What is the most efficient workflow?

leeb10

-
Belligerents
Sep 17, 2013
317
62
34
Greater Seattle Area, WA
I want to talk about workflow.

A little bit of common language first. When engaging a target, a shooter has the perform the following actions:

1. Find the target
2. Determine the range to target
3. Calculate a firing solution
4. Input firing solution to rifle (dial/hold)
5. Fire, spot, reengage if necessary

For myself, a shooting problem looks like one of the following:

“Backyard plinking”: no time pressure, so all steps 1-5 can be completed at leisure.

“PRS”: there is intense time pressure however, steps 1-3 can be completed before the clock starts, only steps 4 and 5 are performed under time

What happens if you must perform all five steps under time pressure: field matches (SAC, Mammoth, RTC), hunting, or Mil/LEO?

What is the optimal equipment/process combination to most effectively, reliably complete this workflow under speed?


I don’t believe there is a perfect answer to this question with the tech that is out there today. Difficult tradeoffs have to be made, and I think we are all gunning for a second place solution.

Sure, you could find a highly capable equipment package that is best in class in its respective roles: Swaro Binos to find the target, Vectronix rangefinder to range, Kestrel to calculate a firing solution, bring up the rifle and shoot. Not including the rifle, now you have three devices with no integration. They excel in what they do, but as a total package solution it is severally lacking.

Likewise, you could attempt to find a single device solution: Leica Geovid HD-R 3000, Zeiss Victory RF, Wilcox RAPTAR S. However now you have to compromises on one or more features. For the binos, it is a poor onboard ballistic computer and, to make matters worse, no connectivity to a Kestrel Elite. For the RAPTAR, it is the obscene price tag and the fact that you are now reliant on a low resolution, low FOV, rifle scope, as opposed to binoculars, to find targets.

What would perfect look like? One device, great or best in class across all functions: glass quality, range finding performance, ballistic computation with onboard enviro sensors (no wind necessary) with solution easily relayed to shooter.

I think we are really close to this, but no one seems to hit it out of the park yet.

What have you guys found to be effective solutions in the meantime?
 

leeb10

-
Belligerents
Sep 17, 2013
317
62
34
Greater Seattle Area, WA
check the sig 3000 thread
Yeah the thread is a great resource. Read through it a couple times. I think the Sig Kilo3000 has hit a real niche in terms of ranging performance, device integration, and price. I think it has a couple weaknesses though that keep it from being an absolute home run. If they can resolve the following, would gladly pay a hefty premium for them:

Better glass: would love to use these binos as a no compromise observation tool for spotting trace past 1000 and for western hunting. The binos have a obvious bluish chroma that is a bit distracting too.
More magnification: 12x50 would really help with rangefinding smaller targets, and spotting trace
Native temp and pressure sensors: it is on the 2400ABS, they really should have included them in the Kilo3000. Would no longer need to have a cell phone with a signal to pull station pressure data.
Full AB Elite: I want to be able to have a ballistic solution to the range finding limit of the binos without having to maintain a bluetooth connection with another device.
Locking diopters: see thread
 

usafa77

Full Member
Belligerents
Feb 18, 2017
468
60
34
So you want the Kestrel inside the binos basically. Plus better glass and more magnification. What is this thing going to weight and how big is it? I assume you are not western hunting out of a pickup. And what are you willing to pay? I amazed how fast we got to a product like the Sig, hopefully what you want is right around the corner. I'll buy it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: leeb10

leeb10

-
Belligerents
Sep 17, 2013
317
62
34
Greater Seattle Area, WA
So you want the Kestrel inside the binos basically. Plus better glass and more magnification. What is this thing going to weight and how big is it? I assume you are not western hunting out of a pickup. And what are you willing to pay? I amazed how fast we got to a product like the Sig, hopefully what you want is right around the corner. I'll buy it.
Yep basically :D

I think the weight and size penalty should be minimal. The 2400ABS, with sensors and full AB, is no real heavier or larger than the 2200. The Zeiss Victory SF, with better glass, onboard sensors and ballistic computer is an ounce heavier than the Kilo3000 and marginally longer.

Don't get me wrong, the kilo3000 is fantastic and at an amazing price. The rangefinder is particularly stellar. The tech and capability seems to all be there across products, just no one has hit it out the part yet and put it all in one at say the $2-2.5k price point. I think the market is definitely there.

A Kilo3000ABS HD? Yes please!
 

Niles Coyote

Gunny Sergeant
Belligerents
Aug 13, 2007
4,100
476
189
South West, MI
Sorry, I don't want integration. I use a Swaro EL range and that really as integrated as I care to get. To many items to go wrong (or new tech released) and then your screwed plus the controls for each will take you awhile to make changes and slow you down... and some items (Weather meters) need to be protected against body heat influencing your results.

My work flow while Hunting.
I'm in an area without service, so I use Hornady 4DOF. First light record weather into app, check for weather changes and update every couple hours. Spot Game with Bino's and range. If inside my personal limit, dial and send it. If there is not enough time for that, I should not be making that shot anyway... and let be honest, I know my dope doesn't change much inside 500 so I am really only concerned about double checking myself unless that shot is out there a stretch and then time is on my side and conditions are going to be ideal if I'm taking the shot.

At a match.
The dope is on my card and attach to the gun. Scope will be set up for the first shot before start signal, so I'll start with shot two. once the first shot has been sent I dial for the next shot and then move into position (if needed), locate the target, close bolt and engage... then repeat as necessary.

If I'm shooting a field match I'd just need to add locating and ranging the next target, that is if they don't allow you to write up cheat sheet first.

If were going to integrate, all of this needs to be done inside tube of the rifle scope, it needs a self opening umbrella with auto solar pointing and the scope needs to be painted white or chromed. Also, pray its Vortex with stellar CS and lighting fast turnaround for servicing rather than sending it off to Europe or some warehouse in the US while they decide if they want to sit on it for a few weeks and claim a tech will be in contact after they decide if they will warranty the electronics.
 

Conrad

Major Hide Member
Belligerents
Apr 28, 2006
1,348
113
169
TX
One of the quickest solutions out there (and I understand it may not be for everyone) is a premium range finder bino coupled with a Tubb DTR reticle in the rifle scope.

In a match like steel safari the work flow is pretty seamless (speaking from experience). The only thing I can think of better is using a RAPTAR with AB on the rifle and Binos to get an idea of where targets are first. Again, you could also couple a RAPTAR and DTR. Just a thought.
 

dgheriani

Private
Belligerents
Feb 10, 2017
243
56
34
I shoot a bunch of RTC matches. As far as workflow goes, the stage will totally dictate what works. When possible, we have shooter 1 set up while shooter 2 ranges all the targets and calls out dope (we have matching dope and Kestrel is linked to the Sig 2400BDX). How we range depends on how the stage is setup, sometimes you can shoot the stage prone but tall grass would get in the way of ranging so we have a lighter dedicated tripod for ranging. Also whether or not you can pair fire or if one shooter has to go through all the targets before shooter 2 engages determines how we spot. If pair firing, normally we'll spot from behind the gun but if you can't pair fire then we also have a spotter set up on the same tripod we use for ranging (the lrf and spotter are co-witnessed) and the guy who isn't shooting spots with the spotting scope. Lotsa way to skin this cat and again, always totally depends on the stage setup/layout.
 

Ledzep

Chancellor
Belligerents
Jun 9, 2009
1,902
688
219
NE
I got the chance to mess with a beta version 4dof kestrel and Terrapin X. It's a pretty awesome combo. Average, min/max wind can be recorded or manually input (with azimuth), then obviously pressure, temp, humidity, elevation... Then the Terrapin X provides shooting azimuth, incline/decline, and range. Bluetoothed to the 4dof kestrel it provides a firing solution with min/max/avg wind holds.

That will likely be the direction I head going forward.
 

leeb10

-
Belligerents
Sep 17, 2013
317
62
34
Greater Seattle Area, WA
Sorry, I don't want integration. I use a Swaro EL range and that really as integrated as I care to get. To many items to go wrong (or new tech released) and then your screwed plus the controls for each will take you awhile to make changes and slow you down... and some items (Weather meters) need to be protected against body heat influencing your results.
Totally understand. From what I gather, this year's winner of the Mammoth Sniper challenge ran three devices: a bino, rangefinder, and kestral/paper dope charts. Hard to argue against results.

The body heat issue is a concern. Mostly since it seems it take awhile to clear thermal drift. With the kestral you can just swing the thing around and the temperature readings go back to normal. Can't seem to do that with say a 2400abs.
 

Vargmat

Sergeant
Belligerents
Apr 17, 2013
475
205
49
Sweden
We usually have rules that make rangefinders obsolete and pretty much all digital tools are prohibited. In the Nationals you can be DQ:ed for using your cellphone.
So, before you even go to a competition you need to have printed range cards for both distance and wind drift. Almost everyone uses a "True Miller" which is like a mil-dot master but better.
7094886

So, on stages where the distance is not known (most of them). What we do know is the target size, so I do it like this:
Lets say the target is 45cm tall. Then I set the outer disc on the true miller as pictured. When I get the command "Measure target" I get behind the rifle, dial out parallax and measure the height of the target with the fine graded scale on the lower left half of my MSR reticle. Lets say I measure it to be 0.9 MIL. I then spin the outer disc to match that number, which gives me the distance. I then check my rangecard and dial the scope accordingly. Before I even lay down I have done my wind estimation and try to read the terrain, combined I have my firing solution and when the command "FIRE!" is given, Ill shoot my 6 shots (on a regular stage) and that is pretty much it. After the results of that stage is given, we move on to the next one and do it all over again.

With normal rules we have 2 minutes to measure the target or targets, as I described above. Which is plenty of time when you have your shit down and feel confident in your equipment. When you are new to this and still working on getting shit in order, those 2 minutes fly by. There are stages with 2 targets, which cuts your measuring time in half, so to speak. But its a good challange to see if you have good routines.
 

PrepareSmarter

Private
Minuteman
Feb 10, 2019
66
29
24
I'd love a critique of my proposed workflow. Team gets in position.. shooter builds their shooting platform and confirms ele/wind is zeroed. If time permits, designate sectors/reference points and create a range card.

Workflow with LRF / Kestrel system:
1. Target identified by spotter (or shooter) and the other team member is navigated to the target.
2. Verbal description of target, confirmation both are on same target.
3. Shooter check parallax and level, spotter sets DoF on Kestrel and ranges target with LRF.
4. Spotter calls elevation and wind from Kestrel display, switches to high powered spotting optic.
5. Shot
6. Spotter calls correction value (referenced from previous hold), or moves back to step 1

Workflow with mil/moa ranging and DOPE cards:
1. Target identified by spotter (or shooter) and the other team member is navigated to the target.
2. Verbal description of target, confirmation both are on same target.
3. Shooter check parallax and mil, spotter confirms mil
4. Spotter calculates range with Mil-Dot Master or manual calc, references DOPE cards.
5. Spotter calls elevation and wind hold, back to high powered spotting optic.
6. Shot
7. Spotter calls correction value (referenced from previous hold), or moves back to step 1
 

dgheriani

Private
Belligerents
Feb 10, 2017
243
56
34
Totally understand. From what I gather, this year's winner of the Mammoth Sniper challenge ran three devices: a bino, rangefinder, and kestral/paper dope charts. Hard to argue against results.

The body heat issue is a concern. Mostly since it seems it take awhile to clear thermal drift. With the kestral you can just swing the thing around and the temperature readings go back to normal. Can't seem to do that with say a 2400abs.
That's why I think that the Sig Kilo 3000BDX is just fine as it is (I ordered one this week after playing with my shooting partner's). I guess you can always get better glass but I'm not really a snob when it comes to glass. The integration is what makes it great. I have no need for onboard full AB since it links to my Kestrel (which you'll want for wind anyways). For me, it has the perfect amount of integration. I get to do away with carrying separate Binos and LRF and 10x is better for ranging smaller targets than the typical 7x of a LRF. I also get the full benefit of having a Kestrel although I don't actually need to check it unless I want to change the wind value or something like that.