Range Drills/Games

Apr 10, 2017
378
41
28
Houston, Texas
#1
Have been shooting with a good friend at a couple sand pits. We can shoot over 2,000 yards at one of the pits. We have been mainly working on setting up equipment and working up loads for a couple rifles by shooting paper at known ranges and working toward smallest groups.

I recently purchased a Kestrel 4500 AB Bluetooth and a Garmin 701. Working to get familiar and proficient with both. So we decided to set up water filler bottles from a couple quarts to gallon milk jugs at random distances. The drill is for the other person, who didn't set them up, to find them, measure the distance, put the info in the Kestrel and Garmin, determine the DOPE, and hit on first shot. We have also practiced synchronized shooting, two targets at the same time. Spotting and giving corrections for the others shots. We both have mil scopes. Having a great time. Much more fun that focusing on making the bullets touch on paper all the time. Working on building steel targets in the near future.....

I was wondering what drills others are using to become proficient with their equipment and at the same time make it a little more fun than paper targets at given distances. Wish I had thought of this a long time ago! Might be missing other educational drills.

Since I have keys to the sand pits there is nobody around, so our safety concerns are greatly reduced. We have no range rules other than common sense that we were all taught when we learned to shoot.

Thanks for your time.
Steve
 

OzTRG

Sergeant
Feb 14, 2017
207
53
28
#2
You might want to get hold of “100+ sniper exercises”. I believe it is available from paladin press. I suppose that it all depends on what you are practicing for. Timed drills, smaller targets, unknown distances, positional, race against each other are all options.
 

demolitionman

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 26, 2013
1,114
352
83
Ohio
#3
I work at a Sand quarry myself. I shoot there a little as well. It is an awesome time just picking out unknown distance rocks on highwalls and doing range estimation and just simply sending a round watching your impact and utilizing the reticle to re-dial your shot and blasting that rock. It's a ton of fun with a 22lr as well. I can easily shoot a hundred 22lr rounds doing just that. Or lazer stuff and see how your dope matches up. Of course having someone spotting your shots and making calls for you is great teamwork skills, but I unfortunately always tend to end up shooting alone. Sand quarries are so great. You can almost always spot your own impacts.

Take a bunch of party baloons too and set them up along high walls....those a good time too.
 
Apr 10, 2017
378
41
28
Houston, Texas
#4
You might want to get hold of “100+ sniper exercises”. I believe it is available from paladin press. I suppose that it all depends on what you are practicing for. Timed drills, smaller targets, unknown distances, positional, race against each other are all options.
Thanks Oz,
I had not heard of that book. Sounds like the perfect answer to my question.
Steve
 
Apr 10, 2017
378
41
28
Houston, Texas
#5
I work at a Sand quarry myself. I shoot there a little as well. It is an awesome time just picking out unknown distance rocks on highwalls and doing range estimation and just simply sending a round watching your impact and utilizing the reticle to re-dial your shot and blasting that rock. It's a ton of fun with a 22lr as well. I can easily shoot a hundred 22lr rounds doing just that. Or lazer stuff and see how your dope matches up. Of course having someone spotting your shots and making calls for you is great teamwork skills, but I unfortunately always tend to end up shooting alone. Sand quarries are so great. You can almost always spot your own impacts.

Take a bunch of party baloons too and set them up along high walls....those a good time too.
Thank you Demoman,

As a kid I shot a lot in strip mines and we would do the same. This style of shooting started out more like what you are doing, finding a natural target. Rocks would be more fun, not a lot of rocks in the Houston area... We used random targets the first 4 times and just yesterday graduated to water filled containers. My wife is happy, I had too many stored for too long in the garage! I will try the balloons, great idea. Now we have to time the wind blowing them. Also sometimes it is had to tell if we shot a container at 600 yards. Unfortunately they don't always "blow up" like you would think. We found several that we thought we missed with multiple holes. Big difference the reaction of the hard plastic 2 qt bottle shot with a 220 Swift at 600 yards and the 300 WM at 100....
I will be making some steel targets soon. This should give a little better feedback, I would think.
Sorry you are so far away, would love for you to join us.

Steve
 

demolitionman

Sergeant of the Hide
Feb 26, 2013
1,114
352
83
Ohio
#6
Thank you Demoman,

As a kid I shot a lot in strip mines and we would do the same. This style of shooting started out more like what you are doing, finding a natural target. Rocks would be more fun, not a lot of rocks in the Houston area... We used random targets the first 4 times and just yesterday graduated to water filled containers. My wife is happy, I had too many stored for too long in the garage! I will try the balloons, great idea. Now we have to time the wind blowing them. Also sometimes it is had to tell if we shot a container at 600 yards. Unfortunately they don't always "blow up" like you would think. We found several that we thought we missed with multiple holes. Big difference the reaction of the hard plastic 2 qt bottle shot with a 220 Swift at 600 yards and the 300 WM at 100....
I will be making some steel targets soon. This should give a little better feedback, I would think.
Sorry you are so far away, would love for you to join us.

Steve
No problem Stevo. Egg's are blast to shoot as well. I hope some people come up with cool ideas for you because Im always looking for other ways to make shooting interesting.
 
Apr 10, 2017
378
41
28
Houston, Texas
#7
Good idea, if we have some old eggs might try that. Have shot old oranges. Looking for drills really that help me become more proficient with my equipment. Like to work with my shooting partner as a team, not really a competitor. We are not well matched on experience and equipment. Liked the suggestion on working on different positions.
Next outing I hope to have more time and will compare the DOPE from the Kestrel, Garmin, and the online programs.
Think the suggest book will have some good ideas.
 

TheGerman

Oberleutnant
Jan 25, 2010
4,220
1,744
113
Out West
#8
Good idea, if we have some old eggs might try that. Have shot old oranges. Looking for drills really that help me become more proficient with my equipment. Like to work with my shooting partner as a team, not really a competitor. We are not well matched on experience and equipment. Liked the suggestion on working on different positions.
Next outing I hope to have more time and will compare the DOPE from the Kestrel, Garmin, and the online programs.
Think the suggest book will have some good ideas.
You're not in Utah are you?

As far as drills, get your data cards set up first. After that, practice KD hits at different ranges focusing on making first hit rounds on 2 MOA and 1 MOA targets. Then do the same, but have it be UKD.

Biggest mistake people make during practice time is they shoot group after group. Group shooting is for verifying zero and a warm up. After that the practice starts, wherein most people never actually practice doing everything they need to make a first hit UKD hit on something at 829 yards. Yet they can shoot a .5 100y group all day.

Use both a LRF and your mil reticle to determine range, Build a measurement log of standard sized objects, targets you may encounter when ranging and especially measurements of actual targets you will be shooting so you can range them more accurately.
 
Apr 10, 2017
378
41
28
Houston, Texas
#10
German,

Thank you.

We did mention using the reticle to determine distance when we had a difficult time determining distance on a dark object with the LRF. I think we lazed something more reflective nearby and used that for our DOPE. Would be a good idea to practice with the reticle, thank you.

I am on the east side of Houston, TX.

Steve
 

TheGerman

Oberleutnant
Jan 25, 2010
4,220
1,744
113
Out West
#11
German,

Thank you.

We did mention using the reticle to determine distance when we had a difficult time determining distance on a dark object with the LRF. I think we lazed something more reflective nearby and used that for our DOPE. Would be a good idea to practice with the reticle, thank you.

I am on the east side of Houston, TX.

Steve
LRF is obviously faster and more accurate, but when I am showing someone how to shoot and/or spot, I have them determine range by reticle only at first. Gives an insight into making every .1MIL count as most misses are basically a bunch of small errors that add up to a large error total.

If you plan to shoot or hunt at night, the LRF (unless you get a setup with a slaved laser on a reticle you can see in the dark) wont be of much use. Additionally, from a military aspect, LRF at night is usually a no-go as the beam can be seen through night vision. Besides there being different spectrums looked into to change that, being able to use the MIL reticle as well as properly setting up a data card and a range card will make things a lot easier.

A mildot master at first may help as sitting around doing math while shooting is not what you should be doing. The primarily goal is for you to figure out the difference between .3 and .5 of a MIL on ranging a target and understand things like what do you do when the target is obscured, at an angle and where your wind hold is EXACTLY when you press the trigger.

As I said before, start a target/object log. I mentioned this in another thread about data books where it was beaten into us to always have a 5 foot tape with us (still have one in my data book cover now) and measure everything that we can get our hand son that will be standard sizes in our AO (i.e. license plates, door and tire heights on specific vehicles, road signs, etc). Take the largest measurements off of them (both horizontal and vertical) you can get as well as any other good reference points assuming your target will be obscured. Then if you know you are going to be engaging a specific target, make a cheat sheet for the target where you have a 3x5 card or data book page showing the dimensions you have on the target as well as .1 increments next to it with the range already calculated. You can even go further and have your specific guns ballistics info for that range there as well.

For example: I hunt coyotes at distance, both day and night time. The way I do it during the day is different than at night, but the engagement distance is usually significantly less. I have a page laminated in my data book with a picture of a coyote, and a few measurements on him; height from foot to back, brisked to top of back, length of body from brisket to butt. On the card, for the MK12 I usually use at night, I'll have .1 increments to the ranges I want to use that look like this, for the 20" top of back to foot measurement: [TABLE="border: 0, cellspacing: 0"]
[TR]
[TD="width: 107, bgcolor: #CCCCCC"]Target Height[/TD]
[TD="width: 110, bgcolor: #CCCCCC"]20.00[/TD]
[TD="width: 107, bgcolor: #CCCCCC"] [/TD]
[TD="width: 107, bgcolor: #CCCCCC"] [/TD]
[TD="width: 107, bgcolor: #CCCCCC"] [/TD]
[TD="width: 86, bgcolor: #CCCCCC"] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]MILS[/TD]
[TD]Distance[/TD]
[TD]MILS[/TD]
[TD]Distance[/TD]
[TD]MILS[/TD]
[TD]Distance[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]5.0[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]111.1[/TD]
[TD]2.9[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]191.6[/TD]
[TD]0.8[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]694.5[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]4.9[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]113.4[/TD]
[TD]2.8[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]198.4[/TD]
[TD]0.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]793.7[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]4.8[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]115.8[/TD]
[TD]2.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]205.8[/TD]
[TD]0.6[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]926.0[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]4.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]118.2[/TD]
[TD]2.6[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]213.7[/TD]
[TD]0.5[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]1111.2[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]4.6[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]120.8[/TD]
[TD]2.5[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]222.2[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFFFF"] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]4.5[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]123.5[/TD]
[TD]2.4[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]231.5[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFFFF"] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]4.4[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]126.3[/TD]
[TD]2.3[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]241.6[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFFFF"] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]4.3[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]129.2[/TD]
[TD]2.2[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]252.5[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #FFFFFF"] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]4.2[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]132.3[/TD]
[TD]2.1[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]264.6[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]4.1[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]135.5[/TD]
[TD]2.0[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]277.8[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]4.0[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]138.9[/TD]
[TD]1.9[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]292.4[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]3.9[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]142.5[/TD]
[TD]1.8[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]308.7[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]3.8[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]146.2[/TD]
[TD]1.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]326.8[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]3.7[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]150.2[/TD]
[TD]1.6[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]347.3[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]3.6[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]154.3[/TD]
[TD]1.5[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]370.4[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]3.5[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]158.7[/TD]
[TD]1.4[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]396.9[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]3.4[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]163.4[/TD]
[TD]1.3[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]427.4[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]3.3[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]168.4[/TD]
[TD]1.2[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]463.0[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]3.2[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]173.6[/TD]
[TD]1.1[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]505.1[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]3.1[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]179.2[/TD]
[TD]1.0[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]555.6[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD]3.0[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]185.2[/TD]
[TD]0.9[/TD]
[TD="bgcolor: #DDDDDD"]617.3[/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[TD] [/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
It the simple, 27.77 x target height in inches, all divided by reticle MILS = distance in yards, formula.

You can obviously exclude some of the numbers as they are either very close to matter and will be the same .1MIL setting or too far for the caliber/bullet but you get the idea. If I wanted to take it further, I could set the table up to have elevation/wind for each distance on here and I'd have everything I needed to engage seconds after milling the coyote without a rangefinder. Use and expand this idea with your targets and how you set your data book up as well.
 
Last edited:
Apr 10, 2017
378
41
28
Houston, Texas
#12
Thank you German,

Great formula and application. I have the formula written down in my data book and will use it next Sat.

We set up two paper targets at 940 yards, a few different sized water filled containers from there to around 400 yards and a scrap piece of steel around 550. Went back to shooting area and could not range much with the Vortex 1500. Wind really blowing and gusty as a front was moving through. Gusts around 16 MPH with over 10MPH average and direction changing over our shooting period. One of the paper targets blew down after the first shot...

Decided to use the mil dot program and ran into a few issues. Really didn't fill like messing with technology too much during range time, so we just decided it would be good to take a guess of the range of targets from the one known distance and work on calling shots. Worked well. We were only two mils off on most targets.

Will work with the formula you gave next Saturday.

Thank you for taking the time to pass on this knowledge. We appreciate the help.

Steve
 

TheGerman

Oberleutnant
Jan 25, 2010
4,220
1,744
113
Out West
#13
Thank you German,

Great formula and application. I have the formula written down in my data book and will use it next Sat.

We set up two paper targets at 940 yards, a few different sized water filled containers from there to around 400 yards and a scrap piece of steel around 550. Went back to shooting area and could not range much with the Vortex 1500. Wind really blowing and gusty as a front was moving through. Gusts around 16 MPH with over 10MPH average and direction changing over our shooting period. One of the paper targets blew down after the first shot...

Decided to use the mil dot program and ran into a few issues. Really didn't fill like messing with technology too much during range time, so we just decided it would be good to take a guess of the range of targets from the one known distance and work on calling shots. Worked well. We were only two mils off on most targets.

Will work with the formula you gave next Saturday.

Thank you for taking the time to pass on this knowledge. We appreciate the help.

Steve
Or MIL them after having them measured and be almost dead on them, depending on your mil/size abilities :D

Doing math at the range sucks, and should be at a minimum. If you have to do something on the fly because Plan A didn't work, its better to know what to do and do it, then it is to send money down range hoping you hit something. Same goes for a ballistics program; have it dialed in as much as you can before even leaving the house or you're just hoping for things to work out.