Saturday, June 2, 2012

Shootin' the Square

After my scope disintegrated on the cleaning bench last week, I feared the worst.
There's no way I'd have a shred of confidence in it without some kind of proof that it still worked.
And by still worked, I mean well enough to limp through a 32 round match at 300 yards.

So, I headed to the range early on match day and shot the square.

There was only one other shooter on the 100 yard range, it was an hour before match registration.
I quickly dumped three armloads of shooting crap on the bench; rifle, ammo, spotting scope, targets and assorted flotsam. When the other shooter finished his string, I asked for a break to hang my target downrange. I actually hung two. One was to confirm my zero. Target 2 was to actually work out the scope.

Last week, I was sighted in for 300 yards. So I should be about 4-4.5" high at 100 yards.
My target consisted of a 1" aiming point about 4" below a 3" ShootN-C™ bulls-eye.

Aiming point about 4" below bulls eye
Sure enough my first shot hit about 4" above my point of aim, and about 3" left, just outside of the bull. I dialed out the elevation, bringing it down 16 clicks. Dialed out the windage dope too. Sent two more rounds downrange, just to confirm I was in the neighborhood of my Point of Aim.

With my bore fouled and time a-burnin' ... I shifted over to my Hoppes S-10 target. Aiming at the center of the target, I settled in to try and make some decent shots.

Shot #1; about ¹⁄₈" low, ¹⁄₈" right. Good Enough! Let's crank this scope.
Shot #2; 16 clicks up and 16 clicks left ... Perfect! I mean, just purty. Shot lands exactly 4" high and 4" left of my p.o.a. This shot gives me the confidence to continue with giddy hope.

For shot #3; I crank on the windage turret, 32 clicks, or 8 minutes of angle adjustment. Looking to place my shot 4" high and 4" right of my p.o.a.. You'll notice this shot drifts up ½" and is too far right by 1½. Did I shank the shot? Or is it the scope?

No time to wonder, I start dialing the elevation adjustment down for a total of 32 clicks. Trying for a perfect shot picture, squeeze and follow through, I touch off #4.  It falls onto the 4" low line (good!) but still an 1¼" too far to the right.

Almost done now, two shots to go. I adjust the windage 8 m.o.a. to the left. The shot lands within ½" of where it should. Dialing the scope back up and right 16 clicks each way, I put the final shot back where I started ... well ... within ¼" of there anyways.

To finish up, I went back to target 1. Dialed in 4½" of elevation up to get me in the black at 300 yards. Fired 3 shots to confirm 300 yard zero.

So ... What did I learn? Is my p.o.s. Springfield Armory scope ok? Let me put it this way ... it'll do for now. If I was shooting past 300 yards? No. For the short range distance that I'm shooting at now? I'll shoot it til fails further. I'd swap it out in a heartbeat for 600 or 1000 yard shooting. The adjustments are out of tune. At least at the extremes shown. Some of the elevation drift could be explained by a very slightly skewed out-of-level installation. But the 1" over travel in windage? Mmmm, that's the scope. But then, that's why you do this exercise. To learn that.

I finished this exercise with enough time to join the gang for the usual festivities.
I dropped 3 points more than last week, finishing with a 175-4x. Was it the difference of 69 grain pills vs 75 grain last week? Don't know.  Still don't feel like I've found the load for these matches. Would like to try some different powders than the IMR 4064 and IMR 3031 that I have been using. Scope problems? Maybe. Had a tough time getting a clear sight picture. Would love to try a Leupold 36x BR on this course.

1st Relay Advantage: better light when shooting and able to snap a pic of my target
See ya at the range.

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