Played hookie yesterday and went to the desert with my partner. The weather report called for 78f and "calm". Ha. It never got above 55f and the wind was a fairly constant 15-18mph, full value from the left (90 degree angle). Gusts were much higher, and the wind in the valley below us was very erratic.
We each brought along our LRB M25 rifles in JAE G2 stocks and IOR scopes.
I brought an M4gery (with A1 stock), topped with an Aimpoint Comp ML3 and a Hensoldt 2.5x magnifier as well as a 10x42 Super Sniper, a great scope for the money, (all in LaRue mounts) and a Saiga 7.62x39 that I have had for several months but never fired. More about that later.
My partner brought along an M4 with an ACOG, as well as his Larue Stealth topped with a Leupold 3.5-10 Police scope. The LaRue Stealth was dialed in with his handloads using the Sierra 77gr Matchking. Scary combination for anyone on the receiving end.
Our targets are homemade steel plates 13.5"x7.5", made from old railroad track connectors. The frames are simple rebar and duct tape. They can handle quite a beating (.50BMG ball at 100 yards does not penetrate). The divots in the plate are from .308 rounds fired at 25-50 yards.
We set up a series of 3 plates. The first was at 400 yards, second at 750 yards, and the third was 1,000 yards (but this plate is double size because it is 2 plates connected). Ranges were laser verified, and matched the locations we have used previously.
Cold bore shots at 400 were taken (M25's) and the wind affected impact (as expected) by about 3'. Jeez. Reading the wind is an artform that we are still learning, but we could tell that the wind at 400 was less than at 750, and less than at our position.
Our ballistics data indicated that at 750 yards, we would need 12 Minutes of windage with a 20mph cross wind. We ended up needing 28 Minutes. This was using 168gr Sierra MatchKings in .308.
With my M4 I changed ammo so all of my previous data was wrong. I re-sighted with PMC 55E that I have tons of (left over from the mid 90's) and ended up whacking the plate (400) with the Aimpoint pretty handily. Then the Super Sniper came out and made the hits keep coming. I did not have a 100 yard zero with these optics, so will need to do some range work with them. But they are good to go at 400 for now.
His M4 with the ACOG is pretty nice. Such a great optic, and so easy to use.
But the most impressive showing of the day was with my new Saiga. What a great little carbine!! I own some AK's and really don't like them very much. But this Saiga rocks. 16", chrome lined tube and crude iron sights. The front sight post was several times wider than the steel plate at 400 yards, but once I got my zero it was a piece of cake to whack the plate at least half the time. Using old, leftover Hungarian ammo. I'll write a post in the AK section about the Saiga.
We ended up being out from 6am to almost 6pm. Had an awesome time and learned quite a bit more about reading the wind. Ended the day being able to keep 4 out of 5 shots on the plates at 750 and 1,000. And the shots that missed would still probably have hit a torso sized target. The Kestrel wind meter is a mandatory piece of kit if you are planning to do some long range shooting, as well as a GOOD spotting scope and a book to record data and log shots taken. Know your bullet's BC, muzzle velocity, and use the JBM ballistics program to help you set up your dope.
I ended up firing 70 rds of Black Hills Match 168 gr .308, 100 rds of 5.56 and 150rds of 7.62x39.