Shooting Trip- Day 3 Smashing Shooting Goals
701m on Day 2 was the furthest I had ever shot. With the 300WSM hitting on the 701m target with nothing but ease, if given the chance it would become boring quick. Day 3 brought on us moving steel as far as we could.
Unfortunately our ideal shooting location was cattle ridden this time round, in previous trips the guys have managed to shoot along the base of a sheltered valley pictured below, this time it wasn't to be. Scaring the cattle was not on the radar for this trip.
So we went scouting for another spot to shoot from and too. The only way we could get the range we wanted for the data we needed was to shoot across the valley, which was a perfect clear shot, no high grass issues to shoot over, but potential for interesting wind movements.
The Valley Of Flight
Our spot to shoot from was pretty much dictated by our location for the target. Needing to make sure the target was on a hill side, to ensure the bullets were trapped with no strays and to give us an indicator of where shots were landing off target so we could walk them in as needed.
We chose a hill side to shoot at, quite clear with barely a shrub, from there we tracked back with the laser range finder up the opposite hill side along a track until we found a spot flat enough to lay comfortable with a clear shot to the other side of the valley.
After finding the rough spot on the hill side, the guys managed to work there way up there in the Pajero to save lugging the steel plate and star pickets up there.
Don't worry the bolt is not in the gun, While the boys were smacking the steel pickets in, I got a sneaky picture though the Leupold Scope on 20x magnification to show the size of the steel with a human sized reference next to it.
With the pictures out the way, lets type.
I was such an eager beaver to get behind the gun and shoot at my 2018 distance goal, I layed down and got comfortable.
With the range finder reading 1031m, I spun the elevation dial. The beauty of the CDS dial is I didn't even have to bust out the ballistics app or the calculator to work out the dope(at 1000m the 300 WSM would need 252 inch worth of adjustment to get it across the valley and close to the target).
All I did was dial in 1030m, having no idea if the dial would still be as good as it was at 700, I just wanted to get the shot off so Id be able to walk it in as needed.
I called to my spotter Julian who was on about 40 power on his Vortex spotting scope, that I was holding dead centre of target and see how it goes. There was barely any wind movements, the grass was barely moving, but the heat haze was visible.
His zoom would allow a good 50m worth of visible grass to hopefully see the shots as they landed. Zooming in any further an you loose your field of view.
Holding the rifle firm into the Shoulder pocket cos she kicks a bit, I applied first pressure, Then boom, I let the shot off.
Felt good, but really had no idea where it would land elevation wise.
Meh, Kinda disappointed.. I couldn't see it land through my scope, no dust, no ding.
Oh well. Then Julian my spotter called " you were over the left shoulder", my reaction was almost WTF, but it came out as " what, as in it was close?".
Wow, thats amazing, first shot and its just off the target.
Time to hunker down for another go at it.
With the hit just high left, I just lowered my hold to bottom right corner of the plate
Bolt down and grip taken. Firm in to the shoulder, Soft trigger pressure, fire.
Then what seemed like an eternity of nothingness. Just as Julian the super spotter called that he didn't see it, we all heard it, it was a solid hit on Steel at 1031m.
I was elated, I jumped to my knees and cheered!! 2nd Shot hit at 1031m. I simply cant believe it.
What a feeling!!
Please excuse the elation and my girly cheer!!! But click the link for video.
So I jumped back on the gun and went again, and hit again. Oh yes!!!! Thats the ticket.
With flight time of about 1 second and the ring of the steel taking about about 5 seconds to get to us, allowed the spotter to give a clear hit call way before hearing it.
After my 3rd shot, we stopped the videos, but from the first 5 shots, I had hits on shot 2 and 3. with the 4th and 5th, just off to the left. Then we found the wind started playing around a bit.
We could see the wind blowing trees down on the valley floor but couldn't tell the direction, the heat haze around the target had started moving enough to see a direction, showing wind from left to right, but the wind at shooting position was right to left......so, Honestly I had no idea what the wind was doing mid flight path, at roughly 60-80m above the valley floor as there was no trees any where near the bullet path.
I decided to watch the heat haze more than try to fathom the mid flight wind as its at the closest to the target that the bullet speed is at its lowest and most wind effected.
Shots 6-10, I was holding left of target half way between the pole and the steel, I made a single elevation adjustment so I could hold dead centre and not bottom of plate.
The 5 shots offered just 2 hits.
Thats total 4 from the first 10. Sooo happy. I was going to be content and maybe 1 hit from 20 shots.
About 45 minutes later I had another crack after the other guys had a lay behind their guns.
The wind had picked up and was now pretty much all over the place, from a head wind at the shooting spot to left to right to the target.
My next 5 shots didn't give a single hit, I was all around it, just inches away, but no hit.
I decided to take a bit more time on my fundamental's, focus on my position, my trigger and comfort on the gun, I also had a good look at the wind signs for mid flight. Trying to re read the wind for each shot, I then managed to get a string of 5 hits in a row. All with a slightly different wind hold. But the grouping was excellent, all good height averaging across the centre of the target.
So that was 5 hits from the second 10 shots.
Thats 9 from 20!!! 9 times better than I had hoped for!!!
Sensational. I couldn't be happier. The GRS Laminated stock feels wonderful, but I do want to engineer some height adjustment into the butt plate, to bring it up so that just the point of the butt isn't into my shoulder pocket. Much like MDT have made for their stocks.
The CDS dial, was just perfect. Amazingly accurate, When I start reloading, I will certainly get one to suit my reloads. But, I am still going to get some training in dialling elevation using the standard 1/4 MOA Adjustments, its only one hex screw to change the dial back.
Remington 700 Action Blue Printed
Re-chambered in 300WSM, custom fitted Sako Extractor with Oversize bolt knob
27 Inch Custom barrel measuring 1.15 inch at the muzzle
GRS Laminated Stock
20 MOA Mark 4 Rail
Leupold PRW Steel 30mm Rings
Leupold Mk4 6.5-20x50 TMR reticle with CDS
Harris High 9-13" Tilt mount.
Federal 300WSM 150 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip Factory Rounds.
Thank you for reading. I shall endeavour to report my next shooting adventure.
Mostly I want to thank my mate Julian for a wonderful 4 days on the land, my goal couldn't have been smashed 9 times with out the invite to the land!!! Thanks so much mate... I cant wait for the next trip to learn my zero for 1300m!!!!!