For the new guys


Gunny Sergeant
Nov 13, 2003
OK old timers time to step up & help out !

AZYoungGun brought up a good point on a post in the bear pit:

I'd like to call to light the fact that some of us younger guys actually take this type of stuff seriously. I mean, hey, I just got done dropping $1600 on a nice rig and 500 rounds of ammo. I don't think that's funny at all. I'd personally like to continue to learn everything there is to know about this sport/hobby. Let's not close off us younger guys unless there's a good reason
So with that in mind I want to post some of the info I can think of to help out the new shooter.

I want them not to make bad buying decisions on gear, training and other stuff. So here goes my try at it.

Please add to it.



Any local match is the best place to start. F-Class, Tactical rifle, High Power or a “Sniper Match”


<span style="font-weight: bold">Rifles Only</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold">BlackWater Level 1</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold">Black Water Level 2</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold">Black Water Level 3</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold">McMillan Sniper School</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold">Shooter Ready</span>


I feel the best way to get started is to buy a used or last years modal Scope. Look at the for sale section here at SH or some of the links I list below to find good prices.

Leupold will do reticule installs for under $215 if you find a duplex scope or any other reticule you want changed out.
I did just that. I Called Leupold at 1.503.526.1400 and found out that the install price for the new TMR is $199.95 in my Leupold Tactical VARI-XIII 3.5-10x40mm 45266 Duplex scope. So I shipped off a check with the scope for $215 for the install and shipping to them. After my scope arrived I was sent an e-mail from a costumer service rep. It only took 12 days from my house and back to have the scope done.

This is not a do all list but it’s a start

Quality Brands

<span style="font-weight: bold"> Schmidt and Bender </span>

<span style="font-weight: bold">Carl Zeiss</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold"> USO</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold"> Nightforce Optics </span>

<span style="font-weight: bold"> NEW Leupold Tactical Scopes</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold"> Premier Reticles </span>

<span style="font-weight: bold">Sightron</span>

Places to Buy optics

<span style="font-weight: bold">SWFA</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold">SWFA Sample List</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold"> Bear Basin </span>


<span style="font-weight: bold">McMillan</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold"> Robertson Composites </span>

<span style="font-weight: bold">Choate</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold">SSS for Savage Arms Stocks ONLY</span>


<span style="font-weight: bold">Badger Ordance</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold">Tactical Precision Systems</span>

<span style="font-weight: bold"> Ken Farrell </span>

<span style="font-weight: bold">SSS for Savage Arms Parts</span>

Tactical Gear Suppliers

<span style="font-weight: bold"> Triad Tactical </span>

<span style="font-weight: bold"> Tactical Tailor </span>

<span style="font-weight: bold"> High Speed Gear inc. </span>

Out of towners :p


Man that Sucked, Your turn

<span style="font-weight: bold">Basic rifle Marksmanship</span>

CBS Definition: CBS (Cold Bore Shot) is the first shot fired for the day from your rifle through a dirty bore, or from a barrel that has been fired and allowed to cool for at least 20 minutes.

CCBS Definition: CCBS (Clean Cold Bore Shot) is the first shot fired for the day from your rifle through a CLEAN bore.

Learning how your rifle will fire its first shot from a cold and "dirty or clean" bore is especially useful to hunters and tactical shooters, who by nature will experience long time intervals between shots. To become a better marksman The CBS CCBS shot is VERY IMPORTANT to your rifle data.

basic principles of marksmanship

The purpose of any good shooting position is to support the two basic principles of marksmanship
&#61607; Sight Alignment

Sight Alignment with iron sights is centering the tip of the front sight post in the center of the rear sight aperture both vertically and horizontally, and aligning this relationship with the shooter’s dominant eye.

FM23-10 Chapter 3

Sight Alignment With telescopic sights, sight alignment is the relationship between the cross hairs (reticle) and a full field of view as seen by the sniper.

The sniper must place his head so that a full field of view fills the tube, with no dark shadows or crescents to cause inaccurate shots. He centers the reticle in a full field of view, ensuring the vertical cross hair is straight up and down so the rifle is not canted. Again, the center is easiest for the sniper to locate and allows for consistent reticle placement.

Once this alignment has taken place the shooter should maintain the same head position and head pressure. This will help build consistency from shot to shot.


Sight Picture for iron sights is the placement of the tip of the front sight post in relation to the target while maintaining sight alignment.

FM23-10 Chapter 3

Sight Picture. With telescopic sights, the sight picture is the relationship between the reticle and full field of view and the target as seen by the sniper. The sniper centers the reticle in a full field of view. He then places the reticle center of the largest visible mass of the target. The center of mass of the target is easiest for the sniper to locate, and it surrounds the intended point of impact with a maximum amount of target area.

There are many different ways to introduce a target. These different views are called holds. The different holds are not incorrect; they are just an individual’s way of viewing the target/sight relationship. The shooter should experiment and use what is most comfortable to them.

Correct sight alignment and correct sight picture will result in an impact on the target as desired.
&#61607; Trigger Control is the skillful manipulation of the trigger that causes the rifle to fire without disturbing sight alignment and sight picture.

Controlling the trigger is a mental process while pulling the trigger is a mechanical process.

Three elements of a Steady position:
&#61607; Support (Artificial & Bone)
&#61607; Muscular Relaxation
&#61607; Natural Point of Aim

The most stable platform in the world is the ground. What you have to do is; transfer the stability of the ground into your position through the use of artificial and bone support

Muscular Relaxation
&#61607; If you have good support, your muscles will be relaxed
&#61607; Less muscle tension means less movement
&#61607; Comfort equals relaxed

natural point of aim:
&#61607; Where your position is naturally pointing
&#61607; Your position must be adjusted so that your natural point of aim (NPA) is aligned with the target

This is what I do. Not the only way to skin the cat!!!
&#61607; I locate the target
&#61607; Place the weapon to point at the target and get to battery.
&#61607; At this time I look though my sights and see where the weapon is aimed at.
&#61607; Now I ajust my HOLE BODY AND WEAPON till the weapon and sights are pointing at the target.
&#61607; Close my eyes; reopen my eyes and if I need to move left or right I do so.
&#61607; Once that is done. I ajust the front suport " Sling, Bi-pod, sand bag, what ever it is" till my evevation is right on.

Now my NPA is right on target.

The following is a part of a class from the AMU that I have on NPA.


1) Natural point of aim is the point at which the rifle sights settle when bone support and muscular relaxation are achieved. When in a shooting position with proper sight alignment, the position of the tip of the front sight post will indicate the natural point of aim. When completely relaxed the tip of the front sight post should rest on the desired aiming point.

2) If the natural point of aim is above or below the desired aiming point: move your body slightly forward or back using your non-firing elbow as a pivot point.

A) Pushing your body forward causes the sights to settle lower on the target.

B) Pulling your body back causes the sights to settle higher on the target.

3) Another way to adjust height is by varying the placement of the non-firing hand in relation to the handguard.

A) Moving the non-firing hand forward lowers the muzzle of the rifle.

B) Moving the non-firing hand back raises the muzzle of the rifle.

4) Varying the placement of the buttstock in the pocket of the shoulder will raise or lower the muzzle of the rifle.

A) Moving the stock higher in the pocket of the shoulder lowers the muzzle of the target.

B) Moving the stock lower in the pocket of the shoulder will raise the muzzle of the rifle.

5) The natural point of aim can be adjusted left or right. In the prone position by adjusting the entire position left or right in relation to the target. Keep in mind that when adjusting the position that the non-firing elbow remains in the same place and is used as the pivot point.

The inverted elbow support position is not as hard as it sounds. All it is, is this:

You want the hand guard of the rifle to rest in the “V” formed by the thumb and index finger of the non-firing hand. The non-firing wrist is straight with the rifle resting across the heel of the hand. The fingers can curl against the stock, but should apply only the minimum amount of pressure needed to prevent the hand from slipping on the hand guard.

Barrel is centered over crease in palm, wrist is very close to being directly under barrel. The non-firing elbow should be positioned as close to directly underneath the rifle as possible to create bone support and a consistent resistance to recoil. The non-firing elbow must be inverted in order to obtain a good prone position.

As these pic's show me doing at the SDM Instructor course.

6 Factors of a Solid Position
&#61607; Rifle Butt
&#61607; Firing Hand
&#61607; Stock Weld
&#61607; Elbows
&#61607; Breathing

Rifle Butt:
&#61607; Place the rifle butt firmly into the pocket formed in the shoulder. This reduces the effect of recoil, helps steady the rifle, and prevents the rifle butt from slipping in the shoulder during firing. The rifle should be brought to the head when placing it in the shoulder and not the head to the rifle. The closer the butt stock is place toward the neck, the more upright and vertical the head will be.

Firing Hand
&#61607; Placed high on the grip
&#61607; Firm handshake grip
&#61607; Trigger finger should be placed naturally on the trigger
&#61607; Proper placement of the firing hand on the grip allows the trigger to be moved straight to the rear without disturbing sight alignment.

Stock Weld
&#61607; This is where your face contacts the stock
&#61607; Head should be vertical and upright
&#61607; Consistent from shot to shot
&#61607; Purpose is to achieve proper achieve eye-sight alignment
&#61607; Look for excess skin forming a roll

&#61607; The non-firing elbow should be positioned as close to directly underneath the rifle as possible to create bone support and a consistent resistance to recoil. The non-firing elbow must be inverted in order to obtain a good prone position.
&#61607; The firing elbow should be positioned naturally to provide balance to the position and create a pocket in the shoulder for the rifle butt

&#61607; Breathing causes movement of the chest and a corresponding movement in the rifle and sights. To minimize this movement and the effect it has on your aim, learn to control your breathing and extend your natural respiratory pause for a few seconds during the final aiming and firing process. Do not extend your natural respiratory pause for an uncomfortable period. This can cause blurry vision and will decrease your ability to deliver well-aimed shots.


Light does not affect the trajectory of the bullet; however, it does affect the way the shooter sees the target through the scope. This effect can be compared to the refraction (bending) of light through a medium, such as a prism or a fish bowl. The same effect, although not as drastic, can be observed on a day with high humidity and with sunlight from high angles. The only way the sniper can adjust for this effect is to refer to past firing recorded in the rifle data book. He or she can then compare different light and humidity conditions and their effect on marksmanship. Light may also affect firing on unknown distance ranges since it affects range determination capabilities.


Temperature affects the firer, ammunition, and density of the air. When ammunition sits in direct sunlight, the bum rate of powder is increased, resulting in greater muzzle velocity and higher impact. The greatest effect is on the density of the air. As the temperature rises, the air density is lowered. Since there is less resistance, velocity increases and once again the point of impact rise. This is in relation to the temperature at which the rifle was zeroed, if the shooter zeros at 50 degrees
and he is now firing at 90 degrees, the point of impact rises considerably. How high it rises is best determined once again by past firing recorded in the rifles data book. The general role, however, is that when the rifle is zeroed, a 20-degree increase in temperature will raise the point of impact by one minute; conversely, a 20-degree decrease will drop the point of impact by one minute.

As long as the humidity is in vapor form (oxygen and hydrogen molecules) it displaces air of a higher mass (oxygen and nitrogen, nearly in total), thereby decreasing overall density, and therefore offering reduced air resistance. The projectile covers the overall distance in less time, resulting in less drop. Drop is a factor of time-of-flight, period. Reduce the time, you also reduce the drop.

Therefore as humidity increases, POI is higher, and as it is reduced, POI is lower.

Now then, lest we get carried away with this, let us also recognize that the effect of humidity is actually pretty slight. I would suggest that a rough estimate of the overall difference between 0% humidity and 100% humidity would probably account for less than 1 MOA difference in drop at 1Kyd.


100-Yard / Meter-Unit-of-Measure Method. To use this methodThe shooter must be able to visualize a distance of 100 yards / meters on the ground. For ranges up to 500 yards / meters the shooter determines the number of 100-meter increments between the two objects it wishes to measure. Beyond 500 yards / meters, it must select a point halfway to the object and determine the number of 100-meter increments to the halfway point, then double it to find the range to the object.

Appearance-of-Object Method. This method is a means of determining range by the size and other characteristic details of the object. To use the appearance-of-object method with any degree of accuracy, the Shooter must be familiar with the characteristic details of the objects
as they appear at various ranges.

Range-Card Method. The shooter uses a range card to quickly determine ranges throughout the target area. Once the target is seen, the shooter determines where it is located on the card and then reads the proper range to the target. Also you can label your targets as "TRP" Target Reference Point.

Combination Method. Some times only one method of range estimation may not be enough for a shooter. Terrain with much dead space limits the accuracy of the 100-yard / meter method. Poor visibility limits the use of the appearance-of-object method. However, by using a combination of two or more methods to determine an unknown range, an experienced shooter should arrive at an estimated range close to the true range.

What the Mil-dot is and how it works

A milliradian is a unit of measure derived from the degrees of a circle.

(Note: in a 360 degree circle, there are 6283.2 milliradians, or 17.45 milliradians per degree.)

This means that a milliradian will subtend different distances at different ranges. For example:

The subtension of 1 mil equals 3.6 inches at 100 yards or 36 inches at 1,000 yards. In metric units, the correspondence is 1 mil equals 10 centimeters at 100 meters or 1 meter at 1,000 meters.

Knowing this subtension and knowing the size of the target (or a reference object near the target) allows the distance to the target to be estimated with considerable accuracy.

Mil-Relation Formula.

The mil-relation formula is the preferred method of range estimation. This method uses a mil-scale reticule located in binoculars, spotting scopes or rifle scopes with a Mil-dot recital. The shooter must know the target size in inches yards or meters. Once the target size is known, the team then compares the target size to the mil-scale reticule and uses the following formula:

Size of target in yards x 1,000 / Size of target in MIL's = range in yds

Size of target in inches x 27.778 / Size of target in MIL's = range in yds

Size of target in inches x 25.4 / Size of target in MIL's = range in meters


MOA data / 3.438 = mil hold over/under

This is how you do it in steps:
1. Shoot your dope to ranges you will use your rifle at. Record your dope in MOA.
2. Pick a range as the set constant on the scope.
3. follow this conversion to get hold unders.
4. Follow this conversion th get hold overs


Step 1.
100yds ZERO
150yds .75 MOA
200yds 1.75 MOA
250yds 3.50 MOA
300yds 4.25 MOA
350yds 5.75 MOA
400yds 7.25 MOA
450yds 8.50 MOA
500yds 10.75 MOA
550yds 12.25 MOA
600yds 14.00 MOA
700yds 18.00MOA

Step 2.
I WILL USE: 500yds as my set constant on the scope.

Step 3.
500yd MOA - 450yd MOA = MOA between 500 yds and 450yds / 3.438 = Mil-dot hold under

10.75- 8.50= 2.25 MOA

2.25MOA / 3.438= .65 Mil-dot Hold under

So if I want to shoot the 450yd target with 500yds dialed in the scope. All I need to do is hold .65 mills under and I will hit the 450yd target.

Step 4.
550yd MOA - 500yd MOA = MOA between 550 yds and 500yds / 3.438 = Mil-dot hold over

12.25 - 10.75 = 1.5 MOA

1.5MOA / 3.438 = .43 Mil-dot hold over

ANGLE FIRING from FM 23-10

Most practice firing conducted by the sniper team involves the use of military range facilities, which are relatively flat. However, as a sniper being deployed to other regions of the world, the chance exists for operating in a mountainous or urban environment. This requires target engagements at higher and lower elevations. Unless the sniper takes corrective action, bullet impact will be above the point of aim. How high the bullet hits is determined by the range and angle to the target (Table 3-3). The amount of elevation change applied to the telescope of the rifle for angle firing is known as slope dope.

FM 23-10 Chapter 3

Section III

For the highly trained sniper, the effects of weather are the main causes of error in the strike of the bullet. Wind, mirage, light, temperature, and humidity affect the bullet, the sniper, or both. Some effects are minor; however, sniping is often done in extremes of weather and all effects must be considered.


Wind poses the biggest problem for the sniper. The effect that wind has on the bullet increases with range. This is due mainly to the slowing of the bullet's velocity combined with a longer flight time. This allows the wind to have a greater effect on the round as distances increase. The result is a loss of stability.

a. Wind also has a considerable effect on the sniper. The stronger the wind, the more difficult it is for him to hold the rifle steady. This can be partly offset by training, conditioning and the use of supported positions.

b. Since the sniper must know how much effect the wind will have on the bullet, he must be able to classify the wind. The best method is to use the clock system (Figure 3-19). With the sniper at the center of the clock and the target at 12 o'clock, the wind is assigned three values: full, half, and no value. Full value means that the force of the wind will have a full effect on the flight of the bullet. These winds come from 3 and 9 o'clock. Half value means that a wind at the same speed, but from 1,2,4,5,7,8, 10, and 11 o'clock, will move the bullet only half as much as a full-value wind. No value means that a wind from 6 or 12 o'clock will have little or no effect on the flight of the bullet.


Before adjusting the sight to compensate for wind, the sniper must determine wind direction and velocity. He may use certain indicators to accomplish this. These are range flags, smoke, trees, grass, rain, and the sense of feel. However, the preferred method of determining wind direction and velocity is reading mirage (see paragraph d below). In most cases, wind direction can be determined simply by observing the indicators.

a. A common method of estimating the velocity of the wind during training is to watch the range flag (Figure 3-20). The sniper determines the angle between the flag and pole, in degrees, then divides by the constant number 4. The result gives the approximate velocity in miles per hour.

b. If no flag is visible, the sniper holds a piece of paper, grass, cotton, or some other light material at shoulder level, then drops it. He then points directly at the spot where it lands and divides the angle between his body and arm by the constant number 4. This gives him the approximate wind velocity in miles per hour.

c. If these methods cannot be used, the following information is helpful in determining velocity. Winds under 3 miles per hour can barely be felt, although smoke will drift. A 3- to 5-mile-per-hour wind can barely be felt on the face. With a 5- to 8-mile-per-hour wind, the leaves in the trees are in constant motion, and with a 12- to 15-mile-per-hour wind, small trees begin to sway.

d. A mirage is a reflection of the heat through layers of air at different temperatures and density as seen on a warm day (Figure 3-21). With the telescope, the sniper can see a mirage as long as there is a difference in ground and air temperatures. Proper reading of the mirage enables the sniper to estimate wind speed and direction with a high degree of accuracy. The sniper uses the M49 observation telescope to read the mirage. Since the wind nearest to midrange has the greatest effect on the bullet, he tries to determine velocity at that point. He can do this in one of two ways:

(1) He focuses on an object at midrange, then places the scope back onto the target without readjusting the focus.

(2) He can also focus on the target, then back off the focus one-quarter turn counterclockwise. This makes the target appear fuzzy, but the mirage will be clear.

e. As observed through the telescope, the mirage appears to move with the same velocity as the wind, except when blowing straight into or away from the scope. Then, the mirage gives the appearance of moving straight upward with no lateral movement. This is called a boiling mirage. A boiling mirage may also be seen when the wind is constantly changing direction. For example, a full-value wind blowing from 9 o'clock to 3 o'clock suddenly changes direction. The mirage will appear to stop moving from left to right and present a boiling appearance. When this occurs, the inexperienced observer directs the sniper to fire with the "0" wind. As the sniper fires, the wind begins blowing from 3 o'clock to 9 o'clock, causing the bullet to miss the target therefore, firing in a "boil" can hamper shot placement. Unless there is a no-value wind, the sniper must wait until the boil disappears. In general, changes in the velocity of the wind, up to about 12 miles per hour, can be readily determined by observing the mirage. Beyond that speed, the movement of the mirage is too fast for detection of minor changes.


All telescopic sights have windage adjustments that are graduated in minutes of angle or fractions thereof. A minute of angle is 1/60th of a degree (Figure 3-22). This equals about 1 inch (1.145 inches) for every 100 meters.


1 MOA = 2 inches at 200 meters
1 MOA = 5 inches at 500 meters

a. Snipers use minutes of angle (Figure 3-22) to determine and adjust the elevation and windage needed on the weapon's scope. After finding the wind direction and velocity in miles per hour, the sniper must then convert it into minutes of angle, using the wind formula as a rule of thumb only. The wind formula is--

If the target is 700 meters away and the wind velocity is 10 mph, the formula is--

This determines the number of minutes for a full-value wind. For a half-value wind, the 5.38 would be divided in half.

b. The observer makes his own adjustment estimations, then compares them to the wind conversion table, which can be a valuable training tool. He must not rely on this table; if it is lost, his ability to perform the mission could be severely hampered. Until the observer gains skill in estimating wind speed and computing sight changes, he may refer to Table 3-4.


NorCal Vu

Gunny Sergeant
Dec 20, 2004
Sacramento Area
Re: For the new guys

Good post John. Thanks.

I know for myself I have learned a lot here without even firing one round down range. Also I know for a fact I have saved a lot of cash by getting in dept info on gear before making a purchase.

Thanks old timers. :beer:
Apr 13, 2005
Newport Arkansas
Re: For the new guys


Well said. I as well support the fact that there are younger shooters on this site that are here for good reasons. When I read AZyoungguns post I was proud to see that he took the time to remind those that do care.
I myself have only been in the precision game for around 16 years and still consider myself young to the craft.
Good post.

And AZyounggun.
Keep on reading, practicing, and learning. Lord knows I learn from here everyday.


Sep 24, 2004
Las Cruces, NM
Re: For the new guys

Thanks John! I think this WILL be an incredible help to new members to Sniper's Hide. Maybe Lowlight will make this thread a sticky or announcement. I remember when I first got here, the information was overwhelming and I had to ask all the newbie questions and didn't use the search feature etc. I've been here long enough to see hundreds of such questions from other new members of the SH forums. I think this thread will give consice information to those that might be thinking about posting such questions as: which scope do I buy? Which rings and base do I buy? etc....

Again, great post and nice list. I really can't think of anything to add!!



Re: For the new guys

Get a shooting parter. One that is serious about shooting. You can learn from them. They can learn from you. Sometimes you need someone to spot what you are doing wrong.

Range time. Spend QUALITY time on the range. Do it as often as possible.

If you ask a question. Don't get mad if the answer is true, but not what you wanted to hear.

To add don't worry about having the latest and greatest gear. Old stuff that works is GTG. Saves money for ammo.
Feb 27, 2002
ON, Canada
Re: For the new guys

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Tactical Gear Suppliers

Triad Tactical

Tactical Tailor

High Speed Gear inc.

</div></div>.....and for the 5 Canadians on the board.

open in the next couple of weeks. :beer:
Jan 28, 2005
Re: For the new guys

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by L.London:
<span style="font-weight: bold"> Get a shooting parter. One that is serious about shooting. You can learn from them. They can learn from you. Sometimes you need someone to spot what you are doing wrong.

Range time. Spend QUALITY time on the range. Do it as often as possible.
</span></div></div>And what to do if there isn't a good shooting partner that you know of?

Honestly, I don't know anyone remotely interested in accurate shooting. I know a few guys that like shooting, but it's either shotgunning, or just weekend blasting.

I do 98% of my shooting alone. Ocassionally my son (7yr old) goes with me, but that's about training him. Where does one hook up with someone that has the common interest? I guess a match, but if you don't even know how to get in to one, or what to do, it doesn't make things easier.


Sep 24, 2004
Las Cruces, NM
Re: For the new guys

I'm kinda on your page, Kletz. My town has a poplulation of 75,000 and 25,000 of those (including me) go to New Mexico State University (also in my town). I know ZERO people who shoot precision.....I get some relief by going out and shooting clays with friends (and some of them are good), but LR/tactical is my real passion. Only time will tell as I've only lived here for about 2 years. I'll go to some matches this summer at the El Paso Rod & Gun Club and see if I meet anyone there.

Likes: JimTheLad
Nov 14, 2002
Bandera, Texas
Re: For the new guys

If your using a mil dot or a moa reticle, I highly suggest getting a Mildot Master, it makes your life so much easier.

You should also know how to compute ranges using a calculator in case your MM gets lost.

Premiere Reticle also installs their Generation II first focal plane reticle in Leupold scopes for $235, that includes shipping back to you.

I also really recommend a FFP reticle, which allows you to use your reticle at all powers not just the one that a second focal plane is calibrated in.

Don't think in number of clicks, think in MOA

Don't worry too much about shooting bug holes, a good dependable 1 MOA rifle is better than a finicky 1/2 MOA rifle.

Dry fire, alot.

Practice different positions, the position you're the worst at, is the one you need to practice the most.

start a log book, keep good notes.

The wind is what kicks your butt at longer ranges. To learn how to read the wind takes field practice, it's hard to read an article on wind and then be able to shoot well in it.

Buy quality once and cry once, buy cheap and cry every time you use it. Quality isn't always the most expensive either.

Ask questions.


Feb 17, 2005
Prague, Czech Republic
Re: For the new guys

Practice is good, a .22 rimfire makes practice cheap , saves the barrel on your main rifle and usually ranges are more available.

A .22 will soon pay for itself and also you don`t have to invest time in reloading the ammo.



Re: For the new guys

All the above is good advice.

You can have the best man made everything out there, but if you can't read the enviroment or operate in it,...the money you spent on top notch Iron won't help that much at all.

Jon Lester

Gunny Sergeant
Mar 7, 2004
Tazewell . Virginia
Re: For the new guys

A+ for J Boyette for taking the time to be interested in the new guys!
For Me I think getting serious about reloading is a big factor that keeps me shooting.I coudn't afford as much time on trigger if I didn't,but I have a few out of the mainstream cal.s May not be true for the 308, i'm not sure.


Scharfschütze Feldwebel
Mar 29, 2004
Western NY
Re: For the new guys

Outstanding post! Always come away from a shooting session/outing having learned something or have something new to think about. Keep a GOOD data book, keep data on all your loads. Shooting has three major elements:

1. Equipment (Rifle, Optics, stuff…)
2. Ammunition (factory vs Reloading)
3. Human Factor (the wing nut attached to the trigger)

Try to understand each of these better every time you go to the range, compete, or go hunting.


Re: For the new guys

Check the S3. You will find HardRock matches listed. One is next weekend. Its in S. Alabama.
GSH has a match this weekend. It East of Athens.
Fort Benning has a match series.
DocB for HardRock info
J.Boyette for Benning info and GUNSITE HILLS

That help? See you next weekend at HardRock.


Gunny Sergeant
Nov 13, 2003
Re: For the new guys


Look at my first post on Basic Marksmanship and meet L.London and myself at HardRock next weekend. We can set you right.

Apr 12, 2005
Re: For the new guys

All of this is G R E A T intel!

Now on to just what the hell you're supposed to track in a log book. I am actually still looking for that answer

As a n00b to the sport (gotta be a sport cause no damn hobby should cost this much :sniper: ) I know I looked at a ton of sticks and general gear before I went and bought what I have. Most of what I have is good ol' US Army issue, and honestly, aside from some of the wizbang stuff, it servers the purpose very well. So the advice there is to do your research and don't be silly about getting the "latest and greatest" piece of gear. Figure out what you need, find out what is being used by folks here (cause most times it's what really works) use and go for that.

You'll find that while there is a lot of debate on a lot of stuff, there tends to be more consensus that dispute. Trust the threads like this one, and when you get the chance to meet folks from here... DO IT! You'll learn more in a short stint with one of us than you will reading 1000000 pages in a any book.


Re: For the new guys

New guys buy a good basic stick and mil-dot scope. Start a log book.

TAKE A CLASS AT RO/BADLANDS/TACPRO or any other noted school.

That class will take you MUCH futher that a gee-wiz stick/scope.

Think about this LowLight was as SS in the USMC and he takes classes.


Gunny Sergeant
Nov 13, 2003
Re: For the new guys


In my first post there is a link to <span style="font-weight: bold"> BASIC RIFLEMANSHIP</span> up top. In that link is what you want to know.

That is why I put it there.

But to cut to the chase:

I came up with this book about three months ago. Hope you all like it. All in .pdf format

<span style="font-weight: bold">
How to use a Data Book
Table of Contents
The shooting data card was not my idea. I downloaded it from here at SH. Sorry but I forgot who did that card

any how, if you have a download for a data book, just add it below and we can start our own book for all to use.

<span style="font-weight: bold">doc76251</span>

Also has a great data book also here is his stuff:

<span style="font-weight: bold">300yd targets</span>
<span style="font-weight: bold">3-4 MOA 100yds</span>
<span style="font-weight: bold">3-4 MOA 200yds</span>
<span style="font-weight: bold">3-4 MOA 300yds</span>
<span style="font-weight: bold">3-4 MOA 400yds</span>
<span style="font-weight: bold">CBS Notes</span>
<span style="font-weight: bold">range card 175 SMK 2750 FPS</span>
<span style="font-weight: bold">range card 175 SMK 2750 FPS .pdf</span>
<span style="font-weight: bold">Range card back</span>
<span style="font-weight: bold">Range card back .pdf</span>
<span style="font-weight: bold">Score book</span>
<span style="font-weight: bold">Score Book load</span>
<span style="font-weight: bold">Score Book load round</span>

If you need a cover for your new Data book look at this one:

<span style="font-weight: bold"> CLICK ON PIC</span>

Data Book Cover
Price: $17.99

data book cover: Olive Drab

Usually ships in 2 days

The Tactical Tailor Sniper Data Book Cover ,Spiral Version, for the T.R.G.T. Sniper Data Log Book.
The Sniper Data Book Cover is a 10" x 6 1/2" notebook cover, with a grommet and attachment for holding a thermometer or other instruments. There are also slots for three pens or pencils, a note pad, the Mildot Master, and/or the Slope Doper. Mil-Spec materials and construction. Made of Cordura Nylon and guaranteed for life. Available in OD

Likes: 30plusretlaw
May 3, 2005
New Orleans, LA
Re: For the new guys

Prep some equipment you don't have to spend a lot of money on. Fill a couple of socks with popcorn to make shooting socks for a stable rest. If you have a backpack with a frame, tie some padding aroud the bottom of the frameframe and put tape over the string. This can make a more stable shooting platform than most of the comercial products available. Buy a cheap camera tripod and rig up a shooting platform.

There are a lot of things you can do that don't cost a lot of money, but will contribute greatly to the effectiveness of your kit.

Get with someone who has been through the Army or Marine Corps sniper programs to show you how to make things - without having to waist $ on expensine gear.
Apr 13, 2005
Newport Arkansas
Re: For the new guys


Great Post. +1 Attaboy...

May not make much difference. But I also Include a few other things in my Shot log.

Location Eleveation
Barometic Pressure
Relative Humidity
Lat/Lon of location.

Some might say that one or two of these are not nescessary.
When I am able I include the Lat/Lon of the location I made the shot from. For instance.

I include shots made while Yote hunting in my log entry book. In the event that I miss a shot and sit and study the reasons why. If in fact I wanted to. I could go back to the same approximate location and try and duplicate the shot. In the heat of the moment when a Yote comes movin in at a steep angle closing rapidly and I miss my POA. I can always go back and review the area and look at the terrain, angle of the shot, and actually distances from the time I spotted the target until I commited the shot.
On the other hand. For general range purposes it wouldnt be that useful.

For a squeeze bag and support bags. I have found that a mix of Rice and dry beans makes a real nice squeeze bag. And it real inexpensive.
Just a few ideas. Though I would throw my .02 in.

I like the Tactical Tailor cover. Looks nice.

I see goooood things being done here.
Jul 13, 2004
Northern California
Re: For the new guys

I'm getting in a little late on this one..I have read through the above posts all very good. The one thing that has been said and should be repeated, Buy a Rifle you can afford, No need for a Magnum or a custom stick a .308 is cheap to shoot and easy to load for, and for you really young guys that may still live at home if you can't convince your parents to help buy you a entry level .308 don't be embarassed asking for a 22LR they are great practice you can learn alot and you can really hone your shooting skills and they are very cheap to shoot. whatever Rifle you buy providing you can reload for it, I would strongly urge you to learn to reload, it may seem intimidating but there are enough of us here that has been there done that we can stear you in the right direction and save you some money by buying the right reloading tools the first time. Once you find out how affordable it is to shoot when you reload you will find yourself at the range shooting alot more.

I think this is a great post! I know I have blown some new guys off before, Don't think I did it on purpose ..but it's easy to do sometimes.


Re: For the new guys

steel shooters carry a small digital camera to take pictures of you groups. Save them and the data in a big book at home. That becomes your back up in case your field log book is lost or destroyed.

Write you data on the butt stock of your rifle.
Apr 27, 2005
Re: For the new guys

Hey, a big "thank you" goes out to all who contributed so much usefull info to this thread! Thanks for helping us new guys out! I'm gonna spend hours checking out this material!
Dec 23, 2003
Canton, Michigan
Re: For the new guys

Get yourself a CZ 452 (Varmint) .22lr.
Caliber was chosen because of economy and
availability. Put a Simmons Pro-Air 6-18
on it and go out and practice !

The accuracy of the rifle is incredible.
If you want to clone a 40x (.22lr) in a sniper
mode it can be done but it is substantially more


Gunny Sergeant
Aug 5, 2003
The Reservation (OK)
Re: For the new guys

After shooting for 35+ yrs, I've only been seriously into LR/T shooting for about two years now but the first bit of advice I would give is read this thread about five times. Lots of great info here and I'm glad to see it posted in this manner. One thing mentioned ealier by L.London that I think's very helpful is get a shooting partner if possible. One with a lot of experience is great but not a must. Two people encouraging one another and swaping info will increase your learning curve considerably, a little competition never hurts anyway. It will also make you learn to spot and read wind much faster because you'll be doing it for your partner, its an ability that is vital in this craft. If you cant get a partner just spend as much time shooting as you can afford and read the info given out daily on this site, many of these folks know of what they speak.

Aug 25, 2003
Re: For the new guys

Here goes...

Take all the advice people give about gear and put it in the nice to hear part of your brain. Good gear is what works for you!

The weakest link is the shooter himself so develop the skill sets that will make you a good rifleman. Most of the gear that you can buy off the shelf, ammunition included, will outperform you. You'll note that the majority of sniper matches require that the shooter use commercial loads. Also note that just about all of the world class competitors got started shooting .22LR, there's a reason for that, so don't go out and get a .50BMG to get into LR shooting.

Keeping a log book is a nice pass time but if you are like most shooters, you will generally shoot at the same location year-in-year-out. There are only so may drawings of the same range you can make. You're better off getting a PDA and the Horus Atrag software.

A final thought is go out and enjoy it. You can have as much fun, if not more, with a Wal-Mart .22LR than you can with a custom .308 or a custom anything for that matter. If you enjoy it, you are more likely to be good at it.

Best Regards,

IUD :bandit:


Gunny Sergeant
Dec 5, 2003
Virginia Beach, VA
Re: For the new guys

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Keeping a log book is a nice pass time but if you are like most shooters, you will generally shoot at the same location year-in-year-out. There are only so may drawings of the same range you can make. You're better off getting a PDA and the Horus Atrag software. </div></div>I will have to respectfully but completely dissagree with the above statement. Electronics are nice to have and when given the proper data by the user they can provide you some good intel.

However, a log book is more than a bunch of pictures. It is observations of wind conditions, lighting conditions, locations of targets and range info. If you ONLY shoot on one known distance range then yes you are correct it will get redundant. When traveling to a new location the info that can be gleaned an put into a log is vital to the next time you go there or some place similar. The only way to maintain proficiency in things to look for and observe, is to do it everytime you go to the range.

Computer based dope programs are nice and they can be correct for some of the ranges (distance) you shoot at but quite often they are WRONG. Log books record REAL data, computer programs produce theoretical data. A fine place to start but not a good thing to bet money or your life on.

Cheers :beer:
Aug 25, 2003
Re: For the new guys


I know what you're getting at but follow my logic here for a moment. A shooter is unlikely to encounter the same atmospheric conditions from day to day (i.e. no one day will ever be the same). Therefore relying on historical data to get a firing solution is not real practical and it's time consuming particularly when you have a small window in which to engage the target.

I agree that relying on electronics has it's risks but when it comes to getting a firing solution at the point of engagement there is nothing faster including the milling. Plug in your atmospherics and mils and you are there. ASC convinced me of that and I think the PDA + software is standard sniper gear now.

Best Regards,

IUD :bandit:


Gunny Sergeant
Nov 13, 2003
Re: For the new guys

FM 23-10 Section IV
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
The sniper data book is a written, chronological record of all activities and events that take place in a sniper team's area. It is used with military sketches and range cards; this combination not only gives commanders and intelligence personnel information about the appearance of the area, but it also provides an accurate record of the activity in the area. Information is recorded on DA Form 5786-R (Sniper's Observation Log)
</div></div>A civilian shooter can do the same thing, By understanding the range and the layout of the trees, rocks or what ever. The shooter will see how the wind plays off of the lay of the land. This will help the shooter see the “swirl” pockets of wind, or the braking point of the wind coming over the trees.

So I do not see how software can help the shooter with the above situations.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"><span style="font-weight: bold">IUD,
but if you are like most shooters, you will generally shoot at the same location year-in-year-out. There are only so may drawings of the same range you can make.
</span></div></div>That to me is the strongest part of a data book, as quoted from FM 23-10 Section IV

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">

When the sniper leaves the firing line, he compares weather conditions
to the information needed to hit the point of aim/point of impact.
Since he fires in all types of weather conditions, he must be aware
of temperature, light, mirage, and wind. The sniper must consider other
major points or tasks to complete
<ul style="list-style-type: disc">[*]Compare sight settings with previous firing sessions. If the sniper always has to fine-tune for windage or elevation, there is a chance he needs a sight change (slip a scale).[*]Compare ammunition by lot number for best rifle and ammunition combination.[*]Compare all groups fired under each condition. Check the low and high shots as well as those to the left and the right of the main group—the less dispersion, the better. If groups are tight, they are easily moved to the center of the target; if loose, there is a problem. Check the scope focus and make sure the rifle is cleaned correctly. Remarks in the sniper data book will also help.[*]Make corrections. Record corrections in the sniper data book,such as position and sight adjustment information, to ensure retention.[*]Analyze a group on a target. This is important for marksmanship
training. The firer may not notice errors during firing, but errors become apparent when analyzing a group. <span style="font-weight: bold">This can only be done if the sniper data book has been used correctly.</span>[/list]

</div></div>So IUD, so how does a software program will help in this type of situation below?

Analyze a group on a target: <span style="font-weight: bold">This is important for marksmanship training. The firer may not notice errors during firing, but errors become apparent when analyzing a group. </span>

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">
Therefore relying on historical data to get a firing solution is not real practical and it's time consuming particularly when you have a small window in which to engage the target
</div></div>This is why the U.S. Military has the Udari Training Center. A Soldier spends 4 to 6 weeks or more there before crossing the border for training. In a real world engagement, you have been in the AO for some time. So the ZERO’s do not change as much as shooting just on the weekends like a lot of us do here.

Also a Sniper/Shooting team deploys as a two or three man team. The Shooter is focused on the task at hand wile his spotter is working on the wind calls, target ID, spotting the splash and logging in the data book. The third man is doing security “if there is a third SM” If you have never done team drills, this is how it is done.

As you can see a Data book is suppose to have more in it than just Dope and pictures.

I know that Horus Atrag software has its place; but it does not replace the data book in any way.



Re: For the new guys

Proper use of the data book means it is used as much or more off the firing line as on it.


Gunny Sergeant
Dec 5, 2003
Virginia Beach, VA
Re: For the new guys

+1 to L.London's comment. The Dope Book or Range book contains (or should contain) much more info than sight data to a target.

Let me break this down so we all know which what were talking about. I have a Gun Dope book at home, it's a 5" wide 3 ring binder. Inside it are not only the shot record pages where I record the data from that particular day, (windage/light/mirage etc.) but location and any other variables I note. It also has my call and impact data for the shots fired. And it also has the actual TARGET with the group cut and taped to the page. This is my historical file, potentialy this is the most valuable data I have in that I can track trends on ammo, changes occuring in my rifle POI shifts from location and elevation changes. It also confirms my computer generated firing data.

Now obviously a 5" 3 ring is a bit cumbersome. For my day to day going to the range I use loose sheets in a spring clip binder. They are set up for 2, 5 shot groups on each page. These are what go into the 3 Ring binder with the actual target. I also have my range cards laminated to the binder for 4 different tempurature variations at my normal elevation. This method works well for me on KD ranges where I can wheel my shooting cart up to the line and spread out.

At ASC I carried a zippered day planner with a whole lot more info. It had the mil-dot master in it. 4 range cards spec'd out to 3500 ft elevation in 4 tempuratures 30*, 50*, 70* and 90* all at 70% Humidity. That seems to cover most shooting conditions I have encountered/shot in. It also has my Slope Dope pages. It has various shot pages depending on the situation that show a mil-dot retical and open space to record what I saw the dope I put on the gun and what I held when the trigger actualy broke. After ASC I have some refining of these pages in particular to make them more user friendly. This info will be transfered into my 3 ring binder soon for the next time I go to ASC.

Essentialy I run 3 books.

One stays at home and is the central after action repository.

One is for shooting on a KD or "regulation" range.

One is for field use.

The latter two are adgusted to match what conditions are present. I believe there are definate differences and needs for a field book and a range book.

1. Field books need to be small and contain Hard ranging data with pages for recording individual shot data, mainly because you are only putting 1 - 3 rounds out at any given target.

2. Range books can be any size your comfortable with and have room for lots of shot data since you (I) shoot 5 round groups at EACH target.

PDA's and electronic gizmos are great but they are only as good as a. the data entered and b. the formula's used to derive the information. A good dope book has HARD shooting data confirmed by putting rounds on target and recording REAL information. Kinda like the difference between a real shooter and an internet shooter

Cheers :beer:
Apr 17, 2005
Orlando, FL
Re: For the new guys

I'm glad you guys are taking time to help the newbies who wants to learn.
It's such a vast field to learn because of the specialized and specific equipment to discipline to achieve the long range reach. It was an eye opening experiece when I ordered a barrelled action from George and an US Optics Scope.....I had no clue what I was ordering (heavy recoil lug? USMC vs Army mil-dot? ...since I finished order I know).


Gunny Sergeant
Dec 5, 2003
Virginia Beach, VA
Re: For the new guys

I'll throw out some observations that I made during the recent ASC#4 match other than the ones I already posted on that thread.

Good gear costs money but it does you no good to buy and carry the wrong things. This topic has most to do with drag bags, tactical vests and back packs. In the venue that we were shooting in you had to hump everything that you thought you might need. As you can see in some of the pics posted we were literaly shooting over our vehicles parked 600 yds away w/ about 500 ft of elevation drop at target 1K away. There was no going back to get something. A good comfortable back pack was worth it's weight in gold. In my case it carried 100rnds of ammo, a poncho, Gortex jecket, poncho liner which served as padding for my back up scope, full camel back (it failed on the hump up the mountian, need a new one), food, dope book, mini-F.A.K. (hey I'm a Doc), drop cloth, ears, eyes, camera, gun specific tools, OTIS cleaning kit.

So what did I use? Ammo, Dope Book, Drop Cloth, Ears/Eyes, Food (very little) and water. I humped the other stuff because had environmental conditions changed or if I had a major rifle casualty it was worth the weight to me.

Drag Bag, might have been a definate bonus in bad environmental conditions. It "might" have carried the gear but would have come up short when the back pack was needed for extra elevation on the rifle to make some of the more difficult angled shots.

Tac-Vests: In this venue absolutely worthless.

Mil-Dot master: MUST HAVE! Period no more discussion. However, you need to know how to use it, read the distructions (or get a how to from someone who REALY knows, and then use it.

Scope & Reticals: DO NOT COUNT CLICKS!!!!!!!!! remove it from your vocabulary. You have external knobs graduated in MOA for a reason learn how to zero them and count in MOA. 32 MOA is two twists of the wrist, 128 clicks is long and painfull.

Variable power, definate bonus, trying to find a 8.5 X 11" target 100yds away under a time limit and get three rounds on to it was a PITA (should have dialed down). Power more than 10X definate bonus for milling targets at long range. It is more precise the closer you can bring it.

Reticals: Mil-Dot's = Good, Gen 2 Mil-Dot's = Better, I won't say what is BEST but there are some realy good reticals out there that allow you to do UKD ranging VERY precisely (I will own one soon).

Correction Calls: Providing your shooter has the same retical you do make ALL calls in MIL's. Kevin Mussak reminded me of this early on when he started calling corrections (I had forgotten that little tid-bit).

"Hold 1 Mil - HIGH, Hold 1/2 Mil RIGHT" There is no question where you should put your cross hairs to make the next shot. When on a UKD range trying to say hold 1 MOA or half a plate or anything else is painful. There are no scoring rings so you can't say "Hold 7 Ring at 1100 o'clock).

Take good notes and get in practice doing that when you are on the home range.

1. Get your range, add angle dope.
2. Write down your ranging guess in mil's and calculated distance, draw a picture if you have time of what you are seeing.
3. Put on your elevation and write it down.
4. Then get on the gun and make the shot.
5. If you miss keep the impact in your head, make the correction by holding and SHOOT BEFORE SOMETHING CHANGES!!
6. When you hit, come off the gun and mark your cross hair location on a picture/drawing of the target (or off the target as the case was quite often) and where the round actually hit. DRAW PICTURES!!!!

By doing this, at the end of the day you will be able to review your rifle performance and you will see trends in your shooting. I discovered after the first day that my computer generated dope worked great out to 600 yards and from there on I had to add ~1 MOA elevation per 100yds to my dope. W/O those notes I would have blown quite a few shots that I made the next day.

There is more but I've run off at the fingers enough.

Last but not least you have to get out there and do it. High dollar Gucci gear, Internet scores and 100yd bug holes don't mean a thing to a plate at 1K. No one will laugh at you or tease you.........well they might tease you but we tease everybody :p , especialy if your shooting well. I have never heard so many "Great Shot"'s for good hits and "Oh, man just out the right, you were there" for misses as I did at ASC.

To qoute a phrase "Just Do It!"

Cheers :beer:


Gunny Sergeant
Mar 26, 2003
Rifles Only
Re: For the new guys

Drag bags are great - if you actually have to drag the rifle. Otherwise, they are a heavy nuisance. A very light rifle cover which would protect the rifle from weather and dust would be much better.

At ASC4, my shirt pockets contained a Mildot Master, some backup dope cards, my log sheets, a pen, and my Palm Pilot. The only thing on my belt was a Leatherman. Magazines for my AI were in the cargo pockets of my pants. Everything else was in my pack. For most shots, all I had to do was to take a rear bag from the outside pocket on my pack, and grab my rifle.

As Doc said, go do it. Everyone will help if you want help, and no one will look down on you if you shoot badly, because we've all done that.

The last place shooter finished way ahead of all the people who weren't there.


Gunny Sergeant
Nov 13, 2003
Re: For the new guys

Good stuff guys, keep it up. Hell at ASC week one. I came in dead last. But what I learned, will help me alot. I was doing real stuped stuff like:

1. Not going back to ZERO after each engagement.
2. Not trusting my gut on wind calls.
3. Turning my windage knob the wrong way.
4. Spoting only my Shooting partner, instead of watching every one else shoot and learn from them.

That is what I did wrong.

What I did right:

Kept a 300yd Battle sight ZERO on the rifle. No 100yd crap for me. This made dialing faster to all ranges.

Followed my Spotters calls to the money.

Always kept my Gear packed at all times.

Took every shot there was even a third shot if I missed to get the training.

Never cared about my score. Its only a Number.

My kit:

1. Carred a Arktis 1624 LBV from Triad. This LBV had in it at all times:
<ul style="list-style-type: disc">[*]80 rounds of .308win[*]2QT's of water[*]Scoring sheet[*]2 cameras[*]Map of AO, compass and protracter[*]2 MRE's[/list]

2. 3 day Assault Pack from BlackHawk, it had:
<ul style="list-style-type: disc">[*]Dope book[*]Cammel Pack[*]Shooting gloves[*]Smoking jacket[*]Poncho[*]100 rounds of .308win[*]Spotting scope "that I did not use"[/list]

I feel this is a must have list for me. But I can hump it

Aug 25, 2003
Re: For the new guys

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> John:

As you can see a Data book is suppose to have more in it than just Dope and pictures.

I know that Horus Atrag software has its place; but it does not replace the data book in any way.
</div></div>I am not abdicating that one should get rid of the data book.

The data book, when properly maintained, is a collection of shooting experiences across a variety of situations. It is more of a learning tool for the shooter than a fire control aid. It helps the shooter learn how his weapon system will perform under certain conditions. The practical problem is much different. The practical problem is placing a 175 grain projectile traveling at 2600 fps on the desired target and that is physics, which is a defined set of equations called ballistics. Once that bullet leaves the barrel the only thing acting on it is air density (altitude, temp, humidity) and wind. The PDA excels at that so the shooter doesn’t need to sit there and corrolate firing solutions from the data book; that translates to speed and accuracy.

IUD :bandit:


Gunny Sergeant
Dec 5, 2003
Virginia Beach, VA
Re: For the new guys

I just took a look at my post, I posted the things that I saw other shooters doing, things from Highpower matches and the things that I did. This was a comprehensive list of things to/not to do, not necessarily a laundry list of my screw ups, although there were plenty of those :p .

I'm guilty of leaving the last shot's dope on, thanks to Kevin's call I recovered for a second round hit.

Twice after the shot I discovered that my wind knobs had moved during humping from one place to another and I never checked. Once it resulted in a first round hit and once it resulted in being 4' wide ending in a 3 mil hold center hit. Spotters are invaluable and I'll take that kind of luck.

I guess the biggest thing for a new shooter to have when going to a match like this is a plan of what to do, time management. It is a combination of doing things that I listed up above as well as prepping for the next shot when stowing the gear from the last shot. As Rob01 said, our group moved fast and I think part of that was trying to get the next guy in before the conditions changed. That ment picking up your trash and getting out of the way quick because sometimes there was only one spot to take a shot from.

Here is Lindy shooting through a hole in the trees, the target is in the dark spot over his left shoulder.

Here is a pic of Lindy and the guy scoring the hit laying down so he can see it. I had to lay down behind the spotter to get the pic.

W/O a good solid base for a shooter to remember what to do and what is needed after the shot, stuff will get missed. Some folks got rushed before the shot and some got rushed after either on could screw you if you didn't have a method to your madness. Lot's of folks posting about spinning the dials the wrong way and forgetting to take off dope. More than once the call went out "You're a full rev HIGH". It happens.

The only real way to get things engrained into your head is to get out there and do it for real. Make the mistakes, learn from yours and other peoples. It's a match not a two way range, enjoy it and learn from it.

Cheers :beer:
Apr 17, 2005
N.W. New Jerseystan
Re: For the new guys

Practice doesn't make you good. Good Practice is what lets you increase your skill. Don't repeat bad habits-ask questions and realize that it ISN'T EASY. Hittin' consistently at distances the average person can't see takes ALOT of skill,GOOD gear and the ability to take criticism. Seek and ye shall find.
Dec 10, 2001
Boonies OK
Re: For the new guys

The 7 P's-
Proper prior practise prevents piss poor performance.

Log books work, they allow ya to comment on your day at the range. Across the top I put the general data- altitude, date, temp, range, light conditions, WIND (as best as I can determine)

Then a few target boxes, five at most, down the side with PLENTY of space to the right to record comments. Comment your ass off- what did the wind actually do while ya shot, what 'favor' did ya use, what did ya 'call' , n what do ya think ya actually held when the sear broke.

Often my comments are.."didnt wait the wind out, felt 'loose' when I broke the sear, drifted back to COM as I broke the sear, wide difference between width n hieght mil reading, went with straight split of mil difference....1000 yards sucks!"

There is more to 'dope' than a comeup/wind chart. Be brutally honest of your technique, ya cant improve if ya aint honest.

Gettin that shootin thats a hellova deal! Ya really need a coach/spotter/analist. It can be done without one but all things considered its much easier to learn with someone there watchin ya.

All the rifle/scope/ammo advice is ok I reckon... I wouldnt get too wrapped up over it...some of us just dunt learn until we pee on the electric fence... :bandit:


Gunny Sergeant
Dec 5, 2003
Virginia Beach, VA
Re: For the new guys


Don't know yet, I just got a e-mail from Dick at Premier. He let me know the reticel I described to him was going to cost me $1,200.00 because it doesn't exsist, has to be tooled up and ground on glass. The search begins :p

Cheers :beer:
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