A day in the life: Finding the edge

Today we went and shot the local F-Class match. It is not exciting but is an excellent test of your shot process and equipment baseline. It consists of 3 strings of fire, each 22 minutes long. It equals out to 1 min per shot at 600 yards. We shot on the MR-1 target which has a 1 MOA X ring, 2MOA 10 ring and 3 MOA 9 ring. The first string is unlimited sighting rounds and 20 rounds for score. The other two strings only allow two sighter shots and 20 for score.

Paper matters…

The trick to this is simple. Consistent shot placement over the course of the day with changing conditions and environmental factors. You can dial, you can hold, you can guess. If you can’t keep ahead of the wind, you will lose points. If you can’t place the sight in exactly the same place, you lose points. If your ammunition is inconsistent, you lose points. This match isn’t about speed or changing positions just raw marksmanship. The other match rule forces you to live by your process. You can only single load. This makes you have to treat every shot like it’s own event.

Today I ran the Knight’s Armament Company SR-25 PC with a Leupold Mk5. I used Federal Gold Medal Match 175s. From the bench, groups have been right around 1 MOA at 100 yards. Of the 68 rounds fired 20 were sub minute. Seven rounds though, went into the 3 MOA zone. Ballistic X has the days shooting at 2.37 MOA.

Other than wind, which changed throughout the morning, I was getting some rounds high and low based off point of aim. I don’t know the official cause, but I can tell you the fix and let you decide. The outside temp started in the 40’s and slowly crept towards about 50. What I noticed is that if I chambered the round on a warm gun and didn’t fire right away, it would float half ¾ of a minute high. If chambered and shot immediately it went low. My fix was to count one thousand and see how much time the round was chambered when I pulled an X. Turns out, a three count produced X hits for elevation. Since it wasn’t a serious match, I tested the theory and sure enough, it held true.

Is this important for most shooting? Nope, but when you are shooting a 1 MOA gun at a 1 MOA target the little things hinder or help.

Lets talk about Aim small miss small. I was putting the sight on the upper right leg of the X. I figure the X is about 1.5 inches tall with about 30 cal thickness. The center dot in the Tremor3 is just fine enough to hold on it. Did every shot break there? Nope. But many of the shots were on or close to that leg.

For the Day, I scored, because that’s all that matters, 200 with 7X for stage 1 with no wind. 197 with 6X for stage 2, during which the wind began to pick up and I got behind, and 196 with 7X for stage 3. Stage 3 I missed the wind dying and dropped a rounds low.

All in all, this style of match confirms 600 yard data, makes you follow small changes in the wind and confirms your shot process.