Latest Desert Trip, Part 1
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Old 12-01-2010, 04:53 AM   #1
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Default Latest Desert Trip, Part 1

Took a drive with my shooting partner to our spot in the Mojave Desert on Saturday for some long range rifle shooting with M14's. Got on top of our hill and unloaded the gear.



Our targets were steel plates, one at 800 yards and one at 460 yards. The 800 yard target is a new small popper that is 28" high and the round part is an 8" circle. It started the day brand new, but ended up well used.



The 460 yard plate is one of my home made plates, made using old discarded railroad track couplings. It measures about 7"x13" which is almost exactly the size of as human head. New paint, but the plate has been seen here before.



This plate has seen tremendous use over the last few years, but is made of some type of laminated steel. It has taken several hits with .50BMG out of a Barrett .50 at 100 yards with no serious damage. The divots you see were from 7.62x51 FMJ and 8x57 FMJ at less than 50 yards. Tough stuff.

When we got to the dez this morning it was chilly (29f) but the wind was low (2-4mph) from the left. That did not last, and soon the wind was swirling at between 15-25+. Nice. At least the day warmed up to almost 60f.

We each brought along our LRB M25's in JAE G2 stocks and topped with IOR glass, and an iron sighted M14. My M14 was a 1989 vintage Springfield Armory M1A Standard with a Saco Lowell barrel. I dropped it into a dez camo USGI synthetic stock last night. It had been in a woodland camo stock since I got it. I like the new look.


Continued...

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Old 12-01-2010, 04:58 AM   #2
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Default Part 2

His was a 1993 vintage Armscorp M14 Standard in another USGI synthetic stock done in a dez camo. It was painted with the Aervoe brand paint which is very easy to use, and durable.




I ran 40 rds of Black Hills Match 168gr through my M25 and did surprisingly well, considering the wind.



The fun part though was breaking out the M1A with standard sights and old German MEN 147gr ball and doing almost as well as the scoped M25 with match ammo. Fired a couple hundred rounds through the iron sighted M1A from the hill and got almost a 50% hit ratio. Much better than expected. I had never fired that rifle in the desert camo stock until today, but the sights were perfect.. Swapped stocks out last night. It's a keeper.



We shot from the hilltop for several hours (all prone from bipods or bags), then packed up and drove down the hill. From there we did spot and stalk on the plates with the M14's at estimated distances. That went very well and we walked up on the plates and then back again to the base of the hill. Great practice shooting at estimated distances. Burned through another 140 rds doing that but limited each stop to 3 rds. Lots of fun.



We stayed out til the sun was setting, so ended up with about 8 hours of trigger time. Going back out on Dec 17th and will have the Barrett along that day.

One thing is for sure though. A human sized target at 800 yards is toast with any of these rifles, and head shots at 460 are not a problem. We will be getting a full size steel torso plate soon. That will be interesting.

My M25 used varying Mils of elevation at 800. When the wind was still in the morning I found that my previous 800 yard DOPE was too much. In the past it was 7.1 Mils of elevation (from a hot, still day). Yesterday was 6.75 Mils (with no wind) out of the gate. Once the wind started howling and swirling I ended up needing up to 7.5 Mils, but that would be subject to the wind readings. We set up flags to see the wind patterns easier. Watching the bushes sway in the wind works great for the hardcore pros, but I find flags to be the crutch that works. Ha.

Swirling wind creates updrafts and downdrafts, so the elevation variances can be fairly extreme.

I found the DOPE for the 460yd target to be far less critical. 2.5Mils was working no matter the wind conditions. Partly that can be attributed to the 168gr bullets. They are perfect out to about 600, but between 800-850 they go subsonic and really start panting. 175's reach out to 900 better, but my local range only goes to 600 so I have piles of 168gr to use up.

Windage adjustments were fickle, as well. The rare shot was a hit by holding on the left edge of the plate, but once the howling began, it was 2.5-4mils of windage.

My partner's M25 has always played by it's own rules and he always needs more elevation than my rifle does. His M25 (used to be mine) has a Krieger SS medium weight barrel, and mine has a Criterion Chrome Lined medium weight. Other than that they are the same. He needed an extra half Mil of elevation over what I was using.

I'm going to load up some of the 175's for our next trip and see how they fare.

And spending the day with one of my oldest friends (30+ years) doing some dedicated rifle work is priceless.

Continued...

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Old 12-01-2010, 05:04 AM   #3
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Default Part 3

He also brought along his brand new (fired today for the first time) S&W M&P22 AR15 clone in .22lr. It was awesome!! I NEED one. We burned up 400 rds through that with no malfunctions. The controls are exactly the same as an AR, and even many parts interchange. The perfect training aid.



A client of mine gave me a $500 gift certificate for one of our local range/Pro Shops a few weeks ago, so I think the M&P22 will be the next addition. I can't recommend it highly enough for someone who wants a FUN gun, that is perfect for cheap training (assuming the training is for an AR).

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Old 12-01-2010, 05:30 AM   #4
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That sounds great and the time spent with an old friend really is priceless.

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Old 12-01-2010, 05:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by CA357 View Post
That sounds great and the time spent with an old friend really is priceless.
It was almost a perfect day. We DO shoot together a lot, but it is rarely just the two of us. When it is just us we get more serious work done.
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Old 12-01-2010, 09:47 AM   #6
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wow what a fun outting Sir; you are very fortunate having a site that allows for such long range fun

more pictures; the country-side is beautiful

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Old 12-01-2010, 11:03 AM   #7
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If my guns weren't illegal in your ghey state I would consider a trip. That looks like a great day of shooting!

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Old 12-01-2010, 12:21 PM   #8
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Nice writeup! Well done!

But, again, you suck and I hate you.

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Old 12-01-2010, 12:43 PM   #9
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Nice "reach out and touch" rifles ya got there M14! Sounds like ya had a great day of shooting and socializing. Thanks for the post and pics.

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Old 12-01-2010, 01:45 PM   #10
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I'm glad to hear you were not shooting any 7mm mag. That box in your bag still have my name on it???

I'm hoping to be there on the 17th. If I can swing some funds for optics on the new 6.8 spc we can pop her cherry out there.

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