the ground is "golden" or "yellow," that being the stubble from the recently harvested grain. in these grain growing regions on the western slopes of the blues you'll find a goodly percentage of the "hillside" combines sold in the united states, so called because they come equipped with self leveling hydraulics which try to keep the grain processing equipment level, even while the headers and tires are conforming to the slope of the hillside. in short, the headers articulate, and everybody hopes that the combines don't tip over. it happens, and crew members get killed from time to time.
the price that others pay for your bread.
caption: milton freewater, oregon is a real place. not unlike lake woebegone, but, not fictional. there it is, right where the river spills out onto the valley floor.
there you have it. that's where we shot. no range markers, no target stands, no flags for the wind. now, an error of 50 yards in range estimation is absolutely "fatal" in hitting a target in the 1000 yards situation. an error of 10 yards, as a matter of fact, will make a shot errant at these distances.
do you have any suggestion for a viable system of estimating range at these distances solely via the use of your visual apparatus? as a matter of fact, you do not. trust me, you don't. and, if you say you do, you may not necessarily be an idiot, but, you are definitely flirting with it.
this is why, at an early time, those in command of the "fire control" apparatus of infantry said things like, "don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes." if you are shooting at great ranges over terrain like this, where range estimation is almost impossible given the sameness of the features, and absolute lack of visual information which would give you an idea of distance, then you need either a manual or an electronic method by which to determine range.
i am lusting for a leica geovid hb-r rangefinding binocular, 10x42 which is a precision tool. it cost about $3000. any rich people out there interested in adopting a 66 year old man, potty trained and charming, if not a bit smart mouthed? i'll try not to throw the chicken bones on the floor, when i am at the table. and, i promise i won't drink water from the finger washing things.
john jay @ 08.18.2014