Sounds like fun. Was it prone with a bipod? What rifle did you use for that event?
Prone with bipod.
I used a Kimber Classic, I think it's known as a K-22. Resembles a pre-'64 Winchester Model 70, downsized say 15%. It's a decent rifle, but I don't it's in the league of the Remy 40-X repeater conversions. I know I shanked some shots due to sheep-dip trigger pulls that may not have been an issue with a heavier and more solid platform. But my 40-X conversion is a ways down the road -- I must order the stock before jelrod can work on the action.
My biggest single downfall of the day was on the K-Y-L rack, where I missed a wind change and went out with 2 points. Rifle, ammo, and loose nut were all capable of 6-8 points there.
This is the first time a spinner went well for me. Getting the timing is everything, something I haven't yet done with centerfire and 300-400 yard target distances in matches. After a couple of fails, I spun the target twice on my sixth round -- I heard the best is with only 5 shots. I tried to spin it by hitting the top target, but didn't get it with two attempts. Had it ready to turn with the 8th or 9th shot, but missed the steel. Maybe next time.
Good shooting with you fritz. Little targets, wind constantly switching, pushing our itty bitty bullets around.... My 22 dope for 225yds is the same as my Dasher at 1040yds. Mirage was very easy to see, read yesterday. Had a handle on it most of the day, still guessed wrong a few times missing wind holds. Fun stuff!!
One challenge with steel targets is determining the methods to hang them. There a number of companies who make "A frame" stands -- these are common in matches, as the match director can relocate and take down targets at will. There's no need to drive anything into the ground; minor adjustments in angle are pretty easy to make. The steel hangs freely with conveyor strap, fire hose, or chain -- thus it can be pretty easy to judge where the impact occurred due to the plate's movement.
A downside for me is such target stands can be expensive, and they're a little heavy to move around much. I shoot on cattle grazing land -- the cattle rub up against the frame, knocking them around.
So most of my targets are hung on steel fence t-posts. The cattle still rub up again them, but not to the same degree. For swinging targets, I drive two t-posts, place a 3' or 4' piece of rebar between them, and hold the rebar on the t-post with hose clamps. I drop the rebar to the ground after each day of shooting, which reduces the effect of cows rubbing on the t-posts. This noticeably reduced my re-driving posts.
For single t-posts I currently have three ways to hang targets:
- JC Steel's t-post bracket. This holds the target well and slips over virtually any t-post on the market. The downside is that the plate really doesn't move much and the impact sound is a dull "thunk".
- JC Steel's slotted hook t-post bracket. I use this for my 20" and 24" long-range 1/4" plates -- the ones I use for 700-1300 yards. This bracket allows the plate to pivot a bit, but not as easily as a target hung with conveyor belt. This can be a downside for long targets in poor light. The targets ring clear and loud with this setup. Furthermore, large 1/4" plates are really loud.
- Rouge Shooting Targets may make the most compact t-post hanger. Their small round hook fits the holes in any steel I own. Rouge's downside is the sizing of the holder -- it doesn't fit over beefy t-posts. Most of my pistol targets are hung with Rouge's hanger.
- D-M Targets is my newest supplier. I won one of their prize certificates for a couple of targets at a Wyoming match, then bought a couple more to support those who support our game. D-M's slotted hook t-post bracket is similar in concept to JC Steel's version, but it has hooks in both directions -- both forward and backward from the face of the t-post (the flat-ish bar with the nubs that hold barbed wire in place). This makes D-M's bracket larger, but it means regardless of the way the t-post is facing, the target can be facing me.
I installed one of D-M's hangers and targets over the weekend. The hanger works well and the plate rings loud and clear. Good stuff.
Yesterday I shot a low-key version of the NRL Craig match, which was held 3 weeks ago. Changes were primarily:
- 10 stages yesterday vs. 16-18 for the July match
- 4 minutes per stage yesterday vs. 2 or 1.5 minutes in July
My daily score totals weren't much different for all three days. Which means I shot like dog-doo on the first day in July with 2 minute limits. And that the 4 minute limits yesterday allowed me to get all but one shot off. When we're not under time pressures, we tend to get less flustered with equipment or position issues. I still have my share of flustered moments, but they're a whole lot easier to deal with some additional time.
Yesterday was my first outing with the Really Right Stuff tripod. I like it. A lot. Two things came from this shake out. First, I need to increase the friction of the leg joints. The tripod legs fold up a little easier than I like, which means when moving the tripod from one position to the next, I had to push the legs out for full support. I think this is easily done with the supplied allen wrench. Second, I need to practice more with the tilt/pan/swivel head. Third, I had to adjust the shooting sticks (for rear support) so its legs are a little narrower than before. This is just part of matching rear sticks to from tripod, so they work as a system.
Thanks to Alpine and the rest of the NRL crew for setting up another match day.
Precision AR. There's two words that should not be in the same sentence. Well unless you have you one of those 1/4 MOA All Day Long internet AR's
Alpine and I are shooting a two day steel team match this weekend in Raton. One guy on a AR other on a bolt rifle. Next day switch. We shot it last year. Haven't shot my AR in several months, guess I should take for a spin, check zero, chrono... Crap, I forgot how different/difficult a AR is to shoot consistently compared to my bolt rifles. Shot 50rds at 100yds, chased my zero around. Got up and down with the rifle, shoot one, stand up with rifle, repeat.... I was so focus on shooting, getting myself set up behind the rifle correctly, just the right cheek pressure, load bi-pod... shot all my ammo forgot to chrono. Just loaded another 100, shoot some more in a few hours.
Per the webz, all ARs are laser beams and tack drivers, capable of shooting the wings off flies at 800 yards. Proven, of course, by that one decent target at 100 yards from 12 years ago, where three rounds are close to the center of the target, and the two called fliers are thrown out. The computer keyboard never lies.
I am the AR guy for a team match with Alpine later in August, and then the AR guy for a team match with offgrid in October. To be honest, I hope my so-called "Precision AR" skilz don't hold back Alpine's and offgrid's capabilities with their bolt action rifles. Here's to you guys shooting well this weekend at Raton.
Fortunately both factory Federal GMM 69 and Hornady 75 HPBT Match ammo work well in the 18" and 20" barrel AR-15s I use for matches. Nevertheless, I do futz with other options. I think Sierra's 69 & 77 Tipped Match King bullets would be the cat's meow, but I just can't seem to make the Black Hills and Creedmoor Sports versions of them work well. As in 1.25" to 1.5" groups on that rare good day, but the vast majority are 1.75" to 2.5" patterns at 100 yards. This occurred a couple of weeks ago -- I almost considered permanently hanging up my guns if that's all I can do.
Then I loaded Hornady's new 73 ELD-M round, promptly shot .5" and .7" groups at 100 yards. Huh.
So I jump to 12" steel targets at 400 yards, set up as they do in PRS skills stages. Three targets left-to-right, with 75 yards between the far left and far right. Hey, I got this -- 3 MOA targets, a little bit of movement from prone -- how hard can that be? In variable breezes, actually fairly hard. Even with good bullets in our ARs, an AR's wind drift is about twice the distance of our precision bolt guns.
You got that right. So much going on with those things after the triggers is pulled, bolt banging around....They are fun though!
Shot another 100rds Tuesday evening, 50rds Weds morning, will shoot another 50rds today. Starting to come back to me, point of aim/point of impact getting better.
While at the range Tues evening guy shooting next to me asked about my AR, he wants a 18" SPR upper. His Special Purpose, wacking steel. Suggested he look at Compass Lake Engineering. Told him about different reamers, Wylde vs CLE (Compass Lake Engineering), he should consider a 20" instead of a 18" because of the in between gas system of the 18" and the free velocity. Let him handle/shoot my 20" AR. We took a look at CLE's website, interesting to see they now offer Kreiger/Bartlien 18" barreled uppers with a Intermediate gas system.
Received a couple more Dasher barrels chambered by jelrod1. Bartlein barrels, Marksman contour, finished at 26", 7.25 twist. The Marksman contour is between a Medium and Heavy Palma. One of the actions is the new to me Bighorn TL3 with its mechanical ejector. Other action my original Bighorn, has north of 22K rds on it. Not really fair to compare these two yet, my older action is smooooth! Started working up a loads today on both, shooting amazingly well with very little work up. Dasher!
After reading your posts and doing some research I've opted for a 6 Dasher being my next build. I'm also going with the Bighorn TL3. I like the idea of CF and the mechanical ejector. I'm having Josh at PVA put one together for me. I considered the 6x47 Lapua, 6 Creedmoor and 6 Competition Match. All except the 6 Creedmoor required some fire forming. The 6CM was a close contender but the brass prep seemed cumbersome. I liked being able to use H1000 or Retumbo with the 6CM and the speed and barrel life seemed almost too good to be true. The Dasher seems very easy to tune from what I could gather and the brass prep seemed the least cumbersome.
Have you experimented with hydroforming? Hornady has a Dasher Hydroforming die but it seems many get split cases.
Two buddies had their brass FF by DJ's. The Hydroformed brass does not have sharp shoulders... I don't see the benefit to Hydroforming going to have to FF it anyway. So easy to jam shoot FF and will be very accurate.
Since there is no saami spec to the Dasher, reamer specs are all over the map. Dies are somewhat standardized. The spec you need to get right is the diameter of the case .200 above the rim. Ideally that dimension should be .4715-.4725. The "off the shelf" reamers, PTG.... are .4704 or .4708 or smaller. TOO SMALL! Seen this problem with Dashers, BRX's. Most of the die manufacturer, Whidden, Redding.... brass is sized to .470 at the .200 line. Not enough with a .4704-.4708 reamer. After a few firings, you will have problems, stiff bolt lift, bolt click....false pressure signs. Need to get the reamer right!
Been through a handful of 6's in the last several years.
6SLR. very accurate, poor barrel life, under 1000rd, Dtacs mid 2900fps.
2-6 Comp Match. One barrel shot the other did not. Pulled the barrel that shot if I remember correctly mid 2K, flyers. Using H1000 Dtacs under 3000fps.
4-6x47. very accurate, razor accuracy until mid teens, barrels start to slow down, dump more powder in the case get a few hundred more rounds.
6BR. crazy easy to tune, silly accurate, joy to shoot. Gave me a complete understanding of "inherit accuracy". SO EASY!!
Pile of Dasher barrels. Dasher=6BR with another 150fps or so.
Now you have me thinking. I'll give Josh a call and verify specs of his reamer. Worst case scenario, CORE has the TL3 on sale...I could pick one up and send it to Jelrod. I'm not sure if he's taking on work or not. I'm not in a big hurry. In another five weeks I'll be spending my weekends in a tree stand. I appreciate the information. It could save me some potential headaches.
I'm thinking of running the ARC mags. Any guidance on that front would be appreciated.
jelrod1's Dasher reamer is .4720 at the .200 line, which I believe is perfect. Fired cases come out .4710 at the .200 line. Get a Harrels D4 Dasher FL bushing sizer, D4 will size to .4690-.4695, you'll be GTG.
Very high percentage of my Dasher rounds have been through stock 10rd AICS mags, feed lips slightly flared out, 100% reliable. Smaller percentage though AW mags with a rear spacer I made, also 100% with some minor feed lip tweaking. Worth noting, I tweaked the feed lips on AICS/AW mags for every caliber I've shot to get to feed like butter, almost can't tell I've picked up a round. There's a couple gunsmiths offering spacer kits for AICS mags, absolutely not needed for a Dasher.
No first hand experience with the ARC mags. Friend uses them for his BRX. He did have to modify them heavily, spacer.... AICS mags have worked so well, no reason for me to try other mags. Funny how a couple of my knucklehead shooting buddies see first hand my Dashers feed 100% through AICS mags for thousands of rounds, yet they go try other mags, cracks me up!
I have plenty of AICS mags, but have no experience tweaking any of them. The problem is I don't know what I don't know. I've started ordering components last week. It's my way of committing myself to the build. I also have an MPA chassis ordered with a larger lowered ejection port for the Big Horn. Thanks again for the help. I've read everything I could find online and this is the first I've heard on chamber dimensions and dies. I'm smart enough to know when I'm not smart enough.
Here you go. When you get to the point of bending lips, I'll post dimensions, few pictures of a round in mag.... Just slightly flaring the feed lips back to front. Easy Peasy!
Alpine and I shot the Burris Optics team challenge match in Douglass, WY over the weekend. This was our second time in this match, with the prior one being two years ago. Alpine shot precision rifle and pistol, I shot carbine and pistol. The format is a combination of longer field matches (1 hour time limit) and shorter assault courses (generally 5 minute time limit).
There were three field courses, with each done in the morning, teams were staggered in 20-minute start time intervals. Four shooting stages per field course. Three of the stages had 4 targets at unknown distances. The team must find and range the targets, then AR guy shoots those four targets with unlimited rounds from shooting position #1. Rifle guy then shoots those same four targets, with one round per target. Rifle guy moves 20-30 yards to shooting position #2, engaging same four targets with one round each. Pack up, run/jog/walk hundreds of yards to next stage, rinse & repeat.
One of the four stages in each field course was an 8-target array. For these stages we had to locate and range all 8 targets, but the AR guy only had to shoot at 4 targets. The rifle guy had to engage all 8 targets from one position, with only one round per target.
In the first two afternoons, we shot 3 assault stages. These were less about precision and more about 3-gun-type run & gun. Stages were a mix of pistol, carbine, and rifle shooting.
Alpine and I finished smack dab in the middle of the pack. Field courses were scored by hits, plus bonus points for finishing in less than the allotted 60 minutes. We didn't gain any bonus points. Assault course were scored by time, less penalties for procedural errors and missed targets. We didn't have any penalties, but our times weren't all that fast.
In raw target impact score for the field matches, we hit 95 targets of the possible 144. The winners hit 119 targets. We were 80% of their hits. But the winners finished each course in roughly 43 minutes, so our combined score was 62% of theirs. We had the second place team behind us on the third day -- they we so fast that they caught us on the last two stages. This means we had to stop shooting, which easily cost us 8 or 9 target points. This is a part of the rules I don't like, because Alpine and I came into the last stage with adequate time to hit all of that station's fairly easy targets.
I felt we worked better as a team this year -- finding, ranging, documenting targets. A number of the ROs stated we did that well. We got flustered in one 8-target stage when 3 separate delays to shoo cows from the target area messed up our mojo. Unfortunately I lost the center reference point for the target array, then began shooting different targets than what Alpine had ranged. So I cost us some time and points there. We decided on a center line going forward, which I think helped on later stages.
Alpine kicked ass with the precision rifle. As the AR guy, I get to pepper away at the targets to figure out the wind. The precision guy is one shot, one target. Alpine missed very few targets.
We struggled to find some targets, especially on the 8-target field stages -- thus giving up both time and points. But time was our biggest issue. I was struggling with some health issues, which didn't make me any faster. Furthermore, I need to just bang away faster with the AR on the assault stages, rather than taking the time to aim for precision placement.
Alpine and I did well on the prize table after the match.
All in all a great match. I look forward to next year's team match, and other similar ones. Now I need to practice running and shooting faster.
Thanks to offgrid for the shooting tips yesterday. It was good to see you, and I will definitely try your advice.
sigfreund, good shooting with you yesterday.
The 6th assault stage in the Team Challenge match was only for long guns, and thus we were able to leave our pistols in the car. Prior to starting the course of fire, teams were staged in an area below the knob of a ridge. In theory to limit our prior knowledge of the course of fire, however being only 75 yards away from rifle fire meant we could judge fairly well judge target distance and direction.
The RO instructed us that we had 4 shooting stages along a south-to-north running ridge. The first position was on the south (lowest elevation) of the ridge, then we progressively moved north (up hill) after we hit each set of targets. Each shooting stage had one designated position for the rifle guy (Alpine) and one for the carbine guy. Rifle guy must make 1 hit on 1 steel target at roughly 300-400 yards, and it turned out all shooting positions were from prone. This was a chip shot for Alpine, and he impacted 4 for 4.
After rifle guy hits target, carbine guy must put 1 hit on each of 4 steel targets. Targets were arranged in a wide and tall diamond pattern. My 12 o'clock target was a little over 175 yards, the 9 o'clock was maybe 140 yards, the 3 o'clock a little over 100 yards, and the 6 o'clock was a little under 100 yards. IIRC adding a couple of elevation clicks from my scope's 100 yard zero and aiming for center of targets. Targets were generous in size -- maybe 6" or 8" diamonds.
I shot from a kneeling position with tripod support, as the 6 o'clock target was never visible from my prone. There was substantial gun movement to get on the 4 target positions, and thus I left my scope on pretty low magnification -- maybe 4-5 power. The 9 o'clock target wasn't squarely facing me, evidently a bunch of errant impacts had twisted it to the left over the two days. If that diamond was 8" tall, it appeared to be only 2" wide from my angle. It was my toughest target -- I missed it with 3 rounds, but I was 1/1 on all other targets.
Once Alpine and I achieved all 5 hits at a given stage, we ran uphill some 20-25 yards to the next position, shooting at the same 5 targets in the same manner. Rinse & repeat, until all four stages were done.
On the 4th and final stage, my kneeling position gave me a clear shoot at only the 12 o'clock target. The 3- and 9 o'clock targets were half-hidden in sage & grass, but I was able to shoot through the vegetation without incident. The 6 o'clock target was completely hidden. I decided to stand up to a semi-crouched position, putting my left elbow on the top of the tripod, and shot from adequate-ish support.
If I understand the posted scores correctly, it took us 224 seconds from "go" (standing at the ready position, with rifles and all gear in hand) to the final "ting". The top team finished this stage in only 104 seconds. Consider this -- 2 guys building 4 separate shooting positions, moving 20-25 yards between shooting positions, engaging 5 different targets at each position. I feel sorta old and slow. Maybe I need a walker instead of a tripod. Maybe some Depends and dentures, too. I already wear progressive-lens glasses.
Pretty darn humbling, really. A fun way to play with guns, but humbling to know how fast the best teams move.
Sounds like fun, if a definite challenge.
What scope were you using?
“He who writes carelessly confesses thereby at the very outset that he does not attach much importance to his own thoughts. ”
— Arthur Schopenhauer
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