I've started preparing to shoot in some actual competition events later this year. For various reasons the rifle I'll be using is not the most optimal from a distance perspective, though it is one of the 2 most accurate I own. My buddy will be using my .300WM in these competitions - that's the other most accurate I have.
Neither of us have ever done comps before, though we have both shot out there at this ranch (SPR) before on our own.
The long range stage is 100 yd increments between 400 and 1400. You are allowed a maximum of 2 shots per distance and there is a time limit for the stage, it is either 2 minutes or 3 minutes I forget.
The other stages involve known distance shooting between 200 yds and 500yds with some movers. I think all stages have time limits. We are told to bring 250yds, but 200rds is more than enough.
There is usually a fair amount of wind out there. Though it is usually fairly consistent due to the open terrain in West Kansas.
So I'll be using 5.56(18) with 77gr TMK, Black Hills load for 5.56. And I'll have Burris 5-25x scr-mil on top with Atlas bipod. Here is shot of rifle at 500yd FP on my land.
Here's a side view from another day.
I wound up using a riser for the 5-25x so get it up higher and to get it farther forward. The old DD rails on this upper are due to be replaced and I already bought the seekins rails I will replace them with. But for this one purpose I'm preparing for ... having the clunky old (HEAVY) DD rails up is actually good. So I'm waiting until after the comp shoot before I replace the rails. But I'd expect to lighten the rifle by maybe a pound - the DD rails are very heavy and the seekins rails are veryu light. By 6.5G(18) upper is way lighter than this 5.56(18) upper.
I got some new steel targets and set one up at the main berm. On the first day I tried it we had snowy windy conditions and I got 6/10 hits. For the first few shots I was not able to see any "splash" or hear any definitive "clank" or see any definitive target movement. But then I finally saw a miss just barely to the left and I think I was on target after that.
I would not normally run the 5-25x on this rifle, but we don't always get to do what is optimal. Even using this rifle for this shoot is not optimal on the shooting side anyway.
I am zero stopped at 500yds for the 77gr TMK. With this DOPE card for 30F
The center column is mils of elevation, the right column is mils of wind for a 10 mph 90 degree cross wind.
For practicing out to 600yds on my land, I'm using Freedom Munitions (FM) 55gr reman in .223, which strangely seems to have a very close drop to the 77gr BH at 500yds. So at least at 500yds I can use the 55gr FM(R) to simulate the 77gr TMK. It is a couple of inches high or low, depending on the temperature, but close enough for current purposes. Of course the wind is different. The wind at 500yds is 2.0 mils for the 55gr, versus the 1.3 mils for the 77gr.
So here is the 6 hits on the target from the fisrt day it got used. The aim point was the head, because I believed I would hit low. I use AB ballistic calculator, Kestrel 2500NV wind meter and Bushy 1600 arc elite LRF.
The wind on this day was 15 with spikes to 22 close to 150 degrees off the bullet path. I could see the wind via the snow fall and could see the increases and decreases of the wind. So that was good. I was holding nominal 1.25 mils for wind, but increased to 1.5 after I saw the miss. Due to the various elevation changes and tree lines and that I am shooting down to lower elevation along the length of a "valley" the wind intensity and direction are not consistent all along the bullet path.
A couple of days later ... Fired another 10 rd group and got 8/10 (the red NO icons are the hits from the first session above). This day the wind was 15.1 for 2 min avg at 210 off the bullet path. I held 1.0 and was off to the left, 2nd shot the same. Increased hold to 1.25 and saw a spark on the left side (we see a "half" hit on the left side of the neck). Increased to 1.5 and hit for the rest. Again, I could not hear any definitive strike sound or see any definitive target movement. But I could see the grey splotches appearing on the target, so I knew I was hitting. This is "AR500" 3/8 inch so I guess it is rather heavy for the 5.56 bullets.
A few days later .. finally got some paint
... wind was 3 MPH directly behind, so I did not hold for wind. Temp was 40F. I was aiming a little low right of center of mass due to tiny wind and thinking I would hit a little high.
Got 7/10 hits this time. Misses were to the right, so the wind did actually matter. But it was tough to judge the direction. I could not see any indication of hits this time, other than absence of splash.
And last but not least, tried again that same day with a new coat of paint and got 10/10. Again aiming low right. Could see some splotches this time (fresh paint).
Summary: Well I think the gear is working anyway. The eye relief seems to work, the bipod works, the scope works. Even the 30 cent per round ammo works for getting comfortable with the setup. I got 300rds to use for this event. Nominal 100 to prepare and 200 for the shoot. That is the 77gr TMK. But waiting for buddy to come out then we will do 400, 500 and 600 and I will try to build another berm to let us get to 1000yds on my land but should barely be possible in the cooler months, shooting between the tops of some giant trees from way up on a ridge down across the creek into one of our pastures on the other side of the creek. Won't work in the summer due to more vegetation (and more cattle).