You wrote this so I didn't have to.I would have to say a chronograph. Prior to that I was guessing at muzzle velocity, reading the back of ammo boxes, trying to compare to online results with certain factory ammo and similar rifles. It was an exercise in frustration to say the least. Yes, I could generate drop tables by going out and shooting different ranges, but lord did I burn thru ammo trying to do so. And god forbid I decide to try a different brand or switch it up when I found something that grouped a little bit better. Now, I get solid muzzle velocity data at a certain baro pressure, save it into a ballistic calculator and can generate tables for current altitudes, atmospherics. Just the fact of having a solid starting point on muzzle velocity made my data better and greatly improved first round hits and confidence in my data tables. I find I use that chrony on my AR's, all my bolts and across a wide spectrum of different rounds. If you get one, your friends will be thankful also.
A laser rangefinder is a close second, but can be mitigated if you know how to range using a reticle or are shooting on known distance ranges.
i consider optics part of the rifle.....but obviously that would be first.I don’t agree with this. A high quality optic would be first for me.
I have t had a spotting scope yet and the ones I have looked through weren’t that impressive.
Plus you have to have a spotter to actually use the thing. Most people shoot by themselves more then with a buddy.
I keep thinking about buying one but most of my shooting is under 1k yards and I shoot a lot by myself. I haven't been able to talk myself into it yet because the one I was is almost 4k.The best piece of tangible equipment you can buy as a rifle shooter is a spotting scope..... a good one.
Not having a spotting scope is a no go.....as it makes shot-to-shot diagnosis impossible......
Take what you are going to spend on your next rifle and put that into glass, and you’ll be significantly better off in the long run
While you certainly won’t regret spending $4K on “Gucci” glass..... it’s by no means necessary..... especially for your first spotter.I keep thinking about buying one but most of my shooting is under 1k yards and I shoot a lot by myself. I haven't been able to talk myself into it yet because the one I was is almost 4k.
I want an moa reticle and the options are pretty slim. That's why I was looking at Swarovski glass. Leupolds reticle sucks in their gold ring and the Athlon is about the next in line. I don't want to spend money on a middle if the road to be unhappy with it then turn around and spend the money on the one I originally wanted. I've been down that road too many times with other shitWhile you certainly won’t regret spending $4K on “Gucci” glass..... it’s by no means necessary..... especially for your first spotter.
You can spend $1-2000 on glass and get excellent glass