Thursday, August 30, 2007

Long Distance,,,,,,almost as good as being there

If you have to reach out and touch something, it always helps to have the tool for the job. I am going to guess that the attraction for the marksman is the sheer difficulty in controlling your actions and, as much as possible the environment, and still be able to hit your selected target. Not just hit it, but hit exactly where you select.

Old military rifles had ladder sights that carried increments out to thousands of yards. If you have ever read ballistics tables and perhaps even taken a few Trig courses, then the complexity becomes more obvious. What is the angle, when the opposite side is 750 ft. and the adjacent side is one inch? Anyone with a scientific calculator can punch up the answer in short order. The answer is in seconds of angle, something like 24 seconds of angle. I did the math in my head, so if I'm off a little, please forgive me. The point? When you can see the beat of your heart and your breathing in the movement of your scope, controlling your movements to achieve an arc that small is iffy at best. The addition of the arc of the bullet, time of flight, wind (more trig), bullet coefficient, humidity, altitude, temperature and configuration of the target, it becomes very interesting.

Sniper training manuals show rules of thumb for reading the wind and normal leads for walking and running targets at various distances. They also recommend huge amounts of ammo for the training. That's a good idea because someday you will have to take a shot with out the time for the calculations.

Where does the tool come in? It must be extremely consistent and stable. It should be relatively heavy, to dampen movement. The components should be robust, any system pushed to it's limits becomes less predictable, and thereby inaccurate.

My choice for long range has a heavy, fluted barrel, synthetic stock, a twelve power BSA scope, folding bipod, and is chambered for .223.
The Savage 12FVSS now comes with a two stage trigger, I may modify mine in the future. The single stage trigger isn't that great, but I have read testimonials of prairie dog kills at 450 yards. That would be way better than me. The .223 in this weapon is almost recoil free.
I'm lovin' it.

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